Friday, February 16, 2001

Morgue pair free on bond

By Dan Horn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The two men accused of making photos at the Hamilton County morgue without permission will remain free while awaiting their trials. At their first court appearance Thursday, both men stood before the judge with their attorneys but did not speak until asked to enter a plea.

        “Not guilty,” they said. Judge Norbert Nadel released them on a $5,000 bond.

        Photographer Thomas Condon of Mount Auburn, is accused of gaining access to at least 12 bodies with the help of pathologist Dr. Jonathan Tobias.

        After the hearing Thursday, Dr. Tobias' attorney accused prosecutors of making his client a scapegoat so others at the morgue could avoid responsibility.

        The attorney, Marc Mezibov, had made similar claims last week after Dr. Tobias was indicted.

        “This is a prosecution based on political considerations,” Mr. Mezibov said. “Dr. Tobias did nothing wrong.”

        He said county officials may be trying to protect themselves from lawsuits spawned by the case. One family has sued, claiming the privacy of a relative was violated when his body was photographed without consent.

        But prosecutors told the judge Thursday that Dr. Tobias is the only one in the morgue who knew what Mr. Condon was doing. They said Coroner Carl Parrott, who oversees the morgue, was not aware the photos were taken.

        “Dr. Parrott had no idea what these individuals were doing,” said Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Longano.

        Mr. Condon, 29, has said through his attorney the photos were part of an artistic exploration of death. The photos show autopsied bodies posed with props.

        Dr. Tobias, 31, was completing his pathology residency at the morgue.

        Dr. Tobias, who has been suspended, is charged with 24 counts of abuse of a corpse, one count of theft in office and one count of breaking and entering.

        Mr. Condon faces the same charges, except for theft in office. Prosecutors say Dr. Tobias is charged with theft because he provided Mr. Condon with crime scene photos.
        The Cincinnati Enquirer/MICHAEL E. KEATING If convicted in the morgue-photos case, Thomas Condon (left) faces up to 13 years in prison, and Dr. Jonathan Tobias up to 14 years.


TV ad seeking foster parents tugs at heart
Conese: Tape isn't full story
- Morgue pair free on bond
Cinergy pitches in to help pay bills
Some balk at Project Thaw
RADEL: Freeman Field Mutiny made us all free
Ky. putting 69,000 patients into HMO
WELLS: Charlie Luken
Abortion coverage targeted in Delhi
Rape of 2-year-old alleged
Schools' master plan may get aid
5 arrested after auto break-ins
Attorneys prevented from soliciting before suit is served
Bottom of sludge pond only 10 feet
Burley tobacco quota may end
Cream of art travels here
Democrats challenging Kenton Co. building purchase
Ex-GM workers claim they were set up
'Kentucky Joe' stays on 'Survivor'
Kids, keep away: Sewer line unstable
Ky. cancer to be tracked nationally
N. Kentuckian takes spot on tourism board
Ohio's Shamu migrating to San Diego
School issues before Carlisle voters
State money starts to flow into two projects for Kenton County
Suit accuses officer of being 'potty Nazi'
Tot beaten to death; man held
William Shatner weds Hoosier
Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report