by Don Jovich
Brimfield Township trustees, the Brimfield chief of police and several other Portage County authorities have been named as defendants in a $150 million lawsuit.
The suit was filed by the parents of Sarah Positano, a Kent State University student who was taken hostage and murdered by James Trimble two years ago.
Susan and A. James Positano are claiming their daughter became the third victim in a hostage situation because of actions taken by Brimfield Township police and other county agencies.
Their daughter was one of three victims in the 2005 murder case.
The 10-count lawsuit filed Jan. 19 in Portage County Common Pleas Court is seeking $150 million in damages for wrongful death, negligence, failure to adequately train police officers and deprivation of civil rights, among others.
Brimfield Chief of Police David Blough said he and his staff were saddened to hear of the civil suit.
"We did everything we could to prevent the loss of life," he said. "My officers are in no way responsible for the death of Sarah Positano."
Blough said he in no way blames the Positano family, and called the lawsuit "slanderous" and unfortunate.
"I feel horrible for the family," he said. "Their loss is unimaginable."
BRIMFIELD Township Trustee Dan Tronge said trustees were advised by legal counsel not to discuss the accusations because of a pending court case.
Positano was shot to death by 44-year-old Trimble, who had already killed two others -- his 42-year-old girlfriend Renee Bauer and her 7-year-old son Dakota.
On Jan. 22, 2005, Trimble reportedly burst into Positano's residence in Brimfield and held her at gunpoint.
According to the suit, Trimble and police negotiated on cell phones and agreed Positano, a 22-year-old Kent State University student, would be freed.
She was reportedly shot seconds later in her Ranfield Road apartment while trying to reach Trimble's assault rifle.
Following Trimble's Jan. 22 arrest, more than 20 firearms were recovered, according to an indictment.
In October 2005, Trimble was found guilty of three charges of aggravated murder and six other related felonies.
Portage County Common Pleas Court Judge John Enlow upheld a jury's recommendation and sentenced Trimble to death. He remains in the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown awaiting execution.
Editor's note: Jovich is a reporter for the Record-Courier.