Athens County Prosecutor Apologizes For Insensitive Statement

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Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn has apologized following a statement made to an area Newspaper about the suicide of a Millfield man.

The Athens Messenger quoted Blackburn as saying Tuesday, "This is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." The prosecutor then added, "He has chosen not to face his punishment and taken the easy way out."

Jerry Lewis, 60, was found dead in Parkersburg Tuesday.  The Athens Messenger reported that on September 17, Lewis pleaded guilty to charges of felonious assault, theft and forgery after allegedly shooting his sleeping wife, and taking checks from his wife's purse and making them out to himself for cash.  Lewis' attorney asked the court for 10 days to allow his client to manage personal affairs before he was to be sentenced for his crimes.

In a statement released by the Athens County Prosecutor's Office, Blackburn said, "After reflection, I would like to apologize for what came out as an insensitive statement about the death of Jerry Lewis.  I am saddened by the incident and stands by my statement that, “It’s a tragic ending to a really terrible situation.” I am sorry to everyone that has been hurt by my comments and if I could take the words back I would.”