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Shey L. WEIKER

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Arson - Because she thought Marker had committed a sex crime against her son
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: May 26, 2014
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1982
Victims profile: Danny Joe Marker Jr., 48, and Tara Lynn Vance, 44
Method of murder: Fire (used a railroad flare to start the fire)
Location: Fostoria, Seneca County, Ohio
Status: Pleaded guilty. Sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility after 25 years on September 15, 2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Fostoria woman pleads guilty, sentenced to life in prison for fire that killed 2

ToledoBlade.com

September 15, 2014

TIFFIN – A Fostoria woman pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison today for setting a May 26 fire that killed two people and injured a third.

Shey Weiker, 32, pleaded guilty in Seneca County Common Pleas Court to aggravated arson, aggravated murder, murder, and attempted murder. Prosecutors said she used a flare to start the fire at a Poplar Street home that led to the deaths of Daniel J. Marker, 48, and Tara Vance, 44. Dana Weatherall, 49, was injured but survived. All three victims were hearing impaired, and one was partially blind.

Judge Michael Kelbley ordered that Weiker serve a life sentence with parole eligibility after 25 years.

Cases are still pending against Charles Schaeffer, 44, of Fostoria who is charged with complicity to the crimes, and Timothy Hall, 20, who is charged with tampering with evidence and two counts of obstructing justice.

 




Weiker pleads guilty

Woman set fatal fire in Fostoria

By Erika Platt-Handru -  The Advertiser-Tribune

September 16, 2014

A woman was sentenced Monday to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years after she pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a fatal arson.

Shey L. Weiker, 32, of Fostoria, who had faced a maximum prison sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, was handed the sentence by Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Kelbley after she pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; aggravated murder, a special felony; murder, also a special felony, and attempted murder, a first-degree felony. The prison term was a joint recommendation agreed upon by the state and Weiker's attorney, Dean Henry.

Weiker originally pleaded not guilty to the charges after being indicted in June for setting fire May 26 to 614 S. Poplar St., the residence of Danny Joe Marker Jr.

Marker, 48, and Tara Lynn Vance, 44, who were hearing impaired, died as a result of the fire. Dana Weatherall, 49, who also is hearing impaired, was seriously injured. Weiker previously had told law enforcement she set fire to the home with a flare because Marker allegedly committed a sex offense against a child.

Weiker, who cried through most of Monday's hearing, apologized to Marker's family before the sentence was announced.

"I'm sorry. I am really sorry," she said. "I didn't mean to kill anybody. I just wanted to make my point of him staying away from my son."

"I hope you one day can accept my apology," Weiker told Marker's family.

She also turned and spoke to her family prior to announcement of her sentence.

"I love you guys," she said.

Marker's mother, brother and sister also spoke Monday.

Nancy Marker, Danny's mother, described the struggles he faced being deaf and partially blind.

"He didn't fit in in this world or in at that world," Nancy said of the hearing world and the deaf world. "He always asked 'Why can't I be normal?'"

"He wanted friends; more than anything in the world he wanted to be accepted by friends and people," she said.

Nancy said her son always was willing to help others, and was doing just that when he died.

"Danny was trying to help Tara get out of the window," Nancy said. "He wasn't going to leave her by herself so he stayed in there with her."

Nancy said Danny called her at 2:59 a.m. May 26 via a telephone relay system asking for help. Nancy, who lived seven blocks away, said she drove to his home. When she arrived, she saw the whole front of the house on fire.

"The neighbors could hear him and Tara screaming for help," she said.

"Every night I lay down, I hear my son begging for help," Nancy said.

She said she was standing in front of the South Poplar Street residence that morning when firefighters brought Danny's body out.

"It's not supposed to happen that way," she said. "You're not supposed to bury your kids."

Shane Marker, Danny's brother, also went to the scene. He said when he arrived, the porch was engulfed in flames. Shane told the court he always thinks about the six minutes, from 2:59 a.m. until 3:05 a.m., his brother was trapped inside the house.

"The six long minutes that he laid there fighting for his life. I can't get that six minutes out of my mind," he said.

"We will always relive the early morning hours of May 26, 2014," said Danny's sister, Angel Myers. "Those events of the day will never be erased from our memories."

Myers told Kelbley her family would have liked to see Weiker serve life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.

"There's no explanation as to why someone would burn someone's house down," she said. "Shey Weiker's apologies fall on deaf ears. The one person who would have forgiven her is now murdered."

A letter written by Weatherall was submitted to the court, and a letter written by Vance's mother was read aloud Monday by Libra Martin, victim assistance director for Seneca County.

Vance's mother stated in the letter that her daughter and Weatherall had moved in with Marker to search for jobs. They had been living with him for four weeks when the fire broke out.

Vance's mother described her daughter as head-strong, fearless, strong and independent. Although she faced obstacles as a deaf student, the letter stated, Vance was active in sports in school.

"She was smart, silly, funny, loyal, stubborn, sensitive and caring. She was my daughter," the letter stated.

Seneca County Prosecutor Derek DeVine said although Marker's family believed a harsher sentence was appropriate, the state believed the joint recommendation was a fair resolution. The minimum sentence had been life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years.

"On May 26, the defendant engaged in some of the most extreme criminal behavior that someone in our society can engage in," DeVine said. "Two people lost their lives as a result of her actions."

"The defendant, for all of her bad deeds on May 26, has done the right thing today by entering pleas of guilty and not making the victims' families and the victim herself go through the trial process. For that she deserves credit," he said.

DeVine said although the victims' families continue to relive May 26, he hopes the resolution will offer some peace.

"My hope ... is that maybe the pain will be a little less tomorrow and maybe a little less in the days to come," he said. "That there can be some light at the end of the tunnel for the families that have been through so much."

Weiker also was ordered Monday to pay restitution totaling $54,429.45 to Marker's family and to Weatherall. The restitution includes expenses from Marker's funeral and damage to his residence. Restitution for Weatherall included money to replace a TV, a laptop, a bike and a phone.

Court cases still are pending for two others charged in connection to the arson.

Charles V. Schaeffer, 44, of Fostoria, is charged with one count each of complicity to aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; complicity to aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; complicity to attempted murder, a first-degree felony; and complicity to murder, a special felony. He is accused of telling Weiker how to activate and use the flare she threw at the South Poplar Street residence.

Timothy D. Hall, 20, of Fostoria, is charged with one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and two counts of obstruction of justice, also a third-degree felony. He allegedly met up with Weiker and threw the flare's strike cap into the sewer after the fire was set.

The men, who have pleaded not guilty to their charges, are scheduled to appear in court next week for plea hearings.

 




Fostoria woman sentenced for fatal house fire

By Brian Bohnert - For The Courier

September 16, 2014

TIFFIN — A Fostoria woman was sentenced Monday to life in prison, with parole possible after 25 years, for starting a Memorial Day house fire in Fostoria that killed two people and seriously injured a third.

Shey L. Weiker, 32, wept as she was sentenced for the arson fire at 614 S. Poplar St. that killed Danny Marker Jr., 48, and his roommate, Tara Lynn Vance, 44, and seriously injured another roommate, Dana Weatherall, 49.

“I didn’t mean to kill anybody,” Weiker sobbed.

Weiker accepted a plea agreement Monday and pleaded guilty to aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; aggravated murder, a special felony; murder, a first-degree felony; and attempted murder, a first-degree felony.

Seneca County Common Pleas Judge Michael Kelbley sentenced her to 10 years on the first count; life with parole possible after 25 years on the second count; an indefinite sentence of 15 years to life on count three; and 10 years in prison on count four. All terms are to be served concurrently.

In addition to the jail time, Weiker was ordered to pay a total of $51,984.

During the plea hearing, Weiker admitted throwing a lit railroad flare toward the porch of the two-story residence shortly before 3 a.m. May 26, because she thought Marker had committed a sex crime against her son.

“On May 26 of this year, the defendant engaged in some of the most extreme criminal behavior that somebody in our society can engage in,” Seneca County Prosecutor Derek DeVine said. “The nature of that offense was extreme. The harm that it caused was extreme. Two people lost their lives as a result of her actions and the actions of others on that early morning. Another life was able to be saved.”

Prior to sentencing, DeVine asked Judge Kelbley to accept the recommended sentence.

“We believe the recommendation is a fair resolution to the case,” he said. “The victim’s family believes in a more harsh sentence, which I completely understand. But in my judgment, I thought this resolution was fair and appropriate considering all that’s involved … Obviously, life in prison without even being eligible for parole until after 25 years is a significant sanction.”

Weiker, shackled at the wrists and ankles, spent most of the hearing in tears.

At one point, she rose from her seat and turned toward the Marker family.

“I’m sorry,” Weiker said, sobbing. “I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to kill anybody. I just wanted to make my point of him staying away from my son.”

Weiker, along with Charles Schaeffer, 44, and Timothy Hall, 20, were taken into custody the afternoon of the fire.

Schaeffer, who allegedly instructed Weiker how to ignite the flare, is charged with complicity to aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; complicity to aggravated murder, a special felony; complicity to murder, a special felony; and complicity to attempted murder, a first-degree felony.

Hall, who was charged with tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and two counts of obstructing justice, a third-degree felony, is scheduled to appear for a plea hearing next Tuesday. According to court records, he allegedly disposed of the flare’s strike cap by throwing it into a sewer.

During Monday’s hearing, DeVine credited Weiker with the decision to spare the victims’ families the emotional stress of sitting through a jury trial.

“The defendant, for all of her bad deeds on May 26, has done the right thing today by entering pleas of guilty and by not making the victims’ families, and the victim of the attempted murder, go through the trial process,” he said. “And for that, she deserves credit for taking care of that so they don’t have to live through that again. The victims’ families live that continually. Daily. Hourly.”

Libra Martin, director of the Seneca County Victim Assistance Program, read statements from Vance’s parents, who said their daughter came to Fostoria in hopes of finding employment. Like Marker, Vance was deaf and spent much of her life struggling to find a job accommodating her disability.

According to the statement, Vance and Weatherall had been staying with Marker for four weeks when the fire occurred.

“We do not understand how someone could be so vile and hateful toward another person to intentionally set their house on fire,” Martin said, reading from the statement. “Whether or not the arsonist had knowledge of other people in the house … the arsonist must be punished to the greatest extent.”

Marker’s sister, Angel, also spoke about her brother, whom she had not seen in seven years.

“I may not have always shown Danny that I loved him, that I cared about him, and those are my regrets I am going to have to carry the rest of my life,” she said. “But … because of Shey, I’ll never have the opportunity to tell Danny that I’m sorry, tell him that I love him, to hug him.

“Even though everyone in this courtroom can hear, Shey Weiker’s apologies fall on deaf ears. Because the one person that would have forgiven her for her actions, she murdered. The rest of us all hold grudges, and we find it very difficult, even as Christians, to forgive people who hurt us.”

Marker’s mother, Nancy Marker, spoke about her son, his life, his hardships growing up deaf and blind in one eye. She said he was a caring man who always wanted to help people.

She recalled receiving a chilling and cryptic phone call from Danny moments before he died.

“At 2:59 a.m., my phone rang,” Nancy said. “I picked it up, and a panicked voice on the deaf relay service said, ‘Mom, it’s Danny — Help, now. I need help, now.’ I lived seven blocks away. I ran out, got in my car, got over there and the whole front of the house was on fire.

“It’s not supposed to happen that way. You’re not supposed to have to bury your kids.”

Marker’s brother, Shane Marker, said he and Weiker have a 12-year-old daughter and a 13-year-old son together who are now suffering extreme psychological and emotional trauma as a result of their mother’s crime.

“The pain and tragedy that occurred because of this will haunt them forever,” Shane said. “I have a 12-year-old girl who sleeps 6 feet in front of my bedroom door because she’s afraid one of her mom’s friends are going to come and set our house on fire.”

“She won’t even sleep upstairs,” he added. “… I’ve got her in counseling. She loves her mom, and she misses her mom.”

Shane, who rushed to the burning house the night of the fire, said the scene replays over and over in his mind.

“… My brother laid there gasping for his last breath as he fought for his life, screaming and crying, wanting us to help him as we watched outside of an inferno,” Shane said.

 




Murder suspect found competent

By Erika Platt-Handru - The Advertiser-Tribune

August 20, 2014

A woman accused of setting fire to a Fostoria residence in May, killing two people and injuring another, has been found competent to stand trial.

Shey L. Weiker, 32, of Fostoria, was declared competent to stand trial Tuesday after recently undergoing a competency evaluation in Toledo. She had entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in June, and the evaluation then was ordered by Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Kelbley.

After announcing Weiker's evaluation results Tuesday, Kelbley announced Weiker's trial is to begin Oct. 14.

Dean Henry, Weiker's attorney, said he was unsure Tuesday whether Weiker would request a second evaluation.

Weiker, who is charged with one count each of aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; aggravated murder, a special felony; murder, a special felony; and attempted murder, a first-degree felony, allegedly set fire May 26 to 614 S. Poplar St., the residence of Danny Joe Marker Jr.

Marker, 48, and Tara Lynn Vance, 44, who were hearing impaired, died as a result of the fire. Dana Weatherall, 49, who also is hearing impaired, was seriously injured.

Law enforcement said Weiker allegedly set fire to the home because Marker allegedly committed a sex offense against a child.

Charles V. Schaeffer, 44, of Fostoria, who is charged with one count each of complicity to aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; complicity to aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; complicity to attempted murder, a first-degree felony; and complicity to murder, a special felony, in connection to the fire, also has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

A competency hearing for Schaeffer is scheduled for Friday in Kelbley's courtroom.

He is accused of instructing Weiker how to activate and use the flare she allegedly threw at the South Poplar Street residence.

Another person indicted in connection to the arson, Timothy D. Hall, 20, of Fostoria, has pleaded not guilty to one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and two counts of obstruction of justice, also a third-degree felony.

Hall allegedly met up with Weiker and threw the flare's strike cap into the sewer after the fire was set. He is scheduled to appear again in court Sept. 23 for a plea hearing.

If Hall is convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of nine years in prison.

Weiker and Schaeffer each face a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole if they're convicted of their charges, according to their indictments.

 




Ohio woman enters insanity plea over role in house fire that killed 2 deaf people

By Associated Press

June 18, 2014

TIFFIN, Ohio -- A woman accused of setting a house fire that killed two deaf people in northwestern Ohio has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

A judge ordered that Shey Weiker, 31, of Fostoria, undergo an evaluation after she entered the plea Wednesday in a Seneca County court.

She's one of three people charged in the arson fire last month in Fostoria that left two people dead and one hospitalized. She charged with four counts of aggravated arson, two counts aggravated murder, and one count each of aggravated murder and tampering with evidence.

Authorities say Weiker used a railroad flare to start the fire on May 26 that killed 48-year-old Danny Marker Jr. and 44-year-old Tara Vance. A relative of Weiker said there had been bad blood previously between Weiker and Marker.

A detective said abuse allegations made against Marker spurred Weiker and two others to set the fire. Their attorneys have not returned calls seeking comment.

 




Fostoria arson suspects arraigned, victims named

By Brian Bohnert - For The Courier

May 28th, 2014

The three suspects accused of starting a fatal house fire in Fostoria appeared before a judge Tuesday on arson and murder charges.

Shey L. Weiker, 31, and Charles V. Schaeffer, 44, both of 151 Taft Blvd., and Timothy D. Hall, 20, of 126 Findlay St., appeared Tuesday morning before Judge Mark Repp for arraignment in Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court.

The trio is accused of starting a fire at 614 S. Poplar St. early Monday morning. The blaze killed a man and a woman, and injured another woman.

City officials on Tuesday identified those who died as Daniel Marker Jr., 48, who lived in the house, and Tara Lynn Vance, 44. The injured woman was identified as Dana Weatherall, 49.

Police said Weiker is charged with four counts of aggravated arson, two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted aggravated murder and one count of tampering with evidence. During her arraignment, bond was set at $2 million with 10 percent allowed. She is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing at 3 p.m. June 3, a court representative said.

According to a witness who was in attendance at the arraignments, Weiker responded to Judge Repp’s questions with an edge of defiance in her voice. Schaeffer was reportedly quiet during his hearing. The witness described Hall’s demeanor as “mild.”

Schaeffer is charged with four counts of complicity to commit aggravated arson, two counts of complicity to commit aggravated murder, and one count of complicity to commit attempted aggravated murder, police said.

Repp set Schaeffer’s bond at $1.5 million with 10 percent allowed. The court representative said he will appear for a preliminary hearing at 11:30 a.m. June 3.

Police said Hall faces four counts of complicity to commit aggravated arson, two counts of complicity to commit aggravated murder, one count of complicity to commit attempted aggravated murder, and one count of complicity to tampering with evidence.

Hall is being held on a $2 million bond with 10 percent allowed, the court representative said. His next hearing is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. June 3.

The three suspects, as well as the dead man, Danny Joe Marker, 48, all have prior criminal violations.

According to Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court records, Weiker has several prior traffic and criminal violations, dating back to 2001. Notable offenses include receiving stolen property in April 2012 and a fictitious registration violation in March 2001.

Court records list more than 50 prior violations for Schaeffer, ranging from speeding to assault to resisting arrest. His offenses date from the late 1980s to the present.

Hall has eight prior violations, ranging from a child endangerment charge in 2012 to a failure to reinstate charge in March 2013.

According to the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office sex offender database, Marker was charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and ordered to register as a sexual offender. The database describes the victim as a juvenile male.

Police Chief Keith Loreno said officers executed a search warrant Monday afternoon at 151 Taft Blvd., taking all three suspects into custody and collecting various items as evidence.

The house fire was reported to Fostoria firefighters about 3 a.m. Monday. According to Interim Fire Chief Warren Digby, the initial call came in via 911 at 3:05 a.m., advising of people trapped inside the home.

During the rescue efforts, one firefighter suffered minor injuries when he fell through collapsing stairs. He was able to return to duty, Loreno said.

The deceased were transported by the Seneca County coroner to the Lucas County Coroner’s Office. Loreno said autopsies were scheduled for Tuesday.

Weatherall survived the blaze and is being treated in the burn unit at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, Toledo. She was initially transported to ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital and then taken by air ambulance to Toledo.

Loreno said the survivor was unable to communicate with authorities Monday.

City Prosecutor Barb Dibble said she had not heard any updates on Weatherall’s condition as of late afternoon Tuesday.

Loreno said police are still investigating a possible motive for the homicides, and plan to determine the relationship between the victims and the alleged offenders.