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Future son-in-law charged with killing Strongsville teacher makes first court appearance

November 3, 2017

Future son-in-law charged with killing Strongsville teacher makes first court appearance

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Strongsville man accused of killing his future mother-in-law made his initial court appearance by video Friday morning in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

Jeffrey Scullin, 20, faces charges of aggravated murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence and making false alarms in the Oct. 23 killing of 49-year-old Melinda Pleskovic.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael Donnelly kept Scullin’s bond at $1 million and is scheduled to come back to court Nov. 13. He is currently in Cuyahoga County Jail.

Scullin’s initial appearance took about a minute. His attorney, Joseph Patituce, did not address reporters after the appearance.

Police were called to the Pleskovic home on Blazing Star Drive shortly after 8 p.m. after Scullin and Pleskovic’s husband, Bruce, reported finding her on the kitchen floor covered in blood.

Records say they got home from the Southpark Mall Strongsville Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar restaurant. Pleskovic’s daughter and Scullin’s future wife waited tables there. Pleskovic’s husband and Scullin said she was supposed to meet them there for dinner, but they couldn’t get a hold of her, a search warrant affidavit filed in court Thursday says.

When they got home the garage door wasn’t working and the front door was locked, the affidavit says. The back door was open when police arrived, it further states.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office said Pleskovic died of gunshot and stab wounds. Police and prosecutors have not publicly discussed a motive in the case.

The affidavit says blood found on a tactical knife inside Scullin’s pickup truck matched Pleskovic. Scullin’s DNA was discovered on the handle of the knife, documents say.

Scullin had a history of disagreeing with Pleskovic, investigators say, and attacked Pleskovice before dining with her husband and daughter.

A marriage certificate shows Scullin was engaged to Pleskovic’s daughter. They were set to get married Oct. 28.

Pleskovic’s husband lashed out to police about attempted break-ins they were experiencing at the home when he called police. Records also show other strange incidents that happened at the home. Scullin reported about an apparent attempted break-in Oct. 19, a report shows.

Scullin told police during a 911 phone call that he got Pleskovic’s 18-year-old son, who has Down syndrome, out of the home as well as his young daughter.

Pleskovic was a teacher with Strongsville City Schools for 27 years. She most recently was a sixth-grade teacher.

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