Sunday, August 23, 2015

Is murder suspect 'emotionally unstable,' 'very manic'? (Exclusive interview)

This is the second part of two features I wrote recently for the NORWALK REFLECTOR newspaper. 

The first installment focused on 23-year-old murder victim, Ronald Wisniewski, who died a hero while intervening in a domestic dispute Friday morning and took a fatal stab wound to his chest. 

This feature, also published in Saturday's REFLECTOR, focuses on the suspected murderer, Eric Carroll — from the perspective of his one-time friend. That friend, Dylan Jones, and his wife were staying with a friend at the same apartment complex where Wisniewski was stabbed.

NORWALK, Ohio — Norwalk resident Dylan Jones has known murder suspect Eric L. Carroll for about 3 1/2 years.

Eric L. Carroll, 23, of Norwalk, Ohio
Photo courtesy of the Huron County Sheriff's Office
But two to three months ago, Jones decided he didn’t want to be dragged into the drug-fueled lifestyle Carroll was leading.

“He was a friend of mine until he started doing heroin again and then I stopped talking to him,” Jones told the NORWALK REFLECTOR on Friday. “I stayed away from after that.”

The Norwalk Police Department has arrested Carroll in connection with the fatally stabbing of Ronald L. Wisniewski, 24, of Lake Worth, Fla. The suspected incident happened behind the residence at 37-E Bouscay Ave. shortly before 2 a.m. Friday.

When Jones first met Carroll, he reportedly was in the middle of abusing drugs.

“I don’t know what he did before that, but I know he smoked crack,” Jones said.

Neighbors gather outside of the Bouscay Avenue
apartment in Norwalk, Ohio, where Florida resident
Ronald L. Wisniewski was stabbed during a domestic dispute.
Jones and his wife were visiting a friend at a Bouscay Avenue apartment when the suspected stabbing happened. He said Carroll’s ex-girlfriend told him about the incident and that she had been telling Carroll their relationship was over.

“She’d been telling him for quite some time. He couldn’t get it through his head,” Jones said. 

According to the ex-girlfriend, Carroll pushed another woman out of the way during some sort of dispute, Jones said.

“She had a knife or it got knocked on the floor,” he continued. “The knife fell and Eric picked it up and lunged the knife into Ronald’s chest.”

Jones shared some information about the crime scene, which the ex-girlfriend told him. He has known her for about three years.

“She said her apartment was full of blood from front to back,” said Jones, who was told the victim told the woman to call 9-1-1.

 “She just seemed pretty shocked,” he added.

Jones was asked if Carroll has a history of violent behavior. Jones said he didn’t believe so, but alleged his ex-friend has a history of substance abuse and robbery. (Go here for a late October 2013 story published in the REFLECTOR about Carroll's criminal history, which includes a new sexual battery charge filed at the time.)

He alleged Carroll served jail time for stealing $700 from Dave’s Food Mart and the clerk had identified Carroll since he regularly went to the convenience store at the intersection of Norwood and Benedict avenues.

 “He robbed Dave’s a few months ago,” Jones said. “He lived across the street.”

This is the banner the Huron County (Ohio) Sheriff's Office uses on the sex-offender portion of its website.
A registered sex offender, Carroll was sentenced in June 2014 to one in year prison for a burglary. He had been in the Huron County since the April 13, 2014 burglary, so his time in prison ended up being about 10 months.

As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed one count of failure to register as a sex offender in connection with an April 5, 2014 incident. Carroll's underlying conviction is sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor which was adjudicated through Huron County Juvenile Court in 2009. He was 16 at the time.

Jones talked more Friday about Carroll’s history of drug abuse.

“I know he’s been on heroin on and off for years. He’s done misc. drugs; that’s not the only one,” Jones told the REFLECTOR.

Jones described his friend as “emotionally unstable.” He said Carroll often acts “fidgety,” but even though it could be from drug use, Jones said the behavior appears to be related to being manic-depressive. Jones’ mother and sister have a similar diagnosis.

“So I definitely know it when I see it,” he said. “He (Carroll) is not a level-headed adult. He seems very manic,” he added.

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