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Davis v. State of Ohio, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Case No. CV96-312322



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state's filing, motion in limine, Pastor Ernie Sanders, opposition, clergy-penitent privilege, Richard Eberling


The State asserts that the testimony of Ernie Sanders is admissible. Ernie Sanders was pastor to Richard Eberling and Jack Fisher at the Orient Correctional Institution. That fact does not render every communication between them privileged. Sanders testified at deposition that he learned from Eberling and Fisher that fellow inmate Robert Parks was trying to "beat a confession out of him [Eberling] to the Marilyn Sheppard murder (deposition of Sanders, p. 22). Sanders also observed bruises on Eberling. Sanders learned from Jack Fisher that Parks beat Eberling prior to Eberling's death and that Sam Sheppard admitted to Fisher that he murdered Marilyn Sheppard (deposition of Sanders, p. 28, 32). The substance of conversations unrelated to religious counseling and matters observed by Sanders on a visit are not privileged and Sanders may testify.


See Motion to Exclude Testimony of Ernie Sanders

See order ruling on this motion.