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Hitman Likely Knew He Carried Out Contract on Wrong Victim

Image: Hitman Likely Knew He Carried Out Contract on Wrong Victim
Carl Rosebrook, 57, of East Liberty, Ohio; Chad South, 45, of Moraine, Ohio, and Joseph Rosebrook, 59, of Saint Cloud, Florida. (Geauga County Sheriff's Office)

By    |   Friday, 12 Jun 2015 12:41 PM

A hitman who broke into an Ohio home nine years ago for a revenge killing probably realized he was at the wrong address and carrying out a contract on the wrong person because the victim looked much younger than the intended target was supposed to be, authorities now believe.

The Daniel Ott who was killed in May 2006 was 31. The Daniel Ott who was the target of the hit would have been 69 at the time, reported The Associated Press.

Three men were indicted Wednesday in Geauga County on charges of aggravated murder and conspiracy to commit aggravated murder. They are Joseph Rosebrook, 59, who authorities say ordered the hit on the older Daniel Ott; Chad South, 45, the alleged hitman; and Carl "Jeff" Rosebrook, 57, who is accused of paying South on his brother's behalf.

Ott was killed in the home he shared with his girlfriend in Burton Township, about 40 miles east of Cleveland. A masked man holding a shotgun and wearing camouflage broke into the house, bound Ott with duct tape and ordered the girlfriend to lie on the floor face down. Ott managed to break free, but was killed by a shotgun blast to the chest during a struggle with the hitman.

Authorities said South ended up at the wrong house because he had lost the address that Joseph Rosebrook had given him. The real target of Rosebrook's vengeance was a longtime car thief who lived in northeast Ohio at the time but nowhere close to Burton Township.

Detectives struggled for years to solve the case. They learned about six months after the killing that there was another Daniel Ott who would have been a more likely target for a hit man. Months turned into years as detectives were stymied by people unwilling to give any information about Rosebrook.

"Detectives repeatedly ran into the phrase, 'I know what you want, but they will kill me,'" Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland said Wednesday. "Witnesses flat out refused to talk."

Rosebrook had an ironic reason for wanting to kill Daniel Ott. He had offered Ott $15,000 to kill a witness who was cooperating in a racketeering investigation that involved Rosebrook's multi-million dollar stolen car "chop shop" operation in Central Ohio. Ott accepted a $2,000 down payment from Rosebrook, but instead of killing the witness, he went to authorities.

The racketeering case turned into a conspiracy to commit murder investigation. Rosebrook pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He got out of prison in March 2014 and moved to Florida.

Rosebrook remains a suspect in a 1983 car bombing that seriously hurt a man who had agreed to testify against Rosebrook and the disappearance in 1999 of an 18-year-old associate who was cooperating with authorities in another case against Rosebrook. The man was last seen getting into a car with Rosebrook.

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A hitman who broke into an Ohio home nine years ago for a revenge killing probably realized he was at the wrong address and carrying out a contract on the wrong person because the victim looked much younger than the intended target was supposed to be, authorities now believe.
hitman, contract, wrong, victim
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2015-41-12
Friday, 12 Jun 2015 12:41 PM
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