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Genoa man accused of killing, burying wife enters insanity plea

News Herald (Port Clinton) logo News Herald (Port Clinton) 5/6/2021 Jon Stinchcomb, Port Clinton News Herald
a church with a large clock tower in front of a building: The Ottawa County Regional Planning Commission still has nearly $400,000 in its revolving loan fund, or RLF, that it is actively looking to lend to local businesses. © File The Ottawa County Regional Planning Commission still has nearly $400,000 in its revolving loan fund, or RLF, that it is actively looking to lend to local businesses.

PORT CLINTON - John Eichner, the Genoa man accused of murdering his wife and burying her body in a friend's backyard, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity on Wednesday. 

Eichner, 43, was indicted late last week on 28 felony charges stemming from  Amber Eichner's death, including one count of aggravated murder, another count of murder, one count of abuse of a corpse, 11 counts of tampering with evidence, 10 counts of possession of criminal tools, and four counts of money laundering. 

Eichner was arrested April 27 and initially charged in the Ottawa County Municipal Court. After being indicted by a grand jury on April 30, his case was moved to Ottawa County Common Pleas Court. 

Asked to bury dog on friend's property

Amber Eichner was first reported missing on April 23. Police later received a tip from a friend of Eichner, who reported that Eichner had asked and been granted permission to bury his deceased dog on the friend’s property in south Toledo. 

a man wearing glasses: John Eichner © Ottawa County Jail John Eichner

Police conducted a search and excavation of the yard and located human remains.

An autopsy performed by the Lucas County Coroner’s Office determined the woman died of strangulation, according to a news release from Ottawa County Prosecutor James VanEerten. 

The remains are believed to be those of Amber Eichner, however, investigators are still awaiting results from DNA analysis to confirm the identity.

Following his indictment, Eichner’s bond was set at $1.5 million without a 10% provision and he remains at the Ottawa County Detention Facility. 

Attorney appointed

Attorney Esteban R. Callejas, of Bowling Green was appointed to represent Eichner and filed the plea of not guilty by reason of insanity on Wednesday. The filing also requested that an evaluation of Eichner be performed to determine his mental condition. 

Eichner is also accused of abandoning their four children in Tennessee. According to Genoa Police Chief Matthew Herrig, the children are with a family member there. 

Herrig said he had been called to the Eichners’ home on East Fourth Street last month for a domestic trouble call.

According to a March 19 police report, John Eichner told police the two were having drinks in the morning when Amber said she had to go the bathroom but did not return.

Police arrived, saying they were dispatched to the home, but said no signs of a struggle were observed.

Amber Eichner told police she believed her husband had drugged her and said she was “afraid,” saying she could not remember anything after coming home and taking a shot with her husband and that the call to police must have come from her cousin.

No drugs found in search

When questioned by police, John Eichner told Herrig that his wife had “mental health” issues and that she needed to go to bed.

No drugs were found during a search. Amber Eichner was advised to go the hospital and be treated for possible drugs in her system.

Her cousin told police he overheard Amber Eichner on the phone shouting “get off me” before hanging up.

John Eichner’s murder case has been scheduled for a pretrial hearing at 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 9. A jury trial will be held at a date to be determined.  

jstinchcom@gannett.com 

419-680-4897

Twitter: @JonDBN

This article originally appeared on Port Clinton News Herald: Genoa man accused of killing, burying wife enters insanity plea

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