Michael K. Loop
Michael K. Loop

Progress Staff Writer

PAULDING – A Defiance man charged in the fatal shooting of a Cecil resident last fall is no longer facing the death penalty.

Michael K. Loop, 32, Defiance, appeared in Paulding County Common Pleas Court on Monday, March 11 for a hearing on numerous motions made in his case.

Loop was indicted by a county grand jury for one count of aggravated murder with two specifications in connection with the death of Phillip V. Koenn, 60, of Cecil, on Sept. 20, 2018.

Koenn was found dead of gunshot wounds and his home on Road 230 had been burglarized.

The aggravated murder count is an unclassified felony. The first specification (Count II of the indictment) was that the defendant had a firearm. The second specification (Count III of the indictment) was that the offense was related to aggravated burglary in the case.

Paulding County Prosecutor Joseph Burkard made the announcement that in light of evidence given to the prosecution and investigators, the prosecution would be dropping Count III, which was the aggravating factor making it a death penalty specification.

Loop is still charged with aggravated murder and aggravated burglary (F1). He remains in custody with bond set at $10 million.

To date, defense attorneys William Kluge and Robert Grzybowski have filed 58 motions in the case and they have until April 8 to drop the motions no longer needed going forward.

Another pre-trial hearing has been set for April 22.

Tentative jury trial dates are scheduled for October.

A co-defendant in the case, Zane C. Bartley, is facing charges of aggravated burglary (F1) and complicity to aggravated murder, an unclassified felony. According to court records, Bartley was scheduled for a polygraph examination at BCI in Bowling Green on March 12.

Bartley is being held in Paulding County Jail on $1 million bond.