Closing arguments begin in trial of Lucas County Sheriff, jail officials

Sherrif James Telb walks into the courthouse with his wife by his side, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010

Closing arguments began Tuesday morning in the trial of Lucas County Sheriff James Telb and three co-defendants who stand accused of covering up an inmate death.

Telb and three former and current sheriff's deputies face charges related to the death of Lucas County Jail inmate Carlton Benton in 2004. The men are believed to have helped cover up Benton's homicide inside the jail. Benton, who was 25 when he died in custody, was being held at the jail on charges of aggravated murder.

Benton's death was ruled a homicide after a coroner determined a "sleeper hold" was put on him, resulting in his death.

Federal officials began investigated Telb along with Capt. Robert McBroom, and former employees, Sgt. John Gray and Deputy Jay Schmeltz, in July of 2008 when Benton's death was ruled a homicide. A coroner determined a "sleeper hold" was put on him, resulting in his death. By April of 2009, a federal indictment against Telb and the others was handed down by a Toledo grand jury. The indictment included an alleged four-year cover-up of the role that the Lucas County Jail played in the Benton's death .

Telb testified he couldn't remember if he was ever told of the sleeper hold that led to Benton's death. He did deny he tried to cover up Benton's death.

After closing arguments, the jury of eight women and seven men, including three alternates, will begin deliberations.