By MARGIE NETZEL - firstname.lastname@example.org
The timeline against murderer Zachary Weimer was clear and straight, Lake County assistant prosecuting attorney Karen Kowall said.
A jury convicted Weimer on Tuesday of 17 charges, including aggravated murder and burglary, in the June 13 death of Madison Township resident Eleanor Robertson.
“After all the testimony and a lot of evidence, Zachary Weimer left a pretty clear trail of what happened on June 12 and 13,” she said.
The timeline, she said, was written all over brother Greg Weimer’s face.
“Greg put two and two together,” she said. “In June, Greg did a pretty special thing — he gave his brother a place to live and $200 out of his own pocket. He opened his heart and his home and his wallet to give his brother a lifeline because he knew Zachary was addicted to drugs. He tried to save Zachary from this life.”
Kowall said Greg knew something was amiss the minute he heard the knock at his door on the evening of June 13.
“It was a Madison Township police officer, asking if anyone knew anything about the missing elderly woman next door,” Kowall said.
Perkins would testify that her boyfriend seemed worried and sad when he picked her up from work that evening.
“He knew what happened and he knew who was responsible. He hadn’t seen his brother in two days.” Kowall said. “There were two families that night that waited for news from that house on Canterbury Drive — Eleanor Robertson’s family and Greg Weimer.”
When Greg and his girlfriend pulled into their driveway that evening, they noticed a light on in the detached garage. The keys to the garage were missing — only to be found later in an unusual place, Kowall said.
“So concerned about what he might find in that garage, Greg went across the street to get a Madison Township police officer to break into the garage,” she said.
But the timeline from when Zachary Weimer moved into Greg’s house on Canterbury Drive in Madison Township didn’t end up that way, she said.
On June 11, Zachary successfully cashed a $100 fraudulent check from Greg’s account. On Dec. 12, he tried to cash a fraudulent $150 check from the same account. It didn’t work — the teller called Greg before she would cash the check.
And so begins the timeline of Eleanor Robertson’s death.
n At noon on June 12, witness Erin Perkins, Greg’s girlfriend, sees Zachary at Greg’s house on Canterbury Driver, located across the street from 77-year-old Eleanor Robertson’s home.
n Just after noon, the Andover Bank teller calls Greg — Zachary is trying to cash that second fraudulent check.
n At 1 p.m. Zachary, low on funds, seeks out Nester Angulo, hoping to find some heroin, but has no luck.
n From 3:41 p.m. on June 12 to 4:18 a.m. June 13, cell phone records indicate Zachary’s cell phone “pinged” repeatedly with calls and texts, many from his brother Greg, from the cell phone tower on Chapel Road. Testimony from Greg and Perkins confirms that Zachary was not at Greg’s house that night. Greg lives across the street from Robertson’s house.
n At 4:44 a.m. home surveillance video at mom Danna Weimer’s home on Sexton Road in Austinburg Township shows Zachary drive up the driveway in Robertson’s mini van.
n Zachary leaves the house at 5:23 a.m., just in time to avoid his mother’s boyfriend who was leaving for work and had forbid Zachary from being at the house.
n Zachary returns to the Sexton Road house at 10:53 a.m., the video shows, and he and Danna leave — Danna in her silver car and Zachary in Robertson’s van. They return at 12:07 p.m., both in Danna’s car.
n From 1:19 p.m. to 2:03 p.m., the pair can be seen on video loading Robertson’s stolen items into Danna’s car, and Zachary burns boxes and bags of items in the backyard. Evidence found in the burn pile included wire and fixtures from frames and artwork stolen from Robertson’s home.
n They leave the house together at 2:09 p.m., stopping at 2:30 p.m. in Greg’s Canterbury Drive driveway at 2:30 p.m., witnesses testified.
n Both were arrested at the Euclid Goldwerks cash-for-gold business by Euclid Police Officer Don Ivory at 5:35 p.m. Ivory found dozens of Robertson’s belongings in the car, notably a cash box with the name “E. Robertson” written on the bottom in marker.
“Eleanor may have been dead, but she followed Zachary from her house to Ashtabula County, to Euclid, Kowall said. “She followed him with her name on the bottom of a cash box. Her name on that box sparked the interest in Euclid Officer Don Ivory, and started the investigation from what started as a burglary to what ended as a murder.”