Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The bizarre case of Duane Hurley and Daniel Kovarbasich

Threatening to 'Shank' a Guard

Daniel Kovarbasich
Daniel Kovarbasich

By January 2011, Daniel Kovarbasich, along with his cellmate, was under investigation for allegedly threatening to stab a guard at the Lorain County Jail. According to a jailer's report, Danny and his cellmate yelled at Corrections Officer T.J. Collins, who told them to be quiet. When they failed to comply, another jailer turned on an intercom speaker and heard both Danny and his cellmate talking about shutting a door behind a guard and beating him. The corrections officer also heard Danny say, "If I had a shank, I'd shank [him]." The other young man was also heard threatening to use a shank against corrections officers.

A subsequent search of their cell failed to turn up any evidence of a shank—a homemade knife—but guards did find two pencils held together by an adhesive, possibly to be used as a single weapon.

"They were loud and he told them to shut up and sit down," Sheriff's Lt. Jack Hammond said.

"The officers monitor conversations in cells, so he pulled up the [sound] in the area where the two juveniles were. Kovarbasich said something like, 'if that guy came in here, I'd beat his ass. If I had a shank, I'd shank the old [expletive]...' We have these things all the time...We have to look at who says it and why they said it...we have Kovarbasich on tape making the threat...we examine them all...considering Daniel's history and what he's in for, we certainly looked into the threat. We took it very seriously."

Danny was supposed to have been transferred to an Akron treatment facility a day earlier, but the transfer did not occur, and he remained at the county jail, in part because of the difficulty in finding a residential treatment program that would accept him due to the violent nature of his crime.

"Young people sometimes say things that they don't really mean," Jack Bradley, another of Danny's attorneys, said.