A Franklin Furnace, Ohio couple were outraged to discover they’d both been indicted by a grand jury on felony charges. I’ll be upfront and let you know that I’ve known Tammy Nordgren, 55, and her husband Mike, 57, for many years. Though, it’s been a few decades since I’ve seen her in person. My jaw dropped open when I saw the Nordgrens on the indictment list. The grand jury indicted both for Improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation or school safety zone. Turns out I wasn’t the only one who was surprised.
Tammy learned of the indictment when her sister called her and told her their names had been published on the indictment list. When she checked the list, there her name was, right next to suspected heroin traffickers. “You can’t imagine how this made me feel. I cried my eyes out. Apparently, we had arrest warrants on us and didn’t know it. We had to go out and get a lawyer.” That lawyer has cost the pair thousands of dollars already.
So why did the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office indict this accountant, grandmother, and her husband of 37 years? Michael Nordgren said it all stemmed from an incident last April 1.
Mike Nordgren said he was taking target practice and inadvertently fired a shot into his Carver Road neighbor’s house. Nordgren said he was unaware it had happened until the police showed up. “It was a total accident and he agreed. He didn’t press any charges.”
Nordgren said he’d never had a problem with his neighbor and his wife Tammy agreed. “He’s a great neighbor.”
Mike said Scioto County Sheriff’s Deputies questioned him about any problems with his neighbor. He assured them he was on great terms. In fact, he wanted to put a road through the neighbor’s property and the neighbor previously allowed the family to run an electric line through his property.
The Nordgrens said officers told them not to contact the neighbor because he was very angry. Officers took the couple’s weapons and told them they’d get back to them. Nearly four months passed without a word until their names turned up on the indictment list.
They did speak to the neighbor to apologize. He said he understood but that his wife was still understandably very angry about the incident. Then officials put a no-contact order in place.
I’ve Never Shot A Gun In My Life
Mike Nordgren said he understands why there might be charges filed against him. What really puzzles the couple are the charges against Tammy. They say Tammy was not firing weapons that day. Tammy was inside working from home on her computer.
“She never shot a gun in her life. She wasn’t shooting,” Mike Nordgren said.
“I never shot one time,” Tammy said. “I do own the guns. My thought was that someday I was going to learn to shoot a gun. I never got around to it.”
Mike doesn’t understand why prosecutors charged the pair with a felony. “They aren’t charging us with negligence. There was no call for these charges to be brought.”
Mike said when their lawyer filed a motion for discovery to attempt to figure out why the prosecutor’s office would file such serious charges against the couple, they found something interesting listed among the evidence. There were two-year-old police reports from an unrelated incident with another neighbor. Again, this incident did not involve Tammy at all.
Back in May of 2018, Mike said his dogs got out and went after another neighbor’s chickens. The neighbor showed up on his porch furious and the two men got into a scuffle. When Mike knocked the man off his porch, he says he saw a gun in his waistband. That’s when he called the police.
Deputies took a report about the incident and left. Officers responded back to the scene a short time later when the neighbor’s fiance reported someone firing shots at their house from Tammy’s mother’s place.
Mike said several family members were witnesses that nothing like that happened and he told officers to talk to his mother-in-law. “That woman would beat me with a stick if I did something like that.” He claims officers refused to verify his version of events. Instead, he was told, “She is your mother and she’s just going to lie for you. We don’t have to question people we know is gonna lie.”
Nordgren admitted he was frustrated by the police. He said he told the deputy he was stupid. In the end, the police report stated both parties told differing stories. Officers did not file any charges that day.
Mike thinks the sheriff’s office may have held a grudge against him and added the old police reports in an attempt to make the incidents seem related. “Why attach them to an accident report to obtain two felony indictments for an innocent middle-aged couple over an unintentional mishap where no one was hurt and no one was pressing charges?”
Bonnie And Clyde
Tammy said she was terrified to head back to work after news of the Scioto County, Ohio Grand Jury indictments came out. “I can’t describe how bad I felt. The shock of that. Having to go to work and walk down the hall and think who’s read the indictments? It’s not fair. I didn’t do anything.”
However, Tammy said her coworkers took the news in stride. “My coworker was laughing. You guys are Bonnie and Clyde. It absolutely insane. Oh my gosh. I’ve been so stressed out over this.”
Mike Nordgren said there are more serious issues at play than just the charges against him. “The grand jury system is the only protection we have against baseless accusations becoming criminal indictments. An abuse of the grand jury system constitutes one of the most deceptive and reprehensible acts that a prosecuting attorney can make.”
Taking It To The Attorney General
The Nordgrens spoke with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to file a complaint about the grand jury indictments on Monday. The pair are due back in court for the third time on these charges on Friday.
Tammy and Mike suggested I get in touch with their neighbor to confirm their relationship with him was good, but so far I’ve not heard back from him. I also reached out to Scioto County Prosecutor Shane Tieman. Tieman thanked me for my interest but said he had no comment at this time.