Akron woman who had role in student’s death requests early release from jail

An Akron woman convicted of misdemeanor assault and lying to police about her involvement in a fight in downtown Kent that led to the death of a Kent State graduate student is seeking early release from a six-month term in the Portage County jail.

An attorney for Hallie E. Nuspl, 21, filed a motion Friday in Portage County Common Pleas Court. It states that Nuspl already has served 60 days of a six-month jail term, complied with all court orders and maintained employment throughout her incarceration, which began Sept. 24.

Nuspl was convicted in August of misdemeanor assault and lying to police in connection with the Jan. 23 assault on KSU graduate student John T. White in downtown Kent and sentenced to six months in the Portage County jail by Judge John Enlow.

According to authorities and courtroom testimony, Nuspl and White got into a confrontation near the intersection of Water and Main streets, during which Nuspl slapped White, who was legally intoxicated after a night of drinking.

Nuspl’s friend, 21-year-old John H. Ragin Jr., then came to her defense and struck White at least twice in the face, knocking him to the pavement and causing serious head trauma. White died Feb. 21 at Akron City Hospital after suffering a blood clot.

According to a Nov. 5 motion filed in common pleas court, Nuspl lost her work release privileges after allegedly returning to the jail late on a Saturday following work and alleged “unauthorized visitations,” defense attorney Daniel Funk wrote, seeking to have Nuspl’s work release program privileges reinstated.

That motion will be heard at 2:30 p.m. Monday in Enlow’s courtroom, according to court records.

Nuspl alleges she returned to jail in time, but jailers failed to sign her in until 18 minutes after her designated return time. Funk argued jail surveillance video will confirm Nuspl’s story.

Ragin was sentenced in September to three years in prison after pleading guilty in July to involuntary manslaughter. He is serving his term in the Lorain Correctional Institution in Grafton.