The lineman was found guilty:

Lake County Fair Electrician, Nick Rock, was found guilty yesterday by a Lake County Common Pleas Jury of reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter. The 80 year old was convicted for his role in the death of 8 year old Greyson Yoe who was killed at last year’s Lake County Fair after being shocked by an improperly grounded ride. Rock will not likely be sentenced to prison and is eligible for parole. He remains free on bond and will be sentenced next month. Prosecutors said that Rock did not floow National Electric Code guidelines when he hooked the ride up to electricity. A frayed wire that was not properly grounded caused the electrical current to pass through Greyson’s body. Two State Ride inspectors have also been charged in the case as has the ride’s owner.

Jury finds Lake fair electrician guilty
Lineman held responsible for boy's electrocution
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Maggi Martin
Plain Dealer Reporter


The man who for 40 years provided the electrical connections that powered the Lake County Fair was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide Tuesday in the electrocution of 8-year-old Greyson Yoe.

A Lake County jury of six men and six women deliberated five hours before finding Nick Rock, 80, of Mentor, guilty of recklessly causing Greyson's death by improperly connecting wires to a main power line. Rock faces up to five years in prison but could be placed on probation instead.

Greyson suffered a severe shock in August while waiting for a bumper car ride and died five weeks later. Outside the courtroom after the verdict, wiping tears from their eyes, his parents declined to comment.

Rock appeared stunned as the verdict was read. He and his lawyer, Neil Wilson, also declined to comment afterward.

Assistant County Prosecutors Karen Kowall and Mark Bartolotta said they hoped the conviction would send a message to ride owners and fair managers across the country. "This case should serve as a wake-up call to amusement park owners that they have a greater responsibility than selling tickets and setting up rides," Kowall said. "Hopefully it will have a ripple effect in improving safety standards."

Rock failed to connect a green grounding wire that several electrical experts said would have prevented the shock that killed Greyson.

"No one is going to say he is a bad guy," Bartolotta said. "He used bad judgment and the unfortunate results were a tragedy."

But Rock is not the only one to blame for Greyson's death, prosecutors said.

Two ride inspectors, the ride owner and supervisor all face similar charges.

Rock spent more than 40 years setting up rides, concession stands and booths at the fair. His wife, Betty, is known as the voice of the fair for her announcements during the festivities. Rock also helped set up other functions and festivals at the fairgrounds.

He testified that he thought the ride was grounded elsewhere and that he was never told to connect the grounding wire.

Kowall said they have sympathy for Rock, considering his age and long record of community involvement.

"This case was sad. It was an overwhelming tragedy," Kowall said. "But it was also a preventable act. This little boy did not have to die."

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:, 440-602-4782