John F. Litle III

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Criminal Division

John Litle was born and raised in Muskingum County. He graduated from Bishop Rosecrans High School and attended the University of Notre Dame for his undergraduate studies. He completed law school at the Ohio State University. Following law school he worked as an assistant county prosecutor for nine years in Columbus where he learned from the extensive skills and experience of the Franklin County prosecutor's office attorneys and staff, developed several training programs for younger prosecutors, and earned a reputation for tough prosecution. One of his quirks was that John routinely served his own subpoenas and interviewed witnesses and victims in their own homes and neighborhoods. This not only contributed to his reputation of excellent witness attendance, it gave experience and insight into the neighborhoods and families most affected by the criminal element.

One of his major takeaways was the central role narcotics traffickers have in destroying communities. Unlike many opportunistic criminals, drug traffickers wake up every day with an intent to commit crime, and put in place plans to continue doing so every day in the future. Their efforts at escaping responsibility are not limited merely to 'not getting caught,' but extend to creating a culture of acceptability surrounding anti-social behavior and a relationship of animosity towards decent society, law enforcement, and the Courts. In addition to the poison they sell, the culture of criminality they spread destroys families, neighborhoods, and communities.

John was recruited back home in the spring of 2014 and has been enjoying his role in Muskingum County ever since. His role in the prosecutor's office involves carrying a general felony caseload with a specialty in handling complex drug investigations and prolonged criminal conspiracies. Some of his extended duties include communicating with and sometimes testifying to the legislature concerning criminal justice matters. He is engaged in various forms of community outreach. John began the County's nuisance abatement efforts concerning drug houses and dangerous properties.

John has received awards and recognition from Transitions domestic violence shelter and court services, the Muskingum County Business and Professional Women's Club, he volunteers with the Friends of Putnam Community Group, and is a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, Zane Lodge #5, the Muskingum County Republican Club Policy Committee, the Ohio State Bar Association, Muskingum County Bar Association, Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, and the National District Attorneys Association. He is the elected Republican Party Central Committeeman from Zanesville Ward 2, an NRA Benefactor Life member, and an NRA certified firearms instructor.

“[We begin with] our natural sense of the propriety and fitness of punishment by reflecting how necessary it is for preserving the order of society. When the guilty is about to suffer that just retaliation, which the natural indignation of mankind tells them is due to his crimes; when the insolence of his injustice is broken and humbled by the terror of his approaching punishment; when he ceases to be an object of fear, with the generous and humane he begins to be an object of pity. The thought of what he is about to suffer extinguishes their resentment for the sufferings of others to which he has given occasion. They are disposed to pardon and forgive him, and to save him from that punishment which in all their cool hours they had considered as the retribution due to such crimes.

[It is at this moment that they must] call to their assistance the consideration of the general interest of society. They counterbalance the impulse of this weak and partial humanity, by the dictates of a humanity that is more generous and comprehensive. They reflect that mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent, and opposed to the emotions of compassion which they feel for a particular person, a more enlarged compassion, which they feel for mankind.”
- Adam Smith