Simonoski Pleads No Contest to Ax Attack
Plea comes days before trial was to start
Aco Simonoski, the former Hollo Oval man charged with trying to kill his ex-wife with an ax, has pleaded no contest.
Sentencing is set for May 2, according to Maria Russo, spokeswoman for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason.
The attempted murder trial against Simonoski was scheduled to start next Wednesday, April 4.
But Russo said Simonoski entered the plea today, averting the need for a trial.
Simonoski was arrested Aug. 21 after a domestic dispute with his ex-wife, Milka. Authorities say the couple, who were divorced but trying to reconcile, argued about whether Aco should continue to live in the Hollo Oval house Milka was renting.
Aco became enraged, got an ax from the garage and struck Milka in the head.
Their daughter, Bilyana, the only one of their three children who was home at the time, tried to stop him, but he hit her with the ax, causing a laceration and broken bones in her hand.
He then went back and hit Milka, who was lying motionless on the floor, a second time with the ax.
As Bilyana again struggled with her father to keep him from hitting her mother a third time, their fight spilled into the garage, where neighbor Tom Drost heard her screaming for help.
Drost called 911 and ran over to restrain Aco, who was known in the neighborhood as Alex.
Bilyana and her siblings have been lobbying Common Pleas Judge Ron Suster to hand down the maximum sentence of 18 years.
Milka continues to make a slow recovery, living in a nursing home and undergoing intensive physical therapy.
The family had lived on Hollo Oval about seven months. Before that, they lived in Brunswick, where the children attended Brunswick High School.
The parents had been divorced for some time, but were living together to keep the family together, neighbors have said.