Prosecutors begin calling witnesses in Widmer retrial - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Prosecutors begin calling witnesses in Widmer retrial

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This is the home where Sarah Widmer was found dead almost two years ago This is the home where Sarah Widmer was found dead almost two years ago
Ryan Widmer, right, stands outside the house with a member of his defense team Ryan Widmer, right, stands outside the house with a member of his defense team
Ryan Widmer listens to opening statements Wednesday Ryan Widmer listens to opening statements Wednesday

LEBANON, Ohio (FOX19) - Prosecutors called their first witness Wednesday in the retrial of a Warren County man accused of drowning his wife in their bathtub almost two years ago.

Ryan Widmer is on trial for killing his wife, Sarah, in the bathtub of their Hamilton Township home almost two years ago. He is being tried again because his murder conviction from the first trial was set aside by a judge because of allegations of juror misconduct during the deliberations.

Don Sebastianelli, Warren County communications analyst was the first witness for prosecutors. He makes copies of 911 calls in Warren County for the public and for court use and had bad CD copies of the 911 calls Ryan Widmer made on August 11, 2008, the night Sarah died.

Jurors heard opening statements earlier on Wednesday. Prosecutors said Sarah Widmer did drown and her death was ruled a homicide.

The defense called out all the inconsistencies of the investigation, starting with EMT crews and ending with police.

Defense attorney Jay Clark specifically called out Det. Jeff Braley of the Hamilton Township Police, citing his inexperience after a quick rise to lieutenant in a short period. Clark asked jurors to pay close attention to testimony and the contradicting statements made by those involved in the investigation.

"If you can't trust the messenger, you can't trust the message," said Clark.

 Prosecutor Travis Vieux told the jury this trial will require their entire attention.

"This case is a circumstantial evidence case, it's going to be a case that is going to require you to work," said Vieux.                   

On Wednesday morning, jurors toured the home where Sarah died.

Though the tub was hauled into court for the first trial last year, the jury saw only photos of the couple's Hamilton Township house.

This retrial is expected to last three weeks with 50 total witnesses being called to testify.

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