Prosecutors want 3rd Widmer trial moved - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Prosecutors want 3rd Widmer trial moved

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LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - The Warren County Prosecutor's Office has filed a motion for a change of venue for Ryan Widmer's third trial.

Widmer is facing his third trial in January for the death of his wife, Sarah.

Widmer is accused of killing his wife in August of 2008 in the bathtub of their Hamilton Township home. He was convicted in his first trial, but Judge Neal Bronson granted a new trial after juror misconduct. Widmer's second trial ended in a hung jury.

On Wednesday, Warren County prosecutor Rachel Hutzel filed a motion and two affidavits - one from herself and the other from a University of Dayton professor. The affidavits lay out why a jury can't be seating from Warren County because of all the extensive media coverage surrounding the Widmer case.

As of right now, Widmer's defense team will consist of Jay Clark and Lindsey Gutierre, one less than the previous trial. Widmer got a new defense team after his first trial.

FOX19 legal analyst Mike Allen says he believes a change of venue must happen in order to find a proper jury and get the case out of all the hype from the media.

"If Judge Bronson feels that we cannot get a fair and impartial jury in Warren County, he could decide on a change of venue before a jury is sworn.   After a potential jury is sworn, as they get into it, if they can't find jurors that can be fair and impartial it could be venued out of this town," Allen said.

Bronson cleared the way for a third trial after denying a motion to dismiss by Widmer's defense attorneys.  Prosecutors claim they have a witness who says Widmer admitted to killing his wife and manufactured a cover story, including a 911 call.

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