Prosecutors denied change of venue in Widmer trial

LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - Judge Neal Bronson denied a motion by the Warren County Prosecutors Office to change the venue in the third Ryan Widmer trial.

His ruling was issued late Friday afternoon.

In his ruling Bronson says, "Upon review of the attached exhibits, the history of the case, well known to the court, and the arguments presented, the court cannot say, at this time, that the attempt to seat a jury in Warren COunty would be a 'vain act.'"

He went on to say "that judicial economy, convenience and potential expense to the taxpayer require that the court make a good faith effort to impanel a jury in Warren County."

Prosecutors wanted the third trial moved out of Warren County, citing heavy media coverage in the case and not being able to find a fair and impartial jury. Defense attorneys claim that prosecutors created the media frenzy surrounding the case.

Widmer is accused of killing his wife, Sarah, in the bathtub of their Hamilton Township home in 2008. He was convicted in his first trial, but the verdict was overturned for juror misconduct. His second trial ended in a hung jury.

A hearing will be held on Wednesday to discuss the gag order that has been in place since the second trial.

The third trial is scheduled for January.

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