Prosecutors do not have to disclose identity of mystery Widmer w - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Prosecutors do not have to disclose identity of mystery Widmer witness

Posted: Updated:

LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - A Warren County judge has ruled that prosecutors in the third trial for Ryan Widmer do not have to disclose the identity of a mystery witness.

Widmer is accused of killing his wife, Sarah, in 2008. A conviction during his first trial was overturned due to juror misconduct and his second trial ended in a hung jury.

On Tuesday, Warren County Common Pleas Judge James Flannery listened to arguments to decide if prosecutors should have protected the identity of a new mystery witness who will testify that Widmer confessed to killing his wife.

Prosecutors say the protected the witness' identity for safety reasons.

Judge Flannery said in his ruling that prosecutors stated reasonable grounds that disclosure of the witness' identify could compromise his or her safety.

"The Court's ruling here is very limited to only a determination of whether or not the prosecuting attorney abused her discretion in certifying nondisclosure pursuant to Criminal Rule 16(D). The Court finds that she did not and therefore denies the request to disclose the identity at this time," the ruling reads.

Prosecutors will have to identify the witness when the trial begins.

Widmer's third trial, which is scheduled to begin next week.

The defense also filed two motions on Tuesday. The first motion claims that on Dec. 29, 2010, the prosecution provided the defense with recordings of 450 telephone calls made by Widmer while he was in jail. The 450 calls equaled 113 hours of audio. The defense claims they weren't given enough time to review all the calls in preparation for trial.

The second motion was an order permitting the cross examination of the prosecution's lead witness, Det. Jeff Braley. The defense claims Braley lied on his job application about his schooling and previous work history. Braley says the application was altered, however earlier this month, findings from the Ohio Bureau of Identification and Investigation determined Braley filled out and signed the application.

On Wednesday, prosecutors filed a motion asking that jurors be sequestered during deliberations.

A ruling on those motions could come by the end of this week.

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by WorldNow