Three new motions filed in Widmer case on the eve of third trial
LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - Three motions were filed Tuesday in the Ryan Widmer trial. Widmer's defense filed three motions that bring to light critical information that could be used to convict or acquit Widmer. Widmer is the Warren County man accused of killing his wife Sarah in their Hamilton Township home in 2008.
In the first motion filed Tuesday, the defense wants Judge Neal Bronson to allow them to specifically cross examine the prosecution's mystery witness about her credibility. The mystery witness claims Widmer confessed to her.
In the motion filed, the mystery witness' criminal past is revealed. Between 1992 and 2007, "Jane Doe" was arrested seven times. Almost all of those arrests involve charges that include burglary, theft and fraud. All of the arrests happened in Iowa and some involved jail time.
In the second motion filed on Tuesday, the defense wants the judge to throw out any evidence of alleged communication between Ryan Widmer and the mystery witness. They say it is unreliable because it cannot be authenticated therefore it is irrelevant. However, in the motion, the defense lays out what it thinks the prosecution would bring up about those alleged conversations.
Here are some of the highlights of this motion: "Jane Doe" initiated an email relationship with Widmer immediately after watching the September 18, 2009 episode of Dateline NBC which profiled Widmer. The emails turned into text messages which turned into phone calls. One of which "Jane Doe" says Widmer called her cell phone from a blocked number between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. and confessed to killing his wife Sarah. The motion says the call lasted an hour to an hour and a half.
After the confession, "Jane Doe" sent birthday presents to Widmer and his twin brother, but the gifts were returned due to a bad address. The motion states that the last contact between "Jane Doe" and Widmer happened right before Thanksgiving in 2009 and Ryan may have texted her "Happy Thanksgiving" on Thanksgiving day. The motion states that "Jane Doe" and Widmer have never met nor have they talked face to face.
The defense is trying to keep this from coming up at trial.
The third motion was to declare Dr. Werner Spitz unavailable to testify in the trial because of an illness. Spitz testified on behalf of Widmer in the first two trials.
Fox19 Legal Analyst Mike Allen spoke to us about the credibility of the mystery witness. "Bringing up the criminal history of any witness is something the defense and prosecution can do on a routine basis. In this case, some of the surprise witnesses' convictions are out of time and need to be requested, specifically, the credibility of the witness is crucial. So I think the judge will allow it, in this case."
These three motions were filed on the eve of the trial, which is scheduled to get underway Wednesday morning. Judge Bronson does not have to rule on these motions then, he can consider them as the trial unfolds.
This is Widmer's third trial for Sarah's death. A conviction in his first trial was overturned due to juror misconduct, and the second trial ended in a hung jury.
For more information on the Ryan Widmer case, CLICK HERE.