Widmer trial: Defense can question Crew on past; jurors see bathtub, hear from Sarah's mom

Jennifer Crew
Jennifer Crew

LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - The judge announced Tuesday morning that he will allow the defense in the Ryan Widmer murder trial to cross examine the first "mystery witness," Jennifer Crew.

Prosecutors filed a motion Monday asking Judge Bronson to block the defense's request, saying certain events in Crew's past happened over a decade ago, and the only usable conviction defense attorneys could use is a misdemeanor theft offense from 2007.

The defense will cross examine her on the following three convictions: A theft that occurred on January 30th, 2000, a conviction of Fraud practices/theft that happened on October 3rd, 2000, and Theft that happened on June 14, 2007.

There is a possibility that the former Iowa strip club manager Jennifer Crew could take the stand this week.

On Tuesday, the fifth day of testimony, prosecutors called Lt. Brian Dapper, another first responder on the scene. Defense attorney Jay Clark questioned Dapper on what he said during his testimony on Tuesday against what he said in an interview he did with investigators in October 2008. He also questioned Dapper on why Sarah was taken to the hospital immediately. Prosecutor Travis Vieux countered that by asking Dapper if he thought the time in the back of the ambulance was wasted, which Dapper said was not.

Following Dapper's testimony, jurors took a lunch break. At the end of the lunch break, the bathtub was brought into the courtroom and prosecutors called Officer Quillan Short with Hamilton Township Police.

Officer Short took several of the photos that were taken the night of Sarah's death. Prosecutor John Arnold presented several of the items Short took photos of, including clothing near the tub, which Short said was dry when collected. He also showed jurors where on the tub hand prints were found.

Sarah Widmer's mother, Ruth Ann Steward, then took the stand, describing her daughter as "happy go lucky" and "wanting to make everyone happy." She testified that Ryan and Sarah would argue back and forth at times, but they were never physical, and Sarah appeared happy.

She also testified that Sarah never complained about stomachaches and she never noticed her falling asleep at odd times. Ruth had spent the weekend before Sarah died on vacation with Sarah, visiting family in St.  Louis, and during that time, Sarah never complained about feeling ill and never fell asleep when she shouldn't have. She said she did suffer from sinus headaches, and had bad headaches after her father died of cancer in 2007. Ruth testified that Sarah took her father's death hard, "because she watched him suffer."

Widmer is on trial for killing his wife, Sarah, in 2008. A murder conviction in Widmer's first trial was thrown out because of juror misconduct. A second jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict.

For live updates from the courtroom, click here.

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