Widmer trial: Prosecutors rest; defense begins making its case

LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - Prosecutors rested their case on Monday, Day 9 of testimony in Ryan Widmer's third trial.

The defense's first witness was Dr. Werner Spitz, who was ruled ineligible to testify due to medical conditions.

Instead, Spitz's testimony from the second trial was read from the transcript. Defense attorney Lindsey Gutierrez and prosecutor Travis Vieux read the questions, and Warren County Clerk of Courts James Spaeth read the answers presented by Spitz on May 24, 2010.

Spitz is a forensic pathologist who has performed or supervised over 60,000 autopsies and has worked in high profile cases such as JFK and JonBenet Ramsey. He performed a second autopsy on Sarah Widmer, ruling her manner of death as 'undeterminable,' not as a homicide like Warren County Coroner Dr. Russell Uptegrove. He believes the injuries on Sarah Widmer were caused by rigorous life-saving efforts.

Following the lunch break, jurors heard from Kim Liles, a friend of the Widmer family; Monica Peppard, who counseled Ryan and Sarah before they got married; and Mandy Antonczka, the next door neighbor to Ryan and Sarah. All testified that they never saw any indication of problems between Ryan and Sarah. Liles testified how Sarah feel asleep one night while they were spending a weekend at Lake Herrington, while everyone else was laughing and talking.

The prosecution called 22 witnesses, including a Forensic Pathologist. Dr. Charles Lee took the stand on Friday and testified that he believes Sarah Widmer's death was a homicide, not an accidental death or suicide. He also testified about the bruising found on her body.

Widmer is facing a third trial for Sarah's death. A conviction in his first trial was overturned due to juror misconduct and a second trial ended in a hung jury.

For live courtroom updates, click here.

Click here for previous coverage from the case.

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