Judge will allow jurors to consider lesser charge in Widmer tria - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Deliberations begin in Widmer trial; jurors will also consider involuntary manslaughter

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Ryan Widmer waiting for closing arguments to begin Ryan Widmer waiting for closing arguments to begin

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LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - Jurors began deliberating Monday afternoon after attorneys made their closing arguments in the third trial for Ryan Widmer.

Widmer, 30, is on trial for killing his wife, Sarah, in the bathtub of the couple's Hamilton Township home in August of 2008.

On Monday, the prosecution filed a motion also asking the jury to consider involuntary manslaughter, a 1st degree felony that's punishable by 3 to 10 years in prison. Judge Bronson allowed the motion, but with 3rd degree involuntary manslaughter, which is punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison.

FOX19 legal analyst Mike Allen said it was a "smart" move by the prosecutors in order to get a conviction.

During his 35 minute closing argument on Monday, prosecutor Travis Vieux urged jurors to "accept the reasonable and reject the unreasonable."

He said Ryan staged the scene, and there was no way he could have picked Sarah up from out of the tub and moved her into the bedroom within the 29 seconds heard on the 911 call. He also noted that in the 911 call, Ryan was quick to point out that Sarah fell asleep in the tub, and he did not want to take responsibility for what happened to her.

Defense attorney Jay Clark said in his 90 minute closing argument that there was no script Ryan should have followed in calling 911. He tried to discredit several of the prosecutors' witnesses, including Jennifer Crew, who testified that Ryan confessed to her. He said Crew's story was full of what she had seen on a Dateline episode featuring the case and research on the Internet.

During his rebuttal, prosecutor John Arnold said defense attorneys wanted jurors to believe that Sarah suffered a medical event that would have had to occurred at exactly the right time.

"It's like being struck by lightning when there's no storm warning and no sign of a lightning strike," he said.

Defense attorneys wrapped up their case on Friday without calling Widmer to the stand to testify.

In total, prosecutors and defense attorneys called a total of 44 witnesses, a mixture of first responders, doctors, and those who knew Ryan and Sarah.

Judge Bronson gave the jury their instructions, then they began deliberating just after 1 p.m.

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