Attorneys in Widmer case argue for fourth trial

LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - Judge Neal Bronson heard arguments from the attorneys in the Ryan Widmer case Wednesday on whether Widmer will receive a fourth trial.

Judge Bronson will make a decision based on those arguments in the next week.

The hearing will took place at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Ryan Widmer's defense attorneys asked for a delay in the hearing scheduled Wednesday to discuss motions for a new trial and an acquittal; however, Judge Bronson denied the motion.

Widmer was convicted last month of murder for the drowning death of his wife, Sarah, in August of 2008.

A few weeks after the conviction, defense attorneys filed a motion for a new trial, saying one of the jurors, 'D.E.' made a statement to a friend, 'S.L.,' before the trial began that all the jurors knew Widmer was guilty. A few days after that motion was filed, attorneys filed a motion for a acquittal.

In the motion to continue the hearing, defense attorneys say they received information late last week of various pages of a social networking site further supporting allegations set forth in the motion for a new trial.

"In order to properly and effectively investigate the information received, Counsel needs additional time," the motion stated.

Defense attorneys asked for a continuance of 3 to 4 weeks to give the subpoena compliance department at the social networking site time to retrieve the requested information.

In a supplement to the motion filed on Tuesday, defense attorneys presented a transcript between a private investigator hired by the defense and S.L.

In the transcript, S.L. says she and D.E. were good friends, and that D.E. was the executor of her will and trustee of her estate. She said she knew D.E. was a juror in the trial, but the only thing she asked her about was the meal the jurors received and if the jurors were going to be sequestered. She also admitted that the two talked during the trial, but it was only about S.L.'s health.

She also said she was surprised that D.E. would have said they two didn't know each other well outside of work, saying they were like sisters.

D.E. was interviewed by Judge Neal Bronson during the trial and denied making the remark.

Prosecutors filed their motion last week in opposition to a new trial and an acquittal.

This is the third time Judge Bronson finds himself in this situation, and FOX19's Legal Analyst Mike Allen says that's key to the integrity of this case.

To learn more about Judge Widmer's decision to deny the motion for a delay, CLICK HERE.

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