Widmer defense pleads their case for a new trial

By Cory Stark – bio |email |twitter | Facebook

LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - Judge Neal Bronson heard arguments from Widmer's defense team and the prosecution on Wednesday after two motions were filed earlier thismonth by the defense asking for a new trial or an acquittal.

The defense made several main arguments, all saying that Ryan Widmer didn't receive a fair and impartial trial. Widmer was convicted of murder last month for the drowning death of his wife, Sarah.

The defense claims juror Dreama Epperson interacted on social networking sites during the trial.

Defense attorney Jay Clark stated that Dreama's sister "liked" on Facebook a group called "Ryan Widmer is Guilty and He Should Be."

"The Facebook pages, assuming the authenticity of them, clearly establish she was exposed to them on February 4," said Clark.

Clark also said Epperson posted inappropriate comments on Facebook in the midst of the trial..

"You have Ms. Epperson making comments on her Facebook page about taking a bath in a bath tub so big you can drown in it, after she received the questionnaire to complete," said Clark.

Clark spent most of the time focusing on a phone call made to his office during the trial, by Epperson's best friend's sister, Margaret Kay Dean.

In that phone call Dean allegedly told the defense that her sister heard Epperson say: "Don't worry about the Widmer case, we have all talked about it and we know he is guilty.  He (Ryan Widmer) is going to burn in hell."

Dreama denied making such a statement, however Clark broke down that statement further and said the court did not act appropriately.

"Given nature of the allegation, "we talked about the case," we meaning Ms. Epperson and somebody else," said Clark. "There needed to be an inquiry of the other jurors to see if in fact there was a 'we.'"

Margaret Kay Dean took the stand and denied hearing her sister make the "burn in hell" remark. Dean broke into tears on the stand and admitted to smoking pot while talking with her sister about Epperson's alleged statement.

"That witness had no credibility whatsoever, but you don't know that when you call them," said Mike Allen, FOX19 legal analyst.

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