Motion filed to have 4th Widmer murder trial - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Motion filed to have 4th Widmer murder trial

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LEBANON, OH (FOX19) -

A motion requesting a fourth trial for convicted murderer Ryan Widmer was filed by his attorney Michele Berry.

Berry took over representing Ryan Widmer in his post-conviction efforts and appeal.

Ryan Widmer is currently in the Warren Correctional Institution on a 15-years-to-life sentence for drowning his wife Sarah in their bathtub in 2008.

Three motions were filled Wednesday:

  • The motion for post-conviction relief, a new trial, and genetic testing
  • A motion to stay the appeal
  • A motion to compel the release of Lt. Jeff Braley and Deputy Coroner Russell Uptegrove's grand jury testimony

Braley was the lead detective on the investigation of the death of Sarah Widmer. The request for the fourth trial is based on "newly discovered evidence of false statements, lack of competence and training, and outright fraud by the lead detective in this case, former Lieutenant Detective Jeff Braley."

Braley resigned from the Hamilton Township Police Department after the allegations that some of his personnel file documents were forged, before Widmer's second trial.

The judge did not allow the documents during the second and third trials because Braley denied putting false information about his prior employment and education in his records.

Berry also wants Judge Neal Bronson to order the prosecutor's office to allow DNA testing of Sarah Widmer's biological material. The DNA test could show whether or not she suffered a genetic illness called Long QT Syndrome that may have caused her to drown. Long QT Syndrome is a genetic defect that is often triggered when the patient is in a body of water such as a swimming pool or bathtub. When triggered, the patient will enter an unconscious state and drown.

The motion to compel the release of Braley and Uptegrove's grand jury testimony was filed because, according the motion filed, "Braley attended the autopsy with Uptegrove. While Uptegrove was performing the autopsy, Braley supplied information about the case to Uptegrove, and about Braley's own suspicions. Uptegrove later admitted that he considered Braley's statements when ruling the death a homicide."

Berry also filed a motion asking the 12th District Court of Appeals in Middletown to stay proceedings there, while the new matters are dealt with in the common pleas court.

Prosecutors will have the opportunity to respond to the motions, but an exact deadline has not been given by the judge. Berry has also requested a hearing to lay out why Widmer should be given a fourth trial. The court will also have to rule on that.

Widmer was found guilty in 2009, but the verdict was tossed after juror misconduct was discovered. The second jury was hung. After a three week trial in January and February of this year, a jury found Widmer guilty after about 12 hours of deliberation.

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