12th District Court of Appeals hears arguments for Ryan Widmer case
MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - On Monday, a panel of three judges from the 12th District Court of Appeals heard arguments by Widmer's appellate attorney Michele Berry. Berry made two main arguments, stating authorities removed the bathtub from Widmer's home without a warrant and the testimony by a witnesses for the prosecution regarding latent fingerprints was not credible.
"There is absolutely no authority under the Fourth Amendment for law enforcement to seize this bathtub," said Berry.
Warren County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Greer says the seizure of the bathtub was justified.
"They're not seizing the tub for the tub itself, they're seizing the tub for the finger prints it contained, which is described in the warrant they're executing," said Greer.
In addition Berry believes testimony by criminalist Bill Hillard about what he called latent fingerprints and smears on the tub of a forearm and small hands is junk science.
"The state used that testimony in closing arguments as physical evidence to say a violent struggle occurred and that testimony was completely based on junk science," said Berry. "So that was extremely damaging to Ryan Widmer and I think made a difference in the case."
Ryan's dad was also at the courthouse Monday.
"Knowing he is in a place he's not suppose to be and knowing that this justice system works so slow, I will say as far as he is concerned he is my son and we are going to continue to fight this fight until we get him back and we will get him back," said Gary Widmer.
It could take up to 60 days for the Court of Appeals to make their decision.