Ryan Widmer denied second appeal by U.S. Supreme Court

WASHINGTON D.C. (FOX19) - The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a second appeal from Ryan Widmer, who is currently serving 15 years to life in prison for the 2011 murder conviction of wife.

Sarah Widmer died in a bathtub drowning in their home in August 2008. She was 24.

Widmer's first trial in 2009 ended in a mistrial over juror misconduct, while the second jury was hung. A third jury found Widmer guilty of murder.

Widmer previously requested genetic DNA testing to a trial court to determine if Sarah suffered from a sudden genetic disorder that may have caused her to drown, instead of being murdered.

Currently, Ohio's DNA testing statute states DNA testing is only for the purpose of eliminating the defendant from crime scene evidence or incriminating an alternate suspect. It's not to prove if a crime even happened in the first place.

According to Widmer's attorney Michele Berry-Godsey, his most recent petition asserted that privately-funded DNA testing of still-existing biological material, currently being held in the custody of the State, should be granted for someone in Widmer's position.

"Typically DNA testing is used to prove that the State got the wrong person-- that someone else committed the crime in question. Here, DNA testing could prove that Sarah died of natural causes rather than at the hands of Ryan," stated Michele Berry-Godsey.

The U.S. Supreme Court made the decision after discussing the case in conference on Friday.

Widmer's attorney says the next step will be filing the federal habeas petition, which is likely to happen in February.

"We're far from exhausting all of our options, and we won't give up on any of those until Ryan is free," she said.

Widmer is currently serving 15 years to life in prison.

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