Court Docket: April 22, 2014

After mistrial in 2012 murder case, Byron Frazier back in court

Byron Frazier

CINCINNATI -- A courtroom brawl sparked a mistrial for a man facing murder charges in October 2013 and a new trial is underway.

Byron Frazier was on trial in October for the December 25, 2012 murder of Kyila Shields when a fight broke out between Frazier and family members of Shields in the courtroom.

In the midst of the incident Frazier was allegedly kicked in the head. The fight put Frazier’s trial on hold.

The trial was set to resume Tuesday, Oct. 15, in Judge Carl Stich Jr.’s courtroom. Frazier’s defense argued their client could not remember what happened in the December incident due to the earlier brawl, and was therefore unable to stand trial.

Stich, in turn, declared a mistrial and ordered Frazier to have a mental evaluation.

The murder Frazier is accused of occurred in the 3000 block of Penrose Place, where Shields was found dead at the scene. A second person was also found with a non-life threatening wound.

His new trial began Monday and is scheduled to resume Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m.

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Judge to rule on possible suspension for Brown County coroner

GEORGETOWN, Ohio – The Brown County coroner is slated to go before a judge Tuesday morning.

A judge is expected to rule on whether Judith Varnau will be suspended pending a formal hearing on allegations of abusing human remains and improperly handling a death investigation.

The lawsuit stems from the death of Hanson E. Jones Jr., who died in his home on Aug. 7 from a gunshot wound to the head.

The formal hearing on whether Varnau should be removed from her position is set for May 14.

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