Deb Silverman , Contributed by Valerie Miller and Ian Preuth
2:55 PM, Mar 23, 2011
7:08 PM, Mar 23, 2011
LEBANON, Ohio - Hours before a hearing over Ryan Widmer's request for a fourthtrial or an acquittal, prosecutors filed more paperwork.
The paperwork filed Wednesday includes an affidavit from one ofthe jurors who defense attorneys are suggesting didn't follow thejury instructions based on alleged Facebook activity and an allegedconversation during the trial.
In the affidavit juror D.E. says, "I understood the Court'sinstruction that we should not communicate with anyone about thecase, by using social media, the Internet or any tools ofcommunication to discuss or research anything about the case orRyan Widmer…"
The document goes on, "While serving as a juror, I did notdiscuss the merits or facts of the case before or during the trialwith anybody. I followed the Court's instructions and did notcommunicate any information about the case or do any research. Iavoided reading any information about the case from any source,including social media, electronic communications, the Internet orany other media…. To my knowledge and understanding, Icomplied with Judge Bronson's instructions and did not form orexpress any opinions about the case, until the jury begandeliberations."
The prosecution also alleges in the paperwork that the jurors,their families, and friends are being harassed. Prosecutors wrote,"This court should end the attacks on the privacy and integrity ofthe jury and declare that it is no longer open session on thejurors."
They write that the defense has yet to expose juror misconduct.They also argue that exhibits the defense wants to use are"inadmissible hearsay" and the judge should not consider them inruling on the motion for a New trial.
The exhibits from defense include a transcribed interview of ajuror by a private investigator that took place during the trialand Facebook information or postings by jurors and their Facebook"friends." Another item is a media interview with a juror after theverdict.
Defense attorneys aren't only arguing over jury behavior. Theysay there was not enough evidence to convict Widmer. The defensesubpoenaed six witnesses to testify including two jurors. The judgewill decide if he will allow anyone to testify.
Widmer was convicted last month of murdering his wife of fourmonths, Sarah, in their Hamilton Township home in August 2008. The guilty verdict came in his third trial.
The first guilty verdict was thrown out because of jurymisconduct. The second jury was hung.
Widmer is currently serving a 15 years to life sentence.