Ryan Widmer seeks fourth trial at U.S. Supreme Court for the murder of his wife

Reported on Good Morning Tri-State by 9 On Your Side reporter Mario Ramirez.

CINCINNATI -- Jailed and facing the possibility of life in prison, Ryan Widmer is seeking a fourth trial in the murder of his wife on Monday.

Widmer is serving 15 years to life for a 2011 murder conviction in which he drowned his wife, Sarah Widmer, in their home's bathtub.

Widmer has already lost four appeals in the state's Court of Appeals but he’s hoping to have better luck with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The latest appeal filed focuses mainly on the lead investigator in the 2008 murder and a question of DNA evidence omitted during previous trials.

A Warren County judge previously denied a request to test Widmer’s wife’s DNA to see whether she had a rare genetic disease called Long QT that may have caused her to pass out in the bathtub, according to the Hamilton Journal News.

It was ruled that Sarah’s DNA would be preserved but former Judge Neal Bronson denied the request to have a private company test the material.

“Since this court has held that no convicted criminal, including petitioner, has a right to post-conviction access to the prosecution’s evidence in order to apply new DNA testing, Ohio’s statutory scheme for post-conviction DNA testing cannot and does not violate substantive due process,” Assistant Prosecutor John Arnold, who handled all three Widmer trials, wrote.

Arnold also said the juries heard large amounts of testimony from medical experts about several different ailments Sarah might have suffered from that could have caused her to pass out in the bathtub, according to the Hamilton Journal News. Arnold said a staged 911 call, dry drowning scene and bruising on Sarah’s neck can’t be overridden by DNA testing.

“Assuming that such DNA testing is available and if it revealed that Sarah had a genetic predisposition for Long QT, such a result would be irrelevant to this case, since it is not outcome determinative,” Arnold wrote. “Long QT does not change or explain the evidence which led the jury to conclude that petitioner murdered Sarah.”

The first trial ended in a conviction that was overturned after reports of juror misconduct. A second trial ended in a hung jury and the third found him guilty of murder and he was sent to prison.

The high court justices will consider an appeal Monday morning. Court officials said the decision whether the court will take the case could be announced the same day.

For the full Hamilton Journal News article, click here: http://www.todayspulse.com/news/news/widmer-prosecutors-ask-supreme-court-to-deny-appea/nZ239/

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