LEBANON, Ohio - Ryan Widmer fathered a child with a woman named Sarah. Not Sarah Widmer, the wife he's convicted of killing, but another blonde named Sarah.
Widmer started dating the mother of his child while he was out on bond awaiting trial for murder. Rumors of the relationship and the child started swirling months ago. No one would confirm it until now.
The child's name is Ryan. He was born in August 2010.
The girlfriend, Sarah Manherz, did not attend testimony during the third trial. She showed up for the verdict and cried when she heard it read.
The couple will share pictures, talk about their relationship, and Widmer will say he's innocent during a two hour NBC "Dateline" program set to run Friday, May 6.
One of the attorneys working on Widmer's appeal, Michele Berry, says the relationship evolved when, "He was desperate for support to get by day to day knowing he was innocent."
Berry says Manherz was one of hundreds of men and women from around the country who contacted Widmer to show support when Dateline featured his case after the first trial.
She says he and Manherz clicked and a relationship followed. Manherz moved here to be with him.
In a promotional video for the television program, Manherz said, "There's no way he could have done this, ever."
Mark Krumbein, an attorney following the case, said the relationship opens Widmer to criticism but it bares no legal significance to the case and can't be considered by judges who review the appeal. He says that's probably why the relationship wasn't revealed in the third trial.
"If someone is accused of murdering their wife and went out with someone the next night, that would be very relevant," said Krumbein. "If it's a year or two later, I think we'd all consider it irrelevant and meaningless."
Krumbein said some people will consider it a sign of foul play. "There will always be a certain amount of people who will say, this is wrong he should still be mourning the life of his wife and it's really improper," he said.
Two other woman who built friendships with Widmer after seeing him on the first "Dateline" program were called to testify in the third trial. Jennifer Crew testified that Widmer confessed to her. Melissa Waller was called by the defense to counter Crew's testimony.
Widmer is serving a life sentence in the prison in Warren County. His first opportunity for parole is in 2025.
9 News has requested an interview with Widmer. He has not yet responded to that request.