Ryan Widmer, convicted of drowning wife in bathtub, loses appeal for fourth trial

Case should end here, federal judge says
Posted at 12:30 PM, Feb 02, 2017

CINCINNATI - A man convicted of drowning his wife in their bathtub in 2008 has been denied a fourth trial by a federal court.

A U.S. District Court judge in Cincinnati has rejected Ryan Widmer's 2015 appeal and said the case should not go further, stating it would be "frivolous" to proceed. The Warren County man is serving 15 years to life.

Widmer was found guilty of drowning his wife, Sarah, in his third trial in 2011 and appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case.

Widmer was initially found guilty in 2009, but that conviction was overturned after the state learned some jurors conducted their own experiments into the drowning and shared those findings with fellow jurors.

A second trial in 2010 ended in a hung jury.

In his latest appeal, Widmer's attorney claimed there had been six assignments of error and more than a dozen grounds for relief. Much of the defense’s arguments centered around the former lead detective in the case, Jeff Braley, who was charged with forging education and work history on some of his police credentials.

The state argued that the case did not belong in federal court.