CINCINNATI – Retired Judge Norbert Nadel says he has seen his before - a witness in a murder trial gets threats and doesn’t show up to testify against the defendant.
That’s apparently what happened in the Rico Mosley trial this week. Mosley is accused of shooting 17-year-old Kelsie Crow outside a Sweet 16 party two years ago. For a while, a witness who was going to testify against Mosley couldn’t be found.
As the judge, Patrick Foley III has to stand tough, Nadel said. And that’s what Foley did, admonishing both sides.
"There should not be any contact with the witnesses who are about to testify, or already testified. And there shouldn't be any threats with anybody in that category," Foley said in court.
When the witness didn't show, Foley issued a warrant for his arrest and he was caught and locked up. WCPO is not naming the witness for his safety.
"This isn't uncommon," said Nadel, who retired two years ago and was elected county recorder.
"My experience is as long as the court is strong about it, and ensures everybody involved there will be no nonsense one way or another, usually 99 times out of 100 nothing happens," Nadel said.
The witness was in jail Thursday on contempt of court – and probably not nothing to fear, Nadel said.
In his four decades, Nadel said the threats he heard about were all talk.
“We never had an instance where somebody, a witness, was hurt. Never,” Nadel said.
The trial continues Friday.