Janice Morse reports:
The lawyer for Ryan Widmer, a Warren County man convicted in the bathtub drowning of his newlywed wife, is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to hear his appeal.
Attorney Michele Berry filed a 17-page document Wednesday, arguing that the state’s highest court should accept the case. She argues that the Widmer case meets the court’s requirements that it involves issues of “public or general interest” and “a substantial Constitutional question.”
Berry argues that authorities illegally seized the bathtub from Widmer’s Hamilton Township home after his wife, Sarah, 24, drowned in 2008. The tub was not specifically listed on a search warrant. But the Ohio 12th District Court of Appeals in Middletown said the tub could be considered “an instrumentality of the crime,” and therefore was subject to being seized.
Berry says the appellate court’s decision is out of line with existing case law.
“With this decision, the 12th District now stands alone among courts in its holding that a search warrant or other court authorization is not needed to seize part of a home/real property,” Berry wrote.
Berry also lists several other legal issues she thinks the Ohio Supreme Court should address in Widmer’s case.
Widmer, 31, is serving 15 years to life in prison. A jury convicted him of murder last year in his third trial. Two previous trials ended in mistrials.
The Enquirer will update this story.