Janice Morse reports:
After one failed attempt to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, Ryan Widmer’s appellate lawyer is urging the court to consider whether DNA testing could prove “whether a crime occurred at all” in the 2008 bathtub drowning of his wife.
Last week, in a split decision, the Supreme Court refused to consider a first appeal based largely on assertions that authorities had illegally seized the bathtub as evidence. Three of the court’s seven justices said they would have accepted the appeal.
On Wednesday, attorney Michele Berry filed a second appeal with the Supreme Court, this time focusing on issues that arose after a Warren County jury convicted Widmer in his third trial in 2011. Berry called the case worthy of Supreme Court attention because it is “of great public interest and involves substantial constitutional questions.”
Specifically, Berry argues that a Middletown-based appeals court “misinterpreted” existing case law surrounding DNA testing in Ohio when it agreed with Judge Neal Bronson’s refusal to order genetic testing on blood from Widmer’s wife, Sarah.
Widmer and his supporters say his young wife showed possible signs of a genetic heart-rhythm disorder that could have caused her to drown. But she was never tested for that condition, “Long QT Syndrome,” or a similar problem.