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Waiting: Widmer jury ends Thursday without a verdict

Ryan Widmer thanks a supporter as he awaits a verdict in Warren County.
Ryan Widmer thanks a supporter as he awaits a verdict in Warren County.
C. Enquirer/Cara Owsley

The seven women and ten men that make up the jury charged with deciding the fate of Ryan Widmer ended their second day of deliberations without reaching a verdict.  The jury is set to return to the Warren County Courthouse Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. to continue deciding whether or not Widmer murdered his wife Sarah two years ago.

This is the second jury that has been given the duty of deciding whether Sarah Widmer was murdered by her husband when she drowned in the family bathtub in 2008.  The first jury acquitted Ryan of aggravated murder but convicted him of murder, resulting in a mandatory sentence of 15 years to life.  That conviction was overturned by Judge Neal Bronson after juror misconduct was discovered.

The first Widmer jury deliberated on the two charges presented to them for 23 hours, reaching their decision on the 9th day of trial.  The retrial jury, however, has now deliberated for nearly 14 hours as the trial is entering its 15th day.

So what does the delay mean?  Everyone that isn't an attorney seems to have an opinion about whether a quick verdict or a long deliberation mean guilt or innocence.  Most lawyers and judges, however, will tell you that any guess at what a jury is thinking is just that: a guess.

However, the Cincinnati Enquirer spoke to attorney Mark Krumbein, a lawyer closely following the Widmer case, regarding his experiences with juries.  Krumbein has had a 10 minute jury verdict and a 23 day jury verdict (representing likely the longest deliberation in Ohio history).  In murder cases, a quick verdict would be a couple hours, Krumbein said, "and those are all convictions."

In the Widmer retrial, "we've already gone beyond that time."

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Follow Joshua on Twitter and subscribe at the top of this page to stay up to date on the latest Ohio and Cincinnati news. Joshua is also the Hamilton County 2010 Elections Examiner and Cincinnati Political Buzz Examiner.



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