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Crime and Courts


Ohio Supreme Court: Appeals panel to consider if a sixth trial is too much
Austintown man fights a sixth trial on the same charges
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Anderson's attorney argues the state wants too many chances to convict him.
Courtesy of Ohio Supreme Court
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The Ohio Supreme Court has unanimously ordered an appeals court to consider whether an Austintown man should be tried -- for the sixth time -- for murder. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on today’s decision.

LISTEN: Ohio Supreme Court weighs in

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Christopher Anderson is accused of killing Amber Zurcher more than 10 years ago. He spent more than 4,000 days in jail, and been tried five times: Two ended in mistrials, two in hung juries and one in a conviction that was later overturned. 

His attempt to head off a sixth trial hinges in large part on claims of due process and double jeopardy – that he’s being tried or punished twice, and therefore unconstitutionally, for the same crime. 

His attorney, John Juhasz laid out the argument in October to Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor: 

“The government cannot consistent with the constitution continue to simply rack up the pool balls and see if they can break it in a way to convict the defendant.

“And what is the test to determine that. Is two trials too few, five trials too many?”

“I don’t know that we’re there yet because those issues have not been argued and briefed.”

But thanks to the high court decision, they will be.

The state had unsuccessfully maintained that, even if he’s right, Anderson’s argument should not be considered until after the sixth trial. 

 

 

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