Ohio Supreme Court rules in favor of appellate court, grants Weaver new hearing

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Ohio Supreme Court rules in favor of appellate court, grants Weaver new hearing

By Christine Holmes, News Director

The former Muskingum University student convicted of murder in the death of her newborn will have the chance at a reduced sentence after a recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling.

According to Muskingum County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Ron Welch, Weaver will have a new hearing in the case to be set at a later date.

In August, prosecutors in Muskingum County representing the State of Ohio appealed a court reversal recommending a new hearing in the case of Emile Weaver.

Weaver was sentenced to life in prison without the chance for parole in 2016 on felony charges of aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse and two counts of tampering with evidence.

Since her sentencing, Weaver’s counsel unsuccessfully appealed with the 5th District Court of Appeals in June 2017 and with the Ohio Supreme Court in February 2018.

Additionally, Weaver’s public defender, Nikki Baszynski, also filed for a post-conviction relief petition, asking for a new hearing based on claims that Weaver’s former legal counsel was “ineffective for failing to present evidence concerning neonaticide in mitigation sentencing” during the time of trial.

The petition was dismissed in September 2017 by Judge Mark Fleegle of the Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas on grounds that her appeal did not qualify for hearing because it could have been argued during the direct appeal process.

In June, that decision was reversed by the 5th District Court of Appeals, in which judges recommended a hearing at the trial court.

In July, Muskingum County Prosecutor Mike Haddox and Assistant Prosecutor Gerald Anderson II appealed that reversal with the Ohio Supreme Court.

In their appeal, Anderson stated that the 5th District Court of Appeals wrongfully decided to reverse the trial court’s decision to deny the petition for post-conviction relief.

Anderson argued that Weaver could have brought up her argument of ineffective counsel during her direct appeal, but did not.

Additionally, Anderson argued the 5th District Court of Appeals erred on a legal technicality involving the way courts can review a petition for post-conviction relief.

Muskingum County’s appeal was denied in late October.

For more background on the case, follow this link: https://ycitynews.com/2238/news/new-hearing-recommended-in-weaver-case/