Posted by: kathyhugs | October 31, 2008

Catch up on the Legal Stuff

I have been asked about what is happening with the trial several times so I am going to try and give a brief account of recent events.

On Friday, September 5th during the pretrial hearing, Defense attorney James Hartford asked for a continuance stating that he needed more time. The prosecutor, Lynn Grimshaw, agreed because he realized that DNA evidence from the bullet that supposedly killed Tonia wasn’t back from the lab. The trial date was moved to February 17, 2009.

During the week of September 15th: Lynn Grimshaw received the forensic report that said that the DNA evidence showed that the bullet they have does have Tonia’s DNA on it; but now the gun that JC claims to have used in self defense does not match the bullet. A search warrant is issued for JC’s father’s house in order to look for other guns to test. During the search warrant several other guns were found through out the house. These were taken into evidence and sent out to be tested. But in JC’s bedroom several loaded guns, 3 pipe bombs and parts to make more bombs were found.

JC was then arrested on new weapons charges. He waived his rights to a preliminary hearing and the case was turned over to the Grand Jury which to my knowledge has not met yet. In the meantime motions have been filed and the judge has heard arguments from both attorneys. As of right now JC is still in jail awaiting the Grand Jury and the outcome of more meetings with attorneys and judge.

At the last hearing on October 23rd, the judge heard from Attorney JAmes Hartford who was present in the courtroom and from Lynn who was on the phone. He decided to weigh the arguments about the motions presented and have another hearing on November 17.

We have made a very deliberate decision not to attend every hearing and to trust that Lynn will keep us informed of the details. Lynn Grimshaw has been wonderful. He has called me to let me know when something new happens and he returns every phone call I make to him. He has commented that all of the motions and hearings and decisions are like playing a chess game. You know the strategy you want to take but depending upon the move from the other players will decide which way to go. Right now there are three attorneys: James Hartford, Nick Amato and Lynn. The judge is C. Ashley Pike. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) as well as the Columbiana County Sheriffs department and the Wellsville Police Department are all involved. The coroner’s office in Cleveland was the office that handled the autopsy so they are involved. With JC’s latest arrest there will be more people involved.

We are very overwhelmed at times with this nightmare that we are living but we also have a very firm hold on the strength that only God can provide during this mess. I know that I would be locked up in a padded room if I didn’t have a God who I can trust to hold me and to lean on. Every day can bring about another phone call or another article in the paper or on TV. Thankfully the Pittsburgh papers don’t have any interest in a case that happened in Ohio so we only see what is online. Friends continue to pray for us. We wait and wonder what will happen next but we have no control over any of it. The legal stuff is out of our hands so we need to trust Lynn and know that God already knows the outcome and that he will be with us no matter what happens.

To wrap this up, thank you for your concerns, your prayers and your hugs! We need to know that people care about us and remember that this nightmare continues to go on. I don’t mind talking to friends about everything and it actually helps me to realize that this is all real and not just a bad dream. I sometimes wonder if all of this has actually happened because it feels so unreal. It still doesn’t seem possible that I will never hear Tonia’s voice again or hear her voice. Last night we had trick or treating in the neighborhood and I couldn’t help thinking about the Halloween costumes for both of my kids. I was shedding a few tears as I was looking back.

I love you! Hugs from me to you!

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