Posted by: kathyhugs | September 18, 2009

New trial dates

I will comment about this tomorrow. Okay is has been a few days since I posted this article. Rick reminds me that what is going in is equivalent to throwing mud on the wall until some of it sticks! Every motion, every new piece of evidence is designed to put doubt into the mind of the prosecutor, the judge and eventually a jury. But it comes down to this. JC shot Tonia, she could never hurt anyone, she died, he is in jail, she is in Heaven! The rest of the story is about human justice, laws and court proceedings. God will have the ultimate decision in Tonia’s death. So our prayers are:

Please pray that this time the court case will go on if this is in God’s will. I would like to put this part of our journey behind us.
Please pray for family and friends who do not know God and who are struggling.
Please pray for JC and his family. They do not know God and their pain is also horrific.
Please pray for Rick, Sean and me as we continue to heal!

God is sovereign and knowing that then we survive and even move forward with new plans. Hugs!

New dates announced for Amato Jr. murder, weapon trials
LISBON — New trial dates can be marked on the calendar for the cases against Jack “J.C.” Amato Jr. — Jan. 19 for the murder trial and Feb. 9 for the weapons trial. A status hearing for both cases will be heard Jan. 8 in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court before Judge C. Ashley Pike, who held a telephone conference Tuesday with the attorneys from both sides to iron out remaining evidentiary issues. The conference call included Special Prosecutor Lynn Grimshaw and defense attorneys James Hartford, Nicholas Amato and Charles Amato. Pike took the call at his bench in the open court room. The trial dates in both cases have been moved a number of times since Amato was indicted on the charges. Amato, 37, was charged in February 2008 with murder and having weapons under disability in the July 1, 2007 shooting death of his wife, Tonia, at their home at 1200 Commerce St., Wellsville. He claimed he shot his wife in self-defense, telling investigators she fired at him first with a .22-caliber gun and he returned fire, shooting her between the eyes with a .45-caliber handgun. He was released from jail on a $100,000 cash or surety bond, but had to stay at his father’s Irondale residence under house arrest. He was taken into custody again in September 2008 and has remained in jail since then after being charged with another count of having weapons under disability and a single count of possession of a dangerous ordnance when investigators found firearms and explosive devices in the room where he was staying. They had been searching for a .45-caliber handgun since they claimed the gun they were given by the defendant the day of the shooting didn’t match the bullet they said contained evidence of the victim’s DNA. During the hearing with Pike, the issue of crime scene photographs the defense said contained silver/metallic objects came up again, with Grimshaw advising he spoke with Wellsville Police Det. Jeff Weekley, who took the photographs, Lt. Andy Sweeney of the Sheriff’s Office and an agent from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation about the photographs. He said the bottom line was that the photographs appeared to be taken on July 3 and he couldn’t say for sure what the items were, but they were “not bullet fragments in the photographs.” “We’re looking for the bullet that killed Tonia Amato because we don’t think we have it,” Hartford said. He also commented that investigators didn’t find a bullet on the fireplace, noting it took the defense expert to find that. The defense team had the bullet the state says contained the victim’s DNA tested by their own expert. Grimshaw agreed that the defense attorneys could meet with the investigators to go over the photographs in question. Pike also brought up an issue raised at the last hearing regarding the statements of Larry Gardner, who lived at 1212 Commerce St., Wellsville, at the time of the shooting. The defense had interviewed him and wanted to know what he told the state of Ohio, but Grimshaw said the statement wasn’t exculpatory, meaning it didn’t contain anything that could help the defendant. Pike had agreed to review both statements before the hearing, which he said he did. “The statements are substantially different,” he said. He agreed there was nothing exculpatory in the statement taken by the state, but said it may be better if both sides just exchanged statements. Grimshaw admitted his curiosity was piqued regarding what Gardner said in the statement given to defense attorneys.

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