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Lawyer faces state hearing



Published: Wed, June 13, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The county assistant prosecutor will continue to try cases until his hearing.

By JENNINE ZELEZNIK

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- An Ohio Supreme Court commission has filed a formal complaint of ethical misconduct against an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor.

According to the complaint, Thomas Wrenn withheld the results of a DNA test in a 1999 case and told a judge and defense attorney the results were not available.

The results revealed the semen found on the shirt of a 12-year-old victim was the boy's -- not the defendant's.

Leonard Derr of Sharon pleaded guilty to one count of gross sexual imposition and was sentenced to three years in prison.

He had been indicted on two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of rape.

Derr was a Little League baseball coach, and the victim was one of the boys on his team.

Changed his plea: After Wrenn relinquished the test findings, Derr asked to change his guilty plea and because Wrenn had withheld the information, the judge agreed.

On July 31, Derr pleaded guilty to an amended indictment of one count of gross sexual imposition.

Commission documents show a local attorney filed a grievance of misconduct against Wrenn with the high court's Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline.

Panel to conduct hearing: The court's disciplinary counsel investigated and decided it was serious enough for a hearing before a three-member panel made up of board members, a spokeswoman for the commission said.

The hearing panel will make a written recommendation to the full board, which will send its recommendation to the Supreme Court. Justices make the final decision.

Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins said Wrenn will continue prosecuting cases.

"I am supporting him at this point in time," Watkins said. "He's entitled to a hearing and is accorded a chance to respond to this."

Wrenn was unavailable.




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