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TRUMBULL COUNTY Judge wants psychiatric test for driver



Published: Fri, July 26, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The prosecutor called the defendant 'a psychotic, voluntary drug addict.'

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- An SUV driver accused of running down a woman in a field near a Liberty Township grocery store will be in jail under $1 million bond for at least two more weeks.

Attys. Roger Bauer and Maridee Costanzo, who represent Anthony V. Ciminero, and Ken Bailey, assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, spent nearly an hour Thursday before Judge John Stuard in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court arguing about bond.

Saying he needs additional time to decide the issue, Judge Stuard set another hearing for 9 a.m. Aug. 12.

Ciminero is charged with attempted murder and felonious assault.

His attorneys wanted the judge to reduce the bond to $100,000 so their client would be able to attend in-house drug counseling. Bailey opposed that, asking the judge not to give any bond to the 34-year-old defendant.

"He isn't entitled to a bond," Bailey said. "This was a violent attack on a total stranger, and I would be remiss in my duties if I would let a psychotic, voluntary drug addict go free."

What's behind charges

Ciminero is accused of ramming his SUV into a parked car occupied by Robert and Nancy Norman of Liberty in the Giant Eagle parking lot on Belmont Avenue.

After the couple got out of the car, Ciminero ran over Nancy Norman, 43, as she lay in a nearby field, Bailey said.

Mrs. Norman spent two weeks in Cleveland Metro Health Center with severe internal injuries. She is now in a local rehabilitation hospital, Bailey said.

Bowers and Costanzo said their client has no prior criminal record and has a drug addiction.

"He needs to get help," Costanzo said. "He would do much better getting treatment than being in the jail."

Calling the case bizarre, Judge Stuard said he wants a psychologist or psychiatrist to interview Ciminero before he decides on bond. "I don't know his mental state," the judge said.

Costanzo said she will have a psychiatrist interview Ciminero before the next hearing.

Other details

She and Bauer also say Ciminero was "over-charged" because the victim is related to a Girard police officer.

"The Girard prosecutor said he was embarrassed and the charges were styled this way because she is related to a person who works at the Girard Police Department," Bauer said.

Robert Johnson, the Girard prosecutor, could not be reached.

"This was an accident, not a random act of violence," Bauer said.

Bailey said a witness saw Ciminero run over Mrs. Norman while yelling "yahoo."

"I believe he is a potential danger to the community," Bailey said.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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