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TRUMBULL COUNTY Jury selection continues in case of accused officer



Published: Fri, April 4, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



If convicted, the Newton Falls police officer faces up to five years in prison.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Jury selection was to continue today in the felonious assault case of a Newton Falls police officer.

Attorneys for both sides began questioning prospective jurors Monday.

Each of the 32 prospective jurors were questioned individually to find out if they were familiar with the case and if they know any potential witnesses.

Sgt. James Zimomra's trial could take up to two weeks, officials said.

Closed to public

A gag order was issued March 19, the same day Zimomra's attorney had planned a press conference to address the negative publicity about the case.

Zimomra declined interviews for several months after pleading innocent last May to two charges of felonious assault and one charge of misdemeanor assault.

If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.

Charges

He is accused of beating Connie Casseday, 22, and John Lusher, 23, both of Garrettsville, during their arrest April 2, 2002.

On a videotape recorded by a camera in another officer's cruiser, Zimomra can be seen hitting Casseday. She received seven stitches.

Zimomra also is accused of hitting Lusher with his cruiser.

Richard Schwartz, Newton Falls law director, said that since Zimomra was indicted on a charge involving violence he cannot carry a gun.

Police Chief Robert Carlson said Zimomra, who is free on $25,000 bond, continues to get his regular $15-an-hour pay to answer telephones and do paperwork in the department.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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