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Jury picked for trial of fatal police wreck



Published: Wed, April 20, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



WARREN -- A jury has been seated to determine what amount of money Niles and Police Chief Bruce Simeone may have to pay as liability for a 1996 traffic fatality.

A visiting judge, Thomas Patrick Curran, presided over Simeone's trial earlier this year, and is again presiding in the second phase.

In January, a different jury found that Simeone is liable in the traffic crash. The jurors found wanton misconduct and willful misconduct.

The case dealt only with civil liability issues. A grand jury previously found no criminal wrongdoing by the chief. The process that began Monday is to determine monetary damages.

The civil case against Simeone, Niles police and the city centered on an April 8, 1996, accident.

Simeone, who then was a captain, was on his way to a hostage situation at the former Ponderosa Restaurant on U.S. Route 422 when his cruiser collided with a Corvette pulling from a parking lot on Route 422 a short distance from the restaurant.

Issues of Simeone's speed in the unmarked cruiser were raised at trial. Two occupants of the car, Bronsel Cain Jr., 29, and Mark Simpson, 30, died of their injuries. The damage portion of the suit is sought by Simpson's family.




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