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Attorney tries to keep families from courtroom



Published: Sat, July 30, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Supreme Court rulings have let those close to the victim be present despite graphic evidence.

RAVENNA, Ohio (AP) -- Evidence presented during the trial of a man accused of killing his girlfriend and her son, as well as a college student being held hostage, will include a 911 call with the sounds of one of the victims being shot, his lawyer said Friday.

Kent State University student Sarah Positano, 22, was shot while talking to a hostage negotiator, said Portage County public defender Dennis Day Lager, who is representing James E. Trimble.

"You're going to hear Miss Positano shot, and you're going to hear her die, and that is certainly going to provoke uncontrollable emotional outbursts," he said during a hearing Friday.

Lager is trying to keep the three victims' families and friends out of the courtroom while graphic evidence such as the 911 call is presented, saying their emotional reactions might sway the jury.

Lager asked the judge to send loved ones to another room in the courthouse, where they could watch the proceedings on closed-circuit television.

Trimble, 45, of Brimfield Township, is scheduled to stand trial in September in the killings of Renee L. Bauer, 42; her 7-year-old son, Dakota, and Positano, whom he's accused of taking hostage in her apartment after the two other shootings on the night of Jan. 21.

Coroner reports

The county coroner said Renee Bauer used her body to shield her son on the night they were shot. Bauer's body had 13 bullet wounds in the back and head, and the boy had eight bullet wounds, some of which may have passed through his mother's body first, the coroner said.

Trimble has been charged with three counts of aggravated murder. Trimble has pleaded innocent by reason of insanity and is being held in the Portage County jail without bond. He could get the death penalty if convicted of any of the three charges.

At the hearing, the county prosecutor said family and friends want to be inside the courtroom during the trial.

"Certainly, they will be cautioned ... as to any outbursts in court, but it is their absolute right to be inside the courtroom at that time," Portage County Prosecutor Victor V. Vigluicci said.

Vigluicci cited Ohio Supreme Court rulings that have permitted those close to the victims to be present despite graphic evidence.

Common Pleas Judge John A. Enlow said he intends to rule some time next week.




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