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Possible plea agreement in the works



Published: Tue, June 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



A Trumbull County grand jury also indicted the lawyer on additional charges.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

CLEVELAND -- Documents indicate that a local attorney accused of trying to kill her estranged husband may soon enter a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

On Monday, an information was filed in U.S. District Court stating that from November 2004 to April 19, 2005, Maridee Costanzo caused William Cindea to travel interstate and use a facility of interstate commerce so that the murder of her estranged husband, Roger Bauer, would be committed.

The information also states that Costanzo paid $1,100 as a partial payment for the murder. Prior court documents filed stated that Costanzo had asked Cindea to hire someone to kill Bauer and that she provided Cindea with a picture of her estranged husband.

Atty. Thomas Zena, who along with Atty. David Doughten represents Costanzo, said an information is filed when both sides have agreed to a resolution in the case. He declined to give any further information except to say that Costanzo may be in court later this week.

Doughten could not be reached.

Newest charges

Costanzo, however, is facing additional legal problems in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

The Trumbull County grand jury indicted her Monday on two counts of carrying concealed weapons, improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, two counts of tampering with evidence and two counts of obstructing justice.

She is scheduled to be arraigned on those charges next week, said Chris Becker, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor.

Those charges stem from a March traffic stop, when Costanzo was a passenger in Cindea's car. Police found a loaded gun tucked in the front of Costanzo's pants, reports state.

The Ohio Supreme Court suspended her law license last month pending the outcome of a state probe of alleged unspecified violations of the Code of Professional Responsibility for lawyers and judges.

The high court ordered Costanzo, who is being held in the Medina County jail, to stop practicing law in any form.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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