New trial sought for man who shot Joe Kaluza

YOUNGSTOWN — The trial of Taran Helms in the shooting that paralyzed KFC manager Joe Kaluza just before he was robbed should have been moved to another county due to excessive pre-trial publicity, Helms’ lawyer told the 7th District Court of Appeals.

“The press coverage continued on up to the trial ... and re-emerged when the trial started,” Helms’ lawyer, Gary L. VanBrocklin, told the three-judge panel during oral arguments today.

The confession of co-defendant Hattie Gilbert and the Western Reserve Transit Authority bus video of the staged crash that preceded the March 24, 2008, shooting and robbery received repeated media coverage, Van Brocklin noted.

Many jurors “had to have seen more than they said they saw” concerning the case when they were interviewed during jury selection, Van Brocklin said. “It’s impossible not to have heard of this case in this county,” said Van Brocklin, who called for reversal of Helms’ conviction and a new trial.

For the complete story, see Thursday's Vindicator and

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