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Poland native remains free on bond



Published: Thu, December 20, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Staff report

cleveland

A Poland native awaiting his third trial in the poisoning death of his third wife remains out on bond.

A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge Wednesday opted not to revoke the bond of Robert Girts, 59.

Girts was convicted in 1993 of aggravated murder in the 1992 death of his third wife, Diane, and was sentenced to life in prison. The couple was living in Parma at the time of Diane’s death.

That conviction was reversed by a state appeals court in 1994, and Girts was convicted again in a 1995 second trial.

The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals later found prosecutorial misconduct in the second trial and reversed the conviction.

The court in 2007 ordered Girts’ release unless the state court granted him a new trial within 180 days of the decision.

Girts wasn’t retried within six months, and in November 2008, he was released from prison pending retrial.

Prosecutors earlier this month sought to have Girts’ bond revoked, writing in the motion that Girts poses “substantial risk of serious physical harm” to his fourth wife and the community, and adding “that the presumption is great that [Girts] committed the aggravated murder he is charged with.”

Girts was charged in late November with misdemeanor criminal mischief, by Geneva-on-the-Lake police when he went to the home of his fourth wife’s daughter.

The prosecutors’ motion said Girts broke into the home but didn’t threaten her. The prosecutors also said in the motion that Girts was living in Ashtabula while he was supposed to be living in Brookfield.

Girts’ trial date is expected to be set at a hearing next month.


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