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Appellate court to determine if Austintown man will be tried a sixth time for murder



Published: Wed, February 8, 2012 @ 4:55 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — The 7th District Court of Appeals is considering if it will allow an Austintown man to be tried a sixth time for murder.

Christopher Anderson, 43, of South Main Street, is charged in the June 3, 2002, strangulation death of Amber Zurcher in her townshnip apartment.

Anderson was one of several people who attended a party in Zurcher’s Compass West apartment. After everyone else left, Anderson returned and strangled the 22-year-old Zurcher with a cord, prosecutors allege.

Anderson’s case has been tried five times in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on murder charges.

Anderson’s first trial in May 2003 was declared a mistrial because of “an unsolicited comment” from a witness.

Anderson’s second trial in November 2003 resulted in a conviction and a sentence of 15 years to life in prison, but the appellate court overturned the conviction in September 2006, citing “cumulative error” in the trial.

A third trial in December 2008 ended with a hung jury; and a fourth attempt in April 2010 ended in a mistrial after a defense lawyer fell asleep in the courtroom during jury selection.

After almost two full days of deliberations, the most recent trial in August 2010 again ended with a hung jury.

For the complete story, read Thursday's Vindicator and Vindy.com


Comments

1Ianacek(900 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Whatever happened to the principle of double jeopardy ?
The state should not be able to keep on trying someone until it gets the result it wants .I'm amazed there have been 5 trials & that , after 2 hung juries , someone is proposing a 6th trial .

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2fins1215(1 comment)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

ianacek..

Double jeopardy only means that a person may not be tried again once found innocent. However in this case the first trial was a mistrial so it goes back to court, then on the second trial he was found innocent but later appealed by the defense and therefore sent back to court. On the third and fifth the trial, they both ended in a hung jury and by law a hung jury is a mistrial and the fourth time was also a mistrial. So after all that it's actually still the same case and in fact he is not getting tried again and they are actually still on the first trial.

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3DD1978(7 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

He was NEVER found innocent. Out of all these trials not ONE jury found him innocent. He was however, found GUILTY and had that overturned because of some legal "mumbo jumbo" he's guilty and needs to own up to it!!! Such a shame that her family can't get any justice or closure! My heart goes out to them!

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4pineapple1(14 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

This "man" (used in the most loose terms) needs to stop fighting the justice system and own up to what he did. A murderer is taking all of our tax dollars. And I pray for her family

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