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

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

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.