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Robert Girts to be released from jail

Published: Fri, February 1, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Denise Dick



A Poland native awaiting a third trial in the poisoning death of his third wife will be released from Cuyahoga County jail within about a week.

A court spokesman said that prosecutors and Robert Girts’ defense attorneys Thursday reached an agreement on conditions of Girts’ bond.

One of those conditions is that Girts, 59, be on electronic home monitoring. He is to live with a relative in Poland. Girts remains in jail while the county’s probation department makes arrangements for home monitoring.

Girts had been remanded to jail last week after prosecutors requested an emergency hearing. The prosecutors in the motion requesting the hearing said Girts was a danger to his fourth wife.

Girts was convicted twice of killing his third wife, Diane, in 1992 in Parma. Prosecutors said she died of cyanide poisoning.

Before being sent to jail, Girts had been visiting his fourth wife at work and bringing her coffee. The woman had been feeling ill and vomiting, according to a court motion.

“The state anticipates that evidence will show that [Girts] admitted” to his wife “that he looked up antifreeze ingestion on the Internet,” the motion says. “He gave three accounts of why this was done.”

The prosecutors also said that Girts was living at an apartment in Ashtabula rather than in Poland as he was ordered.

Both of his convictions for killing Diane Girts were overturned, and in 2007 a federal judge 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 on $100,000 bond pending retrial. His third trial is set for August.

The federal judge also ordered at that time that Girts was not to be confined while awaiting his third trial.

Girts’ first wife, the former Terrie Morris, died at 25 while married to Girts. Initially, a swollen heart was believed to be the cause. Her body was exhumed after Diane Girts’ death, but pathologists didn’t detect poison. No charges were filed in Morris’ death.

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