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New evidence pushes back murder trial

Staff photo / Ed Runyan Francis Rydarowicz, right, talks with his attorney, John Juhasz, on Monday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. Rydarowicz, 50, of Hubbard, is charged with aggravated murder in his wife’s 2019 stabbing death at a Coitsville motel.

YOUNGSTOWN — The aggravated murder trial of Francis Rydarowicz, which was scheduled to begin next Monday, is now moved back to Aug. 2 after the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation found new evidence.

The material came from the cellphone of the victim, Katherine Rydarowicz, 41, his wife, whom he is accused of killing June 22, 2019, at the Kings Motel on U.S. Route 422 in Coitsville Township.

At a hearing Monday, Judge Anthony Donofrio agreed to a defense motion to postpone the trial to give the defense more time to review what defense attorney John Juhasz called a “voluminous” amount of material provided to the state’s crime lab.

Donofrio of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court said the Bureau of Criminal Investigation used “new technology” to pull information from the phone.

Rydarowicz, 50, of Hubbard, is charged with aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault and domestic violence in the stabbing death of his wife. She was found dead outside of the motel. Francis Rydarowicz also had stab wounds and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Rydarowicz’s attorney, John Juhasz, told the judge that reports on the new evidence were ready for him last Wednesday, and he has started to review it. “I’m still not through all of them,” he said.

Since Thursday, Rydarowicz’s attorney, John Juhasz, has filed several motions, including one asking to prevent prosecutors from presenting evidence of past conduct, asking for the court to sanction the “state of Ohio” for not alerting the defense sooner about the new phone evidence, and asking the judge to prohibit a law enforcement officer from being able to testify regarding wounds the defendant suffered for lack of expertise.

Juhasz also asked for all potential jurors to be questioned individually about their knowledge about the case from news reporting; for the trial to be moved outside of Mahoning County; and for the trial to be postponed because of the new evidence.

Donofrio said the need to reset the trial is not anyone’s fault but is because of “new technology.”

A hearing on the motions will be held at 10 a.m. May 21, and a final pretrial hearing will be July 16.

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