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Victim in murder case: Dead or alive?

YOUNGSTOWN — Robert L. Moore of Alliance could go on trial as soon as Feb. 28 in the June 2009 aggravated murder of Glenna J. White, 16, of Smith Township.

But attorney Jeffrey Haupt worked hard Tuesday to plant doubts in the mind of Judge Maureen Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court as to whether White is even deceased.

Haupt, of Alliance, who represents Moore, 51, told the judge there have been “numerous sightings” of White alive “well beyond” the night when authorities allege that Moore killed her late on June 2, 2009.

He provided the judge with a May 26, 2010, sworn statement from a female friend of White’s family who knew Glenna White, who says she saw and talked to White in Louisville, Ohio, a short time before May 26, 2010.

In September 2009, White’s mother reported that someone advised her that they had “seen Glenna, that Glenna indicated she had been coming back into the (Smith Township) home during the evening to sleep and leave before her mom got up.”

Haupt said it prompted White’s mother to “go into (Glenna’s) room and found that some of her favorite clothing was now missing,” Haupt said. “She reported that to the police.”

Another person responded to a flyer the White family distributed and said they had seen White at a motel on U.S. Route 62. At the motel, someone said they recognized White’s photo.

“I remember her because of her hair. It was all different colors,” the woman told White’s mother,” Haupt said, adding that the photo was black and white. White’s mother indicated that Glenna White’s hair was lots of different colors, he said.

Tuesday’s hearing was held to give Moore and prosecutors the opportunity to discuss several motions Haupt has filed in the case recently, especially one asking the judge to ban any testimony of Moore’s previous conviction for killing someone.

Moore admitted to killing Virginia Lecorchick, 22, near Berlin Lake in 1993 and spent 15 years in prison. White disappeared from a home in Alliance late on June 2, 2009, after leaving with Moore, who returned about an hour later without White, according to a prosecution filing. Moore was “covered in blood spatter from the waist up,” Assistant Prosecutor Mike Yacovone stated in the filing.

White’s body was never found.

Yacovone argued that the evidence in the Lecorchick case was so similar to the evidence in the White case that it “provides a behavioral fingerprint, which, when compared to the behavioral fingerprints associated with the (White case) , can be used to identify the defendant as the perpetrator.”

Testimony about the Lecorchick murder should be allowed in the White trial if it helps prove that Moore killed White, Yacovone argued.

But during Tuesday’s hearing, Haupt said allowing evidence of the Lecorchick murder will “serve no purpose other than to prejudicially influence the jury into looking into my client, Mr. Moore, and saying ‘Look what he did in 1993. We believe he did it again.’

“Because as we stand here right now, your honor, there is no evidence that Glenna White was murdered. There is no evidence that she is deceased. There is no evidence of a case of death, if there was one,” he said

Judge Sweeney said she will take the matter under advisement and issue a ruling later.

erunyan@vindy.com

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