Opening statements set in cold case trial

Postponed numerous times; accused in murder of Alliance teen

YOUNGSTOWN — Opening statements will be given at 9 a.m. today in the oft-postponed murder trial of Robert L. Moore on a murder charge in the 2009 disappearance and presumed murder of Glenna J. White, 16, of Alliance.

Moore, 53, also of Alliance, has been in the Mahoning County jail awaiting trial since Dec. 17, 2021, according to jail records. The trial has been postponed numerous times in the past couple of years. However, making it through jury selection Monday before Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge Maureen Sweeney means the trial may finally make it to the end.

To avoid an earlier issue that caused a postponement, an especially large number of potential jurors — 75 –were called for the trial. An earlier attempt to seat a jury failed because too many potential jurors had to be dismissed, and there were not enough to continue with jury selection.

Court officials said the attempt to hold the trial in January was abandoned because of illness.

The trial marks the fourth week in a row in which a significant jury trial has taken place in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. In fact, there were two significant jury trials two weeks ago and two assistant prosecutors involved in the Moore trial this week — Rob Andrews and Pat Fening — just finished up the Mekhi Venable murder trial Friday.


Glenna disappeared from a home on Alden Avenue in Smith Township near Alliance. She was visiting the home, where Moore and his girlfriend lived. Glenna left the home June 2, 2009, with Moore and has not been seen since, prosecutors have said. She told others in the home that Moore had touched her inappropriately, prosecutors said.

The case is being heard in Mahoning County because Alden Avenue is in Mahoning County, but White’s home was actually in Alliance in Stark County.

The locations involved in the case are in or around Alliance, which is in or close to several county, township and city boundaries.

Detective Ed Kennedy of the Portage County Sheriff’s Office brought the investigation of Glenna’s disappearance to Mahoning County prosecutors in 2020 after he got a tip about the case and conducted an investigation.

Eric Midock, an investigator with the U.S. Marshal’s Service, assisted in the investigation and was in the courtroom for jury selection Monday, along with Kennedy. Midock said Monday he was part of the investigation because part of his work with the U.S. Marshal’s Service involves cold cases, mostly fugitive cold cases.

Because of the Adam Walsh Act, which became federal law in 2006, the U.S. Marshal’s Service has jurisdiction to work on juvenile cold cases, Midock said.

Sgt. George Starr with the Smith Township Police Department, said earlier that the Stark County Sheriff’s Office was the first agency to investigate Glenna’s disappearance, but when deputies determined Glenna had gone missing from a home in Smith Township, “they turned the investigation over to my department.”

Starr started work on the case Aug. 8, 2010 — more than a year after Glenna went missing.

Have an interesting news story? Email Ed Runyan at erunyan@vindy.com.


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