Sunday, January 02, 2000

Sisters get new murder trials

Errors made in selection of jurors

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Two sisters convicted of killing one of their husbands are preparing to face juries again.

        Kimberly Springer and Alexandria Eads both were convicted of murder in the death of Mrs. Springer's husband, Ernie, who was shot in the head in May 1995. Initially, each said Ms. Eads pulled the trigger. Then, at trial, Mrs. Springer said she did it, and claimed she had been abused by Mr. Springer for years.

        The jury apparently believed Ms. Eads did the killing with Mrs. Springer's help. Both were sentenced to 30 years in prison.

        But now, jurors get to re-evaluate all of that. Appellate judges overturned the sisters' convictions, saying errors were made in the jury selection process.

        Preparations have begun for the second go-round.

        Last week, Kenton Circuit Judge Patricia Summe decided the women will have separate trials this time. Ms. Eads, 33, is scheduled for trial in May; Mrs. Springer, 35, in July.

        Mr. Springer, 44, was shot in the head as he slept in the couple's Hay Street house in Ludlow.

        The same house had been the site of a previous, unrelated homicide — a fact jurors heard in the last trial.

Police calls
        This time, Mrs. Springer's attorney wants Judge Summe to exclude information about that killing.

        He also doesn't want jurors to hear anything about previous police calls to the house.

Hearing set
        Judge Summe has not yet decided on those requests. A hearing is set for Jan. 21.

        In a a related legal move, Mrs. Springer filed a civil suit in November against survivors of her husband, seeking her share of the value of the house.


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