Saturday, July 27, 2002

Murder suspects could go free

Trials sought after convictions rejected

By The Associated Press

        RAVENNA, Ohio - Two men sentenced to spend most of their lives in prison for killing a woman could be released after a judge ruled their convictions were invalid.

        Lawyers for both men say the state's case against is so “gutted” that “it is highly unlikely there would even be enough evidence to obtain an indictment.”

        Motions filed Thursday in the 11th Ohio District Court of Appeals in Warren ask that both men be released to prepare for new trials.

        Randy Resh was convicted 12 years ago in the death of Connie Nardi, 31.

        Mr. Resh's friend, Robert Gondor, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

        Mr. Resh is serving up to life in prison, and Mr. Gondor is serving up to 51 years. Both men were 24 when Ms. Nardi was killed in 1988.

        Portage County Common Pleas Judge Charles Bannon ruled on June 14 that the convictions were invalid.

        Mr. Bannon's decision, based on testimony from an evidentiary hearing in May, said Mr. Resh and Mr. Gondor were denied their constitutional right to effective counsel.

        Evidence that could have helped their cases was never used at either trial, Mr. Bannon said.


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