|Ryan Widmer, is led away in handcuffs by Warren County Sheriff deputies after the jury came back with a guilty verdict Tuesday, Feb 15, 2011 in Warren County Common Pleas Court in Lebanon, Ohio. Staff Photo, The Pulse-Journal, Mason, Ohio|
This afternoon, a jury of Ryan's peers found him guilty of the murder and the Judge sentenced him to 15 years to life in prison.
This was the third trial of Mr. Widmer for this crime. In the first trial, Mr. Widmer was found guilty, but that verdict was thrown out due to juror misconduct. The second trial ended with a hung jury after a decision could not be reached.
This case has been debated in the Internet and on talk radio in Cincinnati for almost 2 1/2 years. It was also featured on an episode of Dateline NBC in 2009.
It seems as though the case against Mr. Widmer was strengthened in the latest trial by a witness named Jennifer Crew, who claimed that Mr. Widmer called her in October of 2009 and told her he had killed his wife Sarah. Ms. Crew came forward after the second trial.
I don't know Ryan Widmer and the death of Sarah Widmer at such a young age is horrible. It just seems to me with evidence that was circumstancial at best, and a supposed confession given to a witness who only came forward after the second trial that there would have been reasonable doubt as to whether Ryan Widmer was guilty. But Mr. Widmer and his lawyers decided not to have him take the stand to defend himself.
If Ryan Widmer was truly guilty, then justice is served. If not, then his lawyers failed him and the jury failed by not understanding the concept of reasonable doubt.
In the end, only Ryan Widmer knows what happened that night.