U.S. Supreme Court denies final appeal of death row inmate who killed KSU student

Anna Duszkiewicz

Trimble can still file an appeal in federal court

Ohio death row inmate James Trimble has exhausted all of his state appeals. According to a filing on the U.S. Supreme Court Web site, Trimble’s last petition was denied Monday.

In January 2005, Trimble went on a shooting rampage in Brimfield Township during which he shot and killed his girlfriend Renee Bauer, 42, her son Dakota Bauer, 7, and Kent State senior Sarah Positano, 22.

He was convicted on three counts of murder and sentenced to death in November 2005 in the Portage County Common Pleas Court in Ravenna.

Trimble was set to be executed Sept. 29, but the Ohio Supreme Court issued a stay of execution in July because of ongoing appeals.

Assistant Portage County Prosecutor Pamela Holder said Trimble’s next step is a federal appeal.

“He has exhausted his state appeals, and the only thing left for him is to appeal things in the federal court system,” she said. “My guess is he will.”

She said she checked with the federal docket, and nothing has been filed in the Trimble case yet.

Holder, who sat in on Trimble’s 2005 trial, said the execution will not be rescheduled unless there is a lift on the stay.

“As of today, the stay has not been lifted,” Holder said. “The appeal was just denied this week, and I have not seen any paperwork requesting a lift on the stay of execution. As for whether it will be lifted in the future, if there is a federal case pending then no, it will not be lifted.”

Francis Ricciardi, Portage County chief assistant prosecutor, who was one of the prosecutors for the case, said if Trimble decides to appeal to the federal court the outcome will be difficult to predict.

“In the federal system, you never know what outcome you’re going to get.” Ricciardi said. “Some of them (the appellate districts) operate differently than others, and so they come out with different rulings.”

Holder said the case could go either way.

“I would like to say that it’s less likely that he’ll get anywhere on the federal level, but some of the federal legal issues could be slightly different than the state’s legal issues,” she said.

Whatever the outcome, Holder said the process is lengthy.

“We have two other capital defendants in the federal system right now,” she said. “These are serious issues, and it’s a lengthy process.”

On Jan. 21, 2005, police found the bodies of Bauer and her son Dakota in a home on Sandy Lake Road in Brimfield. They had both been shot several times.

Trimble ran from police and took refuge in Positano’s duplex on Ranfield Road. The Summit Metro SWAT team found her body the following morning. Trimble was found hiding in a closet after holding her hostage and shooting her several times, according to the Brimfield Police Department.

Positano was a coach’s assistant for the gymnastics team. She had been studying physical education and was scheduled to graduate from the university that May.

Contact public affairs reporter Anna Duszkiewicz at [email protected].