Jurors to visit crime scene, hear opening statements

Brian Andrasak

RAVENNA – The trial of James E. Trimble will begin this afternoon with the prosecution and defense’s opening statements to the jury in Judge John Enlow’s Portage County Common Pleas courtroom in Ravenna.

Before the trial begins, the jury will spend this morning examining the crime scenes. Trimble has waived his right to be present for the viewing.

Presentation of evidence will begin on Monday.

Trimble, 45, is charged with the Jan. 21 shootings of his girlfriend Renee Bauer, 42, her 7-year-old son, Dakota and 22-year old Kent State student Sarah Postiano in Brimfield.

Enlow presided over the final selection of the 12-member jury and four alternates yesterday morning. The jury consists of seven males and five females. The alternate pool is split with two men and two women.

During the final questioning of potential jury members, Enlow reminded the courtroom about the graphic nature of the evidence that will be introduced.

“This is what I would call an R-rated trial,” Enlow said. “You will see pictures that are graphic. There will be graphic testimony.”

Yesterday, the final jurors were chosen out of a pool of 53.

Two potential jurors expressed doubt that they could remain fair and impartial when faced with graphic evidence and were subsequently excused.

Yesterday afternoon Enlow overruled another motion for a change of venue from defense attorney Dennis Lager. Lager argued that Trimble could not receive a fair trial in Portage County due to “extensive pre-trial publicity.”

Trimble faces a 17-count indictment including three counts of aggravated murder. If convicted of aggravated murder, Trimble could face the death penalty.

Prosecutors announced Wednesday they plan to drop four attempted-murder charges against Trimble for alledgedly firing an automatic rifle at police officers.

The indictment also includes the remaining eight counts of attempted murder for Trimble’s alleged shoot-out with police on the night of the crime. The remaining counts include three counts of burglary, two counts of felonious assault and one count of aggravated burglary.

Contact public affairs reporter Brian Andrasak at [email protected].