Judge delays ruling to wait for mental condition status

Michelle Park


Credit: Beth Rankin

Judge John Enlow took a motion under advisement yesterday morning, delaying ruling on the side of the defense or the prosecution in the case of triple-homicide suspect James Trimble.

The motion sought to require the defense to produce documents and identify individuals with knowledge of information relevant to an evaluation of Trimble’s mental condition. The hearing took place in the Portage County Court of Common Pleas.

Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci filed the motion, which sought the presentation of documents and the identification of individuals on the basis that Trimble’s plea of not guilty by reason of insanity resulted in a waiver of his right to medical confidentiality regarding his prior mental condition.

During the hearing, Dennis Lager, Portage County public defender and Trimble’s attorney, said the necessity of presenting such information because a suspect pleads not guilty by reason of insanity is currently being challenged in the Ohio Supreme Court.

Examinations of Trimble’s mental condition will be conducted as a result of his insanity plea to the murders of Brimfield resident Renee Bauer, her son, Dakota and Kent State senior Sarah Positano.

In yesterday’s hearing, Lager said the defense will hire a psychologist to evaluate Trimble’s mental condition. Both the court and the prosecution have hired psychologists to examine Trimble. No dates for the examinations have been set.

During the hearing, Enlow also scheduled several court proceedings between now and Trimble’s trial.

Trimble’s trial by jury is scheduled for July 12. There, Trimble will be tried on all charges resulting from the three murders in January, including three counts of aggravated murder and 12 counts of attempted murder.

Several other dates were scheduled for the Trimble case:

The general discovery deadline was set for May 1. The court will, however, hear motions and reciprocal motions that emerge after that date.

The first round of jury excuses will take place June 20. The second will occur a week later on June 27.

The prosecution and the defense must mark all exhibits — or present their evidence — by July 7.

The final pretrial will begin at 9 a.m. July 8.

During the hearing, Lager also requested a competency exam for Trimble, which Enlow said he will schedule.

The next pretrial in Trimble’s case will take place April 4, Enlow said. Pretrial hearings for the case will be scheduled every three weeks from now until the trial. They may be scheduled more frequently as the trial date draws nearer.

Contact public affairs reporter Michelle Park at mtpar[email protected].