Thursday, March 04, 2010

Ohio high court says hearing-impaired juror should have been excused amid audio evidence

Ohio high court says hearing-impaired juror should have been excused amid audio evidence

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a juror with a hearing disability should not have been seated for a trial where an audio recording would be played.

In its 5-2 ruling Wednesday, the state's highest court agreed with a lower court that reversed the defendant's aggravated vehicular homicide conviction and ordered a new trial.

Scott Speer was convicted in Ottawa County in the 2002 drowning death of another man who was a passenger in Speer's speedboat on Lake Erie.

During pretrial discovery, prosecutors indicated they would use audio of a 911 call Speer made as evidence against him.

As the tape played in the trial, the hearing-impaired juror was shown a transcript. The Supreme Court says that wasn't the same and Speer did not receive a fair trial.