Thursday, February 24, 2011

Irwin files appeal

February 24, 2011 - By MARY ANN GREIER (
LISBON - An attorney representing convicted killer Andrew Irwin filed a notice of appeal Wednesday, listing alleged prosecutorial misconduct, weight of evidence and sufficiency of evidence as probable issues for review.
Doug King, who was appointed to handle Irwin's cases at the appellate level, filed the notices in the murder case for the 2006 stabbing death of Emily Foreman and in a separate case for assault and harassment with a bodily substance related to Irwin's assault of jail personnel last year.
In the assault case, the probable issue for review was listed as consecutive sentence.
Irwin, 29, formerly of East Liverpool, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of killing Foreman, 21, at her mother's Liverpool Township home on Aug. 23, 2006. She was stabbed multiple times.
Judge C. Ashley Pike of Columbiana County Common Pleas Court also sentenced Irwin to an additional 18 months in prison for assaulting one corrections officer and spitting at another one in July while awaiting his new trial for the murder charge.
He had already been convicted in March 2007 for Foreman's death, but the 7th District Court of Appeals overturned the conviction and sentence, ordering a new trial. The prosecution appealed to the Supreme Court of Ohio, but the high court declined to hear the case.
When told about the new appeal filings and the probable issues for review in the murder case, county Prosecutor Robert Herron said "those are standard assignments of error - that's what I would expect."
"We see those issues raised regularly in criminal cases. That doesn't mean they have merit," he said.
Herron said he didn't foresee any errors that occurred during the trial, but some are always attempted to be shown as part of the appeal process. That was pretty much what they expected.
The 7th District Court of Appeals agreed to overturn the previous conviction largely due to the actions of Irwin's first trial attorney, George Kafantaris, who was later disbarred for his dealings with clients in Trumbull County.
The judges on the three-judge panel said Irwin didn't receive a fair trial the first time around because his attorney provided ineffective assistance, although the court found no basis for numerous errors Irwin's first appellate attorney tried to claim happened during the trial.
The court also ruled that Pike abused his discretion when he denied Irwin's motion for a new trial based on alleged new evidence presented during a two-day hearing shortly after Irwin's conviction. One of the alleged errors they found no merit for during the first trial was prosecutorial misconduct.

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