Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Of course.....

Irwin says he’ll appeal

February 2, 2011 - By MARY ANN GREIER
LISBON - Convicted killer Andrew Irwin said he's going to appeal.
The 29-year-old former East Liverpool resident spoke on his own behalf again Tuesday, both before and after being sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for purposely killing 21-year-old Emily Foreman in 2006 and an additional 18 months for assaulting one corrections officer and spitting at another one in July while awaiting trial.
"From day one, I have always claimed my innocence...I'm just glad I got my side out there," he said regarding the murder and the fact that this time he testified.
Irwin first faced a jury trial in March 2007 for causing Foreman's stabbing death, but the conviction and 15 years to life prison sentence were overturned on appeal, largely because of his prior attorney's actions. George Kafantaris was disbarred while the case was being appealed, not related to the murder case, but for his dealings with clients in Trumbull County.
He didn't testify during that first trial, but this time around, he had plenty to say. The prosecution said during closing arguments that his testimony was choreographed to respond to the state's evidence, which he said made him look like a liar.
"Anybody who knows me knows I didn't do this," he said.
He also commented about the evidence in the case, particularly about the knife found on the blood-covered bed in Emily's bedroom in the home in Liverpool Township. During the jury trial which concluded last week with a guilty verdict, a forensic scientist testified that the only DNA profile found on both the blade and the handle belonged to the victim. "This is the second trial I've been through and they still can't put that knife in my hand," he told Judge C. Ashley Pike of Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.
Irwin commented about the prosecution poking holes in his testimony, but said their own witness from the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation said someone washed up in the sink of the house. Police and ambulance personnel testified about him being covered in blood at the scene. He said if he didn't wash up in the sink, then who did?
"You want to know why? Because I'm innocent," he said, alluding to the way Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Gamble kept saying during his closing argument that he did it.
Pike reminded him that 24 people found him guilty of murder over two separate trials.
"They found me guilty of being a drug addict, plain and simple," he responded.
In addressing the assault and harassment charges from the July incident at the jail, Irwin complained about the way he was being treated at the jail. In regard to a videotape shown to the judge, he questioned why they chose that videotape to show of him out of the thousands of videotapes made of inmates, saying it was prejudiced against him. He said he didn't spit on the one officer on purpose during the incident in July. He also said that while he was in prison, he had no violent incidents, but when he came back to the county for the new trial, the new warden had it out for him, keeping him in his cell 23 hours a day. "He went out of his way to mess with me," he said.
Prosecutor Robert Herron talked about the videotape shown to the judge before sentencing which depicted Irwin in a violent rage during an incident in August after he had already been charged for the assault and spitting incident in July. He said the video indicated Irwin's propensity to repeat his actions against corrections officers. He also told the judge that before Irwin spit on the officer in July, he told the officer to "" "He's where he belongs," Herron said.

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