Saturday, June 11, 2011

Judge won’t quit Salem murder case

June 11, 2011
LISBON - Columbiana County Common Pleas Judge Scott Washam denied a request by the prosecutor's office Friday that he step down as the judge for future hearings involving the murder, involuntary manslaughter and endangering children charges against Miranda V. Todd.
Prosecuting attorneys Timothy McNicol and Tammy Jones had filed the request May 23, asking Washam to transfer the case because of at least one previous time he had dealt with Todd during his time as a magistrate for juvenile court.
See TODD, 5A
"The state is attempting to prevent any appellant issues in the future," McNicol said in court, adding a similar motion was allowed in a case involving Randy A. Wylie. He is an East Palestine man charged with endangering children and a motion made by his attorneys for Washam to transfer the case happened.
Washam said the difference in that case was that it was Wylie's attorneys who filed the motion and not the state. He also pointed out in the case of Wylie, the child lived, while Todd's son, 7-month-old Derek Dennison, had died.
Todd's attorneys, Charlie Kidder and Jennifer Gorby, also had filed a response to the motion asking that Washam deny the request and remain. Washam asked Todd directly if she agreed with the motion her attorneys had filed, which she affirmed.
Gorby also indicated the defense has been attempting to get a medical expert to look at the evidence, but had yet to be able to do so. She pointed out there may be a need to reschedule the trial, which is currently set for Aug. 15. A status hearing on the issue was set for June 30.
Todd faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted of all three charges. She remains in custody.
On July 23, 2010, Todd had taken her son to the emergency room at Salem Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The autopsy report included numerous injuries to the child's skull and rib fractures, according to Salem Detective Dave Talbert.

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