NEW PHILADELPHIA (Tusco TV) - A Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court judge is setting some ground rules as a re-opened vehicular homicide case heads to trial.
33-year-old Paul Grove Jr. is on trial this week in the courtroom of Judge Elizabeth Thomakos for the 2017 crash that killed 54-year-old Jeanene Indermill of New Philadelphia and seriously injured two others. Assistant Prosecutor Amanda Miller says the judge held an evidentiary Monday and upheld several motions to prevent the defense from presenting certain information and testimony.
“The court heard what we call motions in limine, and those are pre-trial motions, requests either by both the state and the defense asking the judge to allow certain evidence or to preclude certain evidence from being presented by the parties during the trial because of some perceived problems they might correct, so that’s what we did,” she says.
One of those motions sought to prevent New Philadelphia Officer Mitchell Gobley from taking the stand as an expert witness. Thomakos said she could not allow the officer to testify because Grove’s attorney did not submit a written report ahead of the trial.
“Rule 16-K is clear and it mandates that an expert witness for either side shall prepare a written report summarizing the expert witness’ testimony, findings, analysis, conclusions or opinion and shall include a summary of the expert’s qualifications, and then it goes on to say that written report and summary of qualifications shall be subject to disclosure under this rule no later than 21 days prior to trial,” she said.
The second motion was to prevent Grove's attorney from questioning state troopers about dash cam footage from after the accident. Miller says the jurors wouldn’t be able to view the footage themselves because the patrol deleted it per their policy when Grove was originally sentenced.
“When Mr. Grove pled guilty prior, when he was found guilty, when he was sentenced, when he was shipped to prison by Ohio State Highway Patrol’s standard operating procedures, the media, the cruiser cam videos are purged in Columbus. They’re purged. They do not keep them,” she says.
Thomakos sentenced Grove last year to 18 years in prison after he pled guilty to the same seven-count indictment but the Fifth District Court of Appeals recently overturned his conviction on a technicality