A new trial date was set in the aggravated murder case against Anthony Belton, despite questions regarding the constitutionality of portions of the death-penalty law pending before the 6th District Court of Appeals.
Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Ruth Ann Franks Thursday set a June 13 trial date. Mr. Belton is charged with aggravated murder with death-penalty specifications and aggravated robbery for the Aug. 13, 2008, death of Matthew Dugan, a BP convenience store clerk.
There have been many delays while attorneys argued issues, including whether a jury could be empaneled to decide the possible sentence of death if Mr. Belton were to enter a plea in the case.
The defense has appealed Judge Franks’ ruling denying the contention that state law violates Mr. Belton’s constitutional right to a jury trial because it does not let a defendant plead to aggravated murder with death-penalty specifications and then proceed to the penalty phase before a jury.