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Suspect in ’76 murder wants info on DNA

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Martin Woods, 57, leaves Lucas County Common Pleas Court after his appearance for a 1976 murder. Woods is already serving life in prison for an unrelated murder.

THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER
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At his first appearance in Lucas County Common Pleas Court for a 1976 murder, Martin Woods made it clear he’d been in court before.

“I want to know when I can see discovery. I want to see discovery, and I want a bill of particulars. I want to know about the chain of custody for the DNA evidence,” Woods told Judge Dean Mandros at what was to have been his arraignment Monday afternoon.

Woods, 57, already serving a life sentence at the North Central Correctional Facility in Marion, Ohio, for an unrelated murder, is charged with murder for the death of Rebecca Gerst, 20, who was found Feb. 4, 1976 in a pool of blood in her second-floor apartment at 2274 Parkwood Ave. An autopsy concluded she died from massive bleeding from the neck. She also had been choked.

Louis Kountouris, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, confirmed for Judge Mandros the cold case involves DNA. The judge said he would appoint an attorney for Woods who has experience with DNA evidence.

Woods made it clear he wanted information about the state’s case that led to his April 8 indictment by a Lucas County grand jury.

“In 1976 I was questioned by detectives at Lucas County,” Woods told the court. “I would like to have access to all their files or whatever they have from when they had me down there to talk to them.”

Judge Mandros advised him to make sure he expresses all of his wishes to his appointed attorney, with whom he is to return to court Wednesday for arraignment. The judge did not set bond because of Woods’ current prison term.

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