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Published: Tuesday, 4/21/2009

Lucas County defends evidence trail in murder trial

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Ten months after Stoney Thompson was convicted of the aggravated murders of three men, two of the assistant Lucas County prosecutors involved in his trial took the witness stand in a hearing to determine whether he deserves a new trial.

Attorney Drew Griffith filed a motion for a new trial Aug. 27, almost two months after Thompson, 29, was sentenced to consecutive life sentences in prison. The motion contended that he hadn't been provided information about conflicting statements made by one of the prosecutor's witnesses during his client's trial.

Monday, before Visiting Judge Stephen Yarbrough, Mr. Griffith argued that video recorded statements by witness John Kuch could have been used to discredit his testimony.

Specifically, Mr. Griffith pointed to inconsistencies in Kuch's statements about the time he saw Thompson and his brother, Goldy Thompson, and from what direction the men were coming on the night of the murders.

"I was hamstrung. I was prevented from a complete and fair cross-examination by the withholding of that information," Mr. Griffith said.

The Thompson brothers were charged with the 2006 murders of Todd Archambeau, 44, Kenneth Nicholson, 41, and Michael York, 44, who were found dead in a boarded-up house.

Stoney Thompson was convicted by a jury June 10 of three counts of complicity to commit aggravated murder.

Judge Ruth Ann Franks sentenced him June 27 to consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole. Goldy Thompson was acquitted by a jury of similar charges in July.

Assistant County Prosecutor Jevne Meader and former Assistant County Prosecutor Jeremy Santoro testified yesterday about how, shortly after Kuch testified in Goldy Thompson's trial, they realized that two DVDs had not been given to Mr. Griffith during Stoney Thompson's earlier trial. The two testified that they immediately notified Mr. Griffith.

In response to Mr. Griffith's argument, Assistant County Prosecutor Dave Cooper said the omission was "a mistake in the earlier trial; we have never denied that." But he said Mr. Griffith was able to cross-examine the witness effectively.

Mr. Cooper argued that the defense had all the information in other forms, except the issue of time discrepancies.

Judge Yarbrough said he will take the matter under advisement and release a decision.

Contact Erica Blake at:

eblake@theblade.com

or 419-213-2134.



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