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Published: Monday, 5/4/2009

Toledoan gets new trial date after mistrial

BLADE STAFF

A June 29 trial date was set in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Monday for Dana Todd Rister, whose murder trial was declared a mistrial April 30 as a result of numerous problems with one of the state's exhibits.

Rister, 42, of 2223 Laurel Valley Drive, is charged with two alternate counts of murder for the death of Debra Pioterek, 57, whose body was found June 26 in a shed near the shuttered Southwyck Mall. She had been strangled.

Part of the evidence in Rister's trial was a recorded interview with California's San Bernadino County Sheriff's detectives, who spoke to him after his Sept. 15 arrest. The DVD stopped numerous times while it was being played for jurors - creating concern that jurors would not have a reliable exhibit to view during deliberations.

A mistrial was declared by Judge Gene Zmuda at the request of the defense during the third day of the trial.



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