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Murder trial put off until spring

LISBON — Kevin Kirby, the 45-year-old Lisbon man accused of murdering Melinda Todd in 2012, has his trial postponed until next April in Common Pleas Court on Thursday.

Judge Megan Bickerton voiced her frustration with having to change the Dec. 8 jury trial after Kirby’s defense attorneys filed a motion for a continuance.

The motion claimed the defense had just received an FBI lab report from the prosecutor’s office, which involved scientific analysis of a hair found at the scene. The defense counsel requested additional time to have their own analysis conducted of that evidence.

Additionally, the motion noted they recently became aware of another person who had claimed he was the one responsible for the murder of Todd. They asked for more time to investigate if the man’s claims were accurate.

Finally, the motion noted the difficulties in providing a fair trial for Kirby during the pandemic.

Bickerton questioned any allegations the motion seemed to imply about the prosecutor’s office withholding any evidence from defense attorneys James Wise and Kelly Linger. Wise said the purpose of the motion was not to cast blame. It was noted the first analysis of the hair by BCI had not been conclusive and the FBI lab report was new information.

Bickerton suggested creating a timeline for the attorneys to follow on both sides so there are no further changes. She said she would give the defense counsel 30 days to determine who they wanted to analyze the materials and other deadlines could be set for shared information such as witness lists.

A final status conference was set for March 19 and the jury trial is now scheduled for April 20.

Kirby is charged with two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of tampering with evidence for the beating death of Todd and the attempted murder of her young grandson. He was indicted by the grand jury on the charges in October 2019. The aggravated murder charges are unclassified felonies, which could lead to a 15 years to life in prison on each.

Todd’s death on Dec. 3, 2012 in her state Route 45 home in Salem Township was ruled a homicide. Her 5-year-old grandson survived his injuries, which included severe head injuries leading to multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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