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Moore getting new lawyers for murder retrial

YOUNGSTOWN — In the nine weeks since a jury found Robert L. Moore not guilty June 2 of aggravated murder but unable to decide on murder in the 2009 disappearance and presumed murder of 16-year-old Glenna White of Alliance, he has had four attorneys.

His attorney during the trial was Max Haupt of Alliance, who advised Judge Maureen Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court June 22 that Moore was no longer retaining him to represent Moore in the second trial, now scheduled for Jan. 17. Moore, 52, of Alliance, remains in the Mahoning County jail and will be retried on the remaining murder charge.

When Haupt left the case, Sweeney appointed Mark Lavelle to represent Moore. On July 13, attorney Damian Billak filed a notice with the court that he would also be representing Moore.

But on July 29, Billak filed a motion asking to withdraw from the case, and attorney Lou DeFabio filed notice that he would be representing Moore, leaving Lavelle and DeFabio as Moore’s attorneys.

At a pretrial hearing last month, Sweeney set the new trial date for Jan. 17 and another pretrial hearing for Oct. 25.

White was visiting a home on Alden Avenue in Smith Township when she left late June 2, 2009, with Moore. This was after White told others in the home that Moore had touched her inappropriately or tried to rape her, according to court documents. Moore’s girlfriend lived at the home.

Moore returned an hour or so later with blood and mud on his clothing. White was not with him, and prosecutors believe Moore was the last person to see her alive.

The trial was held in Mahoning County because Alden Avenue is in Mahoning County, but White’s home was actually near Alliance in Stark County. Because of her poor home life, however, she was staying mostly at a friend’s house near Alliance in the months before her death, a witness testified.

The locations mentioned in the trial were throughout the Alliance area, which straddles several county, township and city boundaries. The investigator who brought the case to Mahoning County prosecutors after getting a 2020 tip about the White case is Ed Kennedy of the Portage County Sheriff’s Office. Portage and Columbiana counties also are close to the locations involved in the case.

The case could have been tried in Mahoning or Stark County, because various aspects of the case took place in both counties, according to prosecutors.

The jury deliberated about two days after about a week of testimony before Sweeney read the not guilty and hung-jury results.

Moore was handcuffed and taken back to the county jail after the results were read. He’s still being held on $1 million bond.

Tears welled in the eyes of Sarah Raymond, Glenna’s aunt, as she spoke with three assistant prosecutors after Sweeney read the jury results.

When asked about her reaction later, she said: “I’m grateful we are at this point (having finished the trial) and able to move on, and try to try it again and see how everything goes.”

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