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|10-07-02: Jury selection begins for
|Auglaize murder case relocates to Defiance
By SHELLEY GRIESHOP
The Daily Standard
DEFIANCE - The murder trial of Kimberly Anderson began this morning in
the Defiance County Courthouse after Auglaize County Common Pleas Judge Frederick Pepple
opted to grant defense's motion for change of venue.
Judge Pepple is the residing judge for the trial. Juror selection had
not yet started by 9:30 a.m. this morning, but 60 Defiance County prospective jurors
waited in the 40-seat courtroom. Only jurors were allowed in the standing-room only
courtroom this morning.
Opening statements by Andersonšs attorney, Alan Konop of Toledo, and
Auglaize County Prosecutor Ed Pierce will commence after 12 jurors and at least one
alternate is selected and agreed upon by both the defense and the prosecution.
Kimberly Anderson, 38, of rural Wapakoneta, is facing indictment
charges of aggravated murder, murder and voluntary manslaughter in the Sept. 2, 2001,
multiple shooting death of her estranged husband, Brent Anderson, a Celina attorney.
Kimberly Anderson has claimed she shot her 37-year-old husband in
self-defense in the home they once shared in rural Wapakoneta. The couple separated after
Brent Anderson filed for divorce in October 2000. The shooting reportedly occurred during
a domestic argument in an upstairs bedroom of the house.
Anderson, wearing a flowered dress and sweater this morning, faces a
maximum sentence of life in prison with parole after 20 years if convicted
on the most serious offense of aggravated murder. Each count of the indictment also
carries a gun specification that could tack on an additional three years in prison if
Konop filed the change of venue motion in April because he believed his
client would not get a fair trial in Auglaize County due to pretrial publicity of the
The announcement for the change of venue came as a surprise to many
after Pepple declined to give notice to the media until this morning, and did not reveal
the location of the move to members of Brent Anderson's family until Saturday.
Konop was notified of the move to Defiance on Friday. Judge Pepple
filed his order on the change of venue at 4:27 p.m. Friday, citing the high cost to
Auglaize County to seat enough jurors and the unlikelihood of finding an unbiased jury.
Attorneys had suggested bringing in 150 to 200 prospective jurors from Auglaize County,
which could have cost the county up to $10,000.
Family members and friends of both Kimberly and Brent Anderson gathered
early this morning near the common pleas courtroom in the Defiance County
Courthouse. Many of them will only hear closing statements at the end of the estimated
two- to three-week trial, due to a court ruling called "separation of
witnesses." The separation rule states that anyone who has been subpoenaed by either
the prosecution or the defense cannot be present in the courtroom while other testimony is
Konop's list of potential witnesses includes Kimberly Anderson's son
and daughter from a previous marriage to Dale Nester; a friend of Anderson's, Mike Oard of
Lima, and his two sons; her babysitter and her husband and their child, Trish, Wayne and
Kristin Nester; and Anderson's former divorce attorney, Ron Rimelspach.
Auglaize County Prosecutor Ed Piercešs list of witnesses also includes
Kimberly Anderson's son from a previous marriage; three of Brent Andersonšs brothers,
Kevin of Cincinnati, Monte of Lima, and Scott and his wife of Celina; Brent Andersonšs
sister, Pam of Connecticut; Kimberly Anderson's father, Joe Allen of Ada; Brent Anderson's
secretary, Shelly Folk of Celina; his former girlfriend, Jessica Cooper of Celina; his
divorce attorney, Camille Harlan of Piqua; Dale Nester; and Celina attorney Lou Schiavone.
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