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10-07-02: Jury selection begins for Anderson trial
Auglaize murder case relocates to Defiance

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 convicted.
    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 case.
    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 being given.
    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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