The second murder trial of Denny Ross in the 1999 slaying of Hannah Hill has been moved back to March 5, authorities said Monday.
The trial had been scheduled to begin on the Monday after Thanksgiving, but Summit County Common Pleas Judge Judy Hunter said both sides have agreed there is too much evidence and potential witness testimony to review.
The latest court filings by the defense show there are more than 100 potential witnesses.
In preparation for the second trial, special prosecutors from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office filed a new Summit County indictment against Ross, 32, on July 21.
He now faces two counts of murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.
One of the murder charges accuses Ross of committing the crime in the course of a felonious assault.
Ross went to trial the first time, facing aggravated murder and the death penalty, in October 2000. The foundation for the capital case was the theory that the crime was committed during a rape and kidnapping.
But that trial ended in chaos when the trial judge, Jane Bond, declared a mistrial and sent the jury home amid deliberations, after the panel had already voted to acquit Ross of aggravated murder, murder and rape.
Bond ordered the mistrial based on purported misconduct by one juror.
The decision sent the case into a protracted legal battle in state and federal appeals courts, until the Ohio Supreme Court ruled int December that prosecutors could no longer seek the death penalty.
Hill, an 18-year-old from the Kenmore area of Akron, was a friend of Ross and had visited him at his Canton Road apartment in Springfield Township on the night she disappeared, May 19, 1999.
One week later, her body was found in the trunk of her car in the middle of a street in the Ellet neighborhood after her mother had reported her missing.
Ross is in a state penitentiary at Trumbull Correctional Institution.
He is serving a 25-year sentence for the attempted murder and rape of another Akron woman while he was free on bond during the long appellate process following his first murder trial in the Hill case.
Ed Meyer can be reached at 330-996-3784 or at email@example.com.