YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The third time was not the charm Tuesday in attempts to pick a jury in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court in the retrial of a man accused of murdering a missing Smith Township teen in 2009.
Robert Moore, 52, was to go on trial before Judge Maureen Sweeney for the June 2009 death of Glenna Jean White, whose body has never been found.
Jury selection in Moore’s retrial was set in August, only to be halted by last-minute legal issues — that happened again Tuesday.
Jurors were in the courthouse waiting room to be summoned to the courtroom for selection, but they never got there.
Defense attorney Lou DeFabio asked the judge for transcripts from a Stark County grand jury that failed last week to indict a prosecution witness on a charge of felonious assault.
Assistant Prosecutor Mike Yacovone said the transcripts are needed to aid in Moore’s defense.
Grand jury transcripts are highly secretive, and it can be difficult to obtain them. To complicate matters, the judge in charge of the Stark County grand jury is not available this week.
Moore’s trial is now set for Nov. 13.
Jurors were to be selected last week and were in the courtroom when the proceedings were halted after a potential juror said in front of others that he should not be serving because he has a past felony conviction and he also made racist remarks.
In August, jury selection was halted before jurors even came to the courtroom in a dispute over an expert witness. The dispute was cleared up after a hearing before Judge Sweeney, allowing the trial to be rescheduled to last week.
Moore went on trial last year, but Judge Sweeney declared a mistrial in May 2022 after jurors could not decide his guilt. Prosecutors opted to try him again.
Moore was indicted in December 2021 by a grand jury after the case was reopened by the Portage County Drug Task Force and new evidence was found.
White was last seen alive on June 2, 2009, at an Alliance home where she had been drinking with several people, including Moore. Prosecutors said White claimed Moore tried to rape her and Moore angrily took her home. That was the last time White was seen alive. Her body has never been found.
When Moore returned, he was covered in mud and blood, according to witnesses. A witness also said that Moore claimed he was stopped at a stop sign in front of a bar when White jumped out of the car and three men from the bar jumped him and beat him up.
Moore also served 15 years on a manslaughter charge for the death of a woman in 1993 at Berlin Lake in Stark County. Moore’s previous defense attorney objected several times to allowing prosecutors to tell jurors about that case, saying it would prejudice juries against his client, but Judge Sweeney overruled each objection.
There were witnesses in the first trial in White’s death who also testified that they saw White alive after the time prosecutors claim she was killed.