Wed, Apr. 18, 2007
Both rulings were based on a finding that the original lawyers for Resh and Gondor failed to use many pieces of potentially exonerating evidence at their first trials in 1990.
The two men, friends since the fourth grade at Mantua Center Elementary School, spent more than 16 years in prison before being freed on bond in January following the high court decision.
Troy Busta, the first man charged and convicted of the crime, was the state's star witness -- and its only eyewitness to the murder -- at both trials.
Common Pleas Judge Laurie J. Pittman, who handled Resh's retrial, ordered everybody in the courtroom to remain in their seats for five minutes after the verdicts were read, giving the seven men and five women on the jury time to collect their belongings and leave the courthouse.
The jury foreman and the other members of the panel could not be reached for comment before they left, but several openly wept in the jury box as Resh was hugged by his defense lawyers in the moments after the verdicts.
Family members of Resh, including his father, Guy, and his mother, Eleanor, also wept before embracing their son as he talked to television crews and reporters about the verdicts.
Asked what he thought the jury's decision was based on, Resh said: ``I think what swayed them was that they ultimately didn't believe Troy Busta.''
The victim's mother, Ruth Randlett of Garrettsville, and other friends and family members left the courtroom before they could be reached for comment. Earlier, Randlett twice declined to comment on the case.