Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters commented on the recent Sixth Circuit case reversing and remanding the case with instructions to grant a writ of habeas corpus.
In 2007 Carusone was convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years – life for the murder of Derek Rininger after an argument over money. Carusone appealed his conviction in state court and was denied relief. He appealed to the United States District Court with the same result. On appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, his case was reversed and remanded to the United States District Court. It is expected that the District Court will grant Carusone a conditional writ of Habeas Corpus and set a time frame within which the state could retry him.
At trial, the state produced 3 pages of medical records that the Deputy Hamilton County Coroner relied on in determining the victim’s cause of death. Later, the defendant’s mother discovered additional medical records. Based on these newly discovered records, Carusone has been seeking a new trial since June, 2012.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters commented, “The Enquirer’s headline is misleading. The Sixth Circuit reversed because the First District Court of Appeals and the Federal District Court applied an incorrect legal standard not because the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office willfully withheld records.
The State provided the defense the medical records that the Hamilton County Deputy Coroner relied upon to determine the victim’s cause of death. The fact that the records did not include an X-Ray report, ER Physician Summary or the full emergency medical run report was always understood to have been inadvertent and not willful. That is why the litigation of this issue over the past eight years has focused solely upon the significance of the records to Carusone’s murder conviction.
Two trial courts, a state appellate court and a federal district court reviewed the records and concluded they were legally insignificant. Carusone’s jury got it right – – Carusone remains responsible for the foreseeable consequences of his knife attack on Mr. Rininger. For this reason, when Carusone is retried, I fully expect that he will be found guilty of murder again.”