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Accused killer's retrial set for August

Courtney Astolfi • May 7, 2015 at 12:29 PM


Re-trial dates have been set for a man accused of the 2008 shooting death of a Sandusky man.

Thomas Ricks, 29, will again have his day in court, after the Ohio Supreme Court determined hearsay testimony had been presented at his first trial in 2010 and sent the case back to Erie County for a second look.

On Monday, Ricks appeared in an Erie County courtroom to hash out scheduling details.

His second jury trial is now slated for Sept. 9, while his last opportunity to accept a plea will be Aug. 25.

Erie County prosecutors offered Ricks a deal earlier this year: plead guilty in exchange for a 30-to-life prison sentence

Ricks' attorney, Jeffry Kelleher, reiterated Monday that his client would not be accepting that deal.

In 2008, Ricks shot and killed Calvin Harper Jr. in his Sandusky home, the result of a drug deal gone bad.

Prosecutors said Aaron Gipson, of Detroit, hired Ricks for the kill so they could rob Harper of $20,000 in drug money.

During Ricks' 2010 trial, a police officer testified about a conversation he and Gipson had, which essentially identified Ricks as the man Gipson hired.

The Ohio Supreme Court, tasked with reviewing the case for a separate issue, then determined the police officer's testimony was an instance of hearsay, and sent the case back to Erie County for a re-trial.

Ricks was transferred from prison to the Erie County jail in November, following the Supreme Court's ruling. He remains there on $2 million bond.

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