Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Trial postponed for polygraph
Prosecutors have an
additional 90 days to bring the defendant to trial.
WARREN A murder and rape trial that had been scheduled to start Monday on a 13-year-old cold case has been postponed so the defendant can take a polygraph test.
William K. Gunther Jr., 36, whose last known address was on Old Oak Drive in Cortland, has agreed to take a type of lie detector test that can be used in court, in an attempt to prove his innocence, according to records from Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.
This week, Gunther waived his right to have his trial heard within the required amount of time after his arrest to allow him to take the lie-detector test. Gunther agreed to give the state an additional 90 days to hold his trial.
Gunther was indicted in February on charges of murder with a firearm specification and rape. He has been in Trumbull County Jail since then in lieu of $500,000 bond. Police arrested Gunther in Miami and brought him to Trumbull County after a national database matched his DNA with that recovered from the body of Priscilla I. Code, 48, of Warren, after her death Jan. 15, 1994.
Gunther's DNA sample was obtained while he was incarcerated in the Ohio prison system from Aug. 6, 1998, to April 2, 2004, on a felonious-assault conviction. All people who have been convicted of a felony after July 1, 1990, are required to provide a blood or cheek-cell sample for DNA analysis. The national DNA database has been operational since 1998.
Chris Becker, an assistant county prosecutor, said the DNA sample match was discovered more than two years ago, and authorities began building a case against Gunther then.
Warren police found Code's partially clothed body in the middle of Peerless Street near Kenworthy Avenue near present-day Western Reserve Middle School just after midnight Jan. 15, 1994. She had been shot multiple times and raped. Code, a worker at Delphi Packard, was the mother of three.
Judge W. Wyatt McKay set a pretrial hearing for 9 a.m. Nov. 21 but did not set a new trial date.