The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 10, 2012

Shoes tell story during Madison murder trial

By MARGIE NETZEL - mnetzel@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

PAINESVILLE — Looking bored and disinterested in the legal proceedings in front of her, Danna Weimer, on trial for murder, glanced up only occasionally as state’s witnesses testified against her Tuesday.

Witnesses held up bottles of medication, needles tainted with heroin residue and countless items stolen from 77-year-old murder victim Eleanor Robertson’s Madison Township home, but only one thing seemed to stir Weimer’s emotions.

The sight of her son, Zachary Weimer’s white, high-top tennis shoes, their soles stained black with the forensic examiner’s ink, brought Danna Weimer to tears and sobs.

Lake County Crime Laboratory criminalist David Green held up the white tennis shoes for the jury, pointing out the size, tread pattern and shape of the soles.

“We look for certain characteristics in the shoes that are unique,” he said. “If you walk with a certain gait, you make marks in the shoes by the way you wear them.”

Green said he was able to compare the soles of Zachary Weimer’s shoes to four partial footwear impressions left on the top of Robertson’s dust ruffle after her mattress had been moved to cover her body.

“These shoes absolutely match the size, shape and wear pattern we see on the impressions left at the scene,” he said.

Madison Police Lt. Tim Brown gave lengthy testimony, identifying and describing 50 bags of evidence taken from Danna Weimer’s car, including baseball cards, decorative items, jewelry and a pair of gloves.

Lake County Crime Laboratory forensic chemist Kimberly Krall said she positively identified many bottles and plastic bags of pills and five needles with syringes taken from Danna Weimer’s Austinburg Township home. She also tested a straw with Tramadol residue and a smoking pipe with cocaine reside, she testified.

Prosecutors have not yet read the contents of jailhouse correspondence between Danna and Zachary Weimer nor the text messages and contents of voicemail messages between the two. The letters allegedly contain proof of Danna Weimer’s involvement in the June 13 murder and burglary, witness Richard Gould testified last week.

Gould was a jail mate of Zachary Weimer’s and provided the letters to investigators in July.

The prosecutor plan to rest its case today.