The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 21, 2012

Son guilty like mom of murder

Guilty on all charges in murder of Madison woman

By MARGIE NETZEL - mnetzel@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

PAINESVILLE —  Zachary Weimer was found guilty of all charges against him Tuesday in Lake County Common Pleas court, charges — including murder — that could mean life in prison for the 23-year-old Geneva resident.

Weimer sat expressionless, chewing gum and looking straight ahead as the jury foreman reported the verdict just after 9:30 a.m.

His $1 million bond revoked by Judge Vincent Culotta, Weimer will undergo a psychiatric evaluation as part of his pre- sentencing investigation, as requested by Lake County assistant public defender James Mathews.

The results of the pre- sentencing report will not impact Weimer’s sentencing, as mandatory prison sentences, which could keep Weimer behind bars for life, will be enforced, Lake County assistant prosecuting attorney Karen Kowall said.

Weimer is guilty of stabbing 77-year-old Madison Township resident Eleanor Robertson 94 times on June 13, dousing her body with chemicals and robbing her Madison Township house of valuables and driving off in the victim’s mini van.

The jury heard five days of testimony and legal arguments in the case. Weimer, 23, of Geneva is guilty of aggravated murder, murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, tampering with evidence, theft of a vehicle, theft from an elderly person, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and two counts of receiving stolen property, court records show.

He will be sentenced on Dec. 17, court records show.   

Weimer’s mother, co-defendant Danna Weimer of Austinburg Township, was convicted of 17 charges for her complicity in the crime last month. She will be sentenced by Judge Eugene Lucci on Dec. 12.

Kowall called the verdict “gratifying.”

“It is very gratifying to see that the jury agreed with the investigation, because it was a largely circumstantial case, and these kinds of case really can go either way,” she said.

Kowall said the exhaustive criminal investigation and prosecution in the mother-and-son trials was the work of a team of police officers, forensic specialists and prosecutors.