2011-06-22 / Public Record

Hill Murder Case Goes To Ohio Supreme Court

Gregory VanGuten, attorney for Walter E. Zimbeck, 43, Strawberry Plains, Tenn., has filed an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court involving the case of Lori Ann Hill.

Hill was a 14-year-old Swanton girl who disappeared the night of Oct. 25, 1985. Her body was found four days later.

After a grand jury refused to return an indictment in 1988, the case went cold until 2009, when the Toledo Police Cold Case Unit took a second look at the evidence.

Based on the findings of the second investigation, Zimbeck was indicted on charges of murder and aggravated murder in July 2009.

Roughly six months later, James Barber, Fulton County Common Pleas Court judge, dismissed the charges.

Scott Haselman, Fulton County prosecuting attorney, filed an appeal of Barber’s decision.

The Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals issued a decision on May 6, reinstating the case against Zimbeck and ordering it back to the Fulton County court for further action.

VanGunten filed documents to appeal the appellate court decision with the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 15.

The Supreme Court has not yet considered the case.

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