Archbold, OH

Hung Jury In 1985 Hill Murder Trial

A mistrial was declared Friday, July 6, in the murder trial of Walter Zimbeck, 45, Strawberry Plains, Tenn.

Zimbeck was indicted on murder charges in July 2009, in the 1985 beating death of Lori Ann Hill, 14, Swanton.

After the original investigation, the case went cold until reopened by the Toledo Police Cold Case unit in 2008.

The charges against Zimbeck were first dismissed at the county level, reinstated by the court of appeals, and then went to the Ohio Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court upheld the appeals court ruling and returned the case to Fulton County for further action.

Luke Jones, assistant Fulton County prosecuting attorney, said jury selection began June 18. Closing arguments were Tuesday, July 3.

The jury began deliberating Tuesday, but announced it was hopelessly deadlocked Friday.

When a mistrial is declared, “it’s as if a trial never happened, and the case can be retried,” Jones said.

A pretrial conference is set for Friday, July 13, “where we will determine the course of the rest of the case,” he said.

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