New evidence in Wilson trial cancels Wednesday testimony

LIMA — A defense motion for a mistrial in the trial of Eric Wilson was overruled Wednesday morning, but jurors were ultimately sent home for the day after some newly-unearthed state evidence was brought to light. Outside the presence of jurors, defense attorney Zachary Maisch protested on the record that […]

LIMA — A defense motion for a mistrial in the trial of Eric Wilson was overruled Wednesday morning, but jurors were ultimately sent home for the day after some newly-unearthed state evidence was brought to light.

Outside the presence of jurors, defense attorney Zachary Maisch protested on the record that 12 video files turned over by prosecutors Tuesday morning should be ruled inadmissible at trial. Maisch said the new evidence “changes how I would have prepared for this trial.” He described the state’s last-minute tactics as “trial by surprise.”

Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Miller said a “simple misunderstanding” about Wilson’s nickname led to the late discovery of evidence by Lima Police Department Detective Steve Stechschulte. Judge Terri Kohlrieser called Stechschulte to the witness stand to explain further.

The detective said that throughout the case against Wilson, several persons interviewed told officers that Wilson’s nickname was “Odie” and that he was featured in gang videos that could be found online. An internet search of videos turned up none that prominently featured Wilson.

Stechschulte testified that he learned Monday night from an anonymous source that Wilson was actually known as “Oaty” or “Oaty-G.” An internet search under that name revealed rap videos on YouTube featuring Wilson and co-defendant Jamaree Allen. Those videos were downloaded, copied and provided to Maisch on Tuesday morning, Stechschulte said.

Miller said a mistrial was “not warranted” but did agree that Maisch should be permitted additional time to review the new evidence with his client. Kohlrieser set aside the remainder of the day on Wednesday for that to occur.

An online search reveals several videos — some posted as many as eight years ago — that feature Wilson in rap music performances under the name Oaty-G. In one video he is holding a shotgun, pointing it at the camera and pulling the trigger. In another, he raps about violence, killing and shootings.

Jurors could get to hear and see those videos as the trial moves forward.

Wilson, 26, is on trial on eight felony charges related to a shooting in June 2019 following the funeral for 19-year-old Christian Laws, who had been murdered a few days earlier. Wilson is charged for participating in a criminal gang with a firearm specification, two counts of felonious assault with a firearm and criminal gang activity specifications, two counts of discharging a firearm into a habitation, carrying a concealed weapon, improper handling of firearms in a motor vehicle and having weapons under disability.

Testimony is expected to resume Thursday morning in the trial of Eric Wilson, charged with participating in gang-related activities and other felony charges. The trial was abruptly halted Wednesday after new evidence in the case came to light.

Defense attorney Zach Maisch confers with Eric Wilson prior to the start of proceedings on Wednesday in Wilson’s jury trial.

Lima Police Department Detective Steve Stechschulte testified Wednesday about new evidence that was discovered late Monday night in the case of Eric Wilson about videos including Wilson. That revelation caused testimony in the jury trial to be halted for the day.

Eric Wilson, 26, of Lima, is charged with participating in a criminal gang with a firearm specification, two counts of felonious assault with a firearm and criminal gang activity specifications, two counts of discharging a firearm into a habitation, carrying a concealed weapon, improper handling of firearms in a motor vehicle and having weapons under disability.

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