Ohio court: new trial in murder over hearsay issue

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of killing a drug dealer, ruling that a detective shouldn’t have been allowed to testify about something an accomplice told him.

The court said Thursday the testimony of a Canton, Mich., police detective about statements by the accomplice violated the defendant’s constitutional right to confront witnesses.

At issue is the aggravated murder conviction of Thomas Ricks for the 2008 killing of Calvin Harper in Sandusky.

The court’s decision says Detective Michael Steckel testified that accomplice Aaron Gipson of Michigan helped identify Ricks as the man who killed Harper.

Ricks is serving a life sentence for aggravated murder and drug trafficking, while Gipson is serving 30 years to life for aggravated murder complicity and drug trafficking complicity.

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