Judge considers motions from Howland murder suspect’s attorneys

Nasser Hamad's attorneys asked a judge to remove the death-penalty option and move the trial

Nasser Hamad was joined by two additional attorneys at the defense table -- Robert Dixon and David Doughten, both criminal defense attorneys from Cleveland.


WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A hearing was held Friday morning in the capital murder case against Nasser Hamad.

Hamad pleaded not guilty to killing two people and hurting three others at his Howland home in February.

His lawyers filed nine motions with the court since June 30. They’re asking for a change of venue, to preclude death as a possible penalty, to dismiss the capital components of the case and for the court to declare the state’s placing the burden of proof for self-defense on the defendant unconstitutional.

Prosecutors have responded to those motions and filed a few of their own, including one that asks the court to compel defense investigators to turn over and advise counsel of all information aquired during their investigation.

Judge Ronald Rice hasn’t ruled on those motions yet, but he said there will be an order restricting family members from wearing shirts that show support for either side. He is also restricting the areas in which people can hold signs outside of the courthouse during Hamad’s trial.

Police say Hamad was fighting with people outside his home and business on State Route 46 when the shootings happened. Prosecutors said he provoked the victims to come over to his house on social media.

Hamad maintains that he was defending himself and that the victims had been harassing him before the shooting.

Hamad’s trial is set for October.

Until then, a final pretrial has been scheduled for August 31 with another hearing in September for any other pending matters.

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