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Butler County, Ohio – Common Pleas Judge Andrew Nastoff ruled in favor of the prosecution on Monday, allowing the eight witnesses in Calvin McKelton’s case to remain a secret. The defendant’s lawyers would only get to know the eight witnesses on the start of the trial next week. This decision was made after discussing the matter with the lawyers in the case.
There were originally eleven secret witnesses but three were removed by the prosecution.
Greg Howard, lawyer for the defense said that he would like to know the names of the secret witnesses, since the information of the witness might help the case of the defense.
Judge Nastoff said that the defense must bring the dispute about the witnesses to Judge Michael J. Sage, the trial judge who would be handling the case. Lawyers for the defense raised this issue on the grounds that the prosecutors abused their discretion by keeping the names of the witnesses a secret, pursuant to a new section in an Ohio law which took effect in July.
Nastoff agreed with the prosecution in keeping the names of the witnesses secret until trial starts. He also said that this was not only applied in view of the Criminal Rule 16 of Ohio, but prosecutors always have had the ability to keep the names of the witnesses a secret.