November 26, 2014

Elyria
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Judge: Cold-case trial should move forward

Bobbie New, left, listens during a hearing in Judge John Miraldi’s court last month in the Lorain County Justice Center. STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

Bobbie New, left, listens during a hearing in Judge John Miraldi’s court last month in the Lorain County Justice Center. STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Lorain County Common Pleas Judge John Miraldi has rejected a request to reconsider his decision allowing the murder case against accused killer Bobbie New to go forward.

In a decision handed down Thursday, Miraldi ruled that based on his analysis of the law and a 9th District Court of Appeals decision that the delay in bringing the charge against New was justified, even if he did suffer some prejudice based on the amount of time that had passed.

New was indicted in 2011 for murder in connection with the killing of Dorothy Spencer.

Spencer, 45, was found beaten and shot in her Camden Township trailer March 14, 1976, and died from her injuries three days later.

Although New was considered a suspect, he refused to talk to police and the case went cold until 2010 when his nephew, Perry Strader, contacted county sheriff’s detectives. Strader told deputies that he and his parents had helped cover up New’s involvement in the killing in 1976.

New has insisted he was in a bar when Spencer was attacked.

County Common Pleas Judge James Burge ruled in 2012 that the delay in bringing charges against New meant he couldn’t receive a fair trial, a decision the appeals court reversed.

Burge said when he dismissed the case against New that he did so even though he believed New as guilty. He later removed himself from the case because of his comments about New’s culpability in the slaying.