| Akron Beacon Journal
Two new issues have come up in Erica Stefanko’s murder case since she was convicted last month.
Kerry O’Brien, one of Stefanko’s attorneys, requested a furlough for his client to be released from jail to spend time with her family around the holidays. He said Stefanko would wear a GPS monitoring bracelet and check in daily with the probation department.
Prosecutors, though, and Diva Edel, the attorney for the teenage daughter of Biggs and Chad Cobb — the man who killed Biggs — opposed the request. Prosecutors said Stefanko was a flight risk, and Edel said her client “would not feel safe” if Stefanko was released from jail.
O’Brien also recently asked Jones to declare a mistrial because of errors he said were made in the first trial. This would mean Stefanko would get a new trial.
The attorney also pointed to concerns about jurors feeling pressured to reach a decision because of the looming Thanksgiving holiday and worry about the rising COVID-19 cases in Summit County.
O’Brien didn’t return phone messages seeking comment.
Requesting a mistrial before a defendant is sentenced is an unusual step, though these types of concerns often are raised in appeals after a person is sentenced.
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 330-996-3705 and on Twitter: @swarsmithabj.