On June 8, 2018, a Delaware County, Ohio jury returned a verdict that finally put an end to a 13 year old criminal case against a former resident.
Our client, Wesley Paul Hadsell, 39, was found not guilty on all four felony charges brought against him dating back to 2005, including two counts of rape, kidnapping and felonious assault. Hadsell was found guilty of a lesser, misdemeanor charge of assault and sentenced to 6 months in jail, which was less than his time served.
Apart from being 13 years in the making, the Hadsell case and its court proceedings were nothing short of unusual.
Hadsell was originally indicted on the charges in 2005, but that case was dismissed after Hadsell was indicted on federal charges elsewhere. He was re-indicted on the Delaware charges in 2016.
“We’re pleased with the result from the jury,” said Attorney Brian Jones. “It’s unfortunate that the county would spend county money on something that was dismissed once. Fortunately, justice prevailed.”
In our Internet-age, we have to fight to ensure that the jury isn’t poisoned by outside information. Hadsell’s criminal history and his presence in local media became a cause for concern in ensuring Hadsell received a fair trial. The legal team at The Law Office of Brian Jones, which included visiting co-counsel, attorney Maxwell Hiltner (who practices in the Akron-Canton area, and also a fellow Trial Lawyers College graduate), protected that right, verifying that the jurors selected had not been exposed to information about the case that may make them impartial in considering only the evidence that was presented at trial. In this case, one prospective juror admitted to using Google on his phone to search the case when he read our client’s name on the docket that morning.
The trial was to be presided over by Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Everett H. Krueger, but retired Champaign County Judge Roger B. Wilson in Krueger’s stead. Judge Wilson has a particular way of presiding over his courtroom which varies quite a bit from most other judges, but having tried cases in Judge Wilson’s courtroom before, The Law Office of Brian Jones was prepared.
The majority of physical evidence and recorded statements gathered by the Delaware Police Department in 2005 had been destroyed, leaving both the prosecution and the defense to make their case predominately with witness testimony, 13 years after the date of the alleged incident. Other evidence was not permitted to be disclosed in front of the jury, including the fact that the alleged victim was having an extramarital affair, and had intercourse with her lover within 24 hours of the alleged incident.
Additionally, Jones and Hiltner revealed conflicting timelines, inconsistencies and presented evidence that brought into question the credibility of the accuser during cross-examination – a key facet in the victory for the defense.
Hadsell’s defense disclosed certain holes in the investigation by the Delaware Police Department, including collecting bedsheets from the wrong bedroom at the crime scene, and failing to interview certain key witnesses close to the parties involved in order to fully investigate the truth. Additionally, the defense uncovered that most of the DPD witnesses did not remember critical details of the case. When you’re relying on witness testimony, it’s rather important that they can remember the details of the case in question.
At the end of the proceedings, which lasted a total of four days, the jury determined that the State had not met their burden of proof in finding Hadsell guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and returned a verdict that, in essence, brought to end a 13 year old charge.
Our client was potentially facing 30 years in jail, but he was found not guilty on all four felony charges, and the case concluded with the sentence of time served - a victory for our client and one more for The Law Office of Brian Jones.