Sudderth case begins this week

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 3, 2007

Jury selection will begin Tuesday morning in the trial of Isaiah Sudderth.

The 25-year-old Columbus man is charged with murder in connection with the June shooting death of Damon Pringle, 31, of Ironton. This is one of three murder trials that have been or will be decided this year in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court in which self- defense is being used as grounds for the shooting.

Pringle was shot several times at the South Eighth Street home of Kimberly Sammons, who is Sudderth’s girlfriend. Sudderth has contended through his attorneys he shot Pringle after Pringle came to the Sammons’ home uninvited and assaulted him. Authorities have contended Sudderth is not entitled to claim self-defense because under Ohio law he had an obligation to retreat from, rather than shoot, Pringle and did not do so.

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If he is convicted of the murder charge, Sudderth faces a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 18 years. Because a gun was used in the crime, an additional three years would be added to that.

Sudderth has remained in the Lawrence County Jail since his arrest.

This is the second murder trial in Lawrence County this year. In May, Megan Goff, of Hamilton Township, was found guilty of murder in the 2006 death of her husband, Bill Goff.

Another murder trial is set for December. William “Bill” Cooper, of Upper Township, will stand trial a second time in the death of Scott Marcum and the injury of Orlan Harper Jr.

The Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals ordered a new trial earlier this summer. The appellate judges ruled that although there was enough evidence presented to convict Cooper, the jury should have been given more specific instructions on the issue of self defense.