Trial in stabbing death delayed
LISBON – Next week’s scheduled jury trial for Robert Harmony, accused in the stabbing death of 23-year-old Gerrod S. Lanzendorfer, was postponed until April after a motion for continuance was filed Wednesday by one of Harmony’s attorneys.
Harmony, 45, signed a waiver of time and the trial, which was initially scheduled to start Tuesday, was postponed until April 29.
However, the decision was not without objection by Assistant County Prosecutor John Gamble. He pointed out at the last scheduled hearing on Jan. 17, he had spoken to defense attorney Fred Naragon about whether there would be a motion filed and later sent a message to defense attorney Jennifer Gorby about prosecutors not receiving a motion for discovery.
They both seemed ready to go forward, Gamble indicated, so he and Assistant County Prosecutor Tammie Riley Jones prepared for trial.
Gamble said they were in the process of interviewing six witnesses at the Salem police station Wednesday when they learned a motion was filed.
“I find this all troubling,” Gamble said. “Counsel was aware of the efforts attorney Jones and I were making, preparing for the case while balancing our busy dockets. If this case is set for trial on Tuesday, we will be ready to present it to the jury.”
Naragon explained to Judge C. Ashley Pike the reason for the motion being filed now was a decision made by Harmony. Initially, Naragon said Harmony did not wish to waive his right to a speedy trial. However, Naragon said, Harmony has realized with the charge being such a serious matter he would like his attorneys to have more time to prepare for the jury trial.
Naragon also did not rule out a possibility that once he looks at all the evidence he may want to file an additional motion, such as a motion to suppress.
Gamble said he and Jones have put together about 300 documents of evidential materials and are still expecting a post-autopsy report from the Summit County coroner’s office.
Harmony is charged with murder in the death of Lanzendorfer, a bouncer at the Side Door tavern who reportedly was found with 14 stab wounds in the street on South Broadway in Salem in the early morning hours of Nov. 13. Detective David Talbert testified at a preliminary hearing that the coroner’s office believes the one closest to Lanzandorfer’s heart was the fatal wound.
Harmony faces between 15 years and life in prison if convicted.