Updated Tue, Jul 30, 2013 10:30 am
The Fourth District Court of Appeals has upheld the decision of the jury that found William Inman II guilty of killing his wife and denied his request for a new trial Monday.
Inman was found guilty of aggravated murder, murder, kidnapping, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse by a jury in June 2012 for kidnapping and killing his wife Summer Inman and disposing of her body behind the Faith Tabernacle Church in Nelsonville.
He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Inman committed the act with his parents, William and Sandra Inman. William Inman was convicted of the same charges by a jury and Sandra Inman pleaded guilty to similar charges.
Fourth District Court of Appeals Judge Marie Hoover denied the younger Inman’s appeal asking for a new trial on July 23. Inman requested a new trial because of the “surprise testimony” of John Anthony Matheny and the prosecution not disclosing to the court Matheny’s prior felony conviction of gross sexual imposition.
In his statement to police, Matheny said he saw the car the Inmans were found to be driving the night of the kidnapping and murder. In that statement, Matheny said he saw a blond woman and two male passengers in the car. In his testimony, Matheny identified one of the men as Inman. He said he had seen Inman’s picture in media reports and recognized him.
Hoover ruled that because the identification information came up during trial preparations, it was not required for the state to tell the defense, according to court documents. Inman’s defense said they were “completely taken by surprise when Matheny took the stand at trial and identified [Inman].”
Hoover acknowledged that Matheny’s felony conviction was not disclosed in pretrial discovery, but ruled it was not grounds for a mistrial.
“Contrary to [Inman’s] argument, Matheny’s testimony was not so critical that without it, the state could not obtain a guilty verdict. Thus even if [Inman] was successful in impeaching the credibility of Matheny by use of the prior felony conviction, that would not be sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome,” Hoover wrote in the ruling.
Hoover said the state provided enough other witnesses who saw the Inman family and their car the night of the incident.
Inman is currently serving his sentence at Ross Correctional Institute in Chillicothe.
Inman’s father, William Inman, was found guilty of the same charges and also sentenced to life in prison. He is being housed at Madison Correctional Institution in London. Sandra was sentence to 15 years to life in prison after pleading guilty. She is being held at Dayton Correctional Institution.