A jury of seven women and five men is now deliberating criminal charges against Dayton area contractor Steve Rauch and his businesses.
Judge Timothy O’Connell gave the jury the case after nearly two hours of combined closing arguments today by the defense and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
The jury heard more than two days of testimony by witnesses, none of whom were offered by the defense.
“Direct evidence and circumstantial evidence are to be considered equally,” O’Connell said to the jury.
He also said the jury should “consider the credibility of the witnesses” and it will have the ability to believe or not believe all witnesses.
Rauch, 64, of Germantown faces two counts of illegal open dumping of solid waste, and one count of operating a solid waste faculty without a license.
SRI Inc. is charged with one count each of illegal open dumping of solid waste, illegally operating a solid waste facility without a license, and violating demolition and debris rules.
Rauch Trucking is charged with illegal open dumping of solid waste.
In its closing statements, a defense attorney for Rauch told the jury there are too many questions to convict his client.
He said the state didn’t prove Rauch or his businesses are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
“Folks, they’re not even close,” Ralph Kohnen told the jury.
Kohnen also told the jury
“We don’t have the burden here. We don’t have the burden on anything.”
He said the state did not provide any evidence Rauch told anyone to bury mattresses at the West Carrollton site.
Kohnen also said there’s no proof that Rauch told anyone to bury solid waste at SRI.
The state’s evidence is “weak, circumstantial….and confusing.”
Egbert said Rauch “did nothing…..he tolerated” illegal dumping at the West Carrollton land and at the SRI landfill.
Kenneth Egbert of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office told the jury “the evidence is overwhelming” that Rauch and his two businesses should be found “guilty on all counts.”
This week, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy O’Connell dismissed several charges against Rauch and his firms, court records show.
The attorney general’s office asked on Monday to dismiss two charges against Rauch, two counts against SRI Inc. and the lone charge against Bearcreek Farms Inc.
Bearcreek was indicted on operating a solid waste facility without a license.
Rauch was indicted on five felony counts, including three open dumping and burning, and two counts operating a solid-waste facility without a license.
The state asked to drop one charge in each of the different categories, records show.
SRI was indicted on five counts of unlawfully and recklessly disposing of solid wastes by open dumping not authorized, court records show.
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