BATAVIA, Ohio (Court TV) — The father accused of executing his three sons in the front yard appeared in court on Monday for a motions hearing, where the judge revealed there are more than 30 pending motions in the case.
Chad Doerman has pleaded not guilty to murdering his sons, ages 3, 4 and 7, despite his arrest while sitting next to a rifle and later allegedly admitting to police that he killed the children. Doerman faces a potential death sentence if convicted of the murders.
Doerman appeared at Monday’s hearing wearing a blue collared shirt and khaki pants, as Judge Richard Ferenc acknowledged from the bench that he had granted a defense motion to allow the defendant to appear in civilian clothes.
While Doerman was shackled in court, Ferenc appeared poised to grant a separate defense motion to allow him to appear in court unrestrained.
“I’ve been advised and I’ve so advised counsel that Mr. Doerman has not been disruptive in any fashion at the county jail, has not caused any problems. He’s been in my courtroom twice and has been very compliant, and that will weigh into the methods of restraints that I’ll consider at issue at this point in time.”
Ferenc reserved ruling on the issue, as well as the more than 30 other motions currently pending in the case. Among those motions discussed in court on Monday were requests by the defense to exclude some photographs from the trial. The defense acknowledged their motion was unspecific and may be premature, but said they wanted to “plant the fencepost in the capital crimes record.”
Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen told the Cincinnati Enquirer that among the motions filed by the defense was one he had never seen. That motion requested that the jury pool be allowed to include “convicted felons who have served their sentences.” Allen told the newspaper, “The thought must be that if you’re been convicted by a jury and served time you might be sympathetic to a defendant.”