Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Lawyer named in shooting case




By Janice Morse and
The Cincinnati Enquirer

By Janice Morse, jmorse@enquirer.com
and Jennifer Edwards, jedwards@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Although the woman accused of shooting Miami University professor Sherry Lee Corbett to death has said she doesn't want a lawyer, a West Chester Township attorney has been appointed to represent her.

        Melynda Cook-Reich on Tuesday said Butler County Common Pleas Court named her to defend Tonda Lynn Ansley, 36. Ms. Ansley is charged with aggravated murder and two counts of carrying concealed weapons in the shooting death of Ms. Corbett, 55, a Miami University professor and historic preservation expert.

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Corbett
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Ansley
        “Technically, everyone has the right to represent themselves,” Ms. Cook-Reich said. “Normally, you can convince the client of the need for an attorney. If the client continued to insist on representing (herself), the court, to ensure the fairness of the proceedings, would keep an actual attorney on as co-counsel.”

        A preliminary hearing is set for Thursday in Hamilton Municipal Court.

        Ms. Cook-Reich declined to comment further. Her client was being held in the county jail without bond.

        Meanwhile, Dr. Richard P. Burkhardt, the county coroner, said Ms. Corbett bled to death from multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen.

        Ms. Corbett was shot five times Saturday at 10th Street and Campbell Avenue in front of several witnesses, including neighbors and children.

        Three bullets struck her abdomen. Another hit her left shoulder. A fifth bullet grazed the outside of her right thigh, the coroner said.

        One of the bullets hit her vena cava, a major vein that returns all the blood from the lower body to the heart, Dr. Burkhardt said.

        He removed three bullets during an autopsy Monday and said police told him a fourth bullet fell from the victim onto the floor of the emergency room at Fort Hamilton Hospital.

        Authorities haven't said whether police recovered the fifth bullet.

        Officer Dave Crawford, Hamilton police spokesman, said investigators hadn't released a motive Tuesday.

        Ms. Ansley had rented her home from Ms. Corbett and formerly worked for her, but people who knew the women have said they didn't think there had been any animosity between them.

Obituary:
Sherry Lee Corbett was 'favorite citizen'
       



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