Man on death row for 15 years gets new Hamilton County trial

CINCINNATI — A man who was on death row for more than 15 years is getting a new trial.

Lamont Hunter was convicted of raping and killing a 3-year-old. His conviction was thrown out after newly discovered evidence. While he was hoping to be granted bond Friday, he will have to wait at the Hamilton County Justice Center a little longer.

In 2006, Hunter was indicted for the rape and murder of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son, Trustin Blue. The defense argues Trustin’s death was not a crime, rather he accidentally fell down the stairs.

Assistant county coroner Dr. Gretel Stephens originally testified in 2007 that Trustin’s death was caused by shaking injuries. Now, her opinion has changed.

“A 30-year experienced coroner has changed her mind after seeing all the evidence that she didn’t have access to back at the time of the trial,” said Alphonse A. Gerhardstein, Hunter’s defense attorney.

Stephens concludes the cause of death is no longer homicide, but rather undetermined.

Jenny Luke, a former homicide detective, took the stand at Friday’s bond hearing to testify about the investigation.

The judge ordered a continuance to give the deputy coroner time to review 700 pages of medical records.

“We’re gonna wait it out. We don’t believe this will change anything and we believe he’ll be out on bond by the end of the month,” Gerhardstein said.

Hunter will be without bond until the next hearing. He will be back in court May 30 or May 31.

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