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Cops and Courts

North Ridgeville murder trial: Expert says nothing wrong with firearm

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    Ronald Svec, 77, appears in Lorain County Common Pleas Court in Elyria on Wednesday. He is accused of murdering his wife in 2015, which he claims was done in self-defense.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA — The gun used to kill Gloria Svec was operable and all of the safeties on the weapon worked, according to the testimony of a forensic scientist during the trial of Ronald Svec.

The second day of testimony in the murder trial of Ronald Svec, 77, of North Ridgeville, took place Wednesday before Lorain County Common Pleas Court Judge James Miraldi. Svec faces two counts of murder and two counts of felonious assault in connection to the shooting death of his wife — Gloria Svec, 69 — in 2015 at their home at 5915 Jaycox Road, North Ridgeville.

Ronald Svec called 911 shortly after the incident and told police he had shot his wife, according to prosecutors. Ronald Svec originally told police that he had “unintentionally” shot Gloria Svec, and the gun had gone off twice quickly.

Forensic scientist Michael Roberts, a firearms specialist with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, said the .45-caliber, single-action semi-automatic pistol would not have accidentally fired.

North Ridgeville police submitted the gun Svec allegedly used in the shooting to BCI for testing, which Roberts testified that he conducted. He said during his investigation he found that all the safeties on the weapon worked.

“This firearm wouldn’t fire unless the trigger was pulled,” Roberts said.

Roberts also testified that the semi-automatic weapon would fire only one shot each time the trigger was pulled, though it wouldn’t need to be cocked each time after the first shot was fired.

Ronald Svec’s defense attorney Jenifer Berki said in her opening statements Tuesday that Svec shot his wife in self-defense. Ronald Svec also told police that Gloria Svec had followed him around the home “poking” at him with a knife during an argument.

North Ridgeville police responded to a 911 call from the residence Nov. 6, 2015. Upon arrival at the home, officers found Gloria Svec lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of her blood clutching a black-handled steak knife, according to testimony.

Assistant County Prosecutor Donna Freeman said during the trial that police believe Gloria Svec grabbed the knife from the kitchen to defend herself after her husband shot her in the throat in a hallway. Freeman said Gloria Svec ran into the kitchen, when Ronald Svec eventually shot her in the head in front of a 4-year-old special-needs child the couple had adopted as the child sat at the table eating pancakes from McDonald’s.

The remaining pancakes and the container they were in were submitted as evidence during the trial Wednesday. While it was unclear what role the pancakes and container have as evidence, Freeman asked a North Ridgeville police officer about indentations on the plastic foam container that may have been made while cutting the pancakes.

Miraldi noted that the pancakes were a first: He’d never seen such an item submitted as evidence in a case before.

Testimony in the trial is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. today.

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.


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