Prosecutor expects third Low trial |

Prosecutor expects third Low trial

Summit County Attorney David Brickey said this week he expects Judge Bruce Lubeck will have an "easy time" deciding to bind Erik Low over for trial on a manslaughter charge stemming from the 2003 shooting death of Michael Hirschey.

Low is scheduled to appear in front of Lubeck during a preliminary hearing set to start at 1:30 p.m. on Monday. Afterward, Lubeck will decide if there is probable cause to bind Low, 40, over for trial. If he does, Low will face a third trial in the shooting death.

The standard for a judge to bind someone over for trial in a preliminary hearing is lower than it is for a jury to convict someone in an actual trial.

Low shot Michael Hirschey twice after a night of partying and roughhousing. The prosecutors contend Low was intent on killing Hirschey. Low’s side maintains he was acting in self-defense. Hirschey was 38 years old.

In the first trial, the jury was unable to decide if Low was guilty of murder, resulting in the second trial. In the second one, the jury convicted Low of manslaughter. The state Supreme Court overturned the 2005 conviction on appeal, with Low’s side arguing the jury was given faulty instructions.

"I suspect he will be bound over," Brickey, the lead prosecutor in Low’s two trials, said.

Low’s attorney, Ken Brown, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Preliminary hearings share some similarities with trials, with witness testimony and cross-examinations. Brickey said he plans to call Todd Grey, the state’s chief medical examiner, as a witness. His testimony will be in place of the late Maureen Frikke, the state medical examiner who investigated the death.

The Summit County Jail is holding Low. Bail is set at $250,000.

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