by DAVE O’BRIEN
Ravenna — Almost 26 years after the murder that put them behind bars for a third of their adult lives, Bob Gondor and Randy Resh were ruled actually innocent in the 1988 murder of a Randolph woman in Hiram Township by a judge in Portage County Common Pleas Court.
Following a two-week civil case and another week of reviewing evidence and drafting his ruling, Visiting Judge Marvin Shapiro said in court “neither Robert Gondor or Randy Resh committed the original charges.”
Gondor and Resh sued the state of Ohio to prove their innocence and sue for damages. Saying the plaintiffs satisfied Ohio law in proving their “actual innocence” on murder and related charges, Shapiro ruled that “both each are wrongful imprisoned individuals.”
Gondor, 50, who lives in Chardon, and Resh, also 50 and now living in Garfield Heights, have always professed innocence in Nardi’s death. Convicted in separate trials in 1990, they were freed in 2007 after the Ohio Supreme Court granted them new trials. Resh was found not guilty by a jury, and the Portage County Prosecutor’s Office declined to re-try Gondor.
The only other man charged in the death of Nardi, a 31-year-old single mother, is Troy J. Busta, 47, formerly of Hiram Township. Busta pleaded guilty to her murder in 1989, thereby avoiding the death penalty, and testified against Gondor and Resh four times on behalf of the state.
Busta remains in prison, halfway through his third decade of a life sentence.
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