Trial begins for suspect in murder of Canfield family - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Trial begins for suspect in murder of Canfield family

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Trial is underway for a man accused of a triple murder in Mahoning county nearly 40 years ago.

The trial of 64-year old James Ferrara began on Monday with jury selection,  which produced a 12 member panel of 7 women and 5 men.

Ferrara is accused in the 19-74 killing Ben Marsh, a security officer at the GM Lordstown plant, his wife Marilyn and their 4 year old daughter Heather at their home on Turner Road in Canfield township. The parents had been shot and the child was beaten.

In opening statements, the prosecution explained how the case had gone cold until 2009 when fingerprints from the crime scene were submitted to the state crime lab which now included a computerized fingerprint database.  The result was a match to Ferrara on three prints lifted from a back door to the victims home.

In it's opening statement, the defense pointed out that the fingerprints in question were found on a back door, and not inside the house. That DNA on a cigarette found at the scene did not match Ferrara, and that his name had never been mentioned at anytime during the investigation.

One of the first witnesses to be called was Frank Boyle, the best friend of Ben Marsh who discovered the bodies, along with the Marsh's second child, 12 month old Christopher who was alive and crawling in the blood inside the home. 

Ferrara, who also was employed at Lordstown at the same time as Ben Marsh, is already serving a 20 years to life sentence in state prison for a double homicide in Columbus in 1983. The trial resumes on Tuesday. 


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