Janet Hinds, who allegedly drove drunk and killed officer Nicholas Galinger in 2019, had her trial set for Sept. 29.
Criminal Court Judge Don Poole also believed there was no need for a change of venue, saying that the court could go through a large number of candidates and find unbiased jurors in Hamilton County.
Defense attorney Ben McGowan claimed that the police department is withholding valuable information, saying “While I feel like (District Attorney Neal) Pinkston has done his level best to provide what he has, I believe the police department is withholding information that relates to the death of one of their own.”
Attorney McGowen said it is believed a second vehicle ran over the officer's body.
The attorney also said that his office had, a few days prior, received 104 new files of bodycam footage to look through. While he wished for a trial date to be set, he wanted to have enough time to be absolutely sure he had all of the information and the defense was ready for the trial.
“Nowhere are there any diagrams or measurements of the alleged crime scene, meaningful diagrams that have been created other than an accident report,” said attorney McGowan. “So we’re going to need to get experts involved to review this information once we obtain it.”
Judge Poole said, “I am going to preserve a ruling on this (to keep the case in Hamilton county), which seems to be keeping in the cases I have reviewed and so forth,” adding that he could have prospective jurors fill out questionnaires about their involvement on social media.
“In regard to social media and knowledge from the media, I was never an advocate of questionnaires until we had cases where the venue was changed,” said Judge Poole, “But we can have simple questions about people who use the Internet and social media. And Mr. McGowan, I will give you great latitude to subpoena a large number of jurors.”
When later asked about the defense attorney’s claims against the police department, Nicholas’ father, Barry Galinger, said, “That’s completely false information, and they’ve provided everything he’s asked for. It’s not true.”
He was relieved to know that a trial date had been set in what is now a year-old case. When it came to finding fair jurors, he was confident the court would be able to find them.
“It was very gratifying to know that in September, this is going to take place,” said Mr. Galinger. “As far as jurors, I believe they’ll find jurors who are fair and won’t be judgmental. I’m sure they’ll find jurors who are fair and impartial.”
The rookie officer from Cincinnati was leaning over an overflowing manhole cover on Hamill Road when he was struck.
Ms. Hinds, who was the postmaster of Soddy Daisy at the time, was briefly on the TBI's Most Wanted List.
She eventually was released on house arrest.