LEBANON, Ohio (AP) – A judge set bond at $1 million Thursday for a man charged with murder in the bathtub drowning of his wife of a few months.

Ryan Widmer, 27, told a 911 dispatcher Monday night that he tried to perform CPR after finding Sarah Widmer, 24, unresponsive in a bath. He sobbed and said he had been watching television and that his wife often fell asleep in the tub.

Warren County Coroner Russell Uptegrove issued a preliminary ruling of drowning.

But county Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel said officials found signs of “violent force” and injury to Sarah Widmer’s body inconsistent with an accidental drowning.

Investigators who took evidence from the couple’s four-bedroom home said they found contradictions with Widmer’s account of what happened.

Widmer’s lawyer, Charlie Rittgers, said the two were not having trouble and he doesn’t understand why investigators believe the death wasn’t accidental.

The couple had been married about six months and had no documented history of domestic violence, Hutzel said. Rittgers said Widmer has no criminal record.

AP-ES-08-14-08 1628EDT


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