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Robert L. Moore, left, sits next to his attorney, Jeffrey Haupt, Monday before the start of jury selection in Moore’s trial in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas. Moore is charged with aggravated murder in the 2009 disappearance of 16-year-old Glenna J. White of Smith Township.

YOUNGSTOWN — Judge Maureen Sweeney of the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas has ruled that prosecutors can present evidence regarding a car fire that occurred about a week after 16-year-old Glenna J. White of Smith Township disappeared June 2, 2009.

Prosecutors say White left a house on Alden Avenue near Alliance that day in a car driven by Robert L. Moore and disappeared. His body was never found. About a week after his disappearance, a fire destroyed the car.

Sweeney ruled on Friday that information about the fire could be presented during the trial, but the judge warned that prosecutors should not suggest to jurors that Moore started the fire. She said one of the reasons information about the fire was allowed was “to explain to the jury why no” evidence was processed from the car. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

A jury sat Monday in Moore’s aggravated murder trial, which is expected to last more than a week. Moore, 52, of Alliance, is charged with aggravated murder and murder in White’s disappearance. The trial will resume today with opening statements and testimony.

Prosecutors said Alden’s address was where Moore’s girlfriend, Deanna Shreve, lived and that White was the girlfriend of Moore’s girlfriend’s son, Charles Shreve. They allege Moore took White in a 2000 Hyundai station wagon from home and returned an hour later alone with blood spattered on his clothes.

Prosecutors said the Sebring Fire Department attended the home on June 11 and Moore was in the driveway with the “completely submerged vehicle.” Assistant district attorney Mike Yacovone told Sweeney in a filing that a witness would testify after Moore returned to the Alden home after chasing White, walked into the house, then came out, changed his pants and was came back inside.

Yacovone said it’s important for jurors to know that the fire destroyed “a major piece of evidence (the station wagon) along with everything in it (clothing, blood, debris, etc.) just days later. the disappearance of Glenna Jean White.”

Alliance attorney Jeffrey Haupt, who represents Moore, said in a filing that it’s important to note that Moore was seen “with a garden hose, doing everything possible to put out the fire.” Haupt also said a family friend of White saw White alive in May 2010 and the friend and White even “spoke to each other about Mrs. White’s escape and the impact it had on her family. “.

During jury selection on Monday, Yacovone said he expected about 25 witnesses to appear in the trial.

At the prosecution table on Monday was Portage County Sheriff’s Office Detective Ed Kennedy, who investigated White’s disappearance as a cold case after receiving a tip in June 2020 while investigating the disappearance of another teenager – Kathy Menendez – in 1994. Menendez also disappeared from the Alliance area. , and his body was found near the Berlin Reservoir on the Portage County line.

Moore is not a suspect in Menendez’s murder because he was in jail at the time, Kennedy said.

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