New audio released during hearing in Summit County trial for 1970s murders of 2 women

New audio released during hearing in Summit County trial for 1970s murders of 2 women
Gustave Sapharas (Source: 19 News)

SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - A 76-year-old Stark County man arrested in 2019 for the murders of two women in the 1970s had a hearing before Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Alison Breaux on Thursday and Friday.

On Friday, the prosecution played an audio recording of Gustave Sapharus' interview with police back in September of 2019.

In the recording, Sapharus stated he may not have been convicted of the rapes mentioned on Thursday, but he did do the unspeakable acts.

“I told my lawyer the same thing I was guilty of every one of those, okay? I told you that before,” said Sapharus.

But will those crimes play a part in the murder trial he’s up against now?

The defense team says they’re not relevant.

“Each of the women testified that they were not stabbed. They were not threatened with murder, or anything like that," said the defense attorney. "A matter of fact, they are alive today to come in and talk about their alleged experiences with Mr. Sapharas.”

The prosecution took a different stance on the matter.

“We’re not trying to say he raped before. He was trying to rape again and ended up killing these women. That’s not what we’re trying to say," said the attorney. "What we’re basically saying is what he has done and the way he has done it is a pattern.”

But at the end of the day, the decision is up to the judge.

Will a jury hear these witness testimonies portraying Sapharus as a serial attacker against women?

Or will his fate solely be based on DNA evidence linking him to the murders of two women?

Sapharus is scheduled to be back in court on Nov. 23.

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