PDT Staff Writer
The man and woman scheduled to go on trial today in the beating of the woman's eight-month-old baby, will have their case heard directly by a judge, as had been the point of some speculation as early as Friday morning.
Scheduled for a 9 a.m. trial today are Aaron Evans, 31, of West Portsmouth, and Clorissa Journey, 24, also of West Portsmouth, both were originally held on half a million dollars bond.
The change came late Friday.
"They waived their right to a jury trial actually at about a quarter 'til five Friday," said Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn. "Everyone has a constitutional right to have this type of case heard by a jury, and they have waived that right, which means they'll try the facts to the judge."
The judge in this case is Judge Howard H. Harcha III.
Kuhn said that would dispense with the time usually required to seat a jury, but it also means being ready earlier than may have been expected.
"Being sort of a last minute waiver, we'll be working tomorrow (Monday) morning trying to make sure we get all of our witnesses in as soon as possible," Kuhn said. "Some of them are scheduled in the first day, and some of them are scheduled in the second day."
Both will be charged with eight counts of felonious assault, a second degree felony, eight counts of endangering children, a felony of the third degree, and eight counts of felony two endangering children.
Journey is facing an additional charge of obstruction of justice, an F-3.
Scioto County Sheriff's Detective Jodi Conkel is expected to be one of the main witnesses for the state because of her original involvement in the case.
The Scioto County Sheriff's Office on Sept. 5, 2008, received a call from the 911 dispatch that a request had been made for an ambulance on Worley's Run, where a baby had been dropped off for a woman to watch.
That's when the woman saw the extensive injuries to the baby and called authorities.
The infant was taken to Southern Ohio Medical Center by ambulance and later transported to Columbus Children's Hospital.
Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini said the infant was treated for multiple soft tissue injuries, abrasions, blisters to his body, and injuries to his palate, and was treated for new and old fractures, to include ribs, legs and arms.
On Sept. 8 Evans turned himself in and Journey was arrested the same day in West Portsmouth.
They had been scheduled to go before a jury this morning, but will now have their case heard by Harcha.
"Normally the jury determines facts and the judge determines law and if conviction, sentence," Kuhn said. "But in this case the judge determines everything."
Assistant Scioto County Prosecutors Pat Apel and Julie Hutchinson are expected to prosecute the case, while Evans will be represented by Richard M. Nash and Journey by Christine M. Scott.