Jessica Groves, the wife of Daniel Groves, and the mother of Dylan Groves admitted to all charges Tuesday as the first day of the trial took place.
The opening statements in the case of baby Dylan Groves were held in Portsmouth Common Pleas Court and was expected to be a mundane and by the book’s affair. However, that was thrown out before the jury even arrived. Groves, the mother of Dylan Groves admitted to all charges.
The two could be facing life in prison. However, Jessica’s plea could perhaps aid her husband in lessening his sentence. Her attorney said she and herself alone admitted to drug use while pregnant. Groves admitted to the damages upon Dylan’s body and for the murder of her newborn child in March 2019.
Before the jury was allowed in, the defense of Daniel Groves moved for a motion of a change of venue on the basis that the selected jury could have a “predisposed opinion” on the case. Judge Kuhn overruled the motion but allowed the motion from the State of Ohio to allow for a separation of witnesses. This permitted Detective Jodi Conkel to remain on the side of the plaintiff.
After the jury and the judge had been seated, the case began with opening statements. As the plaintiff bears the burden of proof, Julie Hutchinson began on behalf of the State of Ohio. The charges were presented to the jury and its alternates. In the cases of The State of Ohio v. Jessica Groves and The State of Ohio v. Daniel Groves, 11 felony charges are presented against them. They range from “aggravated murder” and “felonious assault” to “gross abuse of a corpse” and more.
Through testimonies, firsthand accounts and hard factual proof, Hutchinson and prosecutor Shane Tieman stated they would prove without reasonable doubt of the alleged guilt. Hutchinson laid out a chain of events believed to be true thst lead to the death of Dylan Groves.
Dylan Groves was born on January 10th, 2019. He was then placed in foster care after five days recovering in the hospital due to umbilical scans showing the mother had taken enough drugs during the pregnancy to affect the child. While in foster care, Dylan began to grow and slowly recover. After a short timeframe, the child was returned to the parents upon a reunification process. Authorities attempted to contact the parents until they finally found them near their home in late February. They were riding a four-wheeler, when they did not adhere to the sheriff’s orders to pull over, a chase ensued. They escaped through a field into a wooded area.
Hutchinson went on to explain that the next time contact was made, it was from children’s services in March. Baby Dylan was found in a long sleeve onesie inside of his residence and the visit was the last known date he was to be alive. Provided was a timeline aided by reports that a standoff was held at their premises in Scioto County June 10. After 30 minutes, Jessica surrendered. Daniel was to be removed with the aid of a police robot.
After questioning, Daniel would finally admit the child was dead, undermining Jessica’s recent tales that social services took her child. With the chain of events outlined, the defense took to their opening statements. In a fevered speech, Robert Stratton, Jessica Groves’s attorney, stated: “[Portsmouth] is ground zero for this terrible drug problem.” He continued to state that the beginning of recovery is taking responsibility for one’s actions, he claims Jessica is doing just that.
“Jessica Groves was and still is a drug addict,” Stratton said.
Stratton continued to Judge Kuhn, she and she alone caused the injuries that led to Dylan’s death. He concluded with attempting to defend Daniel. He stated that he was “foolishly unaware” of the child’s injuries.
Stratton said Daniel found his son dead March 28, which led him into a panic and confused state and led him to the hiding, bounding, and disposal of the child’s body, yet did not act in the murder of his infant son. Daniel’s attorney, Ms. Scott, stated that this “emotional and taxing case” will be tough on the jury. She stated that Jessica was the “principal perpetrator” and, as such, should exonerate Daniel as he was not responsible for the death of Dylan.
The trial will continue Wednesday. The case is still expected to go the full week and as it develops, the Daily Times will continue to update.
Reach Bailey Watts (740) 353-3101 Ext 1931
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