The Groves trial will enter its third day of testimonies in Portsmouth.
Expected in the remainder of the trial are the details involving the murder of Dylan and possibly testimony from his mother, Jessica Groves.
Wednesday morning, in The State of Ohio v. Jessica and Daniel Groves, the questioning mainly revolved around Scioto County Children Services. The morning testimony was briefly held by Doctor Darren Adams, an obstetrician-gynecologist. He commented on the health of the mother and the 5-pound, 10-ounce baby at birth.
Adams shared that at birth, there was no way to tell the term of the child due to the mother’s lack of prenatal visits. After diagnostics were run and test on the child, it was clear the 19-inch child was premature. Adams’ testimony explained that at birth, Groves was clearly under some kind of influence.
Adams stated Jessica was showing no pain during the birth process and it was not on behalf of any medication from the hospital.
“No epidural was administered,” Adams said.
He continued to say that because of how late she arrived at the hospital, it would be too dangerous to give medication in fear of harming the child. This combined with a testimony Tuesday from a nurse stating that Dylan’s Finnegan score was just shy of “withdraw” highlighted once more the neglect during the pregnancy.
The Finnegan scale assesses 21 of the most common signs of neonatal drug withdrawal syndrome and is scored on the basis of pathological significance and severity of the adverse symptoms, which sometimes requires pharmacological treatment, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
The courtroom grew tense when Patricia Craft came to the witness stand. Craft, a caseworker at Scioto County Children Services Board, was handed the case Jan. 25, 2019. Scioto County Prosecutor, Shane Tieman, carried on near an hour with questioning. He covered the timeline of Dylan’s life. Each meeting the family was to have, each drug screening, the terms of the child being returned to his father, and the plan going forward were all discussed during Crafts testimony
Dylan was placed in foster care after being held in the hospital longer due to his Finnegan score. Andrea Bowling cared for the child until Scioto County Children Services reunited Dylan with his father Daniel Groves. During Wednesday’s testimonies, Bowling took to the stand and got emotional throughout questioning causing a recess ordered by Judge Mark Muhn. Bowling shared with the court she reached out to the parents of Dylan during the reunification.
“I wrote them both a letter hoping to get milestone updates and gave them my number and told them if they need anything to call me,” Bowling said.
Bowling was asked if they ever reached out to her after Dylan was returned to his father and replied with a “no.”
Due to the father’s nonviolent history and passing multiple drug screens, it was possible the child could be returned to him upon agreeing to terms. Craft testified that the terms they both agreed to for the child to be returned were; attend all follow-up appointments with Children Services, drug treatment, apply for public benefits such as food stamps for the child, to remain clean and working and for Jessica to have supervised visitation, but Jessica was not allowed to stay on the premise with their child. Both parents accepted the terms.
In Otway, where the Groves resided, many visitations were attempted. Craft herself scheduled many meetings at Dylan’s home. Few were successful; Craft recollected once Daniel was putting a crib together for his son. Another time Dylan was bottle feeding in his mother’s arms.
Craft stated in “activity logs,” files detailing events in all cases that there was no inclination to remove Dylan from his father. After the couple began missing meetings and calls, it was advised in mid-April that even the older son, Daniel Jr., be removed from the household.
On April 30, a missing person’s report was filed with the Scioto County Sheriff’s Department. In the cross-examination of Craft, a determined Robert Stratton saw to exemplify, what he called “inept care,” the Scioto County Children Services provided in Dylan’s case. Stratton, at one point, called Craft out for an untrue statement under oath. Further on, it was even revealed by Stratton that putting out an Amber Alert was a difficult decision as it may reflect poorly because Scioto County Children Services lost the child.
Both Stratton and Christine Scott, Daniel’s attorney, attempted to defend Groves.
“Did he seem to have appropriate care for his child?” Stratton said.
Craft answered, “yes.”
If they were not dodging contact, activity logs state it was possible for the mother to return to the family. The defense counsel continued to show that Groves did nothing but care for his child, even more so than Children Services.
Also taking the stand Wednesday was Detective Adam Giles with the Scioto County Sheriff’s Department. During his testimony, Giles shared detailed information about the day he was called out to the Groves residence to perform a search warrant and where the standoff took place with Daniel in his residence in Otway.
The case is still expected to go full term. The mother, already admitting to all charges, is expected to testify before the case is over. As the case continues, the Daily Times will cover The State v. Jessica and Daniel Groves.
Reach Bailey Watts (740) 353-3101 Ext 1931
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