Stating he is not permitted to make remarks that might influence the potential jury pool in the case against the parents of young Dylan Groves, Scioto County Prosecutor Shane Tieman declined to give any details on what he and the county coroner’s office called a preliminary autopsy on the six-month-old boy.
Some details of that autopsy were discussed in open court during a pretrial bond hearing for Dylan’s parents Daniel and Jessica Groves, both accused of aggravated murder in the death of their son.
According to WSAZ-TV, Dylan “suffered skull fractures on both sides of his skull, a fractured left arm (broken radius, humerus and ulna), a left leg fracture, two broken left ribs, soft tissue hemorrhaging in his right chest wall and a laceration to his left arm.”
The Daily Times asked Tieman if Dylan received those injuries before or after he allegedly was dumped into a 30-foot well in Otway from which the county sheriff’s office states they retrieved the infant’s body. Tieman declined to answer that question but noted a grand jury saw enough evidence to indict both of Dylan’s parents on murder charges. He suggested some underlying details of the case could be found in the indictments against Daniel and Jessica Groves.
Separate indictments were filed against each of the boy’s parents. But those indictments, except for some minor details identifying who is being indicted, appear to be, word for word, exactly the same.
Regarding count one, the aggravated murder charge, the indictments read “Daniel A. Groves, Jessica Groves, unlawfully, did purposely cause the death of D. G., 01/10/2019.” The indictments specifically note the victim “was under the age of 13 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense.”
The indictments later specifically state Jan. 10, 2019 was Dylan Groves’ date of birth.
Count two is one count of murder. The indictments claim the suspects “on or about March 28, 2019 to June 11, 2019, at Scioto County, Ohio … did cause the death of D. G., … as a proximate result of the offender committing or attempting to commit an offense of violence that is a felony of the first or second degree, to wit: felonious assault.”
The indictments against Daniel and Jessica Groves include four counts of felonious assault. Each count claims the pair “on or about January 11, 2019 to June 11, 2019 did knowingly cause serious physical harm to D. G.” The indictments do not explain why the suspects each were hit with four separate counts of felonious assault.
There are 11 total counts against each of the suspects. A kidnapping charge alleges the boy’s parents “unlawfully, did, by force, threat or deception, remove D. G. from the place where him (sic) was found or restrain liberty of him for the purpose of entering, impeding, or obstructing a function of government.”
An endangering children charge claims the parents, while they were acting as guardians or custodians of the boy “did create a substantial risk to the health or safety of D. G. by violating the duty of care, protection, or support.”
According to count six, interference with custody, the suspects “did, knowing he/she was without privilege to do so or being reckless in that regard, entice, take, keep or harbor from the parent, guardian or custodian a child under the age of 18… to wit did fail to produce the child to children services, the legal custodian. The indictment further claims “the child died while kept from children services.”
Another notable charge against the pair includes one count each of gross abuse of a corpse. The indictment claims the suspects “did … treat a human corpse in a way that would outrage reasonable community sensibilities.”
One final count listed against the parents is tampering with evidence, which states the pair “did, knowing that an official proceeding or investigation was in progress or was about to be or likely to be instituted, alter, destroy, conceal or remove any record, document, or thing with purpose to impair its value or availability as evidence in such proceeding or investigation.”
The exact cause and date of Dylan’s death has not been released and may still be unknown. A clerk for the Scioto County coroner’s office, who asked that their name not be published, said Dylan’s body was sent to a Dayton area laboratory for a full autopsy, as is apparently standard procedure throughout Ohio. The clerk stated final results will not be available for between six to eight weeks from the time the remains were studied. The clerk did not know exactly when Dylan’s autopsy took place.
Daniel and Jessica Groves are scheduled to be back in court for another pretrial hearing July 25. Tieman said the initial hearing, during which some details of the preliminary autopsy were revealed, was essentially a bail hearing. Tieman said in the end, defense attorneys stipulated to no bond for their clients and both are being held, presumably in the Scioto County jail.
In the meantime, Dylan Groves’ death is generating a storm of controversy and questions, mostly directed at Scioto County Children Services. Organized apparently by a private citizen via Facebook, a public protest was set for early Monday morning outside Children Services’ Gallia Street offices in New Boston. The Board of Scioto County Commissioners is asking the Children Services Board to consider placing Children Services Director Lorra Fuller on administrative leave pending a third-party investigation into the circumstances surrounding Dylan’s death.
Fuller previously said an investigator from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services was to be in Scioto County early this week to begin an investigation into Dylan’s death. It is unclear if that investigation satisfies the wishes of Scioto County commissioners.
Last week, Commissioner Bryan Davis further requested Children Services immediately begin a review of the case of every child currently in county custody. Davis stated he has a fear there is “another Dylan waiting in the wings.” Children Services Board Chairman Al Oliver declined to comment on Davis’s request until after the board holds a special meeting Tuesday morning in New Boston.
Reach Tom Corrigan at (740) 370- 0715. © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.