Competency hearing set for Jessica Groves


By Mark Richard - mrichard@aimmediamidwest.com



Portsmouth-A competency hearing has been set for one of the two suspects charged in the death of an infant earlier this year.

Jessica Groves and her husband, Daniel Groves were in court Wednesday morning before Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Kuhn for a pretrial hearing.

Local attorney Shawn Stratton, representing Jessica Groves, filed a motion last month for a competency evaluation on his client. The results have been sent to the court as well as attorneys in the case. Kuhn set Sept. 11 for the hearing on whether Groves will be found competent to stand trial. The Groves are set, for now, to have a four day jury trial beginning Oct. 15, however that could change depending on what the hearing concludes on Sept. 11.

Both Stratton, as well as Christine Scott, who represents Daniel Groves, showed concern in the pretrial hearing about the time they will be allotted to view the final autopsy result which has not been released by the Montgomery County Coroner’s office. They stated a motion to continue might be necessary. If that is the case, the Oct. 15 date will be moved to a later date by Kuhn if he deems necessary.

Daniel and Jessica Groves are charged with the death of their infant son, Dylan in Otway. Dylan’s body was found in a 30 foot well, decomposed, with multiple fractures and broken bones, according to a preliminary coroner’s report. Dylan’s date of birth was Jan. 10. The indictments alleges his death took place between March 28 and June 11.

According to reports, Dylan was addicted to drugs at birth and was removed from custody of the parents. Scioto County Children Services allowed Daniel Groves custody afer he met their criteria. When he failed to meet with children services for their scheduled meetings, the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office eventually arrested the parents and were able to find the body of Dylan the next day.

On May 20, Sheriff Chief Deputy Todd Miller and Captain John Murphy responded to the Mt. Hope location in another attempt to locate Dylan. According to Murphy, the two spotted Daniel and Jessica Groves attempting to leave the area on a four-wheeler, resulting in a pursuit with the two disappearing into some nearby woods and eluding officers.

On June 11, after a meeting with the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office and Scioto County Juvenile Court, detectives were able to obtain a search warrant for the property. Murphy said Sheriff’s Office detectives along with the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force executed the search warrant at the Mt. Hope location. Donini stated officials removed Jessica Groves from the property without incident, while Daniel Groves barricaded himself inside.

At that point, the sheriff’s office requested assistance from the Ohio State Highway Patrol special response team, to include their aviation unit. Officials finally were able to apprehend suspect Daniel Groves after the long standoff with officials.

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By Mark Richard

mrichard@aimmediamidwest.com