Competency/insanity hearing continued

By Mark Richard

Jessica Groves waits her turn in Scioto County Common Pleas Court Wednesday morning.

Jessica Groves waits her turn in Scioto County Common Pleas Court Wednesday morning.

The competency/insanity hearing for Jessica Groves was continued Wednesday morning at the request of her attorney.

Groves appeared before Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Kuhn where her attorney, Shawn Stratton, asked the court to continue the hearing on whether she is competent to stand trial on several charges including aggravated murder.

Groves and her husband Daniel Groves are in jail waiting for a jury trial next month in connection with the death of their infant son, Dylan.

In the courtroom, Wednesday Stratton requested the continuance so he can have the doctor performing the evaluation attend and testify at the hearing. Kuhn granted the request, but a date was not immediately set for the next hearing. The jury trial is scheduled for both she and her husband Oct. 15 through Oct. 18 in Kuhn’s courtroom.

Jessica Groves appeared without her husband Wednesday, since he did not file a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. Stratton 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.

According to the preliminary autopsy, someone wrapped Dylan’s body “in numerous plastic bags,” which were sealed with duct tape, and “placed in crates,” bound by chains, padlocks, zip ties and metal wires.

The infant suffered numerous injuries, although the preliminary report states further examination of the body is needed to determine if Dylan received those injuries before or after his death.

The preliminary report does not mention a cause of death.

As was reported previously, according to the Montgomery County Coroner, Dylan suffered multiple fractures, including to the left and right parietal bones of his skull. Numerous fractures were reported on his upper left extremities including breaks of his left humerus, left radius and left ulna. The tibia of his left leg also was broken along with left ribs number six and seven. Finally, the autopsy notes a laceration to Dylan’s left arm.

The indictments against the parents 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.”

Dylan was removed from his parents’ custody by Scioto County Children Services after it was discovered baby Dylan was born addicted to drugs. Over the course of a few weeks, according to Children Services, Daniel Groves completed all necessary requirements to gain back the custody of his son. After Daniel Groves reportedly failed to meet with Children Services representatives, the Scioto County Sheriff’s office was contacted, eventually resulting in the discovery of young Dylan in the well at their Mt. Hope Road, Otway home.

Since the discovery of the body, Scioto County Children Services has come under heavy criticism from various quarters, including the Scioto County Board of Commissioners, who asked for at least two independent investigations into the organization’s activities and unsuccessfully sought the suspension of Children Services Director Lorra Fuller until completion of those investigations.

Fuller has stated a review of her department is underway by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. She said an internal study of all cases in which the county currently has custody of a child also is taking place.

“It is everyone’s hope, both the board and the staff at children services, that as a result of this extensive review child maltreatment and child fatalities will be reduced,” Fuller concluded. “To say that the Scioto County Children Services Board is not taking action is erroneous and misperceived.”

Jessica Groves waits her turn in Scioto County Common Pleas Court Wednesday morning. Groves waits her turn in Scioto County Common Pleas Court Wednesday morning.

By Mark Richard