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7 p.m. Testimony centers on DNA samples

March 15, 2013
Weirton Daily Times

STEUBENVILLE - A specialist from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification testified this evening she was able to match a sperm sample from a blanket to 17-year old Trent Mays.

Heather Bizub told Judge Thomas Lipps, a swab from the blanket matched a controlled sample taken from defendant Mays.

It was the first testimony in the trial of Mays and 16-year old Ma'Lik Richmond who are accused of rape of a 16-year old Weirton girl last summer that focused on DNA testing.

Mays also is charged with illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material for allegedly having and sending a picture of the girl from his cell phone.

Bizub also testified Friday night a second sample from a pair of shorts the alleged victim wore the night of the incident was also tested.

A single sperm cell was discovered in the inside crotch area of the shorts.

Bizub testified she was unable to extract a sufficient enough of a sample for testing purposes.

Bizub is expected to be cross examined by defense attorneys this evening.

A Steubenville High School senior testified this afternoon he belied he saw two defendants facing rape charges engage in an inappropriate sex act the night a 16-year old Weirton girl was allegedly raped.

Eighteen-year-old Anthony Craig was the third witness granted immunity by Lipps and compelled to testify during the third day of testimony in the Jefferson County Juvenile Court.

Craig testified that he could not remember much of what happened that day.

But he did testify to witnessing an incident in Cole's basement.

Craig told prosecutor Marianne Henneman that he believed he saw both defendants engaging in an inappropriate sex act.

When asked why he did not intervene Craig responded, "I was told to not worry about it, everything would be fine."

Craig also indicated on multiple occasions that he did not witness the alleged victim move, talk or participate in the sexual act.

At the time of this report the defense had not start their cross-examination of Craig.

A defense witness who was expected to be called out of order was postponed until Saturday and the prosecution resumed their case during testimony Friday afternoon in the case.

Earlier today Wintersville resident Mark Cole told Lipps he witnessed Mays digitally penetrating the underage girl.

Cole testified this morning the alleged contact took place in a vehicle as they traveled from one party to another. He admitted to recording the incident on his iPhone, but said he deleted it the next morning. When asked why, he said, "It was one of those moments when you realize you did something wrong and stupid that night, so I deleted it."

The youth also testified about a series of text messages he sent to and received from Mays and Richmond in the hours and days after the incident allegedly took place, and admitted to consuming between eight and 10 beers that evening. He also testified that he refused to send Mays and others the video that he'd recorded.

He also testified that at one point, he saw the alleged victim and Mays wrapped in a blanket. Earlier, investigators had said they found Mays' semen as well as the girl's DNA on a blanket recovered at the scene and sent to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for testing.

Cole said he also saw Richmond lying behind the girl and said he believed Richmond was touching her with his hand.

Cole had told the state's attorney that the girl was being very loud and that he believed it was because she was intoxicated. But under cross-examination, Cole told Richmond's attorney, Walter Madison, that all of the partygoers were being loud and he couldn't say with certainty whether the victim was drunk or just trying to be heard above the noise.

Cole also told Madison that a now-infamous picture of the Richmond and Mays holding the girl by her hands and ankles as they carried her out of a party "was a joke" photo and agreed with Madison's assertion that nobody knew what just happened before the photo was taken, or what happened immediately after it was taken.

He also told Madison that he'd told investigators "as much as I could remember and as truthfully as I could."

Evan Westlake testified under immunity the girl appeared to be "pretty drunk" after a large party earlier that night. But he also testified that before the alleged attack in the basement he saw Mays and the alleged victim cuddling, hugging and kissing in the back seat of Cole's car.

 
 

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