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Grisly crime photos displayed



Published: Thu, October 26, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The bodies were nearly completely burned.

By ED RUNYAN

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- For a second day, Jermaine McKinney, facing capital murder charges, looked away as evidence from the crime scene he's accused of creating was shown to jurors.

The 26-year-old, who has lived in Youngstown and Girard, has come to court dressed in a suit and has been attentive to details as they are being presented. He frequently appears to be asking his lawyers to address certain matters, even asking an assistant county prosecutor to turn over phone records he wanted.

All of Wednesday's testimony, however, dealt with the photographs investigators took at the scene of the grisly slayings of Wanda Rollyson and her daughter, Rebecca Cliburn, in a Newton Township home last Dec. 21, and the physical evidence collected at several locations.

He didn't look

While the nine-woman, three man jury looked on, Sgt. Peter Pizzulo of the Trumbull County Sheriff's Department, the lead investigator, projected the photographs onto a screen. McKinney, nicknamed "Maniac," never looked up.

When the photographs were first handed to his attorney to view a day earlier, McKinney put his head down at his desk. When he lifted his head many minutes later, he appeared to be crying.

The photos the jury saw Wednesday had been edited earlier by agreement of the parties. Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, presiding over the trial, said there was no reason for more than one grisly photo to be shown of the same item.

The photos did show isolated body parts, such as three feet, part of an arm and a head and torso, but most of the bodies had been burned so completely that the photos showed mostly dark ashes.

Other exhibits

For a few hours afterward, Prosecutor Dennis Watkins asked Pizzulo to open paper-bag covered exhibits, such as empty paint cans from Rollyson's house, and boots and a crowbar found at McKelvey Lake in Youngstown. For each exhibit, Pizzulo detailed the chain of evidence -- who collected the sample, where it had gone to be analyzed and when it came back into his possession.

The final exhibit Watkins presented was the telephone answering machine recovered at Rollyson's house, containing a message from a Western Union operator indicating that someone had attempted to use Rollyson's debit card the night she was slain.

Judge McKay said the parties would discuss further this morning whether to allow the recording to be entered into evidence. Watkins said the recording will corroborate testimony from McKinney's female accomplices, who will say they were trying to use a debit card taken from Rollyson's purse in the hours just after the slayings.

runyan@vindy.com




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