The murder defendant prayed to be forgiven for tremendous sins.
By ED RUNYAN
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- An "on again, off again" girlfriend testified today that Jermaine McKinney asked her to leave town with him the night two women died in Newton Township.
Amy Corll, 28, of Hubbard testified in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court that she's known McKinney, now on trial on double murder charges, for about 10 years.
He's the father of the baby she delivered in July, she explained.
Corll showed the jury a tattoo on her arm that reads "Maniac" -- a nickname she said McKinney doesn't like.
McKinney is accused of killing Wanda Rollyson, 70, and her daughter, Rebecca Cliburn, 43, in Rollyson's house and burning their bodies to conceal evidence. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Corll testified McKinney called her Dec. 21 to ask her to leave work early. He told her he'd secured $10,000 and wanted her to leave with him that night and marry him, she said.
Corll said when she received a second call that night from the man she called "Main" or "Maniac," he asked her not to bring her clothes. Instead, he asked that she bring an identification card.
Corll emotionally testified to being in love with McKinney.
She spent the rest of the night with McKinney and two women she didn't know.
Corll described the attempt by McKinney and Keyatta Riley Hines that night to have money transferred from a debit card to her by using Corll's identification information.
The money transfer was unsuccessful, she said, because Western Union wouldn't permit it, she said.
She also testified McKinney was praying a lot during the time she drove around the Youngtown area with him, Riley Hines and Jazzmine McIver: "Father, forgive me for my sins, for they are tremendous," Corll said, quoting McKinney's prayers.
Corll said she was eventually driven home by McKinney's father.
During cross-examination, defense lawyer Donald Malarcik asked Corll about her criminal and personal background, including prison time and her reputation for stealing.
Corll admitted she is a fairly good liar, has been in trouble with family members for stealing and been convicted of theft-related crimes. But she insisted her testimony today was true.
Corll said she spent five months in Trumbull County's jail after her arrest last December on complicity charges for receiving stolen property, attempted theft from an elderly person, and identity theft against an elderly person. But she accepted a plea agreement and has been free on bond since then. Corll said prosecutors told her she will be sentenced to probation as long as she cooperates during the trial.
Judge W. Wyatt McKay, presiding over the trial, ruled today that McKinney would not be allowed to represent himself. McKinney had asked Judge McKay at the close of proceedings Thursday to dismiss his attorneys.
Judge McKay said the trial had progressed too far for McKinney to represent himself. The trial had already been in session for 11 days, including jury selection, opening statements and five to six witnesses, and McKinney's defense team of Malarcik and Atty. Larry Smith of Akron have done a significant amount of preparation.
Judge McKay said McKinney's claim that he has not been adequately represented by his attorneys is not true, and removing the attorneys would cause a delay in proceedings.