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Woman testifies she helped McKinney cover up slayings



Published: Sat, October 28, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The judge denied McKinney's late request to serve as his own lawyer.

By ED RUNYAN

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Keyatta J. Riley Hines testified that she barely knew Jermaine McKinney when she bought a used car from him Dec. 19. She said that two days later, however, she was helping him cover his tracks after he killed two women in a Newton Township house.

Riley Hines testified Friday in McKinney's double murder trial in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court that McKinney told her Dec. 19 that he had a plan to rob the mother of someone he knew and it would net 50,000.

Riley Hines went with McKinney that same night to Wanda Rollyson's house on Newton-Bailey Road to rob her. But it was around 2 a.m. when Riley Hines knocked on Rollyson's front door, and nobody answered at the 70-year-old woman's house. The pair left but made plans to return, Riley Hines said.

Two days later, they tried again.

This time Riley Hines drove Mc-Kinney and Rollyson's daughter, Rebecca Cliburn, 43, from the Stonegate Apartments in Warren to Rollyson's house and dropped them off.

McKinney's plan was for him to tie up Cliburn and Rollyson and for Riley Hines and another female, Jazzmine McIver, 22, to return later and pick him up, Riley Hines said.

But when Riley Hines came through the back door of the house Dec. 21, she said, "I ... saw the older woman on the floor in a big, big, big puddle of blood," Riley Hines said.

"Were you startled?" county Prosecutor Dennis Watkins asked.

"Yeah," Riley Hines replied.

Taking items

Riley Hines said she spent a half-hour or so in the house taking items from Rollyson's purse and helping McKinney gather up sheets and flammable liquids he wanted. She didn't go into the basement, she said, and never saw Cliburn's body, but McKinney told her he had shot Rollyson and beaten Cliburn with a crowbar.

If convicted, McKinney, 26, of Youngstown and Girard, could face the death penalty.

Riley Hines pleaded guilty to complicity to aggravated robbery, complicity to aggravated burglary and complicity to kidnapping in exchange for her testimony. She has been locked up in the Trumbull County Jail since her arrest late last year.

Watkins said her plea agreement calls for her to receive a sentence of three to 10 years in prison after the trial is over.

Riley Hines, 21, was the third woman to testify in two days -- and the second to testify Friday -- to being shocked by McKinney's admissions that night that he had killed two women.

Riley Hines, however, was the only one of the three who said she was inside the house that night with McKinney. The two others -- McIver and Amy Corll of Hubbard -- said they drove around with him afterward while he attempted to dispose of potential evidence.

Called at work

Corll, 28, who also testified Friday, and who said she was McKinney's "off-again, on-again" girlfriend, said McKinney asked her to leave town with him Dec. 21 when he called her at a Liberty restaurant where she worked. He asked her to leave work early so she could meet him.

Corll testified that she has known McKinney for about 10 years and that he is the father of the baby she delivered in July. Corll also showed the jury a tattoo on her arm that reads "Maniac," McKinney's nickname, and said she still loves him.

The first time McKinney called her Dec. 21, Corll said, he told her he had 10,000 and wanted her to leave with him that night and marry him. The second time he called, however, after she had gotten a ride home, McKinney seemed to have changed his mind. "Don't bring any clothes; just some form of identification," she said he told her.

Eventually, McKinney, Riley Hines and McIver came to Corll's house and picked her up.

Corll testified that McKinney prayed a lot during the time she rode around the Youngstown area with him, Riley Hines and 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 that night.

During cross-examination, defense lawyer Donald Malarcik of Akron 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 had been convicted of theft-related crimes. But she insisted her testimony Friday was true.

Request denied

Judge W. Wyatt McKay, presiding over the trial, ruled earlier 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 already had been in session 11 days, including jury selection, opening statements and testimony from five to six witnesses, He added that McKinney's defense team of Malarcik and Atty. Larry Smith, also of Akron, has 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. The trial resumes Monday.

runyan@vindy.com




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