HUNDLEY TRIAL | Jurors see photos of charred remains
Jurors today in the capital murder trial of Lance Hundley in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court viewed crime scene photos of the charred remains of the woman he is accused of killing.
Hundley, 48, of Warren, could face the death penalty if convicted of the Nov. 6, 2015, aggravated murder of Erika Huff, 41, in her Cleveland Street home.
Hundley is also charged with attempted murder for beating Huff’s mother and aggravated arson for trying to set fire to Huff’s home and her body. Prosecutors said he beat and strangled Huff, who he was living with and also severely beat her mother.
Youngstown Police Patrolman Mark Crissman, a member of the department’s crime lab, testified about photos he took of the crime scene. Huff’s mother, Denise Johnson, managed to escape by attracting the attention of officers that morning by rattling a window air conditioner in the same room Huff’s body was in. The room was already on fire and when officers heard the air conditioner, they yanked the unit out of the window and pulled Johnson out of the home.
Jurors looked at several photos of the room, which showed char marks on the walls and a hospital style bed that was also badly burned. In some of those photos Huff’s body was visible on the floor.
When the first photo was shown, Johnson made the sign of the cross over herself and then left, followed by her husband and other family members. They returned to court a few moments later.
Testimony is resuming today in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court in the capital murder trial of Lance Hundley, 48, of Warren, before Judge Maureen Sweeney.
Hundley is charged with aggravated murder for the Nov. 5, 2016, beating death of Erika Huff, 41, who was wheelchair bound; attempted murder for beating her mother; and aggravated arson for trying to burn Huff’s body and her Cleveland Street home.
Testimony in the case began Monday.
Should jurors find Hundley guilty of aggravated murder with death penalty specifications, a second phase of the trial, the mitigation phase, will take place. There, attorneys for Hundley will present evidence to jurors explaining why they should spare Hundley’s life.