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Investigator describes scene after woman fatally shot

Staff photo / Ed Runyan Youngstown police crime scene investigator Anthony Marzullo shows an envelope with his initials on it that contains evidence in the 2019 shooting death of Danekua Bankston in Youngstown.

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown crime scene investigator Anthony Marzullo testified Tuesday in the aggravated murder trial of Kyle Rice that he found seven bullet shell casings and three bullets in the bedroom where Danekua Bankston, 28, was fatally wounded Feb. 8, 2019. She died a few days later from her injuries.

His crime scene photographs showed the area where the bullets were recovered in the bedroom of her Oregon Avenue apartment on the West Side. They were near several large blood-stained areas on the floor near a closed closet door.

He also found a gold chain and a crucifix on the floor and two cellphones in the room. And he later acquired parts of bullets from the Mercy Health Police Department that came from the victim or her clothing when she was being treated at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.

He also acquired bullets recovered from Bankston’s body during an autopsy, he testified. Such items were turned over to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for analysis. Some of the marks in the floor seen in the photos are are bullet holes, Marzullo said. There were no bullet holes in the ceiling or walls, he said.

Rice, 31, is on trial on aggravated murder and murder in the courtroom of Judge Anthony Donofrio of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. If convicted, he could get a life prison sentence.

Also during the second day of testimony Tuesday, jurors heard the 911 call from Danekua’s sister, Dajanae Bankston, in which she told the operator that her sister had been shot by Kyle Rice.

Youngstown police office Jason Sletvold then testified that when he got to the home, Dajanae Bankston also told him Rice, her sister’s ex-boyfriend and father of her three children, had shot Danekua. The children — ages 6, 6, and 2 — were in the home at the time, her son asleep in her bed.

AMR ambulance paramedic supervisor also testified that Danekua needed help breathing and was unresponsive when he arrived at the scene.

The trial resumes today with another prosecution witness and then possible defense witnesses.

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