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Ex-Liberty woman ruled competent to stand trial

WARREN — A former Liberty woman — who in March 2020 was indicted on sex charges involving a 3-year-old — has been ruled competent to stand trial on Oct. 25.

At a pretrial hearing late last week, Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ronald J. Rice read into the record the psychological evaluation by Dr. Thomas Gazley, who deemed that defendant Candis Wynn knew the wrongfulness of her acts when the alleged incident happened on Nov. 30, 2018.

Meanwhile, Wynn, 34, formerly of Lucretia Drive, Liberty, and her attorney, Jeffrey Goodman, are mulling a plea deal offered by Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Gabriel Wildman. If she pleads guilty to the charges, Wynn would either serve 10 years to life in prison or a 35-year term that would be served concurrent with a federal sentence handed down in 2019.

The judge said the defense has until Sept. 1 to decide on the plea deal.

Goodman worked with federal officials to bring Wynn back to Ohio from a federal lockup in Arizona to face prosecution at the state level.

Wynn faces three counts of rape that carry possible life sentences, one count of gross sexual imposition, six counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, four counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor and four counts of illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance.

Trumbull County jail records show that Wynn has been there since April 14, and Rice has said he wants this case to be off his docket by year’s end.

Goodman, who was appointed by Rice to represent Wynn, was upset during Thursday’s pre-trial hearing that the judge read the findings of the psychologist’s report into the record, saying the publicity could lead to trouble in seating a jury.

Rice disagreed. “We’ve had cases that have had more publicity and we have had no problem in getting a jury,” the judge stated.

Court records show that Goodman on April 22 had moved for a not-guilty by insanity plea for Wynn, which triggered Rice to call for a psychological report.

Wynn was given a 25-year federal sentence in 2019 after being found guilty of sexual exploitation of children, receipt and distribution of visual depiction of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and possession of child pornography.

That case, investigated by members of the Liberty Police Department, the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office, the county prosecutor’s office and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations, involved Wynn and another man allegedly trading images of child pornography via cellphones.

In the local case, Wynn is accused of having inappropriate sexual conduct with a child who was 3 years old at the time as part of the late 2018 and early 2019 offenses. That investigation was conducted by the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office.

A Liberty police report on July 17, 2018, reported that a girl, who was 2 at the time, was standing outside of the Lucretia Drive home about 8 p.m. wearing only a diaper. No one was at home at the time.

The report states the mother of the child, identified as Wynn, returned at 8:22 p.m. exiting a Lyft vehicle carrying a bag of malt liquor. Wynn told police she left the child with her boyfriend, but the man advised police he had been at work in Cleveland all day. The Lyft driver told police he had picked up the woman at the Lucretia home at 7:47 p.m. but was unaware of the child being left alone.

Trumbull County Children Services was contacted and the child’s father came to the home to take custody of the girl. Wynn was arrested that day on a child endangering charge, jail records show. In that case, Girard Municipal Court records show her being fined and given credit for serving 21 days in jail.

During the pre-trial last week, Goodman admitted that his client had been on a “five-day alcohol-fueled” bender.

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