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Day 3: Triple Homicide Trial of Curtis Clinton

Sandusky Register Staff • Oct 31, 2013 at 2:45 PM

UPDATE 2:09 p.m. — Prosecutors questioned three witnesses Thursday morning before dismissing jurors for the weekend.

• The first person to testify was a 19-year-old Clyde girl, who was 17 when Clinton raped her in his Camp Street apartment about a week before Heather Jackson and her children were killed.

She told jurors she knew Clinton through his then 19-year-old pregnant girlfriend, and she had gone with that woman to his apartment that weekend to spend a few days in Sandusky.

That Sunday evening, Sept. 2, 2012, she and Clinton went out to a bar, where he placed his arm around her several times and she refused his advances.

On their way back to his apartment at about 3 a.m. Monday, they argued about his advances and she told him she would find a ride back to Clyde.

When they returned to the apartment, Clinton spoke with his girlfriend and the victim tried to call her boyfriend several times for a ride.

But he didn't answer.

Eventually, she put on her pajamas and started watching a movie while Clinton and his girlfriend were in his bedroom talking.

Soon, they left. Clinton returned a short time later and sat beside her on the couch.

Then he placed he hands around her neck and started to strangle her. She wrenched away, but he wrapped his arm around her neck from behind her.

She pleaded for him not to hurt her, and told him she would do whatever he wanted.

He walked her into his bedroom, told her to take off her clothes and raped her.

The assault continued for hours, she told jurors.

At one point, he choked her until she passed out and she went in and out of consciousness about three times.

At one point when she woke, she saw him taking pictures of her with his cell phone.

Then he raped her again.

Sometime around 6 a.m., he agreed to take her home — she told jurors she figured she'd survived the night, so she could survive the ride home.

He dropped her off a street away from where she lived in Clyde and she walked home.

She went into her bedroom and was sitting on the floor, crying hysterically, when her mother found her.

Then her parents took her to the Bellevue Hospital for treatment. Hospital personnel there sent her to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo so a sexual assault nurse examiner could collect a rape kit for evidence.

• Lisa Dettling, a registered nurse and sexual assault examiner, told jurors about her exam of the 17-year-old victim.

She collected swabs from the victim's body and photographed red marks on the front and the back of her neck.

• Dr. Dana Scala-Barnett, a forensic pathologist and deputy coroner with Lucas County, reviewed photos taken during the autopsies of Jackson and her children.

In each case, she found they died of ligature strangulation. She also found evidence of trauma to both  Jackson and Celina's genital areas.

• Jurors were dismissed at about noon, and are set to return to the courthouse Monday morning at 8 a.m.

Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter said the state was finished presenting witnesses at about noon.

Defense attorneys were to speak with Clinton this afternoon, and be prepared to present any witnesses on Monday.

On Friday, attorneys will meet with Tone to finish procedural parts of the trial, submitting exhibits for the jury to examine and deciding on what instructions will be given to the jury before they are allowed to deliberate on the charges.

After the defense presents any witnesses, attorneys will give closing arguments and the jury will be read their instructions.

They could be deliberating on Clinton's guilt by Monday evening, depending on how quickly the trial concludes.


To see complete coverage from the first day of the trial, click HERE

To see complete coverage from the second day of the trial, click HERE

— Due to graphic testimony, viewer discretion is advised —

Watch live and past video from the trial in the player below

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