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Jury takes the stand

Courtney Astolfi • Jun 24, 2014 at 11:43 AM


In an unexpected move, accused rapist and kidnapper Brian Jury took the stand Monday in his own defense.

Jury's testimony painted a different picture of the events that led up to his Nov. 1 arrest. His testimony completely conflicted the statements of a Lorain woman found naked, bound and gagged outside his Strecker Road camper that day.

Jury, 39, told jurors Monday that he picked the woman up in Lorain that autumn morning, then drove her to his Groton Township property. There, they had consensual sex, with the understanding he'd pay her $40, Jury testified.

It was only after the pair were preparing to leave, Jury testified, that he noticed a $100 bill missing from his wallet.

Jury said he made the woman strip, and he saw the missing bill flutter from her clothes.

The woman insisted the money was hers, Jury said, then later demanded he pay her $1,000. Otherwise, she'd tell police he raped her, he said.

Jury then admitted he bound her limbs—but said he was careful when he stuffed tissues in her mouth to muffle her cries. Jury also said he made sure she could still breathe.

When she kicked him, he hog-tied the woman, Jury said.  Then he left the camper to let them both “cool off.”

Jury later said he sent the victim's phone a “cover-up” text after he learned Erie County deputies were searching for him.

But when Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter told Jury his phone records disproved those statements—deputies called him about 30 minutes after Jury sent that particular text—Jury could offer no explanation.

Baxter grilled Jury on his justifications for nearly every piece of evidence presented against him:

How did the victim see his gun? Jury said it was in a cup holder covered by his phone. She saw it when he made a call, Jury said.

Why did he have so much duct tape in his camper? Because he wrapped his paper towel rolls in tape while he was away to keep mice from chewing them up, Jury said.

Why was he carrying a 9 mm gun when he was arrested? Jury, crying on the stand, said he meant to kill himself with it, but instead chose to “face his demons” after speaking with his brother on the phone.

Baxter asked Jury if everyone in the courtroom was gathered there at Monday's proceedings over just $60—the woman had stolen $100 from Jury, but Jury supposedly owed her $40 for the sexual acts, according to his testimony.

“Pretty much,” Jury replied.

Baxter then grilled Jury on the presence of a freshly-laid tarp on his property. Through his questioning, Baxter insinuated Jury planned to use the tarp to dispose of the woman's body, if he had the opportunity to kill her on Nov. 1.

Jury, however, repeatedly denied the allegations of rape and attempted murder.

Baxter and Jury's attorney, Jack Bradley will present their closing statements today, after which the jury will begin deliberation.

Jurors could decide on a verdict today, but court officials said one may not be reached until later this week.  

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