Day 1: Triple Homicide Trial of Curtis Clinton

Watch live video of the trial with updates from the Erie County Courthouse.
Sandusky Register Staff
Oct 29, 2013

 

UPDATE 6:36 p.m. — Four more witnesses testified Tuesday afternoon.

• Josh Case, a friend of Jackson's, told jurors he had a friend drop him off at her John Street home at about 9:30 p.m. Sept. 7, hours before police say she was killed.

They watched a movie while Case drank Tanqueray and vodka, and each of them took a Percoset, Case said.

View photos from Day 1 of the trial HERE

While he was there, another man, Tom Hanson, pulled into Jackson's driveway and she got into his vehicle and they talked for a bit. After he left, Jackson came back inside with two pills, Case said.

Soon, Case asked another friend, Billy Crawford, to pick him up and take him to 7-Eleven to by milk and donuts for the kids to have in the morning.

When he returned, Hanson was back, in the kitchen talking to Jackson.

After Crawford and Hanson left, Jackson put the children to bed and she and Case went into her bedroom and had sex, he said.

Afterward, Crawford picked him up again and he left for the night, sometime before 1 a.m.

• Billy Crawford told jurors he did give Case a few rides that evening. He also recounted a moment with Celina, when he went into the home and picked her up for a few minutes because she wasn't feeling well.

• Tom Hanson told jurors he knew Jackson for only two weeks. They met through a mutual friend when she wanted to sell a car, then they started texting each other every day and he visited her often, he said.

He also helped her to move into her home, and told jurors he did visit her that evening. But he denied selling her drugs.

• Special Agent David Hammond, of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, testified about assisting Sandusky police by processing the crime scene the night of the homicides. He and another agent combed the John Street home for evidence for hours.

During his testimony, prosecutors showed jurors photos of Jackson's body in her bedroom and the children's bodies, found tossed behind boxes in a utility closet.

Hammond took swabs for dozens of DNA samples from the scene before sending the bodies to the Lucas County coroner's office for autopsies.

He also showed jurors several pieces of evidence, including the red leggings and underwear found around Jackson's neck, the blanket detectives suspect Clinton used to strangle Wayne Jr., and the black leggings used to strangle Celina.

Proceedings will begin again at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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

— Due to graphic testimony, viewer discretion is advised —

UPDATE 12:54 p.m. — Five witnesses testified Tuesday morning in the trial of accused triple murderer Curtis Clinton, facing the death penalty if he is convicted.

Click HERE for continued coverage of the Triple Homicide

• Danielle Sorrell, a longtime friend of victim Heather Jackson, 23, told jurors of when she went to Jackson's house Sept. 8, to visit her in the afternoon. The doors were locked and it appeared no one was home, so she left.

Later, she returned to the residence after getting a voicemail from Jackson's mother, Jodie Lynch, who was concerned she hadn't heard from her daughter that day.

Sorrell opened a window, and didn't see anyone inside. But her suspicions heightened when she saw Wayne Jr.'s bottle in a bedroom, and Celina's blankets on the couch.

Heather didn't take her children anywhere without those items.

It was a few hours later she learned Jackson was dead. Her voice cracked on the stand at telling jurors about the memory.

• Officer Rob Bess performed a welfare check at Jackson's John Street home after her mother called police after not hearing from her for the day.

He found all the doors and windows locked.

He later returned to the scene and met two men in the driveway just before 8 p.m., after they called police about discovering a body under a mattress in the residence.

Daniel Risner, a man who didn't know Jackson, went with another man who did to Jackson's house to check on her that evening.

He forced his way into the house, only to discover Jackson's body.

He later called police.

• Sgt. Eric Graybill was the first Sandusky police officer to enter the house after Risner called 911. He secured the residence, and with another officer, started searching for the children.

Only after a second sweep of the home did he find their bodies, tossed in a utility closet behind a stack of boxes.

• Justin Kromer, a longtime friend of Jackson's and father of one of her children's cousins, was the last witness to testify before the noon break.

He told jurors he had visited her Friday, Sept. 7, the evening before she was killed.

After buying her and her children a pizza, he left for the evening, anticipating a call from Heather later when she planned to meet him at a bar.

She never called, so at about midnight, he called her and talked for a bit.

She told him she was putting Celina to bed and she would call him back.

After he didn't hear from her, Kromer sent her a text at about 3 a.m., asking if she was up.

She said she was, but their conversation ended there. He never heard from her again.

Comments

Doody

Thanks for broadcasting this. I'm a trial junkie, but this is local and its good to see the facts directly and make one's own judgment.

looking around

So far the most compelling testimony has been the BCI testimony, I don't know how the family finds the strength......as to Clinton he seems to think he is a lawyer rather than the defendant, taking copious notes while viewing the photographic evidence. I can't imagine what those notes contain.....

shucks

Exactly! What's he gonna do with all the note taking ?

red white and blue

I'm waiting on the day he dies ill be celebrating in the street!!!!

Didn't do it

Fry that n to. Herb and family god bless ya fry fry fry burn kill hin

Didn't do it

Don't trust cops he mite be a hark to get less time cops are jokes luv ya. Herb

bondgirlM

Has this been classified as a Black on White hate crime?

Stop It

No such thing as a "hate crime" on heterosexual white people.

From the Grave

What if someone mistakenly THOUGHT you were gay, or ethnic?

gene44870

You know , so far I havent head evidence that implacates Clinton in the crime that he is charged with , All I hear is a lot of talk and tring to discredit the investigation . I have heard that it is very possiable that someone else could have done these crimes , They need to work on tieng Clintion to the crimes and presenting a motive for why he did what he is accused of , or even if he did do it , he will be free to do it again
I am not going to cast judgement tell I hear all the evidence and then I will make up my mind , I am hoping they are wrong about him , but at the same token if he is proved to be guilty of this crime , he should get the death penality .
I am no longer living in Sandusky , But I am still following this cause I was living right below Clintion
So I am intrested in finding out what happens

Baba Booey

Did you even watch the video's because you sound really stupid. There is a lot of evidence that puts him with this crime. It's all a matter of whether the evidence can prove without a reasonable doubt.

YouMustBeJoking

Actually Gene44870 is correct. If you listen there has been NO evidence so far, that links Clinton to the crimes he has been charged with. Opening statements are NOT evidence. However once they get into the DNA and the video from Firelands along with the phone records, it will prove that he IS the P.O.S. that did this. But as of right now this early in the trial, the evidence has not been brought forth. So far the defense has been trying to put all eyes on Mr. Hanson, and they are doing a good job (so far) at doing so.

Baba Booey

In the opening statement he explained the evidence. And when questioning the last witness also they brought up some evidence. Your just going off of what the defense attorney said when they couldn't use DNA matches because it doesn't prove without a reasonable doubt. Which is also false.

Jmschmidt812

By what the prosecution is saying, they have his DNA on the little girl, the mother and weapons of choice he used to kill these 3 innocent people. If the evidence is that compelling, stop wasting tax dollars and take that m'fer out back and put him down like a rabid dog!!! He killed once before and he was let out, not sure how that worked either. Then he goes to clyde rapes a girl and still manages to kill again. There's no place in society for someone like him, even prison is to good for him.