YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Attorneys for one of two men accused of the torture and kidnapping of a woman in September are asking a judge to suppress evidence in the case.
In a motion filed Tuesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, attorneys David Betras and Patrick Kiraly say that any evidence seized during a search of Farren McClendon’s South Side home should be suppressed because investigators did not have probable cause to search and any evidence they did have is unreliable.
McClendon, 41, faces kidnapping, felonious assault, complicity to felonious assault and complicity to aggravated menacing after a woman told police she was kidnapped and tortured Sept. 20 by McClendon and co-defendant Janarvis Roberts, 26.
The pair are accused of taking a woman from a vacant home on East Judson Avenue, taking her to a remote area of the East Side, beating her and then leaving her. The woman managed to find a home and call for help.
Detectives served two search warrants a few days later at South Side homes in the 500 block of Cambridge Avenue and the 100 block of East Judson Avenue as part of their investigation and seized several bags of evidence while also taking two pieces of paneling and a rolled-up carpet from the trash.
Roberts was taken into custody at the Cambridge Avenue home and arrested after he was questioned by detectives.
McClendon and Roberts both have pretrial hearings set for Feb. 2 before Judge John Durkin, who is hearing the case.
In their motion, the attorneys wrote that the victim in the case told police she was abducted by four men, two of them McClendon and Roberts, driven to Roberts’ home and tortured for several hours with a large hot knife, had boiling water poured on her, had bleach poured over her wounds, was hit, kicked and punched and gagged with a rag that had been dipped in feces.
She told police she was driven to an area on the Sharon Line of the East Side near Warwick Avenue and the men talked of killing her. She remembers nothing after losing consciousness but walked to a nearby home and called for help, the motion said.
Investigators used her statement to get a search warrant from municipal court Judge Carla Baldwin for McClendon’s home as well as the home of Roberts in the 500 block of Cambridge Avenue.
The attorneys said the victim is a drug user and has been known to distort reality and that the victim’s parents also told that to police. Because she is unreliable, her statement, which was not backed up by anyone else or any other piece of evidence, should have not been enough to get a search warrant for McClendon’s home, the motion said.