YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Prosecutors said on Tuesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court that DNA testing should be done by Nov. 7 in the Rowan Sweeney case.
The revelation came today during a pretrial hearing before Judge Anthony D’Apolito for one of the two suspects, Kimonie Bryant, 25, who is charged with aggravated murder with death penalty specifications for the September 2020 shooting death of the 4-year-old at his mother’s home in Struthers.
Defense attorneys also had news of their own; they filed a motion today asking Judge D’Apolito to suppress any identification of their client by witnesses. The details of that motion are not yet available.
The DNA issue has been hotly litigated for almost a year. Trial dates have not been set yet for Bryant or co-defendant Brandon Crump, 18, because prosecutors say they need to have the results of the tests to determine who should be on trial first.
Prosecutors have not commented on what items were sent away to be tested. The issue was held up because defense attorneys wanted to do independent testing of the DNA and have a defense expert watch that testing.
Bryant and Crump were indicted on capital specifications for the boy’s death, which means the death penalty can be applied if they are found guilty. However, because Crump was a juvenile at the time the crime was committed, under state law he cannot be put to death.
Bryant was originally indicted in October 2020 for Sweeney’s death that was part of a superseding indictment in March 2021 that included Crump as well as Andre McCoy, 21.
McCoy was wounded in the same shooting that killed Sweeney and injured two others. Prosecutors have not been able to find him and they have not said how McCoy could have been shot in the head yet still be part of the plot that resulted in Sweeney’s death. McCoy could also face the death penalty if he is convicted.
Three others were also charged in the superseding indictment with other roles in the case.
Police and prosecutors said Sweeney was killed by a group of men who came to the Perry Street home of his mother to rob her boyfriend, Yarnell Green, of several thousand dollars he received from a stimulus check.
Green, 32, was killed early Sunday morning in a shooting downtown following an argument in a bar.