YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The judge presiding over the trial of the two people accused of murdering a 4-year-old Struthers boy said Thursday he thinks once DNA testing is completed for one of the defendants, the case will begin to make a fast track.

“The pace of the case will pick up dramatically,” said Judge Anthony D’Apolito during a pretrial hearing for Brandon Crump, one of two men charged with the September 2020 shooting death of Rowan Sweeney at the Perry Street home of his mother.

Also charged in the case is Kimonie Bryant, 25.

Prosecutors have still not decided which of the two men will be tried first because they are awaiting results of DNA tests in the Bryant case.

The testing was to be done in May, but it was postponed because of confusion over whether a defense expert could watch the testing in person or could watch via Zoom. The expert had to be there.

The DNA issue has been hotly litigated for almost a year and when the timetable was upset last month, Judge Anthony D’Apolito was not very happy, ordering the testing to be completed by June 30. Last week, prosecutors and Bryant’s attorneys said the testing will be done the week of July 18.

Judge D’Apolito said the results should be back by the end of August, which will then allow prosecutors to decide who to try first. He said the first of those trials should be six months after the tests are complete to allow time for defense attorneys to study the evidence and raise objections, if necessary.

One of Crump’s attorneys, Lou DeFabio, said he is in a “holding pattern” because he is not sure what the tests will say, so he is not exactly sure of his defense strategy yet.

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 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.

Prosecutors have never said what items were collected that have the DNA that is being tested.

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 of several thousand dollars he received from a stimulus check.