Youngstown fatal beating case begins with photos of victim’s injuries

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The photos shown by prosecutors prompted tears in the gallery and from the defendant himself

Jason Hymes, charged with felonious assault in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Although she was in no shape to be photographed, Ryan Weaver-Hymes was powerless to object.

Jurors in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Wednesday in the trial of the man accused of beating her to death got to see all 116 pounds of Weaver-Hymes as she lay on a hospital bed in a medically-induced coma at St. Elizabeth Health Center just hours before she died February 15 from the injuries she received. Police and prosecutors allege her husband, Jason Hymes, 46, was responsible.

Her entire head was covered in a white bandage. She had to breathe through a tube inserted in her nostrils. Her arms, legs, elbows and shins were covered in bruises, the skin a dark purple. There was dried blood on the inside of her lips, and other injuries, all documented by Youngstown police officer Greg Miller, a member of the department’s Crime Lab who testified for the prosecution.

A jury was seated Monday to hear the case against Hymes, who is charged with murder, felonious assault and domestic violence. Judge Anthony D’Apolito is hearing the case.

The photos shown by prosecutors prompted tears in the gallery and from the defendant himself. One woman gasped, “Oh, my God.”

Miller testified he took the photos after detectives went to the hospital the day after Weaver-Hymes was attacked. Police said Hymes beat her February 13 at a North Side bar then again in their Alameda Avenue home.

She died two days later in the hospital.

The Mahoning County Coroner’s Office said her death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head.

Earlier, prosecutors played a 911 call made by the 13-year-old daughter of Weaver-Hymes. In a barely audible voice, the girl was coaxed by dispatchers to find out what happened. The girl called 911 twice February 13, she testified.

“Are they still fighting?” a female call-taker asked her.

After a barely audible answer, the call-taker asked, “You’re hiding?”

The girl said she was at a cousin’s house across the street.

“She’s not fighting back? No?” the call-taker said before assuring her officers were on the way.

Under cross-examination from Hymes’ lawyer, James Wise, the daughter testified her mother did drink but she was not aggressive.

“She only hit back when he [Hymes} hit her,” the girl said of her mother.

When she was across the street, the girl testified she talked to her mother and her mother said she was “OK.” But the girl said she did not believe her mother and called 911 anyway.

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