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Haywood murder trial set to begin Aug. 9

LISBON — A jury trial remains scheduled in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court next week for a Wellsville man accused in the October 2019 shooting death of his 26-year-old girlfriend, Destiny Moody, also known as Destiny Penny, while three of her four children were upstairs in her home.

Terrance L. Haywood, 28, Chester Avenue, Wellsville, is charged with murder, aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence and having weapons while under a disability. The charges include a firearm specification, which could lead to additional prison time if he is convicted.

On Monday afternoon, Judge Scott Washam met with a 6-year-old potential witness for the trial and found the child competent to testify. The attorneys both from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the defense attorney representing Haywood were both in the room while Washam spoke with the child, but the defendant was not.

Before going into the back room the attorneys had argued before Washam about having the child testify. Defense attorney Dennis McNamara brought up several cases where small children were found not to be competent.

While Special Prosecutor Micah Ault argued that case law shows what is important is the child is now competent, not where the child was at the time of the murder. However, McNamara disagreed somewhat saying that if a child is not capable of remembering what happened because they were too young, then it does not matter if they are competent now.

McNamara also pointed to interviews the child has had with child advocates, where the story has reportedly had discrepancies.

After Washam ruled on the child’s competence, the prosecutors provided the defense with some additional evidence from Wellsville police and a telephone conference was scheduled for 2:30 p.m., Thursday.

The jury trial is scheduled to begin on Aug. 9.

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