Rowan Sweeney murder suspect on trial: Day four of testimony Tuesday
Monday marks day three of testimony in the trial of the final suspect in a deadly robbery and home invasion that killed the life of a four-year-old boy in Struthers back in September 2020.
Testimony continues in the trial of 21-year-old Brandon Crump, who is accused of being the triggerman in the home invasion that claimed the life of Rowan Sweeney and injured four other people.
The third day of testimony began with testimony from JoAnn Gibb, who is a computer forensics specialist with the Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) who investigated this case.
Gibb testified that she had investigated the cell phone records of victim and co-defendant Andre McCoy in this case.
According to Gibb's testimony, the investigation revealed text messages between McCoy and his then-girlfriend and victim Cassandra Marsicola, who was with McCoy on the night of the crime. This investigation included deleted messages.
The investigation also revealed a call log from McCoy showing texts and phone calls from him and co-defendant Kimonie Bryant, whom McCoy planned the robbery with.
The text messages included plans and instructions for the robbery, as well as reassurance that the victim and the then-boyfriend of Rowan's mother Alexis Schneider Yarnell Green did not have a gun.
Additionally, the investigation revealed phone records from three more victims: Schneider, Green and Marsicola.
However, there was nothing of evidentiary value in Schneider and Green's phone records, but Marsicola's records revealed her conversation with McCoy including general conversation leading up to the plans for the robbery.
The messages regarding the robbery were deleted from Marsicola's phone.
Phone records were also obtained for various members of Bryant's family, but nothing of evidentiary value was found on those.
Further testimony from Gibb revealed records from Crump's phone, which included a video of a hand with a red sleeve spreading money created at 2:28 a.m. on September 21. Less than an hour after the murder.
The gunman was described by witnesses as a Black male wearing a red jacket.
Another video taken on the same day in the early afternoon showed video of a Black male in a black hoodie walking down the street and showing off a large amount of cash. This video was played for the court.
Another video was shown, which features a male showing off a gun said to be the same one used in the murder. No shirt was shown, but Gibb testified the subject in the video had dark pants.
The defense objected to the showing of this video, but this objection was overruled.
The defense objected to the showing of a fourth video, which would have also showcased the subject with the gun in a car. This objection was granted.
A fifth video was shown taken shortly before 9:00 a.m. the day after the murder showing the subject taking a large amount of cash out of a backpack.
Still images from the skipped video and the video with the backpack were also shown to the court.
Records of user accounts showed an email address with Crump's first and last name in it as well as accounts with the name "B Thump" which previous testimony revealed to be a nickname for Crump.
Further testimony revealed records of a location report for Crump's cell phone which revealed Crump to be on Perry Street where the murder occurred around the time of the murder.
However, the address given to the court was not the address where the murder occurred, but the address given is just a few homes away.
During a cross-examination from the defense, Gibb testified she found no evidence of contact between McCoy and Crump from both phone calls and text messages.
Gibb further testified that the vehicle module showed no data of any phone calls around the time of the murder.
When pressed about the video from Crump's phone of the man with the red sleeve, Gibb testified that she could not provide the location the video was taken.
Gibb testified that if someone were to download a video sent to them, it would show that it was downloaded, it would depend on how the message was sent to determine if you can find the location where the video was taken or what type of device it was taken on.
However, the prosecution fired back that there was no evidence of any way Crump could have received this video from a third party. The defense reaffirmed its point that the origin of the video is still unknown.
When pressed about the location data, Gibb testified that the only hard evidence was that the phone was there, but there is no way to know who was handling the phone at the time it was at that location.
After a short break, the trial resumed with testimony from another special agent from BCI who investigated this case.
The agent testified that she arrived at the scene of the crime around 9:40 on the morning of the murder and met with detectives from the Mahoning County Sheriff's Office.
The agent testified that she went to an address to potentially gather surveillance camera footage of the incident. The address had a system that captured every car passing the residence, so no video was obtained from the residence.
Another residence with surveillance cameras also did not capture anything related to the crime.
The other residence visited was the actual residence where the murder took place to see if anyone had connected to the Wi-Fi system in the house in case the gunman had been to the house before and knew the password. This yielded negative results.
The agent went on to testify regarding records she had investigated about Bryant's Google accounts. She testified at one point an email was sent regarding his Snapchat account's password being changed hours after the murder.
Further Google records revealed a notification regarding a login to Bryant's Snapchat account on an unrecognized device with an IP address included.
The agent testified she also investigated Crump's Google account records which revealed text messages, as well as Facebook messages. After a second short break, those messages were revealed to the court.
These messages include another subject on Facebook asking Crump for his phone number. Another message sent less than an hour before the murder read "I can't find my keys or my gun."
Cross-examination revealed that the agent did not know the identity of this user, but it does not appear to be connected to Bryant.
Further testimony revealed a message sent nearly two hours after the murder by Crump to an account associated with Byrant with a message that simply read "I love you." Bryant responded, "Love you more brah."
There was also a 29-second audio call between Crump and the account associated with Bryant via Facebook shortly after the murder and records of another 16-second call between the two accounts.
Investigation also revealed Crump and Bryant were friends on Snapchat.
Another two-minute audio call to Crump initiated by the account associated with Bryant was recorded later in the morning. During a cross-examination, it was revealed that there is no way to determine what was said in any of those calls.
Testimony in the cross-examination also revealed that no calls between Bryant and Crump took place between 1:00 a.m. and 1:51 a.m., which is the time police were dispatched to the home.
The prosecution pointed out that Crump and Bryant could have been together during the gap without any calls or messages.
Further testimony revealed Apple records from Crump including a picture taken of a female with a gun with a light on it hours before the murder. Testimony last week revealed that the gun used in the murder had a light on it.
When questioned about this photo, the agent testified that she did not know who the woman was and while she can tell the photo was taken on an iPhone 7, there was no way to see whose iPhone 7 it was.
Following this, the agent revealed Apple records for Bryant revealing that he and Crump at least 11 days before the murder, as well as a deleted image shown to the court of two Black males standing near a car.
The agent testified that she did not know who the males were, but the prosecution says the picture is of Bryant and McCoy.
Further testimony revealed Snapchat messages between Bryant and another user that read in part "WTF goin' on with [McCoy?]" and another post that said "Please pull through my boy" referring to McCoy.
Further records revealed a video posted to Bryant's Snapchat taken inside of a moving vehicle with music playing in the background. This video was taken shortly before midnight on September 20. Just hours before the murder.
The agent testified that she did not know the identity of the user Bryant was communicating with.
After a lunch break, the court reconvened for testimony from Charles Thomas, who is a criminal intelligence analyst with BCI. Thomas testified that he had analyzed Bryant, as well as Crump's phone records.
GPS coordinates both Bryant and Crump's phones were near the scene of the crime around the time of the murder. Location data also showed a subject at an address linked to Bryant about 20 minutes after the murder.
During a cross-examination, the defense pointed out that the two may have been using the same cell tower, but weren't exactly at the same location.
The next testimony came from an analyst from HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area).
She testified about the confidence levels of the location of Crump relative to Bryant. The higher the confidence level, the more likely the two are to be closer to one another.
The analyst testified that there was a mixture of low, medium, and high confidence levels during the period where Crump and Bryant were said to be in the same location.
A video was played for the court showing Bryant's location beginning just after 1:00 a.m. and leading up to the murder. Another video was played showcasing Crump's location beginning at 4:00 p.m. the day before the crime and leading up to the murder.
After a brief recess, one final witness was called to the stand for the day: Zach Denzler, who is the team leader of U.S. Marshals of Northern Ohio's Violent Fugitives Task Force.
Denzler testified that he was the one who served the warrant for the arrest of Crump in October of 2020.
Denzler testified that the search warrant was conducted on the 100 Block of South Pearl Street in Youngstown. According to Denzler's testimony, Crump immediately fled into a wooded area on foot, where he was eventually apprehended by marshals.
This arrest was Denzler's only involvement in this case.
Jury selection began Monday, February 5, and testimonies began Thursday, February 8.
The first day of testimonies saw Rowan's mother Alexis Schneider along with her friend Cassandra Marsicola describing what they remember from the night of the crime, as well as testimonies from two police officers who responded to the scene recounting what they remember.
Schneider had identified Crump as the triggerman, but Marsicola did not have a definitive answer on who she believed to be the triggerman. However, she testified that she identified Bryant in a lineup of suspects, but says she felt pressured by police to do so.
Day two focused more on the evidence side with a BCI agent testifying about the evidence collected during a search warrant of co-defendant Kimonie Bryant's home and a DNA specialist testifying about the DNA that was found on pieces of evidence from the scene.
Day two also saw testimony from victim and co-defendant Andre McCoy, who planned the robbery as evidenced by text messages between him and Bryant. McCoy testified that Crump was the triggerman.
For a complete in-depth recap of Thursday and Friday's testimonies, check out our related coverage below and check back to this story throughout the day for the latest updates on Monday's testimonies.