YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Prosecutors said in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday that DNA testing should be completed by Nov. 7 in the Rowan Sweeney case.
The revelation came today during a preliminary 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 death shooting in September 2020 of the 4-year-old at his mother’s home in Struthers.
The defense lawyers also had news; they filed a motion today asking Judge D’Apolito to suppress any witness identification of their client. The details of this motion are not yet available.
The DNA issue has been hotly debated for nearly a year. Trial dates have not yet been set for Bryant or co-defendant Brandon Crump, 18, as prosecutors say they need to have test results to determine who should be tried first.
Prosecutors did not comment on which items were sent for testing. The matter was delayed because defense attorneys wanted to do independent DNA testing and a defense expert was monitoring those tests.
Both Bryant and Crump have been charged in the boy’s death, meaning the death penalty can be carried out if found guilty. However, since Crump was a minor at the time the crime was committed, under state law he cannot be put to death.
Bryant was originally charged in October 2020 for Sweeney’s death which was part of a replacement indictment in March 2021 that included Crump as well as 21-year-old Andre McCoy.
McCoy was injured in the same shootout that killed Sweeney and injured two others. Prosecutors have been unable to locate him, and they have not said how McCoy could have been shot in the head while being part of the conspiracy that resulted in Sweeney’s death. McCoy could also face the death penalty if convicted.
Three other people were also charged in the replacement indictment with other roles in the case.
Police and prosecutors say Sweeney was killed by a group of men who came to his mother’s Perry Street home to steal from her boyfriend, Yarnell Green, several thousand dollars he had received from a stimulus check.
Green, 32, was killed early Sunday morning in a downtown shooting following an argument at a bar.