Defendant Is Shot Before Jury Reaches Verdict
WARREN, Ohio (AP) _ A defendant awaiting a verdict in a sex offense trial was found shot to death in his apartment Friday morning, but the jury was not told of his death and convicted him three hours later.
Police believe Tryone Evans, 24, shot himself once in the head with a .22- caliber pistol, but they were awaiting results of an autopsy by the Trumbull County coroner’s office, said Chief Richard Galgozy.
The body was found at 9:30 a.m. by Evans’ sister, who had gone to the apartment to drive him to the county Common Pleas Court. Evans was free on $10,000 bond.
The jury continued deliberations unaware of the death, and delivered a guilty verdict on both counts, according to a woman in the office of assistant county prosecutor W. Wyatt McKay.
However, McKay later said the court had sealed the verdict and it should not have been revealed.
″If a defendant dies, the case is moot because there can be no sentence or appeal. It serves no purpose to reveal the verdict because the case was dismissed before the verdict was read,″ he said.
Evans was charged with sexual battery against a 16-year-old boy and felonious assault against a 17-year-old boy. The indictment said alleged incidents occurred in October 1984.
Evans’ trial began Wednesday morning before Judge Robert A. Nader. The jury began deliberations at 9 p.m. Thursday, recessed after one hour, and reconvened Friday morning. The verdict was announced at 12:30 p.m.
The maximum penalty for the charges against Evans was 12 to 20 years in prison.