LIMA — Acting against the advice of his attorney, Jarvis Killingsworth took the stand in his own defense Thursday as the final witness in his trial on felony charges of robbery and kidnapping.
After the state of Ohio rested its case against Killingsworth at noon Thursday, Defense Attorney Carroll Creighton advised Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Terri Kohlrieser that his client had elected to testify, even though doing so “may not be in his best interest.”
The 22-year-old Chicago man, who has resided in Lima since last August, proved to be confrontational at times on the witness stand, clashing repeatedly with Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Tony Miller and drawing reprimands from Kohlrieser for his outbursts.
Jurors were seated and testimony got underway for the second time Thursday morning as Killingsworth again stood trial for allegedly robbing a Lima couple at gunpoint in January of this year. Jurors in the Chicago man’s robbery and kidnapping trial deliberated more than four hours last month before announcing they were hopelessly deadlocked. A new trial was immediately scheduled following the mistrial.
Morning testimony in the re-trial came from the alleged victims in the case, Daniel and Jessica Kelley, and from an assortment of police officers. The Kelleys identified Killingsworth as the person who held them at gunpoint in the parking lot of an apartment complex at 1325 W. Market St. on a snowy January morning. Police officers further testified that Killingsworth was the man who fled from that robbery scene to a house at 131 S. Rosedale Ave. and later jumped from a second-story window at that residence when officers arrived.
Killingsworth maintained his innocence throughout the initial trial and on Thursday once again asserted to jurors that police had arrested the wrong man in connection with the armed robbery.
Killingsworth said left the Rosedale Avenue residence on the morning in question to purchase marijuana at a nearby home on Kenilworth Avenue. On the street said he met a man he knew only as “AZ,” who was headed to the same “weed house.”
After purchasing and smoking the marijuana, the two men went to the Rosedale Avenue home, Killingsworth said. A short time later “AZ” left the home but returned less than 30 minutes later with police in pursuit. Killingsworth said the man came in the back door of the home and locked the door behind him.
Killingsworth leaped from a second-floor window in the home at nearly the same time police arrived, he testified, because he was “paranoid” after smoking marijuana and feared there was a warrant for his arrest for failing to keep an appointment with his probation officer.
“I fled out the window because I didn’t want to be in the predicament I’m in now,” Killingsworth said.
In at-times rambling testimony, he suggested to jurors that “AZ” was the real robber.
Jurors were given the case late in the day on Thursday.