LIMA — More than two years after the start of a criminal case against a Lima man charged with the physical abuse of a minor, and less than three weeks before the start of his jury trial, lawyers were in court Tuesday to argue over witness lists and the scheduling of expert witnesses.
Kenneth Rexford, the third defense attorney to represent Lima resident Anthony Davenport, filed a motion in Allen County Common Pleas Court objecting to the “continuous expansion” of the state’s witness pool that he said was “spiraling out of control.”
Davenport, 34, was indicted by an Allen County grand jury in May 2017 on charges of felonious assault and endangering children, both felonies of the second degree. The charges allege that on or about May 5 of that year Davenport caused “serious physical harm” to the unnamed victim in the case, a child under the age of 18, according to the court documents.
Davenport, who shielded his face from the media throughout Tuesday’s hearing, is scheduled to stand trial starting Oct. 21.
Attorney Ken Rexford argued on behalf of his client against the state of Ohio’s recent addition of three potential trial witnesses to an “already long line of new witnesses.” It was the state’s 11th supplemental discovery package.
In his written motion, Rexford said, “There is no reasonable explanation for this sort of continuous expansion of the witness pool over two years into the case and after multiple continuances by the state.”
In court, the attorney said his primary concern is the scheduling of an expert witness for the defense who is only available on one specific day during the trial.
“It’s a timing issue,” Rexford said. “This has gotten out of control, with more witnesses being added more than two years into this case. The problem is the increasing number of state witnesses and the time it will take the state to present its case. Our expert is only available on one date, and we ask the court to put a limitation” on the state’s filings.
Judge Jeffrey Reed set today as the cut-off date for the addition of witnesses. Reed also overruled the defense motion to exclude the state’s expert witness as well as other potential witnesses contained in the state’s Sept. 25 discovery package.
Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Juergen Waldick said the list of witnesses the state intends to call during the trial is “less than what’s on the sheet” of potential witnesses provided to the defense.