LIMA — Jurors deliberated for just over an hour Wednesday before finding a Lima woman guilty of firing her handgun through the wall of a residence along Brower Road in September 2018.
Julia Slayton, 35, showed no emotion when the verdict was announced. She turned and told sobbing family members, “I’m a big girl; I’ll be alright.”
She will be sentenced April 6 following the completion of a pre-sentence investigation and a review of earlier competency evaluations, Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed said.
Acting against the advice of her court-appointed attorney, Steve Chamberlain, Slayton took the witness stand in her own defense Wednesday morning to kick off the trial’s second day. The woman veered off topic frequently when attempting to respond to questions first from Chamberlain and later from Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Tony Miller.
Slayton while on the stand admitted she had a handgun in her possession on the day in question but said she could not recall if she discharged it. She said a pre-existing medical condition that leaves her deprived of oxygen on occasion, coupled with a physical dispute earlier that day with her daughter’s biological father during which he reportedly struck her in the head, caused a temporary loss of memory.
She testified that the man was harassing her at her temporary residence at the Willow Lake apartments prior to the shooting and suggested it was for that reason she had picked up the handgun. Slayton said she was not under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at the time of the incident but did say she was taking prescribed methadone and adderral at the time.
Police officers who responded to the scene on Sept. 4, 2018, testified Tuesday that Slayton seemed “out of it” when they attempted to talk to her that day.
Slayton was charged in a Bill of Information issued in September 2018 with a second-degree felony count of discharging a weapon into a habitation or a school safety zone.
The bullet that prosecutors say was fired from Slayton’s weapon entered a residence at 1021 Brower Road. Ballistic tests performed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation determined the projectile was fired from the weapon police found in Slayton’s possession that day. A live cartridge found inside a nearby residence at the Willow Lake Apartments on Lake Circle Drive, where Slayton was staying with a friend, also matched both the weapon and the bullet found.