LIMA — A court hearing of a woman charged with shooting at a house turned into part “CSI” and part “This Old House” on Thursday.
The attorney for Adriania Denson, 21, of Lima, implored for permission to cut out a section of a wall to search for the bullet in the case. The arguments focused on how practical that was, given the house’s age and its building materials.
“There is indication that the bullet coming as a result of that shot has been located, when it’s in the wall of a house, and the decision apparently has been made that retrieval of that bullet from that particular part of the house would be too cost prohibitive and would be too damaging to the house,” attorney Ken Rexford said. “… I can’t think of a case involving a shooting where the bullet wasn’t deemed to be relevant.”
In the discussion, Rexford talked about his own experiences with home repairs and replacing aluminum siding, evoking the names of different kinds of saws that could be used. Judge Terri Kohlrieser questioned how easily construction crews could match the color and style of the siding on the house.
Denson faces charges of felonious assault with a firearm specification, a second-degree felony; improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation or school safety zone, a second-degree felony; and discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises, a third-degree felony.
The prosecutor and defense both acknowledged there was no bullet or gun recovered in the Aug. 2 shooting. They haggled over photographs taken the day after the incident from the Metcalf Street home of the Tony Slusher, which showed bullet holes on the exterior of a sun porch and the entry through the aluminum siding on the front of the house. The bullet didn’t enter through the wall into the house, Lima Police Department Crime Scene Officer Michael Carman said. He couldn’t recover the bullet and surmised it fell between studs on the outside wall.
“A lot of times in these older houses, they’re not insulated real well,” said Carman, who said he has nine years experience photographing crime scenes. “So you’ll have an interior wall, you’ll have an exterior wall, and in between sometimes there’s just a cavity. A lot of times I’ve seen the bullet go through the wall, hit the interior and just disappear.”
Slusher previously told police his stepdaughter said that day her former boyfriend, Laquetrius Young, was outside and was not welcome at the residence. Slusher said he heard a car horn from the street and watched Denson get out of a white Buick parked in front of the residence before she asked if Young was inside the home. Court documents allege Denson then told Slusher she would kill him with a gun, reached into her car to pull out a handgun and fired one shot at Slsuher, missing him by less than a foot.
Assistant Prosecutor Kyle Thines said it was impractical to cut open the house. He also noted he presented a plea agreement to Rexford and Denson to dismiss all the charges except for the felonious assault with a firearm specification. She has until the end of the next pretrial March 29 to accept the deal.
Kohlrieser said she’d consider the motion and make a ruling on the defense’s request in the future.