Prosecution rests case in Pryor kidnapping trial

By Elijah Knodell - [email protected]

Keyown Pryor listens to testimony during his trial Wednesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court.

Keyown Pryor listens to testimony during his trial Wednesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court.

LIMA — Jurors in the Keyown Pryor kidnapping trial have now heard all the evidence against him with the prosecution resting its case Wednesday.

Pryor, 28, faces multiple charges from two incidents in 2021. He faces three counts of kidnapping, felonies of the first degree; two third-degree felony counts of domestic violence; a single count of burglary, a felony of the second degree; and a single count of grand theft of a motor vehicle, a felony of the fourth degree.

On Tuesday, Pryor’s ex-girlfriend, Rachel Hooker, testified that Pryor physically assaulted her while she was driving her vehicle with their child in the back seat on two occasions: one on Nov. 28 and the other on Dec. 6, 2021.

The Nov. 28 incident occurred when Hooker says she was driving Pryor and their child to the Shawnee Road McDonald’s. She alleges that Pryor began to physically assault her while driving and that a verbal altercation between the two ensued in the restaurant’s parking lot, which could be seen on security footage played to the jury. Photos of injuries Hooker says she sustained in the incident were shown to the jury during Tuesday’s testimony.

On Wednesday, Shawnee Township Police interrogation footage related to the Nov. 28 incident was shown to the jury. In the video, Pryor maintained his innocence, calling Hooker “psychotic,” “belligerent” and “demented.” However, Detective Jack Miller testified that Pryor’s story was inconsistent throughout the investigation, evolving as he learned more details concerning the allegations.

The Dec. 6 incident also allegedly occurred while Hooker was driving Pryor and the child. Hooker testified Tuesday that she was driving on Holly Street while sustaining blows from Pryor. Hooker says she stopped the vehicle on Holly Street and, once she had exited and began to scream for help, Pryor drove away with their child still in the car.

Renee Wagoner, who lives on Holly Street, testified that she was home the morning of Dec. 6 when she heard a female voice screaming for help. Wagoner said that she witnessed from her window that the driver of the vehicle, whom she later came to identify as Hooker, was being struck “like a punching bag.” Wagoner said that she exited her home to assist Hooker who was left on Holly Street after Pryor allegedly drove away with the child.

Wagoner placed a 911 call that was played for the jury. On the call, a female voice identified by Wagoner as Hooker’s can be heard crying while Wagoner can be heard asking for assistance. Wagoner said that she rode along with Hooker in an ambulance to Mercy Health-St. Rita’s. Photos presented Tuesday were taken of Hooker in the ambulance that prosecutors say show injuries sustained in the incident.

Several hours later on Dec. 6, Pryor was apprehended at a residence in the 800 block of Weadock Avenue. The resident of the home testified that he had left without locking the door that afternoon, but he found upon returning that all the doors had been locked. He said that he allowed Lima Police to search his home, where Pryor was found and arrested in the attic. The resident testified that he did not permit Pryor at any point to enter his home. The arrest was shown to the jurors via footage from two body cameras worn by police officers.

Lima Police Detective Steve Stechschulte testified that he recovered the child at a construction shop belonging to Pryor’s father on West Vine Street, and Hooker’s car was located later that day on South Scott Street.

Stechschulte also testified to the nature of the relationship between Pryor and Hooker, who knows from previous cases. He said that, in other cases, Hooker would become uncooperative and would try to protect Pryor. But, he said that this time her story and truthfulness had remained consistent throughout the entirety of the investigation and trial.

The trial will resume at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Keyown Pryor listens to testimony during his trial Wednesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court. Pryor listens to testimony during his trial Wednesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court.

By Elijah Knodell

[email protected]

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