AKRON, Ohio – On Thursday a witness provided testimony in the second murder trial of Denny Ross claiming that he forced himself on her at his apartment a short time before police arrived to search for evidence in the death of Hannah Hill.
The witness says she went to Ross’ apartment after Hill’s body had been discovered in the trunk of a car on Caine Avenue in May 1999.
She testified that she and Ross were friends, and that after she arrived she overheard a telephone conversation in which Ross may have been talking about the crime.
“He just outburst, said 'I did it. I did it. She's gone. She's dead.' The witness told the jury.
The witness also testified to being scared as she and Ross drank alcohol and watched television news reports about Hill’s murder.
She claims to have spent the night at Ross’ apartment afterwards, during which time Ross forced himself on her after she had gone to sleep.
Under cross examination defense attorney Roger Synenberg asked the woman, "Could he have stopped after you said no?”
After which the witness answered, “Could he have? Yes, he could have.”
“So he stopped because you said ‘No”, asked Synenberg.
“No, he did not stop because I said no,” the witness abruptly answered.
Ross was not charged with a crime for the incident that the witness alleged.
The same witness says she then dressed herself and went into a living room area where she sat on a couch. She testified that while she was there Ross came out of his bedroom carrying what she described as, "Something". She then told the jury the Ross walked over to a picture window and threw it out.
Moments later the witness said there was a knock on the door and the apartment was swarmed by police officers looking for evidence in Hill’s murder.
In their opening statements prosecutors said that investigators found a garbage bag outside of Ross’ apartment in which they discovered the clothing Hill was wearing when she was killed along with her purse and other personal items.
The woman testified that she never told investigators about any of the things that happened that night at Ross’ apartment because she was afraid.
She said over the past 13 years she has lived on the run , staying in Pennsylvania and New York. She testified that only more recently did she admit to detectives what happened.
“I told him that I did see him throw something out the window. I told him that I was raped. And I told him why I really couldn’t bring myself to tell the truth in the beginning,” said the witness.
“And that was why?” asked Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Anna Faraglia
“Because I was scared. So scared,” answered the witness. The witness later told the court that she was scared to be sitting in the courtroom on Thursday.
Prosecutors say Ross was the last person Hill visited before she was killed and that DNA evidence, which has not yet been introduced in the trial, will link him to her murder.
Ross was tried for the crime in 2000, but that ended in a mistrial.