Admitted killer Jessica Groves took the stand Friday morning, but testimony quickly devolved into a shouting match with the prosecutor. She confessed to ending the life of her infant son Dylan Groves, but she refused to answer most questions about how she caused his injuries.
“I’m done talking to you!” she told Assistant Scioto County Prosecutor Julie Cook Hutchinson before the judge called for a brief break.
Groves and her husband Daniel Groves are on trial in the death of their infant son. Dylan was born January 10, 2019 (he would’ve been one-year-old on Friday). Hospital staffers determined he and his mother had illegal drugs in their system. He was taken out of his parents’ custody, put in foster care, and later returned to his father, authorities said. Daniel Groves, however, allegedly began dodging meetings with caseworkers, and Jessica Groves began missing drug court hearings. Authorities said they executed a search warrant on their home on June 10. Two later later, the father led them to Dylan’s body, which was at the bottom of a well, deputies said. He was wrapped in plastic, and put in milk crates, investigators said.
The defense strategy: Jessica Groves admitted to killing Dylan. Daniel Groves maintained that he played no role, and only helped hide the body. Prosecutors, however, want to take down both parents for murder.
Jessica Groves testified Friday that Dylan died March 28. (This was the day that a caseworker claimed to have last seen Dylan alive.) Her attorney Robert Stratton asked her if she murdered the child, and she maintained she didn’t do it “intentionally.”
The defendant appeared contrite and distraught at first, but things quickly grew heated during cross-examination from the state. She balked at questions about how she ended Dylan’s life.
“I have sat here and admitted,” she said. Asked again, she said it was an accident. Groves admitted causing the boy’s rib fractures by dropping him, but said she didn’t remember how she caused his first skull fracture. She suggested she might have caused the second by dropping him.
Hutchinson continued running through the list of injuries.
“Nothing that I ever did was intentional,” Groves said.
“I’m not asking for your excuse,” the prosecutor said. “How did you cause that complete upper-arm fracture? Tell the jury.”
“I have to live with this for the rest of my life,” Groves said. “You have devoured my family.”
The judge told her to answer the questions.
“I’ve admitted to my guilt,” Groves said. “And I have to live without my children. I’m done talking to you!”
Hutchinson snapped back at her, eventually yelling, “Tell them how you caused that injury!”
The judge called for a brief break after counsel requested to approach the bench.
During cross-examination from Daniel Groves’ attorney Christine Scott, Jessica Groves said that her husband only helped hide the body, but that he had nothing to do with the murder.
“You and you alone were the one that caused the death of baby Dylan,” the attorney said.
“Yes, I was,” Groves said.
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]