HARDIN COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) – Twelve people are deliberating 16 charges in Hardin County for Charles Castle as he awaits a verdict in his trial for allegedly kidnapping a 7-year-old girl back in November.
The jury was sent to discuss the charges and decide Castle’s fate just after 2 p.m. Monday.
On the final day of the trial, Castle’s attorney had the chance to call witnesses or have Castle testify, but chose to do neither.
The jury has five days of testimony brought by the state in making their decision.
This morning the judge dropped one charge, possessing criminal tools. Castle is still facing 16 felony charges including seven different charges related to kidnapping, three tampering of evidence, and one rape charge.
During closing arguments, both the state and Castle’s attorney spoke about DNA — specifically about DNA found on the girl.
“There’s no absolute way that DNA result itself tells you how it got there, there’s no way to tell when it got there, there’s no way to tell what type of substance it is, there’s no way to tell how it was even mixed together,” said Castle’s defense attorney Elizabeth Smith.
State Prosecutor Bradford Bailey argued, “You have to explain the unusual collection sites. At that point, the labs knew we had connective evidence. Some of our stuff didn’t get tested that we had submitted, mainly because we had our connection.”
The jury did come back to the courtroom to view video evidence that was shown earlier in the trial. The 12 members rewatched the video including body camera video from the morning the child went missing and surveillance video from outside the family’s home the night the kidnapping happened.
During closing arguments, different points of view on the child’s testimony and interviews were also brought up.
“You may think the little details throughout her multiple statements are not important, but they are incredibly important because it shows that she’s an inconsistent, unreliable narrator or storyteller,” Smith said.
“The point is the girl is steadfast and when her interview she looked him right in the eye and she pointed at him right down there,” Bradford said. “That is not based on some fleeting moment, some guy comes to her house one time. That’s on the guy that’s been for over 60 days consistently over six and a half, seven years of her lifetime. She knows who Charles Castle is.”
The jury is scheduled to continue deliberations Tuesday beginning at 8:30 a.m.