A motion to dismiss charges did not succeed for the man charged in the beating death of a Madison Twp. toddler and it shed light on phone system issues at the Butler County Jail.
Defense attorneys Frank Schiavone III and Frank Schiavone IV argued Butler County Sheriff’s detectives listened to four recorded calls from Bradley Young to Schiavone III just days after his arrest and gleaned information about a witness who then refused to talk with defense attorneys.
Young is charged with murder, felony endangering children and involuntary manslaughter after he allegedly beat 3-year-old Kinsley Kinner to death.
Three detectives, Sgts. Ed Tanner and Rob Whitlock and Detective Joe Ventre, who listened to Young’s jailhouse calls, testified that as soon as it was apparent the calls were placed to an attorney, they did not listen further.
All said they did not know what was on the recording and gleaned no evidence from the calls.
Butler County Common Pleas Judge Craig Hedric agreed.
“I find very little evidence value in these calls,” Hedric said.
Hedric listened to the calls in question outside the presence of the public and media despite objections by this news outlet and others.
He ruled the charges would stand as is against Young.
“Obviously there are some problems with the jail phone system,” Hedric said, placing responsibility on the vendor who runs the system.
Richard Pryor of Combined Public Communications, the company that provides phone service for the jail, said during testimony that the number posted at the sheriff’s office for attorneys to call to have their numbers blocked from recording is wrong.
That number, Pryor said, is to a former call center that he estimated has not been used since 2006. Pryor said the company installed the four phones in the booking area without recording warnings because it is where inmates make their free phone calls.
Pryor also said that one of the calls in question from Young to his attorney had been listened to three times by a detective, but he could not say how long the call was played.
Capt. Dennis Adams, Butler County Jail warden, testified he was unaware the phones in the booking area did not have the recording warning until the defense team filed the motion. He was also unaware the number posted for attorneys didn’t work.
Young said he spent a couple weeks in isolation at the jail. During that time, Young said when he asked his corrections officer to place calls to his family he was taken to an area that was cleared of other prisoners to make the calls.
“It was my understanding it was for my protection … so nobody would harm me,” Young said. He added those phone always had a warning about calls being recorded, unless it was attorney-client privileged calls.
“When I wanted to call my attorney, they took me to the booking area,” Young said, noting there was no recorded warning on those phones and the calls were free.
Young said he did discuss witnesses and particulars of his case with his attorney during the calls.
During cross examination by special prosecutor John Arnold, Young said he made other calls from the “free” phones in the booking area, not just to his attorney Frank Schiavone IV.
The courtroom was packed for the hearing, with Young’s family, the family of Rebekah Kinner, Kinsley’s mother who is serving an 11-year sentence for her part in the death, and the family of Kinsley’s father, Scott Senft.
After the hearing Karla Edwards, Kinsley’s great-grandmother said “it was scary for a while, but I wasn’t going to loose my faith.”
Schiavone IV said they will now focus on the trial.
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