Travis Hypes threatened the woman pregnant with his baby before deliberately pointing a firearm at her head and pulling the trigger, according to the prosecution.
Or, Hypes knew the firearm he had in his possession was defective and wanted to protect the woman he loved when he took it out of his pocket, according to the defense. The gun then accidentally went off striking her in the head, eventually killing her.
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Clark County Prosecutor Brian Driscoll and Clark County Public Defender Rebekah Sinnott painted starkly different pictures of the same event Tuesday during their opening arguments in a murder trial at the Clark County Common Pleas Courthouse in front of Judge Douglas Rastatter.
It will be up to a 12 person jury that was seated Tuesday morning to decide who to believe.
Hypes is charged with murder in the death of Lindsey Marsh, 23. Marsh, who was 30-weeks pregnant, was fatally shot on April 5 in a home on East McCreight Avenue. The baby was saved by doctors.
A police affidavit says Hypes told them that the two were arguing when a shoving match began. Marsh’s family has told the Springfield News-Sun that they don’t believe Marsh would participate in a physical altercation because she was so protective of her unborn child.
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Driscoll began his opening statements showing a picture of Lindsey Marsh. He told the jury that she was loved dearly by her family and friends and that her life was purposely cut short by Hypes.
“Everything she had in front of her is gone,” Driscoll said.
Driscoll said Marsh had gone to Hypes’ sister’s home because she wanted to be sure that Hypes played a role in their child’s life. He told the jury a number of people were at the home but the two were left alone and began to argue.
“Threats are made during the fight,” Driscoll said, noting that witnesses told police Hypes was heard telling Marsh that he was going to “smack her.”
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The prosecutor said the evidence will show Hypes brandished the weapon and killed Marsh before running away.
“He doesn’t ask (for someone) to call for help,” Driscoll said. “He flees… He runs.”
Sinnott disagreed and instead said her client didn’t do the right thing but he never intended to kill Marsh.
“He didn’t mean to shoot her,” Sinnott said. “He was stupid but he didn’t mean to shoot her.”
The defense attorney said Hypes and Marsh were arguing when Marsh shoved him first. She said Hypes had a gun on him for protection but knew something was wrong with it.
“The gun was defective,” Sinnott said, adding that an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation report will show that to be true.
“He shoves her back and the gun goes off,” she said.
She asked the jury to determine that Hypes didn’t mean to kill Marsh.
“There’s no question what happened here was tragic,” Hypes said. “This was an accident,”
Hypes sat at the defendant’s table and quietly sobbed and shook his head throughout both opening arguments.