A Springfield man convicted in the killing of a pregnant woman had an appeal of his conviction denied.
Travis Hypes, 27, was convicted by a Clark County jury of murder, reckless homicide and felonious assault in the shooting of Lindsay Marsh. Marsh died from the shooting, but doctors were able to save the life of the baby.
Hypes contended during the trial that the gun went off accidentally. Clark County Common Pleas Judge Douglas Rastatter sentenced Hypes to serve 18 years to life in prison after the conviction.
In his appeal to the Ohio second district appeals court, Hypes argued that the evidence presented against him at trial was insufficient for a conviction and that prosecutors committed misconduct when they told the jury that Hypes was a member of a gang.
The court ruled that three facts were established during trial: Hypes pulled the gun’s trigger during the shooting, he pulled that trigger while holding the gun six inches from Marsh’s head, and the gun was fired parallel to the floor.
“It is hard to say for certain what transpired between Hypes and Marsh,” The court said in its ruling. “But based on all of the evidence, a jury could reasonably infer a scenario of what happened. Hypes and Marsh were arguing in the kitchen. She started pushing him and mocking him. His anger rising, Hypes pulled out the gun and threatened Marsh with it. She was not cowed by the gun and continued her taunts. Standing about an arm’s length away, Hypes then raised his right arm and pointed the gun at her head, his finger on the trigger. Hypes pulled the trigger. This scenario accounts for the characteristics of the entrance wound, the location of the bullet’s entrance, and the trajectory of the bullet through the left side of Marsh’s brain.”
The court further ruled that it was alright for prosecutors to bring up Hypes activity because, during opening arguments, his attorney said he was carrying a gun for self-protection. His attorney said he had been pushed down stairs and shot at.
“These statements undoubtedly left the jury wondering who threatened, pushed, and shot at Hypes,” the court said. “The evidence about his gang involvement provided the answer. Hypes himself made the evidence relevant. Furthermore, given all the other evidence, we do not believe that the exclusion of the evidence about Hypes’s gang involvement would have changed the jury’s verdicts.”
Marsh was a beloved daughter and sister, her family previously told the Springfield News-Sun.
“She loved helping people,” Marsh’s grandmother, Sandra Marsh said. “She was so looking forward to her baby. We had spent the week washing diapers.”
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