The fate of a 70-year-old North Webster man accused of impregnating his 14-year-old granddaughter is being decided in Kosciusko Superior Court I.
The two-day jury trial is for David E. Killian Sr., 70, North Webster, who is facing level 4 felony charges of sexual misconduct with a minor committed by a person at least 21 years old. Killian was arrested July 26, 2018, after an investigation by police allegedly linked his DNA to statements made by the victim.
The victim spoke with North Webster police on Aug. 10, 2017, and said her grandfather had been having sexual encounters with her for the past five months or so.
The jury consisted of six men and six women, and selection took the entire morning Tuesday.
Kosciusko County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Brad Voelz told jurors in opening statements that they’re going to hear the victim describe horrifying, sad, intimate, embarrassing and tragic sexual encounters. Voelz described the victim as a young woman, saying he’d usually use the word teenager to describe someone her age, but that she’s been forced to grow up because of Killian. Voelz said the only person who may not think of the victim’s life as horrifying, sad and tragic is the victim herself, “because she loves her daughter very much.”
“David Killian Sr. is the biological father of the victim’s daughter,” Voelz told jurors.
Voelz said Killian lived with his son, the victim and the victim’s brother in a trailer in North Webster. Voelz said Killian would initiate sexual encounters with the victim by inappropriately grabbing her breasts, buttocks and asking her for sexual favors.
“If she rejected him, he would say ‘f*** you’ and call her vulgar names,” Voelz said.
Adam Turner, attorney for Killian, told jurors in his opening statements that while they may have shared a few light moments during jury selection, that this is a dead serious situation for all of the parties involved, including his client.
Turner said Killian has the right to face his accuser and to cross examine.
“You are going to see that today,” Turner said, telling jurors to pay attention to the questions he will ask because they will paint the picture of their case.
Voelz first called the victim to the stand, where she testified – at times through tears – about the details of what her grandpa did to her. She told jurors not only would Killian call her names and curse her if she would reject his advances, but that he had sex with her on two separate occasions while no one else was home.
The victim testified that she told her dad that her grandpa was touching her inappropriately and it was her dad who called police.
When Voelz showed a picture of the victim’s daughter to the courtroom, the victim smiled widely.
“Proud of her?” Voelz asked.
“Oh yeah,” she said. “Love her?” Voelz asked. “Of course.”
“Who is her father?” Voelz asked.
“My grandfather,” she said.
North Webster Police Department officer David May testified he interviewed Killian in August after the complaint was made. May said Killian did not confess to the accusations but did say he considered the victim more of a stranger than a granddaughter. May said Killian admitted to him he called the victim the names that Voelz claimed he did.
Voelz asked May if he told Killian that the victim said she doesn’t feel safe around him. May said he did, and “he said he didn’t blame her.”
May then testified that in December 2017, police found out the victim was 7-1/2 months pregnant.
“We decided we would wait until the baby was born and get the DNA from the baby and proceed that way,” May said.
May said he collected DNA mouth swabs from Killian, the victim and the baby. That DNA was sent to the Indiana State Police testing laboratory in Fort Wayne.
Turner asked May if he took any other DNA swabs from the other males living in the home. Turner asked May if he interviewed any other individuals besides Killian for his investigation. May answered no to both questions.
Voelz called NWPD Sgt. Candy Smythe to the stand, where Smythe testified she interviewed the victim the same day the alleged crime was reported to her – Aug. 10, 2017, along with a Child Protective Services caseworker. Smythe testified the victim was upset, tearful and distraught during the roughly 40-minute recorded interview.
The state’s next witness was Stacy Bozinovski, a forensic scientist with the Indiana State Police laboratory in Indianapolis, who tested the DNA samples of Killian, the victim and the baby.
Bozinovski testified she concluded that the probability that Killian is the biological father of the baby is 99.9999%.
At 5 p.m., the trial was recessed until 8:30 a.m. today.