A female witness, who requested not to be named or photographed, identified the naked male figure as Sowell. The naked man in the video walks back and forth between the buildings and behind the bushes.
By JAMES W. WADE III
The trial ended Tuesday with the prosecution showing state's exhibit number 344, a video. The camera angle shows the area between Sowell's house and the sausage factory Ray’s Sausage) next door. A female witness, who requested not to be named or photographed, identified the naked male figure as Sowell. The naked man in the video walks back and forth between the buildings and behind the bushes.
The man in the video eventually helps a naked woman up off the ground and walks her towards the back of the house. After the video was shown the day ended without a cross-examination from Anthony Sowell's attorneys.
Judge Ambrose changed times for the proceedings which now go from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., instead of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. One of the witnesses Tuesday was Lemar Webb, 29, he is Janice Webb's only child. Janice Webb's body was found under the stairs in Anthony Sowell's basement, with a belt around her neck and her wrists bound with shoelaces, said the prosecution.
Webb said after about two weeks of not having contact with is mother, he spoke to his aunts and his great grandmother, but no one had heard from her either. After the discovery of the bodies on Imperial Avenue, he received word his mother was a victim.
"She had never been gone like this before… When I heard about it, I just figured she was there," Webb said. Sowell's attorney, Rufus Sims, has remained fairly quiet throughout the trial, but steps up to the podium in the middle of the room for cross-examination.
Sims asked Janice Webb’s sister Joanne Moore, about her sister's struggle with drugs. Moore said Janice used drugs for about 20 years.
Sims asked the victim’s sister several direct questions, calling into question the credibility of the witness. Moore said she had 30 past felony convictions and went to prison three or four times. He grills her on any aliases she may have used to commit crimes, but Webb doesn't falter.
Assistant prosecutor Pinkey Carr guides the next woman to the stand, aided with a cane. With her sunglasses still on, 71-year-old Inez Fortson inches towards the microphone. Telacia Fortson, mother of three, was last seen in June 2009. Her son, who was 6 at the time, gave DNA to identify her remains.
Fortson said the last time she saw her daughter was on June 3, 2009. Fortson said her daughter was incarcerated for stealing money from the father of her children.
"Because they were finding missing ladies," Fortson said. That's when she took her grandson to the coroner's office to give a DNA sample. Telacia's children are now 4, 6 and 8. She had reported her daughter missing with East Cleveland and the fourth district police.
Amelda Hunter’s sister Denise Hunter came to the stand and said her sister was sexually assaulted when she was a junior in high school and became pregnant. She said that's when things started to go downhill.
Amelda Hunter's body was found in November 2009 in Anthony Sowell's backyard. The prosecutors said her body had a strap from a bag tied around her neck.
Hunter said she went with her sister to “Tony's” house in 2007, before describing the layout of Anthony Sowell's apartment. The last time Denise Hunter saw her sister, Amelda, was in April 2009.
"No calls. No picking up on her cell phone. Nothing," Denise Hunter said. By her birthday in June, the family was worried. "When I seen the house, I knew she was there... On her birthday, her son went to give DNA samples and we found it was a positive match."
During cross-examination, Denise Hunter said she did not go to Sowell's house for a party, but there were a few girls there. Sims pushed to find out the nature of the visit, but Hunter said she could only assume her sister went there to buy crack.
"I was uncomfortable in that area," Hunter said. Amelda Hunter was not reported missing by her family and they did not post flyers, like so many other families did.
The next woman on the stand asked not to have her image recorded. It's believed that she may be another alleged victim of Anthony Sowell. The 37-year-old woman lived on Imperial Avenue, just a few houses down from Sowell. She said she met him through Lori Frazier, Sowell's ex-girlfriend who she called "Lo." This happened in 2007, when Frazier was still living with Sowell.
The woman said she has been in Sowell's house five to seven times to do crack cocaine in his third-floor apartment. As assistant prosecutor Rick Bombik asks more questions, the woman begins to describe the floor plan of the attic apartment of 12205 Imperial Ave.
The woman tells Bombik that she spoke with Sowell in the area of East 116th on Sept. 22, 2009. She said he had some beer with him and the two walked down the street towards his house to have a few drinks.
The pair went to the second floor of Sowell's house because he told her the third floor was dirty. She said that floor was abandoned. There was no furniture, except for a plastic lawn chair and a blanket.
More family members of the 11 victims are expected to testify throughout the week in the trial of alleged serial killer Anthony Sowell.