The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, February 05, 2020 1:00 am

Jurors hear 911 call, screams in '18 attack trial

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Courtney Madison's screams can be heard on an early-morning 911 call to emergency dispatchers April 25, 2018. 

Kiara Jones, then 18 and noticeably nervous, made the call. She said Madison's ex-boyfriend had just broken into their Spatz Avenue home. 

Jurors listened to a recording of the two-minute call Tuesday, the first day of the trial of the man accused of breaking in. 

Police say Raymond O. Demby, 53, smashed a window near the back of the home around 4 a.m., attacked Madison and Jones with a hammer and shot the women before fleeing in a stolen Pontiac Aztec.

He faces several felonies including attempted murder, aggravated battery, burglary and battery with a deadly weapon.

The attempted murder charge is punishable by up to 40 years in prison.

Madison, 42, who spent two weeks in the hospital after the attack and testified Tuesday, said she fell and remembers seeing Demby's boots and blood covering her arm from her position on the floor. 

“I heard myself saying, 'Help,'” she said. 

A motive for the assault has not been made clear, but questions about Demby's mental state have swirled since prosecutors charged him nearly two years ago. A psychiatrist testified in an earlier hearing that Demby is not competent to stand trial, but two psychologists disagreed, and Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull ruled him competent. 

William Lebrato, Demby's former lawyer, filed paperwork in June 2018 to rely on an insanity defense at trial. Lebrato also said in a 2019 hearing his client was aggressive, unhelpful and unable to assist in his defense. 

In court Tuesday, Demby interrupted as the judge questioned a juror during jury selection and was taken from the courtroom. 

Defense attorney James Hanson now represents Demby and told jurors in opening statements there are several “hard facts” about the case he will not dispute. The question, he said, is whether prosecutors can prove Demby had a clearly formulated plan to commit the crimes – something jurors must consider when deciding whether to acquit or convict on some of the charges. 

A “mental defect” prevented Demby from understanding his actions, Hanson said. 

“It was well known that Mr. Demby has some significant mental health challenges,” he said. 

Officers tried to stop the Aztec, but Demby kept going and crashed the vehicle on South Harrison Street, according to court documents. He had blood on his hands, and a black handgun was found on the floor of the Aztec, a probable cause affidavit alleges. 

Psychologists Stephen Ross and David Lombard testified last year that Demby likely exaggerated the severity of mental health problems in separate examinations. Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Tasha Lee said at the time she believed Demby was “faking it,” and she said Tuesday that evidence presented during the three-day trial would leave no doubt of his guilt. 

To prove her point, she said Demby was alert and able to answer questions from a medic sent to the crash. 

“(He) absolutely knew what he was doing,” Lee said. 

Witness testimony continues today.

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