BCI agent testifies during 2nd day of Worley murder trial

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    Megan Roberts, with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, shows the jury a motorcycle helmet, one of the pieces of evidence collected at the crime scene.

    The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
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  • WAUSEON — Reddish brown stains marked the black motorcycle helmet Special Agent Megan Roberts held up for jurors.

    It was among the key exhibits presented Tuesday on the second day of testimony in the case against James D. Worley, who is accused of kidnapping and killing 20-year-old Sierah Joughin.

    RELATED: Initial interviews with Worley played on first day of murder trial

    Agent Roberts of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation testified about evidence recovered at three locations central to the prosecution’s case: The alleged kidnapping site, Worley’s residence, and the cornfield on County Road 7 where the Metamora woman’s body was found after she disappeared riding her bike July 19, 2016, in rural Fulton County.

    “There appear to be reddish-brown stains on the helmet,” she said, adding that the staining appears on both the inside and outside. “It pretty much covers the entirety of the exterior.” Similar stains were documented on stalks of broken and trampled corn and on the victim’s bike, she said. They were later determined to be blood.

    WATCH: Worley murder trial court proceedings

    Wearing orange rubber gloves, Agent Roberts showed jurors the helmet, fuses, an orange-handled screwdriver, and a pair of men’s sunglasses found near Ms. Joughin’s bike. Jurors on Monday heard in recorded interviews with Worley that he told investigators he had lost those items when his motorcycle broke down.

    Fulton County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Robinson warned the room to expect “graphic” testimony in the afternoon. The television displaying photographs was turned away from the gallery so only the jury could see.

    Agent Roberts showed jury members items found on Ms. Joughin’s body collected during the autopsy — a light-colored brassiere, white socks, an adult diaper, and a yellow gag. She had been bound at the wrists and ankles.

    The agent also showed zip ties found in two pickup trucks on the Worley property. Crime scene investigators studied the tire tracks on the vehicles to compare them with treads found at the scene, she said.

    BCI Special Agent Dave Hammond also searched the Worley property. He testified about some of his findings in a barn: a carpet-lined freezer buried in the floor covered by boards and hay bales, and a crate containing women’s lingerie, latex gloves, and adult diapers. Diapers also were found in several rooms in the main residence, agents said.

    Agent Hammond recalled Worley’s reaction to authorities searching the barn as “unsettling or alarming.” The windows had been spray-painted black from the inside, he said.

    Earlier Tuesday morning, law enforcement officers discussed their involvement at the County Road 7 location between roads J and K after a volunteer search party member alerted them that he had seen something out of the ordinary.

    Volunteer Scott Hudik testified that he searched on his own and encountered a section of field that appeared to be freshly dug and re-filled.

    “I noticed something different,” he said, describing an area of disturbed corn. “Part of it was knocked down ... I saw drag marks.”

    Authorities would later find Ms. Joughin’s body in that area on July 22.

    Worley, 58, of rural Delta, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder — both with death-penalty specifications — as well as four counts of kidnapping, two counts each of murder, abduction, felonious assault, and having weapons while under disability, and one count each of possessing criminal tools, gross abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence.

    Contact Lauren Lindstrom at llindstrom@theblade.com, 419-724-6154, or on Twitter @lelindstrom.