Murdered couple’s grandson will testify at hearing

Published 10:20 am Wednesday, December 23, 2009

PORTSMOUTH — The juvenile who was a possible eye witness to the murders of a Franklin Furnace family will be the focus of a hearing at the end of January in the courtroom of Scioto Common Pleas Judge Howard H. Harcha III.

Kara Garvin, 30, also of Franklin Furnace, is accused in the shooting deaths of husband and wife, Ed Mollett, 46, and Juanita Mollett, 43, and their daughter, Christina Mollett, 20. The triple homicides happened Dec. 22, 2008, at the Molletts’ trailer on Snook Road in Franklin Furnace.

Garvin faces 18 counts including aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, theft of drugs and tampering of evidence from an indictment that specifies the death penalty.

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The couple’s then 6-year-old grandson was also in the trailer at the time of the shootings and ran to a neighbor, James Damron, for help. It was Damron who made the 911 call after the shootings.

Garvin’s attorneys, Charles Knight and William Eachus, have sought that the photo lineup identifications made by Damron and the grandson be thrown out as evidence.

The night of the murders the young boy identified Garvin from a page of six photographs of different women taken from the jail records. Garvin’s photo was among those. The next day, Damron also identified Garvin from a similar photo identification record.

In a hearing on Nov. 13 Harcha allowed Damron to be questioned but the grandson was not called. However, the child now will appear at a hearing at 2 p.m. Jan. 29.

“The court has re-examined this issue and feels the defense should be permitted to call the minor child to determine whether the line-up was unnecessarily suggestive or conductive,” according to a judgment entry. “A decision will not be made in this matter until the testimony of the minor can be heard. The defense will be limited on what testimony they may elicit from this witness.”

During the November hearing the defense also argued that the death penalty specification be removed from the case.

Eachus argued that the specification was not made in a statutorial manner.

So far there has not been a ruling on that or the Damron motion.

Garvin’s trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 19 with a pre-trial hearing the day before.