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Redman trial set to get underway

Daiscia N. Redman

STEUBENVILLE — A 22-year-old Wheeling woman lost her bid Monday to fire her attorney on the eve of her trial for allegedly trying to burn a house down while it was occupied, then returning later and taking a shot at the brother of one of the people who’d been inside the home.

Daiscia N. Redman, 600 Northwood Court, was indicted in July on charges of aggravated arson, felonious assault and discharging a weapon across a highway. All three of those charges are felonies.

The indictment alleges four people were inside a home at 1344 Oregon Ave. on May 2 when Redman, “by means of fire or explosion, created a substantial risk of serious physical harm” to them. Hours later, the indictment alleges Redman and a co-conspirator, Andrew Dajuan Whitsett, returned to Oregon Avenue and fired “several” shots at the brother of one of the people inside the house during the earlier incident.

The driver of the second vehicle, Shaquil Petteway, told police he was on his way home when a friend told him a white vehicle was circling his block. He said he tried to avoid the other vehicle but the other driver got behind him and someone in it fired off at least three shots. Police said one of those bullets struck Petteway’s vehicle in the rear passenger door on the drivers’ side.

Redman’s court-appointed attorney, Eric M. Reszke, argued unsuccessfully Monday that the aggravated arson charge should be severed from the other two counts of the indictment, telling Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph J. Bruzzeze Jr. that the incidents happened “at two different times (and carry) two different burdens of proof, one with a co-defendant and the other without.”

He also argued that the arson case was circumstantial, since the state was relying on footage from surveillance cameras and GPS to put Redman at the scene of the attempted arson.

“In the interests of justice, we think the charges should be severed,” Reszke told the judge, pointing out the would likely seek the sentences to be served consecutively if his client is convicted.

But Prosecutor Jane Hanlin contends the assault charges were an extension of the original offense, pointing out that the Petteway family seemed to be targeted in both actions.

Social media posts suggest Redman actively searched out members of the family, she added.

Bruzzeze denied the motion, and also rejected Redman’s demand for a new lawyer, telling her “the day before your trial is probably too late to do that.”

Redman complained that Reszke “doesn’t listen to anything I say,” adding communications between them are “absolutely horrible.”

But Reszke told the judge jail records would reflect how many times he met with Redman at the correctional center, and said he’d provided her with information on the state’s case and then she told him what, if anything, she wanted to see.

“She was given an opportunity to see it (all) and she chose not to,” he told Bruzzeze. “I cant force her to want to look at it, she chooses what she wants to look at.”

Redman also complained that she’d been unable to send her attorney copies of social media posts retrieved from her cell phone last week under court supervision, and said he was aware of the problem but had not rectified the situation.

Reszke disputed that, saying he’d suggested two workarounds – allowing him to look at the screenshots and jot down pertinent information or take pictures of the information Redman deemed important, but she rejected both of his suggestions out of hand.

“It’s part of an ongoing game (with her), she knows exactly what she’s doing,” Hanlin said, adding Redman had been heard to say she wasn’t going to trial “until (they) start acting right.”

“She’s trying to delay the trial on purpose, that’s what’s going on here,” she argued. “She’s intent on torturing people at the jail, acting out.”

Bruzzeze declined to delay the start of Redman’s trial, saying, “that ship has sailed.” He said proceedings had already been delayed by Redman’s refusal to sign her indictment and her demand for a competency evaluation that she then refused to participate in.

Jury selection is slated to begin at 9 a.m. today. Whitsett, her codefendant, has already pleaded guilty to felonious assault and discharging a weapon over a highway, both with additional specifications, and was sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison, the first three years of it mandatory because of the firearm specification. He’s slated to testify against Redman. Redman was indicted separately in October on unrelated charges of felonious assault and assault on a correctional officer at the Jefferson County jail, also felonies, with an additional finding that the assault took place during commission of the officer’s job. Redman also was indicted on an aggravated menacing charge, a misdemeanor. That case is slated for trial March 2.

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