Worley friend: We smoked pot, watched porn


By David J. Coehrs - dcoehrs@aimmediamedia.com



Defendant James Worley consulted often with attorney Merle Beck during Wednesday’s proceedings of the Sierah Joughin murder trial.

Defendant James Worley consulted often with attorney Merle Beck during Wednesday’s proceedings of the Sierah Joughin murder trial.


David J. Coehrs|Fulton County Expositor

A longtime friend of James Worley testified Wednesday during the Sierah Joughin murder trial that he smoked pot and watched pornography with the defendant at his home, and was shown lingerie and sex paraphernalia.

Lawrence Krise, of County Road 6, told Fulton County Prosecutor Scott Haselman that Worley also mentioned once or twice his plan to build a pornography studio in the north barn on his property.

Krise said he has known Worley for 35 years, and once or twice a month visited his friend’s home. He said the pair always smoked marijuana when he visited, usually in the machine shop located in the north barn on Worley’s property. Krise said Worley wouldn’t smoke pot in his home because he took care of his elderly mother there.

But they did hang out in Worley’s house more than a dozen times, Krise said, sometimes watching pornography from a computer. When questioned by Haselman, Krise said the pornography varied in type, including bondage videos. He said they watched the adult videos while Worley’s mother was in her nearby bedroom, which Worley monitored with a mini camera.

The last time they watched pornography together was during the winter of 2015, he said.

On occasion during the home visits, Worley would show him items such as packaged lingerie, a ball gag, and a leather mask, Krise testified.

On cross-examination, he told Merle Beck, a member of Worley’s defense team, that Worley mentioned once or twice his plans to build a pornography studio in his barn. “It was just talk. I didn’t pay much attention to it,” Krise said.

He said Worley, who had quit his job to care for his mother, told Krise he’d done research on operating a pornography studio. “He said he could make some money from it,” Krise said.

He added that Worley also talked about raising rabbits in the barn.

Worley had previously operated landscaping, dried flower, and trucking businesses but all had failed, Krise said.

He told Haselman that Worley talked about meeting women online, and had a couple of girlfriends. He said Worley was the caretaker of his estate and looked after his brother, Mark, who lived in a trailer on the property and was self-sufficient.

Related testimony revealed that a search of the hard drive on Worley’s computer showed him searching for pornography websites of a violent nature.

With Toledo police detective and computer forensic analyst David Morford on the stand, Haselman pointedly led the court through a long list of Internet pornography searches Morford had recovered from the hard drive of Worley’s computer. With few exceptions, most of the searches were conducted from a pornography site, xvideos.com, between September 2015 and July 2016.

According to Morford, many of the searches used tag words such as “hog-tied,” “forced,” “gag,” “stranded,” “raped,” “violent,” “helpless,” and “hitchhiker.” All were under the user name “Jim” and were password protected.

The list also showed that Worley searched over two dozen pornography websites on the day Joughin went missing, many just hours before her disappearance.

However, Beck strongly objected to the display. During his cross-examination, Morford admitted he had chosen specific search words to find websites Worley had visited. “What we have here is a few thousand, but it could be much, much more,” he said.

Haselman also acknowledged the list of websites presented in court was not complete.

Beck demanded the full list recovered from the hard drive, suggesting that not all the pornography sites Worley visited displayed violence.

A major portion of the morning’s proceedings was devoted to cataloguing items found in a green crate in the north barn on Worley’s property. Both state and local law enforcement officers have testified the crate was found to contain items including lingerie, women’s panties, bondage-type restraints, other sex paraphernalia, adult diapers, zip ties, and duct tape.

Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification crime scene investigator David Hammond removed some of the items from their containers and displayed them for the jury.

Hammond also testified he was involved in the recovery of Joughin’s body July 22, 2016, from the gravesite on County Road 7. He said dirt from the grave was sifted in order to recover possible evidence.

“I don’t know that I’ve seen a bigger investment from law enforcement for a case,” Hammond said. He added that he was present during a second round of interviews with Worley at his home but didn’t participate. He said Worley wouldn’t allow the authorities conducting the interviews to enter his home.

During further testimony, BCI crime scene investigator Dave Horn said he took swabs for DNA testing from a 1976 Honda motorcycle found in the machine shop in Worley’s barn. He also photographed tire tracks leading from the driveway on Worley’s property through the grass to a door on Worley’s north barn.

Inside the barn, Horn took samples from a freezer lifted from a spot in the floor in which it had been buried. Horn testified that he found positive results for blood inside the freezer, which was lined with carpet. He also said he smelled some type of decomposition in the freezer.

Fulton County sheriff’s deputy Justin Galbraith told the court he was assigned to search two pickup trucks on Worley’s property. In a green one, he found a garbage bag filled with used paper towels in the back seat, and industrial zip ties underneath the driver’s side floor mat. He said the exterior of a red pickup truck was wet, as though it had been washed.

The red pickup contained zip ties, a black ski mask, a roll of duct tape, and a small can of pepper spray in a side pocket. Galbraith said the carpet on the back seat floor appeared to be bleached, with a small section cut from it.

All of the items found were transported to the county sheriff’s office.

Galbraith told Beck on cross-examination that he’d never seen either truck before his search, and couldn’t determine when the piece had been cut from the red vehicle’s carpet. He said he didn’t see safety equipment Beck suggested was in the green truck.

On the stand, FBI agent Mark Evans said he confiscated Worley’s wallet and its contents and a pair of black boots during a search of his home. He said on Aug. 16, 2016, disposable cameras, a piece of film, and digital cameras from the home were delivered to him. Evans said he analyzed images from a Sanyo camera among the items, including one showing Worley taking an image of himself wearing sunglasses in front of a mirror.

The trial will continue Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Defendant James Worley consulted often with attorney Merle Beck during Wednesday’s proceedings of the Sierah Joughin murder trial.
https://www.swantonenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2018/03/web1_worley.jpgDefendant James Worley consulted often with attorney Merle Beck during Wednesday’s proceedings of the Sierah Joughin murder trial. David J. Coehrs|Fulton County Expositor

By David J. Coehrs

dcoehrs@aimmediamedia.com

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.