Testimony in the murder trial of Waynesfield resident Brent Williams ran the gamut Wednesday, ranging from a Tiffin man who had a one-night stand with the alleged victim just days before her death to a Cridersville woman who testified the defendant sent her photos of his penis a mere three weeks after his estranged wife's was found deceased.
Also taking the witness stand, among others, were Auglaize County Coroner Dr. Thomas Freytag, who ruled the 2017 death of Erin Mulcahy to be a homicide by strangulation, and a Lima man who called himself a "good friend" of the victim and testified to paying for an abortion after getting Mulcahy pregnant some four or five years earlier.
Mulcahy's body was found inside a running shower in a Waynesfield apartment on July 8, 2017. Her husband, who had moved out of the residence shortly before her death, is charged with her murder.
The online dating app Plenty of Fish figured prominently in testimony Wednesday in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court.
Tiffin resident Chris Sexton testified that he met Erin Mulcahy on the online dating site on July 3, 2017, and later that day drove to Waynesfield to meet the woman face-to-face. Sexton said Mulcahy, who was described in court Tuesday as an alcoholic, invited him to visit and asked him to pick up some liquor. Sexton testified he brought two 20-ounce cans of beer to Mulcahy's apartment, but said the woman drank only a small portion of one can.
The two then had consensual sex and Sexton left the apartment. He said he never saw Mulcahy again.
Taking the stand later in the morning was Tiffany Reynolds, who said she met Brent Williams through the Plenty of Fish dating app approximately three weeks after Erin Mulcahy's death. She met Williams in person at a park in Shawnee after the two had communicated through texts. Reynolds said Williams had sent "provocative" pictures to her prior to that meeting. Upon questioning by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Ben Elder the Cridersville woman said the photos in question were of Williams' penis and that she had sent him a photo of her naked breasts in return.
When they met face-to-face, Reynolds testified, Williams told her about the recent death of his wife and said he had taken out a $25,000 life insurance police on Erin Mulcahy before her death.
Reynolds said she found it "creepy" that Williams was making sexual advances towards her just three weeks after his wife's death.
"He said (Mulcahy) drank herself to death, but it didn't seem like her death bothered him much," Reynolds testified.
Upon cross-examination by Defense Attorney Bill Kluge, Reynolds said she asked Williams if he had killed his wife.
"He said he did not," Reynolds said.
Two other women testified they had met Williams on the Plenty of Fish site and had sex with him on prior occasions.
Ruth Oelke, of Defiance, said she ended her conversations with Williams when she learned he was married.
When the Waynesfield man contacted her on July 7, 2017 -- one day before his wife was found dead -- Oelke said she would not see him again because he was married.
She testified that Williams replied, "Ha, no I'm not. Not any more."
Two days later Oelke said Williams informed her of the death of his wife.
Zanesfield resident Sandra Ball testified that Williams came to her home on the night of July 7, 2017, but that the two did not have sex, as they had on previous occasions.
Ball said Williams was "not his normal self" on that evening.
Lima resident Kurt Simpson, who described himself as a "good friend for several years of Erin Mulcahy," testified that he got a telephone call from the woman on July 5, 2017, saying that she was about to be evicted from the Waynesfield apartment.
Simpson said Mulcahy appeared "very frustrated ... panicked" and that he attempted to calm her down.
Investigators believe Simpson was the last person to talk to Mulcahy before she died.
Upon cross examination, Simpson admitted a prior sexual relationship with Mulcahy, including that fact that he got her pregnant prior to her marriage to Williams and had paid for a subsequent abortion.
Lieutenant Doug Burke of the Auglaize County Sheriff's Office testified that Williams became the primary suspect in the case after the coroner ruled Mulcahy's death was the result of strangulation or asphyxiation.
"Nobody else's DNA was found on her body or in the apartment other than Brent Williams' sperm, which was found inside her."
Retired Local County Judge Mark O'Connor is hearing the case by appointment of the Ohio Supreme Court. Williams waived his right to a jury trial moments before the trial started on Monday.
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