XENIA — The trial for a man accused of robbery, kidnapping and abduction continued in its second day in Greene County Common Pleas Court April 11.
Bryan Goney, 38, was arrested Nov. 13, 2016 as a suspect in a robbery that occurred that same morning at the Circle K on East Dayton Yellow Springs Road, Fairborn. He and a woman were allegedly picked up outside a white U-Haul van at the Circle K on Progress Drive in Xenia.
An indictment was later filed for Goney with the charges specified as two counts of robbery (second- and third-degree felonies), kidnapping (second-degree felony), and abduction (third-degree felony).
“There’s no question something happened that night — that’s indisputable. But I think the state will have difficulty proving it was Bryan Goney,” defense attorney Anthony Sullivan said during opening statements.
Eleven witnesses for the state took the stand in the first two days of the trial, including Fairborn’s Circle K store manager who was allegedly robbed at gunpoint. According to her testimony, she was working third shift alone. Around 1:25 a.m., she was taking a smoke break when she spotted a white U-Haul van around the corner, she said. Allegedly, she turned to walk inside when a man with a gun ran to the sidewalk and followed her into the store.
Video surveillance showed the hooded man follow her through the front door, motion her behind the counter, and order her to empty the cash register contents into a black bag. Surveillance showed a gun in his ungloved hand pointed at her. The other hand appeared gloved.
After he ordered her to the back of the store, she said, she called 9-1-1. On the call recording, which was played during court, she described him as a white male wearing a black hoodie and a mask.
“It was a horrifying experience. I was terrified,” she told Assistant Prosecutor David Hayes and the jury. “I really thought I was going to lose my life that night.”
Other witnesses included Fairborn Police Department officers and Greene County Sheriff’s deputies who were dispatched to the two locations and aided in the investigation.
“She was very frightened, crying, shaking, talking very fast,” Officer Chris Sopher, Fairborn Police Department said about the store manager. Sopher was dispatched to the Fairborn Circle K first. He testified that $61 had been stolen.
Shortly later, another Fairborn police officer, Officer Joseph Pence, was notified that a U-Haul van had been spotted at the Circle K in Xenia. Sheriff’s Deputy Jeffrey Thomas testified that he spotted a hoodie, wig and sunglasses inside the van.
Over the course of testimony, officers revealed that both the robber in the surveillance video and Goney were wearing blue jeans and had on similar shoes. A U-Haul key, pepper spray and a wad of cash were also allegedly recovered from Goney’s pockets.
Goney was arrested at the Xenia scene, along with a woman who was with him at the time.
She was the last witness to take the stand for the day, testifying that Goney had asked her to scope out both gas stations for surveillance cameras and number of store clerks. She revealed that Goney had told her he needed “to go hit something” to make some money.
She, too, is facing criminal charges, but took a plea deal in exchange for her testimony, which will result in one charge being dropped.
Another witness, Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Hallie Dreyer, an expert in forensic DNA, testified that she tested swabs from the confiscated black bag and the firearm for “touch DNA.”
“Touch DNA is highly variable — roughly we only get a 30 percent success rate,” she said.
Dreyer concluded that the data showed more than one individual present, which means that she could not include or exclude anyone from the DNA profile. Multiple contributors, she said, makes it sometimes virtually impossible to identify individuals’ DNA when they’re mixed together, which is why she could not make a comparison to Goney’s DNA.
Tomorrow testimony continues. According to the parties, the trial may last most of the week.
Goney is being held in the Greene County Jail with a bond set at $100,000 with no 10 percent.
Reach Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.