Trial begins for man accused in Ross Co. murder

CHILLICOTHE, OH (WCMH) — The murder trial of a man accused of killing one of six missing or dead women in Ross County started today.

Jason McCrary is charged with murdering Timberly Claytor on May 29, 2015.

Claytor, 38, was a mother of five children and was battling a heroin addiction. Authorities accused McCrary of shooting her in the head multiple times and dumping her along Trego Creek Road in southern Ross County.

Investigators said DNA evidence and blood links McCrary to Claytor’s death, but they have not said why he may have done it. Today was just about selecting his jury.

“Do you think you can set aside your prior familiarity with anybody outside this courtroom and evaluate those witnesses on what they do or don’t say,” said Ross County Prosecutor Matt Schmidt.

McCrary sat and listened as many of the jurors said they heard about Claytor’s murder either by word of mouth, local media, or a six part Investigation Discovery cable series called “The Vanishing Women.” That played a big part in questioning who will sit on McCrary’s jury.

“One of the shows was about Timberly Claytor and in fact Mr. McCrary was accused and now here he is. Did any of you see that show? You did?” Greg Meyers, McCrary’s defense attorney asked a perspective juror. Then Judge Michael Ater asked, “The other two did not see that show? Then you are excused have a good day.”

The jury pool of around 200 Ross County residents is being thinned down by selection today and tomorrow morning. The trial is expected to start Tuesday afternoon.

The banner with pictures of the missing and dead area woman which has been outside the law enforcement center for almost a year, was taken down during McCrary’s trial, Judge Ater was concerned the images might sway jurors.

The judge has issued a Gag order for both attorneys. Jury selection will continue Tuesday morning and the trial could start in the afternoon.

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