SLIDESHOW:View daily images from inside the Cleveland Strangler trial courtroom.More >
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -
The first full day of testimony in the Cleveland Strangler trial.
As is often the case, the first few witnesses in a trial are called to set groundwork for what is to come. But even in that, 19 Action News learned that there were early clues that something was wrong on Imperial Avenue, and that there were family rifts developing over accused serial killer Anthony Sowell.
All of the witnesses did not want to be photographed. So 19 Action News got a long look at Sowell's reactions to what was said.
As his stepmother's mother was asked to identify him, he stood. The 89-year-old warmly greeted him.
The hint of trouble in the family came from Sowell's half brother, who said Anthony had stopped paying rent to his stepmom for his third floor dwelling, and she was getting ready to have him evicted, but she became ill and was hospitalized. Her mother was on the stand and told jurors that another grandson told her he had visited the home and reported odors.
But a nearby store owner was the most damaging witness.
"Did you ever notice a smell or an odor?" asked the prosecutor.
"Oh, geez. Oh, yea, that smell forget about it," said store owner Assad "Sam" Tayeh.
"When did it start?" the prosecutor asked.
"Oh, a long time ago. It started....from 2004 and up...2005. I don't remember the exact date but it was a very, very bad smell," Tayeh said. "So I walked to the dumpster I open it and the smell is so bad and I saw like a garbage bag with duct tape and I close it very fast."
Tayeh said he also sold Sowell heavy-duty garbage bags.
Sowell faces the death penalty if convicted of murdering eleven women. The bodies of the victims were found in and around Sowell's Imperial Avenue home in late 2009.
Thursday, June 13 2013 1:49 PM EDT2013-06-13 17:49:14 GMT
A group of ministers hope to make a decision tonight on what to do with the property where Anthony Sowell killed 11 women. The Mount Pleasant Ministerial Alliance will meet with relatives of the victimsMore >
A group of ministers hope to make a decision Thursday night on what to do with the property where Anthony Sowell killed 11 women.More >
Friday, April 26 2013 9:26 AM EDT2013-04-26 13:26:17 GMT
New arguments have been filed to try to save the life of serial killer Anthony Sowell. The court papers have been filed as part of his ongoing appeal with the state Supreme Court. Sowell's appeal lawyersMore >
New arguments have been filed to try to save the life of serial killer Anthony Sowell.
The court papers have been filed as part of his ongoing appeal with the State Supreme Court.More >
Monday, October 22 2012 2:39 PM EDT2012-10-22 18:39:54 GMT
Arguments have just been filed with the state Supreme Court to save the life of serial killer Anthony Sowell.More >
Arguments have just been filed with the state Supreme Court to save the life of serial killer Anthony Sowell. Sowell killed 11 women, kept the bodies in and around his home, and he now sits on death row.More >
Wednesday, September 26 2012 11:06 PM EDT2012-09-27 03:06:42 GMT
19 Action News reporter Ed Gallek got his hands on the first appeal for serial killer Anthony Sowell. It's 400 pages of Sowell's new defense asking for mercy for a serial killer. The appeal is filledMore >
19 Action News reporter Ed Gallek got his hands on the first appeal for serial killer Anthony Sowell. It's 400 pages of Sowell's new defense asking for mercy for a serial killer.More >
Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:32 AM EDT2014-09-16 12:32:43 GMT
Phoenix city leaders are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst as a new flash flood watch is posted for mid-week.More >
A rainbow over the Superstition Mountains late Monday afternoon sets the stage for some significant changes to come. A flash flood watch is in effect in advance of abundant tropical moisture headed this way. More >