AKRON -- Closing arguments are underway in the Denny Ross murder retrial.
Prosecutors presented a case hinging on new DNA evidence, due to advances in forensic testing since the first trial 12 years ago. Prosecutors say DNA matching Ross' was found on victim, Hannah Hill's clothing and under her fingernails. Prosecutors also argued a garbage bag with items of Hill's clothing and her purse was found outside Ross's Canton Road apartment.
Defense attorneys say that Ross admitted to kissing and messing around with Hill, which explains why his DNA was found on her. Defense attorneys aggressively questioned procedures used to collect the evidence tested for DNA.
Defense attorneys also said the garbage bag found outside Ross's apartment was not linked by investigators to any of the garbage bags he had inside the apartment.
The Summit County jury trial has heard 20 days of testimony over the past 6 weeks. Prosecutors called 67 witnesses while the Defense rested their case after only 4 witnesses.
Ross, 33, is accused of killing Hannah Hill, 18, of Kenmore, who was found beaten, raped and murdered on May 19, 1999. Her body was found in the trunk of her gold Geo Prizm six days after she was reported missing. Ross is charged with murder, felonious assault and abuse of a corpse.
Ross faced trial for murdering Hill in 2000. Those proceedings ended in a mistrial after it was discovered jurors discussed a lie detector test that was not presented as evidence.
Ross is currently in prison serving a 25 year sentence for the attempted murder and rape of an Akron woman in 2004. The victim in that case was allowed to testify last week in this trial, but limitations were place upon her testimony.