Denny Ross retrial: Friend testifies Ross threatened to kill Hannah Hill weeks before disappearance

AKRON, Ohio - A former friend of Denny Ross took the stand Monday during his retrial where he talked about the day Ross told him he would kill Hannah Hill because he thought she got him busted on cocaine charges.

Ross and Daniel Doyle were making small talk after buying a Thunderbird Super Coupe from an auction weeks before Hill went missing.

Doyle told jurors that Ross said, "If I find out Hannah narked me out, I'm gonna kill that b****."

Doyle never testified during Ross's 2000 trial.

Ross is accused of killing Hill in May 1999 and stuffing her body in the trunk of her car on Caine Road in Ellet. Ross is charged with murder, felonious assault and abuse of a corpse.

Several other witnesses also took the stand Monday, including Theresa Graves. But the most interesting part of Graves's testimony was that neither side brought up her being the informant who "made peace with" back in 1999 over his drug arrest.

Paul Callahan, who was deputy chief of Akron police at the time Hill was murdered, admitted there were mistakes in the handling of the case, specifically with the civilian call takers who he said "missed the call" from residents reporting the unfamiliar car parked on the Ellet road.

Callahan, who oversaw the investigation, graphically recalled the day he found Hill's body in the car trunk.

"I saw Hannah Hill's body placed in the trunk of this car in a position that would make it striking to anybody who witnessed it, like it was planned that way…exposing her."

Ross's counsel asked Callahan if he knew Ross was indicted before forensic evidence came back.

"I don't recall," answered Callahan, denying pressure to solve the case led to Ross's arrest.

Prosecutors also had Ray Warters address jurors. He was a "close friend" of Hill and is now a Waynesburg police officer. He talked about partying with Hill, the last time he saw her and how he was "sickened" by the news of her murder. He also talked about being "uncomfortable" with being questioned by police about Hill's death, as they treated him like a suspect.

Testimony in the Ross retrial resumes Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Summit County Common Pleas Court.

Ross originally stood trial in 2000 for Hill's murder, but a judge declared a mistrial after learning jurors had discussed a lie detector test.

After more than a decade of appeals from Ross's attorneys, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in Dec. 2010 that Ross could be retried, however, the death penalty couldn't be considered.

Ross is currently serving a 25-year sentence in the Trumbull Correctional Institution after being convicted in 2004 of raping an Akron woman, a crime he committed while free on bond in the Hill case.

You can visit our special section dedicated to the retrial, http:// on.wews.com/ NUzyj9, which includes videos of Ross in court over the years and a 13-year timeline of events. You can also learn more about who Denny Ross is and about the life of Hannah Hill.

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