Defendant set to testify at Ohio slave labor trial

Published:

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) -- A co-defendant who made a plea deal is expected to testify at the federal trial of two people accused of enslaving a mentally disabled Ohio woman for two years with her child.

Witnesses at the second day of trial Thursday in Youngstown were expected to include Dezerah Silsby. Investigators in the case out of Ashland say Silsby used ice cream to lure the accuser and her child to captivity and smashed the woman's hand so she could get pain medication for the defendants.

The two on trial, 27-year-old Jordie Callahan and 32-year-old Jessica Hunt, have pleaded not guilty. Defense attorneys say they were trying to help a homeless acquaintance, not weasel money away from her.

A fourth defendant in the case also pleaded guilty earlier and agreed to cooperate.