A key witness took the stand this week during the murder trial of an Ohio man, and provided stunning testimony that gave background into what may have led up to the deaths of a mother and her minor son.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Joshua Ward, 47, is accused of killing 31-year-old Kelli Kramer and her son, Aiden, 9, in 2018. Police said Kramer and the suspect were in a relationship from December 2016 to May 2017, when things ended abruptly for the couple.
According to NBC 5, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents analyzed shell casings found at the crime scene inside Kramer’s Burlington apartment and casings on a farm where Ward practiced shooting.
During testimony this week, witness Tonya Palmer, who said she briefly dated Ward, testified that it was her property that Ward used to practice shooting his handgun. Although the murder weapon hasn’t been found, investigators said they pulled shell casings from the ground at Palmer’s Hamersville house matched that of the murder weapon.
Ward was reportedly into the alternative lifestyle and dreamed of having several wives and girlfriends, including Kramer, but was allegedly abusive. Palmer claimed he once used an electric cattle prod on her during sex; she admitted she thought Ward was the killer when she heard of Kramer and Aiden’s death.
“For me my first comment was I can’t f—ing believe you did it in my own mind,” Palmer said. “And the reason being was that all the things he had said to me months before just came rushing over me, like, why didn’t I see it.”
Ward claimed that he ended the relationship himself when he found out Kramer was allegedly prostituting. Police, however, said Ward killed Kramer because she was responsible for “destroying him.” He was arrested a few days after the murders.
Ward’s former girlfriend, Nicole Bohly, testified Wednesday that Ward told her that Kramer “ruined his life and his potential to have a family” when she broke up with him.
”He called me at the end of May 2018 and asked me not to tell the cops anything that he had said,” Bohly testified, adding that Ward called Kramer “a monster.”
Defense lawyer Ashley Graham said earlier this week that Ward was at home during the murders, working on a treasure chest and reading, the Enquirer reports. Prosecutors disagreed.
Prosecutors said Ward shot Kramer once in the back of the head, three times above her right ear, once in the thigh, and once above her right eyelid. Aiden was found shot once below his right eye, and once in the temple, shoulder, and torso.
Palmer testified that she contacted CrimeStoppers several times after the murder to report Kramer.
If convicted, Ward could face up to 20 years behind bars. The District Attorney’s Office is not seeking the death penalty.
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[Featured Photo: Kelli Kramer and son, Aiden/Handout]