Day 4 Conaway trial

Mother of victim spars with defense in Conaway trial

Defendant’s landlord disputes details of earlier testimony
February 18, 2020

The mother of a woman accusing Clay Conaway of strangulation and attempted rape told the jury Feb. 17 that she saw red marks on her daughter’s neck after the alleged incident.

“It was red, blotchy,” said the mother about the marks that she saw while video chatting with her daughter following the alleged incident.

Under cross examination by the defense, the mother sparred with defense attorney Joe Hurley over his line of questioning.

“It’s the millionth time I’ve talked about this circumstance,” she said, as Hurley pressed her for details that her daughter shared with her. 

When he asked whether she told her daughter that she should not have gone into a bedroom with someone she just met, the mother said, “She made no mistakes.”

“I think civilized people respect boundaries,” she said.

The mother said she made the appointment to meet with Newark police nearly a year after the November 2017 incident in Conaway’s bedroom that left her daughter shaken. Through her job as an attorney, the mother also said she has handled many cases of sexual assault filed through Title IX complaints - a complaint that the woman filed against Conaway in August 2018.

Reading the transcript from the Newark police interview, Hurley pointed out several times the mother told police information such as describing signatures of former University of Delaware baseball players who had signed a wall in Conaway’s bedroom. The players included Chad Kuhl, who the mother said was a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates and a notable UD alumnus.

Hurley questioned why the mother interjected during the Newark police interview, which was supposed to be between the daughter and detective.

“That’s part of your credibility, you weren’t there,” Hurley said.

Also taking the stand Feb. 17 was a University of Delaware roommate of the woman who gave conflicting testimony that she didn’t see marks on the woman’s neck, but then said she did.

Conaway’s landlord Richard Schumann testified that he had been in Conaway’s room twice to fix a leaking ceiling and a light fixture, and he described Conaway’s bed as sitting on the floor with no headboard. Schumann said there was tape over the crack in the ceiling. In earlier testimony, the woman said Conaway’s bed was on a frame and she hit her head on the headboard after he threw her on the bed. She also said she stared at a large, 1-inch wide crack in the ceiling while Conaway groped her and then tried to strangle her.

“There was no crack,” Schumann said. 

Testimony continues at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, in New Castle County Superior Court, Wilmington.

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