Mansfield couple slaying: FBI cracks into Dayton defendant’s phone

Larry Dwayne Rodgers
Larry Dwayne Rodgers

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

The FBI has gained access into a cellphone allegedly owned by a man accused of killing a pregnant Mansfield woman and her boyfriend in Dayton, prosecutors told a judge last week.

Montgomery County Assistant Prosecutor Kim Melnick said that she was contacted by FBI officials that the phone, which was a subject of a search warrant, was able to be accessed after months of trying. The news was announced less than two weeks before a June 28 trial was set to start in the case against Larry Dwayne Rodgers.

“(The investigator learned) Quantico, which is where the defendant’s cellphone had been, was able to be accessed, that there had been a full extraction done on the phone and that the phone was on its way back to Dayton from Quantico,” she said Thursday during a hearing.

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She said the data was in “raw form” and would need to be put through a machine that will create a report that the attorneys can read.

Authorities accuse Rodgers, 32, of killing Kyla Hayton, 20, and her boyfriend Todd Burkhart, 28, both of Mansfield. Hayton was pregnant at the time, and Rodgers is facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter because the killings “caused the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy,” court records say.

The slayings occurred in November 2019. The couple was found in different houses on West Stewart Street.

Todd Burkhart and Kyla Hayton of Mansfield were found slain in separate vacant houses in Dayton last November. (Courtesy/Hayton family)
Todd Burkhart and Kyla Hayton of Mansfield were found slain in separate vacant houses in Dayton last November. (Courtesy/Hayton family)

Melnick said the normal program used to access phones couldn’t be utilized and Quantico had to use “extraordinary” measures to get into it.

“We had no information that they would be able to do so until this week,” the assistant prosecutor said.

In response to the new potential evidence, Rodger’s defense team filed a motion to continue the June 28 trial.

“We don’t just want to receive the data … three days before trial and not be able to adequately prepare Mr. Rodgers based on not having time with our folks to review not only that it is what they say it is, but it might be something good from it that we can use in our defense,” attorney Travis Dunnington said during the hearing.

Montgomery Judge Mary K. Huffman asked Rodgers, who has been in jail since his 2019 arrest, if he consented to the continuance. She told Rodgers that a new trial date may be set for December. Rodgers told the court that he understood and still wanted to postpone the trial.