Friday, April 24, 2015

Stephanie Lazarus Criminal Appeal - Oral Arguments Set

Stephanie Lazarus prison intake photo.

I just received notice that oral arguments for Stephanie Lazarus' appeal for her conviction of first degree felony murder in the death of Sherri Rae Rasmussen have been set for Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 9:00 AM. The appeal will be heard by the California Courts of Appeal, Second District, Division Three.

Lazarus was convicted of Sherri's murder on March 8, 2012. She was sentenced on May 11, 2012 to 27 years to life.

Oral arguments will be heard at the Ronald Reagan State Office Building, 300 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, Ca.  If you plan on attending the oral arguments, understand that no electronic equipment is allowed inside the court. However, during the Spector appeal, Harriet Ryan with the Los Angeles Times petitioned the court to use her laptop to cover the proceedings. That request was granted.

Lazarus' appeal was fully briefed on December 10, 2013. Once the California Courts of Appeal rules on her case, then the wrongful death suit filed by Nels and Loretta Rasmussen can move forward to trial.

Cameron Brown 3rd Trial - Q & A

 

This is the flyer that detectives handed out to motorists at checkpoints on Rancho Palos Verdes Drive South, on two consecutive Wednesday's after Lauren's death, in an effort to find information about what happened.  The photo of Lauren is one that Brown took of Lauren at the nursery school playground on 11/8/2000. The photo of Brown is one of several photos that was taken of him before being interviewed by detectives Jeffrey Leslie and Danny Smith at the Sheriff's Lomita Station.

A T&T reader asked if I would answer questions on the Brown case. I will answer questions over the weekend. If I don't have an answer to the question, I will say so.  Leave your question in the comments. I'll answer reader questions in this post.

Cameron Brown 3rd Trial, Day 20 - Prosecution Case Continues

Lauren Sarene Key, 4, died November 8, 2000.
Copyright© Sarah Key-Marer, all rights reserved.

Friday, April 24, 2015
9:15 AM
I'm on the fifth floor of the criminal court building, getting some green tea and charging up my phone. I'll be up in Dept. 107 momentarily.

Rocket Update
Mr. Sprocket and I are quite sad about Rocket. Although he still has quite a bit of spirit and spunk left, he is very wobbly on his feet and can't stand for very long. He will no longer eat wet food, or take a syringe of wet food. He becomes very panicked if we try to feed him, or give him his medication. He occasionally eats a few bites of dry food on his own. What he mostly wants is to lie on my chest, make biscuits with his paws and chew on my shirt.

9th Floor, Dept. 107
When I get inside Dept. 107, there is a hearing about a witness. There is a man on the stand. 

DDA Hum is arguing about turning over evidence that wasn't relevant. I believe it's regarding Dr. Hayes.  "It is irrelevant, it is 352 and there's no reason to bring this in to confuse the jury," DDA Hum argues. Mr. Laub argues that a judge stated prior testimony was ruled perjury.

DDA Hum states that the testimony that was struck was in pretrial, and not in front of a jury.

Judge Lomeli states that the former judge (not Judge Pastor), [I heard DDA Hum state a Federal Judge], did not rule that the witness had committed perjury.


Mr. Laub's investigator is at the defense table. The DDA's computer expert is trying to get Dr. Hayes computer to interface with the overhead projection screen.

Brown is wearing a pair of glasses today. He just slipped them off his face as he's talking with the private investigator.

9:44 AM
There are still trying to get the electronics of Dr. Hayes' presentation working. Oh. It looks like it's done. Brown was taken back into custody for a few moments but was just brought back out.

9:45 AM
The jury enters the courtroom from the jury room. They were enjoying their bagels and doughnuts the court brought for them.

Going to interrupt Detective Leslie's testimony and call Dr. Wilson Hayes.

Dr. WILSON CARLYLE HAYES
Do you also go by the name of Toby? I do.

I am an emeritus [professor?] of Health and Human Resources of Oregon State University.  Hayes & Associates, a private company specializing in injury biomechanics.

Injury bio mechanics for purposes of this case, understanding how a fall, might produce injuries.  Gives his CV. Took classes in understanding the human body with the sole purpose to combine with an engineering degree.  Gives his training and post doctorate work. Taught in the medical school and in engineering.  Retired from full time faculty appointments in 2007. Also had a professorship at Harvard in 1985. Also appointed an endowed chair at Harvard in 1987. Research appointments and research grants.  At Stanford, had a crash facility there, crash dummies in cars. At the time, they were worried that shoulder belts would cause more injuries than they prevented, so did studies with cadavers and crash test dummies.  There's much more CV that is presented.

Did studies on falling and osteoporosis, and why did grandma break her hip. It was not because she didn't take her medication or drink milk, it was because of the way she fell. If she fell on her hip, she broke it. If she fell another way, she didn't break her hip.

He's trained other Ph.D students. The current one is his 26th.

Started getting calls from all types of fall cases. Someone fell on water in a supermarket, there was water on the floor. Falls down stairs, or a worker on a construction site who fell from one floor to another. Then falls from a great height, sometimes involving cliffs. And to find out if this was an unintentional fall or an assisted fall. He's also worked on child abuse cases, about 30, in where a fall occurred and an injury was sustained.

Have you testified as an expert in criminal and civil? Yes.  Testified overseas? Yes. Have never gone overseas to testify. Testified telephonically or by video. They were mostly by child abuse cases.

Twenty-four page CV, market as People's 137.  Dr. Hayes states his CV is current.

On August 7, 2002, were you contacted by a paralegal by Devon Smith? I was. Prior to that he was not contacted by anyone else. Eventually in contact with DDA Hum, who asked him to determine if the death of Lauren Key was accidental or assisted.

At no time, did the DA's office try to make the case one or the other? No, they did not.

They can't always make the determination if a fall is assisted or not.

Are you aware that in California, as a prosecutor, and you render any kind of information to me, whether it's beneficial to the prosecution or the defense, I'm required to turn it over? I am aware of that.

He's aware of that because of previous cases in Washington in Oregon.

Did I give you volumes of material to review? Yes you did give me lots of material to review?

I initially received police reports, photographs, autopsy report, various investigative reports. Those were the major kinds of materials, and some witness statements that were in the initial packet itself.

The photos were they from the ground and the air? They were.

He came to California and went to IP.  Evonne Smith, Det. Leslie, DDA Hum, Det. Smith was there. All went to IP. That's the extent of who I remember.

We parked and we went to IP. As I recall, went first to the top of IP, out towards edge of the southern edge of IP. We also then walked down to closer to water level, in an attempt to go from the region that's the archery range and go out and look up at IP. My recollection is the tide was in. He remembers that Detective Leslie got in the water and got wet. Waited until after lunch, and then went out to the promentories that contained the cove where Lauren was found and looked up at IP.

I took a lot of photographs, I think I took some video of the scene, and I think we completed the site inspection at that point.

At first the tide was so high, we couldn't get out there? I think that's what I said.

Did the detectives ask what you thought? Yes. What did you tell them? I don't know.  I told them there was one key piece of informatio that was necessary, for me to gain understanding of what happened. That key piece of information is the geometry, or topography of the top of the cliff. How steep it was the shape of it. I needed to have that information. Taht until I had that information, I couldn't give an opinion.

After going out to the scene, did you receive reports and a detailed analysis of the point by a team called Psomas. The reports are the type that are commonly used by biomechanics.

The cliff at IP, once you got the information from Psomas, etc., did you make a determine of the height of the cliff? It depends on where you're measuring from and where you're measuring to.

The distance from the departure to the water is 120 to 130 feet, depending on where you are measuring from.  He prepared a report of his findings and conclusions.

14 Page document, marked at People's 61. Is that a copy of the initial report you prepared detailing you conclusions? Yes, it is.

Are a couple of portions of the report have been deleted? It doesn't show on this copy that they've been deleted, but I understand that they have been deleted.  Yes, there were some grammatical deletions. And some was your summary of the police reports. Yes, that was redacted.

Anything that was removed, the grammatical corrections and the summary, did that impact your coclusion substantively in any way? No. Not in any way.

did you after your analysis of all the material, and using your training and education and experience, did you make a determination if Lauren fell accidentely or assisted? I did. My conclusion was Lauren Key-Marer had to have been assisted from the top of IP to sustained the injuries that she did. That she could not have slipped off the cliff and sustained the injuries that she did [and ended up where she was found].

Now, Dr. Hayes, on July 20, 2004, did you testify in front of the grand jury? I did.

After you testified in front of the grand jury, did I ask you to go back to IP to conduct some additional analysis at IP? You did. Did you do that on Sept. 12, of 2005. I did. An assistant and I went back to IP.

Anyone else? You were there, detective Leslie, don't know if det smith was there. there were safety personnel and a number of others.

Did you prepare an additional or supplemental report, based on going back to the scene? I did.

Four page report dated Dec 5, 2005, People's 62. for identification. Is that the supplemental report that you prepared based on Sept. 12, 2005? It is.

What was the basis of going back to IP? We had initially prepared some back yard experiments, as to how far and fast, or at what angle, could a fit man launch a fourty pound weight. Based on the back yard experiments. And how does that apply, to IP. ... and how it relates to values that we had learned earlier.

First of all, the backyard experiments. Who conducted the back yard experiments? Dr. Jeremoy Bower, a former student of mine.  How tall was Mr. Bower and what did he weigh and what did he do for a living. He was 5'7' weighed 160 lbs and was then and now an athlete. He was a graduate student at that point in time and now works in our firm.

What was the purpose and what was found? There was a single purpose of the back yard experiments, was how fast, can a person who is reasonably fit, to launch a weight the amount of Lauren's weight.  So Jeromey did it under hand, he did it with a push. We learned that a reasonably fit man could launch a weight at 15 ft per second, or ten miles an hour.

Showed a pushing motion from the chest, and then underhand from knee level, and a push, pushing straight forward.

Why was it important for you to know this information? because we were about to conduct a set of analysis, facncy word, trajectory, which means the path of motion, to examine how that path of motion would relate to the geometry of the cliff.  Do we start at five miles per hour do we start at 20 miles per hour.  So we started at 15 ft. per second, as the initial path, or trajectory, as it relates to the cliff.

Who conducted the experiment at the top of IP? I conducted the experiment, but the person who actually launced the weight was Jeromy Bower. There was no attempt in the back yard, to replicate IP. At the top of IP, we were looking for what could be done at that point. We used Jeremoy because we knew of his capability.

We used two, 20 lb weights placed together. At IP, we took a plastic bag, a rigid like suitcase, and filled it with 9 five poiund wieghts. Lauren at the time weighed 44 lbs. It was a plastic box about two feet wide, a foot and a half tall, and 6-7 inch deep. It is called a pelican box.

Safety equipment. It was agreed by all concerned, he needed to have fall protection, so that he was tethered, harnessed two ropes, one to a bush back on the point and the other was staked deeply in the ground, so that he couldn't fall off the cliff. And then we had him launch this pelican box, with all his mite, off of IP. We took video of the side of him. We took video from down below fro mthe launching site. We also took photographs to document.

In reviewing waht you saw at the scene and saw yourself, did the rope or tether provide any? During the launching of the pelican box, Jeremy did not reach the end of the rope. He was not at his maximum point, o the rope. So your answer is no, it did not provide support. Psychological support yes.

Why did you use a pelican box instead a manikan or dummy. We were interested in what is called the trajectory of the center of gravity. There is aplace in oyoru body, between your belly button and spine, where you can consider all your body weight to be concentrated. So if Im falling through the air, that no matter what you do with your arms or legs, that point in your body, the center of gravity, follows a very predictablye and center of motion. It's called a pararabala.

Explains divers, and if you photograph them in slow motion, that if you follow that point in the body, you get a perfect arc.

The physics is exquisitely well known. We know what happens to the center of gravity. The arms and limbs we cannot.

It doesn't matter what the arms, legs and head does, the center of the body will still follow that parabala.

What is the meaning of the term, point of departure as you used it in your analysiss of this case. I nthe time period after Lauren's death, the defendant Mr. Brown, descirbed what had happened to several parties. And they involved uesitons that related to where, according to him, Lauren had slipped or tripped or fallen from. It's wehre Lauren fell from, according to Mr. Brown, or where she fell from, according to physics, we call the point of departure.

The information he provided to people, Deputy Brothers, the only thing you can see from the archery range looking at at IP, you can't see the top of IP, but there is a large bush. Soe he called it the large bush that could be seen from there. So he alluded to that large bush as to where it happened.

Mr. Brown went out to an eastern promitory with St. Erickson. At first they were too close to the cliff, so my recollection is they moved back, and they've pointed to a what I've reaferred to as a kind of knob, which was at the eastern point. Subsiquently Mr. brown also described to the detectives, a U shape region, that I knew from aerial photographs, that connect the large bush and to a smaller bush.

At some point he said he was seated. He said that she was seated, at other times he say she was playing. Mr. Brown also said that the region that they were was sloped. So that region had to be sloped. And Mr. Brown also said that he was four feet back from the edge. I've taken that to mean the clear edge from that slope. tht turns out to be 20 degrees downward. Between the two bushes, so I took the point of departure, the word suggests that there was a single point. Would be better to use a region of departure, that fits with the archery rnage, below looking up with Mr. Erickson, and the point / region chosen [fit all the descriptions that Brown gave].

Also had a report from deputy falicon. And that also played into his determination as to the point of departure. 

Dr. Hayes, all of these descriptors of the area that you told us about, did you consider all of those, when considering this region and area of the cliff. yes, and no. I considered all those areas wehre all these conditions could be met. And that required that there be some flexibility, where the launch or trip point could be.

I considered all the possible rays that emineted from the region.  So yes, I considered a series of these possibilities, but in some, it also had to result in her going into the inlet. If certain paths would result on her falling directly onto the rocks, those could be rulled out, based on her injuries. Those could be confidently ruled out.

It would meet all the information obtained from above, but would also end Lauren up in the water.

The entire point, there is a region which I call the knob, and then there is a path that goes from the U shaped area, and goes to another side that leads to the west. That some call goes to what leads to the nude beach or PP.

Can you give us, just an approximation of the range of area that you would consider the range of departure. If we were to take a yardstick up ther, so we would have a rough square, it's probably 12 by 12 feet, maybe a bit more narrow than that, maybe 8x8 feet, where all of these ? could be met.

I did not consider, all the infinite possibilities that could happen in that [suqare?] We have what is the upper bounds of limitations.

We looked at the margins of this, rectangle if you will, of points of departure. One well back, and because of the defnition of the cliffs, and the cuts we had in the cliffs.

Are there various definitons besides what you call the point of departure, that you use to analyze the fall? Are there other points or aspects of the body that you consider could be significant?

We have learned over the years in studying the mechanics of fall,s all kinds of falls. That there are four phases to the fall. First is initiation. do you slip, are you launched?

The second is the decent phase of the fall. If in a supermarket and you go down to the ground.

The third phase is the impact phase of a fall. Where do you hit. some times yo uhit a couple of places. Where is the impact.

And the fourth is where is the position of rest. We are a little like tennis balls, in like we bounce. If you slip in a supermarket, you actually bounce.

The poistion where you end up, as the position of rest.

Can you relate this to this case.   fundamentally, where do you start. Did she slip or trip or slide, or was she launch, or did she og running off the edge of the cliff. Descent. Her center of gravity follows a path. If she's launched at a certain path, her parabala, she would end up in the water.

Position of rest is where she's found. Under other scenarios, if you will, she would lets say trip off the top. Go down, impact the cliff multiple times right at the top of the cliflf, perhaps go off the cliff again and then enter the water.  So that's impact and descent together.

Lauren, according to her father, was found face down in the water. So we only know where she was according to her father as to where she was found. So these various phases of the fall, fall very closely, and other phases, she does not.

Prepared a Power-point presentation? I did. Laub asks to briefly approach.

The presentation will take about an hour. The jurors are given the morning break.
10:52 AM.

Dear readers, please excuse my horrible typing. I'll be editing entries as soon as I can.

11:07 AM
The jury is called back into the courtroom. Brown is standing, Mr. Laub is standing with his back to the jury. The defense investigator is seated. Mr. Laub turns around. Sarah and her two girlfriends enter right before the jury.

We are missing one juror, #8. The court jokes with her. "They said you went home." The juror replies, "There was a line."

DIRECT.


Is that the unedited or unredacted version of your report? [Document handed to the witness that he reviews.]  Yes. So 92 is the unedited version.



Presents the powerpoint.

This is an introductory slide, to remind us of the events.

Nov 8, 200 IP RPV, CA

Lauren Key's Injuries
Topography of Insp. Point.
Fall Biomechanics.

Her injuries, we can look at them as a fingerprint. If you know how to read them correctly, they can tell us what happened.

Topography, particularly in the point of departure. That's important, to put in the simplest way, if Lauren went off the cliff unassisted, she would have received injuries that would have shown that she interacted at the top of the cliff.  So we need to know what that is, and what it would take to clear that upper region, to hit somewhere else on that cliff, and where interactions could have occurred.

Fall Biomechanics.
the path of the center of gravity that her body had to take for her to receive the injuries that she did.

Case quesiton

Did Lauren Key fall unintentionally to her death from IP or was she instead pushed or thrown from the top of th ecliff?

While we are here, and I just said the top, this is the eastern prometory that sticks out. Here is the inlet. Marking with the laser on a photo. Here is the knob I was referring to. You could think of it as the container, or the wall as the point of departure, as on top of that knob.

You analysis is a scientific inquiry. You make a hypothesis, to the laws of physics to apply. Then you test them, 1, 2, 3, could this have happened.

Did you perpare a slide showing the three significant issues you had to examine. Yes I did. And two of them on this slid.

Anatomy of Laurens injires. Were injuries consistent with sliding down or from impacting cliff face?

How man yimpacts occurred?

Detailed topography of IP
Aerial photograph/GPS and gound based surveyr methods.
Point of Departure/Clif Face/Inlet.

He used the coroner report, and the pathological findings of Dr. Ishibara (who looked at the ?) Looked at the radiology report. Looked at photos of Lauren at the scene.

Second significant issue is the topography. Talks about the aerial photography that was done to make a map of the topography. And focused on the point of departure, the cliff face, that joins the point of departure that joins the inlet and the geography of the promentories that jut out.

And the third issue is the fall biomechanics.

Fall biomechanics for 1 slip/trip 2 Launch
initial conditions?
Path of center of gravity?
Whre would Lauren hit the cliff?
Which scenario is consistent with Lauren's injuries and death?

Putting all of those together, which scenario is consistent with her injuries and cause of death?

Now, very graphic photographs.

You prepared slides that were important to you. Why? Autopsy photos. They are important along with the coroner's repoit. Autopsy photos. They give us a sense, of what was put down in black and white. Verses where on Lauren's body, the devastating impacts occurred.

A couple of the female jurors, don't look at htehphotos.

On her head, are open lacerations and gaping wounds with the head. That's to be contrasted with tiny marks, from hitting a little stick, or being placed on the promentory. these are particularly important because they tell me where the main impacts occur.

The major impacts occured to her head and face. She ahd major fractures to the forhead bone, particularly on the left side, ... towards the base of her brain and her skull. She had vasular skull fractures. Her head was bent back. She had a malular subluxation. She had major impacts to her upper chest. Primarily on the left hand side.  She had a fractured dislocation of the right wwrist, You can see the skewed angle of her wrist. so directly from this slide, we can say, hypothesis starts to refine and become more focused. She had to hit this cliff face and chest first.

Small art doll, that used for drawing. I would like to use it to display the postion had to have ourred fro just looking at this slied.

She had to have hit the cliff, face down, so that her head and chest hit first. Her wrist fracture is consisten with her reaching. And esentially, that's it. There is no evidence, no reliable evidence, there were multiple interactions a the top of the cliff with scraping and sliding. There's no evidence of multiple imacts at this one site. And there's not evidence that she hit on the promentory rocks themselves.

So, basicall from this sliede she went off the cliff at sufficient speed to hit the cliff once, and go into the water.

What about going off the cliff and go into the water, and missing the cliff entirely?  But she would not have sustained these injuries. 

The rest of her body, is esencially untouched.

Are all of these injuries, consistent with a single velocity impact with the cliff face? Yes.

If there had been some type of accidental fall? Im not sure of the question.

The significance of this slide is that, Lauren is esentiall unmarked on her back. Unmarked. Three photos, of Laurne's naked body. I'm about to ry seeing these photos. It's her back sie, and the front of her legs.

Hf she had fallen back, and if she had slipped, we would have seen lacerations from her hitting that cliff. If she would have been running off, just running as fast as she could to jump off that cliff, she would have hit feet first, and hit her back. She did not hit her back. She did not hit her feet.

Would you epect to see these injuries, from an accidental fall, from the pair of pants. She was wearing thin clothing, and yes, we see these kinds of injuries, and clothing doesn't matter.

in addition did yo uprepare a slide documenting the injuries on her front and back. Yes.
The slide shows a small child's body, drawing, and shows the major injuries. Shows the major injuries that contributed to her death are here.  She had a fracture at occipital/C1 junction.

The most obvious is that her head and upper body hit the rocks at 45 miles per hour.

The wrist put out, to try to break her fall.

Adults and children, their bodies going at high speeds and stops, instantaniously at the point of impact, is that your visera, your organs continue to move. They pull away from the body. contusion of both left and lungs. Contusion of the spleen. That happens because the organs don't stop. They keep moving.

Next slide.

Laurne's massive, traumatic injuries are consisten wtih a drop from a height and an assisted drop and not cinsisten with an accidental fall (Dr. Chinwah autopsy report)

Lauren's injuries indicate she was head down and facing the cliff when a high velocity impact occurred.

There were no notable abrasions consistent with sliding down the cliff face. (None on the front, back or middle of her body.)

Are your conclusions dependent on Dr. Chinwah's conclusions? I would say it's not dependent on his conclusion. It's parallel and comports with. I'm looking at it from a engineering and biomechanica. He's looking at it from a phyisological.

The next important thing to address was the topography of the cliff? Yes.

Topography of IP
Aerial photograph was conducted on 1/9/2000 by the LA County Sheriff's Department Aero Bureao.
Psomas, INc. acquired detailed aerial topography if IP using GPS and ground based survey methods on 1/31/03 and 2/17/03.

Measurement accuracy is 8.0" horizontally and between 6" (top) and 2.5' vertically (NMAS647, US National Map accuracy Standards, 1947)

What did you do with that, in order to have information that was useful to form your conclusions? If anyone of you have familarity with autocad. We imported that data into graphic programs that would interpret the mathmatical data of the cliff. So he could make graphical representations as to what's going on.

We'll see in the next slide, how well it tracked the aerial photographs to characterize the cliff.

There are twophotos. This is one stoep. Survey data placed over aerial scene photo to orient point of departure with survey data.

If the line are far apart, the land is flatish. Here off the edge of the cliff, there is a steep slope.

We have taken the data from Psomas, and laid it over a photograph, and show the contours directly on the cliff.

So to orient you, IP goes from North towards the South. IP projects southward. Explains other locations as related to IP.

Here on the photo, with the big red arrow, I've called the point of departure.

Here is the large bush,. It's actually on the cliff face, below the trail, at the bottom of the U shaped region.

Here is the direction... she had to be launched back towards a direction, that would land in the inlet.

Did you also prepare a slide to help us visualize parts of the cliff.
Now another slide.

Scene Survey: Cliff profiles.

One image is a top down view and there are lines going out, from one point of departure. [Because of the bottom of the inlet and the rock outcroppings, there is a very narrow path, arc, that she could have traveled.]

It is difficult to describe this, without having the photos.

The second drawing in this slide, is a side view of the slope, a slice of it, from the side.

The next is a slide Fall Biomechanics

These are the laws of physics that apply to a projectile. This of a tennis ball. If I launch this tennis ball, it will follow a path, that is a parabala.

Dr. Hayes throws the model doll to show a parabala. Throws it straight in an arc, and throws it with the doll spinning head over heels. It still follows the same parabala.

Next slid I miss documenting. It had drawings of athletes throwing from the shoulder, like a shot-put.

And also miss the next slide, typing the above line.

Next photo, showing someone throwing a weight in a back yard.

We know what people could do with 15 pound shot-puts, we needed to know what people could do with 40 lb weights.

The first few frames of Jeremy throwing the weight over head, Dr. Hayes is able to document the speed of the throw.

Initial Velocity
To determine initial velocity (v 0) for the launch scenarios.

And adult male subject threw a 40 lb weight (comparable to Lauren's weight at the time of her death of 33 lbs) as rar and as fast as possible,

miss the rest of the slide.

Jeremy was shorter than Brown who is 6'3" and was about 200 lbs at the time of Lauren's death.

Next slide, did the mathmatics of Walk then slip/trip.
put in the average walking speed of a five year old.

miss rest of slide.

Fall biomechanics: Results. Five different slides and there are colors of the lines.
Black lines are the edge of the cliff face.

Each color of line, shows where  Lauren would have impacted under scenarios:

1. she had slipped/tripped = would have impacted upper cliff and more injuries.
2. If she was thrown at 15 ft per second (missed the cliff).
3. Now if she was thrown at 10 ft per second = would produce a single impact and go into the inlet.

They went back and did replicate what they have just shown us.

Site Experiment slide. Photo of Jeremy at top of IP There's the knob, Points out where he was.

Jeremy will launch pelican box. The video shows a launch.

Judge calls the lunch break. 12 noon.

1:25 PM
Inside Dept. 107 In the morning session, there were a group of young looking, DDA staff sitting in the back row. I didn't learn until the end of my lunch, that the short haired blond woman (not young, like the others) sitting behind me was DDA Patricia Wilkinson, the Head Deputy of Major Crimes.  DDA Craig Hum is the Assistant Head Deputy.

Dr. Hayes takes his seat in the witness box.

Some of the young DDA staff return and sit in the gallery.  The defense investigator is over at the clerks desk, going through some manila envelopes.

The court reporter was just up on the bench, getting something set on the court's computer. She's now back by her desk, speaking with Mr. Laub.

Now the investigator calls Mr. Laub over to the clerk's desk, and goes over the manila envelopes with him. Judge Lomeli is in his robes, standing at his bench and opening an envelope.

1:33 PM
Brown is brought out from custody. The court asks if the parties are ready. They're ready. The court report is getting set up. The clerk goes to get the jury.

Dim the lights. Back to presentation of Dr. Hayes. Plays the video again. DDA Hum asks him to show the significance of the video and how it relates to his conclusion.

Asks about the various significance of the video. We're looking up. My associate Jeremy is at the top, at one of the points of departure, on the knob at the right, he's launching a 45 lb pelican box. He's launching it back towards the inlet. And he's standing about four or five feet back from the edge.

Now there's a side view video of the throw. You can see the box strike on the shelf of the cliff and then drop into the inlet.

From that experiment, could you also calculate the launch velocity? Yes we could and we in fact did. We just needed two consecutive frames of video.  And what was that velocity? It was about 12.5 feet per second.

Intermediate between 10 ft. per second and the 15 feet per second that cleared the cliff. It offered an opportunity to check the physics. It proved Newton was right. (Jury laughter.)

He plotted that on the side view graph. The side view graph shows the cliff outline, a slip/fall, 15 ft per second, 10 ft per second, and 12.5 feet per second. 

Site Experiment
The launch angle was 4 degrees with a velocity of 12/5 ft/second.
Physics-based predictions were confirmed by direct experiment at the scene
Experiment shows that an adult male of height and weight considerably less than Mr. Brown, and an occupation that didnot involve lifting, could achieve a launch velocity and angle at the point of departure to reproduce the facts surrounding Lauren's fatal descent on November 8, 2000.

Thus far we've been talking about the path of Lauren's center of gravity as she left the cilff.  Is there a way to simulate the interaction of Lauren's body wit hthe face of the cliff, than simply the path through the air? yes there is.

We have other types of advanced modeling programs. This approach allowed us to go one step further.

He prepared a slide, as to what type of simulation was done and the programming in it. You've seen crash dummies, and multi-part bodies for crash dummies.  We had used those kinds of models to simulate how grandma falls down and gets a hip fracture.

Used one to represent the slope of the cliff and a second to represent Lauren's body. And these two, provided a mulit-link simulation of human motion. It's been validated in a number of applications including falls.

Is this a simulation as opposed to an animation. It is NOT an animation. It is built on a simulation.

In an anamation, something done by Disney. I could have a blue elephant on top of IP and fly over to PP. See it all the time. That of course, violates the laws of physics. In a simulation, it is defined as something that must follow the laws of physics. The stiffnesses of the body, of the neck, are all incorporated into the simulation.

Can you give us some examples, as how this simulation has been used in other settings? In motor vehicle applications, most often used in sports, or in simulating things like falls. Nike uses it, Golf usues, used in olympics and training. I have used it with ortheopedic implant situations. Its used in work. used with trying to better help people that are caught in vehicles in a bombing situation in wartime. Used by motorcycle manufactuers. It's been validated and vetted under many circumstances.

It's used to calulate the forces with a helmeted or unhelmeted rider. It's accuracy checked, with predicting motions and forces and things. It's also used with how one walks, and how to design alrificial joints.

It's been more recently used for the study of falls. There are small gifs that show a skeleton in a fall and the same gif with muscles a skin over the skeleton.

This type of modeling is used in the scientific community and it's accepted in the field of biomechanics? Yes, it is.

In these programs, the larger the arrow, the stronger the force. In slip and falls, you see a short arrow. In what we will see, will be a huge force, flash. I don't think I will be able to slow it down so you can see it.

What do you need to input to get an accurate representation/ I need her height and weight and I need to know the stiffness of different parts of her body, her interaction with the ground surface. I need to know how appropriately hard for a child.

We don't have the arms try to activley resist, the motion down the cliff, we can't do that. but we certainly represent the stiffness of the neck and the head and that it's different than the buttocks.

On the left you see a diagram of a body, the size of Lauren, you see the joints as hinges. And various parts of the body indicated as harder. Also a diagram of the cliff face that was obtained from Psomas.

More explanation as to the limits of the program. If we were to have this dummy, actively resisting, it would be less likely to support his positon that she slipped tripped and went off. By not having it, it's a conservative position, more beneficial to the defendant.

Whether two surfaces slide in the respect to each other.  More explanation of co-efficient of friction.

Ice is slipperier than asphalt? What kind of range are we thinking. Ice is 1.5. very low. Modern tires on an asphalt road, are about .8. So wer are about half way inbetween.

You take volunteers and drag them across various surfaces. [?]

Video. 3D Simulation: POD/Trip
This is looking at what if Lauren trips or slips. focusing on the slide. we know how people slip and trip, and how kids do.  The friction = 0.55

The definition of a trip, your foot stays in the same position. The video shows us, that if she tripped, at this co efficient, she would not have gone over the edge. She would have come to a stop down the cliff. The arrows in the video show the amount of force exhibited on her body.

Also did a simulation for a launch.
video 3D Simulation POD/Launch.
The body goes head down, in towards the cliff. The video goes so fast you can't see the arrow impact.

With this simulation, would that produce the injuries you saw on Lauren? It would.

With regard to, all of the information you had, all your analysis, information you recieve,d Lauren's injuries, all your training, experience, the biomechanics, what were your coclusion?

My conclusion and opinions, to a was that Lauren died from a single high speed impact to the cliff face. Her ijuries are incosistent with a trip, slip or fall. That she was launched from 10- 12.5 ft per seconds. The fall trajectory that would predict this, was well within the physical capabilities of an adult male. the sliptrip would not allow Lauren to fall, depending on the locaiton.

So my coclusion bottom line, Lauren sustaned her injuries by being launched from the point of departure, impacting the cliff face once, and landing in the water.

Dr. Hayes, president and CEO of private company. Yes. They have 17 people plus me. Does not work for free. Does not work for the Sheriff's office.

He first started working on this case in 2002. Yes, it was in 2002.  the site visits, the work performed, testified several times and also had others in his firm working on this case. How much have you been paid so far? In the range of 12.5 years, 71,000.00

Does the fact that you've been paid, affect your analysis or conclusions in any way? It does not in any way.

Also jsut want to ask you, with regard to reading the information in the police reports, are you aware that at one point the defendant said he looked over and saw Lauren's feet go over? Yesl I am aware. Does that follow the laws of hysics? No it does not.

If he had thrown her over the cliff, wouldn't he have fallen over also? No. Why not.  The best explanation would be, that Jeremy bower threw a weight over the cliff of approximate the same weight and he didn't fall off.

So the next is, the laws of physics, that the weight pushes back on you at the same time. It depends, most, it doesn't mean that you move backwards, just that the weight pushes back on you. If I'm running and launching a weight, but you could take one step and push, and you stay right in that locaiton.

If your'e standing on ice and push a weight, you'll go back on the ice. BUt if you're standing and slowly, you'll stay right there. But if you're running and throwing, you'll go over the cliff.

If you launch a weight, it doesn't mean you will fall backwards, but you will be pushed back. It doesn't necessarily mean you will be pushed back.

Could she have been pushed or shoved, rather than actually shwon? There are a rare set of circumstances where that could happen, it depends on where the center of gravity was launched. If pushed from top of the head, then she would go down and have the lacerations on the head.

You could have a push, if done at the appropriate speed and launch angle. 

I can't tell her exact position. I can give what I believe is the best extimate. What I can tell with exact certaintly, is she had to be launched at 12/5 ft sec, and launched slight angle upward, and at a certain distance above her center of gravity.

If she was in certain positoion, if I pushed right at the center of gravity, she woud  go up like this and not turn over. She has to be pushed in the right area of her body, so that she turns and impacts with her head.

Direct ends and cross begins.

Mr. Laub asks that the lights go back on.

Laub has several large binders out in front of him.  Lets talk about the laws of physics. You had a slide earlier with a shot-putter. I do recall that slide. Also had one with a diver? You want me to help? I had one with a trampoline jumper.

And this all had to do with the center of gravity? The center of gravity has a parabola. Now, Newton's third law, is pushing of the shot, causes an equal and opposite reaction and that means the shotputter stays where he is? Yes, that's possible. And he can foul. The trick is to put as much velocity and force, witout fouling, going beyond the circle.

So when they do fall and go over the line, what is it that s causing that? the balance between the motion that enters into the process, and the motion and the force that is applied.

So there is training, in order for Newton's law not to overcome? It depends on whether you're trying to throw a shot 60 or 70 feet, but I could throw that shot, and move myself a certain distance and not come close to fouling.

Children on a trampoline. Im always concerned about children falling off.  You're talking about people going up and down?  Well if you're worried about children, you're worried about them going sideways.

So if I understand correctly, the reason why concern with children, they may not land with their weight balanced perpendicually to that trampoline ... and cause a flip to the side? Well, I wasn't talking about a flip to the side.

So we'eve got a monstrous father who wants to throw his daughter off a cliff, you word Launched, in order to produce the results that were gotten, she would have to have one hand under her bottom and one hand over her back.

There are many ways this could happen. One hand under the buttocks, one hand on the back. A launch at a certain velocity, that produces the tipping, that as she goes down she rotates 180 degrees. It's also possible to do the same thing, and holding her by the ribs, with a little forward rotation, does precisely the same thing. there are multiple ways that this could be accomplished.

In order for us to determine how the launch was done, first start with the signature injuries? We work our ways back, from the fingerprint injuries.  What I'm having trouble with is "first." There are parellel lines that we have to look at. There's a really simple quesiton here, it seems to me.

ARe the injuries we see are a consequence of a bunch of low level impacts a the top of the cliff, or are we seeing something that misses the top and hit one place far down the cliff.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but no one has been able to find the impact on the side of the cliff? No one has found an impact on the cliff. I'm telling you that the physicis tell you, that [this is what happneed.]

Laub assum that any of these are varried. He's this guy who wants to toss the kid, how do we know that each arm is exerted? We don't and we don't care. We know that a person somaller than Mr. Brown 5.7 as apposed to 6:3. A person 160 verses 200 lbs. A baggage handler vs a graduate.

I don't careand i odn't mean that I odn't care about facts of this case, it is infact it is irrelevant to the analysis to know that particular force.

But if in fact you have one variable, where one arm is more than another, and a child is bouncing off to the side, then the conclusion that Mr. Brown would had to have bene standing at a different location. I msut say I don't understand your question.

What I'm trying to say is, what i'm hearing you say, is that you have sertain injuries, you applied the laws of physics in your expertiese, in science you've called them givens, things that you use as assumptions. I've used that word.

One of the given's, is these injuries. Yes, but that's an objective facts. We have to again produce the injuries.  I' know youv'e studied those injureis very carefully. How far would Laurne at the age of four would she have to fall, to cause those injuries? I don't know that we have a good anser to that. These are not injuries that would be sustained at anywhre close to the steppoing or falling off the top of the cliff.

What's imorttant to keep in mind, we are not comparing sutlties. We're comapring a situation where it's alleged she slipped or tripped. And comparing that to whas she launched.

The kind of things as to where or how far she would have to fall, don't enter into whether she hit at the top of the clifff don't enter into it.
It is beide the point. It's whether she could slip and trip, verses whether she was Launched.

As a biomechanics experts, have you ever worked on a car injury case? yes. and have to consider if the injuries occurred at the speed the car was going? all the time.

Doesn't the speed increase, the father it falls? it does. It would depend what she hits.

Let's say both hit rocks. Assume we now know, what it's hitting, and it's the same every time. Would the damage be the same at 20 feet vs 100 ft.

Laub argues, back to the witness, that he didn't ask that question.

You're not a medical doctor. I'm not a medical doctor. I don't treat patients.

How far did she fall, to get the result of those injuries. She fell aproximately, 72 feet, or 42 feet above the water.

You're first assume she hit the shelf? No, I didn't assume that.

I started with a set of trajectories, and look where she did impact the cliff, and looked at the velocity, and said she would be going 60 feet second or 45 miles per hour.

Youre saying the distance she would have to fall to cause those injuries, it's 72 feet or whatever you said.

What if she hits the rocks in the water, and hit the front of her head, but at that point, of hitting the rocks below, she would have enough velocity i nthe rest of her body as it colapsed around her striking head.

So what you can tell, is that she hit head first? yes. I believe she hit head first to her frontal lobe. She hit hard enough that she snapped her neck and then bounced into the water.

So if I understand what you're telling us, she hit head first, it was snapped back, at that point there's a moment of time separation, the second impact of the body, where the body gets the damage that shows on the left side, is that correct? Yes.

And the right wrist. One of the ways it could happen, since teyr in my view, no other impacts invovle.d There is a relfex, you put your hand out ot break your fall. I bleiev tha't explaisn the right wrist facture dislocation.

I believe you tell us that the majority of theinjuries were on the left side. I wasn't particularly focusing on the left side.  I noted the ones were left sided mostly. I also ntoed that thew right wrist was the dislocated right wrist.

For a single impact, the person that is falling here, what is coming up fast coming up to the left side, and the right side is trying to stop it? What happened to the left hand? Who knows. (more explanation)

If Laruen is apaerson who is very unadventerous, and generaly doesnt like to be heights even small heights, in your thinking about this whether or not her monster father picked her up like this, she likely struggled? It's not figuring inot the calculation. I've done work on people who are in mortal fear, they are frozen into position. In motrtal fear of her life, it's also possible that she froze. There are many possibilites.

When you say in fear of your life. What do four year olds understand about death? I think what you are soliciting here is specualtion about what happened. What's useful, to think about the center of gravity. Your center of gravity stays in place.

if your father has a grip on you to throw you off a cliff, your center of gravity stays in place.  The arms flailing doesn't pull it off? Esentially not.

How about the center of gravity being, with the arm hitting a rock? And this is related to the center of gravity (Laub, maybe not.)  A fractured dislocation is not the consequence of hitting agains the rock. It's an outstretched hand. She would not generate the type of forces that an adult would.

It doesn't change the center of gravity. It might slightly perturb the center of gravity.

Let's not say that she flails her arms, she's falling head first towards the cliff, and what's coming up towards her, and she pushes out her wrist, does that affect her descent? I have a hard time if she's cleared the top of the cliff, ...

Laub proposes that Lauren with her right arm wrist, pushes off with something.

You showed us some graphs that were two dimensional and some graphs, ... let me tell you what I saw, I didn't see how she could reach out and push herself out from the cliff? [miss answer]

DDA Hum objects to Laub saying several times "from what I saw." These are improper questions. The court indicates that Mr. Laub can state, "how I interpret."

Is there anything in that, that shows that Lauren could have used her hand to push off, with her right hand .... " The first feature of the cliff that is sticking out enough to interact with is that shelf below. The rest of the time she has cleared that.

Who prepared the slide with Jeremy, slide 18, that shows Jeremy on top of IP? Is that slide 18? I do know the one. It's a multi video, looks from different locations.

Who prepared that? Jeremy. At your direction? Yes.

Are you familiar with the filmmaker, [?]

From an advertizing point of view, the way in which you place images togehter, will give a different message, depending on how it's edited? if you're interested in advertizing, that's correct. If you're interested in science, you show what's relevant.

You have na establishment shot? That may be what you call it.

I started with an establishment shot, to show that we are at IP.

Then you moved to the shot where you had Jeremy did the throw. Yes, because we needed to show where Jeremy did the throw.  Then that faded into the cliffs so we could see the object fall. Yes.

How did you decide to cut off the point to cut off where Jeremy threw the object and then fade into the shot below? I don't recall a fade. It was established because the pelican box disappears from one view and we have to use another shot to see it.

Your honor, at this point, I would like to show, We have an exhibit i na previous proceeding that was marked SS.  We need just a moment.

Judge Lomeli asks? How long is it.

Laub. It's seconds.  Laub then states, it's at the most five minutes.  They are uploading the video onto Mr. Hum's laptop.

Now the video where Jeremy is working with two 20 lb weights to create a video.

It takes some time to set this up. The court states, lets take a 15 minute break.

2:58 PM
The court addresses a white haired bespeckled attorney in the gallery. "Were you waiting for something?" I've seen this man before in pretrial hearings in Dept. 108.

As the counsel comes into the well, as he passes Brown, the defendant and him exchange words and the counsel shakes Brown's hand. The attorney first speaks to Judge Lomeli at the bench and then goes over and speaks to Mr. Laub.


3:20 PM
Back on the record.

Laub plays video of one of his experiments. It's actually two, scaling, to show a yardstick. And that was throw number one.

Plays another video. This was throw number two? I don't think. I think what you just showed us. I think that was a repeat of number one.

Plays another video. Is that 2? I think that's number 2.

In the first video, did he jump a little bit? You have to remember, that he was not trying to replicate what was at IP. He was just trying to show two different frames, [to get the reference points].

He was trying to produce a parabolic arc. The intent was to get a starting point for the trajectory calculations to get a speed. 160 lb 5'7 and what velocity it produced.

And that first attempt he was at a standing position, he didn't run? That's correct.

And in the second one he hops?  I believe that he's not distinguishing in launching.  He takes a step, and he comes back.

You didn't see a hop? I didn't see a hop.

Lets go to #2. Did you see anything there that had his body moving forward after the launch? I wouldn't be surprised if it did. In many of these, he's walking to pick up the weights. It has nothing to do with the launch.

Laub wants to show the video again.  In the second video, he does go forward, but it doesn't appear that he's trying to stop his forward motion.

Then shows a "fourth?' video?  In every single one, we were looking at his angle of throw, to establish velocity. Nothing else.

Laub plays another video. Shows an underhand throw. Mr. Hayes states there were nine.  Laub plays more.

So what you're telling us, is him moving forward is irrelevant. He was not expected or told to stop. He was not pretending he was at the top of IP. He was just trying to get a velocity.

When you had him on top of IP, you had him wearing a harness? yes. Even though the laws of physics, you even had a safety harness?  Wrong in your question. I did not and very carefully, and said just the opposite. There is an equal and opposite force in each and every one of the throws. I never said it moves him back, it pushes him back. But it depends on how [fast] he's moving. Hayes says, that even at the top of IP, he can take one step forward, and still not get to the end of his protective tether ropes.

Oh wait a minute, not this one. This video is the throw of the pelican box off the cliff.

Laub asks for the video to be inched forward. When he threw this, Now looking at the harness, where is the rope and below the harness? Where is it now? I can't see it. Laub shows the rope, and in the stop video, it looks like it's taught.  Dr. Hayes states he believes the rope is not taught in the video.

Laub asks about a jump rope and how it's taught. Dr. Hayes states he needs a bit more.

Laub accuses that there is someone back there, holding the rope taught. Dr. Hayes states, that over a short period of line, any rope will be taught. Dr. Hayes insists that, Jeremy did not in this video, goes beyond the point where he did pull the rope taught.

What's important in this is that, if Mr. Brown is doing what you're demonstrating he is doing, then there's a risk that he could be going over the edge. Yes. So if he's four feet from the edge, there's a serious problem for him.

And this slide is the demonstration.  It's a short piece of video on the right where the rope is taught. 

Laub continues to argue with the witness as to whether or not the rope was taught that was holding onto Jeremy when he threw the weight.

You can see on the video, that the rope pulls him back, Laub states. DDA Hum asks, is that a question or is that testimony? I believe the court states Laub must ask a question.

When a person picks up and throws an object, how important is it to determine the where the object is going? It's one of the variables that plays a role, along with many others.

A lot of secondary things come into play when one throws a baseball.

I nthe back yard you used 40 lbs weight? yes. And on the cliff, you used a 44lb weight? Actually, it was 45.

So you used a 10% more weight, on the cliff?

Remember I called it a starting point, for those analysis.

And how did that affect the formulas that you were applying. The starting weight gave us a 15 ft per second. Then increased the weight closer to Lauren's weight, asked Jeremy to use the same throwing motion. and what we found when we did the projectile motion it went into the water directly. Then Jeremy's experiment close to Lauren's weight, ti was between those two that we did in the back yard, and....

And you used the point of departure from where Mr. Brown supposedly said he was.... And supposedly told Detective Brothers that he was sitting on a rock?

He supposedly said he was siting on a rock? I know of no rock that purports with [that] description.

Laub confers with his investigator.

REDIRECT.
Dr. Hayes I want to ask you in regards to the point of departure using the description. Yes. Did you create two additional simulations from different points of departure, [Where Lauren ended up in the water?] even those didn't comport with the defendant's description? I did.

Can you tell us what this slide depicts. It's the mathmatical representation of Lauren's height and weight. It shows the point of departure the U shaped region. It also looks at a point of departure called 2 and to the west. And comports with the statements of Mr. Brown. And #3, which is further along the path, and there is a rock over in that direction.

Did you do a slip and fall for departure location number 2? Yes.

Simulation from Pt 2/ trip. She doesn't get the massive injuries from this point.

Simulation from Pt. 3 trip. Sliding down the top of the cliff, producing sliding abrasions, several impacts,

Did either of those slip and trips from point of departure 2 or 3, were any of those consistent with theinjuries on Lauren's body? Neither was.

Even if she had, gone off of those points, it would not produce the injuries that she had.

RECROSS
Asks about small injuries on her right shoulder, and her right knee. What Im trying to say that these are the substantial injuries. By putting her on the rocky ledge down below when coming out of the water. Could have happened on the walk over, but these are not evidence of any sort of forceful or high speed impact.

Am I correct in understanding, you don't have a explanation for the scratch on her shoulder? Other than the possiblities that I just gave you, you're not speaking as an expert, you're just thinking like anyone else could come up with.

More questions Laub asks about minor injuries and that Dr. Hayes doesn't have an explanation for how those occurred. Dr. Hayes states there are numerous possibilites for how those occurred.

And taking your model is the motion used, the projection coming up from the cliff, and the impact from this that her organs stopped so abruptly, that they pulled loose? No she's going down, with the impact that's going further. The internal organs keep going as the body stops. They tear away from the internal organs that hold them in the body.

The ribs are not broken  because of the impact of the head.

DDA Hum, I will prepare an exhibit for the slides as used. and presnet them as exhibits.

While the jury filed out, Brown leaned into Laub to speak.

Now there is argument about the scheduling of Mr. Laub's witnesses.

The court states the sheriff's need an answer whether or not Brown is going to the jury site visit. The court states they will take that issue up on Monday.

And that's it, until Monday at 9:30 AM


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cameron Brown 3rd Trial, Day 19 - Prosecution Testimony Continues

Lauren Sarene Key, 4, died November 8, 2000.
Copyright© Sarah Key-Marer, all rights reserved.

UPDATE 4/24: I've had very little time to edit this entry for spelling and accuracy due to being with Rocket until 1 AM last night. I'm still working on editing 4/20, Monday's last witness. When that is finished, I'll start editing 4/22, Wednesday.

Thursday, April 23, 2015
8:18 AM
I'm on the Red Line train already. For a change, Mr. Sprocket and I were able to get out of the house earlier than usual. Our hearts have been with Rocket, who has been steadily declining over the last two weeks. I'm afraid we will be saying goodbye to this sweet addition to our lives, a lot sooner than we had hoped.

The Trial: What's Left
The prosecution is expected to rest their case before or by the end of the week. The defense will present witnesses and then I believe, the prosecution will put on a rebuttal case.  Next week is a short week. Court is dark next Wednesday afternoon, as well as all day Thursday and Friday. The jury site visit is locked in for Thursday, May 7. It's my understanding there will be no court on that date. Counsel will still need to agree on jury instructions. Then closing arguments, jury instructions are read then the jury gets the case.

Entry Editing

I still have editing to do on Monday and Wednesday's entries from this week.

9:01 AM
I'm on the fifth floor of the criminal court building. The family that runs the 5th floor snack room has the best price on green tea. It's a small thing, but it adds up.  The fifth floor is a very busy floor. There is a jury waiting rooms is on this floor. (There's a second jury waiting room on the 11th floor.) Directly opposite the snack bar is Dept. 30, also known as arraignment court. That's a very busy department and what drives the comings and goings of so many attorneys, officers and the general public.

9:29 AM
Inside Dept. 107, DDA Hum and Detective Leslie are already set up. There is a computer technical expert in the well, going over something with DDa Hum. One of Sarah's close girlfriends is already here. She gives me a smile.

Within a minute or two, Aron Laub arrives with his rolling cart of files. I note that after Mr. Laub took off his jacket, I see that he wears a pair of suspenders, similar to what Mr. Sprocket wears on his work pants. A few moments later, Sarah and her husband Greg arrive with a friend, a man Ive seen come to court before.

The bailiff comes in and informs the court that the jury is all here, and that they said something about doughnuts.  Dr. Chinwah is here and he's told to take the stand after Brown is brought out.

Judge Lomeli is on the bench and tells his court clerk to call for the jury.

DR. CHINWAH
At the end of the day, the manner of death was not accidental, but at the hands of another.  Did you elaborate that in your report? Yes I did.

Death was due to multiple traumatic injuries, with massive skull fracture, which was consistent with a drop from a height. I did say that, that finding from autopsy, is not consistent with an accidental fall. It is more consistent with an assisted fall. This was supported by a site visit by myself and the chief medical examiner, and our consultant peditrician, and law enforcement officers.

That site was an extremely rugged site. Thought that the child could not get to the height without assistance, or being coerced. The findings that we see from the autopsy, and putting this all together, this was a child endangerment. The death was not due to an accident, it was due to some form of assisted form. So child endangerment so classified by homicide.

The nature of Lauren's injuries, this was a homicide.

We were discussing the left side of Lauren's body and the left cheek area. There was abraision and contusion over the left face of the body, from the forehead down to the chin.

The left cheek, was that fractured? Yes.

Contusions of the lung liver and spleen, caused by a large force or blow? Yes. Was that an external blow or internal? It's external.

All of these injuries that you observed of Lauren's face and chest area, the broken wrist, are these consistent with a single impact? Yes.

Did you also describe a fracture of Lauren's wrist? yes i did.  Please describe that. It was on the left. It was a displaced fracture. Is it when the palm is pushed back? yes, it is consistent with that.

During your autopsy also examined Lauren's lungs? Yes I did. Was there any water in Lauren's lungs? No, I did not. Assuming her body was in the water, what does it tell us that there was no water in her lungs. It means she didn't asperate water. She didn't breath any water in? No.

Did you observe any lividity in Lauren's body? Can I refer to my records? Please.  No I did not make any comment regarding that. With rigor, I did mention that it had presumably been altered. I made a comment about that.

By the time the body is examined by the coroner, it's been moved so many ways, the assessment may have been compromised by the lividity of the body.

Asks the doctor to explain rigor, and how it occurs after death and how it goes away.

Lividity is the pooling of blood by gravity. The blood flows downwards due to gravity and that can cause discoloration in the body. If someone lying on the back when they die, the blood pools in the back.

Because the heart stops beating, blood is no longer flowing through the body? correct. So the body pools in the body? Correct.

As part your conducting the autopsy, you used diagrams to make notes of what you observed, That's correct. From those notes and diagrams that's what you dictate your autopsy report.

People's 53, Coroner from 20.  A big blow up of one of the coroner's forms. He placed markings on that diagram at a prior proceeding. Explains that the markings denote the abrasions and contusions.

In your actual diagram in your autopsy report, there's more information. That's correct.

Additional coroner's diagram, People's 54. Drawings of different views of a head.

The red markings on that were placed on a prior proceeding. We can see from looking at, we can see what they depict, but tell us? Those are the areas of injury on the face and forhead as they begin. The areas of contusion and laceration.

People's 55, another diagram from his autopsy report.  This is a skull. Please explain to us, in the three diagrams, and explain the markings on the diagram that you placed in a prior proceeding.

We are looking at the skull. The lower diagram is the bottom of the skull. The left upper diagram is the top of the skull. The right diagram, we are looking at the inner part.

The markings on the left upper diagram, is the front part of the head. So this is the forehead part area and this is the fracture here. And it continues down, all the way here. The diagram on the right, shows where it continues over.  Underneath here, we call this the ? plate. So this is what we have an extensive fracture, all the way to the back of the skull, all the way to over here. This is massive skull fracture, and consistent with a drop from a height.


Upper right is the inside of the skull, if you removed the top and looking inside.

The black circle at the bottom of the right diagram, is what. The spinal cord comes through here, this hole.

Enlargement of coroner's diagram 34, People's identification 56.

Brown looks at the diagrams. Brown sits up in his seat a bit, to see better, and then he sits back in his chair.

The left upper diagram, shows the front of the skull. And on the front of the diagram, is this front upper fracture. the lower right diagram is showing the left side of the skull, and these show the fractures that extend this way.

Sarah and her husband leave the courtroom.


People's 57, photographs a-d.



Photo a of Lauren on the autopsy table.  The entire left side of her face is blood red. Ther eare abrasions on her chest. The abrasions on her face cover her nose and her mouth.

It show her lying on the table of the autopsy room. Adn this is the abrasions and contusions o nte forehead down to the face, and also down to the chest.

Photo B I
 notice there apepars to be a circle in the chest area, a marking, is that on the phot or on Lauren's body? This a circle placed there by the investigator when the liver temperature is taken. The thermometer is put through there. This is not an injury.

Photo C. This are the injuries on the face and the chest area. Photo C. There are some abrasions cut on her abdomen, left him and her hand.

Photo D Abrasions on the knees and lower legs.

Based on her injuries alone, not knowing anything else about the aspects, he could not make a determination as to manner of death.

Are there occasions where you need information other than from just the autopsy, to make a determination as to manner of death? Yes.

In your investigation, On March 26, 2001, you went to Inspiration Point? That's correct.

He went with Dr. Lakshmana, Dr. Berkowitz. They both went to the top of IP and out towards the edge of IP closest to the ocean. Yes.

Did you take the actual hike? No. The hike was too much for me. But she was more athletic. They went to the actual itenerary that was supposedly taken by this child. He went the easy way.

He and Dr. Lakshmana parked on the side of the road and then walked directly out onto IP.  They looked at the contours of the cliff, went there for observation and we looked at everything.

Can you tell us why it was important for you in making your determination in lauren's death. The whole situation needed to be taken into consideration. It was quite an eye opener. It was quite revealing.

Why was the actural contours of the location, why was that significant to you in making a determination of Lauren's death. It was significant, to get something that is consistent with findings.

Are you talking about the autopsy findings themselves? Correct.

What did the location ahve to do with findings

If someone were to fall from the edge that we saw, that individual would have a lot of injry on the body itself, before it would get down. You would make some type of attempt to grab on the vegetation.  There were very little injry on other parts of her body. It was like she just landed, without anything inbetween.  It was a clear drop, and not rolled down the side.

Based on the location, based on what you saw out there, what would you expect ot find on Lauren's body if she had accidentally fallen? I would expect to find a lot of abrasions, and lacerations on the extremities, the hands the arms the legs. And the clothing, I would expect to see some tears in the clothing. If there's vegetation that was there, she had some very thin clothing on. Those clothing were clean.

Did you see any injuries to lauren's body that were consistent with not sliding off in a fall? I would expect to see abrasions, scratches all over the arms and legs, and even lacerations, tears, on the skin. Like those ones that impacted on the forehead there. I would have expected to see those.

And is that based on the contours of the cliff and the materials? The vegetation that was there, and the, yes.

Did she have her clothing on at that time? When she was brought in, yes.

Dr. Chinwah asks to look at his report. At the same time, Judge Lomeli tells counsel that he has to take a call. He comes back a moment later. Back on the record in this matter.

Judge Lomeli has the same issue that we are having with Rocket. He has a pet that is having to be put down.

Dr. Chinwah inspected Lauren's clothing. Did you find the tears on the clothing that you would expect to see if this was an accident? No I did not.

Would those abrasions that you did find, be cnosistent with an accidental fall. The abrasions that he saw were minor superficial abrasions.

Would you have expected to see more, and more extensive if this was an accidental fall. yes.

At any point, did anyone presure you to make this a homicide rather than anything else? No.

Did anyone tell you what your decision should be? No.

In addition to going to the location, did you have a radiologist, examine some xrays.?Yes.

I request a consultation from a radiologist and got a report from him. Did you consider that in your manner of death? yes. And also consulted with a nuropathologist? yes. I did. Did you also consider that report when making your determination? Yes I did.

The chief medical examiner was also present at IP. Yes. He discussed his findings with Dr. Lakshmana. Yesk I did. Was there anythign that the radiologist, the neuropathologist, or the head coroner, that caused you to doubt or change your conclusion that the manner of death was homicide? No.

You were aware that Dr. Berkowitz prepared a report? Yes she did. And that was the result of him asking for the consult? yes. And did her report factor in to his report? Yes. Even if he didn't have her report, his conclusion would still be the same.

Have you conducted autopsies on victims that have fallen from great height? Yes I have.  Have examined both types accident and assisted drop victims.

How many have you conducted of drops from heights, assisted or accident? I would say between 100 and 200.

You told us that if Lauren had acidentally fallen, you would have expected to see much mroe significat lacerations and abrasion on her extremities and body? That's correct.

On some of those idnividuals who have fallen from great height, have you seen those injuries that were absent from Lauren? Yes.

Would you describe the injuries on Lauren as discrete? The injuries on the head and face were discrete. Because they were in that discrete area. By discrete, I mean they are limited to a specific area.

Would these injuries in this discrete area, be consisten with a single impact? Yes. Did you see evidence of multiple impact? I did not see injuries that are consistent with multiple impacts.

Have you done autopsies on bodies that had multiple impacts? Yes. Were the injuries on those bodies different than lauren's? Yes.

Based on all the informaiton you had, based on your findings, bases on your visit to the location, the consultant reports with the radiologist and the neuropathologist, the consult with Dr. Lakshmana, and based on all your training and experience, is the death consistent with an assisted death [rather than an accident]? Yes.

The court takes a two minute break. The jury is asked to step into the jury room.

My bailiff tells me, when he talked to the jurors, one of the jurors had hard copies, that Judge Lomeli handled. He didn't recalled seeing this case. My inclination is to call him out here, and to see if he googled his case.

Record should be clear, that this court did not handle any of the prior proceedings.

The court asks to call a juror out into the courtroom.

Dr. Chinwah steps down from the witness box and sits in the gallery.

Alternate #4.
Reason I'm bringing you out here, that you showed him some photographs of some proceedings I've handled in the past.

You didn't google this case? No. I googled you.

I wanted to see your background, and how long you were on the bench for, and what you're is being paid

what you do and what you get paid, I've led a sheltered life.

I wondered if I'd voted for you, because you' weren't on the ballot.

Just a reminder sir, and you know, stay off hte google or media related ot this case. You represent to us that you did not google this case.

DDA Hum, asks that the document be entered as a court document.  The court asks if he wants a copy of the document back. The juror states, "I'm already in trouble."

The court asks, did the juror search include the background of any attorney. No, I was interested in you and what you make.  Okay sir. You're not in trouble.

One of the jurors is not feeling well, #12.

Please make sure as I advised you earlier, stay away from news articles, or anything about this case.

Cross examination.
As part of your educaiton or experience as a coroner, another thing part of the area os study is forensic pathology. Is that correct? That's correct.

In the course of your study or practice, have you read any work by Warner Spitz? Yes. He's considered to be a renounded forensic pathologist? Yes. His book, is like the bible of pathology? That's one of them.

I just want to talk about the lividity issue for a moment. You had a coroner's investigator who actually went to the scene, where Lauren was, at the time she was first recovered fro mthe water? That's correct.

The investigator gave you a report that described some things he saw. He took some photographs and all of that you reviewed as part of your autopsy report? That's correct.

The on scene investigaors notes are always part of the autopsy report? That's correct.

The lividy that he saw, showed on the left side of the back? I don't know. Can I look?  Sure.

While the doctor looks, Judge Lomeli asks DDA Hum if they are still on track to end case by Friday? "We are your honor."

Dr. Chinwah reads from the investigators report, that lividity was consistent with the supine position.

So there was waht you descirbed as lividty on the back? Yes. it was consistent with her lying on the picnic table, where she was lying.

Would you agree that it's difficult to determine livity and ante antemortem bruises? Sometimes.

Would you also agree that there are times when the differentiation as such of the liver area from true brusies can be difficult or impossible visually? There are some occasions that would happen.

When trying to be sure, a liver is compared ot a briuse, the only way to do that, is to actually make a cut that goes beneath the skin, in order to determine the blood that is there, is blood that is of bruising or the blood of lividity? Yes.

Is it true, that ... Laub reads from Spitz's book.

If death occurs before the bluish purple discoloration has time to develop, only incision will disclose the injury? That's correct.

Was any incision made in Lauren's back, to determine if any inury occured, at the time of this fall, a bruise didn't have time to develop where an incision could be made? You have to have a reason for that.

So at the time of the autopsy, you were not being asked to make a determination of whether this was a single impact or multiple impacts, is that right? No one asked you to focus on that, am I correct? No one asked me to, but my training, I looked for that.

At the time you did hte physical autopsy, you did not coclude that, two words used interchangably, one is cause of death, and this case cause of death is blunt force trauma? COrrect. And manner of death, is how the blunt force trauma is caused?

How is not the manner of death.

Explanation of manner as relation to cause of death.

Manner of death. There are four, ... five classifications.

At the time that you actually did the physical autopsy, you established, through your medical knowledge, the cause, blunt force trauma, but not manner of death. That's correct.

Becaue at the time, the injuries on the body did not tell you manner of death. That's correct.

When you make a dertimation of cause of death. When you do manner of death, you get all the circumstances together.

Someone walking across the street, get hit by the car, you have multiple traumatic injury, if don't do anything else, accident.

But, if you [wait] get the story, then you get manner of death. 

Yes, my examination is it's a single impact.

Laub asks a long drawn out question about he came about his conclusions.

At the time he did the autopsy, he didn't have hte information he later got, to focus on, whether or not, there were brusies that fell from the cliff, multiple impacts, how the body had fallen... I'm not being critical. You did an autopsy based on the information you had then? yes.

You conldn't make your determination, until you made your observations at the scene? Yes. So then you put them together to make your conclusion. but then it was also too late, to make an incision on Lauren's back to see if there were underlying bruises.

By this it was unnecessary. Because yo umake an incidiosn, whe you have doubt. You examine the body you see the thing, it's quite obvious, If your'e going to make an incision on every autopsy to see if it's a bruise or not a bruises.  There was absolutely no reason to make any cut there.

Laub, states that it was too late, to go back and recut into Lauren's body to see if a bruise exists underneath after he got the additional information.

All of these later things, where Lauren fell, he didn't have that information at the autopsy.

You conclusion is, that Lauren's injuries were caused by hitting rocks, down at the bottom? yes.


If her body hit any part of the cliff, is not significant. The body went from that height, down to where it landed, with virtually nothing stopping the descent from that height.

So the injuries you observed with the impact at the very bottom, wit hte rocks in the water alone? That caused the massive, traumatic injury.


If Lauren did hit the cliff, going down, that was insignificant to her cause of death.

You were told that if Lauren fell, there would have to be scratches and bruises by the vegetation up there. That's correct.

You did go to the top some other way, you were on the top of IP? Yes. You did not go all the way to the edge where she departed from the cliff? I went to the site.

Wasn't that a slippery slope, where she fell that she was taken to? yes.

Wern't the people that you were with, wern't those people concerned about getting to close, so that you would be safe? Yes.

And at the part where, that slope, reaches the edge, there isnt much vegetation, what you're looking at is rock at the end? I don't really know what exact site you are referring to.

The place that you were told where Lauren had gone over ... let me ask you to describe to us, what the place of departure was, what you were shown, what did that look like to you?

We were on the top of the point there, and they were all over the place including [over the side] I'm not sure exactly what you want me to describe?

Was there a difference i nthe amount of vegetation. ... well first off there was a slope? A slope to where?

When you were approaching the place of Lauren's departure, did you first walk along a flat space? yes. When you were heading towards the place of departure, did IP stop being level, or was it just level and there was the drop?  Well, the, it wasn't flat like a table, but the top was not that flat. There was an area where there was a slope.

Well the slope area, how would you describe the slope is it? In terms of degree?

I meant, for instance, it's just sloped a little or a steep slope, how would you describe it from your perspective? You're on top of your moutian, there' a slope to get o ntop of the mountain.

So, am I correct in understanding about a slope, that IP came to an edge, and after that, there's a slope as if it was a mountain slope, as if it just drops? Is that what you mean by the edge?

the IP and ther are slopes on both sies an down in the front there.

So, IP is the top? That's correct.

It's not flat like a table, it's uneven? yes, it's uneven. And when you get to theedge, it becomes the same uneven, you get to the slope which is a drop? Yes.

11:00 AM
Judge Lomeli calls for the morning break.

One of the jurors is not feeling well, and she tells the court that the rest of the jurors are trying to tell her to be sicker so they can all go home. A bit of laughter.  The juror states that because of that, she's sticking it out, and staying.

Cross continued.

DR CHINWAH
You've done x number of sutopies, how many involved falls from cliffs? I can't recall for sure, maybe about 10.

Falls from cliffs, how many involved falls from this height, similar to this case? They're all about the same height?

And how many involved children around the age of 4? I can't recall.

When you did the autopsy, one of the things you noted, although there was a severe impact to Lauren, her chest bones didn't break.  That's correct. One of the reasons is that child's bones haven't developed to the point of where they would break. That's correct.

An accidental fall. Have you only considered the possibility that she slipped? Slipping is one way. What else do you mean when you say it's not an accident? An accident is an accident that happens unknowingly.

One of the things you talked about, is that you would expect to see ... did I misunderstand? Coming to the conclusion, all the circumstance surrounding this thing is taken into consideration. To isolate one thing from the other, is not doing service to [?].

Am I right that the circumstnaces that you were informed of, in reaching to your conclusions, is the child was in a school and the father was going to take her, and she cried for a long long time? That's part of what you considered? That's part of the circumstance.

But the father had the right to take her, and he took her to this picnic/play area, and that's part of it? That's part of it. And they stayed there for about, oh 20 minutes.  Yes.

I believe that Mr. Laub is reading his prior testimony. Dr. Chinwah, agrees, with all his prior testimony statements.

And this information, this additonal information was provided by whom? I got information from Law enforcement, and personal site view of the place.

The little, idea of there being a child on top of Inspiration Point, do you believe that a child would voluntarily be on a place like that? Do you believe that a four year old child could voluntarily be on top of IP? If a bunch of kids were taken up there, and had been on vacation. They could voluntarily get there.

Fall children falling from high cliffs is a rare occurrence? Objection. While I agree with that, it's irrelevant. Sustained.

In reaching your conclusion, do you as part of your work, keep track of what happens in other cases, where small children fall from cliffs in California? Objection. Irrelevant. Sustained.

Laub asks if he is aware of other falls of children? Judge asks, how is that relevant?

Because, respectfully, part of his conclusion is what would be expected from this child. Objection. Argument. sustained.

Laub wants to have all of Dr. Chinwah testimony in regards to after the autopsy.  The court intervenes and wants to know how it's relevant.  Laub argues that it is relevant. The court tells him to move on.

What were the possible stores that you considered [When you were told that Lauren had fallen from the cliff area]?  What do you mean by stories.

Did you have any information about what possibly Mr. Brown had said had happened? No.

Dr. Chinwah states, part of the report was narrated as to what happened. Dr. Chinwah asks Laub, well, who brought the child up out of the water?

Laub asks another question, and the Dr. asks the court to look at his report.  Dr. Chinwah reads from his report.

Laub asks if he was told that Lauren was throwing rocks. Doesn't recall that.

So one of the things that you didn't consider, is that Lauren was throwing rocks, and could have taken a few running steps and fallen over the side?  It was considered and the conclusion, is that is inconsistent, with her accidentally, either by throwing rocks or running or whatever, [her injuries] are not consistent with an accident.

Laub gives an example, if you have a four year old, who takes a running start, and throws a rock...

DDA Hum states, I'm going to object at this part in time. It's irrelevant and it's gone too far.

Judge Lomeli asks the coroner the basis of his conclusions. Judge Lomeli tells counsel to move on.  Laub asks for a sidebar.

11:40 AM
Let me try to rephrase my question. If Lauren had been, had taken a, just few running steps to the edge and thrown a rock, and gone over the side of the edge, would you expect, would you have expected to see the abrasions and contusions you would see, from slipping through vegetation?

If she threw a rock and went the way you described, the type of injuries I would expect to see in her, I did not see. I would exect to see extensive abraision and laceration on her body, especially the extremities mostly, and other parts of the body, extensive.

What is it you believed would have caused those injuries? The surface, as she would have gone down the side of the cliff.

You say the surface, that she would have come in contact of the cliff, the perpendicular side of the cliff? Object to the word perpendicular. Sustained.

Chinwah agrees there is an edge.

And that edge... ? There's a slope.

And this slope you're talking about, is this then the part you're talking about...? Yes, there's a slope.

And this is the part, moving to the edge? And the person is lauren, and I'm refering now to the ege, the slope from the top and the edge where the cliff beings. 

Objeciton. that's not what he said.

Judge asks Laub to start again. Laub states he will come back to it.

Did the written report that you do, you try to make that complete as a record? That's correct.  That's so someone later, can review it and understand what you saw.  That's correct.

In your written report, you describe more in abrasions, that you'd drawn on the diagram, the diagram of Lauren's body? Is that correct? That's right.

In your written report, that on the face and the cheek, there were lacerations you describe them as multiple irregular? Can you describe that. It means that the edges were not smooth. They were irregular.

And you go onto say that some were oriented diagonally. Did you mean that lacerations were running in differnet directions/ Yes.

And you also talked about there being abrasions on the upper chest? Yes. Going over to the upper shoulder area? Yes.

Is there any significance to an abraision being horizontal verses being diagonal? The significant is the impact... that surface, has some irregularity in it.

So, you're assuming that the surface that struck Lauren's chest had an irregularity that would cause lacerations runnig though her chest.

I'm geting overwhelmed by the description of the injuries.

Dr. Chinwah explains that the rocks in the ocean are jagged, irregular.

Another question about the abrasions, on the lower chest has the horizontal abrasions? Yes. And that was 3/4 inch by one inch? Yes.

What I mean by horizontal, is that it went across the chest. It went from left to right.

And then down on the abodome, you saw tow abrasions and one of them was vertical on the left abdomen and that one was two inches. That's correct.

Laub now asks about lacerations.

Is it not possible for those abrasions to have come at different times when the body was moving at different positions? Well if you're referring to, abrasions in the abdomen, that's a little small line. It's just a minor thing the one in the abdoment. It's justo n the surface of the skin.

11:55 AM
Dr. Chinwah states that these injuries that Mr. Laub is asking about, are very minor. These are minutia. Insignificant to the overall cause of death.

Why is it not possible that this vertical abrasion, wasn't caused by the body in a different position in the fall being caused by brush sticking out of the cliff? Why isn't that possible.

This linear abrasion was not caused by any rock.

Dr. Chinwah tries to explain, that this one singular line, would not have occurred by a slip down the cliff. There would have been multiple scrapes and injuries.  Dr. Chinwah describes this line, as a single line from a pin.

DDA Hum states that based on what has happened in cross, he can no longer guarantee that he will finish on time.

The court asks Mr. Laub how much longer

Laub wants to prevent the prosecution from asking about the books that were found in the Brown's residence on witchcraft. The court wants to know how that is relevant.

Back at 1:30 PM.

1:20 PM
This morning, around the same time that Judge Lomeli was telling counsel and the jury about a family dog that was being put down and he couldn't be there with his wife, Mr. Sprocket had emailed me that he scheduled the same type of appointment for Rocket, Saturday morning.

The last several hours of court and lunch, it's been difficult to maintain my composure. We will try to spend as much quality time as we can with him, until then.

1:31 PM
Back inside Dept. 107. The bailiff asks if the court wants the defendant out. Sure, Judge Lomeli replies.

I understand the people has served an SDT, and they have not received any documents in question. DDA Hum states it's South Bay Trauma. There have been no documents. Regarding Molly Taylor.

I have no idea what this is about.

There will be a stipulation later. There will also be testimony that will be read into the record from a prior proceeding.

Judge Lomeli said he's a little paranoid that people are trying to find out his salary. It seems to me like he's joking.

As the jury enters, the bailiff tells a young gentleman in the courtroom that if he's from UCLA, he has to leave.  The young man beside me says, "USC." The judge says, "Welcome, with open arms."  Judge Lomeli's alma mater is USC.

Cross continues of Dr. Chinwah.

Brown watches Laub.

You noted in your autopsy the left was fractured? Which wrist. I said left but I want to be correct. Yes. Which wrist was that?  I put down in the summary I put right, but I want to make sure I was correct.  It was the right.

The majority of the injuries were on the left? Correct. And the right wrist was fractured? Correct.

Is there a reason why the right wrist injury couldn't have occured through a flayling of the wrist against the cliff face? I don't know.

You also said in order to reach your conclusion about manner of death, it was necessary to know where the point of departure was? That's not correct. I was not there. How could I say it was necessary for me to know?

In our analysis of the manner of death, would it matter whether the point of departure was point A or 20 feet away from point A? I don't know.

Would it matter to know the point of impact? No.

Redirect.

The def. atty referred to a part of the investigatove report, the coroner's summary, would like it marked as 33 A.

That investigator is from the coroner's department who is sent to the scene of the death. Taht's correct. And that's different from the Sheriff's Dept. That's correct.

And he's sent a few hours, thatwas Mr. Moses, was sent within a few hours of the incident? He goes out to the scene as it's held as opposed to days later? Oh yes.

Generally speaking, it's preferable that nobody move the body until they photograph the scene and take the liver temperature. There would also be preliminary information as to the scene? Correct.

Dr. chinwah, just having knowledge of the injuries Lauren she received, the absence of injury which you also determined and the location itself, Inspiration Point, Just having those three pieces of information, that Lauren's injuries are were inconsistent with a fall?

Although all that other information supported his conclusion, but it wasn't necessary. It added weight to his conclusion.  And also, I just want to make sure that I'm clear, the injuries to Lauren's face and chest area, are all of those injuries consistent with a high velocity impact? Yes.

RECROSS examination.
At the time you did the autopsy, you couldn't determine manner of death because you needed more information? I wouldn't use the word couldn't.  At autopsy all you had was the medical information of the body? Yes.

At the time I examined the body, I needed more information.

You told about a number of sources of information you received, that you put together to come to your determination that this was a homicide.  Correct.

I'm understanding from the redirect question, that the only information that you actually needed to reach your conclusion, was the original autopsy, and what you saw personally saw when you were up at Inspiration Point, am I correct? Yes.

And you say that takes into account that you did not need, to know the actual point of departure, or the actual point of impact below, am I right? Yes.

The witness is excused. People call Robert Olsen.

ROBERT OLSON

He is a land surveyer. He works for a firm Psomas. He's currently a vice president out of the Los Angeles Office. I'm graduate, BS in engineering with emphasis in land surveying.

Photogrametry, the art and science of making accurate measurements from photographs.

What types of surveying and for what purpose? We support the land developers, public agencies, roadways, ... prepare base maps of exisiting conditions so engineers can propose their designs.

Explains an aerial survey. Another way of providing topigraphical data. It's much more feasable for larger properties that are feasible. They indicate the topography of the land. It's to show the elevation of the ground.

Were you in charge of to produce a topographical map of IP.  The department of public works contacted him.

Aerial topigraphic mapping is just another mapping technique that relies on overlapping photographs, that identifies all the features, buildings, curves. It's free stepfold process, the aerial plane will fly over the site, capture the photographs, and that will be processed to a TIT file that will be imported into a program.

There's also the field component. They need to coordinate the items that appear in the photograph.  They will put white crosses, control points, They will field survey and establish the white crosses and then photograph the area and the white crosses.

How many white crosses were established? Four. They were generally in the flatter areas of IP. due to the small bases we also were able to thn take our surveying instruments and take in rock outcroppings in the ocean below.

It's apoint and shoot, bounce off and record that location.

They take the GPS locations of those four points, to locate those points in a coordinate world. More technical data as to how he works to make the topographical map.

A total station, is that when you have someone holding a rod with a flag and someone else looks through a [scope] of some sort?
A total station records the vertical horizontal and sloped distances to a rod that's being held.

More explanation as to how the actual process is done.

They are specialized planes with specialized camera equipment. They are very expensive cameras with 6" focal length. They produce a large photograph. To get the 3 D effect, the photos have to have a relationship to each other.

A second flight had to be done, because of the steepness of the cliff? Yes, a second filght was done because the first did not get all the info they needed.

A stereo plotter operator, the joining images, they use special glasses, to be able to visualize the three D effect.  More explanation that I cannot follow.

The model they create is a three dimensional model. The model is in the computer.

Now have a digital terrain model, now what do you do with that? That's from which the contours are created.

Then this model can be used by other people, and photographs can be draped over this model.

14 page report, People's 92.

Bottom paragraph on page 5, the methodology [that Dr. Hayes used] for producing the model he used.

This methodolgy for creating a topographical map of the cliff face? Is it new, is it tested can you tell us a little bit about that.  It's been around for quite a while. I believe the first concept, was when they started flying balloons above the civil war. So it's been around for quite a while.

It's the basis for improvement of land, gas line projects, freeway.  Anywhere where someone wants to develop ground, they must know what's going on [under ground?]?

The closer the lines are the steeper things are? Yes.

The mapping standards that have been around. For 1" = 20ft. horizontial and fixed and fine point, if fefinalble, compare that and they have to be within 8 inches of each other. That's horizontal.

For vertical, 90% of elevations they must been in line with one half contraannable.

Explains the process for determining errors in maps. This is the first time where testimony is really almost completely misunderstandable to me.

Cross examination.
Your model, is based upon photos that were taken in a fly over? That's correct.

Is it one flyover or more? It would have been two passes, then we needed more. I think three flight lines were involved.

What was the first data captured? I don't recall.

Do you have your report? I don't.

Your model that you made, does not tell us what it looked like on November 8, 2000? that's correct.

And the flyovers that you did, I believe were, one to two years later? I think it was Jan of 2003.
One of the things that didn't figure into the model, was possible errosion along the point, from 11/8/200 and your date? That's correct.

And the two flyovers that were initially done on different dates, so it had to be of a hybrid of what you saw on different dates? I wouldn't call it a hybrid. ... The first flight did two flightlines that cross each other.

One of the flights was too far inland, so that was the reason we had to refly over the area.

Questions about the camera being advanced and the plane traveling at 150 miles an hour.

You talked about, compensating for the yaw and pitch of the plane.  As the plane is taking photographs, they are not perfectly level, so there's always going to be pitch and yaw, exposing pitch and yaw in the photography.

Explains Yaw and Pitch.  Left or right is Yaw, Forward or back is Pitch.

Laub asks about compensating. How is it you know what to need to do to compensate?

Complicated answer. I feel like I'm going to fall asleep.

Cartesian coordinate systems, three axises. I'll have to look that up.

Laub asks if he really didn't get contacted by the DA's office. The witness states that as far as he knows he was contacted by the LA Dept. of Public Works.

Laub states that the witness knew that it was for the DA's office on? Insists that he was aware that this work was for the DA's office.

This was the first time that you did survey's involving cliffs? No, we've done survey's involving cliffs before.  Now crossing him on prior testimony.

Is it correct that you had never done one of these models for the purpose of use in a fall trajectory computer simulation? That is correct.

Cross ends. Redirect.

Does it matter to you if was for a fall trajectory or developmental purposes? No.

Mr. Laub asked whether it reflected the same as the face was on November 8, 2000. That takes into account there were relevant changes to IP. Correct. You don't know if there was

Lena Patel will Bethe Anderesen. (I don't think I have that right.)

Leena S. Patel was called on behalf of  the people.

Back in Nov 2000, were you working? Yes. I was.

Where were you working? christian montesory school? It was in Newport Beach.

About how long did you work? 4.5 years total. She was an elementary teacher there.

Did you know Lauren Key? Yes, I did.

People's 1, for identificaiton, That was Lauren.

I knew Lauren from interacting with her on the playground and from pick ups and drop offs. She often filled in for preschool teachers.

Then, Lauren would be in the class.  She met Lauren's mother, Sarah.

She got to know Lauren's mother. We had something in common. Sarah was from England, and so was I.

Sarah would ask about lauren and how she was doing, whenever Sarah would pick Lauren up.

Did you ever observe her roughhousing or playing rough at all? No she was a very calm girl. She mostly played by herself.

Was she careful and cautious child? How would you describer her? Careful and cautious.

She was a happy girl. She always smiling.

Would you observer her interact with other teachers? How did she get along?
She got along with me ver well. She was attached to me.  I would say she was a very jolly girl. She was very happy.

She would be present when Sarah would come pick her up. She was very happy to see her and say come on Mom, let's go home.

Identifies the defendant. Describe Lauren's reaction when the defendant would come pick her up.

She would wrap herself around me or hide herself under the table?

When she was picked up by her biological father, sometimes she would cry. The defendant would not ask about Lauren. She would never want to go with him she wouldn't stop crying.

from the playground of the school, could you see the parking lot at the school?

She would start hiding behind teachers.

When the defendant would come to pick her up, Lauren would cling onto you.

Did the defendant ever raise his voice to Lauren when she was clinging to you? yes. He would say, come on, lets go, in a loud voice.

On several ocasions, he would grab her by the had or arm, he would say let's go, or he would just pick her up. It was more forceful.

Was it a loud or angry tone or how? A loud voice.

did you ever do anything to try to make the pick up to go more smoothly. Yes. I asked him if he could bring a toy or something that she liked to make it go more easy.  He said that I wasn't the mother, and shouldn't tell him what to do.

She was present when Lauren was interviewed by the social worker. She never had any worries that Lauren was being abused.

Cross examination.

Did you ever tell Detective Leslie or Smith, about this supposed pulling at her arm and wisking her away?  I wasn't asked that before.

Before you never told them, about that. And today you told us today, that she would hold onto people's legs? Yes.

And there were occasions where Mr. Brown would pick her up and she was fine? Yes.

More cross that I can't keep up. Lauren was never in her class.

She was a quiet girl. She would not describe her as highly energetic. Jolly, yes.

Did you know that her mother described her as energetic.

She made a report about Brown pulling on Lauren's arm.  And she also told the mother about these incidents.

She told her about these incidents at the time they happened.

You saw Mr. Brown with her as they would leave? Correct. But you never saw them after? No. Never saw how she was with Mr. Brown? No.

Saw how he came to pick her up on a motorcycle? Yes. Wouldn't let him take her on the motorcycle because he didn't have a helmet.

Redirect.

After you were interviewed by detectives, did you have more time to think about the interactions of the defendant and Lauren. yes.  Did I ask you specifically questions about the defendant and Lauren? Yes. At that time, did you tell us about the defendant grabbing Lauren and carrying her out? yes.

Also told them about the motorcycle incident. He got mad and angry with me. He said it was okay. I refused to let him take her on the motorbike.  How did you know he was angry? He was raising his voice at me.

RECROSS.
Questions about the interview with Hum and Leslie. Is it your testimony when he originally interviwed you that he never asked you any quesiton like that. You stated that she would cry and grab legs? Yes. She wrote a report to the school.

To you knowledge, you didn't see any report? Yes, one was mailed to me in 2006. Not the school report, but the police report of her interview was mailed to her.

And that's it for this reading of testimony.

People recall Detective Leslie.

DETECTIVE JEFFREY LESLIE

Before this, there is a stipulation.  Two page stipulation marked at 133.

On Jan 22, 2001, Thomas fortier was assigned to the task force, and was an expert in computers. He extracted information on the hard drive. Thomas Fortier pulled up the Internet history and the dates and times of those visits.

He examined two hard drives, seized from the home of Patty and Cameron Brown.

Detective Fortier printed out the complete history of computer activity, and the Internet activity on November 8, 9, 10.

The Internet history, and the print out history, is not altered in any way. Also found a resume of Patty Brown.

The internet connection to the internet, used a dial up connection, meaning that calls coming in could not be completed.

So stipulated.

JEFFREY LESLIE

Questions about the actual location at IP and the surrounding area.

Is it accurate to say, there is some change in the elevation in the tide at IP? Depending on the time of day.  Went out to Ip with a photographer, at the level of water as it was on November 8, 2000. Yes.

Laub want to know the tiem of day.

Five photos, People's 127.

Photo A. A cell phone with a clock on it. Then four photos showing the level of the tide. Were those photos taken, to duplicate the tide around 3 pm in the afternoon on November ? 2000.

Cliff photos, People's 126, for identificaiton, photos A-E.
A in thexhibit at the top is an aerial photograph. PP and IP and sacred cove inbwtween.

Photo B is IP agai aerial photo looking north. Also shows the inlet below with the rock outcroppings.

Photo C aerial photo showing the face of IP and shows the trail that takes you to the right or west side of UP. Shows the U shaped seciton.

Photo D is taken from the east side of IP, and you're looking west.
Photo E is of IP, taken from the rock outcroppings from the inlet below and looking up.

You mentioned a U shaped area.
Which side of that U shape area?

Is that a straght drop down? that portion of the cliff is sloped, and at some point you will come to an edge. There's a type of knuckle that protrudes out. It's not a sheer drop.

Interview of the defendant and demeanor at the location. When iterviewed him in Nov 9, 2000. Did the defendat ever say that Lauren ever slept or napped in the car.

Did Debora jenkins who took the money in the car, did she say that she ever saw Lauren napping in the car.  Ms. Jenkins stated that because Lauren was so still, she wondered if she had been asleeop.

Now, there was one other time, that you had observed the defendant's demeanor.  Laub asks to approach. Sidebar.

The court takes the afternoon break at 2:56 PM.

2:56 PM
I lose my internet connection.

Mr. Hum, would propose that we ask about this one other situation, would... On the record, outside the presence of the jury, the court and counsel argue over what Detective Leslie can testify to about a father’s reaction in another case, when that father DID kill the child.

Mr. Laub objects because the other case being referred to, happened after this case.

The court asks Detective Leslie a question.

Det. Leslie: I’ve never seen anything anything like the reaction that night. [Regarding Brown’s reaction, behavior to Lauren’s death.] Prior to that, not I have not. Since then, the similarities, to a case were the father DID kill the child, yes, were striking.

The court rules that it can come in via 352.  And Judge Lomeli is off the bench.

3:20 PM
The jury files in. 

Back on the record.

Det. Leslie, you told us that you had seen someone exhibit the same demeaonr on one prior occasion as to the defenant on November 8 & 9.

On that occasion, was that where you would have expected to have seen some emotional display. Yes.

You condicted additional significant investigation. Yes. Also interviewed other witnesses. Interviewed close to a hundred individuals at this point.

At any time during the investigaiton from the time you called out to the scene, until today's date, were you pressured by anyone to make lauren's death a homicide? I was not pressured by anyone?

were you ever pressured by your partner to make Lauren's death a homicide? no

Were you ever pressured by Sarah Key Marer to make this death a homicide, rather than an accident? No.

Did you know or ever had contact with the defendant prior to your investigaiton? No.

Did you have any ill will toward the defenant? No.

Were you sympathetic to Sarah KeyMarer? Yes.

Did you think that it would make Ms. Key-Marer, if you found Laurne's death a homicide? I would think that it would be easier to find out that it was an accident.

Did you ever suggest to any of those witnesses, what may have happened? No.

Did you ever suggest to anyone to say a particular thing or to suggest they say something. No.

Interviewed Sarah Key-Marer many times. Yes. Never suggested to her what to say.

She contacted him and asked him about the investigation? Constantly. There were no specifics that she got. In the initital stages, we told her we were still working on it.

It was obvious that it seemed to be the case as we learned certain things, for experts to people at school to whomever we spoke to, we were going to ask her clarification questions.  I didn't want her answers swayed by what we knew. I wanted to keep the investigation pristine.

did you ever tell Ms. Key-Marer, what was your opinion as to what had occurred? No I did not.

Did you ever tell Ms. Key-Marer, what other witnesses had said? No.

Did you ever ask her to provide other information or documents? Yes. Did you ever tell her why to get that information? No.

First spoke to her on Nov 9, 2000, at about 8pm at night. It was a hotel room in Long Beach.


Describe where she was, how she appeared and what was her demeanor.

She was in bed. She was pale, she was sunken and hollow. It seemed like she had been crying all day. She held her stomach the entire time she spoke to us. At times it appeared she was oging to be physically ill. Very emotional, very someewhat dazed, in trying to remember specific facts to us.

Despite her obvious distress, did you think it was impoirtant to get information sooner rather than later? Yes.

Did you ask her numerous quesitons about her relationship with the defendant, what her daughre liked to do, etc. yes.

Did she tell you during that interview, that the defendant agreed to have Lauren adopted? Yes.

Did she tell you anything?   She said that Mr. Brown had agreed to have her husband adopt Lauren.

Did she tell you anything that the defendant said to her? "I'm going to get you."

Did she say anything to you, in that Lauren would participate in a 1.5 mile hike? She said that was ridiculous.

Did you describe to her the terrain where the hike took place? No, I did not.

Did you take notes, every single time you had conversations with Ms. Key-Marer? No, I did not.

There was some questioning of Ms. Key-Marer salutastion she used? Do you recall that questioning? I do.

When she was speaking to you, describe to us her demeanor. Inquisitive, very serious, seemed as if she had a list of questions she had pondered and go through the list on the telephone or in person. What about this, what about this. It was very matter of fact.

Were there times she would call you and she would be very emotional? yes.

Do you recall one time in particular? It was the very first christmas eve, after Nov. 8, 2000. It was in the evening i spet an hour an hour and a half with her on the phone.

She was hysterical at times, and at times she would go back to the quesitons.

She had paged me, as I recall. We didn't have cell phones back then. I received a page from her.

At that time, did you privide her with any investigation information at that tiem? Just that we were still working on it.

Were there days that she would call and ask questions/ She would call on November 8, Lauren's birhtday, Easter, Christmas, the majority of the holidays, or as we approached the holidays.

Some of these she would call, ...

Did you pick up a copy of the 911 tape. Yes. At the tiem you picked up a copy was it a casette tape. It was a cassette tape.

Was the same 911 call we heard, the same call on that cassette tape you picked that up? He believes he picked it up on Nov. 10 from the command call center.

Talks about going to Inspiration Point on Nov. 10th. In addition to that, did you and some others in law enforcement, try to replicate the hike in the parking lot from abalone cove, to IP. Was that hike video tape. We'll watch that tomorrow.

On Nov 10 in 2000, were you aware of where the defendant and Lauren started the hike, yes. were you aware of where it ended? Yes.

Were you aware of where various witnesses had seen the defendant and Luarne on that hike. On that date, we wre not aware.

Later you spoke to various witnesses that saw them on the hik.e Base on those various witnesses along the hike, have you been able to establish a route that was taken to abalone cove? Yes.

Are there two spots on this hike, where there is more than one way to go, and you don't know which one that is? Two. yes.

Are any of the routs shorter than any other, Not by any significance, no.

What would be the difference bwtween them, Yards, maybe.

In terms of difficulty, taking into account these two areas, is there any change in the degree of difficulty? I would say no. They're all pretty similar in the terms of difficulty goes. There is one route that you can take in the beginning of IP that is shorter, but it's more dangerous.

Detective Leslie explains one of the sections, where the route could be different.

The differences in these routes are explained and the difficulty with each one.

Now on the NE portion of Portuguese Point and the different routes that one can go. Describes the three different route that could have been taken from the last point that Sam Omar saw them until James Witherow saw the defendant and Lauren on Palos Verdes Drive South.

What you just told us on these options. Have you taken the route from Abalone cove to IP more than once? Can you tell us about how many times you've done that? 20 or 30 maybe more. When was the last time you've done that. April 6 or 8 of this year. Just a couple weeks.

Did you take that hike at an adult brisk pace? yes without stopping.  Did you take that hike at each of the places that witnesses said they saw them.  It was 36 minutes and change. Just under 27 minutes.

What was the distance. It was 1.26 miles.

On November 11, did you place a recording device on Sarah Key-Marer's phone.

As I had recall, that Sarah had received a call from Mr. Brown's father, giving condolences from the family. As I said, I very much wanted to talk to the defendant again.

We figured if she did get the communication that she wanted, why not get the conversations and record them.

You've heard the CD where Ms. Key-Marer actually called and spoke to the defendant.

On another occasion you went to thedefendant's residence, and attempted to speak to the defendant.Yes

Was that was the time that Ms. Brown gave you business cards of attorneys? Yes. Were there personal numbers on those cards? Yes.

The home where the Brown's lived, was a condominimum complex. There was a botanical garden near by.

When you had contact with the defendant's wife, people's 102, Is that the way she appeared? Is that the way she looked? Tha'ts the way she looked. Yes, but I believe she had on a pink top.

The court ends the court day at 3:51 PM.

The jurors file out.

The court asks counsel to look at the jury instructions. "We still have some time," the court indicates.

And that's it for today.