Monday, February 25, 2008

Bobby Cutts Sentencing Phase – Day 1

Jessie’s family is in court. Attorneys and Cutts are present and some of the Cutts family is in the Courtroom. Judge Brown is on the bench.

It is assumed that Cutts family members will speak on his behalf and that Cutts himself will take the stand again to plead for his life being spared.

Judge Brown is giving Cutts the charges that he was found guilty of. Cutts is stoned-faced and shows no emotion.

You have the right to appeal. Counsel will be provided without cost if you are indigent. The defense says Cutts is not indigent.

The Judge describes the procedures that will be followed. Pre-sentence report not requested by defense and no request for a mental evaluation both, could be used by the jury.

Jury is being brought into court.

Each juror has a folder that contains Preliminary Instructions, a pen and paper.

Judge polls the jury if they followed his admonishments.

Chryssa Hartnett is addressing the jury. We are here to continue our work. She is describing proof beyond a reasonable doubt. We are not retrying the case. You have already heard the testimony and seen the evidence.

You will hear much about the life of Bobby Cutts from his family. Maybe, about his upbringing. You must weigh that against the aggravating circumstances.

Hartnett calls for the death penalty.

Attorney Watson for the defense addresses the jury and asks if they can be fair in this case. Evaluate the evidence and determine the appropriate sentence in this case.

We accept and respect your verdict in this case.

We ask you to hold the state to it's burden of proof. The law itself asks for compassion and wisdom and mercy.

You need to evaluate his good deeds, his positive impact on his family.

You will hear from those who were closest to Mr. Cutts. His family, friends and colleagues.

He was gifted and talented in school. He was a good father. He was a good police officer.

You need to evaluate what is the proper sentence in this case. You will find his life is worth saving.

Very long sidebar…

State submits an exhibit and rests! Didn’t see that coming.

Cutts looking pretty pensive.

Defense calls Renee Jones. This is Bobby's mom.

She also has a daughter. She identified Cutts at the table.

Jones looks at 3 photographs and identifies them 1) Senior in high school 2) her grandchildren 3) Blake

When Bobby was a child he loved sports. He used to teach about sports. He loved to play sports and used to be the clown and have kids laughing. He was always happy.

He went to a gifted school. He got A's and B's. He was on honor roll.

He and his sister were very close. They did everything together.

He was real close to his dad. They had a falling out. Then they got close again.

During high school he played football and baseball. Everybody loved him and had a lot of friends. He sang in the church choir.

He was an ordinary kid.

After high school he had a scholarship to Walsh College. He didn't finish college because his 1st daughter was born.

There was a custody fight over Taylor. Cutts was given temporary custody.

With Blake and Brianna, he was a good father. He took them everywhere and played sports together. He was good with Blake.
Bobby was happy he had a boy.

Bobby is crying. Do we believe it's for real?

He became a police officer and I was very proud. He loved being a cop.

He used to help people. He'd take kids home at night rather than arrest them.

What impact did Bobby have on other family members? He always took charge of the situations. Nieces and nephews were crazy about him. Everybody is close to him.

Bobby became aware of the problems in your marriage. Bobby said he would never be like his father. He would never abandon his children.

Dennis Barr for the state.
You divorced your husband when Bobby was how old? 5.

Bobby didn't see any violence between you and your husband? No.

Growing up, Bobby had no mental of emotional problems?

Objection, sidebar

You took Bobby to counseling after the divorce? Yes.
He went for a couple of months.

Bobby did well in high school? Yes.

You aware he flunked algebra twice? No.

You love your grandchildren? Yes.

You love Blake? Yes.

You would have loved Chloe? If she was my grandbaby.

You heard in court that she was Bobby's. Objection...Sustained.

No further questions.

Watson: Prosecutors asked about your relationship with your husband? Yes.

Bobby never saw any of the violence.

Witness excused.

Defense attorney Mack calls Kathleen Purdy. She works for the public school as a teacher and taught Bobby Cutts.

She identifies Cutts in the court.

She taught Bobby in 4th grade. He was a very responsive student. He was optimistic and a hard worker. He enjoyed recess. I was quite impressed.

His attitude to authority was always good. His nickname was "Gobble".

He peers saw him as a buddy and a friend. If he had to tell on them they were fine with that.

Academically, he could achieve high grades.

She went to a baseball game and met his father and mother at the game.

She saw him through the other 3 years at that school.

She attended his graduation.

She maintained a relationship with him through college and after he became a police officer, he came and spoke to her class.

Once he became a police officer he would come back to the school? Yes. He would also come back to drop off tickets for sports events for kids who were well in class.

Would he take students to see certain court proceedings? No.

Her husband had leukemia and he passed away. Bobby called her and left a message to she how she adjusting and getting along. Even Bobby's folks sent a card.


Tell me are you aware of how significant you have been in Mr. Cutts' life? Yes, I believe in teaching the whole person. I believe I have been a mentor.

Done, state has no questions.

Witness excused.

Next defense witness is Next witness Devonna Cutts, Bobby's sister.

She identifies Cutts.

She and Bobby are 4 years apart. As kids, Bobby would tell her what to do. She played basketball and ran track. Bobby would come to her games. He would push her in sports and school.

After your parents divorce what was your relationship with your father? It wasn't really a relationship. Bobby stepped up and acted like a dad.

She talked about problems with Bobby. He wasn't happy when she got pregnant. Her son is named Robert. Bobby was disappointed that she was pregnant and was upset with her. He wanted more for her, but then he came around and bought the first "everything" for the baby.

Bobby is a good dad to his 2 daughters. They have a good relationship with him.

She says Bobby is a good dad to Blake. Blake always wanted to be with Bobby. She would have to bribe him with food to get him to stay with her.

Bobby helped her with Robert because her husband was in jail. If Robert was misbehaving, Bobby would straighten him out.

Robert talks to Bobby on the phone and has seen him in jail a couple times.

When she lived on her own, Bobby used to come by and check on them.

Bobby has always been there for me. We've always been close. He's always been concerned about me.

No further questions. No questions from the state.

Witness excused.

Next witness is Lamar Sharp? (missed the name)

They met 9 years ago. They both took the police exam together. They are good friends.

He says Bobby is a very silly guy. Real funny and full of life. They played semi pro ball together.

As a police officer Bobby never took any real serious. There was always a lighter side to it.

He saved someone's life who was about to jump off a bridge.

He says Cutts is a good police officer.

Bobby is the type of person who would be there for you.

Their kids know each other. He was a good father to his children.
Their families would socialize.

Watson, joking with Sharp, asked if Bobby ever beat him in X-Box video games. Sharp, reluctantly, says yes. Watson laughed._Sharp say it not uncommon for police officers to visit other people to play video games or relax on lunch breaks.

Bobby is a good guy, we always joke with each other.

We kinda have a bond.

Did Bobby save your life? We confronted a suspect who was shooting a gun in the air. He tried to leave in the car and Bobby got him out of the way of the guy’s car.

Bobby always does a lot of coaching in the community for kids.

No further questions.

Hartnett says you said it’s not uncommon to go to somebody's house at lunchtime? Right.

It is uncommon to stay for several hours though, right? You have to check in and ask for lunch break.

You weren't there when Bobby stopped the person from jumping off the bridge? No, I wasn't

Where you aware that Mr. Cutts got reprimanded for putting his hand over someone's mouth?



No further questions.

Witness dismissed.

Next witness is Larry Davidson. Cutts is his cousin. He identifies Cutts in court.

Larry says Bobby is like his brother. They attended school together. They had a lot of fun growing up. They remain close as adults.

Larry closer to Bobby than anybody else. They spoke 4-5 times a week.

Larry says Bobby is a good father. The kids loved their dad. They always listened to him.

Mother and sister love and look up to Bobby.

Carlotta is Larry's sister and she is close to Bobby also.

Since June you haven't been able to do some of things you used to do? Yes its like a big piece of my heart is gone. I try to find other things to do. Things haven’t been the same. It hurts.

All done; witness dismissed.

Witness up next is Jennifer Peterson. She identifies Cutts in the court.

They were coworkers at the Home Energy Assistance Program. Cutts worked there in the winter when he was off-duty.

She told him that she likes football and knew he played ball. She met Bobby's mom.

She is still friends with Bobby; she was sending cards to Bobby's family and had them delivered to Bobby. She writes to Bobby in jail once a week. Was sending words of encouragement.

She was hit by a drunk driver who drove her to another town and dumped her in a field. She suffered multiple, severe, permanent injuries. She was bedridden so he pleaded out because she couldn't attend the hearings.

She was angry with the drunk driver, but has since forgiven him.

She told that story with Bobby so he would understand she could see both sides of the incident. He was appreciative that she told him. She shared that story with Bobby 4 days ago.

She wanted Bobby to understand how powerful forgiveness is.

She says Bobby misses his family very much. He has caused them pain. He knows he made a mistake.

No further questions.

State has no questions.

Witness dismissed.

Judge asks to see counsel for sidebar.

Defense calls Bobby Cutts, Sr.

He identifies his son in court.

His relationship with Bobby as a child was great. He was a wonderful child.

The divorce was because he was drinking and gambling. Bobby probably was aware of some of the violence. He didn't like it.

Bobby was active in sports. The dad coached baseball for 12 years and took Bobby to the games.

As Bobby got older he became his own man, but if he needed advice, he knew I was there.

All the kids looked up to him and his accomplishments.

Bobby means the world to me. His heart is so open. He would give you the shirt off his back.

State asks about the problems between he and Renee. There was domestic violence. Yes.

Child abuse? Never.

Witness released.

Next witness Kelly Schaub. This is Bobby's ex-wife.

She met Bobby the summer of 2000. They'd she each other out and started talking and it grew into a relationship. She was pregnant and owned a house. So Bobby moved in.

She was worried about her parents because of the race issue, Kelly is white and they weren't married.

Bobby met Kelly's parents and they got along very well.

They married right after Brianna was born.

Kelly knew about Taylor before they started dating.

Bobby was a good father with Taylor. He spent as much time with her as he could.

Taylor's mother left the state to escape Bobby. She says Bobby has a darker side.

When Brianna was born, he took care of her when Kelly was working. He'd get her up and feed and bathe her.

He was a good father to both girls. Taylor was older and Bobby was always asking about what she was doing in school.

2001, he started as a police officer. That led to side jobs.
Did you have fights about how much he worked?

Did he take good care of you financially? Yes.
Brianna? Yes.
Taylor? Yes when he could.

As a family, he would always want to take trips to the park.

Bobby was great with the kids in the community. He did a lot of coaching. He played sports with the kids.

Bobby was proud to be Blake's father.

She remains friends with Bobby today. She and Brianna visit Bobby in jail. Brianna misses her dad. She is very close to Bobby.

Even in jail he fathers her. He asks what she learned at school. Who she plays with? Yes.

He stills smiles and laughs with her.

Kelly says she still wants Cutts to be in Brianna's life.

Her relationship with Bobby has grown during this time. They talk about faith and church together.

No further questions.

Hartnett asks how Bobby likes to spend time with Brianna and he did everything you asked with her. He never left Brianna alone for long periods of time, like he did with Blake? No.

Your heard Bobby's testimony of the sequence of events? Yes.

And isn't it true...Objection, sidebar.

No further questions.

Mack asks what were her thoughts about Bobby leaving Blake alone. I thought he would never do something like that.

So in all those years of parenting, he never did anything like that? No.

Witness dismissed.

Defense calls Dr. John Fabian. He is a clinical psychologist as well as a forensic psychologist.

He is giving his CV.

This ought to be a pip when he gets to Cutts' evaluation.

Fabian has served as a mitigation witness 40-50 times to offer testimony.

Mitigation usually works for the defense because the prosecution has aggravated circumstances to their benefit. Mitigation is part of the state statute.

He is not here to support Cutts, but to provide the jury with facts about Cutts' background, the crime and Cutt's state of mind in order to help the jury reach their sentencing.

Cutts had a prior evaluation for the custody case. Both he and Nikki were evaluated in Taylor's case.

He interviewed Cutts and his family and reviewed the type of violence in this case and put Bobby through some tests.

Do you have an opinion as to mitigating factors...Objection, sidebar

BTW, this day is all about Cutts. Jessie's family will only get to speak once the jury makes a decision as to the sentence.

Cutts Sr. had gambling and drinking issues and abuse of his wife that led to divorce and estrangement from the children.

Those issues affect the children who have witnessed them.

Bobby struggled with the estranged relationship with his father. Today the relationship is still damaged.

Bobby disclosed that he didn't want to be like his father. He didn't want to divorce and he wanted to be active in his children's lives more than his father was in his.

There is no prior history of violent behavior.

The testing that was done on Bobby showed no history of mental illness.

There was no indication of mental impairment.

He does have elevated level anxiety scale and violence or aggressive behavior level scale. Neither were that high.

He testifies that there is no prior violent history in Cutts.

Based on all of his findings Fabian does not believe Cutts presents any likely hood of violent behavior.

Fabian says that Bobby doesn't present with a future violent behavior activity issue.

Bobby is not considered anti-social or a psychopathic from his history.

He is considered to be reactive in terms of what happened with Jessie. It is not chronic.

Barr on cross...
You provide the tests and a report? Yes.
You don't provide mitigating factors, that's up to the jury? Correct.

Did you verify the police reports? No.
Do you have the ability to do that? That's provided by counsel.

Cutts was pretty successful up to this point in his life? Yes.

Reactive violence can lead to murder? Yes.

Is part of your report based on his positive behavior in the jail? That would be part of it.

You are aware that Cutts is not the general public of the jail, that he is segregated? Yes.

Wouldn't you say that would affect his behavior in jail? Yes.

Barr is tearing Fabian up on the lies Cutts told, the fact that he participated in the search and didn't tell police where the body was. That he is a liar yet; he believed what Bobby told him in interviews.

You saw his personnel file from the police department? Yes.

Your report says he has an unblemished personnel record. Yes.

He is shown a document that shows the incident where Cutts was reprimanded.

So that could be considered a blemish on his record? It could be.

Inflated self-esteem, grandiosity and high opinion of self-abilities are shown in the report. Yikes!

Wow, Barr really did his homework on Fabian's report!

No further questions.

Ranke~ Cutts doesn't have any personality disorders? Correct.

Reactive violence isn't just related to murder, it could be manslaughter, right? Yes.

Cutts told you what he did in this case? Yes. Most homicides the person doesn't admit to the murder until further along.

Do you believe Mr. Cutts has been untruthful with you? No, he has admitted to this all along.

Did you make a finding that Mr. Cutts would be a low risk for future violent behavior? Correct.

No further questions.

Barr wants to know if Fabian knew of other sexual partners. He knew of Stephanie, but you have no others in your report? No, I don't

The job of a police officer is stressful? Correct. They get called names? Yes.

You knew Bobby lied to the police? Yes.
Did you ever buy a house? Yes.
Did you take the home oweners word on everything? No.

Because it's good to verify things? Yes.

Ranke~ Did you believe Bobby was deceptive to you? No. I think he was being pretty honest with me.

Witness dismissed.

Cutts on the stand!

Cutts apologizes for reading a statement. He doesn't want to loose his words. He wanted to go to college. He wanted to be mayor.
He had a child so he decided to take responsibility. He instilled that in Brianna and in Blake.

He always loved being around and working with kids.

He cannot explain what happened in June. It's a nightmare that will haunt me all of my days. Words can't explain the death of Jessie and my unborn daughter.

I am so sorry for Patty and Mr. Davis and ask forgiveness for the pain I caused you and the rest of your family.

I apologize to the community.

I apologize and ask forgiveness for what I did to Blake. I thank god for taking care of Blake all those long hours.

He apologizes to his family and friends. To Myisha and her family.

I hope to maintain a relationship with my family and my children.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm asking you to spare my life.

I have absolutely no compassion for this pond scum. He's really playing to the jury. He must have a cold again because I don't see any tears.

Jury is given a packet similar to the package to the one when deliberations began. They need to bring their luggage tomorrow. The prosecution will offer their closing tomorrow and you will then begin sentencing deliberation.

Jury needs to be in the jury area at 8:15am.
Judge reads the admonishment and releases the jury for day.

Well that’s it till tomorrow!


Anakerie said...

About Bobby's "tears". I thought I saw something drip off his nose at one point. Was it sweat or was it a tear? I have no sympathy for him. He begs for "mercy" but he didn't give Jessie a chance to beg for mercy for her and Chloe. Or did he and just ignored it?