Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mark Jensen Murder Trial Day 25

Day 25 – 2/12/08

Guest entry by Intrepid & ritanita.
Albee on direct.

This is Dr. Spiro, a psychiatric expert. I'll just call him Dr. Gloom and Doom, since he finds nothing but bad news for Julie every step of the way.

He says that Julie was suffering from a severe psychiatric mood disorder just two days before her death. She made unusual preparations prior to her death when she told her sister-in-law, Laura, that she would be too ill to take her son to karate the next time. Remember, this is the very conversation that Laura "omitted" in her testimony last summer at the forfeiture hearing and led to fireworks yesterday!

Dr says she had a deep fear of being like her mother. She feared that terrible things would happen to her. And that she feared things going wrong in her marriage. Thadeus Wojt found her crying on her front porch.

Psychiatrist says Julie had a "mood disorder". She had had prior episodes, so much that she had been put on Prozac.

She was "enormously depressed" before her death, says psychiatrist. He relied on the family physician for this diagnosis. Praises the family physician for his candor.

Was he aware that from the notes of Mr. DeFazio that Julie had counseling sessions in college? Yes, and she dropped out of nursing studies. But don't know what criteria they used to diagnose her depression.

What else did you notice, Dr Spiro? Decrease in libido. And in the 1990 episode she lost interest in cooking. Lost interest in friends' baby. Usually at thanksgiving she would prepare a cornucopia, and go all out, but that year she only bought rolls.

This all shows that she was deeply depressed in her life.

Back to the mood disorder - this is strong evidence of that.

Criterion whether it was major depressive disorder - strong appetite changes. Failure to eat noticed by her family. Weight loss.

Fear of being poisoned is common in psychotic depression! Then they won't eat, for fear of poisoning.

Usually in people who are paranoid about being poisoned, they will go and get fast food or go down to the brother's house four blocks down the street. Usually not a lot of weight loss.

Evidence of sleeplessness? Yes.

Husband went to Dr and told him this. The other confirmation came from other interviews. Sleep disorder and taking Ambien was part of the picture.

As part of your evaluation you reviewed statements of the Wojts? Yes.

Do you recall a document - statement of Mr. Wojt - have you seen it before? Yes.

Julie reported to Thad Wojt she had nights she could not sleep? Yes. She told him she had a fear of falling asleep because Mark would inject her with something when she was asleep.

Next criterion for Major Depressive disorder - psychomotor change. Freezing. Agitation in that age group, decreased activity. Muscles constant moving.

Description of Dr Borman of her being frantic - does this fit? Yes.

Can a person do both - frantic, agitated and closed off? Most time you see both.

Oh for God's sake! He calls Julie "The poor woman"! She was troubled about her mother and how her mother's life was, she was sad about her children and sending her son to day school.

"She had lousy self-esteem and the poor soul was suffering"

Last criterion - recurrent thoughts of death or suicide and thoughts. Oh she kept a copy of Psalm 23 "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil".

And he relies on Mark's statements of Julie keeping a bottle of Tylenol and threatening to take it all when they fought.

Depressed patients can carry out a complex plan for suicide and homicide.

Wonder if Mark was depressed? He sure carried out a complex homicidal plan.

He said he would not expect a note in this case if she was going to commit suicide and try to frame her husband. No note is essential in this plan.

He's now discussing Ethylene Glycol poisoning, that the person has the ability to breathe, and there was a phone beside her bed. Why wouldn't she call and tell someone? If her state of mind is that someone is trying to kill her, why wouldn't she tell her neighbor? Why wouldn't she call 911? She had to be deeply suspicious of drinking anything anyone handed her.....

The person was clear and obviously making phone calls (he's talking about on the 1st of December! She went to the damned doctor on that day! She was relatively fine then! He isn't at all talking about what was going on the 2nd!)

Now he's calling her "paranoid".

Albee asks him about discussion with Laura......his answer starts with "people who are making plans for suicide"......His beginning premise when he took this case obviously was that Julie committed suicide. He had to make everything fit within suicide, so he's doing it. No matter what other evidence has been presented in this case.

Now Albee is asking him questions using things that weren't even said by Julie!

She told Laura on Monday she would not pick up David at Karate. She had a Dr's appointment the next day, and she knew the doctor would give her an antidepressant that would make her sick. This to him shows intent, and she was telling Laura this to keep her from intervening!

And Mark intervenes by going to the doctor to get help for Julie!!!! Going to a doctor to get help for a patient - risking intervention - when you're in the process of a homicide is inconsistent behavior!

Did you reach any conclusion about whether or not Julie was suffering from a major depressive disorder? Yes, she meets 5 criteria, and comes close on the others. To a reasonable degree of medical certainty, she had a major depressive disorder in the period just before her death.

Is there a correlation in having a major depressive disorder and suicide? Yes, there is a correlation in all depressive disorders and suicide.

He says that it depends on the information you get - you can't rely on information from people who "have an ax to grind" in this case. Like a neighbor who has no ax to grind, a doctor who has no ax to grind.

He is really stepping out of his bounds of actual evidence and making judgments about Julie's motivations. And he said himself - he only relied on Mark for names of others he could talk to. I'm hoping the prosecution has a rebuttal witness for this hack.

Other factors involved with suicide risk are:

Psychosocial stresses - Julie's were extreme
Marriage breaking up
"Losing" her children as they grow up and go to school, pre-school
Employment/unemployment issues
Poor relationship with family (in-laws, cut herself off from sources of social support. She was cut-off from her brothers.)

Exhibit 304 - Statement from wife of Paul Griffin (Jill), Julie's sister in law.

She indicated that Julie had reported to her 5-7 days before her death that Mark was having an affair and she was angry with him.

And David developed a Tic - which went away after her death, David told him. There had been some tension between him and his mother before her death, and the tic went away after her death.

Ok, we're back and discussing Julie's childhood abuse issues and how they relate to suicide.

Also, suicide attempts within the family make a sharp impression. Her brother was found unconscious after attempting suicide. Mother was found face down in a swimming pool and died 3 days later, but that was treated as an accident.

Albee hits on her mother and her illness - Alcoholism in a family member increases suicide risk.

Are there statistics you rely on that identify types of people who commit suicide? You can't rely on statistics, but evidence about the patient in question.

If you were treating a living patient in assessing suicide risk?
He said he would rely on what the patient said, not what research and studies say.

Julie was close to her children, is that a relevant factor? No, unfortunately I've treated several children of women who committed suicide.

"A woman who is going to go down a path that will, in essence embarrass their children will often go down a path of suicide in an act of ALTRUISM".

In suicide, there are acts of ambivalence and of hopelessness. At one point the hopelessness takes over and a person attempts suicide. They may call 911 immediately afterwards, and that shows the ambivalence. They often seek a family doctor just before committing suicide"

Jambois up on cross.

You did what was akin to a psychological autopsy, correct? Depends on who's doing this.

Well it was your term, doctor?

He spent 14 hours with Mark, 1 1/4 hours with Dr Borman, 1 1/2 hours with the pastor, 1.5 hours with Dan and Florence Jensen, 3 3/4 hours with Laura Koster, .75 with Dave and Judy Schmidt (friend of Mark), hours with Doug Brandt (friend of Mark) - anyone else that you interview not listed?

Excluding discussion with attorneys. 26 hours of interviews with these people.

Jambois added it up to 24, not 26.

Are accused murderers and their families the most reliable in interviews? Or might they have a motive to lie? Yes, but we spoke with the prosecution.

WOO - he accuses Jambois of lying and ignoring his efforts! He's scolding Jambois. Hah! His pomposity is going to be his downfall!

Now the judge is jumping on the Dr., because Dr doesn't answer the question without squirming or scolding Jambois!

Now the judge is really getting hot! He's sticking Dr’s feet to the fire and wanting him to answer the question on whether or not Dr Borman was better able to assess whether or not Julie was depressed!

Dr won't answer the questions!

Court is back in session and Mr. Jambois has had a chance to read the doctor's notes. I hope he had some luck, since the doctor said he had trouble reading them himself!

Jambois is trying to get in a statement that Laura had told Julie "you don't know what Mark is capable of." This statement came in through Therese DiFazio and Ted Wojt at the forfeiture hearing, but Laura denied saying it when on the stand.

Albee reiterates that it is hearsay.

Therese DiFazio said in an interview that Julie had told her that she had talked to Laura and Laura had said "you don't know what he's capable of." Wojt also said something similar.

Judge: now that he says she's delusional, it could come in.

Albee: Spiro could not reach the decision that she was delusional. She WAS suicidal!

Albee: Gives prejudice without probative value...

Judge: Is saying "no" for now.

Jambois: Reads from Spiro's report discussing that Julie shows delusional characteristics. He wants the jury to come to that conclusion; he can't to a medical certainty. Julie had good reason to be fearful of Mark. Day or two after Julie died someone describing herself at Laura Koster called Pleasant Prairie Police saying she thought Mark may have killed his wife.

Doctor did not consider this in his report.

Judge: We don't know if it was Laura Koster.

Jambois: Ratzburg reported that he called the Kosters back in response to Laura's call. Todd Koster said that they would call back and they never did. The judge asked Jambois to directly ask Ratzburg, who is in the courtroom. Ratzburg talked directly to Laura just after Julie's death, she was crying, and he said Mark may have killed Julie.

Judge: Spiro is near the point of making a conclusion re: delusions. A fear that is reinforced by the sister of the accused would take away from the delusion concept.

Albee: This is for argument.

Judge: Not testimonial statement of hearsay to the level Albee makes it. Laura to Julie to Di Fazio....

Albee: Yelling at the judge!

Judge: Statement being examined as to it's use as to whether or not Julie was delusional. The reliability assessment only applies to what Julie believed.


In my own words, this all comes down to whether or not Julie thought that Laura told her that. We only know what Julie told others about what Laura told her.
Fact is, the psychiatrist won't say she was delusional because he want it to be that Julie was capable of coming up with a plot to blame Mark for her death. But, it would be better for the jury to think she is delusional so that it would add to the psychosis which caused Julie to commit suicide. Got it??

Judge: This evidence will come in!

Albee argues that the doctor did not have this information. The doctor should not be sandbagged. He should be able to talk to Laura first. This will create great prejudice against the sister, who says she didn't say it!

Judge: We have a Doctor on the stand who says this person stated the death was by suicide....

More back and forth on this... rather loud.

Laura Koster's credibility is going to take a good whack for the second time! The jury will remember the question Jambois asked yesterday...

You can bet that after Dr. Spiro finishes, Albee will again call for a mistrial!

Judge: "We have a trial to find the truth, not to have a scripted presentation...."

He will give a cautionary instruction.

Albee goes on about the fact that the prosecution didn't give the defense the information for 9 years.

The judge tells Albee he became aware 6 months ago at the hearing and Albee points out that it was inadmissible then.

Laura's 1990 alibi testimony from her father's trial will not be admitted.

The judge thinks it's fair game for the prosecution to ask the doctor about reliability of the people he interviewed. This is in special reference to Dan Jensen, Mark's father.

Judge: The fact that Dan Jensen was convicted of crimes... the expert can be questioned as to his reliablity.

More convoluted arguments between the judge and Mr. Albee. Mr. Jambois is being wise and keeping his mouth shut.

Oh my! There is a tape of Dan Jensen saying that Julie "said too much"! Judge will reserve judgment!

Witness called back on stand.

So far, Jambois has had to pull teeth to get this doctor to answer a question. The doctor is so prejudiced towards the defense that he's already lectured Mr. Jambois.

Jambois congratulates Dr. Spiro on his handwriting; it's better than Dr. Borman.

Referring to Mark and Kelly's affair... Spiro has notes how the affair started... that they were opening the office, had too much to drink, and went to dinner with the group... had relations.

Jambois tells the doctor about the fact that the "truth" of the affair "evolved', Mark lied to the police about the affair.

Jambois points out that Spiro had a copy of Ratzburg's notes... from April 1999. Did the fact that Mark lied; is it something of importance?

Doctor says he wasn't doing a psychohistory of Mark.

Spiro says he only knows what he read.

Jambois: "Now there is a 3rd version.....of the truth.... about the affair (remove 3rd due to objections)... Kelly said it started in Sept., not Oct. 1998.

Jambois: Spiro said Julie stopped going to book club, source?
Spiro: Can't find it.
Jambois: Julie hosted the Book Club in November? She attended in previous months?
Spiro: Doesn't find it of any interest in terms of his opinion.

Jambois: He has mistaken information?
Spiro: He won't concede it to Jambois who is not under oath; he'd have to review his sources!
Jambois: Find the source!
Spiro: Mrs. Wojt (Albee brings it up).

Jambois: Reads Mrs. Wojt's testimony... doesn't think it's the correct testimony that Mark would come home late and call her to come home and Julie would leave early.
Spiro: He has a memory of hearing it, but can't find it.

Jambois: You said earlier you didn't hear from the neighbors?
Spiro: He heard from other neighbors... but it STILL doesn't change his opinion.

Jambois: What if you found out everything Mark Jensen told you was a pack of lies?
Spiro: Is that a hypothetical? If it is not, then I know it is not true. What he does know is that there was sufficient evidence from doctors, minister to know she was depressed. He again avoids answering!

Jambois: What if what Julie said was true?
Spiro: Yes.
Jambois: She'd have reason to be suspicious of her husband?
Spiro: Yes.

Jambois brings up Laura's statement about Mark. What would he think if Laura told Julie that she didn't know what Mark was capable of?

The doctor now looks through his notes to find the esxact conversation so he doesn't slip on his words! He then says he can't use the notes because they aren't dated!

The doctor doesn't want to speculate about words in his notes such as, "didn't tell Laura about reports to the police..."

Laura testified that Julie had told Laura about the pictures...

Finally, the answer: NO, because Laura didn't tell me.

Jambois makes it a hypothetical again!
Answer: He turns it around to interpret that Laura told Julie, that "You don't know what Mark's capable of" means he was incapable!

Jury is sent out after being advised by the judge about this testimony...

Ohhhh..... Jambois says that THIS WITNESS OPENED THE DOOR!

Ratzburg's statement about Laura's call about her fears that Mark killed Julie was in the doctor’s possession!!!

FIREWORKS TIME! This is so good!

It ties together Laura's call, Ted Wojt's testimony, Terese DiFazio's testimony.

Jambois had stated at the beginning of the Defense Case he was going to get this in, one way or another.

I don't think that the judge will buy it. And, he didn't!

I can't stand the way he allows particularly Craig Albee to talk to him! He's a judge, FGS! Lawyers are supposed to not be allowed to yell at them the way Albee does! Cite him with contempt! He's not only being disrespectful to you, Bruce Schroeder, but to the bench itself!

Q: So if in fact that Julie went to Laura a week before she died, and if she showed her a picture of a page in Mark's day timer with a syringe on it, and told Laura she felt Mark was going to killer, and Laura said "you don't know what he's capable of" - wouldn't that sound ominous?
A:It does when you say it, but that’s not the way she said it!

HAH! Now he's backpedaling - he just said Laura said that! But now he's saying she didn't.

He's not even wanting to refer to his own notes! Even after Jambois told him where it was - page 17.

"Laura strikes me as being a very straightforward and candid woman. Laura says 'Had Julie come and shared her fears with me, I would have provided a safe haven'".

Now Jambois tells him that he had said Laura said Julie had told him that she thought Mark was trying to kill her, but now he's saying she didn't?

And about Laura saying Julie quit the book club - did she tell you that? Yes.

Back to the conversation about Julie telling Laura about Mark trying to kill her and showing her a pic with a syringe - now he denies he ever said it!

Now he's waffling - it may not be in his notes. Jambois hitting on that!

Dr Spiro is not going to answer a question with a straight answer! Isn't a statement from the defendant's sister a legitimate basis for something, something?

Spiro says "not in that tone of voice",

Jambois hits on that! And you don't know what tone of voice Laura Koster used when she was talking about this; cause Laura never told you she had this conversation!

If Laura said to Julie "I've lived with him for 18 years and you have no idea what he's capable of", you have no idea what tone of voice she used, cause she never told you she said this, did you?"

Jambois is about to get righteous with Spiro!
Judge has to step in and ask the question.

"No such statement was said to me".

Jambois: So you don't know Laura's tone of voice!

Spiro is pissing off Judge Schroeder! "Don't comment, just answer the question"

Judge: This witness is incompetent to answer this question! He has no more ability to answer the question about what Mrs. Koster's tone of voice would be in this instance than any other person walking down the street! Move on to a new topic.

Under recurring thoughts of death and suicide attempts - you indicated that Julie Jensen kept copies of the 23rd Psalm. Is that indication of recurring thoughts of suicide?

I'm not including that as a criterion.

He was told this by someone, and he's included it in his report as part of a criterion, but is denying it now!

Jambois asks about the part in the report where Mark told him Julie turned down the job offering. There is no mention in the evidence of her turning it down. The principal never got to talk to her. Mark answered the phone (attys. didn't tell him that).

Of course, Albee objects... but the judge rules it can come in. Mark had told the principal that she had been sleeping and would be sleeping for a long time and laughed.

The question gets withdrawn but the point is made...

Jambois tearing up Dr Spiro's report to the defense, in which he gives his criteria for making his "Major Depressive Disorder" finding.

He put gossip in his report, according to Jambois! He put this stuff in his notes about Julie's brother dying due to "suspicious circumstances", but now he says he's not going to comment!

He included this story, but he never talked to the brothers of Julie Jensen to find out!

OK, let's see here.... take a bunch of gossip from the defendant's family and treat it as gospel. Take no information from the decedent's family... and the decedent.... yup..... It’s called HOGWASH!

Excellent, calmly made points here by Jambois. Dr Spiro relied only on Mark Jensen's family in making his determination as to Julie Jensen's depression level, and he used what ONLY THE JENSENS SAID. He did not contact Julie's family at all!

He admitted that Dan Jensen's info was largely discounted, because he wasn't a witness to what had occurred with the Griffin brother who attempted suicide. So the only other one he could have heard this from was Mark Jensen, who had every reason in the world to lie to save his own ass!

Hmmm, Spiro put stuff in the report that had nothing to do with the conclusion? He reported abuse and cites death of little brother with no connection to abuse. He writes about bloody bathwater in suicide attempt of brother... but he couldn't confirm details... and then uses them?

This house of cards falls apart!

Who told you of the history of Julie’s brother cutting his arms? I'll have to go through my notes - not sure but I think it was Mark. Form filled out by Griffin family said that a brother attempted suicide. But that form didn't have that statement. Where does that statement come from?

"Based on that description, this was not a trivial arm cutting gesture". What is a trivial arm cutting?
He won't answer or he can't!

Oh, so now Spiro is the defendant and Mr. Jambois is treating him to "allegations"!

Dr. Nita's diagnosis: Severe paranoia prosecutiitis. Put him on suicide watch!

Mr. Jambois is having a good time with this, methinks. Albee looks beaten down.

Date of your report is May 26, 2004. Since then, you'd never heard of a person named Ed Klug? No. Not sure who is it.

Jambois tells him who he is. Co-worker of Mark Jensen who had conversation with Mark that he had been looking up ways to murder his wife on the internet.

Would that affect your professional opinion?
Depends on jury's opinion. Now he's lecturing Jambois on trials! He says anytime new information that comes up before a trial, he is very skeptical.

Do you ignore physical evidence? No.
Do you ignore witness statements? No.

But he did - he completely ignored any of the prosecution's witnesses in determining that this was not a homicide!!!

Wow! The Judge is clarifying questions and the doctor won’t/can’t answer.

Now Spiro says he considered the autopsy reports! Hah! Says the prosecution's story keeps changing!

Who do you think is telling the prosecution's story in this case?
I suppose you are!

Judge asks questions. "Could a suicidal person be murdered?" Yes.

"Based on the evidence you saw in this case, this was more a suicide than a homicide?" Yes.

Judge nailing him on the "suicide is more probable than a homicide" - wouldn't you have had to weigh the evidence of homicide?
The psychological evidence isn't enough for me to tell it was a homicide.

Jambois has no need to do anything - Judge is doing it, and smacking down Dr Spiro in the meantime.

Egad, this is good. Damned good.

Judge asks the question....Can a person with suicidal tendencies be murdered?

Now, he's stonewalling the Judge!

His analysis is totally out of date!

Now we get to the bucks - usual fee is 360 an hour; he put in 50 hours and capped his cost at 5 grand up till his testimony in the trial. Testimony fee is 420 an hour.

Getting into the Chambliss' autopsy report and testimony about Julie being killed by asphyxia (or being strangled). He won’t say no!!!
Judge smacks him down!

He has completely disregarded the autopsy report updates! He is not coming off well.

Spiro again, telling Jambois how he messed up.

Spiro doesn't believe Jambois is doing his job right. Another scathing lecture! He also puts little credence in anything new that has come up in the past years!

He doesn't believe anything the prosecution says... only what the defense says. He's showing his colors here! He is angry with the prosecution because the theory changed. This is the third time he has shouted at Jambois.

Judge Schroeder allows way more raised voices than I've ever seen in a trial, at least without sanctioning the lawyers heavily.

It's not very becoming of him as a judge, either. He needs to control the attorneys and not allow them to shout at him! Nor should he allow a witness lecture an attorney, nor evade answering questions.

OMG! Albee and Spiro...soooooo rehearsed this!

Really, the only thing the jury can consider from this "expert" is that Julie had a major depression. They really can't consider from his evaluation about whether or not it was a homicide, because he didn't seriously consider any of the evidence that directly pointed to homicide.

He didn't even consider the computer searches! Nor Ed Klug's testimony! Nor any of the other evidence of homicide!

Whadya wanna bet Bob Jambois is gonna come up swinging on re-cross?

Spiro is doomed. While it is possible that Julie might have had suicidal tendencies, that in no way proves she committed suicide.

Spiro goes down the road of saying that he didn't consider any of the new information that became available since he wrote his reports.

Well, that covers 9 years, and in these cases, new information is more than likely to come to LE.

Instead, Spiro says he doesn't believe new witnesses and facts.

Jury dismissed for the day!

Wow - Barry Rumack lied like a dog! Judge is pissed! He's been paid a total of $16 grand!

Dr Rumack is going to be questioned about the statements he made in cross exam. When asked how much he had been paid by the defense, he first said he'd submitted an invoice for $4,500 or something to that effect. And then when asked subsequently, he said he was due another $2,600. But he wasn't sure; he didn't have those records with him. He promised to send them.

NOW - defense presents letter from Dr Rumack saying that he had been paid an initial fee of $5,000, and then another $5,000. Plus amounts for the Power Point plus his testimony fee.

Approximate grand total - $16,000! Judge Schroeder is outraged! He believes Dr Rumack totally mis- characterized how much he was receiving for this trial!

Wants him back in court to be questioned, and orders Albee to tell him the arrangements for bringing Dr Rumack back tomorrow morning!

I have been away covering the Cutts trial. I returned to Jensen this afternoon and I had forgotten what a three-ring circus this trial is. Today, the arrogant Dr. Spiro almost made the “big tent” implode!