Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Man Charged in Jersey Rape – Things Heat Up Over Haut de la Garenne

The 68-year-old man we told you about yesterday has been formally charged with rape and sexual assault.

Claude Donnelly assaulted the 12-year-old girl between 1971 and 1974. He is also charged with gross indecency.

The rape and assault charges were made by investigators looking into the abuse scandal at Haut de la Garenne, but do not relate to the home itself.

Sky News reports: The charge sheet states the alleged rape took place at Roseville Street, St Helier, between March 1971 and March 1972, against the 12-year-old, identified as Witness A.

Donnelly is alleged to have indecently assaulted the same girl between March 1971 and March 1974 when she was aged between 12 and 15.

The third charge claims Donnelly made the girl carry out an act of gross indecency on him between the same dates.

Donnelly has not entered a plea and is scheduled to appear in court today.

Police in Jersey also have issued an arrest warrant for an additional suspect in connection with sexual assaults committed at Haut de la Garenne.

At the Sates assembly meeting yesterday, tensions began to spill over.

Speaking about DCO Lenny Harper’s handling of the investigation, Deputy Sean Powell said Harper was inappropriate when he told the media back in February, they had found what appeared to be the partial remains of a child at Haut de la Garenne. Powell was referring to the skull fragment found.

Senator Wendy Kinnard, minister for home affairs, said Harper’s comments were totally appropriate as the skull fragm
ent was found under suspicious circumstances.

The Guardian reports: At the states meeting yesterday it was also revealed that the law officers' department, Jersey's equivalent of the Crown Prosecution Service, had turned down requests by the inquiry team for search warrants. Police sources yesterday said they had been refused three times when applying for permission to search the headquarters of the sea cadets in St Helier, where abuse has been alleged. The search was eventually carried out with help from officers from the mainland.

A source close to Harper yesterday said he had been so "severely and wilfully obstructed" in his investigation that he had come within "hours" of resigning. But the source stressed that Harper's retirement in August was unrelated and had been planned for some time.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Arrest Not Directly Related to Haut de la Garrene

A 68-year-old man has been detained by police, as the investigation into abuse in Jersey continues. Police stressed that the detention is not directly related to the Haut de la Garenne facility, but is part of the over-all investigation.

According to a police spokesperson, the man is "assisting" police who are investigating a number of alleged rapes and assaults.

The man has not been formally charged with any crime and police are not releasing the man’s name or other details at this time.

CNN reports that spokeswoman Louise Nibbs said: "We can now also confirm that the alleged offenses in question took place in the 1960s and 1970s," she said. "We are not able to say at this time where the offenses took place."

76-year-old Gordon Wateridge was arrested in January and charged with three counts of indecent assault that occurred during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Wateridge has not entered a plea yet and is due back in court in May.

Additional arrests are expected to be made shortly.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Kazuyoshi Miura Case: Pre-Trial Hearing April 23rd, Part II

Miura Hearing Coverage Continued:

On the 13th floor, I round the corner and catch the eye of Liz from the public liaison's office. She immediately knows I will want a public seat. I get a ticket and my number is 696782. They are collecting recording devices from the reporters. When I get off the phone with donchais I try to get an internet connection in the hallway of the 13th floor. Nothing I try works. I'm using our data plan, tethering my phone to my laptop, and I've had this problem before. I can get a good connection while in the ground floor cafeteria, sometimes on the 9th floor hallway but I also had difficulty getting a connection within the courtroom at the last Spector pre-trial hearing. I'm coming to the realization that when Spector round deux comes around, I will have to bite the bullet and pay my cell phone service provider for a monthly internet connection if I have any hope of blogging on that trial from the back row of Courtroom 106.

So, I go back to scribbling notes in a notebook. Liz and another cute woman from the Public Liaison's office (I know her by sight from Spector but for the life of me I can't remember her name; Miriam; Marilyn?) start to call off the reporter's names or the news service they are with, and ask them to line up. "Ted Kim; Terry Keith; Channel 7; KNX Radio; Channel 5." I see a video camera operator go in. The Asian camera guy that I've seen at Spector and Robert Blake's civil trial get's called and he picks up his various cameras.

"LA Japanese News; Fox 11." I see Miriam Hernandez is here and she gets in line. Liz and her coworker struggle with some of the Japanese names. Four LA County sheriffs are standing off to the side beside me, watching the entire proceedings. More reporters keep arriving. I go up to Liz and I ask her who will be arguing for the people. Will it be Pat Dixon? I had read in some articles that he had been assigned to this case. Liz tells me a name of a prosecutor who's name has been on most of the motions, but then says, "Don't quote me." I tell her I won't say anything until I see the individual for myself.

One of the sheriff's in the group beside me is a very pretty woman who starts to speak to the Japanese reporters in Japanese. After she is finished, I go up to her and ask her what she told them. She said that she just told them that once they are in the courtroom, they must stay in. There will be no "going in and out." Geragos is finally here and he goes into the courtroom via the clerk/judge's entrance.

The reporter for the LA Times finally shows up and I also see Sandi Gibbons. A cute woman reporter on assignment here has been standing beside me, and I point out Sandi to her and tell that this is the DA's office spokesperson. She also had to get a ticket. I explain to her the process and that it is always like this. To get a reserved seat she has to register with the court's Public Information/Liaison's office. She's quite frustrated because they are now letting in the reporters that are on the waiting list for a seat, and some of them are second and third seats with papers that are already inside the courtroom. They are letting these journalists in before the public. They then start calling numbers and my number is not called. It's at the very end that Alan Parachini decides that there is enough room to let everyone else in the hall inside. If I'm remembering correctly, the reporter mentioned something about moving the hearing to a larger courtroom, and I told her this "is" the largest courtroom. When I finally get inside, the reporter that I was talking to in the hall is in the courtroom a row or two in front of me. I see Sandi Gibbons in the very front row on the far right of the courtroom, the same side I am sitting on.

This gallery is much wider than Fidler's courtroom and it is almost packed but not quite. There is also extra seating in the well area for assistants to sit directly behind the attorneys presenting their case. Alan Parachini is addressing the courtroom and he is explaining the rules of this courtroom. "There are no tape recorders allowed on your person. No cell phones. No trio's, no photography, no blackberries. We have allowed one Japanese news agency to film." I look over and I see that with the camera operator, there are two still photographers also set up. Alan goes onto say that if you are caught using a device that is not allowed such a recorder or take a photograph you will be removed from the courtroom and no one from your organization will be allowed back in to cover this case.

It's official. Alan Jackson and Ric Ocampo will be arguing for the people. I'm estatic. I observe some reporters hand their business cards to Sandi Gibbons. A sheriff now gets up and speaks to the crowd. He asks if there is anyone who did not get a blue envelope package. (It's actually a folder that he holds up.) I'm thinking, "Hey, I didn't get one, lol!" He point's out various papers in the folder with the universal images of cell phones and recorders with the circle around them and a line drawn through them. He basically says the same thing Alan Parachini said a few moments earlier.

In this courtroom, the prosecution is sitting on the right and the defense on the left. It's just the opposite of Judge Fidler's courtroom. It's now 1:35 pm and the judge finally takes the bench. Back in the far left of the well, I see a few ladies standing and one of them is Wendy, Judge Fidler's clerk. The Judge is Steven K. Van Sicklen.

Judge Van Sicklen starts off by saying he "...respects the fact that there is a significant interest in this case. We take the rules that apply to the media very seriously. We've allowed a camera and two still photographers." He stresses what Alan Parachini and the sheriff also said about no cell phones, no recording devices but goes onto to point out that since he has now mentioned this on the record, if anyone violates these rules then they could also be liable for prosecution for violating his directive.

Geragos is on the record for the defense, Alan Jackson and Rick Ocampo for the people. Geragos is presenting a motion to quash the arrest warrant. Van Sicklen states that he has read all of the motion papers that have been submitted, and Geragos is asked to stand up and address the people's response to his motion.

He starts off by talking in California penal code numbers, 656 and 793 and that each one operates differently. Geragos mentions the Martinez case ruling out of San Diego. He also brings up the amended 2004 law, and that there is nothing in there about applying this law retroactively. Specific areas of the penal code are mentioned and I get lost in the details of what he's trying to argue. In Geragos argument, "656 applies not 793."

Alan Jackson gets up to speak. I know he's going to present a great argument. "The reason we are all here is because he committed a murder in California. While we're not there (in trial?) yet, Mr. Miura is glaringly absent." Jackson brings up another section of the penal code 977b and says something to the effect that every proceeding "starts and stops there. It's not a willy nilly procedure." It's mandatory in all cases. The defendant must appear in court. Each time, the defendants body must be in the courtroom. He must come to court to appear or waive his presence. Even to waive his presence he has to appear before the court to waive it. He must be here at all stages of the proceedings. You can't possibly ignore this statue. Overturning these decisions are legion. It's to protect the defendant's right. It's our opinion that ends the argument. 977 begins and ends the argument."

Geragos stands to address the people's argument. "It's just plain wrong. 973 bars the people from prosecuting Miura. They have no jurisdiction. I have a notarized waiver from Mr. Miura."

The Judge asks about the next date in Saipan and it's May 28th. Saipan is waiting to see what happens in California. Van Sicklen addresses Geragos. "Mr. Jackson is correct. Unless we did something to his (Miura) detriment.... when can you litigate it? Can you do it pre-arraignment? Or does it actually have to go to trial? I've been wondering if you can do it before arraignment itself."

Gerago's gets back up and says 973 bars institutions from illegal prosecutions. (Those are not his exact words but it's something to that effect.) Van Sicklen says he agrees with the people's 656 argument, but he doesn't know about 793. When Geragos gets back up to argue, you can tell there is quite a bit of irritation in his voice. "They (656 and 793) were amended in tandem!!" he says with an exasperated tone.

Van Sicklen says something to the effect, "If 793 is an immediate (?) statute, and we have someone thousands of miles away.....what is your opinion Mr. Jackson and why, because of 793...???" Jackson replies that he (Miura) must make arguments in person because of 977. "The defendant can't phone in the defense. He can't say, I don't want to appear because it's inconvenient."

Van Sicklen responds that the extradition is not before the court, and he doesn't really want to discuss that since it is not in any of the motion papers. But that is at the heart of the matter. The motion to quash, the complaint and the underlying warrant all goes to the extradition.

Geragos gets up and argues again the differences between the three statues. Stricklen states that Geragos makes a very interesting argument, and you can see that it appears that he's wavering a bit to Geragos' side. Earlier, I thought he was going to rule in favor of the people, but Geragos has won some ground with the judge at this point. Then Jackson gets up and does what he does best. He explains that the extradition is at the heart of the matter.

Jackson says, "Once the ball starts to roll, it can't be undone." He presents I think three case law examples about extradition between states and also gives an example almost exactly like this case. The judge listens and apparently is swayed. "I don't want to rush into this ruling. I want to be as pragmatic as possible." The attorney's and the judge hash out a return date. Van Sicklen wants the people to address Geragos's 973 arguments. A date of Friday, May 9th at 1:30pm is set to argue this matter again. All paperwork (motions) are due on Monday of that week, which would be May 5th. And that's it.

The reporters slowly exit the courtroom and I overhear that there will be a press briefing on the Temple Street plaza. And I get confused as to where that is and it suddenly dawns on me that this is the front of the building. I've always entered the building from the back, on 1st Street. I step back into the courtroom just as Alan and Ric are at the foyer and I touch Jackson's arm and tell him, "Great argument." He reflexively says, "Thank you," and then a second later, recognizes me. He then tells me, "I was just reading an article about you!" At first I thought, Did I get some bad press somewhere? but Jackson goes onto say that it was the ABA Journal article and then he asks me what did I compare him to a dog or something? I'm struggling with what he's talking about and then I remember. I explain to Mr. Jackson that the ABA article attributed a statement to me that was actually by a guest writer to the blog, Sedonia Sunset. (Here is Sedonia Sunset's story where she compares Jackson and Pat Dixon to Chance and Shadow from the movie Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.)

The sheriff's call out to Jackson and the rest of the DA's who sat in on the hearing that there's "an express elevator with your name on it," and they all head off to one of the freight elevators. As Sandi Gibbons is rounding the corner away from me she's calling out, "Sprocket! Sprocket! I've got that information for you! It's five!" And I'm totally lost to what she is referring to. (It's not until later in the day that I realize she must have gotten mixed up in what I was asking for. I know that five PBA witnesses testified in the Spector trial; I want to know how many witnesses in total the prosecution presented motions to present. How many, total. I know there were others and I could have sworn someone told me at one time there were a total of fourteen, but maybe what she's telling me is it's five more.)

Down on the Temple Street plaza, (which is just a small walkway area in front of the building) you can see that Mark Geragos glows when he gets in front of the camera. As he starts to speak to the media (and there are quite a few cameras trained on him) I turn to Sandi who is standing right behind me (along with Alan and Pat Dixon) and say, "He wore a nice tie today." That's all that I can positively say about Mark Geragos. While Geragos beams for the camera, Jackson and Dixon compare the quality of the shine on their shoes and I smile as look down to see who's shoes are out shining the other.

My notes are sketchy here, but Geragos statement to the media is something to the effect of, California has no authority in this case. Specific penal code sections prohibit double jeopardy happening. And then Geragos tries to put his interpretation as to what he thinks the people's position is. "The judge can't decide without Mr. Miura here." I write in my notebook here, He loves the camera. "It's a complex issue and there is no case on point," Geragos continues." He mentions the San Diego judge's decision in the Martinez case and behind me, it's either Sandi or Alan Jackson who whispers something that I can barely hear, "It's not final. He can't cite a trial court." From my understanding, that's correct. Geragos needs to cite a Superior Court ruling that hits the law books, not just a trial judge's decision in another case. Geragos then says, "I'm confident the law is clear here." And that's it for him; he hands the stage over to Alan Jackson, who is basically standing in for Sandi.

Mr. Jackson is brief. He states that before summarily deciding is there jurisdiction, those arguments can't be made until he (Miura) is here, before the court. Jackson mentions that the people will specifically be addressing Judge Van Sicklen's request to address penal code 793 that Geragos argued before the court today.

And that's it. Nothing new until the attorney's file new motions before the court on May 5th, and the hearing date on May 9th.

The Japanese reporter I was talking to in the hallway outside the courtroom, we exchange pleasant goodbyes, but I make sure to ask her for her business card and I write down my blog address in her notebook. On the plaza, another woman reporter approached me and asked if she could ask me some questions. She was not able to get into the hearing and wanted my impressions about the hearing as well as wanted to know my opinion about all the Japanese media attention.

I told her a little bit about myself (I'm a semi-retired house wife that takes care of a messy husband; that I have attended a few other high profile trials, I have a blog and that the ABA Journal wrote about my blogging.) I also told her what I thought of the proceeding. I thought the Public Liaison's office did a good job of being prepared for the Japanese press. This media interest isn't much different than the Spector or OJ case here, and the way they handled things today is pretty much how it goes in other high profile cases.

I thought Alan Jackson's arguments were fantastic. I went on to sing Alan's praises as a rising star in the prosecutors office: he's got tons of charisma and juries as well as the public just love him. I mentioned his great skills during the Spector case as well as Jackson's success in the Mickey Thompson case. I said that although the Miura case is big in Japan, there is no interest here in the US. I felt Miura is interesting because in Japan, from my understanding Miura pursued the media spotlight, and his current wife is a noteworthy personality also. She wanted to know about why I was here, and I said it's because it's a murder trial, and I follow murder trials. I've had a life long interest in criminal psychology. As a closing question she said that Japanese like to know people's ages and she asked me how old I was. I had to think for a moment and then told her, "I'm 53." I ask for her business card and write out my blog address for her, too.

Later this evening when I'm trying to write up my entry I dig the two business cards out of my pocket and I realize I am a total idiot. I can't remember which card goes with which reporter! One of the reporters was Mirei Sato, a staff writer for U.S. Frontline News, Inc., and the other woman was Mary Plummer, Los Angeles bureau reporter for the Yomiuri Shimbun. Ladies, I sincerely apologize. I'll put up the photos I took as soon as I download them from my camera.

Lead Investigator of Haut de la Garenne Stepping Down

It comes as no surprise, but certainly with sadness that Lenny Harper is retiring and leaving Jersey in August, 2008. Harper has been with the Jersey police force since 2002.

Harper’s investigation into abuse at Haut de la Garenne has often drawn criticism due to his openness with the public and international press.

Harper, a resident of Londonderry, Ireland, has served with the police since 1974. He served with the Metropolitan Police, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), as well as the Strathclyde Police.

Deputy Chief Constable David Warcup will replace Harper. Warcup is currently serving with the Northumbria Police force in England. It is not yet known if the Haut de la Garenne investigation will be assigned to Warcup.

As reported in the BBC, Warcup says: "I am delighted to have been offered this post and I'm looking forward to taking up the appointment presently.

"In applying for the States of Jersey position, I've been very impressed with the enthusiasm shown by the officers and staff who work on the island, and their commitment to developing a modern and vibrant force."

Despite threats of violence and even death, Lenny Harper has proven to be unshakeable in his commitment to weeding out corruption in the Jersey force as well as leading the daunting task of the investigation at Haut de la Garenne.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kazuyoshi Miura Case: Pre-Trial Hearing April 23rd, 2008

There is a pre-trial hearing today in the Miura case. Kazuyoshi Miura is accused of conspiring to murder his wife back in November, 1981 on Fremont Street in downtown Los Angeles. He was tried and convicted in Japan for her murder, but the decision was overturned by a higher court.

Mark Geragos will be arguing for the defense to quash the re-issue warrant of arrest which is currently holding Miura in Saipan, a U.S. Territory.

Miura's defense team in Saipan are hopeful that Geragos will be successful in blocking the extradition of Miura to Los Angeles because of a recent ruling in a similar case in San Diego.

In May 1988, Celestino Menedez Martinez murdered his wife in San Diego County and subsequently fled to Mexico. He was arrested in Mexico and tried and convict of that crime in his native country and served six years of an 11-year sentence. When he reentered the US, he was rearrested for his wife's murder.

Less than a week ago, San Diego Superior Court dismissed murder charges against Martinez. In 2004, California amended their law to allow prosecutions of individuals accused of crimes in the US even if they have already been tried and convicted of the same crime in another country. However, Martinez murdered his wife before this new law went into effect. The San Diego court ruled that Martinez's indictment was invalid because "it infringes the principle that laws must not be applied retroactively."

It will be interesting to see if Gerago's motion will be successful.

I'll say it again. This case is huge in Japan, Miura's native country, where he is a big celebrity. (Think Briteny Spears big. Yep. That big.) My understanding is there are easily a hundred Japanese reporters currently in Los Angeles trying to feed the Japanese people's desire for news, any news involving Miura. The hearing will be held in Department 100, which I understand is a very large courtroom on the 13th floor of the Criminal Court's building. I am going to attempt to get one of the few public seats available. I have no idea whether or not I will be able to blog from the courtroom. I was informed yesterday by the court's Public Liaison's office that if the laptops are too noisy, they will be removed from the courtroom. Once I get down to the courthouse, I will certainly blog from the hallway if I can find someplace to sit down.

12:30 PM
I'm here in the cafeteria of the Criminal Court building. In about ten minutes, I'll go upstairs to the 13th floor, Department 100. When I reach the building, there are about 9-10 Japanese photographers waiting on the walkway right behind the building. I take a photo of them with my phone, and I'll upload it later when I get home. They are all right in front of the employee/attorney entrance to the building, and are probably waiting for Mark Geragos's arrival.

Inside the building, there is a large sign written in Japanese right beside one of the security screening checkpoints. I see Alan Parachini squatting down, working on the scanner belt, and one of his staff is with him. It looks like they are prepared for the onslaught of reporters. On the sign on the second line is the number "100" and on the third like is the number 1 then 3.

I pass the selection of food in the cafeteria, and see that it is just as bad as the last time I ate here. It's all most 12:45 now, and I'm going to pack everything up and see if I can find a bench right outside the courtroom. Hopefully, I'll get a connection up there. If not, I'll get on my cell and report to donchais who will post my notes.

There are at least 3 dozen Japanese journalists and 1/2 a dozen American. 1 Japanese still photographer...been at Blake, Spector trials...just a waiting game now!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Children’s Teeth Among Items Recovered at Haut de la Garenne

Sniffer dogs have led investigators to two milk teeth that have been found in the cellars at Haute de la Garenne. Police don’t know if the teeth came from one child or from children.

Additional bone fragments have also been found, but until the forensic testing is completed, police can’t say whether the bones are animal or human. They remains have been sent to the UK for further testing.

These items are in addition to the blood stained bath and shackles found earlier in the investigation, which police believe corroborate claims by some of the victims.

The investigation remains a possible murder inquiry.

Further developments in Jersey:

Senator Stuart Syvret formally resigned his position on the Bailiff’s Consultative Panel last week. He did so in response to the Bailiff’s continued, professed ignorance of failures in the Jersey childcare system and his apparent lack of knowledge of the legal system.

Bailiff Sir Philip Bailhache, is the chief judge in Jersey’s judiciary and he is also the Speaker in the island’s parliament.

The parent of a victim of pedophile Roger Holland has called for Bailhache’s resignation for allowing Holland to be sworn in as an Honorary Police officer.

Bailhache, then Attorney General, became aware of the fact that Holland was a convicted pedophile, yet he did nothing to prevent Holland from being sworn-in as an Honorary Police officer. Bailhache also didn’t seek to have Holland stripped of office.

It is public knowledge that Holland continued to abuse children while an Honorary Police officer and he has been sentenced to a two-year jail term.

Bailhache said in a statement, “It is unclear what jurisdiction in law the Royal Court could have exercised had these facts been brought to its attention the following week.”

Hmmmm - really Phil?

“I have served the Jersey public for over 33 years. During that period, I am sure that I have made mistakes. But I have always sought to behave with integrity, which I believe to be the case in this matter. I have no intention of resigning over this issue.”

Oh, Phil! Really want the folks of Jersey to start delving into those 33 years of service?

For the full statement by Bailhache as well as Senator Syvret’s letter of resignation go to Senator Stuart Syvret Blog. It’s a good read!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Justice For Rebecca McEvoy?

UPDATED 5-01-08: I've just been informed by Juror Thirteen that the following statement "... a mattress containing a match of Becca McEvoy and Bob Ingel’s DNA, ..." is not true. T&T and Juror Thirteen apologize for the error.

This story comes to us thanks to the great folks at Juror Thirteen. I received the following request from them in my email this morning:

I was wondering if your site could help us with this... we only have a couple of days!
There is a family that needs our help. If you could read the letter, below, copy it and send it to the links below, we could bring justice to this little girl and keep the “Cop” pedophile off the streets! Thanks!

Justice For Becca

Rebecca McEvoy was raped and sodomized by her Step father, Police Officer Bob Ingel. Rebecca lost her life in a fatal car accident on the way to testify for the 3rd time as to the rape, and sexual assault she suffered at his hands.

On Tuesday, April 22, 2008, in Mobile, Alabama, the defense attorneys for the accused, Bob Ingel are arguing the case against their client should be dismissed. The lawyers are using the "Crawford" case out of Ohio. This says “you have the constitutional right to cross examine your accuser” and because the girl is dead and cannot testify, there is a chance the Judge may throw out the case.

The Assistant District Attorney, Steven Giardini, believes the case law should not be applied in Becca McEvoy's case.

The eleven year old testified before the grand jury on two separate occasions. There are medical reports, severe enough to make any parent outraged. A relative, allegedly, has, in their possession, a mattress containing a match of Becca McEvoy and Bob Ingel’s DNA, from the criminal, sexual attacks.

Reports have surfaced that Bob Ingel is now in Mississippi and living with small children. At this time we are unaware if there are special considerations attached to Bob Ingel’s bond of $35,000.00. Also, it’s reported that other children have been victimized, raped, and sodomized by this former officer.

If this story is not reported, the “Rebeccas” all across this country will be affected by this ruling.

In memory of a child who fought so hard to come forward and seek justice, we are asking that you give Rebecca McEvoy a voice and report on this story, before court on April 22, 2008.
Justice for Becca-Resource and video's

Story at Scared Monkeys

We are also asking for the public's help. By pasting the above story through the last sentence of the court date you have a voice with the media. Click as many links below and include the story, then email those in the media we have listed below.

I'm asking T&T's readers to join in with Scared Monkey's and Juror Thirteen to help give Rebecca McEvoy a voice.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Haut de la Garenne Must Remain the Scene of a Possible Murder

Five bloodied items discovered in “punishment” cellars three and four were located by the two sniffer dogs that are being used in the investigation.

Police are refusing to say what the items are. Some of the items are being examined in Jersey, while others will be sent to the UK for testing.

JEP reported Deputy police chief Lenny Harper as saying: 'All the finds could be significant but some could be extremely significant. And some could corroborate what some of the victims have been telling us went on in the cellars.'

In a statement released to the media following yesterday's revelation that the skull fragment found inside the building is now likely to pre-date the inquiry, Mr. Harper added: 'The site of the home must remain the scene of a possible homicide.'

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bloodstained Items Recovered at Haut de la Garenne

A number of bloodstained items have been found in the last two of four punishment cellars.

The Telegraph reports: Deputy Police chief Lenny Harper said that at this stage it was not clear if the items - details of which have not been released - had an innocent explanation.

The discovery comes two days after police found large amounts of lime, which can be used to disintegrate corpses, in a pit uncovered at the former children’s care home.

The skull fragment found buried under the stairwell several weeks ago was also buried in soil containing a large amount of lime. Archaeologists who conducted tests on the skull fragment said the protein collagen had been completely destroyed in the bone because of the lime.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Phil Spector, Vikram Jayanti & the Truth

In March 2007, and throughout the murder trial, Vikram Jayanti spent a considerable amount of time with Phil Spector, interviewing him for a film project. I'm sure once Spector was charged with murder, there were quite a few people nipping at his heels, wanting an exclusive interview. Even Scott Raab of Esquire Magazine, said, "I've been dogging Spector for years, hoping to write his story." Raab finally did get a day or two with him back April, 2003, before Spector was formally charged. donchais and I can see why Spector would be flattered and willing to talk to Jayanti, since he came to the table with an international reputation as an award winning documentary filmmaker. It's our opinion that Jayanti probably promised Spector that he would get his story out there and that's exactly what he did. The information was published in the September 9th, 2007 issue of the UK's Sunday Daily Mail, magazine section, Live.

donchais and I thought we would take Spector and Jayanti's statements from this article, present them to our readers with facts and other sources in order to give a more balanced perspective.

Here are the first statements by Spector that appear in the article:
I just don't like the idea that anyone thinks that I'm not taking this seriously. Because the judge, every time I go to court, doesn't like me. He's already said that if I made a plea bargain, he'd give me eight years. Because someone died. And he keeps saying that every time I go to court. To the jurors, the first thing out of his mouth, "Remember today we're here because someone died."

Even though I was eight feet away from her when she died, and it can be proved forensically I didn't kill her, it doesn't matter. Somebody died, somebody killed her. That's his frame of reference. That's what he thinks.

I just hope we have a bunch of jurors that listen to the evidence. We haven't told our story in four years. We have a very interesting, abrupt, good, honest, accurate, truthful story to tell that proves beyond any question, any reasonable possibility of a doubt, that it is impossible for me to have been near the deceased when she died

Yep. Those are direct quotes. Now let's break it down.

He's already said that if I made a plea bargain, he'd give me eight years.

No, never happened. None was offered and judges don't make plea deals. This is typical SSS, (aka Spector Spin Speak) which means, No one understands my genius. I'm being persecuted. Can Spector point to where in the record Fidler offered him this deal? Maybe Spector is confusing this with his first attorney, Robert Shaprio and his early defense strategy.

Because someone died. And he keeps saying that every time I go to court.

I attended about 90 percent of this trial. Although I did not attend the first day of trial, I was there most days. I did not hear the judge repeat this statement every time Spector came to court.

Even though I was eight feet away from her when she died, and it can be proved forensically I didn't kill her, it doesn't matter. Somebody died, somebody killed her. That's his frame of reference. That's what he thinks.

No, it wasn't proven forensically that he didn't kill her; it was a suggested scenario, the same one the defense presented at trial. There wasn't a single expert on the stand, defense or prosecution who testified that Spector was eight feet away. Spector is forgetting that Dr. Henry Lee didn't take the witness stand. He was conveniently out of the country during the presentation of the defense case. However, James Pex, one of Spector's stand-in blood spatter experts agreed with the prosecution's theory that Spector's "white ladies jacket" had to be within 3-4 feet of Lana when she was killed.

We have a very interesting, abrupt, good, honest, accurate, truthful story to tell that proves beyond any question, any reasonable possibility of a doubt, that it is impossible for me to have been near the deceased when she died.

No, not beyond any question or reasonable possibility of doubt. It's called blood back spatter and it follows the laws of physics. Forensic scientist Dr. Lynne Herold determined the mist-like spray of blood found on Spector's white jacket put Spector within two to three feet of the discharging weapon. Because the droplets found on the jacket were so microscopic, they did not have the mass to travel eight feet.

Spector's experts varied in their view as to "how" that back spatter could have gotten on Lana's jacket, and to when it actually occurred. Each expert presented a different scenario.

Jayanti states in the article that:
Throughout, the prosecution's case has been simple. In their view, Phil Spector, the renowned record producer and reclusive eccentric genius, has a long history of terrorising women at gunpoint.

Five prior bad act (PBA) witnesses, Deborah Strand, Dorothy Melvin, Stephanie Jennings, Diane Ogden, and Devra Robitaille, testified on the stand. Walter Cronkite's daughter was also terrorized at gunpoint. And, Spector didn't limit his power trip with guns to just women. The stories about Spector pulling a gun on John Lennon and Leonard Cohen have been in the press for years. How many other incidents don't we know about? We may not know all their names, but we do know that the prosecution presented at least 14-15 PBA witnesses for trial. This means, that there were "that many people" who had an altercation with Spector where he brandished a gun in their presence or threatened them with a gun in some way.

Readers, give us your opinions! We will continue to deconstruct the myth, but you get the picture! This is just the first installment.

(This entry was written by donchais and Sprocket.)

Mysterious Pits at Haut de la Garenne

Police are investigating two pits located on the grounds of Haute de la Garenne.

A man has come forward and says he was asked to dig the two pits sometime in the 1980‘s, but staff refused to say why.

One of the pits is filled with a large amount of lime. Lime can be used to disintegrate corpses and hide the smell of decomposition. Nothing else was found in the pit though. The second pit is still being excavated.

Police are at a loss as to why the pits were dug or the one was filled with lime. They are asking anyone with knowledge of the pits to contact them.

According to the BBC: The witness told police when he asked the carers what the pits were for he was told it was "none of his concern".
He was asked to fill in the pits the next day and said he approached police because the incident had played on his mind for some years.

A spokeswoman said: "The team excavated the first pit and found it to be about 1.5 meters (5ft) deep.

"At the bottom of the pit was a large quantity of lime. There was nothing else in the hole.

"The inquiry team can think of no reason why this pit would have been created, nor why it was filled with lime. We would emphasize that we have no evidence of any motive."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cesar Laurean Hearing

A Judge in Mexico recommends extradition for Laurean. In a hearing over the weekend, Laurean did not indicate whether he’d fight extradition or not.

Authorities still haven’t determined if the e-mail sent to Sheriff Ed Brown several weeks ago from someone claiming to be Laurean, was in fact from him.

Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said in addition to the e-mail contact Laurean had with his wife, Christina, he was also checking the Jacksonville Daily News website. They say someone from his home was on that site on January 11th, the day he took off for Mexico.

According to The Sheriff's Office said Laurean's interest in the media coverage of his own manhunt, is part of what led police to his capture in Mexico.

Support from the US Marshals, NCIS, and FBI helped deputies log into the Web sites Laurean visited and figure out which Mexican Internet cafes he visited them from.

Hmmmm…so, maybe that’s why his name was spelled incorrectly in the e-mail; he ain’t so smart!

Haut de la Garenne Case Adjourned

76 year-old Gordon Wateridge, who has not entered a plea yet, has been released on conditional bail. The reason for the adjournment was not noted. Wateridge is scheduled to appear on May 12th before St. Helier Magistrates.

Wateridge was a warden at Haut de la Garenne between 1969 and 1979. He is charged with 3 counts of indecent assaults on girls under the age of 16. He is also charged with possession of a firearm without a license.

Wateridge is the only person arrested so far in the ongoing investigation. There are some 40 suspects being investigated and several more arrests are expected shortly.

Investigators are still working at the Haut de la Garenne site, but a large portion of the work is now taking place at police headquarters as witness statements are still coming in.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Zen Sarcasms

Are you bored with no trial to cover? Me too. These come to you via my friend KimmyGibbler. I don't know where Kimmy found them but I hope you enjoy them as much as donchais and I did.

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.

2 The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt or a leaky tire.

3. It's always darkest before dawn, so if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

5. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

7. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

9. If at first you don't succeed......Skydiving is not for you.

10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

11. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

12. Some days you're the bug, some days you're the windshield.

13. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

14. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

15. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

16. Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

17. There are two theories to arguing with a women - Neither one works.

18. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

19. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

20. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cesar Laurean – Did He E-mail the Sheriff?

Apparently Cesar communicated not just with Christina. It appears he supposedly contacted Sheriff Ed Brown on March 30. provided the following: (The spelling of Laurean's name in the Sheriff's reply is in response to the way the sender spelled the name.)

From: Cesar Lauren Lauren
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2008 12:56 AM
To: Sheriff of Onslow County, NC
Subject: Sir , Can I ask you?

Can you assure immunity from a military court martial if I come back? , I know they will convict me with no evidence, I cant risk Leavenworth or a chain gang, what can you do for me?
FROM: Sheriff Ed Brown, Onslow County, North Carolina
SENT: Thursday, April 3, 2008 (11:00 A.M.)
TO: Cesar Lauren Lauren
SUBJECT: Mr. Lauren, Response to e-mail dated Sunday, March 30, 2008 (12:56AM)

Mr. Lauren, Sir:
First assuming the e-mail I received on Sunday, March 30, 2008, 12:56 AM) purported to be from you is authentic (real), I believe it is both honorable and professional to you that I personally respond to your questions.

Mr. Lauren, turning yourself in would be a very positive step, the wisest thing you could do. My opinion is based on experiences observed through my nearly forty years of law enforcement.

Mr. Lauren, you and I have never met so therefore it is not likely you would know how committed I am to being honest and straight up with people, even persons in your situation. I will not lie to you or mislead you relative to your questions in the e-mail I received and you know what those questions are.

My answer, after consulting with District Attorney Dewey Hudson, I cannot assure you immunity from the military court; however, at this time it is the civilian authorities who have charged you and I understand the military is leaving everything up to the civilian authorities. If in fact the e-mail I received is from you and you desire to have a verbal dialogue with me, this is my cell phone number and you may contact me any time: (910)xxx-xxxx) Thank You.

A Caring and Serving Sheriff,
Ed Brown

Ok, I know that LE hasn’t confirmed that Laurean actually sent the e-mail. It is however consistent with other e-mails sent by Laurean. And, it appears to have been sent from Mexico which is why Sheriff Brown responded.

Now, when did Laurean forget how to spell his own name?

If Laurean didn’t send it, who did?

Somebody – Laurean or a family member – realizes that once the civilian case is concluded, JAG will have a whack at him!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Maria Lauterbach’s Death – What’s Wrong With This Picture?

OK, so many things don’t add up to me so I went surfing on the net. Something in the timeline is off and just begs some answers.

December 19 - Lauterbach reported missing by her mother, believed to be, one of the last people speak with her on December 13.

December 14 - Police believe Lauterbach was murdered at Laurean’s house.

December 16 - Surveillance video shows Laurean shopping at a Lowe's home improvement store two days after Maria Lauterbach is believed to have been killed.

The video shows Laurean purchasing supplies, paint, concrete blocks and a wheelbarrow.

Laurean is seen shopping with another person described by "America's Most Wanted" as "a friend."

December 24 - Laurean tried to use Lauterbach’s ATM card on Christmas Eve and attempted to cover the ATM’s security camera with a rag.

January 10 - According to police affidavits, Laurean told his wife he buried Lauterbach in their backyard fire pit December 15 after Lauterbach committed suicide in the couple's home -- slitting her own throat. He said he got scared and buried her body.

Blood spatters inside Laurean’s home and garage show Lauterbach was beaten to death inside. Someone tried to clean up the blood, including painting over it.

A neighbor said Christina Laurean talked about repainting several rooms around the same time.

(The autopsy report says death is most likely due to blunt force injury to the head, but also indicates a "superficial incised wound to the left side of the neck." The wound is four-inches long with a two-inch gape. It appears to be real but may have occurred after death". )

January 11 - Christina Laurean waited a day after her husband told her about Lauterbach's death before telling authorities about what she knew.

Laurean fled Jacksonville, hours before Lauterbach's remains were discovered.

1) If Maria did indeed die on the 14th and the Lowe’s tape shows Laurean shopping for paint, concrete blocks and a wheelbarrow on the 16th, where was Maria’s body all that time?

2) Who was the friend seen with Laurean at Lowe’s? Did he have help?

3) Police affidavits state that Laurean told Christina that he buried Maria in the fire pit on the 15th. The concrete blocks were purchased on the 16th!

4) How much does Christina actually know? Did she and their 17-month old daughter not live at the house? How could Christina not have seen anything amiss with all the blood, cleanup and a decomposing body on the property? Did she in fact help clean up the murder scene?

5) I’ve seen varying reports on the number of bonfires/barbecues at the fire pit over the Christmas holidays. They range from two to three. Burning flesh has a very distinctive smell. No one noticed this?

6) Did Christina wait 24 hours before telling police what she knew in order to give Laurean a head start in fleeing the country?

I know police say Christina has been co-operative and is not a suspect, but is it just me?

Yeah, I have lots more questions...

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Joann Fabric Store...In My Attic

I have an new entry up on my sewing blog, which is where I will be putting personal stories from now on.

Images of Cesar Laurean taken by Fox News Producer


These images of Laurean were taken by a Fox News producer, "Jorge," while waiting processing in Mexico.

From the story link above, Jorge reports:
Laurean will be flown to Mexico City tonight where he will be handed over to the Mexico Attorney General’s Office and Eduardoo Medina-Mora. I had a conversation with Medina-Mora in Mexico City not long ago and he explained to me what would happen once a suspect was captured. Later during a phone conversation, the AG’s office never said IF he would be captured but WHEN. The suspect will get his day in Mexican court, but I was assured that the process to extradite him would begin immediately.

On the Fox News Story linked above, the following comment was left:
Comment by Ed Garcia

In my opinion, after U.S. Marine Cesar Armando Lauren stands trial in civilian court in North Carolina he will be handed over to U.S. Marine Judge Advocate General (JAG) to be Court Martialed and be sentence to DEATH for murdering a pregnant U.S. Marine. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) he must be Court Martialed because his crime was commited as an active duty U.S. Marine. There is such a thing as double jeopardy when you commit murder as an active duty military.

This is a very interesting opinion by Mr. Garcia. Has anyone ever heard of an individual who, once convicted of a serious crime in State Court, being handed over to the JAG?


Denied! Judge Fidler still on Phil Spector Murder Case

Yesterday, the 2nd District court of appeals rejected a motion filed on March 12, 2008 by Phil Spector's defense attorney, Doron Weinberg to replace Judge Fidler, citing bias. The ruling was reached without comment.

Spector is accused of shooting Lana Clarkson in his Alhambra castle-like home in the early morning hours of February 3rd, 2003. His first trial ended in a hung jury, 10-2 in favor of conviction last September.

Besides Laurean being in FBI custody in Mexico, this is the best news I've heard in the last few days. I believe that Spector's attorneys can still appeal to the California Supreme Court but if they do, let's hope he gets the same result.

Pasadena Star News

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach's Killer Caught in Mexico!

This is fantastic news! Cpl. Cesar Laurean is in custody in Mexico and awaiting extradition to the US.

CNN.Crime reports:
U. S. Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, the main suspect in the killing of a 20-year-old pregnant Marine, has been captured in Mexico, federal authorities announced Thursday.

Authorities are awaiting extradition to bring Laurean, who has been on the run since January, back to North Carolina.

Unfortunately, since he was apprehended in Mexico the death penalty is off the table. Get this piece of garbage back in the U.S. as soon as possible! Let's hope her family doesn't have to wait years and years for a guilty verdict.

My friend Kitty Malone says, "Get his arse back here to the US and try him - still wish they could FRY him though - too bad about that part of it, but hey - they have him in custody and that's GREAT!"

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Skull Fragments From Haut de la Garenne Offer Up No Secrets

Now that testing has been completed on the skull fragments unearthed at Haut de le Garenne last month, we are no closer to knowing exactly when they were placed there.

Best estimates are they have been there since the 1920’s or more recently. Apparently the lime content of the soil in which the fragments were found completely destroyed all collagen in the fragments to allow for a more precise date.

A statement from Jersey police said: "This leaves us with no knowledge of how, when, or indeed where, the person died."

Other bone fragments, including some that were charred are still being examined.

Police continue the forensic investigation of the remaining two cellars at Haut de la Garenne as well as compiling evidence provided by the public.

One has to wonder why no one listened or attempted to put a stop to the claims of physical and mental abuse all these years. Why were alleged perpetrators of these horrific acts allowed to continue working for the childcare system?

The few who had the courage to report abuse were labeled as “malicious liars” – they were after all, juvenile delinquents. But, not all of the children were - many were just unfortunate to be placed in temporary childcare while their families dealt with a terminal illness or going through divorce.

Thankfully, their voices are finally being heard. Thankfully, we have Stuart Syvret, Lenny Harper, Simon Bellwood and others willing to champion their cause and help ensure the safety of future generations.

Why is it then, some of the establishment and the Jersey Evening Post continue to attack those willing to enter the fray in search of justice?

Yesterday, JEP published letters about Senator Syvret that say he should be thrown out of politics because his “behavior” towards Jersey establishment oligarchs has not been “polite”.

Syvret says: Apparently, it is simply insufferable that I should be describing my “esteemed colleagues” as ‘bloody idiots’ and generally exhibiting what the authors of the letters describe as, “Petulant, self-centered, ill-mannered politics.”

Well, if “petulance” and being “ill-mannered” are the cha
racteristics needed in an effort to prevent the battery and rape of children – as carried out at taxpayers’ expense - so be it.

Yes, Senator – so be it!

Senator Stuart Syvret Blog

Sunday, April 6, 2008

More Remains Found at Haut de la Garenne

Police searching the “punishment” cellars at Haut de la Garenne have found more remains that could potentially be human. Forensic teams continue to search the third and fourth rooms. It is believed the forensic investigation will be completed by the end of April.

Carbon dating test results on the skull fragments that were found in February are due to be announced this week.

The Guardian reports: After last week's BBC Panorama, which uncovered more cases of alleged abuse, Harper said that 'important information' against principal suspects had been received.

However, he would not confirm whether former police officers were among those who were on their list of potential suspects.

It is believed that a number of arrests are imminent. Whether or not murder charges will be made remains to be seen.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Phil Spector Trial Evidence Part Two: Guest Entry by Mort Snerd

And other Spector tidbits.

Mort Snerd
wanted to add some additional images as well as address some issues raised by an anonymous commenter in the last entry on this subject. For the record, Mort has a lifetime of knowledge and experience about firearms. Mort's parents owned guns and Mort has been involved in teaching about guns and gun safety to several generations of his extended family.

Below, Mort answers some of anonymous's comments in bold:
I've kept the spelling errors intact. Sprocket.

Anonymous said... April 2, 2008 12:13 AM
Also the Cobra is not made of steel and is very light.

Not a true statement. The barrel and cylinder are made of steel to withstand the pressures involved.

Anonymous said... April 2, 2008 12:13 AM
If the gun weighed more the back-blast would have been less.

Not a true statement. Back blast is created by the detonation of gunpowder in a cartridge. Recoil is the apparent reaction of the gun to being fired. Heavier guns "apparent" recoil is less.

Anonymous said... April 2, 2008 12:43 PM
I saw the making of a film of where the cobra with +p ammunition was stuck inside a little hole in a small watermellon. What a mess it made and the watermellon split open. It was stronger than the woman's soft mouth tissue.

The test was not valid enopught to enter as evidence because a watermelon is not a living human mouth.

Your point is that Lana Clarkson's head was made from a watermelon and was not human and made of bones, teeth, brains and soft tissue?

Anonymous said... April 2, 2008 12:43 PM
Blowing out her teeth caps was simple.

Not a true statement. Evidence was admitted showing that the front sight ramp of the Colt is what did the damage to the upper front teeth.

Anonymous said... April 2, 2008 12:43 PM
Your S&W pictured is a lot heavier and has much less recoil. The Cobra was NOT designed to shoot the higher powered +p rounds either.

True statement and so stated in my original post. I was unable to find a top view of a Colt Cobra to use, so I used a gun in my collection that is as close a representation to size as I could. If the reader of this forum wants, they can examine the photo's themselves.

Anonymous said... April 2, 2008 10:16 PM
The Smith and Wesson in the picture looks very much like a 2 1/2 " bbl Mod 66 .357 magnum. That's a very heavy gun with little recoil.

True statement. The S&W is made from stainless steel and is 4 pounds while the Colt is an aluminum frame and STEEL barrel and cylinder and weighs 1 pound. Both guns can and do fire the .38 caliber cartridge. As to its "apparent" recoil when firing, that is a extremely subjective measurement.

Attached are two pictures, the first is a photo taken from the gallery of the court house as evidence item #1 was introduced in Phillip Spector's trial and is the actual weapon that fired the fatal round.

The second picture is the full side view of the gun I used in the "cone" pictures, they are the identical model, style and manufacturer. Only thing I have done was to remove the serial number for obvious reasons. Please realize that the first photo is taken from the courtroom gallery and since it is a high angle shot to the screen, the picture is somewhat distorted. The second picture is totally undistorted and a right angle view of an identical gun.


Thank you very much Mort.

Below are a few more Spector tidbits, from Sprocket.
On another note, Michelle Blaine has a great entry up over on her blog about Spector's Team Spector MySpace Page. Check it out.

I heard back from author Mick Brown about Spector's exact time-of-birth on December 26th, 1939. Mick writes:

The date I have in the book - December 26, 1939 (? - don't have a copy with me!) - is definately right. I can't tell you the exact time of birth, but I think it was just after midnight of the 25th - within the first one or two hours of the 26th. His mother would joke about the timing and giving birth to 'the next Jesus'.

Thank you so much Mick. I hope that helps the astrology student who was asking for that information.

Remember that article that came out on Spector in the September 9th, 2007 issue of the Sunday Daily Mail's magazine section, Live? It was by that documentary-maker, Vikram Jayanti, who I often saw in court during the last half of the trial giving Spector warm hugs every time he showed up. That magazine issue was not included in the Sunday editions that were available here in the US. A few online papers reported on the story, causing a bit of a ruckus in court where Linda Kenny Baden actually got up and told Fidler something to the effect that the statements in the article attributed to Spector were not approved by him. She basically obfuscated the truth since everyone knows Spector was working with this guy on a film for months, and he's just another Spector mouthpiece, so Spector can testa-lie to the press without getting on the witness stand.

Back in September, I called upon my friends over on the Blood Type Diet message board if anyone in the UK could find me that issue of Live and about a month later, one of the members tracked one down and sent it to me. There were reports in the news a few months ago that the documentary, "Phil Spector: The Agony and Ecstasy " would air in the UK on BBC Arena sometime in mid April. I've recently learned that there was supposed to be a press screening for journalists, but it was canceled and has not been rescheduled. As soon as I hear anything I'll post about it. I wonder what sanctions Fidler can place on Spector if/when that show ever airs. Sometime in the near future, donchais and I will put up an entry about the article, comparing some of the quoted statements in the story to other documented sources.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Stopping by the Anthony Pellicano Trial

The Defendants:
Anthony Pellicano, 63
Mark Arneson, 29 year veteran of the LAPD, Pacific Division
Raford Earl Turner, 51, former field tech employee of SBC & PacBell
Kevin Kachikan, 43, computer wizard who developed "Teleseluth," a wiretapping software program
Abner Nicherie, 44, of Las Vegas. Pellicano client involved in a business dispute with a man who was wiretapped

Defense Attorneys:
Chad Hummel: Representing defendant Arneson. Hummel is a handsome looking man. He has two assistants with him in the courtroom.
Diana Kwok: Hummel's co-counsel, representing Arneson.
Mona Soo Hoo: Representing defendant Turner. Hoo was a member of John DeLorean's defense team that successfully defended DeLorean on all charges.
Adam Braun: Representing defendant Kachikian. Son of the famous lawyer, Harlan Braun.
Lawrence Semenza: Representing defendant Nicherie. Based in Nevada, in the 1970's he was the U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada.

The Judge: Dale S. Fischer: 11 years on the bench total in State and Federal Court.

The Prosecution Team:
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Daniel Saunders
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Kevin Lally

The Witness List

After I left the Phil Spector ten minute hearing, I dropped off my computer and phone in my car and headed east on Temple Street towards the Roybal building. Without my cell phone, I didn't know what time it was since I haven't worn a watch in years. Even so, it didn't take me long to get there. Just like the last time, when I passed through security I had to take my shoes off. This is in total contrast to the County Criminal Court building, where, during the Spector trial, I had several security guards chastise me for taking my shoes off before I would walk through the scanners. One time, the security officer told me that I had to have my shoes on because there could be glass on the ground. For me, it was easier to take them off and not put them back on until I had passed through the 9th floor security checkpoint. There must be metal in my shoes that kicks off the scanners because if I walk though without them, the scanners don't go off, and I'm spared having to lift my arms and my body scanned by the metal detecting wand.

Going through security at the Roybal, this time they asked to see a photo ID, and I complied, telling the suited officer that he could tell his grandchildren that he met Betsy Ross. He smiled when he looked at the photo. Since I entered from the plaza, I had to reorient myself in this building and try to find the correct bank of elevators for the 8th floor. The building almost seemed deserted to me.

As I pass through the scanner in front of the courtroom door, security asks if I have a cell phone and I tell them I don't. They seem pleased with that and tell me I don't have to wait for a break, that I can go on in. The courtroom is a bit packed, and I take a brown leathered upholstered chair in the back row right beside the door. I see the City News reporter Ciaran McEvoy is in the bench row in front of me in the center, and I see Steven Mikulan from the LA Weekly is in the back aisle row but farther down on the bench. He motions me to come over. (For those who don't know, I'm a big fan of Steven's writing because he's so witty. You can check out his latest story on the Pellicano trial, here. It's a great piece.)

Steven whispers to me ever so softly that Kissandra "Kissy" Cohen (now Kissy Tysman) is on the stand. I write in my book, under direct? Reading the note Steven nods his head. I didn't notice it when I was here before, but at the end of the defendants platform there is another huge DVD screen on a high cart with rollers and because of it, my view of some of the defendants is blocked from where I'm sitting.

As I'm coming into the middle Kissy Cohen's testimony, I try to relate what she is saying back to what I've read of other articles on the case. Kissy is a pretty young woman who graduated from law school at a very young age. She went to work for Ed Masry in 1999 but was fired in December of that year. Kissy claims that Masry wanted more than "just lawyering" from her, and filed a lawsuit against him for sexual harassment and slander. Masry hired a slew of lawyers to defend him as well as putting Anthony Pellicano onto Kissy.

From the very back of the room, I try to gage her demeanor and how she comes across and from where I'm sitting it's hard to see her. Cohen is testifying about her phone line problems as well as harassment she experienced during the time of her lawsuit against her former employer, Ed Masry. Cohen is testifying that she made calls around that time and she vaguely remembers the names of potential employee recruiters on the Pellicano document she is being shown. Cohen testifies that she had problems with her home phone line, hearing strange noises, and she was worried that she was being wiretapped. The phone company did send someone out to check her house line.

KT: Masry was not the most moral individual so I was concerned about that.

Kissy also testifies about how she had "serious food poisoning" from a meal she had at the Olive Garden. She contacted the company, lodging a complaint about the particular dish she had and the company paid her medical bills. Another frightening experience was at Petco. She took her two pets to be groomed their bodies were cut during the grooming and they needed stitches. She brought a lawsuit against Petco.

When she was in the initial phases of her lawsuit against Masry, she was comfortable talking to her attorney over the phone. But once she saw that "strange things were happening" she got more concerned about talking over the telephone. She was trying to keep from Masry's attorneys that she was firing her attorney, because he was quite busy with a big California case and didn't have the time to devote to her case. Somehow, Masry's counsel found out that she no longer had representation and she was hit with a barrage of motions by them. She was at a distinct disadvantage because she didn't even have her file from her prior attorney. Masry's attorneys deposed her entire family, and so many motions that had to be responded to by a deadline, that made it difficult for her to acquire new counsel. She did eventually hire a new lawyer.

When she was finally deposed in it took six days. Four days in a row in November, 2000, and the other two days were months later. Amy Rice took her deposition. Shortly before her deposition, an acquaintance she met in college, Stacey Christian, called her on the phone out of the blue and wanted to reconnect. They did not have many friends in common and Stacey had been out of her life for many years. She had no contact with Stacey while she worked for Masry. When Cohen took that phone call, no last names were mentioned; she knew who it was when Stacey called her. During her deposition, Cohen was asked questions such as:

Did Stacey ever come over to the office? What was Stacey's last name?

Cohen was quite concerned because she couldn't figure out how they could know about Stacey, but not know her last name. Cohen could tell by the questions that were asked at her deposition that the only way they could find out was via a phone tap. Around that time she was planning a birthday party for a friend "Sean" and that was asked about in the deposition. These events had nothing to do with her work or with Nazarine. (?)

A few months before the deposition she had bumped into her childhood Rabbi, someone she had not seen in over fifteen years. She mentioned her legal problems to him and he offered to help her. She gave him her resume and he was going to pass it along to some potential contacts. She was asked about the outcome of this event in her deposition.

Pam Elliot, was a former employee with Masry and Cohen passed her name onto her counsel with the belief that this individual would be a good witness for her case. Very soon after that, Elliott was represented by Masry and his firm which basically precluded her from access to Elliot from then on. Cohen testifies that there was no way that Masry's counsel could have found out they were interested in using Elliot except through a phone tap. Her case eventually went to trial. She won on the slander charges but lost on the sexual harassment counts.

Chad Hummel gets up to cross Cohen.

Right off the bat Hummel makes it clear to the jury that this witness is suing his client in Federal Court. Hummel asks questions about where she went to law school, Laloya, and that she graduated and took the bar in 1999. She was still working for Masry in December 1999. She filed her lawsuit against him in April, 2000. Cohen states under cross that she moved out of her parents house and into her apartment in February of 2000. The car she was driving at the time, a Chevy Blaizer Sun was in the name of her parents. She is currently practicing general litigation law now.

Hummel is trying to get her to explain why the delay in her deposition, in some way implying that she was the cause of the problem. Why did they have to make motions to compel you to give a deposition? I'm not quite grasping all this foot work that he's trying to do here, but it also seems to me that he's trying to trip her up on the specifics of the motions that Masry's defense team mounted against her. Ah, now I think I'm getting it. Hummel is trying to imply that these motions could have revealed information through the regular course of the case and not through the wiretaps as Cohen is testifying. The trial concluded in 2002.

She first learned in 2003 about her name being run by police when the FBI contacted her.

Pellicano gets up to cross.

Pellicano asks her why she fired her attorney, and Cohen testifies that she got along fine with him, however, he didn't have the time to devote to the case. He had a big case in California that he was concentrating on. Right after this Pellicano gets stuck in a particular area about "suing" and the Judge instructs him to ask a different question. I have in my notes here that Cohen is quite cute and innocent looking. She appears very open and is answering every question. If I have my math correct, she's 28-29 now.

Pellicano then asks a question that's totally out of bounds. The prosecution objects and the objection is sustained.

Mona Soo Hoo gets up to cross.

Q: Did you speak to someone at the phone company (about your phone line problem)? Did you call 611?

A: I can't remember.

Q: Did they give you a trouble ticket number?

A: I can't remember.

Q: Did they come out and tell you the problem was fixed?

A: They called me back.

Q: Do you remember the date of that call?

A: No I do not.

Saunders steps up to redirect. Cohen states that in her suit she was awarded $120,000 in damages and her attorney fees were in excess of $500,000.

Q: How much were you suing for?


Cohen states that the settlement was still damaging to her career, and that $120,000 was not a good verdict. She was not able to land a job in California and had to move out of the Los Angeles area to find work.

Hummel gets up to recross, and asks her point blank what was that $120,000 for. Tyman replies, "Mr. Masry went on TV and said I was incompetent and a liar. There were several similar statements.

Finally, Cohen is excused. I take this moment to ask Steven if anything interesting happened and he tells me that Susan Hughes cried on the stand.

The next witness is Keith Carradine. I'm ecstatic. I adore this actor. I tell Steven I got to see him in Will Rogers Follies. I especially liked him as FBI agent Frank Lundy, in one of my all time favorite shows, Showtime's Dexter. I really like this actor and am looking forward to what he has to say. I know that his ex-wife, Saundra pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury. She lied to a federal grand jury about her knowledge of Pellicano's wiretapping operation. I also understand that she dated Pellicano. As Carradine enters the courtroom I'm squinting trying to identify the dark color of his suit. In the recessed lighting, it looks as if it's different colors. Sometimes black, sometimes brown. It's perfectly tailored and he's wearing a white shirt and deep red tie with it. He looks great.

Carradine testifies that in April of 2001, he was still a legal resident of Colorado. However, at the time he was living in a trailer park in Valencia, California. (How terrible that he has to testify in Federal Court that after his divorce from Saundra Will, he was reduced to living in a trailer park in Valencia. For all I know it could have been a real nice one, but like Steven said, "Valencia is no Jim Rockford on the beach in Malibu.") His girlfriend, (now his current wife) Hayley Leslie DuMond was living with him at the time. Although the divorce was finalized, Saundra and Carradine were still litigating child support issues. At that time, he didn't know that his ex-wife was associated with Pellicano and that Pellicano was investigating him as well as his girlfriend.

After Carradine flew to Australia to work on a film, there was an attempted break-in at his trailer. His girlfriend was followed very aggressively in her car and while she was out to dinner with her parents, her tires were slashed. At one point someone with a bad accent contacted him saying, "...they had information to help him with his divorce." Carradine declined the help responding with, "I'm an honorable person with nothing to hide."

His girlfriend's parents were also harassed with phone calls at 2, 3 and 4:00 am in the morning, with no one on the other end of the line. While he was out of the country, Carradine also had problems with his phone line at the trailer, with the line going dead and no dial tone. He called the phone company and they performed a line check and stated they would come out. "They just came out and told me the problem was fixed," Carradine testified. Carradine then is asked to do what many of prior prosecution witness have been asked to do, and that is identify exhibits where his name was either run through police or DMV records. Carradine identifies several document exhibits that contain his information, his wife's, as well as a property he owned in Topanga Canyon and his wife's parent's Sherman Oaks address.

Carradine states that he didn't have any contact with law enforcement in April, 2001, and did not have any contact with Arneson. Carradine also testifies that DuMond went to Tennessee to visit her other grandparents. They had recently obtained their real estate licensing around that time and had been hired by Coldwell Banker.

That's what I have for the end of the prosecution's direct and the court takes a fifteen minute break. At the break, Steven and I bemoan the hard courtroom benches. Steven tells me that the courtroom security won't even let you bring in snacks or newspapers. Allison Hope Weiner is pointed out to me and I notice she's quite slender. I am having a tough time matching the woman in the row in front of me with her photo on the Huffington Post but that's because her hair is so different now.

12:35 PM We stand and wait for the jury to reenter the courtroom. Pellicano is the first to get up to cross Carradine. Pellicano asks about some court papers that were filed trying to move the child support issues to California, but Carradine denies this. He remembers there were issues about moving the divorce case itself but not about child support.

AP: Do you know if the child support issues remained in Colorado at that time?

A: Yes.

AP: Didn't you call the land your trailer was on a "mesa?"

Objection! Sustained!

AP: Do you know when you moved there?

Objecton! Sustained!

AP: Did you ever live at the Sherman Oaks residence with Ms. DuMond?

A: No. (This was her parent's home.)

AP: Did you call about the break in?

A: No. I was in Australia for three months.

AP: At no time did you live in Sherman Oaks?

A: No.

AP: Did you go back to your trailer in Valencia?

Objection! Sustained!

Pellicano asks about the slashed tires on his vehicle, and Carradine corrects Pellicano that they were not "his" tires, they were on his girlfriends car. It happened in 2001 when she was living in Sherman Oaks with her parents.

AP: When did you get the phone call with the funny voice?

A: It was sometime before the divorce was finalized.

AP: Would you characterize your wife as a vindictive person?

A: Yes.

Soo Hoo is the next to cross Carradine.

Q: Did you personally call the phone company about the deadline? Did you call 611?

A: I believe I did.

Q: Did you have more than one line.

A: Just the one line.

Q: Did you ask the phone company for a trouble ticket or maintenance number?

A: No.

Q: How did you know the phone was fixed?

A: It started working again.

Chad Hummel's co-councel, Diane Quark (sp?) gets up to cross.

Q: Do you have a suit pending against Mr. Arneson?

(Unfortunately, I miss getting this answer.)

Q: Do you remember when you first learned you name had been run?

A: Soon after the Vanity Fair article came out.

And that's the end of cross. I don't have any notes on any redirect. A friend later tells me that Keith Carradine and Hayley DuMond are suing Pellicano, Sandra Will Carradine, Pacific Bell (now AT&T), Mark Arneson and the city of Los Angeles. I wonder how they could have a suit against the city of LA?

12:45 PM The next witness is Richard Campau, a former employee of Pellicano's detective agency. Saunders performs the direct examination.

Campau is a former employee of PIA (Pellicano Investigations Agency). He was employed from October 1998 through the end of August, 2001. His title was Administrative Assistant and Legal Assistant. His responsibility was to take care of files and assist Lily LeMasters. Campau states that he knew Ray Turner and that he saw him a couple of times a week during the entire time he worked at PIA. Pellicano and Turner met in the war room or Pellicano's office sometimes.

A floorplan of the office is put up and Campau identifies that his office was the room marked "H" on the diagram. Campau also identifies the room that was called the "War Room" on the diagram and does the same for a photograph of the same room.

Campau testifies that Pellicano and Turner were in the War Room together once every couple of weeks. Pellicano asked Campau to contact Turner two to three times a day. The page that would be sent to Turner was "444." When Turner called back, the call would be forwarded to Pellicano.

Campau states that sometimes, he handled records with phone numbers and on one occasion, he assisted Gaylin (?) in entering these numbers into the computer. Gaylin was out of the office and Pellicano asked him to enter the numbers into the computer.

Q: Were you aware of a phone closet outside in the hallway?

A: Yes.

Q: Was there concern that someone was accessing that phone closet?

A: Yes. Anthony was sometimes in the phone closet in the hall.

Campau states he was aware who the clients were. When asked if he knew of any clients who came into the office to listen to the tapes, Campau states that the only case where he can remember who came in to listen was a Jackie Coburn (? I do not know if I have that name correct, since nothing similar is on the witness list.) He saw her listening on headphones for a couple of weeks. She was listening to conversations at her residence. He knows that because "Anthony told me so. He asked me to have someone from the lab set up listening in his office (for her)."

At one point, Campau transcribed two phone calls concerning this case. Something about her chauffeur going out to the liquor store. Campau clarifies that the wiretaps were on her own phone at her residence.

Q: Do you know who the Nicherie's were? Do you know they were brothers?

A: (He knows) They once were in the office but he can't say he met both of them.

Campau identifies one of the defendants, Abner Nicherie.

Q: Did you come across a file called "Telesleuth?"

A: Yes. There was copyright information in it but it was from a long time ago.

Campau now identifies the defendant Kevin Kachikan. Campau knows that he designed the program and that he came to the lab and worked on the computers the entire time Campau worked there. Next, Campau identifies Mark Arneson, and states that Arneson came into the office a couple of times a week.

It's at this point I write in my notes that it seems to me like he's answering these questions as "matter of fact," sort of like, "of course, this is what happened." As if this was all "business as usual."

Arneson was paged similar to Turner, who was contacted several times a day. Arneson came into the office a couple of times a week. Campau states that employees saw DMV information, criminal history information (coming from the faxes). It was easy to tell that this information came from Arneson because his name was on them. The faxes came in daily.

At first, when those faxes came in, they would "cut off" the top portion of the fax and just put that report in the files. After he came to the company, the reports were reformatted eliminating the originator of the police or DMV computer files inquiry. Saunders has Campau identify a "typical" fax that came into the office. The fax he puts up on the overhead is one related to Anita Busch. (It was the stalking and death threats against Ms. Busch, a respected journalist that kicked off the FBI's Pellicano investigation back in 2002.) Next, Campau identifies what a "typical" reformatted document looked like that would be placed in the client files. This information was in most of the files. Sometimes, the original faxes would end up in the client files.

I observe Pellicano lean back in his chair while Campau is testifying about the daily office proceedures and how many files he saw: a couple hundred. Approximately 75% had information from police reports that were reformatted.

Campau was working at PIA during the John Gordon Jones case. After a conversation (Anthony had) with Karla Kerlin, Pellicano told them (the staff) to purge files. Any and all files with Mark Arneson's name in them. He was assigned this task and it took all day and then Pellicano said he didn't have to do that anymore.

Chad Hummel gets up to cross Campau.

Hummel asks about how timely the information that came by fax was reformatted. The typing might take three to four days for it to happen. It wasn't done very quickly. Campau is asked to identify a document called an "audit run" from May 29, 2002 and Campau states he's never seen it before. Hummel points out the fact that Anita Busch's name doesn't appear on that form, and Campau agrees that he can't find it. Campau testifies that he knew Arneson was a Sgt. with the LAPD but he never saw him bring anything into the office. Campau states that he didn't know the Beverly Hills police officer Craig Stevens.

Q: Did you ever suspect or learn that Anthony Pellicano was wiretapping any detective or DA's in the Jones case?

A: Yes.

Hummel asks Campau about his Grand Jury testimony, which appears to be different but Campau states that he doesn't remember saying that. Even when shown the transcript of the grand jury, he doesn't recall giving that testimony. He testifies today that he's sure Anthony did wiretap. In regards to the "big shred" day, he doesn't know if Arneson said anything to Pellicano on that day.

Soo Hoo now crosses Campau.

Q: Anthony Pellicano was concerned about security cameras, correct?

A: Yes.

Q: All files were kept in locked cabinets?

A: Yes.

Q: Mr. Turner didn't have access to the files did he?

A: No, he did not.

Campau testifies that it was office gossip that the phone lines in the office were also tapped.

Q: Turner never handed you pages of written numbers?

A: No.

Campau testifies that he was present when Wayne Reynolds would tell Pellicano that someone was in (or had accessed) the phone closet, and that happened about six times during his time at the company. Campau states that he did see Turner and Pellicano at the phone closet.

Q: You never saw Turner implement wiretaps or listening in on converstions with head phones?

A: No, I did not.

Now Pellicano gets up to cross his former employee. What is ensues is another round of Pellicano referring to himself in the third person, the witness trying to answer talking about Pellicano in the third person but many times just countering Pellicano's questions by addressing him back, directly.

AP: How do you get into the phone closet?

A: I have no idea.

AP: Was the phone closet locked?

A: I don't know that either.

Campau never tried to open the phone closet; he testifies, "You could see in the hall that the phone closet door was open."

If Lily (LeMasters) wasn't there, Campau made all the phone calls. That occurred about half a dozen times. Campau remembers that during his employment, approximately five to six times Wayne Reynolds went to Pellicano to notify him that someone was in the phone room and the light was on. Campano does remember that Pellicano did ask him to get Ray (Turner) on the phone one time. In his cross, Pellicano tries to pin Campau down as to the exact "day" this happened and Campau can't remember. I write in my notes at this point, "This is ridiculous."

Pellicano is now quizzing Campau about the War Room. Campau doesn't really remember what type or how many computers were in there. Pellicano seems to be taken back by this and is asking all these detailed questions about the equipment, work stations and whether or not Campau knows what different computers look like. Pellicano even has to ask the prosecution for one of their photos of the War Room, puts up the image and is badgering Campau with more questions about everything in there. It's totally crazy and I'm wondering if Pellicano is on some sort of self destructive cross examination here.

It's 1:45 PM and this cross just keeps going and going.

AP: Isn't it TRUE SIR, that you NEVER saw Mr. Pellicano in the War Room with Ray Turner?

A: No.

I could have sworn that the witness looked at Pellicano like he was crazy when he answered that last question. I can't believe this is going on for so long, or that the jury is staying awake. Now Pellicano is asking a question about Lily's typing skills and Campau says, "Lily couldn't type two words a minute," and many of the jurors break up over that comment. Campau goes onto add in a very serious tone, "I'm very close to Lily and I love her very much."

Pellicano gets Campau to admit that he never saw Pellicano hand anyone cash.

It's right after this note, that the gentleman sitting to my right leans over to ask me what blog I write for. I tell him, "Trials & Tribulations. Type that into Google with the word 'Sprocket' and my blog will come up." (Later, I ask Steven if he knows who this man is. Steven thinks he was at the Spector trial ~ I never noticed him ~ and that he might work for CNN. I don't even think to ask him myself who he is or writes for.)

Campano states that he doesn't have a visual image of Arneson being in the Lab with Pellicano. Pellicano asks one more quesiton, "How many cameras were there in the office?" and right after that, Judge Dale Fischer ends testimony for the day. The prosecution lists the potential witnesses for Tuesday, and Judge Fischer informs them that if there are any other witnesses besides the ones they listed, they had to make sure that information gets to Mr. Pellicano.

And that's it. I make my way back to the parking lot behind the Criminal Courts Building and head home.

I wanted to give a shout out and mention to someone very interesting who is attending the trial and covering it on their blog, and that's John Nazarian, a successful Private Investigator. I did not see if he was at the trial today, but I do recall seeing him when I first dropped in on this trial. I hope you stop by his blog and take a look at his coverage. It's very good. Nazarian is a celebrity in his own right with many articles written about his interesting career and the well known clients who have hired him.

Huffington Post at the Pellicano Trial Coverage by Allison Hope Werner

Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily