Monday, August 3, 2009

Cameron Brown Retrial: Day Three

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Morning Prosecution Witnesses:
#2, #3, #4 (collectively, Fiorella Miletich; Jacquine Martin; Marlene Quiram; all know the victim from her school, Christian Montasori School, in Costa Mesa; testimony complete)

Afternoon Prosecution Witnesses:

#5 Jeanie Herrera Saunders (teacher/administrator at Lauren's school; testimony complete)
#6 Deborah Jenkin (parking lot attendant at Abalone Cove; testimony complete)
#7 Saad Omar (witness who saw victim and defendant hiking on trails and at Portuguese Point; testimony incomplete)

I did not attend the morning session.

I missed the 12:38 train and I'm hoping that I'll just make it in side the courtroom before testimony starts. I get to the 9th floor in time to ask Susan Kim who the witnesses were in the morning session. She tells me that the testimony from Fiorella Miletich was read into the record. This was testimony from the first trial. The third witness was Jacquine Martin. The fourth witness was Marlene Quiram. She states that all knew the victim from the school she attended, Christian Montessori School, in Costa Mesa. She states that some of the witnesses worked for the school and some were parents. She doesn't know immediately which were witch.

When I get inside 107, I see that the mother, Sarah Key-Marer is still in the courtroom. Good for her that she is allowed to stay for the testimony of other witnesses. Personally, I would be shocked if Pastor excluded her. I don't see Brown's wife, Patty or the brother-in-law, Ted immediately. Ted arrives some time later, but I don't see him arrive. I notice that Lara Veretsian has her hair up on top of her head. I think it looks better that way, more professional. She's wearing a form-fitting short pale pink jacket and a gray skirt. Marer is wearing a black belted suit dress.

Pastor calls his court into session. Another witness is on the stand, and from where Hum is starting in his examination, it sounds to me like she was on the stand in the morning, too. The witness is Ms. Herrera Saunders, and she is under direct.

HS: Lauren seemed to be afraid of water.

The trip to England a week before she died is discussed and Lauren was gone from school. Saunders states that during that weeks' time, Lauren became more agitated, more nervous.

JP: After she came back or before she left?

HS: The (behavior) became (more) even before the trip. [...] Sarah was concerned about her emotional state. [...] Sarah continued to ask her to keep an eye on her child.

Saunders was responsible for the supervision of the pick-up and drop of of children at the school. The school was aware of who was allowed to pick up each child. Saunders states Sarah had asked her to check the file in relation to the biological father (picking up Lauren).

HS: There was a form in the file. Each day for when the biological father was to pick up Lauren. If there was no form, I would call Sarah to clarify.

Hum asks her if she would recognize Mr. Brown if she saw him.

HS: Possibly.

The witness identifies Brown for the record and states he is wearing a blue tie.

JP: Pointing to and identifying Cameron Brown, who's seated.

Saunders states she had seen the defendant pick up Lauren at the school on a number of occasions and she observed him pick her up on the last day of her life.

Brown appears to look back into the gallery area.

Saunders states that on all the prior occasions when the father picked up the child, he was with a woman, his wife Patty. She vaguely remembers what Patty looks like. (Patty is not in the courtroom to be identified.) Saunders states, "Except for the last day."

Hum asks the witness to describe Lauren's demeanor.

HS: When the defendant would come to pick up Lauren, she would be slower. Slower to get up. She appeared more solemn; she didn't run to the occasion.

CH: Specifically on November 8th, was Brown with the lady who had been with him on all the prior occasions?

HS: This time, I didn't see the woman.

Hum asks the witness to describe Lauren's demeanor.

HS: She was very, very nervous. She was very hard to calm down. She was whimpering during the day and wanted someone to call her mother.

CH: Was she crying?

HS: Yes. Off and on throughout the day. [...] It was more of a frantic ... she kept wanting to call her mom. [...] She didn't want to be on the playground. I was trying to console her.

CH: She kept asking for her mom?

HS: Yes. [...] She wanted to speak with her mom by phone.

The witness states that she did call Lauren's mother approximately at the noon hour. She called the mom and placed Lauren on the phone to mom. Lauren was next to the witness at the picnic tables.

HS: I don't recall the full conversation. I just remember her saying, "Mommy, mommy, mommy."

CH: Was Lauren on the phone when the defendant came to pick her up?

Hum asks how Lauren behaved when the defendant arrived.

HS: She would, she became more strong in stature and her face became a poker face.

CH: Was she still crying when the defendant came to pick her up?

HS: Yes. [...] Lauren looked at Cam directly and said that she was fine. [...] She remembered Mr. Brown said, (I missed the rest of the answer). [...] Her dad picked her up and held her to the front of him. Her head was over his shoulder.

CH: Did you see her face?

HS: Yes sir. [...] She starts to cry. [...] Lauren was still whimpering, crying. Her face; I remember the cries and with her right arm, she was reaching out to me.

The witness starts to break up on the stand. It's hard for me to listen to this. My eyes start to get moist exactly like they did when the mother was testifying about learning her daughter was dead. I dab at my eyes. Many many times, my friends that I have among the accredited press have told me that I cannot get emotionally involved in the story. That I have to step back, and not get emotionally involved. I know I've got a long road to go to get to that place if I continue to cover cases like this in the future.

JP: (To the witness) Do you need a moment?

HS: I'm fine your honor.

PH: Mr. Brown came (to the school). He actually picked her up and held her and walked away?

HS: Yes. [...] Yes. He had her and held her.

PH: Like a father who lovingly picked her up?

HS: I'm not going to judge. I have a different perspective. [...] It's my perspective, but I do not want to judge his motive.

There's something that Harris says, something about her prior testimony I believe, that she would not answer a question as to whether she thought he (the defendant) killed Lauren.

HS: Being present at the time and seeing different fathers, I don't want to judge his intentions.

Harris asks another question that I miss.

HS: In all honesty, I did not see all the love there.

PH: You want to be fair?

HS: I'm here in the best interest of Lauren.

PH: How long did you know Lauren?

HS: I knew Lauren for a couple of years, if my memory serves me correctly.

PH: She was a little girl who tried to please?

HS: She was a little girl who had a lot of love in her heart. [...] She tried to please.

The witness clarifies that she was like this just prior to the England trip.

The witness states she doesn't remember specifically the nine days before (Lauren died) but she does remember specifically the agitation.

There is a note here that I have as an answer to a question, but it doesn't make any sense. Not out of character where it compromised her activities in the courtroom (I think I meant to write classroom.).

HS: Sarah was always in contact with me.

PH: Do you have a specific memory of that week, of contacting Sarah?

HS: Not as specific as that question put to me.

PH: Do you know if she had long periods of crying?

HS: I can't recall.

PH: Lauren would not enter the pool?

HS: That's correct.

There's a question about swimming lessons.

PH: Lauren was particularly verbal?

HS: Her vocabulary was particularly developed. (I think she added that Lauren's speech was well framed; my note is not clear.)

PH: Never heard her say (negative) comments about her mother?

HS: No.

PH: Any comments about her going to jail?

HS: No.

PH: Or that she was a bad mother?

HS: No.

PH: Did you ever hear her say anything like, "I don't want to go live with my Papa Cameron?"

HS: No.

PH: She ever come to you with anything like that?

HS: No, not verbally.

PH: She adored her mother?

HS: Yes.

PH: She would run to her mother?

HS: Yes.

I see the bailiff get up to speak to Ted. I don't see what precipitated the bailiff getting up. Ted leaves the courtroom.

PH: You described her as a child who was not an adventurous child?

HS: Yes.

There's a question about the jungle gym. She didn't play on it.

PH: She wasn't a tomboy?

HS: No. She was more docile. [...] I remember her mainly with the girls.

Cross is finished. Hum gets up to redirect.

CH: When the defendant picked her up, where was she?

HS: On the playground.

CH: And where did they head? (defendant and Lauren)

HS: Towards the classroom.

CH: And you couldn't see them after that?

HS: Correct.

This witness is finished and a new witness is called. I'm surprised at how quickly they are going through witnesses.

Deborah Jenkin. Pastor instructs her like he has done all the prior witnesses.

JP: Please wait until you hear the entire question. Please don't speak over each other.

Jenkin states that she works for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as a special education assistant. She's worked in that position since 2001, eight years. Before that she states that she worked for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes as a recreation leader. She would staff different parks. Worked occasionally at City Hall. She would staff outings. She mentions the different parks that she worked at. Abalone Cove (it's pronounced Ab-a-lone-ey) where you could go to the beach and play in the water coves (and tide pools).

Back in November, 2000, she was a parking attendant at Abalone Cove parking lot and she collected the parking fees. She's asked the number of hours she was there on November 8th, 2000. At first she says, "11 am until 4:30." Then she apologizes and says, "We opened at 9 am."

CH: On November 9th, were you working at the booth and taking money?

The witness describes the parking lot and where it's located. It's adjacent to Palso Verdes Drive South.

It wasn't easy understanding the description of the parking lot, the surrounding areas and the trails over the embankment. What really helped me to understand the terrain, was when I got home I went to Google, and typed in Abalone Cove, California. When the map came up I clicked on it and switched to satellite view then zoomed in. Everything this witness described then became crystal clear to me. You can see the parking lot. You can see where the tide pools are and make out the nursery school and playground. You can see the trails, Portuguese Point (that looks like a rectangular square) and Inspiration Point, slightly to the east of it with the beach area between the two points.

The witness states that from LAX to San Pedro on Palos Verdes South to get into the parking area. Then, you have to get into the right lane. The road goes into a slight decline down hill. About twenty feet after that you pay at the booth. The gate is raised after you pay the fee. Jenkin states that after you enter the parking lot, there is parking to the left, right and right in front of the booth. When you enter the lot, the booth is on the driver's left.

There is a park like grassy area with picnic tables and there is a fence, about waist high around the parking lot along the edge of the bluff. The parking lot is at the top of the bluff, near Palos Verdes Drive South.

DJ: The main trail ends up at the tide pools. [...] There is a nursery school and playground at the beach.

At a corner edge of the parking lot, there is a break in the fence and this is the trail head. This is in the direction of San Pedro.

DJ: Further down the road (Palos Verdes), there is a driveway. It's a private road that leads down to the nursery school. The road has a gate that is locked. [...] There are no other structures in the parking lot. [...] There is a pay phone there. [...] To leave the parking lot, there is a spike strip, so you cannot exit the parking lot via the entrance. You exit via another area of the lot.

The witness states that if someone entered the lot, then exited to the left, she could not see them (exit). At that time of day, that lot, it wasn't very busy. Jenkin estimates that on that day there were maybe a total of ten cars in the lot all day. She closed the gate at 4:30 pm.

Jenkin states she saw a car that caught her attention. A little girl was in the front seat. She didn't have a seat belt on and she wasn't sitting in a car seat.

DJ: I focused on her. She was sitting very still. She focused on me. It was very peculiar.

She doesn't remember the car exactly. She does state that it was a beat up, white and grayish vehicle. It was not all one color. There was a luggage rack with a surfboard on top.

DJ: (The little girl) She was sitting very still. She moved only her head and focused on me.

CH: What was it about it (the situation?) that caused you to notice her.

DJ: Most kids who come to the beach...

The witness describes how the kids she usually sees are excited to go to the beach. They are upbeat; more animated. She also states, "They (the defendant and Lauren) looked so totally different. [...] The child was well kept. She was well dressed and neat; not the man. He looked disheveled, wild. [...] To me, it looked really weird, like a kidnapping. [...] She had eye contact with me the whole time."

Jenkin describes what she did when they arrived. At the time the defendant's vehicle drove up, she was on the phone. She collected the money and gave him a mat to the tide pools. He drove off to the left and he went to the left. Jenkin thought that was odd. She went outside the booth to see where they had parked. Usually, most people with children would park near where the trail head begins, but he parked near the booth.

CH: Later, did she notice sirens?

DJ: At first, I didn't think about it. [...] There were an enormous amount of sirens. [...] Then helicopters. [...] I called City Hall. [...] They gave me a call back later and told her a child had fallen off the cliff.

Hum puts photos up on the bulletin board. This is people's #4, with photos A through F.

These are small photos and I'm frustrated that they are put in front of the jurors and not up on the overhead screen. I'm wondering why they didn't enlarge them, or just take them off the poster board and pass them to the jurors. I can't see the photos well at all. There are various photos of the parking booth area.

Whenever photos are placed in front of the jury like this, Pastor leaves the bench and sits over in the very end of the jury box on the ledge so he can see exactly what the jury is seeing. The defense attorney's are crouched down in front. The witness is standing on one side of the display in front of the jurors, and the prosecutor Hum, is standing on the other side, nearest the gallery. Pastor reminds the witness to speak up, since his court reporter is on the other side of this bulletin board.

The witness verifies what all the photos are depicting. Photo A is of the guard shack. Photo B is of the opening in the fence to go down to the trail. Photo C is a close up of the trail head with the sign there. Photo D is a downward shot towards the playground. Photo E is a downward shot towards the nursery school. Photo F is another view downward toward the tide pools.

This is the end of her direct testimony and Harris gets up to cross.

PH: It's your testimony that this girl looked at you and she looked scared? [...] During your first interview, you never testified that she looked scared.

DJ: I said she looked uncomfortable.

PH: Never mentioned before that she looked scared. [...] Before you testified that she looked like she had just woken up. [...] You later learned that she had just rode in from Orange County? [...] In your prior testimony interview, you never testified that she wasn't wearing a seat belt. [...]

DJ: She didn't have a car seat or seat belt.

PH: You never testified before that she never wore a seat belt?

(I'm not positive, but I believe the witness answered "Correct."

PH: Could you please read what's on the sign (in one of the photos from the people's exhibit)?

DJ: Caution. Hazardous area. Please stay on the path.

Harris has her to try to guess the width of the path.

DJ: Four feet wide I'm guessing. It narrows in some spots.

Harris is motioning all over the photographs. There's no clarification and Hum asks for it as to where Harris is indicating in the photos. The witness would not comment to the length of the trail.

PH: She wasn't crying or wailing?

DJ: No. She was very quiet.

Harris brings up other areas where people park. The church, where they can park free, or on the street at Palos Verdes Drive South.

PH: Just because there were only ten cars in the lot doesn't mean there were only ten cars in the area?

That's the end of the cross and Hum steps up to redirect. He goes over where the tide pools are.

2:45 pm: The afternoon break is called. Ted and Pat Harris leave the courtroom together. I introduce myself to DDA Craig Hum and get the full name of the prior witness: Jeanie Herrera Saunders. A maintenance man comes to work on something at Judge Pastor's bench. It looks like he's working on his chair. Pat Harris and Detective Leslie pleasantly chat. Brown goes back into the holding cell area during the break. One of the things I noticed when I came in the afternoon but forgot to write down until now is that there is one less juror in the jury box. They evidently excused juror #9 and replaced him with one of the alternates. It's a much older white man with graying/whitish hair. I think this was for the best. I wasn't too impressed with the college student not clarifying his obligations to the attorneys during voir dire. Pastor even commented on in the other day to the juror.

After the break, Hum continues with his redirect of his witness. The witness clarifies which direction the tide pools are and relationship directions.

Jenkin's testimony is finished and she is excused with the standard admonishment.

The next witness called is "Sam Omar." Pastor's clerk was indisposed with something so to speed things along, Pastor swears in the witness himself. Two individuals come into the courtroom from another case and sit in the back. Pastor addresses them and kicks them out of the courtroom. He tells them if they are sitting on another case, they shouldn't be coming into his courtroom to listen to another case. I note that Pastor is very direct and forceful in his demeanor. In Fidler's courtroom, I've seen him get very irate with noisy spectators. Often, Fidler would just give his bailiff a look, and the bailiff would take care of it.

The witness clarifies that his name is spelled Saad Omar, and that sometimes goes by the name of Sam. I'm not positive, but I think Hum asks this witness his age, since I have written down "46."

Omar states that he has one child, a boy who is 18 years old. He's divorced. Back in November, 2000 he was living in Long Beach. Before that he was living in Redondo Beach. He worked in Laguna Beach. He owned a coffee house. He owned the business in November, 2000. Omar states that he had a regular day that he would take off at the coffee house. That day was Wednesday.

CH: Are you familiar with a place called Portuguese Point?

SO: Yes. [...] I would go there one to two times a month. [...] On his days off, Wednesday, he would go there.

CH: Why go there?

SO: It's a quiet place and I like to read there. [...] I've gone there for (about) ten years.

CH: Have you ever seen children hiking trails up to Inspiration Point or Portuguese Point?

SO: No, I haven't.

November 8th, 2000 was a regular day off for him. He went to Portuguese Point off of Palos Verdes Road South. He drove from his home in Redondo and parked in the Abalone Cove lot and paid to park. He then went to the hiking trail to the beach off of the parking lot. There's a playground (that you reach) first.

Unfinished unedited entry. Will finish tomorrow.

Updated on August 3rd, 2009

If you face the playground, the direction Omar went to was to the left, towards San Pedro. The first landmark is Portuguese Point. Omar states he got to the parking lot around 1 pm in the afternoon. He walked down the beach to the end. Then there's a small park area and then a paved road that goes to Portuguese Point.

SO: It was very clear, nice weather, but not cloudy at all.

The witness describes Portuguese Point. The cliff area is about 120 feet above the beach area. There is fencing all around the point. There is a dirt track (path) on the inside of the fencing. It's a flat wide area.

CH: Is it about the size of a football field?

SO: Yes.

Omar went out onto the point with the intention of reading a book. The cliffs stop you from walking on the beach to the left (at the bottom of the point). There's a paved road that goes up to Portuguese Point right from the beach level. It curves a few times. Portuguese Point is a fenced in, flat safe area.

Omar climbed the paved road to the top of Portuguese Point.

SO: It starts as a steep road, then it's milder then steep again as it curves to the point.

CH: When you were at the top, did you look in a particular direction?

The witness states that he looked west, towards LAX, or, basically back towards the parking lot from where he came from.

I just want to add here that this section of the California coastline doesn't face west as one might naturally think. The coastline faces south. It can be confusing, but Portuguese Point is to the west of Inspiration Point, and LAX is further west. San Pedro is to the east of Inspiration Point.

When Omar looked west, he saw a man with a little child behind him. He saw them on a trail on the cliff embankment somewhere between him and the parking lot. They were not on the paved road (yet). They were on a dirt trial. As they were on the dirt trial, the man was in front and the child was approximately five to six feet behind the man.

Hum has the witness visually show the distance by walking towards the witness. The witness tells Hum to stop when he reaches the approximate distance between him that he saw the little girl trailing behind the man.

CH: You watched them, why?

SO: Because it was unusual to see any kids.

The witness observed the man and child go up the paved road. The trail intersected the paved road about half-way up the cliff.

SO: The man was always in front of the child.

Omar observed the pair turn up, to go towards Portuguese Point.

SO: I saw them go up the paved road; the man was in front. They were closer to where... [...] I turned away for about 30 seconds. [...] The man was always in front and the child was always in back. [...] The man got up to Portuguese Point and stopped at an area close to me about six feet away. [...] The child also stopped and eventually caught up to the man.

The witness identifies Cameron Brown. Judge Pastor states for the record that the witness is pointing to the defendant.

CH: Does the defendant look different than what he did at the time?

SO: Yes.

The people introduce exhibit #15, a facial photo of Brown taken (I later learn) on November 8th, 2000. He has a partial beard and a mustache. He's much more muscular looking, even in just the photo of his head and chest area. Hum displays the large photo to the jurors.

CH: From the time you first saw the man and the little girl until they were (out of your view) did you ever see the little girl running?

SO: No.

CH: Did you ever see her throwing rocks?

SO: No.

The witness states that the defendant looked around the area of Portuguese Point, then looked towards Inspiration Point.

CH: That was toward San Pedro?

(I believe the witness answers yes.) Hum asks how the little girl looked.

SO: She looked tired; subdued.

CH: Did she appear to be having fun?

SO: No.

CH: Was she laughing?

SO: No.

CH: Was she talking?

SO: No.

CH: Did the defendant say anything to the little girl at all?

SO: No.

Omar states that the defendant started walking on a small dirt road that goes from Portuguese Point to Inspiration Point. The witness was on the LAX side of Portuguese Point. Brown walked to the other side from the LAX side to the Inspiration Point side.

CH: Was the defendant in front and the little girl followed him?

(From what I'm remembering of testimony, I believe the witness answers yes.)

SO: I saw him reach the other side (of Portuguese Point) and the little girl behind him.

CH: Did you hear any conversation at all?

SO: No.

Once the defendant and the little girl got to the Inspiration Point side of Portuguese Point, the witness states he then walked to the furthest end of Portuguese Point.

SO: I usually go up to the fence. There is a tree there. I climb over the fence and sit under a tree.

CH: Afterwords, did you see the defendant or the little girl anymore?

SO: No.

Sarah Key-Marer happens to be sitting about two feet away from me to my left. She's silently sobbing.

The witness states that when he's sitting under this tree, he can't see the edge end of Inspiration Point. Around 2 pm, Omar states he heard a sound, like a little girl, screaming. It came from behind him, further away, on the Inspiration Point side.

SO: I got up to see where it came from. (When he didn't see anything...) [...] I thought it was a bird and sat back down to read.

There is a beach area between him and Inspiration Point (120 feet below). Omar states that he couldn't see that area from where he was sitting. Later, helicopters were flying by all over. Later in the evening, on the news he saw what happened.

SO: I called the police the next day.

CH: Why?

SO: Based on what I saw, because (unfortunately I miss getting the rest of the answer).

He met the police at Portuguese Point and pointed out to police where he saw the defendant and Lauren hiking. He also went out to the site a few years later with Detective Leslie and DDA Craig Hum. When he first went out with police, it was a week later (after the incident). The police took photos while they were there.

CH: When you spoke to police, did the police tell you what to say? (

SO: No.

CH: Did they tell you who was in front or in back?

SO: No.

CH: Did they tell you what the man said?

SO: No.

CH: Did you ever see her in front of the defendant?

SO: No.

CH: Did you ever see the little girl in front or throwing rocks?

SO: No.

Now Hum goes over a series of photographs taken at both visits to Portuguese Point.

CH: Did you direct Detective Leslie and myself as to the exact places you saw the man and the little girl?


The people put up a photo of Portuguese Point. This is people's #5. Hum puts the photos up on a tripod directly in front of the jury. Pastor leaves the bench and sits on a the ledge edge of the jury box.

The witness identifies several areas on the photos. All the areas that Omar previously described while sitting on the stand. He points out the first spot he saw the man and the little girl in the photograph, the point where he saw the man and the little girl on the paved road, and the tree that he sat under. Then a photo is put up on the overhead screen and Hum points to a spot on a photograph where the witness had described in a prior proceeding seeing the man and the little girl six feet from him on Portuguese Point.

Another photo is put up on the easel that shows the paved road from the beach to the top of Portuguese Point. Brown and his co-counsel Lara, whisper about the photo still up on the overhead screen.

In all of these photos the witnesses verifies that marks placed on these photos ("SO" for this witness) in a prior proceeding are the same areas that he was talking about in his testimony previously.

People's #7, a group of four photographs are on a poster board and placed before the jury. These are all photos of Portuguese Point. Photo A: Photo of Omar pointing to where he first saw the man and the little girl. Omar identifies the area where he first saw the defendant and the little girl. Photo B: Paved road. Photo C: Of Omar; points out area where he last saw defendant and little girl on the Inspiration Point side of Portuguese Point. Photo D: Point of where Omar saw them when the defendant first approached him (on top of Portuguese Point).

People's #8, a group of three photographs. These photographs all depict the area between Portuguese Point and Abalone Cove parking lot. People are standing in the photo to depict where the witness first saw the defendant and the little girl on the dirt road/path. Second photo where Omar saw them at to top of Portuguese Point and third photo where the paved road meets Portuguese Point.

Another aerial photo, people's #82, back up on the overhead screen.

When the witness heard a girl scream he was on the LAX side of Portuguese Point and not on the Inspiration Point side. I note that from this photograph, one can clearly see how the witness could not see Inspiration Point.

CH: Had you ever been on Inspiration Point?

SO: I tried once, at one point it's very narrow and very scary.

CH: Had you ever seen a child at any point on Inspiration Point?

SO: No.

Direct ends and Harris asks for a sidebar. I note there are about seven minutes left in the court day.

Harri's first questions are about his interviews with police and Hum and that he gave no other interview between that time. Harris brings up to the witness that he was contacted by a defense investigator (and that he refused to talk to him).

SO: I said if I was required to, I would.

PH: Unless you were required to, you didn't want to cooperate? [...] Mr. Hum asked you, "Did anyone pressure you to say the little girl was behind the man?" At the time, did they ask; (did they) tell you that time there was a witness who had said they had seen the little girl in front throw rocks?

SO: No.

Harris asks Omar about where he lives and works.

PH: Do you know of any area in Redondo Beach or Hermosa Beach where there are cliffs? [...] You know the area pretty well?

SO: Yes.

PH: Are those the first cliffs?

SO: No. Ciffs at Palos Verdes (are) first but you can't walk on the beach at those cliffs.

The witness states he's only been out to Inspiration Point once.

PH: You can see Inspiration Point from Portuguese Point?

Harris asks many questions about what can be seen of Inspiration Point from Portuguese Point, that you can see the flat areas of Inspiration Point from; that can be seen from Portuguese Point.

The witness states that the one time he went to Inspiration Point, he walked 1/2 way to narrow path. He didn't make it all the way there (at the end). Omar states one can't see the San Pedro side of Inspiration Point as well from Portuguese Point.

At the LAX side of Portuguese Point you can't see Inspiration Point. But from the San Pedro side of Portuguese Point, you can see the LAX side of Inspiration Point. In between both points there is a cove, Sacred cove. The witness agrees (or states) one cannot get from Abalone Cove beach area to Sacred Cove.

SO: The cliffs go directly into the ocean.

The witness states he's never seen kids on Portuguese Point.

PH: Are you aware that they take walks, hikes from Abalone Cover to Sacred Cove?

(I'm not positive, but I believe the witness either states he's not aware of that or he's never seen kids on hikes.)

PH: If someone took a hike from Abalone Cove to Sacred Cove they would have to go over Portuguese Point?

SO: I believe the road starts from the beach. You can bypass the Portuguese Point.

(I have a last note that is not clear as to whether it was a question or answer, but I'm leaning towards an answer.) And that would bypass and go onto Pacific Palisades.

Court is over for the day. I don't believe cross is finished. Pastor orders the jury back at 9:15 am tomorrow and 9 am for the witness. Pastor is asked to order two witnesses back for tomorrow. Mr. James Witherau (sp?) for 10 am tomorrow and a Mr. Barber at 1:30 pm in the afternoon. Counsel is ordered back by 8:45 am. Judge Pastor asks to see counsel off the record for a moment.


The Acquaintance said...

Interesting to hear about Ted Kaldis apparently being asked to leave the courtroom. Would appreciate any additional details that might be provided in that regard and whether Ted returns.

Summer's Mom said...

Hope the jury appreciates the importance of Mr. Omar's testimony here- he heard a child scream, stood up to look around, HEARD NOTHING ELSE (like a parent screaming "No!" or "Help!), concluded that he must have heard a bird since there was no follow-up to the scream, and sat back down to read. It's like the old "what's wrong with this picture?" game- there were no cries of "Help" afterwards, and that's what's wrong.