Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stephanie Lazarus Trial: Witness List

Prosecution Case-In-Chief

Day 1
1. TERESA LANE (Younger sister of Sherri Rae Rasmussen; spent part of the prior day, Sunday with Rasmussen.)
2. GREGORY TELIAN (Retired LAFD, firefighter-paramedic; responded to the scene. Pronounced Rasmussen dead.)
3. RODNEY FORREST (Retired LAPD, first uniformed officer on the scene; secured the scene.)
4. ANASTASIA VOLANAITAS (Neighbor of Rasmussens; went for morning walk with husband and noticed Rasmussen's garage door open; gardner's brought to her Rasmussen's purse.)
5. STEVE HOOKS (Retired LAPD, partner to lead detective Lyle Mayer who investigated in 1986.)

Day 2

Day 3
7. JOE A. MURILLO (Retired Coroner's office, property room employee; duties were to intake, log, store and release evidence; also collected and stored clothing from drying room.)
8.LLOYD MAHANEY (Coroner's investigator/criminalist who collected the bite mark swab, deceased; preliminary hearing testimony read into the record by DDA James Garrison.)
9. JANE RODRIGUEZ (LAPD, Questions Document Examiner; determines authinticity, source of questioned documents; examined the bite mark swab original envelope and the swab tube under special equipment and ultraviolet lights to read faded ink/writing on these items.)
10. RICHARD JAMES HEATH (Coroner's Office property room employee; collected, stored and released evidence in this case.)
11. CARLOS CELAYA (LA Co. Deputy Sheriff; in 1986 Deputy Coroner, employed at coroner's office as a photographer; photographed Rasmussen's body at coroner's office clothed and unclothed; recovered a bullet in clothing before autopsy.)
12. DR. SUSAN SELSER (LA Co. Deputy Coroner; performed Rasmussen autopsy.)

Day 4 Day 4, Part II #13 WILLIAM MOORE (LAPD criminalist who collected evidence from the stolen BMW)
#14 LEONA THOMAS (Retired LAPD traffic officer who located and recovered Sherri Rasmussen's BMW)
#15 ALICIA RAMIREZ (Coroner's Office evidence room custodian in December 2004, who found the bite mark swab envelope after searching two days)
#16 JACKIE GARCIA PARTIDA (Coroner's Office evidence room custodian, worked in the property/evidence room in December 2004 with Alicia Ramirez)
#17 DAN ANDERSON (LA County Deputy Coroner, supervising criminalist who requested the evidence/property department do a search for the bite mark swab and when it was found, repackaged the envelope for delivery to LAPD)
#18 ROBERTO MORALES (LAPD Detective, in 2009 worked Internal Affairs Dept., on undercover investigations, collected the cup Lazarus discarded and another in the trash and placed them in a manila envelope)
#19 DANTE PALACIO (LAPD Internal Affairs Dept., on undercover investigations, provided the envelope for the two cups that Morales collected; took possession of the envelope and closed it with the metal clasp)
#20 SARGENT JIM HENSELY (LAPD Internal Affairs surveillance officer, took possession of the envelope from Palacio and delivered it to a supervisor at the LAPD crime lab, Mr. Yamaguchi)
#21 JENNIFER FRANCIS (LAPD SID Serology Lab DNA analyst who performed DNA analysis tests on several blood sample items at the scene and the bite mark swab; did the initial DNA testing to get a profile from the bite mark swab; made the comparison between the bite mark swab and DNA collected from Lazarus in June 2009)

Day 5 Day 5, Part II
#21 JENNIVER FRANCIS (testimony continues)
#22 MARIA TOMES (LAPD Robbery-Homicide, present in interview room when DNA swab was taken from Lazarus after her arrest in June 2009.)
#23 NAND HART NBBRIG (LAPD criminalist, SID Division, obtained DNA swab from Lazarus as well as head hair samples after her arrest in June 2009.)
#24 MICHAEL MASTROCOVO (LAPD SID DNA Analyst who compared the DNA from the bite mark swab collected in 1986 to the DNA surreptitiously collected from Lazarus in 2009.)

Day 6
#25 CATHY LAW, DDS (Consulting Forensic Dentist to LA Co. Coroner's Office who reviewed the plaster casts made of the bite mark on Rasmussen's arm; unable to make a comparison to Lazarus dental cast taken of her teeth.)
#26 MILENA SRBOVA (LAPD SID, Serology Unit employee who picked up the bite mark swab from LA Co. Coroner's Office and booked it into evidence in the LAPD Serology Dept.)
#27 STACY VANDERSCHAAF (LAPD SID DNA Analyst who packaged various evidence items for shipment to an outside lab, SERI for analysis and comparison.)

Day 7 and Day 7 Part II and Day 7 Part III
#28 MIKE HARGREAVES (Retired LAPD Detective, was a roommate of Lazarus for two years; remembers an event where Lazarus became emotional when she learned Ruetten was getting married; testified that Lazarus told him she lost her back-up weapon in her fanny pack a few days prior, and asked what she should do)
#29 GAIL LOPES (Older sister of John Ruetten, found a letter from Lazarus to her late mother in her mother's belongings; in the letter Lazarus stated she did not "understand John's decision" to marry someone else)
#30 JOHN RUETTEN (Husband to victim Rasmussen; found her murdered in their town home; had a sexual relationship with Lazarus before he started dating Rasmussen; slept with Lazarus once while engaged to Rasmussen; contacted Lazarus years after the murder and met up with her in Hawaii in 1989 where he informed Lazarus he gave her name to police; had sex with with Lazarus two more times after the Hawaii meeting.)

Day8 and Day 8, Part II
#31 DAVE NEUMAN (Met Lazarus and Ruetten at UCLA; lived in Dykstra Hall; was Ruetten's roommate for one year at Dykstra and one year off campus; remained friends with Ruetten after college; defendant told him her feelings for Ruetten at UCLA; attended Ruetten's marriage and saw they were happy newlyweds; did not know of Ruetten's sexual relationship with Lazarus.)
#32 MIKE GORDER (Friend of Ruetten, met him in 7th grade and was a classmate from there throughout college; they played basketball together; both engineering majors at UCLA; observed relationship of Ruetten and Lazarus through college; played a role in Ruetten and Rasmussen meeting; attended Ruetten's wedding and observed them to be a happy, loving couple; saw the couple on Feb 15th, nine days before the murder at his sister's wedding; knew Lazarus was friendly with Ruetten's family; did not know of the sexual relationship between Lazarus and Ruetten.)
#33 KEVIN BECKER (LAPD officer who participated in the search of Lazarus' home and found a foot locker in an office closet; found the "journal" and photo of Lazarus with Ruetten.)
#34 DETECTIVE GREGORY STEARNS (LAPD Robbery/Homicide Detective, Homicide Special Division; received the case on May 29, 2009 and worked the case with his partner JARAMILLO; interviewed Lazarus at the Parker Center Jail on June 5th, 2009; initiated the search of Lazarus' residence and office locker; testified about the entries in Lazarus' journal, a daily planner, her work record and what days she had off; testified about photos, weapons and ammunition recovered in the search of her home and locker.)
#35 JAYNE WEAVER (Retired LAPD officer who met defendant in CPS program before LAPD academy and remained friends after; both assigned to Devonshire Division; defendant showed her tools she identified as a lock-picking kit in the women's locker room and that she knew how to use the tools (time frame unknown); reviewed work records of Lazarus and herself days after the murder; stated she cares about Lazarus.)

Day 9
#36 GEORGE HERRARA (LAPD criminalist and latent fingerprint analyst for 38 years; explains difference between a latent print and patent print and how they are collected and documented on records; explains how prints are analyzed and comparisons are made; analyzed prints collected at the crime scene.)
#37 DONALD BARONA (Former sales manager for LAPRAC (Los Angels Police Revolver & Athletic Club) in 2009 where the club operated a gun store; the store only sold weapons to officers; testifies about required ATF records that document Lazarus' purchase of firearms; Lazarus purchased a Smith & Wesson Model 49, 38 caliber on February 29th, 1984.)
#38 ELAINE SENA BROWN (Retired Community Service Officer for the Santa Monica Police; took a stolen property from a vehicle report from a Stephanie Ilene Lazarus on March 9th, 1986, 13 days after the murder and two days after the vehicle was found; Lazarus reported the door lock was "punched", a gym bag, clothing, cassettes and money was stolen, as well as her S&W Model 49 from the glove compartment.)
#39 STEVEN RODGERS (Product Services Representative for Federal Cartridge, an ammunition manufacturer; testified about a bullet assembly machine #21, that has been in use since World War II; testified the bullets recovered from Rasmussen's body, evidence items 42A and 42B, the "jacket crimp" exhibited an exact match to bullets manufactured by Federal, the 38J Plus P 125g (gram) bullet; these bullets were at one time exclusively sold to LAPD but it is unknown when they became available to the general public.)
#40 WONKEUN CHOI (LAPD forensic computer examiner, who examined several computers seized at the Lazarus residence on June 5th, 2009; located several Internet searches for John Ruetten on the computers in 1998 and 1999.)
#41 DETECTIVE DAN JARAMILLO (LAPD Robbery/Homicide Detective; Homicide Special Division; assigned the case in May 29th, 2009 with his partner, STEARNS; testified about the distances from Lazarus home and work to the crime scene and Rasmussen's office; obtained a certified copy of Rasmussen's marriage certificate; introduces the video taped interview of Lazarus; he was wired with a recording device and there was a video recording in the interview room in the Parker Center jail area)

DAY 10
#42 BRIAN MCCARTEN* (LAPD officer who went through the LAPD academy with Lazarus; explained the rigorous training such as "combat wrestling" and "gun retention drills" which involves trying to take a weapon away from one's opponent; testified Lazarus was "the strongest, most aggressive, most persistent woman in all the class"; testified that he trained with all the women in the class and still considers Lazarus a friend.) *Potential witness list has spelling as McCarten; I have it as McCartin in my notes.)
#43 THOMAS FEDOR (Independent labratory, SERI DNA Analyst who performed additional, more sophisticated testing using "MiniFiler" on many pieces of evidence collected at the crime scene. Testified that the bite mark swab was a 1 in 1.7 sextillion match to Lazarus' DNA; one torn fingernail collected by LAPD criminalists had a 1 in 9,000 match and the other torn fingernail had a 1 in 26,000 match to Lazarus' DNA.)

Day 11
(Retired LAPD SID firearms examiner and explosives expert criminalist; verifies the LAPD documentation procedures and protocols for firearms issued to field officers in 1986 as well as the type of ammunition that was required officers carry; testifies about the barrel length of a S&W Model 49 and the similarities to a S&W Model 38; performed the trajectory analysis at the scene in 1986; cut out the carpeting and padding in Unit 205 under where Rasmussen's body was found looking for the third bullet; unable to find it; testifies about the barrel cylinder gap GSR, the various bullet holes and stippling found on the robe/blanket garment.)
#45 GILBERT AGUILAR (LAPD SID latent fingerprint criminalist; collected latent prints at the scene and performed analysis on several of the recovered latent prints;

DAY 12
#46 MICHAEL AMES (LAPD SID latent fingerprint criminalist; collected latent prints at the scene on February 25th, 1986 and performed the "ninhydren" (sp?) test on wall surfaces; collected prints off the recovered BMW; performed analysis on several recovered prints.)
#47 CHERYLE MASSARO (sp?) (Custodian of Records at California Depart of Firearms; verified when Lazarus purchased the S&W Model 49 and when it was reported stolen by Santa Monica Police Dept and not LAPD; verified that the weapon had not been reported recovered in all 50 states since Feb. 18th, 2012.)
#48 DR. CONNIE WESTHOFF (Former Red Cross blood bank director; identified Rasmussen's blood as having a rare Type O variant of O01/O09; initiated the test series to run a genetic analysis of Rasmussen's blood, compared it to her parents and interpreted the results.)
#49 MOSES SCHANFIELD (Professor of Forensic Science and Anthropology at Columbian College Arts & Sciences; testified that Rasmussen's Type O variant blood would give ambiguous results under the ABO type testing; it could easily test as Type O, weak Type A or a combination of Type O and Type A.)
#50 WENDY HALL (LAPD SID latent print criminalist; analyzed prints collected at the scene; input two unidentified prints into AFIS; no prints matched the defendant.)
#51 DANIEL RUBIN (LAPD SID firearms expert criminalist; testified the "jacket crimp" on the 42A and 42B bullets recovered by the coroner were a match to the jacket crimp on Federal 38J Plus P 125.grains cartridges; traveled with STEARNS and DDA Presby to the Federal plant to inspect machine that makes the jacket crimp on Federal cartridges; performed a new trajectory analysis of the shots fired through the curtain at the scene.)

DAY 13 and DAY 13, PART II
#52 MARK SAFARIK (Executive Director of Forensic Behavioral Services; reviewed the 1986 case file and 2009 investigation; reviewed new testing done in 2010 and visited the crime scene; came to a conclusion and gave an opinion that the scene was staged to look like an interrupted burglary; testified about the possible sequence of events reflected in the evidence regarding Rasmussen’s fight for her life with her attacker and ultimate death.)
#53 STEVEN DOWELL (Retired LA County Coroner’s tool marks examiner; performed analysis on the pattern mark injuries on Rasmussen’s face and head comparing them to a S&W Model 49 and the broken vase; a wound to the right side and above Rasmussen’s right eye could easily have been from the muzzle end of the Model 49; that wound and other wounds on Rasmussen’s face and head could also have been caused by the various contours of the broken vase; Dowell could not say definitively what object caused the pattern mark wounds.)

Defense Case-in-Chief

Day 14 and Day 14, Part II
#1 EVANGALINA FLORES (Evangelina?) (Housekeeper for Unit 206 next door to the crime scene who heard noises that sounded like fighting; told detectives in 1986 she heard these noises about 12:30; told detectives in 2009 it was about 11:20 AM.) *Potential witness list has spelling as Evangalina; I have it as Evangelina in my notes.)
#2 SUZANNE WINSTON MENDOZA (Cousin to defendant; known Lazarus all her life and close to her when they were younger; testified she can not imagine her cousin ever being violent.)
#3 ROBERT KIRK (Retired LAPD Officer who occasionally went to dinner at Lazarus' home off Rinaldi in 1986 when on work dinner break; could not recall seeing photographs at Lazarus' condo; doesn't remember meeting Lazarus at a doughnut shop with another officer, John Ross.)
#4 MICHAEL ALEXANDER (Retired LAPD Officer; rode patrol with Lazarus in 1986 in the same car at Devonshire Division on February 25th, 1986 and February 27th, 1986; does not remember any injuries on Lazarus.)
#5 GORDON WADE (LAPD Officer; testified about cleaning out lockers in Internal Affairs Division two years prior to her arrest; a weapon, uniforms and ammunition was inside the locker.)
#C1*JEFFREY ALDEN THOMPSON (LAPD SID Acting Assistant Director overseeing the serology lab for three years; reviewed old ASCLD/LAB reports and testified as to what the findings were in regards to deficiencies in lab procedure in 1998, 2004 and 2009.)
#6 PATRICIA FANT (Former LA Co. Sheriff and independent firearms examiner; could not definitively say the bullets recovered by the coroner were Federal issue; for the trajectory analysis, could not definitively say the hole in the drain pipe across the alley was a bullet hole to use for the trajectory of one of the fired rounds; testified abut the barrel cylinder gap on the blanket/garment.)

Day 15, and Day 15 Part II and Day 15 Part III
#7 CARL OLSON (Santa Monica Police Department Custodian of Records; testified about property thefts from automobiles in Santa Monica from February 1st, 1986 to April 30th, 1986.)

#8 KIM DITTBERN (Personal friend of defendant; met her through CPA preparation training program and in LAPD Academy)

#9 SHERRI HUFF (Personal friend of defendant; known her 30 years since UCLA)

#10 JAMES NUTTALL (LAPD Van Nuys Division Detective)

#11 DAN MYERS (LAPD Robbery Homicide Division Detective; testified he recovered a weapon in Lazarus's locker)

#C1*JEFFREY ALDEN THOMPSON (LAPD SID Acting Assistant Director overseeing the serology lab for three years; reviewed old ASCLD/LAB reports and testified as to what the findings were in regards to deficiencies in lab procedure in 1998, 2004 and 2009.)

#12 GREGORY STEARNS (LAPD Robbery/Homicide Detective who investigated the case and conducted the interview of the defendant at Parker Center)

#13 ANDREA DILLON (LAPD SID latent fingerprint analyst who worked on the case)

* Court witness #1, 402 hearing. Did not testify before the jury.