Monday, February 2, 2015

Rafael Martinez, Jr., Trial - Day 6 People's Testimony Continues

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Day 5.........

UPDATED 6:25 PM update of the afternoon session below
Monday, February 2, 2015
Before I talk about this morning, I'd like to give a recap of the witnesses who testified Friday afternoon.

Friday Afternoon
People's witness #5, Francisco Santos was back on the stand under detailed cross examination. Santos was questioned on differences in his testimony today, and his testimony at Martinez' preliminary hearing in the 2001 case. One of the issues the defense cross examined Santos on is the blood that was found in the bathroom. Santos testified that after the attack, he never went back into the bathroom.  On other statements under cross, specifically about whether or not Martinez bought drugs on credit, the defense played Mr. Santos' statement to police to impeach his testimony today. Mr Santos, appearing a bit flustered at this point, countered, "What does that have to do with anything?" Mr. Burns commented, "I wish I could answer that." After that comment, I have the following testimony:

FS: I made have changed a few things at the beginning. I was actually scared. whether I  was going to get charged with [selling drugs].
TB: You mean [you] said things that weren't true?
FS: If you want to look at it that way.
TB: Did you say things that were not true?

FS:  I might have changed a few things. ... The fact was that [it? the attack?] happened.

#6 Richard Householder
- LAPD officer in 1997. Assisted in the 1997 Boehm investigation. Interviewed Martinez at the North Hollywood police station. Martinez told Householder that he knew the family and went to school with Shawn and his sister. He spoke to Nancy daily and saw her a week before.

#7 Martin Pinner - LAPD Detective. Assisted in the 2001 investigation into Nieves and Santos stabbings. Pinner is used to introduce the interview tape of Martinez about the stabbings. The tape is played for the jury.  The tape is long and I believe the transcript of the tape is 150 pages long.  Large binders are passed out to the witness, each juror and I believe, the court.  When 4:00 pm arrives, the tape is stopped and court will continue at 10 AM on Monday.

Monday, Feb 2, Morning Session
I arrived in Dept. V just in time. The jurors were still out in the hallway. After I get settled in my seat, DDA Akemon asks if I watched the game. I have to admit that Mr. Sprocket and I are not big sports fans. We didn't watch the game, but our neighbors across the street had a big party with lots of guests who watched the game.

After the jurors are brought in, Judge Speer addressed the jury and asks, "Who was happy with the outcome of the Super Bowl?"  One juror raised their hand.  She then asks him, "Who enjoyed the commercials?"  Two jurors.

#7 Martin Pinner
We continued with Detective Pinner and the playing of the 2001 interview with the defendant. Throughout the entire interview, Martinez insisted that Nellie [Luz Nieves] got a knife from the kitchen and stabbed him. He denied ever having control of the knife. He was not aware of any injuries on Nieves and Santos. After repeated questioning, he admitted that, in the struggle it was a possibility that he got the knife when struggling with Nieves. He admitted that it was possible that he got a potato peeler away from Santos in his struggle with Santos. At one point, he did say that he got the potato peeler.

Detective Pinner testified that this morning, he drove in his car and measured the distance between Martinez home and the victim's homes.  The distance to Nieves and Santos' homes was 1/2 mile. It took him two minutes to drive the route.  The distance from Martinez home to the Boehm home was .70 miles, or three quarters of a mile. It took him three minutes to make the drive.

Detective Pinner was cross examined on what he remembered about the 2001 investigation and if he recalled the injuries that Martinez had when he was being interviewed. Pinner was asked if a gun or BB gun was recovered from the victim's apartment.  Pinner testified that bullets were recovered but no weapons.

#8 David Riemen - LAPD officer. He testifies in uniform. On September 20, 1997, he was working North Hollywood Patrol. Riemen is currently a Sargent, in charge of facilities management. Riemen does not have a specific recollection of his work at the Boehm murder scene. In reviewing the case documents, Riemen believes that he was involved in securing the crime scene. Riemen filled out a field interview card on the defendant the following day, Sept. 21. Field interview cards are cards that are filled out by officers when they attempt to interview individuals. The field interview card that Riemen filled out is People's exhibit #20.

Rieman explains all the information on the card, Martinez description, his DL and contact numbers. A short amount of information that Martinez gave to Riemen is on the card.

Close family friend. Last seen 1 wk ago. Last spoke to on the phone Mon or Tues or Wed. Since then no response. Supposed to go to the fair 9/2097.

Sargent Rieman was under cross examination when the lunch break was called. Jurors are to return at 1:40 PM.

Monday, Afternoon Session
1:45 PM Judge Speer calls for the jurors.

Sgt. Reimen continued with cross examination in the afternoon. Sgt. Reimen continued to state that he did not remember the specific incident.  On redirect, Sgt. Reimen, after reviewing all the field interview cards states that he did interview more people. It appears his interviews were going door to door, and not observers on the street. In interviewing Martinez, he did not note anything about a bicycle nor did he notice any scratches or injuries on the defendant. The card indicates that Martinez told Sgt. Reimen that his nickname was "Jay" and that he was a self-employed stunt man.

#9 Bruce Lyle - Deputy Coroner Investigator, Los Angeles County. Lyle currently works for the Orange County Coroner's office as the Assistant Chief Deputy Coroner. He is not a medical doctor. His current position is administrative.

On September 20, 1997, Lyle responded to the Boehm's residence as a Coroner's Investigator. A coroner's investigator is a person that responds to a sudden violence and unexplained death. They examine the body at the scene, writes reports and takes certain types of evidence. They locate the next of kin and secure any property evidence. He goes to the scene where there might be a body and transports the body back to the coroner's. In his career, he has rolled out to over 20,000 dead body scenes.

Lyle responded to the scene with an assistant who drove the vehicle and help recover the bodies. Lyle is asked to explain his procedure for collecting bodies at the time.  They would place the decedent on a clean plastic sheet and wrap the sheet up and around the feet and head. They would then placed that in a regular clean cotton bed sheet then wrap up the body with ties around the upper body, arms and legs then tie those off.

Lyle recoverd Nancy and Shawn's bodies. They were placed in the same transport van and taken to the coroner's office. There, the bodies were placed on clean gurneys and put in the refrigerator. The next day, his next shift he collected fingernail scrapings and fingernail clippings from Nancy and Shawn.

Lyle does not remember this case and had to refer to the report he wrote. Lyle testified as to what his normal custom and practice was, since he did not remember this specific case.

There were quite a few questions on direct and cross about his procedure in collecting the fingernail scrapings and fingernail clippings. My understanding of his testimony was, [after Judge Speer questioned him about the collection] he used a standard fingernail kit that came with specific envelopes and "paper bindles" to collect the material from each hand. A left hand kit and a right hand kit. The kit for each hand came with two envelopes and a wood scraper for each hand. It was not clear to me if the fingernail kits also contained their own nail clippers, or if that was a tool he kept as part of his evidence collection kit. Lyle testified that they are not special nail clippers, but just like you might buy at Rite Aid [a local drug store chain]. After every use, the clippers are wiped down with an alcohol swab.

He would start with one hand and collect the nail clippings from that one hand. Each clipped nail was placed in a separate paper bindle. Those five paper bindles were placed in a single envelope and that envelope marked. The same procedure would be repeated for the other hand.

After the nails were clipped, then he would move onto scraping under the fingernails on the victim's hands. He would start with one hand and use the wood stick that came with the kit to scrape under the nails. Each nail scraping was dropped in its own paper bindle. Those five paper bindles were placed in an envelope and marked. The stick is thrown away. Then the procedure is repeated on the nails of the other hand.

Lyle states that it was part of his normal custom and procedure to bag the hands. He doesn't remember what he did, but he assumes he followed the procedures in effect in 1997.

During cross examination the defense put up close up photos of Nancy's hands.  The photos show her hands were covered in blood. Lyle describes rigor mortislividity and signs of decomposition for the jurors and if they were present in Nancy and Shawn.

Lyle collected a human tooth to the left of Nancy's body, indicating she suffered some trauma to her face.

The witness was extensively questioned on his procedure, what he remembered and what was his normal practice at the time.

10 Susan Rinehart - LAPD Science Investigation Division Criminalist. Criminalist for SID for over 20 years. For the past 17 years, she is a DNA analyst. In September 1997, she responded to the crime scene to document and collect evidence. She gives her CV and training in criminalistics.

Through a continuing series of photographs and diagrams, DDA Akemon takes the witness through the crime scene and what she documented. She describes the photos taken outside the home, and in various rooms of the home, as well as the victim's bodies and their orientation within the rooms. It's clear from the photographs that the Boehm residence was very cluttered, packed with stuff. One could easily call the home similar to a hoarder's home. Literally every room was over loaded with items. The most normal looking room was the bathroom.

The witness is presented with photos of Shawn as he was found.  Next, we are shown photos of Nancy as she was found with lots of paper, bags and purses piled on top of her body. Rinehart describes the procedure to remove all of this debris off of Nancy.

Everything was first photographed in place with standard placard markers before it was removed, layer by layer. A sequence of photos are shown with numbered placards on items that might contain physical evidence such as fingerprints, etc. Once the first layer is removed, new placard numbers are placed on the items below and the entire scene is photographed again. This is repeated. I note the placard numbers on items in the last photo are in the 20's.

When the clock hit's 4:00 PM, Judge Speer calls an end of the court day. The witness will be back on the stand tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM.

Continued on Day 7.......