"Horseshoe" area of the south-eastern edge of
Inspiration Point, 9/2009.
Inspiration Point, 9/2009.
Photo copyright, Betsy A. Ross, all rights reserved.
April 15, 2015
When I arrived, DDA Hum, Detective Leslie were already here. Mr. Laub and his investigator were in front of me on the 9th floor security line.
When Brown is brought out, he's carrying a few sheets of paper.
Before court starts there is a sidebar. The only word I think I overhear is "tuberculosis."
Detective Leslie is back on the stand.
Mr. Laub crosses. Leslie has been on the case for 15 years.
Mr. Laub crosses. Leslie has been on the case for 15 years.
He began the interview with Brown in the early morning hours of November 9th. At different times during talking to Brown at the station, both he and his partner took notes.
Laub asks if the report is complete. Yes. Is there anything he wants to add, or delete. Not that he can think of. Leslie admits that there have been 3,000 pages of reports. States there are some mistakes in dates, and typos, but there's nothing that he can think now, to change.
Presents a copy of the report to Detective Leslie. You told us that this was a three hour interview. That's correct. You've worked with interviews that have been recorded and transcribed? I'm not sure what you mean "worked with." Laub explains.
A three hour interview, if it had been recorded and transcribed, would have been about 50 60 pages? It would depend on how much talking was done. There could have been pauses. Leslie did not make note in his report of any long pauses.
You've made a note that when you talk to a parent of a dead child, that the reason you don't record, is that you feel you have to walk a fine line of being supportive and finding out information? No. What I said was, I don't throw a recorder down in front of a parent of a dead child. ... You don't go into an interview into an accusatory situation. Leslie will do serendipitous taping of conversation.
Laub questions why he didn't do that with Mr. Brown. Based on the circumstances, and the time sensitive, we felt we had to get Brown's side of the story.
Leslie agrees that Brown was cooperative to be interviewed. Brown was at the station waiting for many hours? [Yes, many hours.]
Brown waited at the scene 3.5 hours. Then Brown waited at the Lomita Station. No one told Leslie (who was at the scene while Brown was at the station) that Brown tried to leave the station.
Brown's parents were demanding that Brown either be arrested or released and that an attorney was on the way. Leslie is asked if he told Brown his parents or wife was present. Leslie's concern was that they get a statement from Brown. He did not tell Brown that an attorney was on the way.
Laub asks that Leslie had a grieving parent in front of him. Leslie states Brown was not grieving. He was not a grieving parent.
Leslie states his job was not to be supportive, it's to be inquisitive. I don't know that my role is to be supportive. But it is to be polite.
Leslie did not have any response to Brown's father. His partner Detective Smith had the conversation with Brown's wife and parents. Detective Smith told Brown's family that Brown was there voluntarily. Leslie believes that's what Smith told the Brown family.
There was s conversation as to where or not do they get the recording device, do we get a statement. They did not know when the attorney would arrive. They wanted to get something.
During the 9.5 hours, from the time you arrived at the scene from the time Mr. Brown left the station, did anyone ever offer him a glass of water? Anyone ever offer him a coffe? Anyone ever offer him food? Anyone ever ask if they need to go to the bathroom? Leslie doesn't know.
Is the concern about water, coffee, any body functions, kind of the lack of concern.
DDA Hum objects. Detective Leslie already stated he doesn't know. The court states Laub can ask about what Detective Leslie did.
There was a point where, you said Mr. Brown was "flippant." Yes. His response to the accusations was rather flippant, I thought. It was when we were being accusatory, of either pushing shoving, for Lauren, intentionally. He responded no, you wrote it down right there, and he tapped at my notebook.
Leslie states Brown was adamant. Laub asks him to describe what he means by the word adamant. He interprets the word about not swaying, not backing off.
DDA Hum objects. The court asks his own question if it includes "being firm." Leslie answers, "In one's belief."
In your report you wrote, "Cameron Brown remained adamant throughout this [interview] that there was no physical contact between him and Lauren when she fell." Leslie agrees.
DDA Hum objects as to why the report is being read.
The for a second time in your report, you wrote. DDA Hum objects as to the report being read to the detective. The court brings counsel to side bar.
In your interrogation of Mr. Brown, it's true that, it was on more than one occasion in that interview, more than one occasion, Mr. Brown adamantly denied pushing or being involved in the death of Lauren? He denied any physical contact with Lauren when she fell. Agrees Brown said more than one time.
The photograph. He looked down at the photograph, and he was told to pick it up.
He looked at the photograph, he picked it up, set it down and said, "Yeah, that's her."
The court asks Laub, are you trying to ask if at any time he looked away from the photograph? Mr. Laub directs to a specific part of the report.
He was told to pick up the photograph, because he wasn't acknowedging the photograph. That's what happened. Are you purposefully dodging a question here? No.
Going back to the scene at IP.
At IP, part of the cooperation that Brown gave to you and other law enforcement, you wanted to talk to him further. He agreed to be transported back to Lomita, once we arranged to getting his car there.
He waited at the scene and waited at the station. Hours. Correct.
Did you say to him anything like, are you up to driving, or would you like for us to give him a ride? When the conversation first started, I wasn't aware of the car. Leslie wanted to transport Brown back to the station. He brought up the car because he was worried about the surf board. They agreed that a deputy would bring Brown's car to the station.
In your report, you've been pretty, many, many references to Brown's demeanor and lack of emotion. Given that that, was a very important factor in your report, wouldn't your asking him, if you're up to driving, one of those questions that would elicit a response? It could, I just don't remember if I asked him or not.
Leslie doesn't remember the specific conversation about what was said regarding getting Brown transported to the station.
DDA Hum, is making arguments. Question is withdrawn.
Leslie remembers him worried about the surf boards being stolen. He didn't want to leave it there. Doesn't remember if he was specifically up to driving. I don't remember.
Didn't write the information about the surf boards in the report. Leslie isn't sure if that was in a supplemental report or not.
Laub reads from the report, and there's no mention in your report, that Mr. Brown was an unfeeling caring parent who was more concerned about the surf boards. Leslie states the report was accurate. He does remember, the conversation with Brown. Leslie doesn't know if it was an "outrageous" statement.
You've said to the prosecutor, this case stands out in your eyes. Leslie states that Brown was indifferent. It was one of many things. And it was one of the things that I thought were peculiar.
Laub confronts him on the surfboards issue. Leslie states it was one of many, many things that I thought were odd, among many factors.
At one point, in your interview, you asked Mr. Brown if he had screamed if Lauren went over the cliff, and Mr. Brown said no, and you said, "we would have screamed." Leslie agrees, yes, if my daughter had gone over the cliff, I would have screamed.
Laub confronts him still on this issue in the report, that isn't what Brown's really telling you was where the vehicle was located. Yes, all that's in the report. It was also a mention that the surfboards didn't get stolen, if the car was left behind.
Leslie states his original intention was to tow the car. Laub confronts him on why tow? That seems like it would be impersonal. Leslie explains that he thought that would be easier, to put it on a flatbed and have it waiting there at Lomita Station.
Leslie agrees that there were three different descriptions as to what Brown heard and saw. Leslie goes over again in detail what Brown told them.
Does that mean to you, that the person has a previously scripted story? It's possible, but not necessarily scripted.
Brown believed he took four photographs. There were three photographs of Lauren.
He told you different sounds, different things, that's evidence to you that it was fabricated? It's certainly an indicated that's not what happened.
How do you relate that to when Mr. Brown told you there were four photographs and there were three? That could have been a lie, too. I don't know.
His original intention was to record Brown, video tape. However, they did not have anything at Lomita Station to video tape.
So you didn't go and get a video camera and set it up in the room? That would have been absurd.
Laub asks why he didn't check with Deputy Harrison, who was the watch commander at Lomita Station, if they had video equipment there? Leslie explains that he didn't think about taping Brown until they were in the Tahoe with Lt. Erickson, driving up to the upper road at the scene.
Questions about what Deputy Brothers said to him about Brown supposedly being odd.
Laub states that "Your ears perked up" when Brothers said that to you? Leslie states he likes to think that as a homicide detective is always on, it doesn't go away.
Now questions about back at the station, where there was this "urgency" to get a statement from Brown, and the strange affect that Leslie and Brothers both observed in Brown.
At the scene, you didn't say to Mr. Brown, offer him any alternative, to come back tomorrow to be interviewed. Assuming he wasn't a suspect, is there any reason why you wouldn't remember, you, sympathetic Detective Leslie, what you said to him?
Leslie states he wanted to talk to Brown that night. He wanted Brown to go to the station and he did agree. Was it in your mind, was it consistent with being empathetic for you saying, parent, not a suspect, but hang around for six hours, just you and us.
We run inot this all the time, on deputyt involved shootings. It's unfortunate. some people stick around some people don't. Sometimes they have to wait around and it's inconvenient. Is it the ideal way for them to do it, being empathetic, but it happens.
Laub accuses Leslie that he would not treat a different type of person, like you treated Mr. Brown. Leslie states, I've had mothers, whose sons have been shot by police, waiting at the station for hours, yes, I have.
I asked if they had a room with video taping. They didn't. I had a video recorder in my car. We opted to go without. Yes, he could have gone out to his car and been back in five minutes.
Leslie states, he had no idea when the attorney would show up. He went ahead without the recording equipment to get a statement from Brown.
You sometimes get a pre-interview and then later go back and get a taped interview. Leslie states he doesn't do that. Laub asks if he's familiar with a particular interview technique. Leslie states he doesn't know what Laub is talking about.
Leslie asks, if what Mr. Laub is talking about is, that if you don't like what you got the first time then you record to get what you like? Leslie states he doesn't agree with that at all. "That's bad business." There's more back and forth with Mr. Laub explaining this technique in detail. Leslie still disagrees, and states that technique is "Bad business."
DDA Hum objects and the court asks Mr. Laub to move on.
I move to the back row to power my laptop and miss some questions.
Leslie confirms, in regards as to why Brown went to the location that day and not take Lauren back home to Patty was, "He said that because she was upset, he wanted to spend some time alone with her and that's why they went to the beach."
Laub goes to the second proceeding transcript.
"You didn't write in your report, that he wanted to spend time alone with Lauren." Laub confronts Leslie on the fact that in 2006 [and I believe] 2009, that he never said that Brown wanted to be alone with Lauren.
Leslie is presented with a transcript of his prior testimony.
The morning break is called.
The jurors file back in. The bailiff asks if any jurors need another notebook and several raise their hands.
When you were interviewing Mr. Brown at the station ... did you ever ask him if he'd been to the Archery range a previous time? He said he was familiar with the area, however he said he'd not been to that particular spot.
My impression was, he was somewhat familiar with the area had not been on top of IP, but had not been there with Lauren before.
He also told you that when he came back with Lauren to the archery range, someone came to meet him? Yes. And it was not the person with the cell phone? Correct.
They tried to find this person. They couldn't figure out who this person was, but they tried very hard. Mr. Brown also told you that he was trying to get custody of Lauren? Yes.
And he concented to having photos of him? Yes. And agreed to a DNA swab? Yes. He didn't appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol? No.
And there was no issue in your mind that this was a person of, ? familiar with ?
5151, you're familiar with that? yes. Nothing like that was going on here? Are you asking if I thought something like that was going on with your client, no. He wasn't acting crazy.
This comment made about, the whole place being dangerous, and that it was nice and steep, the context, the context was like this. AT this point you and Det. Smith had become confrontational, correct? I don't know if at that point we had become confrontational, but he considered the whole area dangerous.
You and Det. Smith said to him was, why did you take your daughter to such a dangerous place? And he said, the whole place was dangerous. ... What I considered, was the place of the hike. The playground is quite different than IP. When he was talking about steep cliffs, and the area of IP, he was aware that the area was dangeous.
One of the things that you didn't consider, is that in that response, is why are you challenging me about IP being dangerous, when this is a public park, the whole place could be considered dangerous.
At the point at which he's talking to you it's nice, it's steep, there are cliffs, isn't it what he was telling you, what he enjoyed about the area? Objection, speculation.
I perceived it as meaning the area that he was hiking was dangerous.
Laub asks if Leslies interpretation of Brown's statements about the location was, that Brown was implying that it was a great place to kill a kid? No.
No more questions.
You told the defendant's lawyer, you tried to locate witnesses. Yes. Tell us some of the things you did.
Two check points were established on two Wednesdays. The thinking was, people are creatures of habit. They handed out flyers at those checkpoints. There was extensive media, asking people if they had seen Lauren, anywhere on that day. They did checkpoints where they handed out flyers. They had both lanes blocked on Palos Verdes Drive South, they had deputies, they had volunteer scouts, help. One week after Lauren's death and two weeks after Lauren's death. All at which, the same flyer was displayed.
Laub read a portion of his testimony where he didn't say that Brown wanted to be alone with Lauren. Leslie confirms that the statement Brown made is in Det. Smiths notes, it's in a supplemental report and it's in the grand jury testimony.
DDA Hum reads from the grand jury transcript where Leslie testified that Brown stated he decided to take Lauren to the location, just the two of them, alone. The defendant did not indicate, or give a reason to detectives, why Lauren would be less upset with just him, than with Patty.
Then Hum reads from the first trial, then second trial transcript.
Leslie agrees this was not the first time, that he said those words [to this jury].
Redirect ends and recross begins.
Mr. Laub follow up on questions, and about using the word "alone." He reads to Leslie Detective Smith's note. Detective Smith's note doesn't say "alone." When he says "spend time with her" in this note, he didn't write the word, alone.
Leslie states the specific word "alone" is not there.
Laub states, here's the sequence, he said that since she was upset, he decided to take her to the beach, the prosecutor set up the situation by asking if Brown made any indication as to why Lauren would be less upset by being with him.
Laub challenges that the only place that this word alone comes up is here. And that it should have been in his report and the interview should have been recorded.
Leslie reiterates that Brown told him and his partner, in the interview, that Brown decided to deviate from the original plan to bring Lauren back to the house where his wife was waiting because Brown wanted to spend some time alone with Lauren.
The noon break is called.
I'm on my lunch break.
For today and yesterday, only Sarah and a girlfriend have been in the gallery. They sit in the second row. The court provides tissues for witnesses and for family members who are in the gallery.
For a case as long as this one, it would be hard for anyone to just drop out of their lives and be in court every day.
Patty Brown continues to stay away from the trial.
Back inside Dept. 107. Brown is at the defense table along with Laub and the defense investigator. We are waiting on two jurors. They are in the building, just not back on this floor yet.
A juror peeks in and tells the bailiff they are all here. Judge Lomeli's clerk goes to invite the jurors in. Everyone in the well stands while the jury enters.
While I was at lunch today, in the cafeteria I observed that the two female black jurors had lunch together.
DEPUTY DALE FALICON
I've seen Deputy Falicon testify in the Phil Spector trial.
Back in Nov. 2000, what was your occupation and assignment. He was Scientific Services Division, specifically fingerprint division. He worked as a deputy for 30 years, and 26 in SSD. He now works for the Sheriff's Dept. on a contract basis, in the SSD.
His job mainly at the Crime Lab is with fingerprints. Back then he was also assigned to do crime scene investigations. Documentation, photography and recording how a crime scene is found.
At crime scenes, I've been able to investigate between 800 and 900 major crime scenes with the Sheriff's Dept. He details his on the job, or in house training and seminars with other agencies that gave training.
He took a course back in Washington, on footwear and shoe wear.
The predomonant documentation at crime scenes was photography. First step was to photograph anything of importance or interest. We might draw a sketch of an area or items we collect.
Went to IP. He went with other people, but he drove himself. Met other individuals from the Sheriff's, Detective Leslie, Dan Smith, Patrol individuals, others from emergency services detail.
Before, he was briefed by detectives. Basically, we were looking at a point, IP, and see if there's anything there that looks of evidentary value. Shoe prints, clothing, papers, anything that looks out of place from this point. They wanted me to document that and collect anything that I might observe, on that point.
They said a small girl, a young girl had fallen off the cliff and was killed in the fall.
I was looking for any kind of disturbance would be there at the bluff, and that might include something like the condition of the shrubbery the soil, anything that looked odd, or out of place, anything that would give us an indication that was out of place.
Would this include any biological material? Yes.
As part of investigation, tell us what you did? Basically it was a bluff or point, and because of the slope of the point and danger of falling off, our ESD was there with ropes and pullies, to go over the edge and document the condition that I saw there.
Was it a particular area or was it the entire edge? I'm looking at the entire point area, but there was a focus as to where the child had fallen off the point.
Briefly, I saw what was eventually, what I thought were five shoe impressions on this ? area.
What was the composition? basically you could walk on a path towards the edge to this point. Then you would have to walk on a slope, to get to the edge of this point, cliff. There are slight grass and vegetation, but as you get closer to the edge, there's less or no vegetation at that edge. The soil tends to be a little harder or denser towards the edge. Where the grass is, is a softer composition.
Four of these are that are up closer to the pathway, further away from the edge of the cliff. Those were in twigs and grass, and some organic material there from growth or shrubbery. One was closer to the edge, in the rocky substance, the dirt there and had no vegetation around it.
If you were on this point and looking out towards the ocean. It was on the left hand side of the point.
It's an area that goes downward from a flatter portion? Yes.
People's exhibit 116, A-B. Photo A Overview area southern end, ocean end at IP. Points to the "horseshoe" area. Photo B, closer version of the horseshoe area.
The five prints were spaced apart. There was a line of four of them, that basically came down, to the right of the tape measure in the photo. Explains where the fifth print was.
Did you mark each of the impresions to distinguish them from each other? I did. Used some cones he had with letters on them. They are not in alphabetical order, and one cone had no marking on it.
Describes exactly where each print is on the sloping edge. Farthest was 20 ft from the edge. One was 18 feet from the edge. Closest to the edge was 6 feet from the edge.
When looking at those impressions, did you see any detail, ridges or patterns in those impressions? He did not notice any.
When you were measuring putting the cones out? Were you leaving impressions as well in the soil? Yes. The impressions he left were similar.
He did not leave ridges or patterns in the prints that he left. He photographed from aerial and close up. Yes.
In the photographing them, he put an L shape ruller to give them a specific size. He took a casting of four out of the five of them. Basically it's a dental stone, a plaster of paris. We use this to try and record that pattern, that information.
Made plaster to give size and depth, and to give a relationship to each other.
How would making these casts, make them easier to document in relationship to each other? Dental stone, stands out, gives more contrast in photographs.
You told us that you didn't see anything that showed detail, so why did you do that? Well it's not my expertiese. There is another unit that analyzes this type of evidence. He did it to give size and depth to it and to show the relationship of the impression on that ground.
In addition to locating, marking, photographing and documenting these impressions, did you also examine the end of IP? Mostly I'm looking and trying to confirm, where the little girl fell. I'm looking for disturbance, a slide mark a disturbance, a piece of clothing, body fluid, hair. I'm basically documenting what's there, and substantiates that she went over in the area I'm looking at.
In examination of the cliff, did you see anything? I did not notice any? Is that what you were specifically looking for? Yes, and the documentation of that edge, I'm trying to record that, to see if there's any path that's been disturbed or if the grass had been disturbed.
Basically, the actual literal edge of the cliff is rock, and decomposed rock, and this side of it are a lot of twigs up there. Dried vegetation, twigs, I'm photographing that in place, the condition of those twigs. I'm trying to find a path that might have rubbed these twigs rubbed off of the hill.
Did not find an area where anything was like that. He did not see any evidence of where a child might have slipped and fallen off the cliff.
People's 159, photos A-E. These are some of the photographs he took documenting the location. These are not all he took. He took somewhere between 50 and 75 photos.
Photo A. Looking up the point. He's down by the water, looking up the hill. This is the large bush. There are three cones in the photo. It looks like a completely sharp angled slope.
Photo C, the closest print near the edge. You can see the water and the twigs that are sticking up.
Photo D, another angle looking down and the ocean below. One footprint marker in this photo.
Photo E, not put up on the overhead.
Four more photographs. Photo A, this is the harness rope down the side of the cliff. Photo B, this is the area of the edge, one of the prints, the L ruler and can see the twigs. Photo C, close up of one of the photos with the L marker and a compass in the photo. Photo D, another photo, with the L ruler showing the depression and disturbance from the rest of the soil. There are lots of twigs and grass roots, in the depression.
After he completed his examination. Someone from Emergency Services Division rappelled over the cliff and took photos of the side of the cliff.
Direct ends and cross begins.
Like to go back a moment to talk about your training. You mentioned something about FBI seminar on shoe wear? Yes. 1994.
In 2000, your expertize was in fingerprints, not shoe wear? Never has been.
In 2000, one of his duties was to photgraph and document crime scenes. The reason that you made casts, is that for another unit? Yes, our physical or trace evidence department.
The photos and film set to photo lab. Casts would be forwarded to our physical section.
Back in your department were another group of people that would analyzed it. One of those people was a man named Schliebie. "He's a senior criminalist."
As a deputy, I could be assigned anywhere in the county. As a criminalist, he would be assigned in the laboratory.
A tall, handsome black man enters and sits in the back row. I believe I've seen this man before in other pretrial proceedings.
Laub continues to ask about the other unit who would examine trace evidence.
DDA Hum asks for a sidebar.
I'm sure that in order for you to go out and document crime scenes, you must be an expert photographer? I take a lot of photos. I don't know that I would put myself in the expert category.
The photos you took on this day, and what you believed to be shoe impressions, were they detailed and clear? They were in focus. They were taken to show depth and detail. Did you think that these photographs accurately document what you saw in the scene? I have seen the photos, they are in focus, but I've not examined them in that way.
He testified in prior proceedings. He looked at the photos in the prior proceedings.
When you reviewed all these photographs over 15 years did you ever go back and think that the photographs didn't accurately represent what you saw out there? I don't remember [doing?] that.
Now there are questions about making the casts. Asks about whether he determines after he makes the cast, if he checks to ensure that there are no air bubbles.
Once he pours the plaster, after it hardens, he lifts it off the surface, and he checks to ensure that the whole surface, underneath the plaster comes with it. And that's how it's submitted to the Physical evidence section.
What do they do there? My knowledge is, they clean it off, and start taking materials off.
Is the work that they're doing, work that requires special training? Yes. He is not an expert in shoe wear impressions.
My experience in doing crime scenes and doing shoe prints and pathways, this is most recent. He documents because it could be a shoe print? Yes. But you're not the expert to say whether it's a shoe print or not. Correct.
I understood from your testimony, the focus of your investigation at the crime scene, was where the child had fallen, but you had looked at the entire edge. Yes.
When you were given a briefing, you were told this is the area that we believe the fall occurred in, but look at everything? Yes.
What was the difference for you, for focusing on an area, verses the entire thing? The way I had interpreted it was that the child was found or fallen from a certain location. But I was also looking for slippage and debris.
When you say slippage, are you describing the area as hard rock? yes.
You said that you didn't see evidence of slippage or sliding, but you're not able to say that no rocks, no pebbles or gravel, fell over the edge? On the opposite side of the vegetation or slippage, I could not say if something had fallen, prior.
As to these impressions you saw, you are not able to tell us when they were made? Correct.
He cannot tell us if the impressions were made on November 7th. Can't put an age on the impressions? I can't speculate. They looked recent. How long that is, I can't give a date.
The photographs that you took where you wre showing us the topography of the slope, you were telling whomever who looked at the photos, the angle of the slope? I don't think they depict it as steep as it is.
Some photos you took while standing. Yes. And some photos you took while kneeling? Yes. So to be accurate here today, there was a slope, but not whether, not able to determine how steep it is? I cannot tell you today.
When prosecutor asked you about impressions you left in the ground, you asked if they were the same as what you had found there, your word was similar. Most of yours had no detail? Are you saying some of yours did have detail?
When I got to the top, as I go along, back and forth, I'm digging dirt and it became soft, I'm assuming there would be some type of information there. Does that make sense.
Does that mean that those impressions that we're making were not document. He specifically did not document his own prints.
He basically burned a path or trail with his own footprints. He did not record those in any way, intentionally.
So today, there's no way to determine, if your shoe impressions left greater detail than what you found there? Yes.
When you were talking about the use of the plaster of paris substance, a type of dental stone. It's much finer than plaster.
The things that you did cast you thought were shoe impressions? It was my opinion that they were shoe impressions. But you're not an expert?
Laub now goes over the distances of the impressions from the edge, between each other, and that some impressions are 3 feet and 4 feet from each other. Laub asks if there's anything that we can determine from the stride? No.
Are you able to then tell from looking from this, if these were made by one person or more than one person? No. Could it be that each of these depressions were made more by more than one person? I don't know. Four of them were in a slightly direct line. It would be a diagonal line, if you were to connect all five together.
Were any two of the impressions, spaced, am I correct in understanding then, no two impressions... let me put it this way. Laub talks about shoes in the snow. The impressions did not make two line with each other? The court asks, you mean they wern't parallel to each other? There's a lot of possibilities.
Laub now states that he's really being inarticulate now. Laub asks again if the prints were parallel.
I was assuming, the impressions themselves, make a diagonal straight line? Four of them. Because there's so little detail, these impressions you observed, it is possible, that the person could have been standing in a stride, straddling the rock? That's a possibility.
Another thing that we don't know from what you documented, we don't know if these were made by one person on one day, we don't know what direction the person is moving? Upward or downward? I can't tell you.
If we wanted to get an expert opinion from those photographs, to accurately showed us what those impression, from an expert's point of view, whether those impressions actually show those shoe prints? If there was shoe print detail, they would examine.
Since you're not an expert, we'd want an expert from the physical evidence department? Yes.
And one of thse people would be a senior criminalist named Schleiebe.
Cross ends Redirect.
Didn't use the photos to determine if they were shoe prints. They were a two dimentional representation of a three dimentional impression.
Based on all his exerience and training, he thought these were shoe prints? Yes.
The photographs that you took, showed the same thing that you saw at the scene? Well, not exactly. I'm examining it at the scene. I'm looking at more shadow.
To absolutely say that the photographs depict everything that I saw there, I can't say that.
Laub presents a photo. Impression. Letter cone K. He took that photograph. That's one of the items that we're discussing.
Can you tell us, what's missing, that would contribute to your, here's a better way of putting it, in your memory of what your saw, this non expert opinion, that this was a shoe impression, what was there, that's not in the photo, that would make you decide it's a shoe impression.
Black and white photographs, with a ruler were also taken.
Judge interjects, that he said that he didn't rely on the photographs to determine if they were shoe impressions.
More Laub question. DDA Hum objects that this is argument.
Did this prosecutor talk to you about you're saying, the importance of what you base your testimony totally on what you saw? He gave me my prior testimony to review.
DDA Hum has an objection that's sustained.
You were never asked, if your photographs were missing something that you saw at the scene.
One of hte purposes of documenting things is to have a record for the future? yes. And we're 15 years after the event? Fifteen years from the date.
Do you feel, 14.5 years later, that you're rmembering what you saw, than the photographs that you took at the time. My memory, is of at the time, is of those being shoe impression.
My concern is for the basis of your opinion. I'm just asking if the basis of our opinion, is what you saw. I'm saying is that memory that you have today, is more accurate than any non-expert opinion that you can give it.
More and more questions about his memory verses the photographs.
Judge Lomeli calls for the afternoon break.
Judge Lomeli tells Mr. Laub that he's already belabored this point. This witness already formulated his opinion, and tell us, that it was based as being there, shading, lighting, depth, it wasn't based on the photographs. I believe you are belaboring the point.
Judge Lomeli continues with Mr. Laub.
DDA Hum, states, he's trying to get the witness to say, they are exactly the same as what he saw out there. "We can ask him to the cows come home."
Laub argues again, that DDA Hum is misrepresenting. Laub continues on and on. "What is it in detail, what is it you are basing your opinion on.
There is discussion about Mr. Schliebie, and what he would have testified to.
And that's it. We're in recess for 15 minutes.
Judge Lomeli asks Mr. Laub what final question is he going to ask the witness. Laub spells it out. The court tells Laub that he will only be able to ask that one question.
After I take a break, I come back and Laub the defense investigator and DDA Hum are in discussion with the witness. Now Laub has a new issue. Then the court gets involved.
The court goes back on the record, outside the presence of the jury. Judge Lomeli documents for the record what the court and counsel, with the witness, had been discussing off the record.
I believe that the court rules that there are no more questions on this issue, citing 352. The court notes Mr. Laub's objection. Again, Deputy Falicon tells the court that his opinion that these were footprints was based on what he observed at the scene. He didn't have the photographs at the time he was on the cliff. The photographs don't depict every shadow and angle that he relied on, in making his opinion.
Laub continues to argue. This has to do with what he will be allowed to argue in closing arguments about what the photos show.
The courts ruling is, you [Laub] won't be able to do that. By Falicon's own admission, he's not an expert, but to ask them to place themselves in the position of evaluating.
Now Laub asks that Falicon's entire testimony be stricken.
Prosecution has presented this imaginary evidence. There isn't a cintilla, of actual evidence, no one ever asked him at an earlier time, never asked him what was different in these photos than what he saw at the scene.
Laub is emotional and angry... he admits he's angry. The DDa is trying to do something, as a lawyer is BS. Judge Lomeli is upset. Laub takes it back. The court states that's bordering on contempt. Too late to un-ring a bell.
The court questions the witness. The witness explains again, that the basis why he thought they were impressions was what he observed at the scene, different angles, positions, lighting. His opinion wasn't based on the photographs.
There's more that Laub wants to address. He has Falicon look over some color photographs. The court has Mr. Laub mark the photos collectively as Defense U.
We are adjourned!
I'm on the Red Line train. I'm trying to find the words, to accurately document what it was I observed in the well after the jury went on their break. Mr. Laub and his investigator were showing the witness a series of color photographs and asking questions. I did not hear the questions he was being asked. At one point, I did see Mr. Falicon pull out a small magnifying glass, and point something out in a photo to the defense investigator, but I can't remember if that was before or after I went to the restroom.
When I returned, there was a big discussion with the witness, off the record. The court reporter was standing and Judge Lomeli was standing, just behind his bench ut a bit farther away from his chair. He was listening to the discussion both counsel were having with Falicon.
The court reporter made sure to point out that they were off the record, and that's why she remained standing, to make that clear.
They eventually went on the record. The court at first, outlines what was just discussed off the record.
As Mr. Laub continued to argue his point, he became more passionate. And as the court ruled against him several times, in relation to what he was arguing, he became more passionate, and eventually admitted to the court that he was angry.
DDA Hum's position about Deputy Falicon's testimony, was consistent. Mr. Laub cannot impeach the witness on his opinion with the photographs the witness took, that he saw shoe/foot impressions because his opinion that he saw foot/shoe impressions was not based on the photographs. It was based on his training, and what he observed at the scene, including looking at the impressions from different angles, lighting, etc. Falicon testified to that several times.
DDA Hum argued that the trier of fact [jury] should not be put in the position to determine if the photographs reflect shoe impressions, because Deputy Falicon already testified that his opinion was not based on the photos.
If my memory serves me correctly, Mr. Laub was arguing, something to the effect of, that the documentation that Falicon made at the scene, to document what he says he observed, he should be able to cross the witness on, and ask him to verbalize, 15 years later, what it was that was different at the scene, than the photographs. What is it, specifically, that the photographs don't show.
When the court ruled against that, Mr. Laub asked that all of Falicon's testimony be stricken from the record.
The court's position is, Falicon already testified, under numerous cross examination questions, that the photographs don't show everything that he saw, at the scene. When documenting something at the scene, they tend to not take photographs at angles, because that distorts the "L" ruler's dimensions. To document, they always take photographs parallel to the item in question because of that.
I believe, Mr. Laub wanted to argue, in closing arguments, that these photographs do not show foot impressions and the jury should decide that. The court ruled against him.
The court did allow Mr. Laub to review with the witness, a set of color photographs. But maybe it was taking so long, I don't know. Mr. Laub wanted the photos marked as defense exhibits, and then wanted the court to review them. The court asked Mr. Laub, "For what purpose?" The court then told Mr. Laub to think about that over night. That it would be decided later, before the case went to the jury, whether or not these additional photos that Falicon took and reviewed would be part of the permanent record.
And that's all I can remember at this point.
The jury was ordered back at 10:30 am, for tomorrow.