Lonnie Franklin, Jr., during closing arguments, 5/2/16
Photo Credit: Pool Camera, Mark Boster, LA Times
Note: This entry still needs a full edit. Sprocket
Prior post on this case can be found HERE.
T&T case coverage and media links HERE.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
I'm inside Dept. 109. There's a very small crowd today and many in the gallery are surprised there are not more people here. Maybe people will show up late. The Buzzfeed reporter is here, but not LA Times reporter Stephen Ceasar. I see Detective Dupree's partner is here.
Defense attorney Seymour Amster, wearing a black suit is chatting in the well with retired Detective Kilcoyne. More family members start to show up and find seats.
DDA Marguerite Rizzo is wearing a form-fitting, tailored red jacket/top. It has black buttons, a black shirt type collar, and small black shirt type top pocket and pocket flaps at the waist. It's matched with a black skirt. I love this jacket It looks great on her. To complete her outfit she's wearing black patent leather shoes and sheer hose with black dots. With Marguerite's blond hair, it's a "power' look.
Stephen Ceasar arrives. City News reporter Terri Keith is here. Matt Reynolds with Courthouse News is also here. The AP reporter, [I believe it's Brian Melley] is here in the back row, talking to Greg Risling with the DA's media relations office.
DDA Beth Silverman is wearing a tradtional styled, medium denim blue, knit suit. Her blouse is a pale gray, v-neck knit top with an intricate lace design. She's wearing sheer cream hose with a lattice pattern and cream shoes.
There's quite a bit of bustle in the well now, an the gallery is pretty noisy. The atmosphere appears to be much more relaxed than yesterday. The courtroom is not nearly full yet. It's not packed like it was yesterday.
People Magazine reporter Christine Pelisek arrives. We are getting started late. The defendant is brought out. There are two extra sheriff's deputies. One is Sargent Westphal.
Judge Kennedy takes the bench and she goes on the record. She asks counsel, "Are we ready for the jury?" DDA Rizzo tells the court that they need people's exhibits 399 to 416 and 448 and 449 be admitted into evidence. Defense attorney Dale Atherton relpies, "I don't know what those are." He then adds that he has a matter in another courtroom that didn't finish, so he may have to go at the morning break around 10:30 am. Judge Kennedy doesn't think that will be a problem.
Amster responds about the exhibits. "Our position is this. These were exhibits that were identified during the trial and utilized by a witness. We objected to a lot of the other firearms admitted into evidence which is 399 to416, because they wern't involved in the case."
Judge Kennedy over rules and the items are received into evidence. I believe the defense says something about a request to redacting some of the people's exhibits. Judge Kennedy asks again, "Are we now ready to bring the jury in?" Atherton states that all the exhibits are all put back in place. The court clerk tells Judge Kennedy that they were in order, but some of the tabs were upside down.
Amster appears to be fumbling getting ready to continue with his closing. He asks the court if there is any way he can get another copy of the jury instructions. A set is handed to him and he's asks that they not be written on whatsoever. Smiling, Amster makes a big show of telling Atherton not to write on those instructions.
As the jury comes in, or right before, the bailiff tells the court that today is Juror #1's birthday. Judge Kennedy greets her jurors. "Good morning. I understan it's Juror #1's birthday today. Happy Birthday to you sir."
Amster takes to the podium.
"As you probably have heard so many times in this case, your Honor instructing you not to discuss this and I know you will adhere to that. ... It's a common thing in society that you have a strong religious faith. And that's a good and proper thing. ... If you have yourself [been] tempted to do so, you can't do this. ... If you need guidance, you must turn to your Honor and she will deem what is appropriate for guidance or not. ... That's the last thing we want is guidance sought from someplace else. ... I'd appreciate, we would all appreciate your adherence to this. It's your Honor [who decides] and not an outside source."
"It's a circumstantial evidence case, with the vast majority of the evidence being circumstantial. There is only direct evidence, is Enietra Washington. Concentrate on her at this time.
Enietra Washington testified that, an individual made contact with her outside the liquor store. And this individual had an attitude. She was convinced, to feel sorry [for this individual] ... and to go to a place with the individual. He said, he wanted to go to his uncle's house.
Amster pauses. He goes over to the defense table. He did that many times during his closing yesterday.
Amster tells the jury the individual references to an uncle's house to pick up some money. "He didn't say he was going to his house. He didn't say he had money. He stated he was going to his uncle's house for some money. ... What do we know about that house? Miss Washington identified the hosue where the search was done and identified it as the house she was taken to, after she got in the car."
Enietra Washington stated the suspect needed to sotp. Detective [Daryl Grace?] interviewed Ms. Washington in June 2007, and testified to this. ...
People's exhibit 277. This was found during the search warrant. [Photo of seized cash, totaling $7,120.00] That's a lot of money.
Another photo exhibit of money, this time $10,000.
Why would Lonnie Franklin need to go to his uncle's house for money? But his nephew might need money.
Amster makes a hard to follow statement that the police didn't look for the right person. Then Amster shifts to the investigation in 1987.
They brought her to that area. They could have searched that entire neighborhood. The time of the investigation was hot. Later, the trail is so old. The trail is gone. The chance of them finding anything is long gone. The time was then, not now. And the time then was to listen to what Enietra Washington was saying. What did she say about this individual that picked her up? Sometimes we can have a play aunt or a play uncle. It didn't need to be a blood relative.
"We have in this case a mystery man. So it might be stated well, what do you mean 'Uncle?' There were many question marks about Enietra Washington's testimony. ... She stated different things at different times, but she never changed that the suspect said he was going to his uncle's house for money. ... She stated this. ... Detective [Groce?] stated this as well. She testified, or the detective testified, she used the term, youngster. ... and she described the individual as approximately 20 years old."
What do we know about Lonnie Franklin's age? WE have a driver's license in evidence. Lonnie's driver's license, his birthday is August 13, 1952. One the date of the incident, Mr. Franklin would have been 36 years of age. At no time did Ms. Washington describe the individual as in his mid thirties. She gave us a range of 20's to mid thirties. We have a question. Now we have evidence that goes to presumption of innocence. We know there's a nephew, because he went to his uncle's house. That he resided there. There's money there. Ms. Washington said there were college books in the car.
I believe there is an objection and Amster states he is withdrawing the statement.
Ms. Washington said there were books in the car. School books. She described those books as economic or math books. Not elementary books. Amster argues that those would be used by junior college age, and not by an uncle, who has children.
Mr. [Coleman?]. Now we'll talk about him. He's a sketch artist who came. He's retired but he remembered. This was not early in his career when he did this. It was at a time when he was very experienced. He stated he drew this picture based upon the information that Ms. Washington described to him. He was trying to do the best he could of a photograph of what was in her mind.
The sketch that was developed is put up on the ELMO.
This does not look like an individual in his late 30. Does this look like a youngster? It's not my opinion that makes a difference. It's your opinion that makes a difference. And the pock marks were very specific. He made a point to draw them. He could have been found at the right time. This is a person who had access to the entire house.
The people object. Facts not in evidence.
He went to that house, he lived in that house in the 1980's. You're asking to make a decision ... [the people argue that?] ... the person who had exclusive access to that property was Mr. Franklin. The people's case is illusion and deception. Are you going to be like the rancher, and the bulls-eye ... are going to be an answer to the description.
Are you going to inquire, and not be [swayed?] by illusion or deception? If you don't have enough, you can't convict. Miss Washington utilized the term monster. This was a term never utilized when she talked to Mr. Coleman. Mr. Coleman made sure he showed the sketch to Ms. Washington when he was done. She had no complaints about it. He did his job as a competent law enforcement officer.
And what more did Miss Washington tell us about this individual that she got into the car with? She told us that two years after the incident, she observed him riding the bus as she was gong to school in Lincoln. The suspect, didn't try to harm her, riding a bus. You heard ample evidence of the number of vehicles that Mr. Franklin had over the years. Does it make sense that he would ride the bus? The suspect had other contact with Miss Washington. He never hurt her. We know he's pockmarked. What do you do? You covert. You covet what you cannot get.
Lonnie Franklin for better or worse, was good at picking up women. We saw non violent [behavior] by the video. Does somebody cover that what he has but cannot get because of their facial description and their attitude?
Amster asks a question about the bullet removed from Enietra Washington and the match.
With mystery DNA, no DNA of Lonnie Franklin was testified to as being found on Enietra Washington. So the mystery man, with the mystery gun and he coveted them, his uncle Lonnie's girls. He knew where they were, he knew where they would be.
Maybe Lonnie Franklin could have come forward. Maybe his soul is corrupt. But it's not murder. It's our job to determine [whether that?] Lonnie Franklin is the actual killer. It's not for us to decide what is to happen to the soul. It's not for us to decide who should pay for our sins. It is for us to determine the culpability under the law. That's what our system is based upon, and that is the job you have to do.
What more do we know? The height of the suspect. Miss Washington testified she is five feet seven inches, but she said she was standing over the suspect. And she testified that law enforcement [said?] Franklin was five feet eight inches. Another time she told [detectives?] Franklin was between five feet eight and five feet ten inches.
These are not the heights of Lonnie Franklin. She said she was taller. She said she was standing over him. Lonnie Franklin would not have been someone she was standing over.
Amster argues this testimony creates reasonable doubt.
Miss Washington, after the arrest of the defendant, was brought into court and shown a single photo of Mr. Franklin. Why was that done? We heard Dr. [Eisen?] testify that, the National Academy of Sciences, that only in exigent circumstances, when you don't have time, do you do such a thing.
I believe Amster is referring to, a "six-pack" comparison lineup, and that's what should have been done with Enietra. That showing someone a "six pack" is the standard recommendation instead of a single photo.
Amster continues with his argument. We will never know if the identification was accurate or not. It was the decision of the government in this case not to follow the recommendations by the NAS and not to do a six-pack.
Why do you not question? Because like the rancher, you want people to come to your conclusion. You don't want people to come out, and watch you come out and fire the bullets. No. You want to make sure and you don't want the people to have an inquiring mind. And you don't want to go by the science. And the most terrible aspect of the whole things. Once you show that photo to the individual, like Dr. Eisen [said] the entire memory has been formatted and it's corrupted. On, about her memory is tainted. It's because the government idn't utilize proper information to give us all the science.
Just to recap what Dr. Eisen said. If I present you with a single picture, this must be the suspect. Why
else present me with a single person. It's a suggestive procedure.
When Amster references the science I get a lost. I think what he's saying is, Enitra's ID of the defendant is corrupted, and you can't rely on the 'science' of her ID, because she was initially shown a single photo instead of a six-pack line-up. My fingers are already numb. I need to take a break.
Amster tells the jury more from Dr. Eisen's testimony, about how scars usually stand out, like on a face, and are remembered.
We know at that time, se hever said "a monster." And now we know because of the pock marks, she said it was a monster. This memory has been altered, that "pock marks" are now a monster. Why would an authoritarian figure, want to alter a memory? What is the point of having a National Academy of Sciences, what is the point, if we're not going to follow it? Why do we need to flush our taxpayers money down the toilet?
Opinion: Amster is really reaching now, considering the taxpayer's money the defense spent on DNA testing and expert opinion testimony.
As such, what do we know? The nephew, them yster man has in his possession, has the 25 caliber that shoots her and shoots all the other victims. He has it. We never found that gun or ever had any testimony that Lonnie Franklin was in possession of that gun. the only time that Lonnie Franklin is connected with that gun is during the incident of Enietra Washington. And a Polaroid was taken ... That the person in the car had possession of and that Polaroid was found at the residence. But we know that the nephew was on the grounds of that residence. How much access, we don't know.
Nothing in this case has evidence that is not questionable. Why can't we just have evidence that is not subject to questions whatsoever? This is the evidence envelope of the photograph found of Enietra Washington. Look at it. The line that says date original property booked. [It says] July 12, 1987. July 12, 1987. Yes. A lot of property was booked [in] the Barbara Ware case, but that occurred in January. Barbara Ware's body was found on January 10, 1987. It was not found in July. It was not found on the 12th. Why do we have a date that we cannot explain.
We heard ... and then the date the property was booked in the property division is blank. We heard painstaking testimony for weeks about the procedures that were done at the search. That everything was so painstakingly booked in with computers. And then one of the, probably the most important pieces of evidence, what did we hear? It was booked on [?] not July 12.
Why do we have the date July 12? Why is it there. I'm hopin that this jury will not be the rancher's neighbors, with the bulls-eyes, yes, but with a question.
It makes no difference what I think. This is for you to inquire about the truth and the veracity about the evidence, and for you to rely on. For you are the voice of reason and determination.
Each and every murder in this case could have been done by the mystery man with the mystery man [gun], with the mystery man DNA. If he was there with Enietra Washington, if he knew who Lonnie's girls were and stalked them and wanted them but could never get them.
But he was frustrated and upset, because he was a pock mark. We cannot determine who was there, whether it was the nephew or the uncle. And as was testified to, Paul Williams testified that he knew Lonnie Franklin for over 20 years and he did not have pock marks. That is a fact. The pock marks exist and that's un-contradicted. If Lonnie's nephew had access to the Pinto, to the photographs, to the girls, did ne not have access to the Titan [25 auto]? Of course he does. He had access to everything. He exists. We might say, what do we know about the Titan? See, we don't know where it was on January 1, 2007. We hae an assumption that it was at that resident, but we don't have any facts about it.
The first thing we know, is when Lonnie Franklin was asked about that gun during that interview. He said my brother-in-law gave it to me a week before. Brother-in-law. ... All we know is that it was found in the house in 2010.
A cell phone goes off in the gallery. Judge Kennedy asks that person and their cell phone to leave the courtroom. I believe it might be one of the family members. Amster puts an exhibit up on the ELMO. It's a receipt for the purchase of a firearm, that was found at the residence in 2010. The firearm was purchased on February 17, 1982, three years before the first murder.
We don't have a receipt for the Enietra Washington gun. That remains a mystery gun. Where was the gun from 1982 to 2007? We have an absence of information. All we know is [this?] gun was found at the residence in 2010. And the receipt was not even in Lonnie Franklin's name. It is in Patricia Yvonne Franklin's name. There might have been testimony as to who she is by Paul or Ray Davis. It wasn't Lonnie's wife, because we had testimony. What did Lonnie Franklin explain? That Lonnie Franklin received it from his brother-in-law a week before. This is the gun that killed Janecia Peters.
Now Amster refers to Enietra Washington and I get lost again.
So it is our position, that there's a nephew or youngster who was involved that did each and every murder and there's not sufficient evidence that Lonnie Franklin did that. And it's a reasonable interpretation under the [jury] instruction. The government has to show, that this is an unreasonable interpretation of the evidence in this case.
Now Amster talks about the movie Inherit the Wind. I like to watch old movies or read books ... or I did at one time in my life. Inherit the Wind was one of my favorite books, and the beginning of the play, William Jennings Bryant, or the actor who's supposed to be, describes a story about what he was as a young man and wanted what he called, 'golden dancer.' It was a rocking horse in a display window of a store. He would go by that window....
I stop typing. Amster talks more about the plot of Inherit the Wind. Golden dancer was pretty and shiny and primarily made of glass. It did not have a strong foundation. Science must have a solid foundation. WE must insure that the golden dancers of today will not deceive us.
The people's case is primarily built on DNA. I don't think there is any question of that. And DNA is of only value that we can show uniqueness of the individual to eliminate others as much as we can. We had huge figures brought into this courtroom. Quadrillion numbers. What do those figures mean? Are you going to allow the illusions and the deceptions or are you going to ask the questions? Are we going to believe [Supra Rosner?] when she was asked about what is this 16 quadrillion mean? One in quadrillion unrelated individuals. Do you believe that the population is 7 billion unrelated individuals? The [statistics?] is based on population data from unrelated individuals, that's where that comes from.
I'm not interested in a world where that might be on television of Middle Earth or Westria or Hogworths, that is only composed of unrelated individuals because human kind, I would hope, would procreate. Where does this term come from? And you would agree with me that the population in the US is 3.89 billion.
Amster goes over specific testimony. We don't have a population of solely unrelated individuals but your analysis is based solely on unrelated individuals. Yes. That data is based on population statistics. And so then, have we asked, an you tell me where we have population data where we have a population of unrelated in the world? Where do we have at any country or section or living in the same community ... and that's how we get those statistics.
Amster now goes over the formula that was utilized, and I apologize readers, but I'm lost in this argument and I can't keep up.
Amster continues. Where do these unrelated individuals come from? It comes from these individuals, come from a data bank that donated blood. [That's me! I donate blood and platelets! Sprocket.] Why are they basing all of their information on a statistics of a world that doesn't exist? Does it make a difference if it's 20 worlds or 30 worlds if it doesn't exist? They are making you base your decision on Lonnie's DNA on a world that doesn't exist. [They? I?] said that nature is not exact. It's random. But science is trying to eliminate the randomness of nature.
Now Amster gives an example of a distant relative in his own life, at a family gathering. "This toddler was walking around with a shirt that said, My great, great, uncle is my great, great grandfather."
The point of the matter is, cousins can marry. You can have the mother and father related when they marry. Cousins are legal. What does that do to the randomness of nature?
Amster explains how we get our chromosomes. The randomness of nature can cause two strands to be the same. Amster gives his own history of coming from the area of Austria. There's more family history of people that are related to him. Amster states that science cannot account for the randomness of nature. Nature cannot be beholden to a [?] of the movies [???]
All these loci, they mean nothing as to who we are. This is uncoded science. It's other locations on our DNA that determine our facia features, etc. So how can ou find all the information, when you've never been given a single information on related individuals?
[They are?] trying to argue something that doesn't exist in a fantasy world. It's not my opinion that matters, it's your opinion. This DNA that has a question mark, that the DNA evidence means nothing. Let us start with Enietra Washington, since she is the center of so much in this case.
Amster pauses to go over to the defense table again, looking for something.
What did Enietra Washington tell use about the potential DNA of the individual who assaulted her? She testified that she could feel the suspects mouth on her vaginal area. Transfer of DNA occurred during that time certainly. She could feel the suspect grab her underwear. Each and every time, Amster states, transfer of DNA absolutely.
She remembers lip to lip contact. The suspect was on her body. DNA transfer absolutley. She tried tofight bac,, pushing the suspect away, touching her body with DNA, certainly. The suspect pushed her back. Potential DNA transfer absolutely. When Sargent [?] testified during his interview, Miss Washington testified [to him?] that the suspect inserted his erect penis into her vagina. And what occurred during the testing [of DNA] at Sorenson Labs? The government chose to not give you and DNA in regards to Miss Washington, but they chose and they made that decision. Sorenson's analysis was that no DNA profiles were found that matched Lonnie Franklin. They found an unknown male #1, and found on outside of the shoe's surface.
Sorenson at times, used the same statistics, PMI, random probability ... in their statistical analysis. And they stated that the reason why they did that is because they are required to do so by the FBI. So they use the protocols. Just because they utilized it, doesn't mean that everything they ... [?] What did they tell us about other testing on Enietra Washington? That as a result from [information?] harvested from her underwear, nine donors or multiple donors that were there that were so complex. She testified that they were new that she bought.
This is not in any way to demonize or criticize her lifestyle or what she did or was doing. It is not who she is today. And she is entitled and deservse to be treated [with respect?]. But what does this tell us? These nine donors. Remember, it is the people theory that you must adopt to convict, that Lonnie Franklin is the actual killer, the only actor, the only one doing it. This is their theory, that this is what you must go by. We may not like it, but they made their [?] under the law.
So what do we know about these nine donors? We have the statement that came out in testimony. Linda Lewis told [her?] that she was raped and shot by two guys in a car. That they wouldn't let her out of the car. The testimony of detectives who interviewed Ms. Lewis. But when you [combine?] this with nine donors on her underwear, doesn't that make you question if there was a sole actor in this case? That you must find that ther'es not another theory that is unreasonable.
I'm having trouble keeping up with Amster. Amster goes through the counts: Miss ? Miss ? Amster then says, "I don't know. Too many counts, too many counts." It appears he can't remember the specific facts of the case. It appears as if he's brushing off these victims, as if it doesn't matter.
If not Enietra, then not [one of the counts?] .. Miss Jackson, Miss Wright, Miss Ware, Miss Lowe, Miss Jefferson, Miss Alexander [those counts?] must fall, if you cannot find Lonnie Franklin, Jr., is the actual actor for Enietra Washington because there you have reasonable doubt that Lonnie Franklin possessed the gun.
The morning break is called at 10:33 am. Jurors are told to return 10 minutes to 11:00 am.
I believe the defense tells the court that Mr. Atherton will be walking in at some point. The jurors are called to enter the courtroom. There is a concern by the people that the video cameraman might have been recording the attorneys during the break. It's eventually straightened out; there was no recording.
Amster takes to the podium.
So to be clear, on November 20, 1988, the date of the incident of Miss Washington, it was not Mr. Franklin who had possession of the gun or the Pinto. It was the nephew. It was not Mr. Franklin who had pssession of the Polaroid camera. It was the nephew. [The photo of Miss Washington] it was found behind a wall, not out in the open, behind stacked boxes. Did it look like a trophy that had been looked at all the time? Did it look like it could have fallen down? Police knew at the time of the search that, Enitera Washington said the suspect took a Polaroid of her. Shouldn't they have been careful about the evidence envelope I'd shown you?
There were so many items. there were so many items seized. Was this item really someplace else? Who had access? No DNA or fingerprint attached to that photograph. It's the people's [argument] that only Franklin had access to it, only Franklin knew about it. We don't know who had access to each of those locations, as to how it got placed there and who placed it there. These are questions that you must ask, with inquiring minds. DNA evidence brought forth by the defense to consider, if the government is able to show that Mr. Franklin is the sole individual in each of these counts that they have alleged.
Count 1, Debra Jackson.
No DNA linked to Lonnie Franklin. Now there's a problem. The clothes were destroyed. They were in such a state that they had to be. No aspersions cast on that point but there's no DNA evidence. It's just as likely that DNA could be from someone else other than Lonnie Franklin.
Count 2, Henrietta Wright.
No DNA eidence linked to Lonnie Franklin. Clothes were destroyed. Why? We don't know. Did the government have access to harvest DNA before the destruction? That should not be penalized against the defendant because he did not have access to [them] either. The only evidence linking is the firearm utilized in the Enitra Washington case wher we have stated there's a mystery man with mystery DNA and a mystery gun.
Count 3 Barbara Ware.
There is unknown male #1 DNA. We know that this male is not Lonnie Franklin. He is excluded and there's no question about the ability to exclude anyone. None. Exclusion is absolute. What do we have? From the vagina, the sperm fraction. Is that not a conclusion that one can reach for sexual intercourse. At the best that we have is Lonnie Franklin's saliva on a nipple. But here we have someone who had sex with the victim, but here we are being told this unknown actor had nothing to do with it, that Lonnie Franklin is the killer. The government never even chose to find out if there was this unknown male, on the DNA. They had access to the vaginal aspirant for decades.
[Count 4] Bernita Sparks.
We have another unknown male #1, on a sperm fraction. The same unknown found, found on various sperm fractions. And on each of these, Lonnie Franklin is excluded as the source. And it goes on. For [the?] same unknown male found on the inner crotch and swabbing of the jeans. But the government puts forth that Lonnie Franklin could only be the killer. But we have recent evidence of sexual intercourse of Bernita Sparks. There is no DNA that matches Lonnie Franklin. There's only ... has to flip through papers to come up to Mary Lowe. There's no DNA. No, take that back. He is a potential donor on the left nipple.
Again, when Sorenson looked at no DNA from Lonnie Franklin ... we do have the gun. So the fact that Lonnie Franklin might have had contact with this individual we don't know when.
Transfer DNA. Someone could leave their saliva on the nipple. The saliva gets on the bra. The bra put back on and it transfers. [The people argue?] That only he could have done this an not to the exclusion of all the others.
Then we go to Lachrica Jefferson. And with Lachrica Jefferson, we have again, unknown male #1 DNA found on vaginal swab, sperm fraction. Lonnie Franklin excluded.
Amster mentions another swab, Lonnie Franklin excluded. Another unknown and another sample where Lonnie Franklin is excluded as the source. Several more items tested and Lonnie Franklin excluded.
Amster states, we also have an unknown male #2, where the profile is found on the sandal, with Lonnie Franklin excluded. And a profile found on the right sandal, Lonnie Franklin excluded. A profile found on the torso, Lonnie Franklin excluded. A DNA profile found on the sweather, lower torso, Lonnie Franklin excluded as the source of the profile. Even [with] unknown male #3, #2 and #1, we still have the government's position that it can only be Lonnie Franklin. And then we have anal contact and you are to exclude all that, that only Lonnie Franklin could be the only person, the only slayer and the actual killer. That's the government's position.
No DNA. So what are we left with? The myster gun that was in the hands of the individual that had to go see his uncle.
We've discussed her with no profiles that included Lonnie franklin. Circumstantial evidence must lead you to adopt that it is not Lonnie Franklin's DNA. And to be true to our oath, that is what we must do.
Let us talk about Brincess Berthomieux.
Three unknown males' DAN, one of them twice, on vaginal swabs. Lonnie Franklin excluded. They find an unknown male #2 on left hand fingernail scrapings. Lonnie Franklin is excluded as source of the profile. Also, the same DNA on left hand fingernail clippings. Lonnie Franklin excluded. DNA profile found on beige towel, Lonnie Franklin excluded. Towel found at the location where her body was found. She died as a result of strangulation.
The coroner tells us that a strangulation, [victims] what they will do is fight off the person and we have DNA under the fingernails. That not only does not match Lonnie Franklin it excludes him. We have unknown male #2 twice. WE don't know if this man was violent. We don't know what his history was. We are asked to exclude him and not ask, what his history is, because the government says only Lonnie Franklin.
Why was this DNA under the fingernails not harvested by the government? Why? When they did not answer these questions and wait until the defense got a hold of this evidence. There's nothing we can do. Her life mattered.
Find a mixture of five DNA profiles, of five male DNA was on the right nipple swab. [DNA] found on the left hand fingernail scrapings. A mixture on the right hand fingernail scrapings. We know that Valerie was strangled. There was a ligature connected with Valerie McCorvey.
Amster goes over to the defense table and tries to find something that he's looking for. Another exhibit is put up on the ELMO. It's a photo of the necklace Valerie was wearing, and an image of her neck, with the ligature marks on it.
Amster tells the jury, look at how deep those marks are. Look at how they are more than one line. This was not one place on her neck. This was over a period of time. This is the back of her neck. Again, we see marks. Clearly [acsused?] by the ligature. This was her necklance being wrapped around her neck tighter and tighter.
So she stands there, not doing nothin,g trying to live in any way possible? And what do we have? Going back to the DNA evidence, five male contrubutors under the left and right fingernail scrapings. And we are to believe that Lonnie Franklin is the only actual slayer. The only actual DNA there and we know there were five, at least. But yet, you were to find beyond a reasonable doubt, when the only physical evidence, under the fingernails, was not tested.
By the time the trail went cold, it was too late tof ind anything.
Now Janecia Peters.
DNA profile found on the interior portion of the trash bag, unknown male. Allegedly, the DNA on the zip tie belonged to Lonnie Franklin. Let's look at the picture of Janecia Peters.
This is the picture found at the garage during the search warrant. This has been identified as Janecia Peters. Does she look li,e she's in pain? Does it look like she's voluntarily involved, participating in the photo? It's not something that we may approve of. Remember what we said. It's what we covet, is something that we see every day. We Uncle Lonnie enjoy every day, but the nephew unable to partake, resent, then take. Why would Lonnie Franklin kill the women of his pleasure, when someone [else] covets. More photographs of Janecia Peters are shown. Look at the hair. It is not the same. Her hair is different. They [the photos] were taken at two different times. The time of her enjoyment with Lonnie Franklin, she had longer hair. The time of her demise, where she had shorter hair. Clearly a time went by. Clearly a reasonable assumption that the photo that was taken was not near the time of her demise. You are asked to make an assumption, a giant leap.
The DNA on the zip tie. True it's potentially Lonnie. ... We don't know when the DNA got there. And it could have been before the time of the zip tie. ... The time that Lonnie Franklin and Janecia were involved with each other.
The manner in which the dumpster was handles was interesting. It was put on a flatbed truck, put in another location then arrives ath the coroner's office. How many law enforcement officers do we have there? [Nine?] Did any one of them, did they even think for a second, why didn't they put the bag she was in, in a larger bag? That, before we flip this [contaner] and have it touch all this other garbage, for potential transfer of DNA, why don't we maintain the integrity of the item?
Is it a reach? Yeah, probably. But I'll give you that. But why is it, they didn't do a good job? Absence of evidence that is long gone, that the defense doesn't have access to. So they can shoot their evidence at the side of the barn so they can only show their evidence to be shown, and then not even harvest all the evidence they have. And then take a single picture and show it to the only person who saw the suspect and then ...
Amster's voice is very loud. It's on the verge of screaming. I can't keep up with the argument.
But all this evidence, but they chose not to use it. It's only the defendant. The bulls-eye diagram is up on the ELMO again.
We would like you to examine exhibit 334. There is a date there on the bottom. It was just brought to our attention. It looks like Noember 12, 2006. That is for you to make your inquiry and to make your determination. And the date that her body was found, January 1, 2007. And in that photograph, her hair is certainly longer than how her body was found on around the date of her demise.
If DNA was not conclusively found inside the garbage bag, the inner portion, we have someone elses' DNA on it. This body was unfortunately, rolled around during the time of transportation to the coroner. And clearly the body would have made contact to the inner portion of the bag. The unknown DNA.
Amster mentions Franklin's DNA and the zip tie. Does that mean he is the actual killer? Does it mean he dumped the body, that he was an accessory after the fact, that he aided and abetted? It doesn't rise to the level ... it doesn't rise to ... [beyond a reasonable doubt?] The prosecution contends you must identify Lonne Franklin as the killer. Let us have a recap of the DNA evidence that Sorenson told us about.
Amster goes over again, the list that he just detailed, on counts numbered 1-7.
Again and again the government says that only Lonnie Franklin can be the actual killer. There is evidence of multiple contributors. Still, the government says that only Lonnie Franklin can be the actual killer. There is evidence of multiple contributors. Still, the government says that only Lonnie Franklin could be the actual killer.
Amster goes over the counts again. It's up to you, what questions should be asked and what conclusions should be made.
It's not far from noon. Amster pausing, turns to the court and says, "I could keep going." The court replies, Yes, keep going."
We've discussed the issues of DNa and we've discussed the nephew. Let us talk about ballistics evidence. Would any of you ever consent to a medical procedure, based on subjective evidence?
Why we don't have an adoption of the science or not. And Dr. Hamby, he's a good man, sometime science passes you by. And we are entitled as a society when we are going to make a critical decision. Mr. Lamagna was beat up about the exam he did. It was a cursory exam. But does it really matter? That was a distraction. Dr. Hamby gave us all the information that, gave us the validation of all the information that Mr. Lamagna was bringing forth.
I think it came out pretty loud and clear there is a dispute concerning firearm tool mark identification. Dr. Hamby told us they were concerned about the subjectivity, the lack of ... and the repeatability. What's done in other cases is not important. What's done in this case is important. What was brought out is, they don't look. They don't count. They just look, phrase as, 'I know it when I see it.'
Dr. Hamby furthermore, told us that the way a proper expert should do their examination is circle what they saw for validation purposes. Did we hear that in this case by the government experts? No. How many ways did they ask us to describe what they saw? Can't. Don't know. Dr. Hamby was critical of the examination in this case.
Amster talks about pattern methods with no numbers and consecutive matching strata. He appears to be arguing for the CMS method.
With no numbers, no documentation, you jsut have to believe they are good at what they do. That's all you have. The rejection of more modern technology with topographical capabilities. Dr. Hamby testified that his 10 barrel tests, and they were able to utilize it [the 3D analysis? The CMS method?] and come to an accurate conclusion. A method that can be validated, repeated and seen. But somehow, the prosecution witnesses don't want to utilize what can show what they have seen.
Dr. Hamby said something about objectivity verses subjectivity. This is a science that is subject to dispute. The NAS has better things to do, they think. And every single test he [Hamby?] is doing is a validation test. It is not moving the science forward. It is showing that they can distinguish between two firearms, even though we don't know all the microscopic variabilities in the barrel, even though they don't cast.
We have partial transfers. How many, we don't know. All these things we have, but AFTE doesn't seem to be moving the science forward. Why not? Even with the small attempts to move it forward, our city examiners, our country, they refuse to use anything else but the most ancient of pattern matching evidence. ... And you're asked ot make a determination that the bullets match with the evidence of Janecia Peters. Why we are not moving beyond the 21st century is behond me. You decide what weight you are to give an expert's testimony, for your Honor did provide you with the law.
Amster is not going to read another jury instruction.
Amster tells the jury he will give them the page number on their copy of the instructions. I see jurors lean forward. One juror is rubbing her neck. One juror is leaning to the side.
Amster tells the jury, "Think of it this way. You are only hearing the monologue this day. If you were my family you'd have to be hearing and putting up with a lot more." There's a small bit of laughter at that statement.
Amster reads the instruction. Judge Kennedy tells Amster he is reading the wrong instruction [that he referenced].
Judge Kennedy calls for the noon lunch break. Amster is still not finished with his closing. It will continue in the afternoon session.
Continued in Closing Arguments, Day Two, Part II.....