From l-r: Lonnie Franklin, Jr., Kristen Gozawa, Seymour Amster.
Photo Credit: Al Seib, Los Angeles Times via AP
UPDATE 6/8: corrected first name of criminalist Daniel Rubin
UPDATE 5/23: spelling, clarity
Prior post can be found HERE.
T&T Case coverage and Media Links HERE.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Inside Dept. 109, Judge Kathleen Kennedy's courtroom. Defense attorney Dale Atherton is at the defense table.
Judge Kennedy is at her clerk's desk. There is a conversation with her bailiff and clerk about "court shows" and which ones are scripted and which ones are not. The chat is quickly over and Deputy Sargent Westphal arrives and hangs out with the bailiff and his two assistants today.
Amster arrives and then Atherton leaves with Amster for a moment. Courtroom sketch artist Bill Robles arrives. Amster leaves and then he comes back.
Prosecution team arrives. DDA's Beth Silverman, Marguerite Rizzo, Paul Pzrelomiec and two of the DA's victim advocates that are assigned to this case. The old bailiff from the Kelly Soo Park trial is here. He no longer has the hair he used to have.
DDA Silverman steps into the gallery to speak to her firearms expert. She then comes over to speak to the victim's families. She's always very engaging with them. The second bench row is packed with family members.
The defendant is brought out.
Judge Kennedy takes the bench and asks counsel if they are ready for the jury. Amster asks for a moment. "One short thing, your honor."
It's about the witness that are coming in from Germany. Amster would like the opportunity to meet with them. He knows they are coming in on Sunday. DDA Silverman responds that it's up to the victims. The prosecutor tells the court she will have contact with them hopefully on Tuesday. Amster would prefer that the victims state to the defense directly instead of going through the DA's office.
Amster asks that the court order a German interpreter, that they need a German interpreter anyway. Amster suggest that they do this Wednesday, so that if there are any issues, they can deal with it.
The court asks if they can have the witness present on Wednesday, and they will have other issues to do on Wednesday. There's a 402 hearing on Wednesday. Amster is asking the court to issue an order that the "cut off" be for Wednesday morning for all notes and reports of the people's interview with the German witness to be turned over.
DDA Silverman states that any statement that the witness makes, that is relevant, she'll turn over. DDA Silverman plans to interview her on Tuesday.
Amster has another issue, and that's of showing of any photographs of Mr. Franklin, to the German witness. He asks that they only show her a six pack, and not a single photograph. DDA Silverman answers that she wasn't going to show her a single photograph. She might not show her any photographs.
Firearms examiner Dale Rubin retakes the stand. I note that the sketch artist Bil Robles is using a small, single magnifier, almost like an opera glass to look at the witness before he sketches.
The jury is brought in. Judge Kennedy greets the jury. The court comments on the "Dodger Blue' that a few jurors are wearing as well as the one juror who is wearing "a little bit of Angel Red." The jury laughs, engaging with the judge.
Rubin is back under cross examination by Amster.
31. DANIEL RUBIN - testimony continues
You're familiar with studies of test fired bullets from sequentially manufactured firearms?
You're aware that a test fired bullet gives you more information than an evidentiary bullet?
Test fired [bullets], the damage to them is minimal. Evidentiary bullets are not pristine. They may be damaged and you might have enough information.
Can an expended bullet not have enough information to be compared?
Your lab has standard operating procedures?
Does it define when a bullet is too damaged for comparison purposes?
I don't have the procedure manual memorized, but I do not recall that there is a specific definition in the written procedures.
There are questions about standard operating procedures and that the standards require that examiners must have a working knowledge of the standard operating procedures.
Mr. Rubin outlines the initial steps he takes in examining firearm evidence.
Prior to conducting the comparison microscopy, I look at the evidence under a stereo microscope. If I don't see any tool marks on the bullet or fragment, then I know it is completely unsuitable for this type of examination. If there is any tool mark on the bearing surface, then I proceed to the next step and proceed to the comparison microscopy.
Are there any objective standards?
If there is a tool mark present, then the comparison is conducted.
Is it suitable or not suitable?
If there is a tool mark then it is suitable. If there isn't a tool mark, then it isn't suitable.
Can they [examiners] disagree as far as to the damage to the bullet ... and should not be used for comparison purposes?
Rubin repeats his previous answer again.
And the amount or extend of the damage will limit the amount of tool marks present? ... If the bullet is damaged can you... Can there be a situation where, ... bullets from two different weapons can be matched to the same weapon?
I believe I've explained that already.
I'm surprised. Jurors are covering their mouths. Some are smiling. They might be laughing.
Rubin created a bullet worksheet. He also explains about the department's internal management numbering system. There are more questions about the bullets and now a question about a micro photograph he took of a single bullet.
Rubin's answers are technical, measured, and leave no room for wavering or misunderstanding.
What is the purpose of the measuring?
So I can collect data.
"Really?" Amster replies. "Your honor, can we approach?" Amster appears animated at the side bar. The jurors are intensely watching counsel at the side bar with the court. I believe I hear that Amster is asking that the court have the jury step inside the jury room. Amster appears upset.
The court addresses the gallery. "Yesterday, I admonished the audience to please not make any audible responses. I don't know if the people yesterday are the same people today, but I know this has been a long trial and a long time getting to this point. It's a long time for all of us. Everyone is under stress and strain, but it is not acceptable to make audible comments with regards to the questions that are being asked or the answers that are being given by the witness."
Judge Kennedy continues.
"The attorney did indicate he did hear something. Yesterday, another attorney said he heard something from your folks [unclear who Judge Kennedy is addressing here]. What we're having the jury do is letting them make their decision. ... By comments, faces made, or sighs, or anything from you folks in the audience. What you're risking by that is one having to exclude you and I know you want to be here and you want to show support. ... But I cannot have that kind of conduct. If that's going to happen I'll ask you to leave. You risk having a mistrial in this case. ... Someone will claim later of not having to be a fair trial because of the conduct of the gallery. ... Wouldn't that be horrible if we go through all this and the long time and to have the trial reversed by conduct in the gallery? ... There's not much more. We're [all] having to get through it ... Is that agreeable to all of you?"
Amster tells the court that he would like to voir dire individually the jurors. The court denies that request. Amster then makes a motion for a mistrial. He argues, "These individuals have disrupted the proceedings and I feel it's still going to happen and will continue to disrupt [the trial]."
The court responds, "I did not hear any comments. Ms. Silverman did not hear any comments. ... Maybe they only heard, 'Oh my God.' And that does not rise to that level.
DDA Silverman asks the court, "Could counsel address the court and not the gallery?" Amster responds that he's having his death penalty investigator take notes so he can file a writ.
The jury is brought back in and Amster starts his questioning again.
Amster goes over with the witness where it's documented in his notes the measurements he's taken of the lands and grooves. Amster states his question as fact, that the only information regarding the bullet 13B was the worksheet for land and grooves impressions. Rubin states that there is always a possibility of evidentiary bullets being altered during an examination.
That means, that any examiner that examines your work there after, could be looking at a piece of evidence with more tool marks?
Correct. ... When an artifact is introduced onto a piece of evidence ... that procedure is documented in the notes and a qualified examiner would be able to identify that.
So that could also alter the ability to see the impression on that bullet?
In the universe of extreme possibilities, then yes.
After you were done examining the evidence, you had someone examine it to verify ... and it's potentially that person examined it after ... ?
In the context of what we've been discussing, yes.
So people going back wouldn't be able to [duplicate? or see what you saw?]?
As you stated in such an extreme case, yeah.
So, operating the way you're doing, we have no guarantee that your work is reproducible?
I would disagree with that statement. Wholeheartedly. ... As I stated, it's only in extreme cases where an artifact would be introduced. ... A qualified examiner would take great care, not to modify the [useable? readable?] tool marks on this evidence. ... After the evidence fragment is finished being handled and manipulated, it is examined using the comparison microscopy. So, no need to further introduce [any more marks, or handling]. The comparison microscope, the microscopy is completely non-destructive.
There are questions about whether the analysts handle multiple cases at once.
Often times when a case is started, it gets to a certain stopping point and needs to stop for the technician, or other cases become a priority. The open case is sealed before another case is opened so there is no [contamination]. When I do the actual lab work there is only one case open at a time.
Is it your opinion that human error could not occur and use calipers [miss rest of question]?
Objection.Vague. [Miss ruling.]
An individual could alter a tool mark because they were working on one case and not another? ... You don't feel it's a good scientific practice or [safer?] to take photographs that everything you saw ... is reproducible for another analyst?
Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence. [Over ruled.]
I will say that I do not feel it is necessary.
You feel it is not necessary because the other analysts in your lab cannot alter evidence?
Objection. Argumentative. [Sustained.]
Are you even aware of an error being made in your laboratory?
Objection! The court states they need to hear the entire question first.
Are you even aware of being aware of [any] analyst making an error in your lab?
Objection. Irrelevant. [I believe this question is sustained.]
Amster asks to go to side bar before he asks his next question.
Amster tries to get in question after question about potential errors that could have been made in the lab and if the lab has ever made an error before.
Objection. Sustained. Juror #2 shakes her head. Jurors smile and look at each other. This time, it's a long side bar. Jurors intently watch counsel at the side bar.
Amster is back to asking questions about the worksheet for bullet 13A, and measuring grove impressions. Amster states that the witness didn't take a micro photograph to reflect the entire area he measured. Rubin states, "That's correct."
I note that very few jurors are taking notes.
Do you remember if you looked at a portion of the bullet that was not part of the groove impression that you measured?
I looked at the entire bullet, including the ... I describe how I measured the width. [Rubin faces the jury when he answers.] And to be clear, I used a similar technique to measure the groove impression. I only measure one slit for the tool mark identification. I look at the entire bearing surface of the bullet.
So the entire bearing surface was not measured?
Rubin states that he doesn't need the entire tool mark, to render an opinion. He then gives an analogy example and adds, "That's why it's an analogy and not a complete illustration of tool mark examiners."
Do you think different too mark examiners could ... ?
No. I feel that a qualified examiner will come to the same conclusion.
What of an examiner that uses the CMS method?
So you feel that, no matter what, generally ... ?
If they are indeed a qualified tool mark examiner, it is my opinion they will come to the same conclusion.
When you render the opinion that all tool mark examiners ... are [they?] only using the same methodology that you use, or that only... ?
I am not the one qualifying the examiners. That's up to the agencies and the courts [whether] they testify in or not.
Amster is asking questions about every item listed in the examiner's worksheet.
You used the term reproducibility yesterday. What does that mean?
Reproducibility. That a tool mark will repeat or reproduce from one exemplar to another. ... That tool mark reproduces from one tool mark to the next.
More than one juror is covering their mouths with their shirt or jacket during this cross.
Amster keeps asking how the witness "remembers' the number of reproducible marks. Rubin states he is comparing them visually and seeing, in that moment in time, the marks were reproducible.
Did you inspect inside the barrel of item #721?
Why do you inspect inside the barrel?
Rubin explains what class marks are and what are sub class marks. Rubin explains how different class marks are identified.
You said sub class marks could exist on several barrels that were manufactured by the same manufacturer. On item 624, you did not look at other marks and models of those firearms to see if those same reproducible marks?
So each of the reproducible marks, you believe were unique marks?
That are unique to that barrel, yes.
The court calls the morning break.
We are back on the record. The jury files in. Another exhibit is put up on the ELMO.
[The jury has heard firearms examination evidence ad nauseam. They heard it in the trial itself from defense and prosecution witnesses and now they are hearing basically the same information all over again.]
Amster now wants the witness to look at micro photographs and identify specific aspects of the photo, the number of lines, etc., that he was able to match to another bullet or firearm. Rubin replies that the problem is, a photograph does not document the comparison. It only documents the work that was performed.
[Dr. Hamby testified that the human brain and eye, in conjunction with a comparison microscope is still superior to a computer program trying to make a tool mark comparison between bullets and firearms. It's a low cost, tried and true method that has worked for as long as comparison microscopes have been in use. A two dimensional photograph, cannot be used to show comparison work because it does not give dimensional information to what was seen with the eye, using a comparison microscope.]
Amster now moves onto the Sharon Dismuke evidence. I don't see a single juror taking a note. I see several crossed arms, yawns and mouths being covered. Now Amster is asking about the detailed information in the examiner's notes.
Amster asks about NIBIN, an imaging system. There are several parts to it so there are several names and initials. Rubin verifies he has access to this system. Bullets are uploaded to this system, but Rubin cautions, not just any bullets. The system is limited to 38 special and 38 magnum bullets.
Are there any systems that you are aware of that would allow you to upload 25 caliber bullets?
I don't know the limits [of these imaging systems].
Were any of the firearms you examined, were they 38 caliber?
Did you upload any of those firearms to see in those systems?
I don't recall. I'd have to go back to look at the lab.
Why do we have NIBIN in the first place and why do we use it?
NIBIN, in general, a fired ammunition component is photo micro graphed, taken of the tool mark and that image is digitized beyond the scope of my expertise, and this evidence and test fired exemplars [that is entered]. ... When an item is entered into the system, the system searches the data it has to see if there are similarities, to see if one case is related to another case. ... It's a screening tool that labs use to aid investigators.
Another question about .38 caliber evidence updated to the system. Objection, irrelevant. Sustained.
Another micro photograph is presented.
You used test fired bullets to compare to coroner evidence/
This photograph, does it help you, does it refresh your memory in any way ... ?
Again, [Rubin turns to face the jury] as I've said to the other two photos, they show areas that were representative of the tool marks. By the way it's reproduced I cannot say significantly what is a comparison.
Do you see any dissimilarity?
Again, that photograph is ... The photographs themselves don't show everything, and that's all I can say.
And you don't have any other notes that document reproducible marks to show how you came to your conclusion?
Another micro photograph the witness took during his examination. The witness is asked to tell us what the exhibit is.
That is a photo micrograph showing the left side bullet, 18B on the right is the test fired pistol [721?] showing the land engraving.
And you don't have any other notes that would reflect your observation as to what you saw in the pattern?
A specific portion of the tool mark, no.
Does your standard operating procedure say anything about what you are allowed to photo and digitize in your lab as far as expended ammunition?
Judge Kennedy steps in and asks her own question.
You don't use the photos for comparison, it's only used for note taking?
It came out strongly in our training not to use photographs for comparison.
I believe Amster asks the last question.
Did your training address using digitized photographs to make comparisons?
The witness explains this [micro photographs] goes back to when they used film to document their work. Amster's cross is finished.
DDA Silverman redirects her witness.
With respect to the marks that you noted on 13A. You told us there was a marking, a WM. Does that stand for another firearm examiner, William Moore?
And RKM, does that refer to Richard Maruka [sp?]?
He's retired, but he did work in our laboratory.
The markings that you noted that were consistent to firearms examiners who worked in your office?
The redirect is finished. Smiling, Judge Kennedy addresses the witness. "Thank you Mr. Rubin. I think you can go." The jury laughs at that and Rubin thanks the jury.
The people call their next witness, Sherry Costa. She's sworn in. As soon as she takes the stand, Amster requests a side bar. I can hear snatches of the conversation at the side bar. Towards the end of the side bar, a note has come from the jury to the court right after the side bar. It appears that Mr. Amster is addressing his questions to the jury instead of to the witness. I also hear, "We the jury appear to be...."
Judge Kennedy retakes the bench. She apologizes to the witness and excuses her until 1:30 pm.
The following italicized text was already reported in this post on May 19. Sprocket.
The court states, "We have an issue we have to take up. ... I have a note in my hand. It's written by Alternate #3."
Judge Kennedy reads the note. [I do not have the entire text of the note verbatim. I will try to obtain it. Sprocket]
Good morning. Today we have noted [the defense attorney] is physically directing his questions to us the jury and not the witness. We have come to the consensus his actions have made us feel uncomfortable and threatened.
This does not affect what the jury is here to do and listen to all the evidence.
P.S. We can still be fair.
The court inquires with Alternate #3. The jury tells the court it was a combined effort. Alternate #3 was chosen because she has the best handwriting. Then Juror #8 speaks for the group.
Judge Kennedy asks, "You and the jurors feel threatened by the way the defense attorney [is communicating?]
Juror #8 answers the court:
It’s more or less the questions are directed [at us], it's the body language, [eye contact], its physically directed toward us and not specifically ... [to the witness]... He’s done this [with other witnesses throughout the trial].
The jurors are looking down rather than look up and its uncomfortable to [us] that rather then the questions [directed at us, he] should be looking at the witness.
Judge Kennedy asks another question. "And so you feel uncomfortable and some of the jurors feel uncomfortable ... and some of the jurors are nodding their own heads, yes."
Judge Kennedy continues. "Some attorneys have their own style and manner of communicating.
I do know that Mr. Amster has no hostility toward you. ... I’m concerned that you might not be able to render a fair verdict towards Mr. Franklin."
Juror #8 responds, "Not at all. We are here for a reason and we are all here for a reason. We are asking that he modifiy his behavior so that we do not feel uncomfortable doing our job."
The court inquires, "Do you feel that you would be unfair?
[I miss the answer but I believe the juror answers that they can be fair."
The court and counsel then go back to side bar. After the sidebar, the court excuses the jurors to an early lunch. After the jury has left, the court has counsel discuss in open court.
Defense attorney Amster starts off.
Our problem with Ms. Silverman ... at side bar, she point at the jury. She continually interrupts me in the middle of a question. We have tried to control ourselves but we are human and we have emotions and it's gotten to this point, unfortunately. ... What we have done has not [influenced?] this jury. If my conduct is unprofessional then [make a complaint to?] the state bar. ... It's about the defendant's rights. ... If there is something that I've done, that the jury is no longer impartial...
Amster suggests he write out a letter of apology for the court to read and we move on.
Judge Kennedy replies, "But as I said at side bar, I think that this is an advantage that this has been communicated to you because most times you wouldn't get this information. They are indicating to you that they feel uncomfortable by how you're asking questions and it's distracting them from paying attention to the evidence. ... They've also indicate that, that they want to listen to the evidence and the don't want to be distracted. ... So they could have just kept to themselves and continued to be more and more unhappy if the way that you're asking questions continued. ... So write something during the lunch hour and see what it says. And if it’s appropriate, I’ll read it on your behalf and well move forward.
Amster counters that it is the defense position that this is something that they [the jurors] should have communicated to the court and not each other. Amster then misspeaks and says, "Seeing that we brought this to the jury..." He's quickly corrected by the court and he apologizes.
He continues. "Seeing that the jury brought this to us. ... Being that we have a heightened sensitivity to this issue. I have to have a heightened sensitivity on this issue, ... this will give the prosecution an unfair advantage if they continue to interrupt us."
The court has a theory and a suggestion. "I will suggest, I'm, maybe ... before you were questioning from the lectern, and now you're not. If you're at the lectern, and you're looking straight on at the witness box, maybe that would ameliorate that to some degree."
Amster counters, "The way this court is set up, I hear so many snide remarks, I'm tired of it."
Amster and the court go back and forth about the snide comments that he hears and that sometimes it's difficult to get to the lectern because the legs are stretched out. The court tells Amster that she's brought it up and made admonishments. Amster states that it's continually happening.
DDA Silverman offers to move her staff to behind the front rows. The court tells the people they don't have to do that. Judge Kennedy states it's just his [Amster's] field of vision.
And that's where it was left when the court breaks for lunch at about 11:55 am.
At 1:30 pm, Amster prepared a statement but the people objected to his statement being read to the jury. DDA Silverman argued the statement would be tantamount to the defense attorney, testifying to the jurors. Judge Kennedy compromises and states she will read something to the jurors, which she did.
On the record. The jury is present. Judge Kennedy speaks to the jury. "I have spoken with counsel. Mr. Amster wanted me to let you know he does apologize for creating any discomfort on any part of the jury, and he is going to question all the witnesses by looking directly at them and not at you. ... I want to remind you that anything the lawyers do, defense or prosecutor, you're not to let what they do per se, affect your decision and your job. And like you wrote in your note, it's to base your decision on the evidence, or not with anything that I may do. ... And thank you for bringing it to our attention."
The next witness is Sherry Costa
32. SHERRY COSTA
Do you know someone named Barbara Ware?
She's my niece.
Who's the relationship [where does it fall?]?
She's my brother's daughter.
Now, did you grow up living close by?
Yes. ... I was living in Kansas and she would come to visit the grandparents. And we would see each other. They were in California and I was in Kansas. ... Later, I moved then to California in 1979.
The witness was an adult and Barbara was almost an adult as well.
Did you call her Barbara Beth Ware?
Her nickname was Beth.
Since Beth was the name Barbara was usually called, DDA Rizzo switches to that name.
When you relocated to California, where were you?
I was here in Los Angeles. .. I moved out with my brother and sister-in-law and I stayed with them for a short while. ... I got to know her for a short time.
Were you close?
We were close ... we were close. ... She eventually came and lived with me for a short while. ... We celebrated holidays, birthdays. We had a good time together.
Their age difference was about 20 years.
Would you do things together with Beth?
Yeah. A lot of times she had her daughter and I had my children. ... She babysat for me while I worked.
A cell phone goes off in the gallery. It's the witness's phone, in her purse she left with her friend in the gallery. The courtroom laughs.
You said that Beth lived with you for a while, is that right?
This was after the witness moved out of her brother's home and into her own apartment.
She had children of her own then.
And Beth came to live with you at that time?
She was, um, maybe in her 20's.
And she brought her daughter? ... What's her daughter's name?
And she was very young when she lived with you?
Yeah. It was fun and we had the good times. My children were young and we celebrated a lot of birthdays together.
What was she like?
Well, she, ... she was a happy person. She loved to laugh. She was a good spirited person. And she trusted people.
Do you think that was a fault of hers in some way?
I couldn't say it was a fault, no.
Yes. Too trusting. .. I never ever heard her put anyone down. I never heard that from her, no. ... She was always so good about people. She was a fun loving person. She was about life.
The witness is asked about some of the things that Beth liked to do.
She loved to roller skate. I loved to roller skate.
The old fashioned kind?
Yes. We used to go to the roller rink. ... Rolling wheels.
Was she a good roller skater?
Yes, but I was better.
The courtroom laughs.
What about your children and Beth's daughters. Did they all get together to celebrate holidays?
We celebrated as a family.
Who do you say was the person that was the closest person to Beth?
Maybe her sister.
When Beth was living with you, did she talk to you about what she wanted to do with her life, her hopes and dreams?
I talked to her about improving herself. She went to night school. She got her certificate.
So she wanted to do better?
She would take care of my children during the day and go to school at night.
Then when she went to school at night, you took care of her daughters?
Yes. ... It worked out.
So the whole family supported each other and made their life better?
How did you hear about Beth's death.
I think my brother gave me a phone call. ... It was hard to believe. I didn't understand why. ... We didn't know what happened to her.
At some point did you find out what happened to her?
Quite a few years later. I thought that they had found out what had happened to her, but in the long time, we never knew.
But eventually, you found out?
My brother and his wife planned the funeral.
You went to the funeral?
What do you remember about that day?
It was a sad day. Sad day.
Did it seem surreal to attend the funeral of your young niece, ... especially when you didn't know what had happened?
She goes to the cemetery now every memorial day to remember her and her brother, who passed away. Her birthday is in January.
What about the holidays? Does you family still get together to celebrate holidays?
The holidays, yes. ... As far as my other family, we put their names on balloons and release the balloons. ... So that they are not forgotten.
Do you do that once a year?
Usually on Memorial Day.
She shows the witness some photos.
When you went roller skating, did you wear outfits?
No, I didn't.
Photos of Barbara Bethune Ware is presented. She's beautiful.
That's Beth. Barbara.
Do you know when that photo was taken? ... It looks like she was in her early 20's?
She may have been, yes.
Another photo, exhibit 420 a and b. Both are of Beth. One is of Beth with rollers in her hair. The other, she was at her aunt's house. This was when she was living with the witness, and getting ready, starting her day with her rollers in her hair.
More photos of Beth with family, her father Clifford Ware, back in Wichita, Kansas. This was when Beth was out visiting. Another group photo with Sherry's daughter Angela, Barbara in the middle and Barbara's daughter in front of her. Sherry's niece Treva and Treva's daughter in front of her. It was taken on a Mother's day. All the daughters played together and got along.
Another photo of the little ones. Her daughter Angela, Naomi, Tia and her nephew Shawn. Another photo of Beth with Naomi and Angela. In this photo, they were at Chuck E. Cheese. It was somebody's birthday party.
More photos. These are of Beth when she had taken a class at Crenshaw High School and she had gotten her certificate. The photo shows Beth's teachers at the ceremony. This was the certificate that she went to school at night to obtain. A photo of Beth with her certificate.
Was she proud of her accomplishment?
Yes. And we were proud of her.
Another group photo of Beth with her classmates. The next photo is of the funeral program and Beth's obituary. The funeral was at Harrison Ross Mortuary, View Park Chapel. You can see in the obituary, all the many names of the people that Beth left behind. She's buried in Inglewood cemetery. A photo of her marker stone. It says Barbara Bethune Ware. January 8, 1964 - January 10, 1987. She was 23.
When you do go there, what do you do?
We go and we usually clean off the graves, and a lot of times we let off balloons. And we make sure the grave site is clean and we lay flowers.
Do you talk to her?
No. ...It's still hard.
Do you think about her?
Yes I do.
Not as often as I used to. ... Something can come across my mind and I will think about her.
What do you miss about her?
Her laughter. She was silly.
And everyone around her [enjoyed her?] laughter?
When was the last time you saw her?
New Years Eve, before she passed away.
And she was murdered a couple of days into January?
What do you remember about that New Years Eve?
We were all together as family at my brother's house.
Do you remember anything special about that New Years Eve?
Not right off hand. ... It's been a while.
No cross examination.
The people call Treva Anderson.
33. TREVA ANDERSON
Do you know someone named Barbara Ware?
Yes. That's my sister.
You called her Beth?
Would you like me to refer to her as Beth?
How old were you at the time of her death?
I'm not sure.
What's the age difference?
We were seven years apart. ... So I was about 30.
Did you grow up with Beth?
No. I was born and raised in Wichita Kansas. ... I believe she was born in Los Angeles.
We didn't refer to each other as half sisters.
Did you have other brothers and sisters? And she had other brothers and sisters?
I only know Billy. ... I think he's younger. No, he's older.
So you were in Wichita Kansas growing up and Beth was out here. At some point did you make your way west?
Yes. I moved to San Diego in '78, and I got to know Beth a lot better. ... We saw each other a lot. We came down every other weekend, and lots of relatives were down here all the time. ... And Beth and us were really close.
Describe the relationship for us.
We didn't know each other growing up. We'd only met a couple of times. ... Once I moved to San Diego, I really got to know her. Every time we [met] I got to hang out at the furniture store. We would come up for the holidays ... and just for, to come up. ... And a lot of catching up too. And our kids were kind of growing up together.
Once you and Beth got to hang out together, did you feel as though you knew her for a long time?
I felt like an older sister and she used to ask me for advice. So I'm used to playing that role and she fit right in.
What kinds of things would she ask you about?
Working, raising kids, just general every day stuff.
Did she have her daughter by the time you moved to California?
I'm not sure if Naomi was born [yet]. I remember her from an infant.
All of their kids got to know each other and play together.
What were some of the things you would do together when she came out on the weekends?
Hang out at our aunts house, barbecue, go to the movies and hang out.
[Did you go roller skating?]
I wasn't aware of the skating. ... There was a little competition between her and Aunt Sherry.
Did Beth talk to you about what she wanted for her future life?
Not really. We didn't have those kinds of talks. It was always about fun. [She was] funny, a joker.
Is there something you remember about her, the way she laughed?
She, every time I came up here, she always tried to hit me up for something. ... We had an ongoing [joke?] about that. Money, cigarettes, something. She really didn't need it but she just wanted to get it from me.
They didn't share clothes. Beth didn't like her style.
Who was the closest person to her?
How is it you learned about Barbara's death?
My father called me, and we had just been here for New Years. Beth and I had run out to the store to get ... she wanted some cigarettes and we were trying to make it back before midnight. And it was raining. We were running for the car and we were just giggling like little girls.
She stops for a moment and rubs her eyes.
And then my father called me and told me she was dead. ... And it was 10 days since I'd seen her. And it was so hard. We had just seen her. It was two days after her 23 birthday. It was the worst thing that could ever happen. ... It hurt my father really bad. ... He probably didn't recover from it.
That was his baby?
He wasn't the same after that. That was his baby.
How was the rest of the family?
We got over it, because we have a close knit family. Every birthday, every holiday, we still do everything together.
What about New Years Eve? Do you think about that wonderful New Years Eve that you had together?
That was one of the days that sticks out to me. ... We don't celebrate [that] anymore. ... My father isn't here.
Did you help plan the funeral?
No, but I went to the funeral.
What was that like?
It was terrible. It was the first time I'd ever seen my father cry.
That was a hard thing to see?
He was my protector.
Do you go to the cemetery?
Every year and on Memorial day.
I'm the one that does all the cleaning and digging in the dirt. We have a lot of people there that we go visit and put flowers there. ... Billy has never been to her grave and that's what he wants to do.
I'm going to show you some photos, okay?
Exhibit 468, a photo of Barbara.
That looks like a photo her father had down at the store. He had a photo of all three girls on his desk.
The next photo is of Bill, her grandfather and Beth. This was probably one of the times they were in Wichita. Next is a photo of the memorial program. She doesn't remember when the photo on the program was taken. The obituary, and all the people named in the obituary that were left to mourn her, after she was killed.
You indicated that one of the last times was that New Years Eve, right before she was murdered.
If you knew it was going to be the last time you were going to see her, what would you say to her?
That I loved her. she knew I loved her and I probably did tell her that. ... I don't know. ... That kind of stuff that happens, I guess I would have told her to be safe.
No cross examination. DDA Silverman calls her next witness, Dr. Vivian Williams.
34. VIVIAN WILLIAMS
Tell us who you know by the name of Georgia Thomas?
She's my younger sister.
What was the age difference?
Who was older?
Were there any other kids in your family?
There were a total of six of us.
How many other sisters other than Georgia?
Two sisters and two brothers.
Are you the oldest of the children? ... Georgia was the second oldest?
Did you share a close relationship?
Did you know where she was living at the time of her death?
I think it was on near Martin Luther King Blvd. ... I sure knew how to get there.
Was it also near Western?
Where were you living?
In Gardena, on Manhattan Place.
Where Georgia was living at the time, ... is that all in the South Los Angeles area?
Yes. ... She was basically between there and my mom's house.
She would go back and forth?
Yes. Mom lived on West 57th.
How is it you learned about your sister's death?
Detective Greg McKnight called. ... He went to my mom's house.
And he called you from there?
He called you on the phone?
Yes. ... He was at my mom's house [which also was?] my younger sister's house. ... My mom had since passed away, and my younger sister [Kathy?] was there and she was so distraught. ... So he called me.
How old was she?
She was older than 20. She was in her mid 20's.
So you spoke with [Detective] McKnight on the phone?
He told me that they had found Georgia. ... First he asked me if I knew her. ... And I wanted to know why and he said they had found her. I said, Why are you asking me that. I know her. ... He said they found her and that she had been found murdered.
What did you think to yourself?
I first thing that I thought is, I need to get to my sister. ... Let me get to her. ... I told her I'm on my way and I rushed out of the house to get to where my sister was. When I got there, she was on the floor. She was a mess. She couldn't tell me anything, really.
Was Detective McKnight still there?
No, but the neighbors were there and he left his business card.
Did you keep in touch with Detective McKnight [over the years].
That's my brother from another mother. ... I contact him on his birthday, every holiday, his son going to collage.
So ... Detective McKnight has become a member of your family. ... So he is someone over the years, that has been there as a shoulder to lean on as you've been waiting all these years for your sister's killer to be apprehended?
[Yes.] This was the first time [in court] I'd met him.
Did your sister have any children?
She had one son who was murdered in September '93.
September of 1993?
Did you and Georgia have a close relationship with your mother as well?
And you mentioned she lived with her mother as an adult?
I was always fussin' with her, You have to be an adult and [can't] be in and out of mom's house.
Did your mom also die?
February 21, 1993 mom passed away. ... She won her battle with cancer.
Who went to the coroner's? Did your mother or did you do that?
Mom was already gone. Actually I identified Georgia's body.
What was that like?
It was hard, but it was my responsibility as the older sibling. ... We didn't have parents [with us]. Our father lived in Arkansas.
Who planned the funeral and all of that?
It was me.
How did you go about doing that? You had your own family and your siblings and you were the oldest child so you felt that you were responsible for acting like a mother?
What was that like?
As my aunt and uncle told me, it was my responsibility to do what I could and handle it. ... So I had to take care of it.
Was that a difficult day?
It has been the hardest. I found my mother's was the hardest.
But your sister's was less difficult?
After mom, I still had my family, but when Georgia was murdered, I lost my family.
It's difficult to lose a family member under any condition, right?
Does it make a difference losing someone when they pass away from age or illness, or say when you know they die a violent death?
My experience has been, the answer to that question would be yes.
What's the difference? ... When you think back with your mother, do you tend to focus on that span of time and that relationship you had all those years?
With my mother, I get to think about the fact that she's not suffering any longer. That's the [time?]. And right now, to be totally honest, I'm really glad shes not here. ... I wouldn't want her to go through this. I think this would put her in the grave. And I would not want to push her in a crypt, to push her in a crypt because of this. I'd rather cancer put her there, than this.
So you think this would have destroyed her?
Has it been difficult for you?
Did you at some point, give up hope that your sister's murder would ever be solved? ... What was that like, knowing she died in a violent manner and not being able to have any sense of closure?
It was hard. It was very difficult because I always felt that, in my mind, I always felt that I was unable to protect her. I always felt that I had two other sisters and a daughter and there's this crazy person out there. I don't know where they are and if they might come back. I never stopped to think about well, girl they know who you are. I alwasy thought they would know who they are. I always worried about my other sisters and daughter.
That feeling, that not knowing who, you were scared?
What has been the impact on you or changed the way you see things, or maybe treat your own child?
Smothering. I ... [she pauses] I [denied?' allowing her to travel with her friends. I found reasons that I would take yer. Her friends went on a trip around the world together. I wouldn't allow her to go so I quit my job and I took her. And I feel bad about that, but I chose to find a reason so I could protect her because I was so afraid that this crazy person was out ther and I couldn't be out there to protect her.
So you feel guilty that you were not able to save your sister?
So you are very cautious even with your daughter, even though she's an adult?
I talk to her about what happened. She knows.
And she's been a source of comfort to you, even though you lost your sister? ... Has she been able ot provide you with a sense of of comfort?
She has. She tries to talk to me. She says, well mamma, it's not your fault. You shouldn't feel guilty. I try to appease her.
Are there times of the year where you think about your sister more than others?
What tie of the year is that?
Around birthday time because that was my birthday vacation that I spent preparing her funeral.
And her birthday time?
Her birthday was August 30? Of what year?
The following notes were previously posted in a condensed form.
Years ago, did you ever take your sister to visit a friend [of hers] who lived on 81st Street?
And where was that, do you remember on 81st?
Just off Western.
Do you remember what the house looked like?
I don't but I used to tease her that it looked like a "cookie house."
Like a gingerbread house?
How many times do you think you took your sister and dropped her off at her friends, just off Western?
Maybe eight, ten times.
And when you dropped her off there, did you ever seen your sister's friend?
Where did you see her friend?
At the gate. ... Her friend would open the gate to let her in, because we would never leave until I saw someone let her in. ... And they would wave to me. Her friend would wave to me.
Was it a female or a male?
It was a man. ... A black man.
Did your sister ever tell you your friend's name?
What did she tell you?
When you would drop your sister off there, did you drop her off near the time of her birthday?
It was at different times.
Did you drop her off there at different [times?]?
Did she tell you about [the birthdays?]?
That they had dual parties. That they celebrated the birthday. Their birthdays were the same dates.
Your sister was born in 1957?
I'd like to show you some photographs.
Exhibits 601 to 610 and 644, 645. Exhibit 610 is put up.
That's Georgia Mae.
Do you know what age she was?
I don't know. She was in her 30's.
Another photo she identifies as Georgia. Another photo that Vivian states looks like her sister was at a bar. Then another photo with Georgia and her son Ricky [sp?].
And you said he was murdered at what age?
I think 18.
Another photo with Georgia at Vivian's house. She identifies the people in the photo. Georgia and my daughter Anesha [sp?], when she was 2. Another photo with Georgia and their mother, before their mother passed away. Another family photo with a cousin, Vivian's daughter and Georgia. More photos, this time with Georgia and young children at their mother's house. The photos keep coming of Georgia with various family members. Another photo of Georgia, at a barbecue at their uncle's place. She points out all the people in the group. And another photo of Georgia and her son Ricky when he was a little boy. Another photo, of her funeral program, and then a tribute that Vivian wrote for her sister that was inside the program.
What kind of sister was Georgia?
She was fun. She was too trusting.
She thought everybody was her friend?
Everybody she knew was her friend.
Do you remember what kind of things were her favorite things to do ... ?
She wanted to dance, and she knew I couldn't dance. ... She loved to dance and she loved to cook.
Was she a good cook?
What would you say, during her adult life, what was the greatest joy that you would say that she had? ... Was that her son?
Did the two of them have a close relationship?
I thought she was going to die when Ricky was murdered. She couldn't do anything. She couldn't help me do nothing.
Eventually she was able to pull herself together. ... How long before she was murdered before she got her life back together?
Her brain started coming around because she said her house was boring.
Eventually, did she get her life together and start doing things again?
Yes. ... She started going back around her friends and stuff and doing her own thing.
What is it that you would say you miss the most about Georgia?
Her laughter. Her phone calls, her prank calls. I really miss that.
Has being here during many days of the trial and listening to the evidence and seeing the evidence, has that provided you with some answers all these years?
Yes, it has helped a lot.
Nothing further. Defense attorney Amster asks for a side bar. It's longer than usual.
Amster will cross the witness. This is the first family member to undergo cross examination.
You say that you used to take your sister over to a house.
Yes I did.
How many times did you do this?
I don't know the exact number. Maybe eight to ten times, maybe. ... It was normally on a Sunday evening. ... Usually it would be on a Sunday evening. They would go dancing.
Was this for a period of two or three months?
No. It was longer than that.
About six months?
I don't think so. I don't know exactly.
The last time ... You say that you would drop her off at the house and you would see a man come out?
Did you see him make eye contact?
Yes, as a matter of fact. He would wave at me.
The witness makes a waving gesture with her right hand.
At some point, you were notified about her death?
How much time had elapsed ... and she was notified about her death and the last time you dropped your sister off at this location?
I don't remember that.
The witness shakes her head as she answers the last question.
You were contacted by the police about the death of your sister, yes?
Did you ever tell the police about [this friend]?
I didn't think it was necessary. No. Wait. I mentioned it in an interview. ... I mentioned it to ... I did mention. I mentioned it to Detective McKnight.
Do you [know] ... did he ever show you any pictured of the house [to you?]?
Did you ever go with him on this street and [show him] this house that you used to drop your sister off at?
When you said you mentioned it to Detective McKnight, was that after an arrest or was that before?
When you would drop your sister off, would you only see one adult or more?
I saw a person and it was the same person every time.
Did she ever make any statement that there was violence [related to this person? location?]?
Did she ever say anything to you about this person that led you to believe it was a bad relationship?
Can you estimate in any way, the time period between when you last dropped your sister off at this house, and the date you learned about your sister's death?
Sir, again, I don't remember the dates.
Do you think it was months, years or weeks ...?
I don't recall. If you want to know abut the relationship, she told me it was her boyfriend.
The court interrupts and asks, "Mam, you have to wait for another question."
Amster is finished with his cross examination. A juror has a medical appointment so they are ordered back at 9:00 am tomorrow. She wishes the jury a wonderful evening. "Even the lady wearing red, I wish you a wonderful evening." The jury laughs, and the court thanks them.
All the jurors have left. The court asks the people what witnesses they are calling for Friday morning.
DDA Silverman responds, Ms. Clark, John Hernandez [sp?] Jeff Deacon, unless the defense wants to stipulate to the prints. Amster states he cannot stipulate to the prints. He will stipulate to the priors package that was him. Amster states he will have Mr. Atherton work on that, and then he laughs and laughs.
DDA Silverman mentions about Amster stipulating to the priors package, and then states she will call Detective Dupree and that testimony will be brief. The Friday session will be short. The court asks if there's anyone else that they can fit into Friday. DDA Silverman mentions one witness but the rest are out of town witnesses. There's a bit of housekeeping in getting an exhibit marked, the witness that will be called again are mentioned and that's it.
Continued in Part 7.......