Monday, February 4, 2008

Bobby Cutts Murder Trial: Day One

Note: Coverage of the Bobby Cutts Jr. Murder Trial is by myself, Sprocket, and donchais. We are splitting up the coverage between us which is why you will see two different reporting styles in one entry.

We didn’t even know until today that cameras would be allowed in the courtroom. We are both ecstatic about that because we thought we would have to rely on other blogs for coverage. Donchais has followed this case from the moment Jessie Davis was reported missing.

1) Witnesses are allowed to decide whether or not their faces are shown on camera. 2) After direct and cross, the jury can submit questions for the witness. (Something I strongly believe should be allowed in all courts to eliminate hung juries!)

Prosecutor Chryssa Hartnett opening statement: the state will show Cutts put pressure on the neck of Jessie Davis and snuffed out her life as well as that of her unborn daughter. He then callously dumped, not buried, their bodies.

After killing Jessie, Cutts left 2 year-old Blake alone in the home for more than 24 hours. Cutts then picked up Myisha Ferrell with Jessie's body in the truck. Ferrell was horrified when she got out of the truck and saw feet sticking out of the comforter. She watched Cutts dump the body.

Cutts left messages on Jessie's voice mail even though he knew that she was dead!

Friends who were with Bobby Cutts Jr. on the night of Wednesday, June 13th will testify.

The jury will hear Cutts led police to the body in Hampton Hills Metropark on Saturday, June 23rd.

Defense Attorney Fernando Mack tells the jury that the prosecuting attorneys will fail miserably in trying to prove aggravated murder and aggravated burglary.

Mack says that they will see pictures of decomposed bodies and they will not like seeing those pictures. But pictures do not prove the charges.

First witness called.

Patty Porter on the stand, Jessie’s mom. Patty states her name at that she worked at Bank of America. She then lists the names of her children, stating that “Jessie was the oldest.”

Cutts paid child support for Blake only after a court order. Jessie was to give birth to Chloe in 2 weeks.

Patty spoke to Jessie about 9 pm the night she died. Jessie only had a cell phone, no landline at the house. Cutts was to pick Blake up from Jessie that evening. Patty did not speak with Jessie the next day. Patty and Audrey (Jessie’s sister) both left phone mail messages for Jessie.

Patty and Audrey drove to Jessie’s house after she didn’t drop Blake off as usual. Patty went to the back. The back door wasn’t locked so Patty walked in. She saw Jessie’s purse dumped out in the kitchen. Patty is describing in detail what she did when she got there. When she sees Jessie’s purse on the floor and all the contents strewn about she knows that something is wrong. Blake came running down the stairs and said mommy’s crying, mommy broke the table….

Patty describes going into Jessie’s bedroom and screaming “Where’s my daughter.” In the bedroom, the mattress was off the bed, the table and lamp were knocked over and bleach had been poured on the floor. The maroon and gold comforter are missing. Patty describes on the stand every room of the house that she searched and then called 911.

The 911 call is being played for the court. OMG, Patty sounds so upset. She is hysterical. When the trial ended for the day, donchais and I both mentioned that as we heard this 911 call, we both become emotional hearing the desperation that was in Patty’s voice.

The online camera feed and sound for this trial is terrible at Newsnet5.

Oh, this is so pitiful. Patty asks Audrey to call Cutts as he was supposed to have picked Blake up the night before. The police dispatcher is telling all of them to leave the house and not touch anything. Cutts can’t even look at Patty.

Patty describes when LE arrived on the scene the officer went inside while everyone waited outside. Cutts arrived in his truck and he also went in the house.

The crime scene photos are being shown and Patty describes each photo for the jury: the exterior of the house, the bedroom, the bleach all over the carpet. Blake’s bed that has toys and a partial hamburger bun on it.

Patty details how Blake was taken to a neighbor’s house after the police arrive.

Patty spoke to Cutts on June 16th, the day after Jessie went missing. Cutts called and wanted to speak to Blake, but Blake didn’t want to. Patty asked Cutts if he or his wife, Kelly did anything to Jessie. Cutts said no, but asked if Blake saw anything. (Yikes!) Patty said she believed he did. The last questions for Patty are for her to identify Bobby Cutts in the courtroom and she points him out.


Patty asked if there was any physical damage to the doors. Patty says no. It’s possible that Blake dumped Jessie’s purse if he was looking for something to eat.

Patty picked up Blake up after she searched upstairs to see if he had the smell of bleach on him. She was afraid he drunk some.

Q: Did she ask him of Jessie whereabouts at that time?

A: I can’t remember if I asked him something, or if he said something......He made a statement, but I can’t recall how it came about that he made it.

Q: You don’t recall a conversation?

A: The two of us? No.

Patty noticed that in the contents of Jessie’s purse that was strewn on the floor, she noticed there was a deposit slip made out as if there was cash deposited with it. A paper clip was attached but the cash was missing.

When Cutts arrived, Blake did not run to him, he just stood there crying. Cutts and Blake never embraced.

Q: When Blake saw his father, he went toward him correct?

A: No.

Q: Did you see him and Bobby embrace at all?

A: No not at all.

Q: Where was Blake at when Bobby arrived?

A: Audrey had him.

Patty knew that Bobby was supposed to pick up Blake at 10 pm the prior night be she didn’t have any conversation with Bobby to determine if that happened or not. She just assumed that he did pick him up.

Defense is asking more questions about Jessie's purse on the floor, and asking her about scribbling on a steno pad of some kind that’s on the floor. Defense is trying to get Patty to say that Blake did that, and Patty replies, “I don’t know because I can’t tell what it is.”

The defense thanks the witness and there’s no more redirect.
Ohhhhhhh. Jury can ask questions…I love this! They have none though and Patty is excused but she is ordered to remain in the courthouse, possibly because she may be recalled.

Audrey Davis called to the stand, but we don’t get to see her face. The camera operator is only showing her lap/hands.

Audrey would baby sit Blake till Patty got home from work. (Wonder if she is considered a minor because the camera is only focused on her hands.) Audrey and Jessie spoke daily.

Audrey spoke with Jessie earlier on the day of her disappearance. Jessie said Cutts was picking up Blake to spend the night.

Friday, June 15th Audrey and Patty went to Jessie’s. Audrey went to the front door that was locked, but she heard Blake inside. Then she heard her mom screaming so she ran around back. The neighbor also came running when she heard Patty screaming. The neighbor took Blake and changed his diaper.

The neighbor had brought her cell phone with her, and Patty used it to call 911.

Q: Now once she called the police, did she ask them to do anything?

Objection! Approach! The objection is sustained. While counsel and the Judge are going over the objection, the camera operator shows Cutts who is intently writing something at the defense table.

The objection is sustained.

June 17th the search for Jessie started. Cutts was assisting with the search. Audrey asked Cutts why he was there. He said, “you don’t want me here”? I said, “no”.


Q: You were there when the 911 call was made?

A: Yes.

Q: You and your mom were talking to each other while your mom was on the phone.

A: Yes.

It didn’t appear to Audrey that Blake had gone through Jessie’s purse.

There’s an objection to a defense question. It’s interesting that the Judge leaves the bench, and they attorneys all huddle around the court reporter’s desk to argue points. And the camera pans to Cutts. He’s got his hand over his face in the same position as before. His left elbow is on the defense table, and his hand is in a fist covering his mouth.

How long were you at the scene? Probably an hour, hour and a half. How long was Cutts on the scene? An hour, I don’t really know. (Again, Cutts can’t even look at Audrey. He keeps his eyes down and to the side.)

Audrey tries to call Jessie the next day about for or five times but she never reached her.

Q: Was that unusual for her not to answer?

A: Yes.

The Jury wants to know something from Audrey! They have a question from her! The camera pans to the gallery! They are showing the gallery! Now Cutts is chewing on a pen/pencil in his hand. This time, his right hand is now on his face, resting his chin in his hand. There appears to be a conference with the judge about the jury question, and the cameral is showing the gallery again. The courtroom gallery appears to be full. Donchais tells me that when the searches were conducted for Jessie Davis, hundreds of the townspeople showed up to help in the search of Jessie. It appears that there is a screen high up that is facing the gallery, so that the gallery can also see the exhibits that are presented to the jurors. This is a strange courtroom. The jury appears to be to the Judge’s right, and the witness box is actually away from the Judge where you normally would think the questioner’s podium would be. The prosecution and the defense, stand to question the witness where you would normally thing the witness would be. The witness sits with their back to the gallery. It reminds me of old movies when you would see

Q: How did Cutts access the front door?

It was open. She opened it after they entered the house and left it open.

There are some redirect questions clarifying that she entered her sister’s house from the back, and that the front door was opened from the inside.

Audrey is excused.

Next witness is Margaret T. Midkiff. We also don’t get to see Margaret’s face but just her hands and/or lap. She is Jessie’s neighbor. She saw Patty running to the back door and realized something was wrong and ran over to Jessie’s.

Patty and Audrey ask her to come in and if she could help them. Patty asked Margaret to help with the baby. She saw Audrey at the linen closet holding a diaper. Audrey asked her to change Blake. Margaret said she saw Jessie’s bedroom. She saw a huge bleach stain on the floor and saw a bottle of bleach standing up at the foot of the bed. She said if the baby spilt the bleach, it was odd that the bottle was standing up.

The police asked Margaret to go to her house till they could send an officer to talk to her. The police asked her to watch Blake while the investigated. Margaret took Blake home and fed him breakfast. Margaret went upstairs while police spoke to Blake.

Cross ~

Q: You saw Audrey standing upstairs with Blake with a diaper in her hand?

A: I walked Blake downstairs and changed his diaper.

Margaret says she thinks she was in the house for maybe 15-20 minutes.

Margaret identifies Cutts sitting at the defense table.

When asked if Blake could go to Margaret’s house, Cutts said he didn’t care.

(This court allows lots of sidebars.)

The defense grills her on what she actually saw of the bedroom and Margaret insists that she didn’t enter the bedroom, just stood in the doorway. Defense is asking her about the bleach mark on the rug but Margaret is having a tough time making out the image on the digital screen.

Margaret is also asked if she saw Blake with his father, and she answers no. They then ask her if she saw them playing ball at one point and she answers that she did not know what they were doing.

Then a siren goes off and my feed gets choppy. I think donchais had trouble at this point, too.

We learn from steffenyb that there is another news station that is covering the trial too. It’s My Fox Cleveland, and the feed is a better online streaming and the sound quality is better too. We are so jazzed we switch to the other online news source to watch the trial.

Donchais is missing the cop direct because she couldn’t get the feed.

There’s movement in the courtroom. they are all gathered around the court reporter’s desk again. The camera zooms in on Cutts, who is looking down at the defense table. There is no sound. Donchais and I talk on the phone that there are reports the trial might last two weeks, or it might last the entire month. The camera zooms in on the empty witness box, and then back to the conference around the court reporter’s desk.

The first responding officer, Deputy Danrin Baad and he describes his movements after he arrived at the scene. He’s being shown photographs and he’s identifying things in the house. Deputy Baad states that Cutts arrived at the house and he was in uniform when he arrived. After he ascertained what Cutts was doing there, he asked for his assistance in finding the light switch in the garage.

Baad borrowed Cutt’s flashlight to search the interior of the garage and the car that was in the garage. He put on rubber gloves, and told Cutts to put on gloves as well. Cutts had no his duty gloves. They opened the trunk of the car and nothing was there. He did not go upstairs with Cutts and he exited the front door.

In their initial investigation at the scene, officers checked numerous hospitals and they did not get any information back on any “Jane Doe’s.” Baad obtained Cutts information from his driver’s license. He noticed in the bedroom that there was a second stain, where someone had stepped in the bleach stain and walked to the baby’s room. Deputy Baad checked to see if blake smelled like Clorox, but he did not detect any bleach smell on him.

Captain Shenkle (sp?) went to various houses in the neighborhood to see if anyone saw or heard anything. The majority of the neighbors were not home at the time. He did not learn anything from the neighbors. He then waited for the county crime lab to arrive.

Afterwards, we looked for Jessie’s cell phone.

Q: Did you find it?

A: No. We attempted to call it several times and it went to voice mail.

Deputy Baad then testified that this was the end of his involvement in the case.


You arrived first on the scene? Yes.

You volunteered? Yes, I worked with the dispatcher for 17 years and the way it was put out, I knew it was serious. There were papers in the area that he needed to serve so he volunteered to go.

Cutts arrived 3-5 minutes later. Family was waiting outside and the front door was open.

LE was treating the home as a crime scene. They thought it was possible a burglary because of the contents of the purse spilled on the floor.

The bed was off the frame. The bed appears to have knocked the lamp over? Yes.

You didn’t touch anything? No.

Cutts was in uniform? Yes.

He just came off duty? I believe so.

You checked Blake to see if he smelled like bleach, if he had taken it or ingested it? Yes.

Did you take statements at the scene? I don’t recall if I did, but I believe I took a statement from Audrey.

Was that a written statement or an interview? I can’t recall. No tape recordings of statements were done that morning.

That was the extent of his involvement in the investigation.

The next witness is Sgt. Eric Weisburn.

Sgt. Eric Weisburn arrived at Jessie’s home after hearing the initial call. He was the shift supervisor that day.

Told dispatch to clear the house to keep it clear.

The call went out as a missing person and later that day did you take over as lead on the case? Yes.

When he arrived, he saw several officers and Cutts green truck was there. Patty and Audrey Davis and Blake Davis.

Weisburn didn’t know who Bobby Cutts was originally.

Weisburn entered the scene through the front door. The house was very neat. He saw the purse lying on the floor and the contents were scattered. He went upstairs and could smell bleach. The mattress was pushed off the box spring. The night stand and lamp were broken. He saw the bleach stain with trace tracks.

Patty and Audrey were taken to different police cars. Margaret came back and she was asked to take care of Blake.

He spoke with Cutts and asked for his duty weapon per protocol. He used a hand held tape recorder and taped Cutts conversation. The tape is about 10 minutes. Not all LE have recorders.

Did Cutts have any physical injuries? He had a band aid on his right hand. He said he a patio fireplace that had water in it. He lifted it to empty the water and the grate had a sharp edge and that’s how he got the cut.

Playing the taped interview with Cutts. The tape recording is somewhat strange. You can hear birds chirping quite loudly, and at first, Cutt’s voice is very low and can barely be heard at all.

Cutts says he knew Jessie for 4 years. He says he doesn’t know if the unborn child is his. Cutts says he and Jessie were having problems and thinks she was talking to 2 other guys and had sex with at least one of them. (And as I hear this, I’m thinking, what a piece of crap to mention this at this time. And right about this time, the camera pans over to Patty Davis where she is sitting in the gallery. To me, Cutt’s voice sounds deep and very evasive when he’s answering the Sgt.’s questions.) Cutts spoke to Jessie on Wednesday around 8 pm. He says Julie was bringing Blake to his house in the morning. Cutts called around 7:15 am and the call went to her voicemail. He picked Myisha Farrell up Thursday morning to watch Blake while he coached football and because his wife was working. (Donchais tells me Cutt’s is making this shit up as he is going along. She has lived and breathed this case from the very beginning, and knows virtually every detail that has been reported in the press.)

Cutts says it wasn’t really a relationship with Jessie it was more sexual. He and his wife were having problems. Cutts not saying Jessie’s unborn child is his.

Says he and Jessie had no fights or arguments. He describes how he got the cut on his hand on the patio fireplace on Wednesday.

Q: You have no idea where Jessie is?

A: No.

Q: You been through the house today?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you have gloves on?

A: Yes.

When was the last time you were in the house besides today? Ummm, Tuesday. And the pause here when he answers to me was too long. Like he had to think too long about when he was last at the house.

The first tape has ended.

After I got done talking to Cutts, I went to Margaret’s to talk to Blake. He asked for coloring books and crayons and sat with Blake to establish a relationship, I asked him where mommy was. Blake said mommy was at work.

There’s an objection here by the defense but it will fail. The judge had already ruled that this evidence was coming in.

Blake said several times over mommy crying, mommy’s’ in the rug and mommy broke the table. Blake wasn’t asked the questions; he just kept repeating the statements. Blake jumped on the couch and looked out the window toward his house and said daddy’s mad, repeated it again and went back to coloring. He was with Blake for about 20 minutes. Did you observe his clothing? Yes. Did you notice any discoloration or staining?

And here, there’s another objection and side bar. The objection is overruled.

No, I looked closely because I had seen the bottle of bleach. Blake had been left alone in the hours for 2 day, a day and a half.

He left Blake and went back to Jessie’s house.

Patty and Audrey had written their statements and I sat in my vehicle and reviewed their statements.

Cutts was asked to come back to the sheriff’s office to talk further because of Blake statement of daddy being mad and to get more comfortable with the time line.

The second statement at the sheriff’s office was also recorded and this tape is now played. Cutts is a mumbler. It’s hard to understand what he is saying on the tapes.

On the tape:

I talked to you on the 1st tape about how you and Jessie have been together for years. You told her if the baby were your child you would step up and support the child and do what was necessary. Yes.

You and Kelly Cutts are separated? Yes.

Kelly went and saw an attorney recently, but we’re still talking.

Do you want a divorce? I never said I wanted to be married. My parents divorced when I was a kid.

(Wow, that’s got to be the most uncomfortable chair on the witness stand. Cutt’s sounds quite calm during these conversations. Too calm. But at the same time, he sounds like he’s all over the place with his mumbling.)

So whatever happens, happens? She going to serve you with dissolution papers? I haven’t seen the papers, she told me about them.

You guys argue a lot? We have arguments because I’m away a lot. You ever have physical fights? No, never, never, never! When I was a kid, my dad broke my mom’s jaw.

Cutts claims he’s in control and doesn’t fly off the handle. He just walks away.

Can you think of anywhere, anyone else, where Jessie may be? No.

I believe this is where the tape ends, and the prosecutor continues with her direct examination of the witness.

Cutts told you the times he called Jessie, was he looking through his phone? That’s correct. Cutt’s has two cell phones so that he can have “ten people” in his five favorites; the ten people he talks to the most.

You asked to go to his home. Yes.

Was he cooperative? Yes, he was. He allowed me to walk through the house. We walked outside. He showed me the patio fireplace that he cut his hand on.

You didn’t collect anything from the house? No. The rest of the day we contacted the witnesses Bobby had given us. They couldn’t locate Miysha Ferrell at the address Bobby gave.

They interviewed Kelly and several others.

They spoke to Myisha on that Saturday. She told them she had company and to come in 30 minutes. When they got there, she was gone. He called Bobby and Bobby said Myisha was at his house and he could come there.

Weisburn said no, he would talk to her later. Larry Davidson (Cutts family friend.) brought Myisha home and stayed there during the interview. Myisha confirmed Cutts’ timeline.
As of this point in investigation sat 1/16. Bobby cutts statements and timeline were verified to you.

We were following up on any leads that came into our office and still checking Jessie’s neighborhood.

Checked with local businesses, hoping possibility that there was some video tape that had some information.

We found a cash register receipt from the Acme store, she was there 6:30 pm that evening.

There was a cash machine or bank in that store, and they were able to provide them with a photograph of Jessie davis with Blake, walking through that store.

Evidence collection envelope is shown to Sgt. Weisburn.

It’s papers and items collected from the home from Jessie Davis.

It’s the grocery receipt from the Acme store. And this is what prompted them to go to the store to look for video. The next exhibit is a photo of Jessie pushing a cart with Blake in the cart, from inside the bank at the Acme store.

The photo is dated and timed.

A tip line was set up for the media, so that anyone could call in and leave a message. We received numerous tips. Hundreds of tips. Followed up on the majority of them. We collected numerous cell phones and other evidence but many did not tie into this case. Unusual smells from vacant house, unburied dead dogs, comforters that were thrown in dumpsters.

Was Jessie’s cell phone ever recovered?

From everything that we’ve covered, we’ve never been able to find her cell phone.

Even Myshia Ferrell’s house was searched and no cell phone.

Cutts was not a suspect at that time.

The FBI was contacted on the 18th and brought into the case.

The FBI became involved. They met everyday to coordinate what we were doing. They came on board on Monday the 18th. They reprocessed several of the places the police had already reviewed. They processed Cutts and also Jessie’s homes.

Evidence envelopes are handed to the Sgt. and he’s asked to identify them. They were asked to obtain DNA samples. They have samples from Audrey, Whitney Davis, Patty, Jane Davis, Blake Davis.

Did you obtain samples from Cutts and Ferrell? Yes, I did.

Also, a sample from Michael McGlowry. He lived in the house right before Jessie did.

During this week of the 18th, the police and FBI learned of discrepancies in Cutts’ timeline. Cutts didn’t go right home after the bar, Champs, as he said. There were individuals at the bar that he talked to hat he didn’t tell LE about.

Cell phone company records also show calls that Cutts said he made from home were not made from his house. Also, he made calls to a Denise Hayda and Stephanie Hawthorne. Cutts went to Stephanie’s house, not home as he told LE.

They have the records from T-Mobile and Sprint for Cutts’ phone as well as Myisha’s and Stephanie’s phones. It also shows the text messages as well as the times they were made.

Court is called for the day and will resume tomorrow at 8:30 am.

Right around the time that court ends for the day, I was reading the online chat on that was on the Fox web site. One chatter asked what did all these women see in Cutts. And another chatter responded with this comment.

“Buffy Blue” That’s what cop groupies are called that get their jollies form being with cops.

I guess there are all kinds of “groupies.” Those that desire sports figures, and those that just want a man in a uniform.

Tomorrow, donchais will be taking over the morning session and I will be reporting on the afternoon session.

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