Monday, February 11, 2008

Bobby Cutts Murder Trial: Day Six

I didn't mean to hurt her!

Defense presents their case this morning. Witnesses for the defense should take up most of the day. Closing arguments should start tomorrow morning. Will Cutts take the stand today?

Defense calls Kylie Graham, a criminalist at the Stark County Crime Lab. She works with biological stains and DNA typing.

Ranke: Did you work on the Jessie Davis case?
A: Yes I was called to the Davis home.

Q: Were items from taken from any other location?
A: Yes

Q: Did you test items from the Cutts home?
A: Yes, clothing articles and shoes.

Graham tested the clothing for blood specifically. No blood was detected so no DNA typing was done.

Q: Did you find any bleach on those articles?
A: No.

There were some presumptive tests that showed up positive for blood but later tests could not confirm that blood was there.

No further questions.

Harnett asks Graham that the items from the Cutts house was collected on the 20th, a week after Jessie disappeared.
A: Yes

Q: Some of the items were collected from a washing machine?
A; Yes, I was aware of that.

Q: Washing would impede detecting blood or bleach?
A: Correct

Ranke: Some of the items weren’t clean, correct?
A: Correct.

No further questions. No jury questions.

Witness excused.

Next witness, Gary Rini, independent forensic scientist.
He is a former Denver police officer and has also received specialized training in blood analysis and luminol. Very extensive CV.

Rini says he normally testifies for the prosecution.

He gives an extensive definition in the use of luminol.

Rini says that even with bleach, luminol could still detect the presence of blood. Even if a full bottle of bleach was spilled, blood would be detected because the bleach would cause the blood to spread.

Rini is shown photos of the rug and asks if it appears someone was trying to clean up. He says no, the pattern doesn’t appear to indicate a cleanup.

Q: Does bleach speed up the decomposition of a body?
A: No, I’ve never heard that.

Q: If machine-washed, would you still be able to detect blood on clothing?
A: Yes, if you know what you are doing.

No further questions.

Hartnett asks as an independent, you get hired by defense teams? Yes, both defense and prosecution.

Q: The photos of the carpet that were shown to you, you have no idea why the bleach was poured on the carpet?
A: No I don’t.

No further questions. Jury has questions.

I have to say, I still don’t feel the defense is very effective!

Q: In your experience have you ever seen blood at the scene where a person has been killed by asphyxiation?

A: No, I wouldn’t expect to unless there was blood letting at the time.

Witness is excused.

Next witness is Officer Rick Stauffer. Deputy with Stark County Sheriffs Office.

Mack: What did you do in this investigation?
A: He became involved around the 19th.

Q: Did you conduct an interview a Michelle Foreman?
A: Yes, I think she was the ex-wife of Richard Mitchell.

Q: You were trying to locate Mitchell to interview him?
A: Yes.

Q: Who did you interview at Allstate? (Jessie’s employer)
A: Yes, I did 4-5 phone interviews.

Q: Who did you speak with?
A: I can’t tell without looking at my report.

Q Did you interview a Terrell Davis?
A: Yes, I believe he had a former relationship to Jessie.

Q: When did you interview Mr. Mitchell?
A: I think a week after the initial report,

Wow, this deputy says he reviewed his report yesterday and today and he can’t remember squat!

Mack is giving Stauffer a copy of his report to refresh his memory.

Q: He did you interview in connection with the disappearance of Jessie Davis?


Q: After reviewing your report can you tell us who you interviewed from All State?

Stauffer is again going through his statement, sheesh.

Q: What was the relationship of Michelle Foreman with Richard Mitchell?

Another sidebar…

Disregard the last question!

Q: Was he a person of interest or a suspect?
A: A person of interest is anyone you want to talk to for information.

Another sidebar…

Q: Is it possible you got the name of Michelle Forman through phone records?
A: It’s possible, I don’t recall.

Q: Did you find that Michelle Forman had a child with Mr. Mitchell?
A: Yes, I believe so.

Boy, this guy isn’t the brightest crayon in the box! Have no idea what the defense thinks this guy brings to their case.

Yet another sidebar…

No further questions.

Hartnett: You interviewed Richard Mitchell because you found out his was one of Bobby Cutts’ best friends?
A: Yes.

Witness excused.

Next witness is Sergeant Eric Weisburn again.

Q: You went through phone records in this case.
A: Yes I did.

Q: You got a number of phone records in this case.
A: Yes.

Q: What was the original source of the phone records?
A: Numbers given to me by Cutts from his cell phones and home phone

Q: Then you went out and got his records?
A: That’s correct.

Weisburn said that he also used Jessie Davis' cell phone records to put names on a list.

Q: You spoke to Richard Mitchell?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you subpoena phone records for Richard Mitchell?
A: Yes we did.

There are two phone lists. A list of the people who owned phones and another list of people who spoke on those phones.

No further questions.

Hartnett: Are you aware that when you call this number, Richard Mitchell answers or his voicemail does?
A: Yes

No more questions. No jury questions.

Witness is excused, but may be recalled.

Sidebar called…jury sent to early lunch so the court can settle some matters. Court resumes at 12:45

Just heard there are only 2 more witnesses for the defense! His former partner at the police department? So, will the other one be Cutts himself?

There is approval by all parties of all the jury sequestering documents the court has prepared.

Next witness called, Bobby Cutts, OMG!

Cutts met Jessie, February or Mach 2004 at a nightclub. They spent the evening together and had sexual relations. Cutts was married but separated at the time. Cutts found out from a friend that Jessie was pregnant with Blake. He found out about Blake a few days after the birth. Cutts was happy to have a son. He always wanted a son. His nickname for Blake is Thunder.

Once Blake was born, he took a paternity test in April 2005. Claims he gave Jessie money for Blake before the paternity test and he saw him weekly.

Kelly accepted Blake into the family. There was no friction about Blake’s birth.

Jessie and Kelly had problems? Yes.
Jessie had placed her underwear in Kelly’s drawer.
Did you confront Jessie about the underwear? No.

Kelly and he separated again in 2005 and Bobby went back to Jessie. Jessie lost a baby in 2005.

Jessie contacted Kelly several times about having sex with Cutts. Cutts told Jessie to stop calling Kelly because it was causing problems at home.

In November 2006 Kelly and he had problems again and he was intimate with Jessie again. He said there were no expectations for him to leave his family with Kelly. He said that Jessie told him that she was seeing other people. He said that after Jessie called Kelly again, Kelly told him that Jessie was pregnant again. He said that based on the time frame, that the child could have been his. He said he told Jessie that he would take care of the child if it was his, just like he took care of Blake. He said he wasn't sure at the time if it was his since he believed she was having other relationships.

Kelly left in February because she no longer wanted to deal with Jessie and another child of Bobby’s. He was still seeing Blake at least once a week.

Any fights between you and Jessie between February and June 2007?

Was Richard Mitchell your best friend? No we golfed and coached together, but he was not my best friend.

Cutts said that he never represented to anyone that he would ever cause harm to anyone. He said that Richard Mitchell's statement had no base behind it. He said he would never joke about killing someone and throwing them in the woods.

Did you hear the statement by Mr. Mitchell? Yes.
Did you wonder why Mitchell…objection, sustained.

When Mitchell made the statement..objection


Do you consider him your best friend? No I do not.

Bobby said that in the eight months that he's been in jail, Richard Mitchell never visited him.

In June 2007, what was your relationship with Jessie? The same as always.

Did you get a text message from Jessie on June 10th? Yes, she said that she may need me to watch Blake. She was maybe going to the hospital because she thought she might me going into labor. He went to the house for about 20 minutes; she was not in labor.

He said that he decided that he could watch Blake on Wednesday, June 13th or on Thursday, June 14th. He said that he and Jessie had decided that on Monday the 11th.

On the 10th, Myisha asked to borrow $100 because she had to move. Cutts told her she could have $20 for watching Blake on the 14th because he remembered he had to football practice, but had to repay the $80.

Cutts said he called Jessie after the 2nd game to tell her that he was going to Champs bar and that if he had anything to drink, he would wait until the next morning to get Blake. He said he then went to Champs and got there around 8:30-9:00pm. He said that Ladson was already there.

Cutts said that after going inside, he ordered food and a Corona. He said he had 4 or 5 beers in the four hours that he was there. He was at Champs till 1am.

After he left Champs on June 14th, he went to Stephanie Hawthorne’s. They watched TV in her room. They both fell asleep. He woke up around 2 am and he decided to go home because he had a lot to do and had to pick up Blake early in the morning.

He says he got up at 5:20 am to get ready to pick Blake up at 6am. He went to Jessie’s’, he went through the garage and into the house.

He saw her purse on the floor, but didn’t think anything of it. He called Jessie’s name. She said I’m up here. He asked her to get Blake ready to go.

She took her time to get up. He helped her get up off the floor. She’s kind of standing around getting her bearings. He told her to hurry up. She said if you weren’t out with your friends all night, you wouldn’t be hurrying me now. She said quit rushing me.

He said you know what, I can get Blake this weekend and started to leave and Jessie grabbed him by the shirt and said you can’t leave.

She stepped in front of him twice to prevent him from leaving. He said Jessie pushed him back. He put his finger up his nose and pointed at her face and she bit him. I couldn’t believe she bit me so hard. It was a joke; I wasn’t going to wipe my nose on her.

She grabbed me and I pulled my arm back and…Cutts just very dramatically burst into a crying jag. He said he just wanted to leave. He swung his elbow so she couldn’t grab him anymore.

Oh what a bunch of crap.

He was trying to get her arms off of him.

She's 9 months pregnant! If someone believes that they've got a big ol' hole in their head!

His elbow connected with Jessie’s throat area and she hit the ground. Harder, than he expected her to fall. He is still crying and Judge calls a sidebar.

Cutts has removed his glasses and is holding a tissue over his eyes.

He’s doing a great acting job here, but he has had months to practice.

Cutts said he didn’t see Jessie fall; he was walking to the door. He heard her fall and he went over to her and asked if she was all right. She didn’t respond. I shook her and she didn’t respond to that.

He checked for a pulse in her neck.


He tried to administer CPR. She didn’t respond.
Was she bleeding anywhere from what you could see? No.

The crying act seems to be a bit forced to me.

He thought maybe she was just knocked out. He knew she didn’t have smelling salts so he looked for alcohol, but found the bottle of bleach. He poured bleach in the cap and put it under her nose.

What’s going through your head at this time? I thought what’s going on? I stand up and start crying and I collapsed onto her bed. I thinking, “how am I going to explain this?” I can’t believe anything like this could happen.

What’s the next thing you did? I decided to leave and get out of there.

Was Blake awake at anytime during all this? No not that I know. I decided I couldn’t leave Blake to find his mom that way. I checked on Blake and he was asleep.

I was pacing and trying to think what to do. That’s when I thought about getting Myisha to watch Blake. He wrapped Jessie and placed her in the truck. He concluded she was dead.

Why didn’t you call 911? I couldn’t get her cell phone to work.

“This can’t be happening, I’ve never hurt anyone.”

Why did you place Jessie in the bed of the truck? I just did.

He didn’t remember putting Jessie’s phone in the truck.

Was all of the bleach spilled out of the bottle? No.

Why didn’t you call the police? I didn’t know what to think. Like how the hell am I going to explain this?

Did you secure the home before you left? Yeah, I closed the garage and left through the back door so I had a way to get back in.

He got to Myisha’s and he told her to come with him now and she got in the truck. Is she aware that Jessie is in the truck? No.

If you had planed on killing Jessie, would you have involved Myisha? Objection!

Disregard the last question.

Why did you pick up Myisha? To watch Blake.

We ended up driving north on 77 to go back to Jessie’s house. I thought, I just moved her body, how the hell am I going to explain that. I just kept driving.

He tells Myisha, man, something bad happened. I just keep driving north. I looked at the clock and saw it was 7:10. 7:10 was the time Jessie had to leave. I called her phone. I don’t know why I called her phone.

Were you trying to conceal what happened? Objection! Overruled.

No, I wasn’t trying to conceal what happened. I wouldn’t have picked up Myisha if I was trying to conceal something.

He says he turns south to head back home. Myisha had to use the restroom so he stopped. They are about to get back on the highway when a State Trooper drove by and he panicked.

They are driving around back roads trying to get back to Canton. He tells Myisha he can’t keep driving around with Jessie’s body in the truck.

He sees a dirt road and drives into the park. He dumped Jessie’s body.

Myisha asked him what he was going to do? He says I don’t know. As he got into the truck, Jessie’s phone fell out of his pocket. He tries to throw the phone out the window.

Why? It doesn’t work, why would I need it?
He had Myisha throw the phone out of the truck.

He stopped so Myisha could get cigarettes at a store with a car wash and he sprayed his truck off because there were bugs and dirt on it.

He said he kept saying, "This is not real, this cannot be happening, this is a bad dream."

Cutts said when he went to turn around, he got out to see how much room he had and saw a pillow from Jessie's house still in the truck. He saw a dumpster and threw the pillow and a bag of trash that was in his truck into the dumpster. He said then he headed back toward Canton.

Cutts said he said to himself, if he just went on with his normal day, it would all go away. He said that when he looked at the clock, it said 8:40am and he realized he was going to be late for football practice. He left the coach a message that he'd be late. He then called Stephanie Hawthorne, since her son's on his team. He said he wanted to let someone know he'd be late. He kept heading toward home with Myisha still in the truck.

Cutts said he stopped to pick up mulch because he remembered that he was supposed to mulch that day. Then he went home and got in the shower and washed and washed and washed and washed. He said that he was trying to wash everything away.

Cutts said that while getting out of the shower, a bandage fell off his finger. The finger had been cut the previous day while doing yard work. He said it’s on the opposite hand from the one that Jessie bit. He said he noticed scratches on his chest from where Jessie had grabbed him.

He left his house after showering. Cutts said he went to coach basketball and then went to work at 10pm. His regular shift was 10pm - 8am.

What’s going on in your mind about Blake at this time? In ten years time I never didn’t think about being a parent.

He went to the bank and signed papers. He went and picked up Brianna and went back home to mulch.

Cutts said that he took Myisha home and went back to his house to start mulching with his daughter. She didn't want to mulch so he bought her a Sno Cone maker so that she would help him. He said they went back and started to mulch. He said Kelly came by around 3:30pm to pick up Brianna.

Cutts said that was the first time that he was at home. He said he was replaying the morning in his head. He said he was supposed to coach basketball later that day and also go to work. He said while he was home alone, he kept telling himself, "this isn't real." He said if he called Jessie, everything would be all right. He said he called her phone and left her a message and didn't remember what he said. He said he was hoping that when she answered, "this whole thing would be over" and it wasn't.

Myisha called and asked if he was all right. He said, no I’m not all right. I need to get my son. He said he left work early that day, about 7:45am on June 15th. He said he was heading to Jessie's house to pick up Blake. He said on the way there, he got a call from her (Jessie's) sister. She said, "Jessie's missing, hurry up, get here."

Cutts said that when he got there, Jessie's mom and sister Audrey were there along with a Stark County Deputy and Blake. He said when he went inside, he was hoping to see Jessie and it would all be over. He went with the Deputy into the house and saw bleach all over the bedroom. He said he presumed that Blake was the one who put the bleach there.

Cutts said he didn’t tell the truth to the deputy because of the way the deputy was responding to him. He didn't tell him the rest of what happened because he didn't want Myisha to be in trouble.

He called Myisha up a told her to tell LE that he brought her straight to the house till he could figure out what to do.

He called Myisha up a few times to see if she was ok.

But, he sure as hell didn’t think about Blake, did he?

Cutts said that on Saturday, the 16th, the news media started showing up at his house and he started getting phone calls from a bunch of people. He said Myisha came over that day - Bobby's cousin Larry picked her up to bring her over. Cutts said she came by to see if he was okay.

Cutts’ mother went and talked to Patty. She told Bobby that while she was there, Jessie’s dad called and said he was going to kill him.

Disregard the witness’s last statement.

Did you at some time decide to lead the authorities to Jessie? That Friday night after I spoke with the FBI. He said because both families had been through so much, he had to end it. On Saturday, he and his attorney went to the FBI office and told them where the body was. He said he wanted them to find the body and for, "this all to be over."

Cutts has continued to cry most of the time. Cross ought to be a pip!

No further questions.

He couldn't remember exactly where it was but after searching, he saw the location and told them to stop. He said that he had no idea that Jessie's body would end up looking the way that it did. He said that one of the reasons that he wanted to show the body was to show that he didn't do it on purpose.

Barr asks, Mr. Cutts do you have a cold? No.
Because I don’t see any tears! Bam!
Objection. Disregard.

Did you cry this much when you dumped Jessie’s body? Yes, I did cry.

Cutts said that he did have sexual relations with other people while he was still with Kelly (and not while they were separated).

Cutts said that between the 16th and 22nd of June, Richard Mitchell was at his house a few times and set up the interview with the Canton Repository without his knowledge. Cutts also said that he listed Mitchell as a reference on two loan applications

Barr is really chewing Cutts up!

Barr gets into how much money Cutts owed. You knew you would have to pay child support for Brianna. I don’t know that.

And there was a chance you would have to pay for Chloe also? I guess so.

Uh oh, Cutts just said that when he went to Jessie’s, she was in pink pajamas. She was found in a camisole top and Capri pants!

She stepped in front of you 3 times? Yes, 3 times.

She grabbed you where? My arm.
Barr is tripping Cutts up as to how Jessie got hit. Now Cutts say she grabbed him again. Barr says, “oh now she grabbed you 4 times?

She have a cut on her head or anything? No.

I heard her hit the floor. You went over and asked her if she was ok? Yes.

You got no response? No.
You felt for a pulse? Yes.
You did CPR? For a couple minutes.

You couldn’t turn Jessie’s phone on? No, I couldn’t figure out how to turn it on. It’s not like my phone.

When you a charge your phone do you turn it off? Yes.

How did you spill the bleach? When I went to stand up, I kicked it over.

How much spilled out? I don’t remember but there was still a good amount in it. Cutts say he didn’t spill as much bleach as show in the picture.

Why did you put the comforter around here before you put her in the truck? It made it easier to carry her.

Or was it because you didn’t want the neighbors to see you carrying a body? I didn’t care bout the neighbors.

Why didn’t you call the police? I didn’t think about it.

Blake is sleeping all this time? Yes.
How does Blake know mommy is in the rug?

Disregard the last question.

You drive around in the truck with Jessie in the back and the pillow and a bag of garbage? Yes.

You said Sergeant Wiesburn was kind of mean? I don’t recall what I said about Sergeant Wiesburn.

Barr asks about the 7:11 call to Jessie, he phone was in your pocket? Whose phone, Jessie?

You touched the bleach bottle twice? Yes.
Were you wearing gloves? No!
There were no prints on the bottle!!!!

You took Jessie out of truck and left her out in the open? Yes.

In the sun and the heat? Yes.

You’ve seen a dead animal by the road and what happens to its body day by day? Yes.

The bugs are so bad you have to suddenly stop to wash your truck. And Blake is sitting home all alone? Yes.

You sprayed the truck bed out? I didn’t purposely spray out the bed.

You bought mulch; you picked up your daughter you went to the store. You didn’t care about Blake being alone. Cutts said that at that time, Blake was not the top priority!

You told Myisha to lie to LE? Yes!

You helped search for Jessie’s body and all the time you knew they were looking in the wrong area for her? Yes.

Nine days after you dumped Jessie’s body, you decided to tell where her body was? Yes.

Twice you had the opportunity to tell LE where Jessie’s body and you didn’t? Yes.

During that week you played a lot of Playstation. I was moping around and people told me I should do something.

On Thursday you called Jessie’s phone again, the one you through out the window. Yes.

You knew she couldn’t answer the phone.

Do you know what happens to babies in the womb when the mother dies? No.

Do you think Chloe died when Jessie died? I don’t know

No further questions.

Mack: Did you intend to harm Jessie’s fetus? No.

Once you couldn’t revive Jessie, what was going through your mind? That she was dead.

Did you express to anyone that you wouldn’t take care of the new baby? No.
Were you up to date with paying your bills? Yes.

Step down and give us a demonstration of what happened in that room. This time, Cutts looks like he has his story straight.

Did Jessie have a full head of hair? Yes.
Would you have known if she hit her head without feeling her scalp? No.
Did you ever check her scalp? No.

At what point did you conclude that Jessie was not living? When she didn’t respond.

Why didn’t you just drive her to the location and bury her? Because I didn’t think.

What was Myisha supposed to do, help you? Myisha got involved because I needed her to watch Blake.

Any time you were bleeding? No.
Did you get any bleach on you?

On the 14th, you went to the bank? Yes.
How much money were you given? $4000.
Did you offer it to Myisha? No.

No further questions.

How long would it have taken you to run downstairs and grab your phone and call 911? Maybe 10 seconds.

And you didn’t do it? No.

You didn’t leave her body in the road or the short grass because you didn’t want anyone to see it? I wasn’t hiding it.

You never told anyone for all those days where Jessie was? I made a bad, week long decision.

That was 9 days Mr. Cutts, thank you.

The jury has questions.

As I’m sure we all do!

Why didn’t you take Myisha to Jessie’s home to watch Blake? That was my intent but I panicked.

You said in wasn’t your intention to dump Jessie’s body?

Did you have a key to Jessie’s? No.

Is Richard your friend? No

Is Myisha your friend today? Yes.
Did you ever tell Myisha it was an accident or anyone else? I believe she said that in several of her statements.

What color was Jessie’s phone? Silver.

Why didn’t you just tell the truth? I didn’t think anyone would believe me.

No further questions.

Jurors are being give the sequester packages.

Sprocket and I will report on the Closing statements tomorrow!


Sprocket said...

That was a great write up donchais! I was blown away when I turned on my computer late morning to get an alert that Cutts was on the stand. You called it! I did not think he would take the stand but you thought he would.

After a few minutes of watching I knew he was telling a story. I didn't see the first few questions by Mack, but when I heard that he was insinuating there was an alternation or some sort with Jessie, I knew this was a story to save his sorry ass. She was about ready to give birth. Is it really logical to believe that a woman that pregnant, would initiate any type of attack on a much larger, stronger individual? Not likely in my book.

Every single one of his post incident behaviors is that of a guilty individual, covering up his crime. He knew what would happen to her body out there in the field. He knew that bleach would destroy and evidence if her water broke ~ and I believe it did.

Why didn't he call 911? Because he murdered her.

Why did he pretend so long to be looking for Jessie? Because he was waiting for the body to decompose so there wouldn't be any evidence left on her of what he did to her.

I believe, like donchais that he strangled her with his own hands.

donchais and I both commented on the fact that while he was under direct examination, he had sobs and supposed tears a plenty. But while under cross, he had evasive answers and no tears what so ever. He was pretty composed under cross.

I will say, that I am quite surprised that the prosecution didn't cross examine Cutts more. If this trial was in Cali, Cutts would have been on the stand for DAYS under cross. DAYS. I was shocked to come back and find out that the prosecution did not tear apart every single statement he made. To show the discrepancies in his self serving story on the stand.

I will try to be up early tomorrow to help donchais with the morning coverage of the closing arguments. I hope the prosecution has a great closing, and that my feed doesn't cut out!

katfish said...

Recently we have been given a rare glimpse into the way these sociopaths such as Cutts, Mack and Vandersloot really think. It's chilling! It is all about them, when things don't go how they plan, god help whoever gets in their way.
This past week has been riveting in several courtrooms, don't you think? These guys are so full of themselves, so to think they can get on the stand and control's almost unbelieveable. I'd love to see Vandersloot in a courtroom with his tape!
Thanks for the great reports!