Monday, August 31, 2009

California Station Fire Claims Two Firefighters

September 2nd, 2009: LA Times Photo Gallery of the Station Fire.

There are several active fires in California right how. However, the Associated Press is reporting that Sunday evening, in the Station Fire north of La Canada/Flintridge and south of Acton, two firefighters lost their lives on Mount Wilson after the vehicle they were in rolled over.

There there are numerous radio, TV and cell phone towers on Mount Gleason that are threatened. The Station Fire has burned over 42,000 acres. It is only 5% contained as I write. Thousands have been ordered to evacuate as over 12,000 homes are in the path of the blaze.

At least 18 structures have been destroyed by the Station Fire with more in danger today as the fire is predicted to spread and increase in size with the increased dry heat conditions.

The Station Fire had doubled in size overnight to 85,000 acres. At the current time, Mt. Wilson appears to be safe. LA Now Blog Update

Update! 106,000 acres burned and only 5% contained as of 6:00 pm, August 31st.

Update! September 1st, 2009 It appears Mount Wilson Observatory will be saved.

Thousands Flee Wildfires

Firefighter Hourly

California Dept. of Forestry, Fire Information

Map of Station Fire

LA County Fire Grows Overnight

Updated Fire Map

Friday, August 28, 2009

Delay Delay Delay 2.0

Today in San Mateo County Superior Court, the child molestation re-trial of child psychiatrist William Ayres was officially deemed a “go,” with Deputy District Attorney Melissa McKowan eager to set a date.

Not so fast. Our old friend Doron Weinberg asked for a two-week continuance, so it appears he’s signed on for Ayres 2.0. Potential dates have been discussed in chambers, so one of those yet unknown to us dates will be it.

Another hearing will be held on September 11 in Judge Beth Freeman’s courtroom. I suspect I will be reunited with Caltrain in January …

Re-trial is a go!

Surprise! Not!

10 milligram Valium tablet

A statement released today by the LA County coroner is a bit of a surprise to no one: the manner of death is homicide and the cause of death is acute propofol intoxication complicated by benzodiazepines.
The complete toxicology results are not yet released. So you Jackson fans who want to leave comments saying “Ha, he wasn’t an addict—no narcotics in his system!” had better hold off until all information is available to the public. Nor do we know the true levels of propofol and the benzodiazepine cocktail found in Jackson’s bloodstream at the time of his death. Dr. Conrad Murray’s account of how much of each drug he dosed may not be truthful.
The death was ruled a homicide because it happened at the hands of another person. However, it does not guarantee prosecution.
According to the LA Times, Jackson’s history of drug abuse and health issues may make it difficult to prosecute anyone for his death.

For a Change, a Happy Outcome… Sort of …

Arial view of the Garrido compound

Jaycee Dugard, age 11

No doubt the parents of Jaycee Dugard had resigned themselves to the fact that they’d never know what happened to the 11-year old girl. Her stepfather Carl Probyn had witnessed the abduction of his stepdaughter, pulled into a stranger’s vehicle while she was waiting for her school bus in South Lake Tahoe. For all those years, the number one suspect in Jaycee’s disappearance was her stepfather, the last person to have seen her.
On August 26, Phillip Garrido reported to his parole officer at the request of UC Berkeley campus police. Garrido’s mistake: going onto UC Berkeley’s campus and passing our religious materials without receiving clearance. Garrido had two young girls with him, aged 11 and 15, and it was the behavior of the girls that alerted campus police that something was just not right. The girls were unable or unwilling to make eye contact with the officer who questioned Garrido. Campus police contacted Garrido’s parole agent, who summoned Garrido to his office. Accompanying Garrido to the parole agent was his wife Nancy, the two young girls and a young adult female that police had never seen on Garrido’s property. The young woman said her name was Allissa. The parole agent contacted Concord police in an effort to identify the young woman and the two girls.
Eventually the young woman was identified as Jaycee, the two girls as Garrido’s daughters. Some time after that, now 29-year old Jaycee was identified as being the mother of the two girls, and Garrido was indeed their father.
Do the math.
Phillip Craig Garrido was a registered sex offender who managed to just keep below the authorities’ radar. As recently as last July the two-acre Garrido property was searched his home as a condition of his parole. There was no sign that children lived on the property nor was there any sign of Jaycee and the two younger girls. The authorities had no idea there was a secret compound at the back of the property, where the three females were imprisoned apart from the world.
Two years ago a neighbor reported the “living compound” behind the Garrido residence, but because the police did not have a search warrant, they were not allowed to search the property. There was no follow-up to the complaint.
Last year Garrido was accused of stealing the life savings of Dilbert "Jack" Medieros of nearly $18,000—so Garrido could start a church. The complaint was investigated but due to insufficient evidence, charges were dropped.
Garrido is certainly a bit of a nutcase. He maintained his own blog of religious ramblings and was the inventor of a “divine machine” that was able to transmit “unearthly voices.”
This case is one of those that might have been avoided had Garrido actually served all of the time he was given as part of pervious convictions. He served time in federal and Nevada state prisons from 1977 to 1988 for a kidnapping and sexual assault committed in 1976. He was sentenced to 50 years, initially entering the federal prison system in 1977, transferred to Nevada state custody in January of 1988 and ultimately paroled to California in August 1988.
Do some more math. That 50 year sentence must have been the victim of new math. In corrections jargon, 11 years equals 50 years.
Earlier today (August 28), a search warrant was obtained by Pittsburgh, California police, who will search the Garrido property for evidence in the unsolved slayings of prostitutes in the 1990s.
Garrido’s own brother Ron doesn’t put this crime past his brother at all. Although he’s shocked to know that his brother kidnapped Jaycee all those years ago, his brother’s history of LSD use, sexual compulsions, kidnapping and past prison time lead him to believe the accusations against his younger brother are utterly true.
Jaycee and her daughters are now getting re-acquainted (or acquainted) with her mother Terry and her now 19-year old stepsister Shayna.
Garrido has already been blabbing his defense. Obviously he feels he did nothing wrong in stealing an 11-year old child, keeping her from her family, locking her up in his backyard. Oh well, I guess he was a decent God-fearing man and all, waiting until Jaycee was 13 or 14 to impregnate her.
Garrido’s statement: “Wait until you hear the story of what took place at this house. You are going to be completely impressed. It’s a disgusting thing that took place with me at the beginning. But I turned my life completely around and to be able to understand that, you have to start there.
“You’re going to find the most powerful story coming from the witness, the victim—you wait. If you take this a step at a time, you're going to fall over backwards and in the end, you're going to find the most powerful heart-warming story.”
I for one can’t wait until Jaycee and her two daughters are ready to share this “powerful heart-warming story.” Please read the “transcript” link below—this guy is positively Manson-esque. Forty years later, they are still out there!
Philip and Nancy Garrido each face 27 felony counts including kidnapping a person younger than age 14, kidnapping for sexual purposes, forcible rape, and forcible lewd acts on a child. If convicted, each faces life in prison.
Phillip Garrido will be a very popular guy in prison … crimes against children don’t exactly move an inmate to the head of the line as far as the prison hierarchy is concerned. Child molesters aren’t exactly admired by other inmates. I don't expect Nancy to fare much better unless she and her attorneys manage to convince a jury she was a victim as well.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dominick Dunne: Power, Privilege & Justice Marathon

TruTv will be paying tribute to Mr. Dunne with a 13 hour marathon of his show, Power, Privilege & Justice, this Friday August 28th, starting at 3:00 pm ET.

I've also learned from Beth Karas that in lieu of flowers, Mr. Dunne's family is requesting that donations be made to the National Center for Victims of Crime in Washington, DC. Donations can be made online at


This page is being reorganized and updated. Sprocket

Prosecution Witnesses
Bright blue text indicates missed attending trial/testimony. Sprocket.

Day 1: July 27th, 2009 Opening Statements Part I

Day 1: July 27th, 2009 Opening Statements Part II:
1. SARAH LOUISE KEY-MARER (Mother of victim, Lauren)
Dated defendant and became pregnant. Defendant pressed her to get an abortion. Key-Marer refused and gave birth to Lauren.  Eventually sued defendant for child support.  Family court awarded Key-Marer approximately 40% of the defendant's salary.  Testified

Day 2: July 28th, 2009 Morning session: 

1. SARAH LOUISE KEY-MARER (testimony continued)

Day 2: July 28th, 2009 Afternoon session:
1. SARAH LOUISE KEY-MARER (testimony continued)

Day 3: July 29th, 2009 Morning session: 

2. FIORELLA MILETECH (Teacher who knew Lauren from her school.)
First trial testimony read into the record.
3. JACQULINE MARTIN:  (Knew victim from Lauren's school)
4. MARLENE QUIRAMarlene (Knew victim from Lauren's school)

Day 3: July 29th, 2009 Afternoon session:
5. JEANIE HERRERA SAUNDER (School administrator and teacher at Lauren's school)

6. DEBORAH JENKIN (Abalone Cove parking lot attendant)
Observed Lauren in the car when Brown and Lauren entered the parking lot.

7. SAAD OMAR (Witness at Portugese Point)
 Omar observed defendant and victim several times at several points during their hike.

Day 4: July 30th, 2009 All Day:  
8. JEREMY WILLIAM SIMMONS Sacred Cover sun-bather who loaned defendant cell phone to call 911.
9. JAMES WITHEROW: Hiker at the scene who saw the victim and defendant on the hillside paved road.
10. RICHARD BARBER: Motorist who observed victim and defendant walking on Palos Verdes Drive South.
11. CAPTIAN FRED CURCIO, JR.: LA Co Firefighter. supervisor at the scene, first responder.
12. VICTOR ROSENTHAL: LA Co. Firefighter specialist; one of the first responders, paramedic but working truck detail that day.
13. JESSICA PAIGE BROTHERS: LA Co Sheriff Sgt. first responder at scene

Day 5: July 31st, 2009 Morning session: 

14. LT. RICHARD ERICKSON: - LA Co Sheriff, first responder at scene.

Day 5: July 31st, 2009 Afternoon session;
14. Lt. RICHARD ERICKSON - {Testimony continued.)
15. ANTOINETTE MARTINEZ: LA Co. Sheriff Deputy who responded to scene and gave death notification to Sarah Key-Marer.
16. DETECTIVE JEFFREY LESLIE: LA Co. Sheriff Homicide Detective, one of two lead detectives.

Day 6: August 3rd, 2009 Part I (Short entry. No testimony.)
Day 6: August 3rd, 2009 Part II  
15. ANTOINETTE MARTINEZ (testimony continued)

911 Call

Day 7: August 4th, 2009 All Day:
17. LINDA PETERSO: Sarah Key-Marer's roommate in 1995.
18. LEENA PATEL: Teacher at Lauren's school who knew Lauren and Sarah.
19. LEIGH ANN ORME: Friend of Sarah Key-Marer's and babysitter for Lauren from infancy until preschool and after.

Day 8: August 5th, 2009  
20. DR. CAROL BERKOWITZ: Child psychologist who also visited the scene and took the hike with the coroner.

Day 9: August 6th, Morning session: 
(Unknown; Guessing #16 Detective Jeffrey Leslie.)

Day 9: August 6th, 2009 Afternoon session:
16.  DETECTIVE JEFFREY LESLIE: Testimony continued
21. PHYLLIS MASEY: LAX police officer, retired who took an incident report from defendant.
22. DECTIVE MARK LILLIENFELD: LA Co. Sheriff Homicide Detective; went undercover as LAX Officer to interview defendant about incident report.

LAX Airport parking garage conversation between defendant & Sarah Key-Marer

Day 10: August 7th, 2009 Part I
23. MITCHELL DeGRAFF: Former neighbor of Sarah Key-Marer and family friend. Witnessed incident on Halloween and over-heard defendant make statements.
24. LARA ROBERTS: Friend of Sarah Key-Marer. Observed Lauren on the church camping trip to O'Neil Park.
25. JANICE ROQUE: Friend of Marer family. Observed Lauren on church camping trip to O'Neil Park.
26. JEANE BARRETT: Former girlfriend of defendant. Defendant told her he got a girl pregnant and said he was trying to deport her.

Day 10: August 7th, 2009 Part II
27. JON HAN: Former life-time friend of defendant. Discussed conversation he had with Patty Brown about custody of Lauren.
28. JANE DOE: Former girlfriend of defendant who had an abortion.

Day 11: August 11th, 2009 Part I
29. JACK LAISURE:mer Port Marina neighbor of defendant who overheard him make statements.
30. CHRIS LORD:  Co-worker of defendant who had a confrontation with him at work.

Day 11: August 11th, 2009 Part II
31. DAVID BANISTER: Co-worker of defendant.
32. SCOTT SIMONSON: and friend of defendant who also lived at the marina.

Day 12: August 12th, 2009
33. STACY PHILLIPS: Family law attorney explains concepts of family law and how "DISSOMASTER" program works.
34. CYNTHIA NICHOLS: Orange Co. DDA who handled the child support request from Sarah Key-Marer.
35. JONI DODGE: Social worker who investigated allegation of child abuse against Sarah Key-Marer.

Day 13: August 13th, 2009
36. VICTOR RENDON: American Airlines employee who presents defendant's employment records.
37. JANE NGO: DDA, CPA and financial forensic investigator who presents the financial data on the defendant and his wife.
38. THOMAS FORTIE: LA Co. Sheriff's Dept. High Tech Task Force. Examined computers in the Brown home. 
39. ANKE RAUE: Coordinator of public walks in Rancho Palos Verdes.
40. Dr. OGBONNA CHINWAH: LA County Coroner. Performed autopsy on victim.

Day 14: August 14th, 2009
41. ROBERT OLSEN: Psomas map maker.  
42. DALE FALICON: LA Co. Deputy Sheriff and criminalist. Rappelled down clif and took photos at Inspiration Point

Day 15: 
43. DR. HAYES: Physics and trajectory expert who determined Lauren was thrown from the cliff.

Defense Witnesses

Day 16: Three Witnesses

The Case Against Casey Anthony: Judge Strickland Rules on Tim Miller


Leonard Padilla & Co.

WESH is reporting that Judge Strickland denied the defense motion to keep Leonard Padilla and his people from testifying at trial or giving depositions.

In his ruling, Judge Strickland indicated that the language in the agreement was vague as to the nature of "privacy" and indicated that the parties to the agreement seemed to be in agreement as to what it meant.

Strickland cited the definition of privacy as:

...the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person's private life... Article 1, Section 23 (Fla. Const.)

He also indicated that the services rendered by Padilla & Co.

...would appear to encompass only general responsibilities normally associated with security, ie.e., preventing unwanted intrusions, and providing protection from threats of physical violence as detailed by George Anthony.

The section of the decision which clinched it was the fact that

... the agreement states, inter alia...

This agreement does not create a relationship in so far as that (sic) the parties fo the second part are in no way hired by or represent the firm or the defendant. (Privacy Agreement, August 19th, 2008, p. 2)

The language referenced above would seemingly negate any agency agreement under 90.502, Fla Stat.

It would seem that Jose Baez was defeated by his own language and his own witness.

Tim Miller

Judge Stan Strickland has ruled on the first of three motions that remained unresolved at the end of Friday's hearing.

In the hearing, Tim Miller's attorney, Mark NeJame had indicated that Tim Miller was willing to offer to have Miller turn over information pertaining to 32 searchers who had searched within 200 yards of the actual crime scene and come to Florida to give a deposition in the case.

Theses offers have been encompassed in the ruling.

In addition, the defense will have the opportunity to examine the documents pertaining to the other searchers in NeJame's office. The court will also appoint a monitor, at the defense's expense. NeJame will also have the right to monitor the review.

If the defense is able to identify any other searchers who were

"in the immediate proximity of where the remains of Caylee Marie Anthony were found, said searchers may be presented to the Court for an in camera review and inspection so that a decision can be made by the Court to determine materiality, relevance, and possible disclosure."

The defense will not be permitted to take notes or photograph the information. The judge will have to approve any disclosure or release made about any of this information.

Casey Anthony is responsible for all expenses, which must be paid in advance.

While this is a "victory" for the defense, it is also a victory for TES. The judge, in his ruling, agreed with NeJame and what we see is what NeJame asked for.

What is best here is that Judge Strickland limited any additional searchers to the immediate proximity of the crime scene, although he does not give an actual distance.

Watch T&T for updates on the other motions still being considered by Judge Strickland.



While I'm here, let me tell you about one of my favorite blogs about the case. Check out Marinaide Dave's Mindblogging. He has a wonderful take on the case!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cameron Brown Retrial: Day Fourteen

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Prosecution Witnesses:

Morning session: (I did not attend the morning session)
# Robert Olsen (Psomas map maker; testimony complete)
# Dale Falicon (LA Co. Deputy Sheriff and criminalist; took photos at Inspiration Point; testimony complete)

Afternoon session:

# Jeffery Leslie (LA Co. Homicide Detective; lead investigator; testimony complete)

It's 12:44 pm. I decided on one bus route when I should have taken the Orange Line. I had to wait forever for this bus. Consequently, I will barely make it to court on time. I should have checked the schedule of this bus line before deciding to take it.

When I finally get inside 107 it's 1:32 pm and the attorneys are going over motions. Harris speaks to Brown then comes over to Patty in the first row. When I entered the rear of the Criminal Court Building, Ted was standing on the back plaza. Sarah has three friends with her today. I wonder whom we are waiting for. Susan Kim isn't at the prosecution table. Patty is wearing a black jacket, black pants with (I think) a white blouse

1:34 pm: The jury is called in. One of the jurors asks the judge if he had a good lunch. There is a bit of funny bantor between Judge Pastor and his jurors. Apparently, a few of the jurors ate lunch together and crossed paths with Judge Pastor on the street at lunch.

Hum is getting some CD's of phone calls entered into evidence, People's #72. Detective Leslie is recalled to the stand for resumption of direct.

In his previous testimony, he testified as to his activities on November 8th, 9th and 10th.

CH: In addition, you've conducted significant additional investigation and interviewing potential witnesses.

JL: As of todays date, (approximately) 100 different people.

CH: Has anyone pressured you to make this a homicide rather than an accident.

JL: No.

CH: Did Lauren's mother or her family pressure you to make this investigation a homicide?

JL: No.

CH: Did you personally.... do you gain anything (by making this a homicide verses an accident?

JL: No, I do not.

CH: (Before this case) Had you ever met the defendant?

JL: No, we had not met.

CH: Did you have an animosity (against the defendant)?

JL: No.

CH: Did you have any reason to "get" the defendant?

JL: No.

CH: Did you ever pressure witnesses? [...] Did you ever suggest (to a) witness to change their statements? [...] Did you pressure any witnesses to change any statements? [...] Did you ever suggest to Sarah Key-Marer what she should say or ever say?

Detective Leslie answers no to all these questions.

CH: (Regarding Ms. Marer) Has she asked you any (questions or requested information)?

JL: Constantly.

Hum asks what information he gave Sarah Key-Marer.

JL: Just basic information. [...] So as to not sway her opinion or her recollection.

CH: Did you ever tell her your opinion?

JL: No.

CH: Did Ms. Key-Marer ever pressure you to bring charges against the defendant? [...] What was the first time you spoke to her?

JL: November 9th, 2000. The first time I spoke to her was at a hotel in Long Beach. [...] She was in bed. [...] She was in shock, stricken. She was very emotional. [...] She at times appeared to be as if she was going to be sick.

CH: (She) told you that the defendant agreed to the adoption by Greg? [...] Did Sarah Key-Marer tell you about an incident outside of family court?

JL: The defendant said to her, "I'm going to get you."

Alternate #3 is not taking any notes, just listening. 1:45 pm, Ted enders and sits in the second row.

During the interview with the defendant in the early morning hours of November 9th, 2000, Detective Leslie states, "He told us she was wearing purple pants, one shoe was off and that her shirt was rulled up off her abdomen."

On November 9th, 2000 he picked up a copy of the 911 tape. On November 10th, he went to Inspiration Point with Deputy Falicon. Other investigators were Michelle Lipisto from the crime lab. The emergency services detail was there, Terri Ascherin and his partner, and Detective Smith. Deputy Falicon investigated (impressions). Deputy Asherin rapelled down the cliff to the inlet. On the bottom, Detective Leslie had to throw him the end of the ropes so he could get him to the rocks so he didn't go in the water.

He video taped the hike from Abalone Cove to Inspiration Point. A recording device was placed on Sarah Key-Marer's phone.

CH: Did you ask her to contact the defendant specifically?

JL: No.

CH: Did you ask her if she had contact with the defendant to record the calls?

JL: Yes.

I believe the next note is, on November 14th, 2000 at 5:45 pm Marlene Quere was interviewed by phone. On November 15th, 2000 at 9:05 am, took Saad Omar to Inspiration Point and took photos of various locations. People's #7. These are some of the photos he took with Omar on November 15th. He interviewed Debrah Jenkin.

CH: Did she ever tell you that she was sleeping or looked like she was sleeping? (Lauren).

JL: She tol that because she said (Lauren looked) so still, she wondered if she had just woken up.

Detective Leslie attended Lauren's funeral. Exactly a week after the incident, at around the same time, they set up a checkpoint in a widened area on Palos Verdes South. (In a bus pullout area.) This was to find out if anyone had seen anything.

CH: Why November 15th?

JL: It was exactly a week later. They passed out flyers and explained the reason for the checkpoint. It was early afternoon, around the same time.

On November 16th, he interviewed Jerry S(?). More interviews the detective conducted are brought out in testimony.

CH: Did Captain Curcio tell you that the defendant told him that he looked over and said he saw her in the water?

JL: It was the opposite of what we were told by the defendant.

CH: Did you ask Captain Curcio a second time?

JL: Yes, I'm certain I clarified a second time.

CH: How long did... Captain Curcio relate to you the length of time had past between the time he had got to Lauren's body to when the police arrived.

JL: Captain Curcio said "Thirty minutes," based on what the defendant had told him.

CH: Did Captain Curcio tell you that the defendant had yelled for help from the top of the cliff?

JL: No.

On November 17th, he saw Ms. Key-Marer and other members of her family out on Inspiration Point.

JL: I got them down and met with them. [...] She was upset. She was wandering around, sobbing; very emotional.

Hum goes through other witnesses that he interviewed from November 20th through the 29th. On November 22nd, they set up a second check point in the same area and passed out flyers. On November 28th, he met with Ms. Key-Marar and obtained the recording that she had taken. On November 29th, he gave Ms. Key-Marer Lauren's lunch box. There was a full juice box, string cheese, a type of yogurt, nutrition bar and (I think) a small piece of fruit.

More people are listed whom he interviewed. He obtained various documents, a certified copy of the (family) court file. People's #87, 11 pages of an Orange County Superior Court document.

CH: Were search warrants obtained to get phone records?

He called the number of the attorney on (one?) of the attorney's on the business card that the defendant's wife handed him. He conducted surveillance of the defendant on November 28th? 29th? On January 2nd, 2001, he served a search warrant on the defendant's home. They seized two computers and photographs of Lauren. I believe the same day, a search warrant was served on the defendant's boat at a harbor in San Pedro. THe boat was a 1976 Trimaran.

CH: Did it appear to be in good condition?

JL: No.

As part of the investigation, Detective Smith had spoken to Kathliene Brussard, (sp?) Human Resources Supervisor)

PH: Objection!

JP: Sustained!

. Hum is trying to get an interview out of this witness that his partner did. Another stipulation? I hear the words "stricken."

Hum asks if the Human Resources Director at Travel Max was aware of what Ms. Brussard told his partner. Detective Leslie states that Ms. Brussard's husband told them she had terminal cancer and could not travel.

On January 21st, 2001 he retrieved more phone calls off the recordings on Sarah Key-Marer's phone.

CH: Where those numerous phone calls where the defendant says "Helllooooo."

PH: Objection!

JP: Sustained!

Some of the phone calls were from January 12th.

CH: Did those include phone calls we heard here in court?

JL: Yes.

Other witnesses were interviewed and the computers were returned to the defendant. The interviews in February, 2001 are reviewed. February 7th Jack Laisure interviewed. February 13th, Cari Dunlop interviewed. Feburary 15th, he arranged an interview between the defendant and Detective Lillienfeld, posing as a detective for LAX. On March 15th, 2001 he reviewed the computer information by Detective Fortier.

On the Dell Tower computer, specific web sites were visited on November 8th, 2000 and November 10th, 2000. People's #75 is a list of web sites visited on those two days.

On November 8th, 2000, at 9:22 am, and other various surfing web sites were visited. These are web sites where there are web cams, and you can view the video/area live. El Porto Beach, Manhattan Beach (on the strand), Huntington Beach.

On November 8th, 2000, at 12:19 pm, various web sites were visited on this computer.
Win Child
Fathers (?).com
Single Father'

JL: All of those web sites were about father's rights dealing with custody, reducing child support, parent alienation.

CH: How many pages were visited?

JL: Fifty-three pages.

(This blows me away and (to me) solidifies that Mrs. Brown did not want the defendant to give up his parental rights. Brown has asserted that he was able to reach his wife and let her know that he wasn't coming directly home with Lauren. That he was taking her to Abalone Cove because she was so upset. I think it's very likely that Patty, while on the phone with her husband, told him about what she found out searching all these web sites.)

This occurred between 12 and 2 pm on November 8th, 2000.

CH: Did you see any other day?

JL: Those web sites were not visited on any other day.

CH: On November 10th, 2000, was this computer accessing the surf sites again?

JL: Yes, it was.

On March 26th, 2001 Detective Leslie went back to Inspiration Point with the coroner's office staff. ON October 7th, 2002 he met with Dr. Toby Hayes.

CH: Had you ever spoken with Dr. Hayes before?

JL: No.

They specifically visited key areas: the playground and the top and bottom of Inspiration Point.

CH: Did Dr. Hayes provide you with any info? [...] If he had an opinion?

JL: No.

On December 16th, 2003 the defendant was arrested.

The most recent time the detective went to Inspiration Point was July 9th, 2009. Changes were noted in the entire area.

JL: Generally, the area is the same. The playground equipment is no longer there. [...] There is fencing now on Inspiration Point at the bottleneck area. [...] There's now additional trails leading down to the archery area from Inspiration Point. [...] The awning at the archery range is no longer there. [...] There are vegetation changes depending on time of year.

CH: Did the geography now appear to you to have changed?

(I miss the answer.)

After the last proceeding, Detective Leslie continued to interview witnesses. In October 2006, Leslie and Hum went to Colorado. They called people in the area in advance in an effort to obtain interviews. They called at least a week in advance. On October 24th, 2006 Hum and Leslie interviewed Jon and Lisa Hans. They also spoke to Jane Doe. In October, 2008 they interviewed Dave Banister, a name provided by Mr. Hans. On October 8th, 2008 Detective Leslie interviewed Chris Lord.

Hum asks Detective Leslie to describe what happened during the search of the defendant's residence on January 2nd, 2001.

JL: We knocked three times and there was no answer at the door. Three times they announced (who they were) and demanding entry or they would kick in the door. Finally, the door opened.

CH: Who participated?

JL: Smith, Leslie, Germis (sp?) Brothers and Detective Leslie's lieutenant. [...] It was a condo, with two bedrooms. One bedroom was used as an office where they seized the computers.

Hum asks if they found any photos of Lauren and how many were there. Detective Leslie said they found nine photos depicting Lauren.

CH: Did you ask Sarah Key-Marer to look at the photos?

JL: She recognized all but one. (She stated she) provided those photos to the Brown family.

They seized a note that appeared to be from Patty Brown to the defendant. The note is People's #50 and it's put up on the overhead screen. It's a hand written note, block print and not dated.

Ask for sole legal and physical custody of Lauren. If they tell you that you don't have a good chance of getting it, tell them you want to go for it anyway.

I love you,

This was written on some kind of letterhead paper but I miss getting what the letterhead said.

CH: Detective, did you seize a suitcase under the bed?

JL: The suitcase was not seized, but noted it's contents. [...] Wooden, small cigar box, black ceramic (figurines?), black candles. [...] Inside the cigar box were two small portions of a photographs that appeared to be cut out of a larger photograph.

Hum enters People's #49, foam board with two photos on it. These are evidence photos of what they found. Photo A is a picture of suitcase with the contents. Photo B is of the cigar box with the (head cut-out) photos of Ms. Key-Marer.

(When I see this evidence entered, my jaw almost dropped. I mean literally dropped open during testimony. I had read something about this on other web sites, but at the time I didn't believe it. I thought it was all gossip. Now come to find out it's all true and part of the trial record. I'm sitting in my seat and I'm just dumbfounded by what I'm seeing and hearing.)

CH: You testified that on February 15th, 2001 you arranged an interview with Detective Lillienfeld.

JL: The defendant said on tape, that detectives had come to his house and stole his computers and photographs.

The afternoon break is called.

I ask Mr. Hum at the break who testified in the morning. He says Robert Olsen, from Psomas. He's a map guy; does maps. And Deputy Dale Falicon.

2:40 pm: Veretsian and their clerk are at the defense table. Practically everyone else has exited the courtroom except Hum who is at the prosecution table. Harris comes in. I leave to go get some snacks.

When I go thought the elevator bay to get to the snack machines, Patty was on her cell phone by the snack machines, talking with someone about the note up on the overhead screen.

Judge Pastor comes back to the bench right at 2:49 pm. It's decided that court will start next Tuesday at 9:15 am, with Dr. Hayes. Hum states he thinks his direct will take one-and-a-half hours. Harris and Hum stipulate that the handwriting on the note is that of Mrs. Brown.

Judge Pastor, wanting to get his jury inside the courtroom, asks Ms. McNeal if Ms. Benson is outside. Ms. McNeal goes out to get the jury.

PMcN: They're coming your honor.

After the jury enters Judge Pastor jokes with them.

JP: I wouldn't buy lunch for Ms. Benson and she wouldn't come back.

The jury laughs.

Direct is finished and Harris gets up to cross.

Harris asks about the search warrant and that one of the things Detective Leslie was looking for were pictures of Lauren.

Harris enters Defense Exhibit "CC." A series of pictures that shows Lauren and the defendant. Two of these photos I've seen up on the support Cam Brown web site. One of the photos was seized from the house.

PH: Is that one she (Ms. Key-Marer?) took? [...] Is that one that she had provided to Mrs. Brown?

Another photo is put up, of Lauren with a cake and the defendant. This must be of a birthday party the defendant gave Lauren for her 4th birthday. There are several photos in this series and Harris goes over every one. One photo is of a doll in a high-chair with Lauren.

PH: I s this doll significant?

JL: I don't know. [...] I remember dolls being at Mr. Brown's mother's house.

Harris then crosses the detective on a supposed list that the defendant (?) gave the detective of presents that Brown gave Lauren.

PH: So there are (other) pictures (of Lauren)?

JL: There are other photos that we've since seized but they were not located inside the house.

Harris shows more photos from (to me obviously) the same event of Lauren and Cameron at Lauren's birthday party. Another photo is put up and Detective Leslie states that photo appears to have been taken at Cameron's mother, Lynn's house. There's another photo of Brown, squatting down that supposedly Lauren took of her father.

There's another photo of Cameron and Lauren that I think I've seen on the Internet. Another two photos of the defendant and Lauren blowing bubbles. Most of these appear to be taken at the same birthday party.

Harris asks about the procedure to fill out a search warrant.

PH: Do you know what scrap booking is? [...] Cut out pictures and put them together?

(I can't believe it. I can't believe that Harris is trying to pass off the cut out photos under the Brown's bed as "scrap booking.")

PH: Did you find that at the house? [...] Tiny photo of Lauren?

JL: No.

PH: Does it appear to be.... [...] They weren't cut up, mutilated or torn apart?

JL: No.

PH: They didn't have nasty messages on them?

JL: No.

Harris now moves onto the interviews that were done with the school personnel. Leslie's partner, Smith went to the school. Ms. Patel said she wrote a letter.

PH: Did you find it?

Harris goes over the application Sarah Key-Marer filled out for Lauren to go to the preschool, where she described Lauren as "lively and enjoying a number of activities."

PH: You put together evidence and recommended .... presented for filing?

JL: Preset for filing, yes, that's a fair statement.

PH: Do you recall the night of November 9th, you and your partner both accused Mr. Brown of murder that night?

JL: Yes.

PH: Within 12 hours, you had made an accusation. [...] And there were... you had made comments... Is it your testimony that you didn't tell Ms. Key-Marer your opinion? [...] You told me didn't you that he committed murder?

JL: I believe I said we had some questions. That's my recollection.

PH: You've been with your partner how long?

JL: 20 years.

PH: Do you recall speaking to the media saying Mr. Brown's story didn't add up?

JL: I may have.

PH: Detective Smith didn't come to testify? [...] And you said you were 50-50? [...] I asked you about a list of gifts...

Harris shows the witness a document.

JL: I believe I have seen this.

Detective Leslie takes a moment to read the document.

I note that two of the alternates are not taking notes. Juror #3 I have not seen take any notes for a long time. Defense exhibit "EE." It's a list Ms. Key-Marer gave. Either Harris states or the witness states that these were just the ones Marer was aware of. We don't get to see the list.

PH: At what point did it officially become a homicide?

JL: After the coroner ruled it a homicide.

PH: Are you sure about that?

Harris showing Detective Leslie his prior testimony.

JL: I remember saying that. [...] Again, but I don't know that's accurate.

Harris says something about Brown "changing" around the time of the search warrant. Now Leslie is being confronted with the prior proceeding testimony.

PH: You're familiar with your partner's "murder book?" [...] Those little notebooks? [...] Some of your testimony is based on Detective Smiths notes?

JL: Yes, that's correct.

PH: And in Detective Smiths notes, he had a list of phone numbers called (?) Scumbag ? Assholes?

CH: Objection!

JP: Sustained!

Harris asks to approach. It appears they are arguing that it shows state of mind of the detectives. Patty is leaning forward again. Her elbows are on the low gallery wall separating the well area. Her hands are resting on her chin.

Harris gets to re ask his question. Detective Smiths notes. He listed phone numbers of Mr. Browns friends.

JL: He did have numbers from a phone book in Brown's residence but they were not in his notebooks.

PH: He put some title at the top of the page, "Phonebook Assholes?"

JL: I don't know that it was the title.

PH: You and Detective Smith would always come to a meeting of the minds? [...] Were you present at an interview with Mr. Hope and the defendant was never identified as a scumbag? [...] So Mr. Hope is lying?

JL: He's inaccurate.

Harris now moves onto Captain Curcio and the "30 minutes." Harris asks Detective Leslie to reread (either an interview report or prior testimony) There is a question as to whether Mr. Brown was indicating that 20 minutes past since he retrieved Lauren's body or 30 minutes had past since Captain Curcio had interviewed Brown. Then 30 minutes after she was taken out of the water.

PH: Captain Curcio said the father said, "Hurry up! Hurry up!" It's in the report? [...] Captain Curcio indicates he described him (Brown) as "dazed" twice, in the report?

Now Harris moves back to the search warrant and whether Leslie wrote out an affidavit.

JL: Yes. It's a synopsis of probable cause that we're presenting to a magistrate.

Harris points out that he put quote marks around the word "counseling."

PH: Do you remember her name?

The jury offers up the name.

JP: Whoa! Whoa! No comments from the peanut gallery!

(This was pretty funny when it happened.)

PH: Based on your interview at the school, she didn't run around, but Sarah Key-Marer told you that Lauren loved monkey bars, but it's the opposite in the search warrant. [...] You wrote in your affidavit that Lauren was lazy, wanted to be carried? [...] Ms. Key-Marer said both?

JL: She said (she was) active, but not hyper-active.

Harris moves onto the information about the cell phone call, and that the owner of the cell phone said in his interview that his (Brown) eyes were wet.

JL: I remember hearing that but I don't believe it was in that specific interview.

The name Bruce Beckler is brought up and Hum asks for a sidebar. Ted had left sometime earlier but I didn't see it. Now he's back inside the courtroom. It appears Hum won that argument.

Now going over Jeremy Simmons statement about the cell phone and wet eyes.

JL: I see that written. I know there is a typographical error in Mr. Simmons statement but I believe it was when it was "not crying."

CH: Objection!

JP: Sustained.

PH: you heard him testify that when Brown came back he said his eyes were crying?

(I don't remember that as being correct. I just remember him saying his eyes were red.)

Harris now moves onto the work that Deputy Falicon did at the scene. Enlargements of possible shoe impressions, foot prints are up on the overhead screen but I can't make heads or tails of any of it.

PH: You can see a number of footprints on that photo?

JL: I can see some disturbance.

I think Harris is trying to say that Falicon made the impressions himself.

Harris is now going over other photographic evidence.

JL: Testimony.... I remember there was a marker six feet from the edge.

PH: Do you remember me asking you if someone was throwing an object from a sloped area, the person would go forward?

JL: I remember you asking me that.

Harris asks another question about the condition of Lauren's body.

JL: I don't recall there being any blood or tissue under (her) fingernails.

PH: Charles Mankie (sp?) [...] He had seen them tat day. Did you take that info into consideration when you recommended this case as a homicide? [...] that he told you he saw Lauren in front of Mr. Brown on Inspiration Point?

CH: Objection!

JP: Sustained!

PH: When you interview someone, you try to determine if they're credible?

JL: I don't know if I was trying to recreate. I was trying to (?)...[...] There were a number of people who saw different things.

PH: Did you also speak to Eric Carter (sp?)?

CH: Objection!

JP: Sustained!

PH: To your knowledge, when was the last time you talked to Eric Carter?

JL: I don't know.

PH: How about Menkie (sp?)? [...] You never re interviewed? [...] What was the reason you didn't re interview Mr. (?)? Was it because it didn't match up?

Harris moves onto crossing about new features at Inspiration Point.

JL: He told us he was sitting in an area that was "U" shaped.

PH: In fact that area actually contains an area that's shaped like a V?

I happen to look over at the jury. Alternate #4 smirks and lifts up his arms slightly as if he's totally exasperated.

JL: I agree that of the U shape, does contain an area that has a "V."

PH: One of the things Ms. Key-Mar told you was describing his (Brown's) activities? [...] He had taken Lauren to a friends overnight and that Mr. Brown just left her? (With a Mr. Jack Deitster (sp?)

JL: She did in fact tell us that.

PH: In a prior trial (oops! He wasn't supposed to use the word trial!) you testified that you spoke with a Mr. Deitster about whether or not Lauren had been left (behind)?

CH: Objection! Relevance!

JP: Sustained!

Harris asks the detective who else was at the scene during the rappel down the cliff face. And that there was a discussion about the case? And you said, "Don't worry about the cost, spare no expense on this case?)

CH: Objection! (several grounds)

JP: Sustained!

(Even if this statement is true, it's totally understandable that the Sheriff's office decided to investigate this death to the fullest extent.)

There are questions about whether or not a video of the rappel was taken and what date that occurred.

Harris asks the witness about when he asked Ms. Key-Marer to tape record any phone conversations with the defendant. It was three days after Lauren's death.

PH: Did you ask her to keep a record?

JL: I think I might have. I'm basing that on my prior practice, but I don't recall specifically asking her.

A series of phone calls (were?) played 12-12 phone calls.

PH: Do you have any frame of reference of when those phone calls were made? [...] How do you know? [...] It was noted in your notebook?

JL: We had provided tapes and the tapes were dated.

PH: How did you know? [...] You gave her tape on a specific date and picked them up on a certain date? [...] The only thing you have to go by is a note on the tape?

JL: As the tape got filled, it would have been documented the dates it covered.

PH: IS there a way to tell if those phone calls were made one after another?

JL: No, it was just a digital recorder. It didn't have a date stamp.

PH: Do you recall in your notes that you picked up a journal from her?

Harris is now going over a phone call that Mr. Brown did call Ms. Key-Marer (that I believe) the prosecution did not present, that was recorded.

Defense Exhibit "FF." Harris wants to play a CD of calls collected by Detective Leslie; a tape of three phone calls from tapes collected from Ms. Key-Marer.

CH: Yes, your honor. I think we need to approach.

(The defense doesn't have a transcript of the calls to give to the jurors. Unforkin' believable. I learned in Fidler's courtroom that it's law, that all audio and video recordings must be accompanied by a transcript! I can't believe the defense doesn't have this prepared!)

Judge Pastor rules that all recordings have to have a transcript. Pastor states that both sides will stipulate that at a later point in time, a transcript of the audio recordings will be given to the jury.

The defense brings their laptop to the witness stand.

(I try to transcribe what I hear. Understand that I can NOT guarantee the accuracy of my transcription of any of these calls.)

"This is Cam.
I'm Sarah's mother.
Okay, I'll call back.

Morning Sarah, this is Cam. Haven't been able to call because I've been busy. Every one's grieving and it's hard.

Then a third call is presented, of Ms. Key-Marer back to Mr. Brown.

Cam, it's Sarah. I saw you at the viewing tonight. [...] Respect our wishes and do not be there for my family's sake. Please don't be there.

PH: Mr. Brown respected her wishes and did not come to the funeral?

JL: To my understanding, that is correct.

I see that Sarah has her hand on her face, looking down.

There is something that Harris brings up, but my notes are not clear. My note reads: This is a place where everyone comes to sue..."

Cross is finished and redirect begins.

Hum goes back to the search of the Brown's home and finding the pictures of Ms. Key-Marer in the suitcase and the black candles and black porcelain figures under the Brown's bed.

CH: Did you find a number of books on witchcraft?

PH: Objection!

JP: Sustained!

And that's it for this witness. I believe his testimony is finally complete.

I think Judge Pastor or Juror #3 quips that they are not going to buy lunch (for the other). Judge Pastor informs the jury that they are ahead of the plan on this case. The jurors will be off on Monday. He tells them to please feel free to go back to work. They will not be in session on Wednesday, August 19th, because that's a staff furlough day. Judge Pastor thanks his jury for their patience. They are ordered back at 9:15 am, on Tuesday, August 18th.

Judge Pastor tells counsel that Harris and Hum can communicate via email on Monday. There is no need to come to court. He recesses court until Tuesday, at 8:45 am, and they can discuss jury instructions off the record. Judge Pastor states he has a preliminary draft of the jury instructions, but his computer would not print out past page 11. Before Brown is taken out by Sheriff's, Harris speaks at length with his client. And that's it.

(On Tuesday morning I find out that court is not in session because a juror was ill. Court resumed Thursday, August 20th.)

On Saturday, August 15th, I woke up sick with a sore throat. I was still sick when court resumed on August 20th. I believe the prosecution rested their case on Thursday after calling their trajectory expert, Dr. Hayes. I believe the defense began their case on Friday, August 21st. My understanding is they called two witnesses. If/when I get back to court, I will find out the names of the witnesses whose testimony I missed.

I wish to thank Denise Nix of the Daily Breeze for mentioning T&T in her latest article on the Brown case.

Dominick Dunne Dead

He died peacefully at his home today, surrounded by family.

Story in the SF Gate.


Wall Street Journal

Huffington Post

DDA Alan Jackson & DDA Truc Do: In the Top 100

Every September the Daily Journal, California's largest legal news provider, publishes a list of the top 100 Lawyers in California. I'm pleased to announce that Deputy District Attorney, Alan Jackson made the list for 2009.

Earlier this year, Deputy District Attorney, Truc Do was selected by the Daily Journal as one of the top 100 women litigators.

Please join T&T in congratulating Truc and Alan for their recognition by the Daily Journal!

Brooke Bennett Murder To Be A Death Penalty Case

The U.S. Department of Justice will seek the death penalty for Michael Jacques in the murder of Brooke Bennett. 12-year-old Brooke was drugged, raped and murdered by her uncle on June 25, 2008. Her body was found in a shallow grave near Jacques' home a week after she went missing.

The case has been stalled due to the fact a new U.S. Attorney General had to be appointed by the President and a new Vermont U.S. Attorney just took office last week. Vermont does not have a death penalty, but Jacques has been charged under federal law.

After being given the green light by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on August 14, U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin announced Tuesday that prosecutors filed a Notice of Intent to Seek a Sentence of Death.

In the documents filed, prosecutors site five factors and 19 aggravating factors which make Jacques eligible for the death penalty, including Jacques killed Brooke after 'substantial planning and premeditation'.

Federal officials also say Jacques has shown no remorse for the especially heinous, cruel and depraved murder of his niece for which he stands accused.

Brooke's murder led to sweeping sex offender reforms in the Vermont. Jacques is a repeat offender.

Rutland Herald
Washington Post

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dominick Dunne Given Last Rites

It's with sad news that I report Dominick Dunne has been given last rites. Please stop by Dominick's Diary and send your prayers and positive thoughts to Dominick and his family.

I'm sure some have been wondering how I know this, since it hasn't been reported in the mainstream media. One of Dominick's good friends emailed me the information this morning. Dominick is surrounded by his family 24/7 now. He's mostly resting, and when he does wake up, his family is there to be with him.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cameron Brown Retrial: Day Thirteen

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Prosecution Witnesses:

# Victor Rendon (American Airlines employee who presents Brown's employment records; testimony complete)
# Jane Ngo (DDA, CPA and financial forensic investigator who presents the financial data: testimony complete)
# Thomas Fortier (LA Co. Sheriff's Dept. HIgh Tech Task Force; examined the Brown's computers; testimony complete"
# Anke Raue (Coordinator of public walks in Rancho Palos Verdes; testimony complete)
# Dr. Ogbonna Chinwah (LA Co. Coroner's Office; performed Lauren's autopsy; testimony complete)

When I arrive in 107, Judge Pastor is advising a defendant on another case. Pastor is directly addressing the defendant, who is in handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit.

JP: look at the big picture and what is facing you. Ultimately it's your decision. You've got two lawyers. They are committed to you. [...] Talk to your family; talk to your friends and consult with them. But no one ultimately makes the decision... it's you.

There are three clean cut young men sitting in the row behind me. I can tell immediately they are with the DA's office. Short hair, clean cut look, long-sleeve shirts, tie. (No jackets.) I turn around and ask if they are interns or clerks. Clerks, for the DA's office, they respond.

Pastor stays on the bench while the attorney's set up. Brown enters and starts to put on a tie. Ted was here when I arrived, sitting in the front row. The jury is called and we get started at 9:34 am.

The prosecution calls VICTOR RENDON.

Rendon is an American Airlines employee who is what is called a "lost time" manager covering all types of lost time such as injury, late/tardy, workman's compensation and family leave. When an employee calls in sick, upon their return they are interviewed by a lost time manager.

Rendon explains regular duty, transitional duty (coming off an injury such as workman's comp), restricted, return to work (can't lift over 20 lbs), and transitional from being off to full capacity. Rendon explains that employee personnel files are called "P" files and details all the types of documents that would be in the P file: work history, disciplinary actions and any type of injuries. For timekeeping, back in 2000 they had paper documents. Today, that's all computerized.

CH: Do you know the defendant?

VR: Yes I do. [...] He worked for American Airlines. I supervised on occasion.

Rendon reviewed Brown's personnel file. He started work for AA on August 28th, 1989. In November 2000, his job title was fleet service clerk. This is someone who loads/unloads luggage off to planes. He explains a "cut team" position where employees take luggage from "tail to tail." Hum asks about bags going from LAX to Hawaii, and Rendon agrees that's basically what the job entails. It also entails driving trams, physically moving the bags from point (plane) to point (plane). The job requires that employees are able to lift 75 pounds while bending over within a cramped space of an airliner (cargo hold).

In November of 2000, Rendon verifies that the defendant's days off were Tuesday and Wednesday and that he was listed as regular duty. He was not listed as injured or in transitional duty. A document is presented to Rendon who states he identifies it.

VR: It is an employee attendance record.

CH: Does it reference (the) work hours for the early days of November, 2nd, 200? [...] Did the defendant work?

VR: Yes he did.

CH: Regular duty, transitional or something else?

VR: Regular duty.

I'm not positive but I believe the document is put up on the overhead screen.

11/3 Regular duty
11/4 Regular duty
11/5 Regular duty
11/6 Regular duty
11/7 Day off
11/8 Day off

CH: Are you familiar with AA's policies when an employee has an injury on duty?

VR: First, the employee needs to let management know. Then the injury needs to be assessed and the employee sent to medical right away.

Then an injury counselor would advise the employee of his benefits.

CH: Was there an "injury counselor" back then? (2000)

VR: Yes there was. [...] Back then, the injury counselor would discuss with them what the employee's options were.

The employee would be given an document that explains all the options and benefits in regards to the employee injury policy.

CH: What was AA pay policy?

VR: Allotted 80 days off where they were paid their regular salary, then 50 days transitional.

Rendon clarifies that's 80 scheduled work days.

CH: Full salary base for 80 days?

VR: Yes.

This was 80 day per specific injury. Back then, (2000) the employee could be off 80 days from a back injury, come back to work injury the knee and get another 80 days paid. Rendon also clarifies that this generous injury policy AA had had changed since then. The witness states the employee is required to keep their doctor's appointments and they can check in with their injury counselor over the phone. They don't need to physically come into work to check in.

CH: Can a doctor at some point clear them for transitional duty then clear them for full duty?

VR: Yes, they can do that.

The next document is People's #43. It's an AA document from Brown's personnel file regarding an injury he claimed on 1-19-1999. The document is the employee on duty injury letter. It's signed by the defendant under the above statement:

"I have read and understand the information above."

Line #7 on the document. "Detail pay policy. AA will continue to pay your full salary for 80 days. If (you) are still injured beyond that (time0 you will receive workman's compensation.

The witness reviewed the personnel file of Brown and states there are 11 or 12 times in the file where the defendant claimed an injury while on duty.

People's #80 Another injury on duty letter dated 11-18-99. It's a repeat of People's #43. Brown signed the document that he read and understood the above. The same #7 paragraph reads the same AA policy of full pay for 80 days.

CH: Did the defendant return to full duty?

He returned to full duty on February 28th, 2000.

CH: Did the defendant claim any other injury on duty?

VR: No, he did not.

CH: Did I request that you review his pay stubs from the year 2000?

VR: Yes you did.

CH: Back in 1999-2000, how frequently were employees paid?

VR: Every two weeks.

The first pay stub that's presented is one dated 1-7-2000. The gross pay was 1599.20 for two weeks. There are various deductions on the check, including one for child support. The net pay was $433.42.

The next pay stub is reviewed, dated 1-21-2000. The gross pay was $1599.20 for two weeks. That was full, base salary. The net pay was $440.93 and the child support was $491.00

The next pay stub is reviewed, dated 2-4-2000. The gross pay was $1599.20 for two weeks. The child support was $491, and the net pay was $439.16.

The next pay stub is dated 2-18-2000. The gross pay was $1599.20. The child support deduction was $125.00. The net pay was $804.17.

The next stub is dated 3-03-2000. The gross pay was 1604.80. The child support deduction was 83.33. The net pay was $864.22.

The next stub is dated 3-15-2000. The gross pay was 1986.78 for two weeks. There was no child support deduction out of this check. The net paycheck was $1,110.01.

The next stub is dated 3-31-2000. The gross pay was $1619.85 for two weeks. The child support was 83.34 and the net paycheck was $892.42.

The next stub is dated 4-14-2000. The gross pay was $1610.42 for two weeks. I think I have the amount wrong for child support for this stub at only $125.00 with the net paycheck being $554.48.

The next stub is dated 4-28-2000. The gross pay was 1644.92 for two weeks. The child support was $491.00 and the net pay was $430.94

(And as I'm looking at this, I'm seeing that there have to be some other type of deductions coming out of his bi-weekly check that are pretty hefty because I can't understand how it could just be government taxes, SDI and withholding that are taking such a huge chunk of his gross pay.)

Hum asks the witness if overtime was available to the defendant back in 2000. In order for an employee to get overtime, they would have to sign up for it on their day off, or sign up at the beginning of the shift. Seniority did play a part on who was first awarded overtime. Overtime was paid at 1.5 the base pay. Rendon also explains "CS time" At the change of shift an employee can pick another employee's shift to work at regular base salary. CS time is "completely voluntary." The agreement to work a CS shift can be a verbal agreement between two employees or sometimes can require a management signature.

(This witness totally invalidates the defendant's claims in Family Court that he was on disability and not earning his full salary. It also invalidates the defendant's claims in Family court that he did not know who was paying him while he was injured.)

Harris gets up to cross the witness. Harris verifies that Mr. Hum subpoenaed the records and had this witness review them. He reviewed pay stub documents from 1-7-2000 to 12-31-2001.

Hum puts up a detail earnings statement on the overhead screen. Unfortunately, I can barely read what's there. He does have the witness explain the various areas and codes on the statement. Medical coverage, life insurance, dental, eye care are all before taxed deductions. After tax deductions would be credit union dues, child support long term disability, 401K. Those are all voluntary deductions.

Verifies again that Hum provided the witness with 2 years pay stubs. Every category that's listed on the earnings statement is gone over and the witness verifies if the category is a voluntary deduction or not. (The list is long, and I won't bother transcribing what I have.) There is also a category on the stub called NRSA. This is a category where, if an employee travels and takes someone with him via his benefit of free travel, there 's a fee for that. (I'm betting these are taxes that must be paid.) Or if there's someone on his list who travels on his benefits, the employee pays some sort of fees.

PH: If at any time, he could have decided not to have these voluntary deductions?

VR: Well, I'd debate that on the union dues. [...] Insurance can only be declined once a year in October.

PH: Other things, could he choose not to have deducted from his paycheck?

VR: Yes.

Now Harris goes over every pay stub from November 10th, 2000 to May 25th, 2001 and the child support payments that Brown made to the victim's mother, Sarah. I'm not sure if I have all the figures correct, so bear with me.

11-10-2000 412.85 child support; arrears: ??
11-24-2000 475.26 child support; arrears: no
12-06-2000 78.14 child support; arrears 25.00
12-08-2000 412.86 child support; arrears: 25.00
12-22-2000 491.00 child support
12-22-2000 nothing (is this possibly a bonus check?)
01-05-2001 491.00 child support; arrears 25.00
01-19-2001 491.00 child support; arrears 25.00
02-02-2001 491.00 child support; arrears 25.00
02-16-2001 491.00 child support; arrears 25.00
03-02-2001 327.33 child support; arrears 16.67
03-15-2001 327.33 child support; arrears 16.67
03-16-2001 no child support
03-30-2001 327.34 child support; arrears 16.66
04-13-2001 491.00 child support; arrears 25.00
04-27-2001 491.00 child support; arrears 25.00
05-11-2001 491.00 child support; arrears 25.00
05-25-2001 491.00 child support; arrears 25.00

(The big question I'm left with is, who initiated the termination of the child support payments? Was it the OC DA's office when the inter-office paperwork was finally got input into the system over six months later so that Brown didn't pay anymore? Was it Sarah? Or was it Brown? IF this question is answered via this witness or earlier witnesses I totally missed it.)

Harris now asks the witness about different job positions: baggage handler; cut team; expediter. An expediter is someone resolves luggage issues when a passenger gets on a plane but their luggage doesn't make it. The witness states there are 3-4 times a year where employees make bids for certain positions.

PH: At one point was he (Brown) an expediter?

The witness states that he would have to look through all the paperwork bids to determine that. He can't determine from the documents in his personnel file if Brown was an expediter or not.

Harris asks if the employee has a pre-designated doctor on file, if they can go to their own doctor.

VR: Initially, the employee still has to go to the AA doctor referral first, they then can treat with their own personal physician.

Harris now asks about those 11-12 injury report letter and if the witness looked at each individual one to determine what each one was.

VR: No, I just looked at the number of them.

PH: You can't tell if some of these were where he was back at work the same day?

VR: No. Just looked at the injury report letter (in the file).

Harris goes over the injury report letter dated 1-19-1999, and Brown's statement regarding the injury.

"I was bending down vacuuming when I bumped my head on an overhead bin latch."

PH: Can you tell if he missed any work?

VR: It doesn't look like he missed any work.

PH: Some of these were injuries where he missed work and some of those were where he didn't miss any work?

(I don't have the witness's answer.)

The witness states he doesn't remember when the pay went to direct deposit. He thinks that back then, the checks were either mailed or picked up by the employees.

The following codes are explained. SK= sick; PE= personal emergency; PV= paid vacation borrowed from next years.

There's no redirect of this witness and the next witness is called.


I note that the microphone at the witness box is not working right. If you touch or move it, it has a terrible noisy re verb to it. It doesn't help make the witness more understandable.

The witness is a Deputy District Attorney with LA County. She's a supervising investigator and auditor. Since 1997 she's worked on her own cases. Before that she was a corporate examiner for corporations and did regulatory audits. She supervises four staff members.

In 2004 she was an investigative auditor. She would transfer information for the DA and investigators onto spread sheets for analysis. She gives more of her CV. She's also a CPA and a forensic accountant, doing analysis for court purposes.

In March, 2004 the DA's office provided her with the finances for Cameron Brown and Patty Kaldis Brown. The witness states what bank records she received.

She received bank account records from May, 2000 to June, 2001. She also received payroll info from January 2000 to May, 2001. She also received credit card reports for Cameron Brown and Patty Brown from reporting agencies. Several agencies generated reports for as of May, 2000. She analyzed all this material and presented her findings to Hum.

She reviewed seventeen months of payroll information from Brown. January 7th, 2000 to May 25th, 2001. In that group, there was a 2 week period dated 5-26-2000 missing.

The witness states the defendant's gross pay (for this period?) was $64,187.56. That's what the employer agreed to pay him. Hum has the witness go over various deductions. One was child support and one was arrearages in child support. There was also a deduction into a savings (?) account $1,782.20 (total deduction).

CH: Did I ask you to calculate all the deductions excluding child support and arrearages, and taking into consideration the savings account? [...] With that, what was the net pay without those deductions?

JN: After: $40,002.61.

The witness also calculated his take home pay.

$15,320.11 TOTAL

Brown's child support was 38.3% of his net pay.

Hum asks her if there were any days where the paycheck information indicate the net pay was more than the child support.

JN: Out of 36 pay periods, there were 13 pay periods where child support was greater than net pay.

Hum asks the witness to calculate how much child support the defendant would have paid (at the current rate) if Lauren had lived to 18 years old.

JN: $148,132.84, if the amount remained the same.

The witness examined the records for four bank accounts for the defendant. (I believe one account was opened after the death of Lauren so it was not included in calculations.)

B of A Savings: Opened in 5-1-2000 with $6.00. The last statement she reviewed was 5-21-2001 and the account had a balance of $6.14. That's the highest amount that account ever had. The .14 cents was interest earned. On November 8th, 2000, the balance in that account was $6.07.

B of A Checking: On 5-1-2000, the balance was $424.44. ON May 31st, 2001 the balance was $304.87. The highest balance occurred on September 5th, 2000, at $1,937.53. On November 8th, 2000 there was a balance of $86.14.

CH: How many times was this account overdrawn?

JN: 31 times.

On 11-15-2000 there was a negative balance of $ -42.28.

The witness also received records for an American Airlines, Federal Credit Union account. With each paycheck, $50.92 was deposited directly into that account. There were withdrawals on that account.

Credit Union Acct: On 5-9-2000 the balance in the account was $59.91. On 6-22-2001 it was $74.10. The highest balance was on 3-2-2001: $123.25. On November 8th, 2000 the balance was $4.00

The witness states that on this account, there were a number of ATM transactions that were denied, for a total of 13 denied transactions.

The witness was asked to add up the balances in the three accounts in November 8th, 2000. That information is presented on People's #73.

$ 6.07 B of A Savings
$ 86.14 B of A Checking
$ 4.00 Credit Union Acct
$96.21 Total bank account assets on 11/8/2000

The morning break is called. During the break, Harris gives Judge pastor a document.

JP: I think he needs to give the "pace form."

Harris and Hum are still shuffling around in the well area during the break. As I get up from my seat to go get a snack, Harris has an impish grin on his face and says (I believe) in Hum's direction, "I don't know hat you're making such a big deal about. That's ($96.21) not much more than what I have." As I walk past that area of the well on my way out of the courtroom, I say to Harris, "Oh I doubt that."

11:06 am: Break is over.

The witness now testifies about several items that have been charged off that appear on the defendant's credit report. Some of the items don't have dates beside them as to when they became bad debts. These items appeared on a May 2001 credit report.

12/1995 $61.00 (B of A?)
08/2000 $148.00 (American Agency?)
04/2001 $161.00 (American Agency?)
07/1997 $52.00 (CWLTH)
?????? $167.00 (Metro Adjustment Bureau?)
04/30/2000 $561.00 (Area? Finance?)
2/1999 $53.00 (AFNI, Inc.?)
1/1999 $1,358 (? Agency)

There are some California tax liens also listed three items but I miss some of the information.

7/95 $61.
8/?? 57.
9/98 $52.

There was a repossession from Nissan Motors in August, 1996 for $12,974.00

The witness also reviewed a credit report for Patty Brown. There appeared to be two charge-offs by creditors.

$911. Macys
MBNA $13,676.

The debt for this individual reflects a mortgage with Countrywide on 3/20/2001 of $176,518.

There is some kind of past due debt with ABCO (?), a date of 2/99 of $5,000.

There is some kind of payment/charge off (?) in ?/2000 of $67.00 with NACC (?).

She reviewed the balances on (I believe?) credit cards.

AA (?) $24.00
Citibank $2,049.00
Union Bk $5,737.00
Discover $6,975.00
Robinsons-May $209.00

There is a document the witness reviewed that showed Mrs. Brown was fired from her Hermosa Beach job on February 22, 2000. When she was fired, she had already taken advance vacation days. She owed the city more than she had earned when fired.

Patty Brown's W2 forms:

1999 gross: $37,657.83
1999 net: $29,313.48

2000 gross: $7,926.45
2000 net: $6,2363.23

(I have some other figures listed but I can't figure out what my notes are trying to say.)

In June of 2006 she was asked to look at additional accounts by Patty Kaldis Brown.

CH: Were there any joint accounts?

JN: No.

Patty Brown also had real estate holdings. There were three properties she owned and two were sold. None of the properties had the defendant's name on them.

CH: Reviewing the additional documents your received in 2006, did that change the amount the money the defendant had in his account?

JN: No.

That's the end of direct and cross begins.

Harris starts with Brown's credit report. I have in my notes at this point that Ted left before the break. Then Harris moves onto Patty's credit report. He asks the witness about bad debuts and if the credit report tells you when the account (debt) was charged off. Some of the charge offs were in 1996, 1997. From 1995 to 1997, Brown wasn't paying child support.

JN: I was only provided (the information) from (the time frame indicated?).

There are a few questions about the child support that my notes are not clear on. Harris brings up the old tax liens. There were repossessions (?) all before Brown started paying child support.

PH: From you experience, (in reviewing the credit documents) that Mr. Brown was someone who cared about his finances?

CH: Objection!

JP: Sustained.

Harris asks the question a slightly different way and it's objected to and sustained also. Third time is the charm and the witness finally gets to answer.

JN: No.

Harris asks her about when she first started reviewing the documents, and when Mr. Hum sent her a memo, the prosecution was looking at the financial income. Harris asks her at what point she was asked to analyze this information.

PH: Were you aware that he had already been arrested?

JN: No, I was not aware of when he was arrested.

She was given documents and she generated a report. Mr. Hum allegedly requested a review to determine if financial gain was a motive, in March, 2004. She was requested to look at the finances of both Brown's because they were married.

Harris goes over with the witness what documents she was provided by Hum.

PH: They didn't provide you with payroll or bank account information for Mrs. Brown?

The witness states that they didn't do that until later.

PH: Based on just the information you had, you testified before the grand jury, all you had was her credit report, not her bank accounts?

Hum provided that information eventually in June, 2004.

PH: Did he tell you how he had gotten the information? [...] From the defense?

JN: I believe so.

PH: They filed with a joint tax return in 2001? [...] Provided a 2001 (tax return)? [...] They also provided a copy of 2000 joint tax return.

JN: I couldn't confirm. They (the documents) weren't signed.

Harris asks her why didn't she obtain the Federal tax returns.

JN: It's very difficult to get IRS records. I have not personally been able to get one for work (in the scope of doing her job).

Harris asks the witness if Mrs. Brown had three properties, and if she sold one on April 21, 2001. He asks her if Patty brown walked away with a profit of $73,000 from that sale.

ON November 8th, 2000, she owned the house (sold) at that point. Harris asks her about an equity line of credit. That's when the value of the property exceeds what you owe.

Harris mentions again that Patty Brown made $73,000 profit off of the sale of that home. Harris brings up that prior to that, she purchased a piece of property in Torrance, in 1996. She sold in in December, 1998 and pocketed nearly $70,000. Patty Brown also had a retirement account.

PH: You can access the funds if you wish?

JN: With a penalty.

The retirement account on November 8th, 2000 held $48,445.53.

PH: She also had checking accounts on November 8th, 2000?

JN: She had four bank accounts.

Added up? I have a figure of $14,553.84.

JN: I don't know if they were checking accounts. They were bank statements.

Harris goes over the charge offs of a couple of credit cards.

PH: Do you know of a procedure where you can pay off a credit card after it was charged off?

JN: I didn't get that far.

Harris then presents that Patty had credit cards with high "available" balance credit limits. I believe he mentions that on the MBNA card, she had an available line of $26,000 and on her Discover card, she had a $7,500 credit line with $3,760 available as a cash advance.

PH: And that's something she could instantly get cash out of?

Patty Brown also had a Credit Union account with, South Bay Credit Union. A deposit was made in June, 1999 of $9,000. That balance was still in that account on November 8th, 2000.

More of Patty's credit is gone over as well as the sums she pocketed free and clear from the sale of two properties.

PH: Did you see how much the mortgage was? [...] Do you know who was paying it?

JN: No.

PH: Did anyone as you to try to determine if they were living together?

JN: No.

PH: No one had you look at there (?) to see if they were paying (expenses) together?

JN: I didn't see it coming from his account.

PH: They had a mortgage?

JN: SHE had a mortgage.

PH: You saw Mr. Brown wasn't paying the mortgage? No one asked you to find out who was paying that?

JN: Correct.

PH: Do you have.... testified in prior proceeding?

JN: Yes.

PH: You had the case for five years?

JN: Yes.

PH: AT any point did anyone ask to find out if their finances were apart?

JN: She had her own bank accounts.

PH: Any information she was not providing help to the marriage financially?

I don't have the last answer.

Cross ends and redirect begins.

Hum brings out on redirect that the bank statements were separate and the mortgage was separate.

CH: Did any of Cameron Brown's accounts have his wife's name on them?

JN: No.

CH: Did any of her accounts have Cameron Brown's name on them?

JN: No.

There were no accounts or assets that showed joint ownership.

Redirect is over and recross begins.

Unfortunately, my note is not clear as to what Harris asks. He does get on the record that the Brown's were married in the Summer of 2000. I believe it's on recross that it's established that all of the bank accounts were opened before they were both married except for an "AA" account, (credit card?) that was opened in April, 2001.

PH: Did anyone ever ask you to go out and investigate that?

JN: I don't investigate.

PH: No one provided you with any information that they had joint accounts? [...] You have no way of knowing if they shared any expenses?

JN: But I received documents in 2004. The defense didn't provide me with any joint accounts.

I believe the witness agrees that she didn't know if Mrs. Brown was willing to pay for things for her husband.

The testimony of this witness is over and the afternoon break is called a bit early I think. Judge Pastor reminds the jurors that it's Thursday, Farmer's Market Day on the grounds of City Hall. Counsel are ordered back by 1:15 pm.

(The question I would ask is, why didn't they have joint accounts? Why? It doesn't matter if they did share in expenses like Harris suggested in his cross. What's clear is that their assets were separate and Patty controlled the major money in the marriage. I suspect that if there were any joint accounts, the defense would have presented them.

As I listened to the testimony about Patty Brown's finances, they don't appear that impressive. She had some investments and almost $50,000 in her retirement account but she wasn't overly wealthy. She didn't have "hundreds" of thousands of dollars. What I think of her finances doesn't matter though. Whatever she had at that time, it was significantly way more than Brown himself had, and a witness testified that Brown stated he married Patty for her money.

At 1:12 pm, I'm back inside 107. Brown is getting his tie on. There's a bit of pleasant banter in the well. Patricia McNeal, (the other court reporter in 107) went to the Farmer's Market with Mrs. Benson and lucked upon getting a free sandwich there. Judge Pastor jokes with his reporter and clerk.

JP: So that's what you were doing, scrounging around?

Judge Pastor appears to have a good rapport with his staff.

1:17 pm: The jury files in. Judge Pastor asks his jury about their lunch.

The next witness is THOMAS FORTIER. I know this officer also testified in Spector.

Fortier is a Detective on the High Tech Task Force. He was trained by the Dept. of Justice. He gives his CV. He's been with the Sheriff's Office for 25 years.

On 1-3-2001, he was asked to review reports in the search warrant. On 1-22-2001, he did a forensic exam on two computers, a Dell Tower computer, and an PC clone, with no manufacturer's name. The Dell Tower computer model sits on the ground. It's about 1.5' tall.

CH: As opposed to the laptop?

TF: Yes.

The witness testifies that he removed the hard drives and made copies of the hard drives. He then puts the information from the hard drive on a secure server in the Sheriff's Office. He followed his standard procedures for that. The PC clone had two hard drives and the Dell Tower had one hard drive. He used a specific program called END CASE to copy the drives. END CASE is a specific program that just makes copies of information. It cannot write to the drives or make any changes. After making the copies, he put the hard drives back inside the respective computers.

He then did an analysis of the computer hard drives. He checked the internal clock of both computers and found them to be accurate. There is a little (lithium ion) batter that keeps the time and date accurate.

CH: Both computers time and date accurate?

TF: Yes.

The witness explains how data is stored on a hard drive. He explains how deleted emails are not really "deleted." It just means the area where that data is stored is now considered part of the unallocated area. Fortier states that 80% of unallocated area data is retrievable.

The witness reviewed the computer hard drives for their Internet viewing history.

CH: Did you find various documents on the computer?

TF: The resume of Patty K. Brown was on the PC clone computer.

This document is introduced as People's #51.

CH: Did you find any other documents?

TF: Some emails

The witness details the emails that he found on both computers and who they were to. Some of the names are of people who I've seen testify. David Banister; Jon and Lisa, and other's I've not heard of such as Tom Lovejoy and Joe Crennan. The witness made a printout of the Internet history of both computers. It's a 99 page document, People's #52. There is Internet search history there covering November 8th, November 9th and November 10th, 2000. There was nothing in the Internet history on the PC clone; it was all on the Dell Tower.

Hum introduces a 3 page, Internet history from the Dell, People #75. The witness verifies there was no Internet web site activity on November 9th. It was all on November 8th and November 10th.

CH: What information can you tell from the Internet history?

TF: The address of web site visited, for how long and when the last time it was visited.

CH: What is a "push" program?

TF: It's a program that you set it up if you want news sent to your computer. It pops up for you.

CH: There was no "push" program on the computer?

TF: Correct.

CH: Any viruses?

TF: On the Dell Tower, there was one virus.

CH: Can you tell if it was an active virus?

TF: Yes. [...] On a certain date it would turn the computer off and reboot.

Hum verifies with his witness that the only way for this computer to visit a web site was for someone to click on that web site and visit it. The witness explains what type of Internet access the computers had built in. The Dell Tower was using a modem. The PC clone had either a modem or a network card. The Dell Tower used a modem that used a phone line to connect to the Internet. (What some of us would call "dial-up.)

CH: The Dell had no USB, it had a modem dial-up?

TF: Correct.

The witness is asked to explain what "favorites" (or "bookmarks") are.

CH: Was one of the favorites on the Dell Tower "Surfline"?

TF: Yes.

Direct is finished and cross begins.

Harris starts off saying that he really loathes (?) "Because I'm computer illiterate."

(I hate it when attorneys say statements like this and then go onto to do competent job of cross examination of a subject they just said they know nothing about.)

Harris asks about the hard drive and how long it stores information, and there is a detained discussion about how that can vary. The witness states he wasn't the one who went and looked for Internet websites.

PH: Did they ever ask you if there was a place called Inspiration Point? [...] Or running website close to Ranch Palos Verdes Cliffs? [...] They never asked you?

TF: I was asked to get all the Internet histories.

The witness states that if you are using a modem on you phone line to access the Internet, it will ring busy, unless you have a third party device attached.

PH: Did you ever discuss with Detective Leslie or Smith what the charge was on the morning of the death?

It's stated that on the morning of Lauren's death, someone was on the Internet looking up surf reports.

Cross is finished and redirect begins.

Hum gets the witness to verify that on the morning of November 10th, someone was on the Dell Tower computer looking up surf reports.

Harris recrosses.

PH: Were you aware that Mr. Brown was actually home that morning?

TF: No.

And that's it for this witness. It's clear he was just put on the stand to get the Internet history print out introduced into evidence. I'm sure it will be used sometime later.

The next witness called is an older, slightly hard of hearing witness named ANKE RAUE.

Ms. Raue is a volunteer. She works for the Ranch Palos Verdes Land Conservancy, for the land of the Palos Verdes peninsula. She's volunteered since 1991. She's been the coordinator of public walks since 1996. She's also a member of the Land Conservancy board. There are a total of 15 board members. She coordinates and sets up walks in that area.

In 2000, there was approximately a walk a month set up for every second Saturday. That year, they still had a "Children's Walk."

CH: Are there more than 12 walks?

AR: I have a list of over 30 walks and I try to add more.

CH: Was there a walk to Sacred Cove?

She describes the walk to Sacred Cove. That it starts at the Abalone Cove parking lot, goes past the gate house and then there's a trail head. Walk goes along Palos Verdes South, then a trail head along and down to Sacred Cove. Part of the walks were called Y2K (that year).

There are other organizations that have walks in the area. The city docents conduct walks also. She is familiar with what that group does but basically it's pretty much what her group does.

AR: Some walk leaders that are with them, joined us.

She describes another walk from Abalone Cove to the beach and onto Portuguese Point.

CH: Did you ever sponsor a walk or hike onto Inspiration Point?

AR: No.

CH: Why never IP?

AR: I'm told it's too dangerous. [...] I've been told it's not safe for a public walk.

Direct is finished and cross begins.

Harris has her view a document that she states is an "old version of our walk flyer's."

Harris asks her if they walk to Sacred Cove.

AR: Yes.

He then asks her to describe the route and the distances. The witness is not willing to give distances. She says she's terrible on distances. The brochure for the Y2K walks is gone over.

AR: It's a moderate to strenuous walk with a couple of steep sections but is a nice walk for children. (Sacred Cove).

Harris asks her about another walk, Bluff Cove.

AR: That's in Palos Verdes Estates.

Bluff Cove is up toward LAX. Harris asks her how far, and she takes a guess of 3 to 5 miles.

PH: Is this a nice area, Bluff Cove?

AR: Yes. [...] Surfer's spot.

Harris asks her about a children's walk to Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. She states it's a 1.5 hour walk. It includes a lot of standing around and talking about the interesting things to see on the walk.

Cross is finished and redirect begins.

CH: Taking that walk, 2 to 2.5 hours (Sacred Cove walk) would that (be 2.5 hours of solid walking)?

AR: (No.) That would include spending time at cove, talking all the time, stopping at specific spots on the trail and on Palos Verdes Drive. [...] So there's a lot of geology and we let people explore.

Redirect ends and recross begins.

PH: There's a lot of standing?

AR: Yes. [...] And a lot of talking.

This witness is finished and the coroner is the next witness up. I'm happy that I'm not missing the coroner, but that means that I will probably be missing Dale Falicon tomorrow morning.

I think the girl I met a few days ago who said her father is an attorney is back. She's a very slender young woman dressed much more casually.

DR. OGBONNA CHINWAH is called to the stand. He is a tall, slender black man and speaks with an accent. (As I'm typing out my notes, I search the Internet in vain trying to find something that will tell me the heritage of the name "Chinwah." I wonder if Dr. Chinwah is from Trinidad.)

Dr. Chinwah went to Loma Linda Medical School. I believe he did his residency at USC. He gives his CV. He's board certified in pathology and works for the LA Co. Coroner. He's also board certified in forensic pathology. He describes forensic pathology as the branch of medicine that deals with the medical sciences as related to legal issues. I've never heard forensic pathology described this way. Dr. Chinwah speaks very slowly to the jury. He was board certified in pathology in 1974. (So he's been around pathology a while.) He describes his continuing education, the seminars he lectures at and he has trained younger doctors as various hospitals. He's a clinical assistant professor and USC medical school. He's performed about 8,000 autopsies. He's testified as an expert witness in Federal, criminal and foreign courts.

He explains that the coroner's office assigns each case a unique number and that number appears on all documents. Lauren's death in the coroner's office is #2000-07890. Dr. Chinwah describes the five different MOD's (manner of death) classifications that are available to him. 1. Natural; 2. Homicide; 3. Suicide; 4. Accident; 5. Undetermined. He explains each category to the jury. Homicide is a death at the hands of another. Undetermined would be after the examination of the body, all toxicology microscopic exams, when all put together there's no clear cause of death.

Of the 8,000 autopsies he's performed, they have all fallen into one of those five categories. Dr. Chinwah classified Lauren's death as a homicide.

CH: And homicide is a death at the hands of another?

Dr.C: Yes.

His conclusions are recorded in an autopsy report. Dr. Chinwah explains an autopsy. Hum asks if he records into a microphone while performing an autopsy.

Dr. C: We don't have that luxury yet.

He takes notes throughout the exam and makes notations on diagrams. After the autopsy is finished he goes off to his office to dictate a report. The report is then sent in to be transcribed. It's reviewed and corrections are made until the report is correct.

Hum presents a 17 page autopsy report of Laren Key Marer, 2000-078900, People's #33.

CH: Is that the autopsy report (you prepared)? [...] Does that contain dictated portions?

Dr. C: Yes:

CH: Does that contain notes and diagrams?

Dr. C: Yes.

CH: Does it contain other doctor's findings as to cause of death?

Dr. C: Yes.

CH: Were photos taken of Lauren's injuries?

Dr. C: Yes.

CH: Were photos taken during the autopsy?

Dr. C: Yes.

CH: Were specimens taken?

Dr. C: Yes, and preserved for a later time.

CH: Did you review the autopsy report prior to testifying?

Dr. C: Yes, I did.

CH: What was the cause of death (COD)?

Dr. C: Multiple injuries.

CH: Due to what?

Dr. C: Blunt force trauma.

The afternoon break is taken at 2:35 pm. At 2:50 we're back on the record but the jury isn't back in the courtroom.

JP: May I see counsel for just a moment? [...] Were the people in the courtroom aware of what's coming up?

There is a discussion about who will, will not get to remain in the courtroom. Hum wants the family to remain. Harris I think is arguing the opposite. The photos are going to be enlarged and mounted on foam board. They will be on the easel directly in front of the jury.

PH: I think they (the victim's family) could see them. The photos (are) extraordinarily graphic.

JP: If they want to remain they are entitled to. Motion to exclude is unfounded at this juncture.

During the break, Hum explains to his witness that they are not using the word "trial" only "prior proceeding." I sit where I can see the exhibits better.

Back on the stand Hum has the witness describe Lauren's injuries.

Dr. C: Multiple abrasions, contusions, lacerations on the head/skull area. [...] Blood in the chest cavity on the right. [...] Spleen is lacerated. (There are abrasions on the) chest and abdomen. [...] There's an extensive skull fracture. [..] The next is partly dislocated from the head.[...] There is a fracture and dislocation of the right wrist.

Hum has the witness explain the terms.

Dr. C: Abrasion: scrape on the surface of the skin. [...] Contusion: bleeding inside of soft tissue of the body, caused by a blow or impact; bruise. Laceration: tear. Where there is a break in the skin or tissue from a break or force.

Hum: That's not the same as an incision or cut?

Dr. C: No. (It's) not caused by the same thing. [...] A cut is by an instrument.

Dr. Chinwah details more of Lauren's injuries.

Dr. C: On the face and forehead extensive abrasion, laceration and contusions. Abrasions on chest, abdomen, and a few abrasions on the arms.

CH: Any other breaks or injuries to her face?

Dr. C: I felt some fracture of (the) cheekbone.

Dr. Chinwah looks at his notes to refresh his memory. Sarah has her eyes closed. I can't see Ted's face.

Dr. C: Left side of face. [...] The forehead injuries are more pronounced on the left side.

CH: (Was there) a dislocation of the neck?

Dr. C: That's correct. [...] The first cervical vertebrae and where it attached to the occipital bone, that attachment was loose.

CH: Where the skull meets the spinal cord?

Dr. C: Yes.

CH: What would cause that?

Dr. C: Blunt trauma.

There were injuries to her lungs and other internal injuries. Contusion of the liner of the lungs. A bruise you can see on skin or internal tissue. There was bleeding into lunch and liver due to trauma. Her spleen was lacerated.

CH: What would case this blunt force trauma?

Dr. Chinwah details the skull fracture.

Dr. C: Massive, extensive skull fracture. ....forehead and extends to the left side towards the back of the head. [...] The right wrist had a fracture.

CH: Did you notice whether any water was in the lunch?

Dr. C: No, I did not.

CH: Any lacerations on the left side of the brain?

Dr. C: Yes, from the fracture. Laceration and trauma to the left brain.

Dr. Chinwah explains that internal lacerations would be from an external source transmitting force, inside the body. [...] Severe external force.

CH: Was it from more than one or two?

Dr. C: It was consistent with a single application of force.

CH: All injuries consistent with a single impact?

Dr. C: Yes.

Another question and Dr. Chinwah states there were no broken ribs.

CH: Did you find that unusual?

Dr. C: Not unusual from my experience and from the age of the child.

Lauren's height at the time of her death was 42 inches and she weighed 44 pounds.

CH: Was Lauren breathing when she went into the water?

Dr. C: No.

The diagrams are presented to the jury. Ted gets up from his seat and goes over to the far right of the courtroom so he can see the enlarged coroner's diagrams from the autopsy report. Sarah is looking straight down at her lap.

The diagrams indicate there were red areas on her head and red areas on her upper chest. Dr. Chinwah explains what all his markings on the diagrams mean, and where the areas of abrasion occurred.

The forehead abrasion extend over her nose to chin and to the upper part of her chest. Left wrist abrasion. Minor abrasions on things and knees. Small abrasion on left side of her abdomen. There are other small injuries but it's hard to discern on the diagrams.

Now a diagram of the head is being shown, coroner's document #22; People's exhibit #54. There's red showing on her forehead, her face, showing areas of abrasions and contusion on the face. More towards the left than right side.

People's #54. These are black and white diagrams, blown up documenting the skull fractures. I recognize these diagrams from my anatomy books. The skull fractures are long. One goes more than half way around the skull. Dr. Chinwah explains to the jury the views of the skull that are on this diagram. One is as if the top of the skull came off and you were looking straight down inside. Another view is the bottom of the skull. All the dark lines are fracture lines, all around the edge of the skull. The large, main fracture starts from the top of the left eye socket, goes around the parietal to the occipital bone. That's huge. Ted returns to his seat.

There are more fracture lines on the skull but they are hard to describe. I have in my notes that the big fracture goes across the front of the frontal bone just above both eye sockets and continues around to about where the ear is and then to the back of the head. (Her head was almost cracked open like a walnut. That would not have happened with a slip down the cliff face.)

People's #57. These are the photos. There are four. Photo A: The entire left side of her face is very bloody. It's completely red. Photo B: On the left side of her head and upper chest there are abrasions. Dr. Chinwah explains what a specific mark is on the body that's circled in the photograph. That's where the liver temperature was taken. Photo C: On the back (of the?) left and and wrist, and left hip and thigh there are red abrasions. Photo D: This is of Lauren's legs and the small abrasions on her knees.

Juror #6 doesn't appear to look at the photos. Sarah keeps her head down. It takes all my resolve not to cry seeing these images. I have to commend the prosecution for keeping the images to a minimum. Alternate #3 covers her face.

Dr. Chinwah testifies that he did go to Inspiration Point and to the end of the point. He went on March 26th, 2001 with other people. He went with the chief ME from the office, Dr. Lakshmanan and a number of detectives and a consultant pediatrician, Dr. Berkowitz. He went with chief coroner. He went with Detective Leslie. He examined the top of Inspiration Point at the edge of the cliff.

Hum asks him to explain the terrain on Inspiration Point.

Dr. C: Pretty rough area. Rough plants all over the place. IT was just rough.

CH: The area over the edge, was it flat, sloped?

Dr. C: The edge was irregular; it was sloped and there were plants all over the place.

CH: Were those injuries consistent with a drop from a height? [...] They were not consistent with an accidental fall?

Dr. C: No.

Dr. Chinwah explains that if anyone were to fall from there, they would be rolling down that area. I would expect to find scrapes on arms, legs, abdomen, and expect to find cuts from part of cuts, or there would be gravel, on parts of the body.

Dr. C: In my experience, the person would have abrasions, contusions all over the body.

Dr. Chinwah explains that the scrapes on Lauren's body are very minor scrapes. The injuries would be so extensive by rolling down edge of that point where we were. Dr. Chinwah states that he also examined her clothing.

Dr. C: You would expect to find that even on clothing, the rocks, on the pants. [...] She was wearing very flimsy, light material.

CH: You would expect to see those injuries through those clothing?

Dr. C: Yes.

Dr. Chinwah inspected her hand and nails. There was nothing on hands or fingers. He states if she had rolled down, he would expect to see (scrapes, etc.) on her hands.

Dr. C: I would expect to see someone actually falling to try to stop their fall, that (they are trying to) grab things that are around that individual.

CH: You would expect to see that even in a four-year-old?

Dr. C: Yes.

CH: Did anyone pressure you to make the death a homicide rather than an accident?

Dr. C: No.

CH: Did you speak to Dr. Lakshmanan regarding this case? [...] Did you review with Dr. Lakshmanan?

Dr. C: Yes I did.

CH: Did you tell him your conclusion MOD was homicide.

Dr. C: Yes, I did.

CH: Did Dr. Lakshmanan agree with you?

Dr. C: Yes, he did.

It's noted that Dr. Berkowitz's opinion as a pediatric physician, her report is attached to the autopsy report.

CH: Would your conclusion still be a homicide regardless of what Dr. Berkowitz's (opinion?) is?

Dr. C: Yes.

Hum asks Dr. Chinwah if he has performed other autopsies where someone has fallen from a great height. He states he's performed about 50.

CH: Have you ever seen these (type of) abrasions....this type of injury, that you would expect to see if she had fallen from a great height? [...] Lauren's injuries were discrete.

Dr. C: That they were limited to certain areas.

CH: Would discrete also mean localized?

Dr. C: Yes.

Hum details all the injuries.

CH: Are those all consistent with a single impact?

Dr. C: Yes.

Hum asks about Lauren's injuries and the difference between a multiple velocity impact set of injuries.

CH: Have you seen other cases someone who has injuries from multiple severe impacts, hitting more than once?

Dr. C: Yes.

CH: Are those injuries different from what you observed on Lauren?

Dr. C: Yes.

CH: Taking everything into account, the location Inspiration Point, her injuries, are her injuries consistent with an accidental fall?

Dr. C: No.

CH: Are they consistent with being forcibly thrown from that location?

Dr. C: Yes.

Direct is finished and Harris gets up to cross.

Harris immediately points out that the autopsy was performed on November 9th, 2000 and that Dr. Chinwah observed and knew about these injuries on that date.

PH: You looked at those injuries and whether she was thrown verses fall, and your manner of death, of that based on injuries?

Dr. C: It was based on all information.

PH: You didn't make a determination (MOD) until five months later?

I believe Dr. Chinwah states, "That's correct."

Harris goes over this again and again, that Dr. Chinwah knew her injuries the day of the autopsy. Dr. Chinwah explains that the case was not concluded on that date.

PH: Your testimony is with all your experience, you didn't make that determination on November 9th? [...] IN this particular case you had the ability to write a preort on November 11th... [...] And you wrote a report and left MOD blank.

PH: You went with Dr. Lakshmanan, Dr. Berkowita and Detective Leslie and you wrote in your report "appears to be child endangerment..."

Dr. C: It doesn't say that.

PH:: Conclusion after visiting the site. Child endangerment, therefore MOD is homicide.

Dr. C: You are quoting me out of context! [...] What that sentence means, "Further given the circumstances...

PH: IS there a reason you can't answer?

DR. C: I have answered!

(Harris won't let him explain the sentence in his report.)

Juror #3 takes no notes. Juror #6 doesn't appear to be watching the witness or Harris.

PH: What else referenced to child endangerment? [...] Upon what circumstance?

Dr. C: This was a child who was in school, had been crying.

CH: Objection! Non-responsive.

JP: Overruled!

Dr. C: There was information that the father was coming to take her. [...] She cried for a long time. [...] The child reluctantly went with the father. [...] There's supposed to be a picnic area at the bottom. [...] Then (they) proceeded to another place and then proceeded to (Inspiration Point). It was a difficult long journey. [...] Some of us couldn't do it. The pediatric (doctor) was a jogger. [...] It was not a place of fun. And finally ending up.... [...] It looked like a God forsaken place. [...] (It was) scary for me. [...] And that she had been playing... [...] Now four-year-old kind go through all that... [...] For child to go up there. [...] She was very tired, she was fatigued...

PH: Were you given that information (that) she didn't want to leave? [...] Were you given that information? [...] Were you also given the information from (DA?) child services that that was very normal? [...] That that was very normal?

CH: Objection!

(I miss the ruling.)

PH: These were all the circumstances that.... all that goes into your decision? Whether (she was crying or not)? [...] Were you given that information?

Dr. C: No.

PH: You just said one of the factors you were given in this case.... [...] You knew Dr. Berkowitz. [...] Did anyone tell you they didn't know the path?

Dr. C: I know they didn't get there by helicopter!

PH: Did anyone give you that information that for part of the trip they were traveling along the road, Palos Verdes Drive South?

Dr. C: No.

PH: Did anyone provide for you a point of departure, where Lauren fell off?

CH: Objection "fell off!"

JP: Point of departure (stays). Objection sustained.

PH: Did anyone tell you where Lauren went off? (general area) [...] A specific path?

Dr. CH: No.

PH: So these were the things that you were referring to in child endangerment?

Dr. C: Yes, because that was a dangerous place.

PH: Did anyone ever tell you that day that she was rolling down hill?

Dr. C: I didn't say anyone told me. That area. [...] They don't have to roll; there's likelihood of rolling, slipping.

PH: Mr. Hum asked you wouldn't there be major (?) (I "believe" Harris states the next sentence.) Based on the possibility that she may have rolled off?

Dr. C: In an accident, in that location, I would expect to see...

PH: If you didn't and tripped and fell over...

Dr. C: Fell over "what?"

In that area, there's no possibility that you could just "fall over cliff" [...] and we were shown where this incident [...] fell over this place...

There's more back and forth between Harris and Dr. Chinwah about if Lauren could have "fallen over" the edge of the cliff and Dr. Chinwah insists she couldn't have. Harris then moves onto the wrist fracture. He suggests that Lauren could have put her hand/arm out to try to break her fall and that could have broken the wrist. Dr. Chinwah insists that the break is "not that kind of break." Harris then confronts the witness that "he" didn't take the x-rays personally. (I don't know why defense attorney's do this. There are staff to do that; take x-rays and they "know" this.)

Dr. Chinwah stands his ground that the wrist fracture occurred from "landing on it" and not what Harris is suggesting.

Dr. C: If you're going by something, you're not landing on it! It's the type of fracture that someone lands on it.

Harris continues to argue that a four-year-old, the wrist was fractured from breaking the fall.

Dr. C: My expertise, the wrist fracture was not consistent with that.

PH: Did you also read reports of what the father said?

Dr. C: I don't remember if I did. [...] I believe I may have heard something like that.

PH: Do you remember talking to Mr. Brown's attorney, telling him that the injuries were consistent with an accident?

Dr. C: I don't remember that!

(I think I am going through Deja vu. I clearly remember Doron Weinberg in the Spector retrial, trying the exact same type of question of Dr. Pena...."Don't you remember telling (my associate) Ms. Mattros.....")

PH: When you did the autopsy, what detective was present? [...] It wasn't Detective Leslie?

Dr. C: Let me check my records. [...] He was not there. It was Detective Smith.

PH: You're saying someone who was thrown same as someone who jumped?

Dr. C: I believe so.

Ted has a coughing fit. There is a question as to whether or not Harris is finished. Hum asks to approach. Judge Pastor indicates we will go a bit longer. Harris and Veretsian whisper.

PH: In the autopsy report itself, you note there's a fracture on the right hand and there's not a fracture on the other hand?

I guess there is some discrepancy on which wrist she had the fracture!

Veretsian gets up to speak to Harris at the podium.

Harris now goes over every abrasion on every part of her body and asks Dr. Chinwah about them. With each question as to where there were abrasions or lacerations, Dr. Chinwah answers, "Yes."

Veretsian comes to the podium again. They have a bit of a long whispering session.

PH: And based on that, based on your looking at those injuries and and (?) on the back of the arm, they were still consistent with someone being thrown?

I believe Dr. Chinwah states "Yes." And that's the end of cross. Hum gets up to redirect.

CH: Was it important to you in making the determination as to MOD, to actually seeing the place where Lauren died?

Dr. C: Yes.

CH: Just based on the injuries and no knowledge of the scene, would you have been able to make a determination, based on just that?

Dr. C: No.

There's no recross and the jury is ordered back at 9:00 am tomorrow.