Sunday, December 18, 2016

Michael Gargiulo Case: Pretrial Hearing 36

Previous post on this case.

Friday December 16, 2016

I'm back at the downtown criminal court building for the second time this week. The LA County Sheriff's website indicated that Gargiulo's next hearing was on December 13, and I was here for the hearing. The first noticeable difference that day was Judge Ohta's placard was no longer on the door to Dept. 108. The new Judge is Lisa B. Lench. When I enter Dept. 108, I ask the two bailiff's standing in the well about the Gargiulo hearing. They inform me that the Gargiulo case will be in Dept. 106. I leave and head into Dept. 106.

It's been a long time since I've been in Judge Larry Paul Fidler's courtroom for a case. That was for Phil Spector's second trial in 2009. A lot of memories came flooding back as I entered. Even though Judge Fidler's courtroom is an exact duplicate of Dept. 108, Judge Fidler's court seemed smaller than what I remembered. Judge Fidler's clerk Wendy was at her desk. She tells me that the Gargiulo hearing was moved to Friday. This ended up being a totally wasted trip.

The Court's Public Information Office indicated that Judge Ohta has been moved to a new assignment and that the Gargiulo case was moved to Dept. 106 within the past week. Judge Ohta is now in Dept. 123 and the 987.9 Judge for the Gargiulo case. I believe that Judge Ohta has also been moved into a supervisory type position. When I get clarification on that, I'll update.

8:30 AM
Today, I make it back to the 9th floor by 8:30 am. I don't see anyone on the floor so I head inside. I note there is a satchel type briefcase lying on the defense table but no defense counsel in sight. In the gallery, I seen defense investigator Chris Nicely sitting with a handsome, suited young man. They are sitting in the second row and I take a seat in the third row. We exchange smiles. It's been six months since I've seen Chris at court. Chris and I chat about finding budget parking as close to the courthouse as possible.

There is a pretty young reporter sitting in the back row that I do not recognize.

I didn't take note on Wednesday, but today I notice that there is a three foot by two foot video screen mounted on the wall high above the jury box, just like the one in Dept. 30, arraignment court. There is a medium size candy jar on the corner of the clerk's counter, tucked up next to the wall. It's half full. There is an ivy type plant on the corner of the court reporter's desk. A petite female sheriff enters with what appears to be a coffee or tea drink and asking about Dept. 106's bailiff. I overhear the sheriff being told that Judge Fidler doesn't allow coffee in the courtroom, only water. That's good to know. Some judges don't mind if you sip on a coffee or tea, but not Judge Fidler.

9:00 AM

DDA Akemon arrives. He shakes hands with Chris Nicely. Nicely introduces the young man to DDA Akemon. It's Nicely's son. Judge Fidler's court reporter comes out. I don't know her name, but I've seen her in the courthouse over the years. The bailiff comes over to the gallery to ask whom everyone is. Luckily, I remembered to put on my lanyard with my "press" badge.

Next, Dale Rubin comes out from the custody area. He smiles at his investigator then goes over to chat with Akemon. Rubin must have been here for a while getting Gargiulo up to speed. Akemon and Rubin chat off the record about return dates. I overhear March and April and what the defendant may do about waiving rights. The clerk, hearing their conversation better than me, tells counsel that they will be going back to a regular time waiver.  For a time, Judge Ohta allowed Gargiulo to enter into a "general" time waiver. From what I hear, it looks like Akemon and Rubin have agreed on a return date and the clerk, hearing the date agrees.

The clerk asks counsel if they are ready for the court. They are. Gargiulo is brought out. Gargiulo's scalp is still clean shaven. Today he has a full mustache. He's not carrying any bag or loose papers. 

A deputy district attorney I vaguely recognize enters the courtroom. I believe it's Head Deputy of JSID [Justice System Integrity Division], James  Garrison. DDA Garrison was called in the Stephanie Lazarus case to read the preliminary hearing testimony of LASD Criminalist Lloyd Mahaney.

Rubin leans in to chat with his client. Judge Fidler comes out and takes the bench. I'm a bit surprised at the new lines in Judge Fidler's face and the goatee he's sporting. Back in 2009 when Judge Fidler was clean shaven, he reminded me of actor Bruce Willis.

Counsel state their appearances. Judge Fidler states for the record that the case was transferred to him by Dept. 100, the Master Calendar Court.

Rubin then speaks first. He informs the court that this is an 8 year old case. There are a lot of pretrial motions filed by the prosecution. The second chair is Daniel Nardoni. Rubin gives the court a very brief outline as to where the case is today. Rubin states, "We are hopeful to continue the case to March 17.  ... Hopeful on that date to respond to a number of pending [prosecution] motions already filed. ... The penalty investigator is up to speed. The guilt [phase] investigator is taking a little longer. ... [We'll have] a better idea in March."

DDA Akemon informs the court that previously, the case was under a "general" time waver in Dept. 108. Judge Fidler asks about that.  Rubin states that on March 17, they would like to make the court calendar zero of 90. [0/90].

Judge Fidler then addresses the defendant, "Sir, how do you pronounce your name?" Gargiulo responds, "Gargiulo." Judge Fidler quickly goes into reading Gargiulo his right to a speedy trial and asks if he agrees to waive that until the next court hearing on March 17th. Gargiulo agrees. And that's it. Judge Fidler leaves the bench.

Before Gargiulo gets up to be taken back into custody, Rubin points his finger at his client, touching his arm with the tip of his finger. Rubin tells Gargiulo, "Be good." Gargiulo responds, "I hear you." And that's it, he's taken back into custody. That's the last hearing for 2016.

The several times I've seen Gargiulo and his new counsel together, it's a marked difference than the relationship [or lack of one] Gargiulo had with former counsel Charles Lindner. From what I've observed, Rubin treats Gargiulo in a respectful manner and is able to communicate with him one on one.

Next post on this case.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Robert Durst - Arraignment at Airport Courthouse Today

UPDATE 11/8/16The LA Times reported the next pretrial hearing in the Durst case is scheduled for February 15, 2017. The LA County Sheriff's inmate locator website indicates Durst is currently being housed in the "Twin Towers" facility. Interestingly, the Sheriff's website does not indicate the next court date.

Screenshot of LASD website, detainee Robert Durst information, 11/8/16.

UPDATE 7:30pm:
Corrected spelling of DDA John Lewin
UPDATE 10am: Corrected the spelling of Kathleen McCormack Durst
November 7, 2016
Robert Durst - A Brief Synopsis
Eccentric real estate millionaire Robert Durst, connected to the murder of Morris Black and the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen, is due in court today on charges relating to the murder of his long time friend and supporter, Susan Berman.

Susan Berman, Wikipedia

, a mobster's daughter, was found dead in her Benedict Canyon home on Christmas Eve 2000. She was shot in the back of the head and found at least a day after her murder.

Durst was arrested in March 2015 and charged with first degree murder in connection with Berman's death. Previously, Durst was arrested for the murder of a neighbor, Morris Black on October 9, 2001. in Galveston, Texas. Durst claimed he murdered Black in self defense. Durst was acquitted of the Black's murder. He eventually pled guilty to body dumping and evidence tampering. Kathleen McCormack Durst is still missing and presumed dead. In April 2016, Kathleen's family petitioned a NY court to have her declared legally dead.

Andrew Jarecki's HBO documentary, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, uncovered physical evidence that prosecutors believe links Durst to Berman's murder. At the end of the documentary, Robert Durst is caught on audio tape stating he "... killed them all."

Durst's arraignment, case #SA089983 will be at the Airport Courthouse, Department W81 at 1:30 pm. Deputy District Attorney John Lewin is prosecuting the case. Expect a big media turnout for Durst's first appearance in California.

T&T Robert Durst Case Links
Robert Durst Wikipedia
Robert Durst Google® Images
Susan Berman Wikipedia
Andrew Jarecki Wikipedia
03/15/15 ABC - Why Durst Killed Black In His Own Words 
03/16/15 VF - The Fugitive Heir
04/2015 KFI - Eccentric Millionaire Robert Durst Arrested in New Orleans
11/03/15 ABC - Former Prosecutor Looks into Disappearance of Kathleen
04/01/16 People - Family of Kathleen Durst Petition Court
07/14/16 NYT - Kathleen Durst's Family Back in Court
06/09/15 Variety - Jinx Directors Jarecki, Smerling, Open Up
11/04/16 ABC - Robert Durst Back in Court to Face Murder Charges
Robert Durst - LA Times
Robert Durst - NY Times
HBO - The Jinx
The Charley Project: Kathleen McCormack Durst Disappearance 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Lauren Sarene Key 8/29/1996 - 11/8/2000

Lauren Sarene Key, date unknown
Lauren Sarene Key was murdered a few months after her 4th birthday. She would have been 20 years old today. 

Lauren was thrown off of Inspiration Point, a 120ft cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, by her biological father, Cameron Brown in November 2000. Fifteen years later, Brown was convicted of Lauren's murder on May 13, 2015. He was sentenced to life without parole on September 18, 2015.

Even in her short time on earth, Lauren was a delight to those who knew and loved her. Her mother Sarah, her step-father Greg, step-brother Josh, her teachers, and close friends.

Lauren could best be described as a girly girl. She played with dolls, believed in fairies and enjoyed playing house under the dining room table. Her mother's best friend Annette said, "It was easy to fall in love with this baby,"

At Brown's sentencing, her brother Josh described what she was like. "Her personality would brighten up the room. She would dance, sing and tell jokes. She would draw everyone in. She enjoyed making people happy. She had a fascinating imagination and she loved playing pretend. ... She would have me play, too."

During the two trials, I got to see photos and video clips of Lauren playing, walking on the beach, and learning how to roller skate and use a skateboard.

Photos of Lauren in happier times:

Lauren and her mother, Sarah

I have my own little remembrance of Lauren that I see everyday. It was given to me by her family. It sits on my desk, right beside my ring cup and laptop. The medallion says, "Always Remembered, Lauren."

Complete Cameron Brown murder trial case coverage HERE.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Cameron Brown's Appeal Status II - Brown's Opening Brief is Filed

 Cameron Brown, during his third murder trial.
Photo Credit: Pool Photo, Associated Press

Full case coverage HERE.
Prior post on the case HERE.

August 11, 2016

After three trials and 11 years in LA County Sheriff's custody, on May 13, 2015, Cameron Brown was convicted of first degree murder in the death of his 4 year old daughter, Lauren Sarene Key. Lauren plunged to her death off of Inspiration Point, a 120 foot cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA on November 8, 2000. Jurors also found true the special circumstances of lying in wait and murder for financial gain. Brown was sentenced to life without parole on September 18, 2015.

The Appeal Docket
The California Courts of Appeal website indicates that Brown's appeal was filed today. [Two screenshots were taken to show you the complete docket.]

Brown's opening brief was over 25,500 words. Once the California Attorney General's office files their response to Brown's opening brief, Brown's attorney files a reply brief. After all the briefs have been filed, then the waiting game begins for oral arguments to be scheduled. 

To give you an idea of how long it might take, oral arguments in the Stephanie Lazarus case were scheduled 18 months after the case was fully briefed.

Where is Brown Now?

Once in the custody of California's Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, Brown spent about eight months at WASCO, an intake facility. That appears to be an unusually long time at an intake facility. Within the past month or so, Brown was transferred to the CDCR's Substance Abuse and Treatment Facility at Corcoran State Prison, where he is today.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

"Grim Sleper," Lonnie Franklin, Jr. Sentencing Today

Lonnie Franklin, Jr., May 5, 2016
Photo Credit: Pool Camera/Video

Full T&T Case Coverage HERE.
Prior case post found HERE.

UPDATE: Daily News - City News Service, Terri Keith report.
UPDATE: ABC7's Miriam Hernandez is live tweeting the sentencing.

August 10, 2016
Lonnie Franklin, Jr., the "Grim Sleeper" a serial killer whose killing spree of young women spanned over 20 years in South Central Los Angeles, was convicted on 10 counts of first degree murder and one count of premeditated attempted murder on May 5, 2016.

During the penalty phase of the trial, Deputy DA's Beth Silverman and Marguerite Rizzo connected Franklin to five additional victims, the oldest dating back the 1970's when Franklin was in the US Army stationed in Germany.

On June 6, 2016, the jury returned death verdicts on all 11 counts. It's expected that Judge Kathleen Kennedy will honor the jury's verdict and sentenced Franklin to death today.

During the penalty phase, jurors heard the heart wrenching memories of 28 family members of the victims testifying about their loss and grief of losing their mother, their sister, their daughter or the grandmother they never got to meet.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the sentencing today.  Our kitty Scout, who was diagnosed last year with Lymphoma, has not been doing well these past few days. I stayed up with him all last night. Hopefully our vet can help him feel better today.

ABC Associated Press- Brian Melley

LA Times - Marissa Gerber & James Queally
NBC4 - Wire Serivces
CBS2 - Local

Friday, July 29, 2016

Michael Gargiulo Case Pretrial Hearing 35

 Michael Thomas Gargiulo, in custody, date unknown

Full T&T case coverage HERE.
Prior hearing on this case HERE.

July 14, 2016
It's been awhile since I've had the chance to update everyone on the Gargiulo case. Not a lot has changed, except that Gargiulo now has counsel he likes and appears to get along with.

I attended the pretrial hearing on Thursday, July 14 in Dept. 108. The last pretrial hearing I attended was on January 27. I missed pretrial hearings on February 29 and April 11.

8:35 AM
In the hallway on the 9th floor I see Dale Rubin. I reintroduce myself to him. Right beside him is a sharply dressed attorney I've seen many times around the courthouse, but I don't know his name. I introduce myself. He is defense attorney Daniel Nardoni and Rubin's second chair on the Gargiulo case.

8:47 AM

Deputy DA Dan Akemon and his intern arrive on the 9th floor. DDA Akemon goes over to chat with Rubin and Nardoni. Defense investigator Chris Nicely is here. Chis is an exceptionally nice guy and I've enjoyed the conversations we've had over the last few years. 

8:50 AM
48 Hours producer Greg Fisher arrives around the same time as LA County Sheriff's detective Mark Lillienfeld. They chat for a bit before Greg comes over to say hello. Over the years, several of Detective Lillienfeld's colleagues have mentioned what a phenomenal detective he is.  

8:58 AM
There are about three dozen people in the hallway. It's a good mix of jurors, general public and counsel. 

9:05 AM
Down at the other end of the hallway headed this way I see Deputy DA Garrett Dameron, DDA Akemon's co-counsel. 

9:15 AM
Inside Dept. 108, I take a seat in the second bench row. Greg joins me. I give him a short update on the case. As we enter, there is a pretrial hearing in another case. Judge Ohta's regular court reporter and court clerk are at their desks. The other hearing is quickly over. 

9:16 AM
Judge Ohta tells his bailiff, "Let's have Mr. Gargiulo."  A few minutes later, the DA's Chief of Media Relations, Jane Robison arrives.

9:18 AM
While the bailiff is retrieving Gargiulo, Judge Ohta, Rubin and Nardoni have a friendly chat. Rubin jokingly tells the court that he and his new co-counsel can't stand each other.

When Gargiulo is brought out he looks the same as when I last saw him. Orange jumpsuit, bald head and clean shaven. As Gargiulo sits in his assigned chair, Rubin puts his left hand on his client's upper back. Gargiulo then leans right to speak to the bailiff and then his new co-counsel.

The court goes on the record. The defendant is before the court. The parties state their appearances. Daniel Nardoni then tells the court that they have "two Daniels," and asks Judge Ohta if he would like to call DDA Akemon "Dan" and himself "Daniel" or "Danny." Judge Ohta pauses a minute before he responds, "I'll probably call you by your last name."

It looks like this is the first time Mr. Nardoni has appeared on the record in Dept. 108 representing Gargiulo. I recently reviewed all the court clerk's minute notes on this case. It appears Mr. Nardoni was appointed on May 27, 2016 in Dept. 123.

As I've mentioned before, Dept. 123 is the 987.9 judge appointed for this case. This is where all defense requests for expenditures are reviewed and approved.

The case calendar is 3 of 90. Rubin tells the court that the defense team is set now. They are trying to come up to speed on the facts of the case. They request a return date of September 14. By that time they will have "digested" the materials.

The court asks Gargiulo if he waives his right to a speedy trial and that the next hearing will be on September 14. "Yes, your honor," Gargiulo responds.

The people put on the record that they turned over discovery pages numbered 30,904 to 31,491. The discovery has officially passed 31,000 pages. Mr. Nardoni verifies they got the discovery last week.

The defense tells the court that Mr. Gargiulo received from a medical person an order for bottled water. The Sheriff's have not been compliant with that order. The defense asks if the court can order that.

Judge Ohta tells the defense that they need to file a habeas [motion?] that [the Sheriff's?] are not compliant. Judge Ohta adds, "File it with me and I'll look [it] over."

Mr. Nardoni asks the court for an order to be able to take his laptop with him when he visits Gargiulo at the jail. Judge Ohta states he will sign that order.

And that's it. Next hearing is September 14, 2016.

When I step onto the elevator, I believe I recognize a detective. I ask him, "Are you Detective Thomas Small?" He tells me "Yes." He also adds that this is his last day. He's retiring as of today. Detective Small is a legendary LAPD Homicide Detective at the Hollywood Station. He was the lead detective on the murder investigation of victim Ashley Ellerin.

Next pretrial hearing September 14.....

Monday, June 6, 2016

Lonnie Franklin, Jr., "Grim Sleeper," Penalty Phase Verdict Watch Day 2

 Lonnie Franklin, Jr., in custody, 2015
Photo Credit: Pool Camera

UPDATE 6/8 NOTE: A summary page has been developed of all the witnesses who testified in the penalty phase, with links to the pages of their detailed testimony.

UPDATE 6/7  Day 9 Part II has been published. This concludes all the prosecution witnesses who testified in the penalty phase.
UPDATE 6/7 Day 9 Part I has been published. This includes the testimony of the German witness. Sprocket.

UPDATED 4:03 PM spelling, grammar, clarity
UPDATED 3:45 PM spelling, grammar, clarity and afterword
Monday June 6, 2016
9:08 AM
I'm still out in the hallway of the 9th floor of the downtown Criminal Justice Center. All the jurors have not arrived yet, so deliberations have not started. Judge Kennedy's bailiff is chatting with the jurors who have arrived. There are about seven or eight jurors here.

9:10 AM
Marissa Gerber from the LA Times arrives on the 9th floor. A cameraman is here and a reporter I know by sight but I don't know her name. Three members of the Anderson family have arrived.

9:12 AM
Terri Keith from City News is here.

9:14 AM
Quite a bit of laughter coming from the jurors chatting with the bailiff. Judge Kennedy's bailiff is really a funny guy.  Local ABC 7's Miriam Hernandez is here.  Miriam looks lovely today, as always.

9:18 AM
The jurors and the bailiff head into Dept. 109.

The jurors gave a single buzz that they have started deliberating.

9:27 AM
NBC's Patrick Healy arrives and chats with the cameraman. Besides the fires, this case may be the only 'big' news in the area.

9:45 AM
Smiling, Judge Kennedy came out and said hello to the media.

9:48 AM 
BUZZ! BUZZ!  A question. The court clerk goes back to ask. The clerk comes out carrying a container and tells the media that it's "food related." The jurors wanted to share some of the food they brought with the alternates.  I believe it's tamales.

10:00 AM
Scriptwriter MW arrives.  A while ago, Terri left to check into her office.

10:13 AM
LA Times reporter Marissa Gerber enters Dept. 109 and plugs in her laptop. The bailiff enters right after and scolds a few of the reporters on their cell phones.

10:22 AM
Buzz! Buzz! The bailiff goes to check. Morning break.

10:34 AM
Well known sketch artist Mona Edwards arrives and starts a conversation with Miriam. Miriam's network hires Edwards to do courtroom sketches.

10:40 AM
The jurors file in and reenter the jury room.

10:41 AM
Buzz! They are deliberating again.

10:43 AM
Mona Edwards leaves the courtroom.

10:56 AM 
Reporter Terri Keith returns. She immediately opens up her files and starts working.

10:59 AM
Deputy Sargent Westphal returns and stops by the bailiff's desk. He was here earlier this morning when the jurors were waiting for everyone to arrive.  It was a short visit.

11:11 AM
Mary Alexander [mother of victim Alicia Alexander] and two of her son's are in the courtroom.

11:21 AM
BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ! We have a verdict. The bailiff went back to check on the jurors.

A few minutes later, Judge Kennedy comes out to view the gallery. The bailiff comes out from the jury room. The bailiff and the judge go back to discuss a time.

Verdict will be read at 12:30 PM

The jurors deliberated about 3.5 hours on Friday and about 1.75 hours today, for a total of just over five hours of deliberations today. 

11:30 AM
The bustling has already started with the media. There is a camerawoman setting up the camera.

11:46 AM
I'm in the cafeteria grabbing a quick lunch. Seven of the jurors are sitting at a table, having their last meal together. It's been a long journey.

At around 11:38 AM, the bailiff closed the courtroom to the media since the court staff were taking their lunch early, and would be working through their normal lunch hour.

12:15 PM
The 9th floor is busy with lots of press. I see interns that are working for the DA's office. Mary Hearn from the court's Public Information Office is here. The three alternates are on the 9th floor. New reporters are Dave Lopez, Reporter Claudia from KNX, and Christine Pelisek, the reporter who broke the case. I saw KFI's Eric Leonard in the first floor lobby when I first went downstairs to grab a bite to eat.

There are quite a few conversations going on at once, but the floor isn't very packed.

12:20 PM 
DDA Tannaz Mokayef arrives to hear the verdict. I see the two clerk interns who worked on the case arrive. Two of the DA's victim advocates are here. I also see another group of young looking DA interns.

Head Deputy Patricia Wilkinson arrives and it let into the courtroom along with several other DA's.
DDA Silverman is on the floor along with Detective Daryn Dupree. She is hugging family members and telling them, "We're done!"

Seymour Amster arrives. Family members are being let into the courtroom first.

12:28 PM
Inside  Dept. 109. DDA Silverman tells the family that they don't have to talk to the media if they don't want to. DDA Silverman makes it clear that if the defense team does speak to the media, she will not be there. There are family members here, but not nearly as many as were here for guilt verdict.

Amster is here but the rest of his defense team is not. The media and the bailiff are getting the logistics together as to when they can turn their camera and microphones on.

12:34 PM
The courtroom is packed. There are quite a few interns from the DA's office, as well as other DA staff and superior court personnel.

12;35 PM
Amster tells someone the gallery, probably one of the reporters, that Beth Silverman will probably speak, ... and after he says her name DDA Silverman interrupts and says, "Mr. Amster doesn't speak for me and never does."

Still getting the last bit of logistics ready.

Three deputies by the courtroom door. Three additional deputies in the well besides the bailiff.

No live transmission from the courtroom. Only a live transmission to the 12th floor, who sends out the live feed.  It doesn't make any sense.

12:42 PM
The bailiff goes to get the defendant.

More family members arrive at the last moment.
The defendant is brought out.

12:44 PM
The court takes the bench.

Caution members of the audience to maintain their dignity.  Court orders the jurors and alternates to be brought into the courtroom.

12:45 PM
The jury enters.

Judge Kennedy greets the jury. Juror #2 was the jury foreperson on this part as well. The verdicts are handed to the bailiff who hands them to the court.

Clerk will read the verdicts.








Family members weep behind me.  Mary Alexander shakes.





The defense has the jurors polled.

Judge Kennedy: All of the jurors have entered into the affirmative.

This has been a very long process we started picking you as jurors in December of last year.

You have been an absolutely exemplary jury ... toward all the respect you've shown to the staff and the attention you paid for in this case.  You now know more about DNA than 90 % of the population.  I know that listening to evidence like this is not easy. There we a lot of very gruesome details that you had to listen to over and over again and yet you maintained your composure and dignity... when I look at you, and our alternates, ... but you are just as important as the original 12. We had such a committed group that made personal sacrifices ... to stay on as long as you did.

I've been on the bench almost 28 years, ...28 in October. You are, without a doubt just the finest group of jurors we've had in terms of how you dealt with people and with each other ... and I'm really going to miss all of you. I'm going to, [I wish I could] bottle you and save you for all my other trials.

The court tells them they cannot be called for jury service for a year. The court speaks more to their jury service. You come from all kinds of backgrounds and ethnicity and some not born in the US. And we have 12 people, ... who have to tackle this monumental task, and you respected each other and kept your composure and had a great attitude towards this process, and you are the best of the US.

The court tells them about if they want to speak to the media it is their decision. She tells them that the court will protect their identity. However, once they speak, their identity is out.

You are relieved from all the admonitions I put on you on this case. You can read and talk about it with anyone. Absolutely free of those limitations. I will tell you that, you are also free to speak to the attorneys. You can come to future proceedings in this case if you wish to.  As I said, you've been such an extraordinary group, and want to thank you so much for your participation. We're going to miss you.

The court continues to thank and praise the jury.

The jury goes back to the jury room to get their personal belongings. DDA Silverman and DDA Rizzo stand as they leave.

Judge Kennedy tells the gallery that the jurors have asked to leave privately so the bailiff will escort them out.

Setting a sentencing date.  August 10th.  The court tells counsel they have to go through the record to verify the transcripts. If you seek a continuance beyond August 10, please let the court know as soon as possible.

Amster addresses the court. He has selected August 10, to accomplish all these tasks.  It will [be the defense who] most likely is to ask for continuance. Their drop date would be August 3, to ask for a continuance, then the court could let the prosecution know if they are going to grant it, so they know to notify the victim families.

Defendant is remanded. People start to pack up.

DDA Silverman hugs Detective Dupree as she exits. Now DDA Rizzo hugs Detective Dupree.  People file out of the courtroom.

3:45 PM
I'm home now. Here is my update on what happened after the courtroom was cleared.

Several victim's family members spoke to the press on the 12th Floor lobby.  Then the prosecutors answered questions from the press and introduced everyone from their team. I tape recorded those interviews and it will take me a while to get the highlights transcribed. I will be concentrating on getting my notes on the last day of the people's case completed, the defense case next and then closing arguments.  In-between that, I'll also try to bring you some still photos from the press conference. I have to have someone help me in blurring out faces of people who did not agree to be photographed.

After the prosecution finished speaking, I headed towards an elevator. I didn't see until the elevator doors were closing that Seymour Amster started to give the press a statement. I did not stay for it; my feet were about to give out and I needed a break. However, I did hear about it from other reporters.

Mr. Amster was said to have been screaming at the press. DDA Silverman was still on the 12 floor and called out to Amster during his statement. I don't have Beth's exact quote, but it was something to the effect of, You don't need to scream, the camera's right in front of your face.

I waited in the ground floor lobby for the prosecution team to emerge from the elevators. It was easy to see on everyone's faces that a great weight had been lifted off their shoulders. The sentencing still has to happen but basically, that's just a formality. It's over. The jury has spoken and the verdicts read into the record. Franklin will stay in LA County custody for the time being.

I learned that DDA's Paul Pzrelomiec and Jamie Castro will go back to their regular assignments in different divisions. It is unknown whether the law clerks, who, having passed the bar and are full fledged attorneys now, will stay with the DA's office. Detective Dave Holmes is happy to get his partner Detective Dupree back. They've got many more cases to work on together.

In the courthouse lobby, I watched as Detective Holmes and a staff assistant took photos of the team. The biggest decision on their minds after that, was where to go for lunch.

Thank you all, for reading T&T.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Lonnie Franklin, Jr., "Grim Sleeper," Penatly Phase Verdict Watch Day 1

Lonnie Franklin, Jr, left, Def. Atty. Seymour Amster, right.
Photo Credit, Al Seib, Los Angeles Times

Friday June 3, 2016 - Verdict Watch 10:47 AM
The bailiff takes the evidence book and the verdict forms back to the jury room.

10:57 AM
It's very quiet in here. ABC's Miriam Hernandez is the only other person in the gallery besides myself and scriptwriter MW.

The clerk is busy on the phone. The ticking of the clock is the loudest noise in the courtroom now, even though all three of us in the gallery are working on our laptops.

11:11 AM
In the eerily silent courtroom, I'm working on the detailed testimony from the people's final witnesses, a week ago Thursday: The German woman, the JAG officer, the Army records supervisor and the three victim impact witnesses. Currently, I'm in the middle of the JAG officer's testimony.  So I'm flipping back and forth between this tab and my work on that entry.

11:21 AM
The clerk answers a phone call question about closing arguments.

11:35 AM
A deputy enters and asks the clerk a question. Then a woman enters. It's a older woman from the public who has attended the trial off and on for the last couple of weeks. It appears she thinks she left a pair of shoes in a bag inside the courtroom. She speaks to the clerk. The clerk asks her to wait for the bailiff to return.

11:40 AM
The clerk is hard at work at her desk. I can see files being organized and I hear sounds of heavy stapling, stamping of forms and occasional typing.

11:49 AM
I notice something I've never noticed before. On the wall behind the bench, just to the right of the US flag, in-between the clerk's desk area and the bench, is a round white button of some sort. It's about 3 or 4 inches round, set withing a square. It's down low, lower than the thermostat that's to the left of the flag.

11:54 AM
I ask the bailiff. He tells me it's a light switch controlling lights over the judge's bench.

11:56 AM
The bailiff opens the door to the custody area. He calls in, "Franklin, are you good?" I believe Franklin replies, "I'm good."

11:58 AM
BUZZ! BUZZ! The bailiff tells us, "That's either a question or break time," as he heads back to the jury room.

Break. The jurors leave for lunch.

Judge Kennedy comes out and smiling, watches as the jurors leave. One juror tells judge Kennedy, "I loved your necklace yesterday."

And we are on lunch break.

The bailiff unlocks the door and the jurors file in. There is some pleasant banter between the jurors and the bailiff.

2:13 PM
In the gallery, it's just me, Miriam Hernandez, MW, and a news camera operator I've seen around trials for a long time. The bailiff and the clerk have been having a conversation that's been keeping both of them in stitches for about 10 minutes now. I can also hear some conversation in the back support rooms among other court staff members.

There's not much to talk about, except when the jury might come back with a verdict. In the James Fayed case, the jurors deliberated five days before coming back with a death penalty verdict. Like I've said time and time again, I don't try to predict what a jury will do, because juries will surprise you.

 2:46 PM
Not a peep from the jury. All quiet in Dept. 109.

Judge Kennedy comes out to ask her clerk a question. Judge Kennedy is wearing a dark green olive dress with a brown cinched belt. From where I'm sitting, it's a white looking beaded necklace.

3:06 PM
Tracy from the DA's victim advocate program drops by with DDA Tannaz Mokayef drop in to see what's happening. We chat the Fayed case and the Kelly Soo Park case. DDA Mokayef prosecuted the three accomplices connected to Pamela Fayed's murder.

3:14 PM
The bailiff comes over to where Tracy and DDA Mokayef are sitting to join their conversation.

3:24 PM
Buzz! Buzz! It's either a question or a break. The bailiff goes to check.

The bailiff comes out. The jurors have a question but no paper. Someone is on hold on the phone but the bailiff says they don't have to come over.  The bailiff states they jury is going home.

5:05 PM
I'm home. It's clear from what I observed and overheard that the jurors asked if they could go home early. The clerk or the bailiff went back to Judge Kennedy's chambers to ask. Right after it was approved, the bailiff told the gallery and he went over to let the jury know.

While this was going on, the clerk was on the phone with possibly one of the attorneys. That's what I believe.

Jurors return Monday at 9:00 am to continue their deliberations.

Lonnie Franklin, Jr., "Grim Sleeper," Penalty Phase Update

Lonnie David Franklin, Jr. During his trial
Photo Credit: Pool Camera
T&T Case coverage and Media Links HERE.

Friday June 3, 2016
8:15 AM
Here's what's happened the last few days of trial.

On Thursday, May 26, 2016 the prosecution presented their final witnesses in their case-in-chief. A woman traveled from Germany to testify about events that happened to her in 1974, when she was 17 years old.  In the early evening of April 16, 1974, while waiting for a train ride home in Stuttgart, Germany, this German woman was kidnapped by three African American servicemen. With a knife held to her throat with threats that she would be killed, she was driven out of the city into the country. The servicemen pulled into a field and all three proceeded to gang rape her throughout the night.

Through two other witnesses, one a JAG officer and the other a US Army records supervisor, DDA Beth Silverman presented evidence that one of the individuals who participated in the attack was the defendant.

In the afternoon, Romy Lampkin testified about the loss of her best friend, her sister, Lachrica Jefferson and the impact her loss had on her and the family. They shared a bedroom growing up. Romy described a sister who was her "protector," more outgoing than she was and wanted to be a pediatrician when she grew up She was devastated when she learned of her sister's death. She described how her mother broke down when she had to tell her that Lachrica was dead.

After Ms. Lampkin, Billy Ware testified about the loss of his sister, Barbara Ware. Billy talked about how he and Barbara grew up together. They were very close and did everything together. They were like one person and protected each other. After Billy testified, his stepmother, Diana Ware took the stand to talk about how when she married Billy and Barbara's father, they became a blended family, like the Brady Bunch. She described the shock and devastation on the family when they learned about Barbara's murder.

After Diana testified, the people rested with the exception of admittance of exhibits. The jury was ordered back the following Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016, the defense presented two witnesses, a retired LAPD homicide detective Tim Williams who testified that the Inez Warren murder may not have been a body dump, and a fingerprint expert Kurt Kuhn, who agreed with the people's expert, Mr. Duncan that the latent print found on the Titan gun magazine was from the defendant.

Wednesday, court was dark so a juror could attend their child's graduation ceremony.

Thursday,  June 2, 2016, DDA Silverman presented her closing argument. Almost the first hour of the morning was taken up with defense attorney Seymour Amster's objections to many slides in the people's Powerpoint presentation. Silverman systematically went through the evidence presented at trial arguing that the defense presented no mitigating evidence. Point by point, the prosecution went over the three aggravating factors, the ten murders, the additional crimes, the victim impact statements and the evidence of remorselessness of the defendant. DDA Sliverman spoke for over an hour in the morning session and about an hour and a half in the afternoon session.

Friday, June 3, 2016. Defense attorney Dale Atherton spoke to the jurors extensively about jury instructions and the mitigating factors they can rely on to choose life. He also goes over lingering doubt in the murders of the ten women, focusing on the unknown DNA found on many of the victims. He asked the jurors, "Don't you want to know..." who those individuals are?

He talked about the mystery gun and that they don't have it in evidence. He also talked about Eneitra Washington being the "key to the prosecution's case." He then delved into all the inconsistencies with her testimony, the sketch, the pock marks verses skin discolorations, no Franklin DNA on her underwear.

Atherton read a poem about a forked path in the woods and which path to take with no one to give guidance. And then he spoke passionately about mercy. Several times during his talks about mercy, his voice got emotional, and he sounded like he was near tears. Since Atherton was facing away from me, I could not tell if he did have tears in his eyes. He quoted from The Merchant of Venice on mercy. He quoted from President Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural address. He then read from a news article about a woman who forgave her son's killer and after he was released from prison, had him move next door to her.

Closing arguments ended around 10:13 AM and then Judge Kennedy read the jurors their final instructions. They entered the jury room at 10:19 AM

There was a lot of lingering inside the courtroom after Judge Kennedy told parties there would be
one hour notice for counsel to get here for the reading of the verdict.

Just now, at 10:47 AM the bailiff took the evidence book and the verdict forms back to the jury room. There are 10 verdict forms for the counts the jurors have to decide on the death penalty.

I'll be here inside the courtroom for verdict watch. I'll be starting a new post to cover that. Over the next week, I'll be getting my detailed notes up on the last witnesses and the closing arguments, so look for those in the days ahead.

A shout out to a special T&T reader in the Carolina's, that I just learned about this morning before court started.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lonnie Franklin, Jr., "Grim Sleeper," Penalty Phase, Day 9, Part II

l-r: Extra deputy, behind, Judge Kennedy's bailiff
Lonnie Franklin, Jr., center, Deputy Sargent Westphal, right
Photo Credit: Pool Camera, Al Seib, LA Times

Continued from Day 9, Part I......
T&T Case coverage and Media Links HERE

Thursday, May 26, 2016
1:34 PM
I'm inside Dept. 109. People are slowly arriving. The defense is all set up. The prosecution still needs to arrive. Reporter Terri Keith takes a seat beside me and immediately starts working on her thick file of documents. She's one of the hardest working reporters I know.

1:39 PM
The court goes on the record. Amster wants to address the documents again. He's referencing the law to the hearsay exception rule and arguing court cases. Conclusions of opinions are inadmissible under the evidence code. "We think the people are looking to get the proceedings of the German court into evidence by Mr. Pyle. ... And that's what we're objecting to, based on various levels of hearsay. ... The sixth amendment deals with hearsay. ... Those are our objections. This witness should not be able to testify as to what's in the records." He continues on how the people should or should have laid their foundation.

The court turns to the people with their response. DDA Silverman responds. "As I indicated we laid a foundation ... testimony to come in under a section of the evidence code 1280 where the defendant has written down his information on documents. Those are his admissions." Judge Kennedy states that she would have a problem with the report of the criminal proceedings. DDA Silverman tells the court she made that clear before lunch that she wasn't trying to put the report into evidence. She's only saying that the report was a part of the [defendant's] personnel file.

The court asks for Amster's response. "We still feel that anything covering that report as it's contents we're objecting to. ... As this moment we don't feel this witness should be asked [anything regarding this report]."

Judge Kennedy rules. "I believe the contents, summary, his conclusions, his thoughts, clearly are not relevant. The fact that there is a report [in] regards to the trial, that is contained in this packet of materials, I believe that fact is admissible. And if you want to back out the other parts of it ... that would be one way to do it, and just not admit it at all ... and just say that there was a report involving Lonnie D. Franklin in German court."

Amster continues to argue after Judge Kennedy has ruled. He does not feel that this witness should be able to explain anything more from this report. DDA Silverman counters that she's not wanting to get any of the records in. "I said that there were records ... because I don't believe that the contents are admissible."

Now there is back and forth about who will "mark" an exhibit. The defense wanted the people to mark it. DDA Silverman counters, "Mr. Amster, if he wants to put it on himself ... he's mentioned several times he wanted me to mark it so if he wants to do that, he can do it on cross." Amster continues to argue that the records are hearsay, and that there's no hearsay exception that allows for that under the code." Judge Kennedy makes her final ruling. "I understand your objection and I'm overruling your objection as far as the record is identified. ... Can we bring the jury in now please?"

1:47 PM
We have our witness on the stand and we are back on the record. DDA Silverman resumes questioning of Lamar Whatley, the records supervisor for the Army.


Before we broke for lunch, did you review the official certified personnel file for Lonnie David Franklin, Jr.?
Are you familiar with all of those documents in a personnel file?
Yes, I am.
Do all [personnel files] include an enlistment contract?
What type of information does the individual fill out on that document?
Name, birth date, his home of record.
His home of record for when he came into the army?
Does that include a service number?

[The enlistment, or service number is the individual's social security number. That number is protected and not stated in testimony.]

Does the document also contain a signature by the person enlisted?
Yes it does.

DDA Silverman presents her next exhibit, the service contract #655. Amster asks for a sidebar.

1:51 PM
DDA Silverman continues. The exhibit #655 has two sides, a and b.

Showing you this document, do you have this same document in the personnel file?
What kind of form is it?
[DD Form 4?]
Does that have the name of Lonnie David Franklin, Jr.?

Amster interrupts, "Could the court please [have the prosecutor?] leave the editorial remark that she stated?" [I somehow missed an alleged editorial remark.] The court responds, "Neither of you should address each other. And if you need to go to sidebar, we will."

The social security number is his identification number in the military, is that correct?
That's correct.
Do you recognize what you see there [pointing to the document up on the ELMO]?
Yes. This is an enlistment contract.

Shows the name where the address is on [West 85th Street?] in Los Angeles. Points out the date of birth.

Would that be based on information that the enlistee gives to the contract, July 26, 1971?
That is the date he enlisted into the army.

The back of the document has the date the defendant actually went on active duty. The document also has the defendant's signature.

Is the individual fingerprinted at the time he enlists?
People's 656, a fingerprint card.
Objection! Sidebar.

1:58 PM
Several of the jurors chat with each other during the sidebar.

Do the records indicate where he was assigned after he enlisted?
Objection, hearsay. Sustained.
What is a DD 214?
It's a certificate of discharge in the defendant's name.
Objection. Overruled.
Showing the top half of exhibit #657. Do you recognize this document from the personnel file?
Yes, it is.
Other than the ID number of the individual that I cover, does that document also contain the same name?
Yes it does.
The same date of birth?
Yes, it does.
And the same residence?
Yes, it does.
Does the document also say he was last assigned to overseas service in Germany?
Yes, I believe it does.
By the way, in the terms of what we [said?], what is a National Defense Service medal?
Objection. Sustained.

Judge Kennedy has a look directed at DDA Silverman that is not positive.

Do the documents in the file also describe .... include a trials observers report and document and notes of a trial?
Yes, it does.
And the end of the trial's observers report, does it have the name Frank Pyle?
Yes it does.
Nothing further.

Amster has no questions for this witness, then asks to approach at sidebar again.

2:05 PM
The people call Romy Lampkins. Unfortunately my notes are not clear, but I believe DDA Rizzo presents the witness.


Do you know someone by the name of Lachrica Jefferson?
She's my sister.
Who's older?
I am.
By how many years?
17 months.
Do you have any other brothers or sisters?
No.  ... She was my best friend.
Did you share a bedroom together?
Yes, we did. ... When we were little girls. ... She slept on the top. I slept on the bottom. ... I slept in her bed at night so I wouldn't get tinkled on.

They would do things together. Go to the park, the beach, roller skating. They both liked to skate.

Who was the better skater?
She was more outgoing than I was.
What were her favorite things to do?
She liked to dance. She loved to sing.
Since you shared a bedroom, would you talk all the time at night about things?
What were some of the things [you would talk about]?
Some girl things. She said she never wanted kids. I was the one that had kids. ... She wanted to be a pediatric doctor.  ... She figured that would be enough kids for her.
What kind of person was she?
Outgoing person. Happy go lucky. She was well loved.
What about holidays growing up?
It was fun. We had family gatherings a lot of good things going on ... when they would get together.
Since there was the two of you, were there other family members around LA?

They would celebrate with extended family. She remembers them getting Barbie houses together and her sister knew how to put her house together. They had their fights about sharing Barbie doll clothes.

Would you say you were the closest person to Lachrica then?
How was it you learned about her death?
A detective left a card at my mom's house, and then I came over. I stayed on Western.
And a detective came and told you?
What was your reaction?
I was devastated. In shock. I couldn't believe it. It was unbelievable.
Did you have to tell your mom?
I had to go over and tell my mom because [I? she?] wasn't able to drive.
How did your mom take it?
Very hard. Very hard.
Did she break down?
She did. She did break down.

How did it affect your mom afterwards?
She was over protective of me then. She was more protective of me. ... I was 23 at the time.
So your mom clamped down on you and she wanted to protect you?
To make sure it didn't happen [to you?]?

She helped her mother plan the funeral.

What was that like?
It was hard.
Did you ever think you would be planning the funeral of your sister?
No, not at all.
You went to the funeral?
Oh yes.
What was that day like?
It was the most hardest day of my life.
Do you still think about that day?
I do.
What do you think [about]?
Just trying to go on.

She went to the cemetery that day. She doesn't go to the grave site today. It's too difficult for her.

What day is her birthday?
November 23, 1965.
Do you do anything on that day?
Sometimes, her birthday would fall on Thanksgiving.

During the holidays, her sister is gone, her mother is gone. She celebrates with her children, but it gets a little depressing for me though.

I'm going to show you some photos.

Exhibit 490. It's just a face photo of Lachrica Jefferson.

That's "Chrica"" my sister.
Was that a nickname?
Yes. We called her Chrica.

Another exhibit, #629

Do you recognize that photo?
That's my mother and my sister. Mom on the right and left Lachrica with her head on mom's shoulder.
Do you recall when this photo was taken?
I believe it was the day we had buried my grandma.

Another exhibit #658. She points out herself, a cousin, her auntie and Lachrica, next to the cousin. This photo was also taken at the grandmother's funeral. The next photo on the exhibit is of Romy again, her auntie and Lachrica and other cousins. Same event, grandma's funeral.

Exhibit #659. Romy is in the front and Lachrica in the back. This was their elementary school graduation.  Exhibit #660. Romy and her sister again, taken outside of a house. Exhibit #661.  A photo of Lachrica with her oldest son. He was three at the time. The next photo is of Lachrica at Christmas time.

[Tell us about this photo.]
She loved to pose. She was just modeling.

The next exhibit is the memorial program with a photo of Lachrica.

That was the day we laid her to rest. And that was the front page of the funeral program.

The next photo is a photo of Lachrica's headstone. It's a beautifully carved plaque. There is also a photo of the grounds around her grave site.

What is it that you miss most about your sister?
Her smile and her dancing.

No questions from the defense. Witness is excused. Romy testified in a low toned voice. She appeared very sad to me. The people call their next witness, Billy Ware. DDA Rizzo presents the witness.


Who is Barbara Ware?
My sister. My baby sister.
How many years older?
18 months.
Did your baby sister have a nickname?
Beth. ... It was a full middle name, Bethune, but we called her Beth.
How old were you at the time of her death?
24. ... I have a brother in Houston, Texas.  I have one in Oakland and a sister that resides here. ... Me and Beth, we grew up in the same household. We had the same mother. [My] other siblings had different fathers. ... We were born and raised here. ... When I was in sixth grade, she was in fifth. We were very, very close.

Were you like the same person almost?
What would you do together?
A host of things. ... Most of all, we'd watch cartoons together, eat cereal. We played together, fought together, went to school together. ... We went to the same school at the same time. ... She was always right there with me.

Were you her protector?
Yes. And she was mine as well.
Bach and forth, is that right?
What was she like?
Very outgoing, very sweet. She trusted people a little bit more than what she should have. ... She gave away too much in trusting people. ... She would think everybody was okay.
She never questioned people and their motives?
Yes. ...
She would give them the benefit of the doubt; not suspicious of anyone, right?

She.... we would ride our bikes together. ... Right up to Hollywood and we would catch the bus to Burbank Studios. That's when you could pay to ride the horses. We'd take the Western [Ave.] bus. And then we would take the bus or ride our bikes back home.

They did that when there wasn't such things as iPads or thinks like that.

What did she want to do when she grew up, did she tell you?
No, she didn't. I had a feeling that she wanted to do something that would help people, I really do. In my heart I believe that.
And what about holidays? Do you remember any special holidays?
I have a lot of fond holiday [memories] growing up, and Christmas is one of our favorite times of the year. ...  Christmas is one of our joyous holidays. Christmas was like our thing.
Now, when you celebrate Christmas with your kids?
I do. My kids are 13 and 10. ... I speak of my mother and sister constantly. I show them pictures. They are very much aware of what's going on today and they know.
So you try to bring Beth alive in pictures?
Yes I do.

How old were you when your mother passed?
I was 14. Beth was 13. ... Then our dad remarried Diana Ware. ... Beth never got to meet my kids.
Did Beth talk to you about her problems in life?
Yes. I was aware.
She had some struggles?
She did. ... When [our?] grandparents died, and Beth came for the funeral, and I could see that she was going through some troubles. And I asked her to stay with me in Wichita. ... And that was the last time I saw her.
[When was that?]
April 1987.

The spoke on the phone often. The got in trouble for running up the phone bill. They would keep in touch.

Would you say that you were the closest person to Beth?
Yes, I would, besides her daughter.
She has a daughter? What's her daughter's name.
Naomi [Shae?] Ware.
Did you get to meet her daughter?
How old is Naomi now?
Somewhere between 27 and ... I don't even know my own kids age that good.

How did you get to meet Naomi?
Naomi was five before I moved to Wichita.

He still keeps in contact with Naomi, who has her own family now, too.

You were in Wichita when you learned about Beth's death. What was your reaction?

The witness pauses before he answers.

Just shock.

He takes a moment to speak. He takes his glasses off and he puts his hand over his face. He sobs. He then tells DDA Rizzo, "Go ahead."

Was it like a part of you, your best friend had died?
How were you able to go on and deal with it?
Up until five years ago, I wasn't able to deal with it. I went through mental health counseling. I went to drugs and alcohol. And about five years ago, when I was told that Mr. Franklin was apprehended. I thought that was ... I took a tailspin with drugs and alcohol. That's the toll that it took on me.

Do you feel like you are moving forward?
I'm a lot better now than I was. ... I'm clean almost three years now. ... But no, prior [to that] ... that was my way of dealing with the pain. ... And that went on for years.
The pain is still there?
Yes. The pain is still there. And I know how to deal with it [now] without turning to that ... and the pain will always be there.
I'm going to show you some photos.

People's exhibits #469 to 470, 472, 476, 475. Photo of Barbara Ware. It's a photo of their mother on a sofa holding Beth on her lap.

That big guy there, that's me.
How old is Billy?
I'm saying two, three years old. But yeah, that's us.

Another photo. Billy identifies his father, Beth and her daughter Naomi. He doesn't know when the photo was taken. Another photo of Naomi very young.

That looks about the last time I'd seen her [Naomi]. That was about that size and age.

Another photo is presented, exhibit #474.

Do you recognize [that photo]?
Yes. I do.
Who is that young man?
That would be me.
Hold old are you?
Probably about 12 or 13 maybe. ... That's my grandfather and Beth.
What year is that?
Maybe 1975, 1976.

The middle to late 70's. Two smiling kids, standing with their grandfather.

What do you miss most about your sister Beth?
That she's not here with me. I often wonder what she would be like as of today. I often wonder what was on her mind when she was going through what she was going through. ... I wish she was here so I could talk to her. ... I miss that I don't have what I had with Beth, with my other brothers and sister. ... And I miss the fact that she's not here.

No cross examination. The people call Diana Ware, stepmother to Beth.


Do you know someone named Barbara Ware?
She's my stepdaughter.
How old was Barbara when you married her father?
She was 8.
And her brother Bill a little bit older?
Yes. He was about 10.
When you married Barbara's father [did you already have a family?]?
I had a son and a daughter.
So you had melded your families then at that time?
Yes, we did. We had a blended family.
Kind of like the Brady Bunch?
Where was Barbara in the age order?
She was the youngest. ... She was a baby.
At that time, you all lived in Los Angeles?
Yes, we did.

Did you call her Beth, too?
Yes. We called her Beth.
[Tell us about Beth.]
She was a very outgoing and fun loving child. She had her challenges when she was older. She loved to roller skate. Her and her brother were very close. Later on she did have her challenges. And she did go to stay with her grandmother in Houston for a while.
And that was to help her get through some of these challenges?
Yes, it was.
And her brother Billy said they would like to go out and ride horses?
Yes. That was when they were younger.
What did you do as a family?
Universal Studios, Disneyland, ball games, recreation areas.
Would you say that you would do a lot of things together on weekends as a family?
I'd say so. Especially around the holidays, we'd get together with the other family members.
Would you be the host?
Most of the times we would be the host.
Did you have a big house so that you could host everybody?
Yes, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Did Beth like those holidays?
Yes, she did.
How did you know that she loved them?
She was always very happy. And I remember one particular holiday, we were waiting for guests to come. ... There were all kinds of guests coming. There children and ... She was always very happy when we would have people over.

There were cousins in the same age range?
Yes. There were cousins.
She enjoyed seeing the cousins?
Yes. ... Her and Billy, they were very close. He would stick up for her and vice versa. She was rough. She could be a tomboy at times.
She wasn't afraid of anyone and wasn't going to let them pick on her brother?
That's for sure.
How long was she in Houston?
That was after ... She was just starting high school, so she was there [about three years?] ... so she came back.

Did she tell you what she wanted to do?
Yes she did. She liked to care for others. I figured she would be in the nursing career. That's what she tended to do.
If she'd gotten the chance, right?

How did you learn about Beth's death?
A detective went to my husband's place of business. And then he [husband] came home and told me.
What was your husband's reaction?
He was devastated. ... When he came in I knew something was wrong by the look on his face. And then he told me. It was just ... hard to believe. That it just happened, all of a sudden you know?
Did you believe it?
No. I couldn't believe it. It was very hurtful.
Did you have to tell other family members?
Yes. We had to call my sister-in-laws, and her grandmother and cousins in Houston.
Did you have to let the family from Wichita know about it?
Yes, yes.

Diana, did you plan the funeral?
Yes. My husband and I planned the funeral.
What was that like planning the funeral of your stepdaughter?
No parent thinks that they would ever [have to] bury their child.
[She grabs a tissue and dabs at her eyes.]
My husband was very devastated so I had to take over a lot of it so. ... I did have the help of my sister-in-law. ... My other stepdaughter came from San Diego and she pitched in to help us.
Do you think her father ever got over it?
No, no.

Do you remember the day of the funeral?
I remember it very well. It was very sad. Especially at the cemetery, that we had relatives that had come from Houston. And they were all gathered around so it was a very sad occasion.
Do you go to visit Beth at the cemetery?
We go twice a year.
What about on her birthday, to remember her birthday?
Not anymore. We did at one time on her birthday. ... Other holidays, especially Christmas, we always remember her. We always say a special prayer at that time. Not only for her but for my husband and all the other ones we lost along the way. ... We have pictures and things that we go through ...

You have a granddaughter named Naomi. ... What happened [to Naomi]?
Naomi was adopted by one of Beth's cousins, right after Beth passed away. Her cousin wanted to adopt her and he [Beth's father] agreed. He wanted her out of Los Angeles.
And your husband was very protective of her?
She could come back in the summer and she would spend a few weeks with us.
So your granddaughter was cared for in a loving family?
And you would see her about once a year?
Yes. When she was younger she would come back. .. She has children of her own now. ... We don't see her that much anymore. We talk occasionally on the phone.

2:52 PM 
Photos are shown to the witness. The first one is the same photo with Barbara and Billy as very young children.

Do you recall that photo?
That's Beth and her mother. Barbara and Billy. She identifies the same photos that Billy did.

Beth was about 12 when her mother passed and she came to come live with us. ... Naomi was five when her mother [Beth] died.
Do you know if she realized what happened?
They told her afterwards. She didn't remember.
She was too young.

More photos. This time it's the witnesses identifies her sister-in-law Sherry [sp?] and her daughter Angela. In the middle, Beth and Naomi. On the right is Treva and her daughter Tia. Treva lives in Los Angeles. That's her other stepdaughter.  Another photo #471, of the young ones. Angela, Naomi, Tia and Shawn [sp?]. Shawn is Treva's son.

Next, Diana is shown the memorial program for Beth.

Do you recognize this?
That's Barbara's obituary.

She recognizes the photo but doesn't know when it was taken. She's then shown a photo of inside the program, listing some of the relatives and friends Barbara left behind.  More photos of Barbara when she was in junior high, possibly 8th grade. Her school photo. Another photo Diana describes.

That's Beth in a yellow dress standing by a car, when she was staying with her grandmother.
Late teenage years?

Another photo, exhibit #476. It's Barbara in a uniform, in a crouching position.

That's Beth. She was working at The Hungry Owls Barbecue on Western Avenue. She was about 21 in that photo.

Exhibit #482, a photo of Barbara's headstone.

Yes, that's her grave site.
What do you think about when you're at her grave site?
Oh, ... I just think about the good times we had. And that's at Inglewood ... My husband is there as well and Barbara's mother is there also.
What do you miss the most?
Mostly her smile and the good times we had. The laughter. Just miss her. ... A [spot?] in our hearts that is always there. ... We think about her everyday. ... Prayers have got me there, but it's rough. ... Glad that things have gotten me to this point where things have gotten better.

Direct is finished and there is not cross. The people rest with the admission of the exhibits evidence.

3:01 PM
Over at sidebar. Amster did not want to start until next Tuesday with his case and I'm guessing they are arguing about that. Then it's over and Judge Kennedy addresses the jurors.

"To give you a timeline of where we are. The prosecution has rested in the penalty phase. The defense is going to present witnesses in the penalty phase. There wasn't a lot of cross examination so it's hard to predict how long it's going to take to put on the evidence. ... I have the defense counsel, that he could start the presentation of his evidence on Tuesday, anticipating that we would have [more of] this testimony tomorrow and he relied on that though."

"Most likely, the entirety of the defense case will be finished on Tuesday, or if not entirely finished. ON Wednesday is a graduation and I indicated that we would not be in session on Wednesday. And Monday is Memorial Day ... So I'm sorry for the little bit of disjointed days here. There's a light at the end of this tunnel, and we're almost finished and I do believe we will have final arguments and instructions on Thursday and maybe begin your deliberations maybe late on Thursday."

"What does that mean for tomorrow? We have some things to do on Friday. I'll ... we'll be working for the lawyers tomorrow. Going back to work on Wednesday the first. But I order you to have a wonderful holiday on Monday and I hope everyone has no bungee jumping ... It's possible [you will be] in deliberations by Friday, June 3rd."

One of the jurors has a doctor's appointment scheduled for June 3 and on June 6, and doesn't know how long they will take. The juror is going to see if it's possible to move her doctor's appointments. The court asks, "Why don't you verify that information and we'll talk about it next time I see you. ... I appreciate all of your dealing with our crazy schedules and you've been absolutely incredible jurors."

She gives them her standard admonition about not discussing the case or watching TV or reading about the case in the Internet, and no research. The court orders jurors back at 10:30 on Tuesday.

"Have a wonderful Memorial day."

The jurors and alternates leave. The court discusses logistics of going over the admissibility of exhibits on Friday afternoon. Modified jury instructions are also mention that those can also be reviewed. The length of closing arguments is discussed. DDA Silverman states she will speak for a couple of hours.

And that's it.

Continued on Day 10 with defense witness testimony....

Lonnie Franklin, Jr., "Grim Sleeper," Penalty Phase, Day 9, Part I

l-r: Extra deputy, behind, Judge Kennedy's bailiff
Lonnie Franklin, Jr., center, Deputy Sargent Westphal, right
Photo Credit: Pool Camera, Al Seib, LA Times

UPDATE 6/10/16: correct date of attack to 4/17/74 for German victim
Prior post can be found HERE.
T&T Case coverage and Media Links HERE

Thursday, May 26, 2016
 I'm late. I usually try to get on the 9th floor by 8:30 AM. I walk in Dept. 109 right around 9:00 am.  All the parties are here. DDA Beth Silverman, DDA Marguerite Rizzo, their support staff DDA's Paul Pzrelomiec and Jamie Castro and the two female law clerks.

The DA's staff is no longer sitting directly behind the prosecution table. Today they are in the gallery. Over on the defense side we have Seymour Amster, Dale Atherton and Kristen Gozawa. Amster's mitigation expert is in the gallery along with her son.

There's quite a bit of press in the gallery, with a couple faces I've not seen before. There's the usual crowd, City News Reporter Terri Keith, Stephen Ceasar with the LA Times, his friend MW, ABC's Miriam Hernandez, sketch artist Mona Edwards, and Margaret with KNX radio. There's a male reporter from [I believe] KPCC and another male reporter I don't know who isn't getting the message that his phone needs to be completely off.

I note that there are two sets of couples in the gallery with stick-on ID badges on their lapels. These people are most likely the people's witnesses and their relatives. The German witness is here along with her husband, the two interpreter's with the DA's office and the court's official interpreter.

DDA Beth Silverman goes over to speak to Stephen Ceasar who is leaving his paper for greener pastures. DDA Silverman keeps asking him, "Why?"

Jane Robison from the DA's media division is here. The defendant is brought out. Judge Kennedy takes the bench and asks counsel if they are ready for the jury.

Amster isn't ready. He wants a hearing concerning the witness from Germany. Amster states that there has been something bothering him about this witness and it came together for him at 2 am this morning.

He says, "Last night I saw something of what has been bothering me in this case. ... as such for this witness ... we do believe that we need a 402 hearing about identification. ... We are very concerned that the parameters of ID is not going to be made and if it cannot be made in legally permissible grounds, and ... it cannot be unremedied by striking her testimony. ... I'm requesting a 402 hearing asking how she is going to make her identification. ... [Second?] And then the military observer be put on the stand. ... We don't feel that this witness should testify about victim impact in any way. We'd like a ruling on that prior to her testifying. ... Third, biasness. Bias. This is something that's been bothering me ... that finally I realized what it was very early this morning."

"This is an individual who was born shortly after World War II. ... [She was] raised .... potentially .... by parents who witnessed the use of government sanctioned death penalties in World War II, and what happened in Germany, [the German government?] they repudiated from any other government no matter what crime ... for other governments using the death penalty."

Amster is mentioning something about what the DA's office went through, or didn't go through, to obtain this witness. I believe he's stating that he doesn't believe that the DA's office went through official channels to contact the German government.

"I had a conversation with the German Consulate in the US and he personally represented to me that Germany would never aid a foreign government to aid another government to seek the death penalty.  ... I asked him to repeat that three times because I thought that was very important."

"A German citizen who's parents were around the Holocaust, ... coming to this country in seeking the death penalty against a black individual. ... We need to know what this reason is, for her to come to this country to help seek the death penalty. ... Nothing about the rape of an individual. ... that she's repudiating, what her government feels is the death penalty and we think it should be properly [vetted?] outside the presence of the jury."

The court turns to the people for their counter, "Miss Silverman?" DDA Silverman responds, "Your honor, counsel had an opportunity yesterday. He's know about this witness for five and a half years. He has only brought this up now, when the victims family are here, the media is here. ... If he thinks there's some issue of bias he can explore it in front of the jury. ... As I've said before, the victim is not going to be able to ID the defendant. ... That's why we're bringing in the people in the military to link him up. ... And, the idea is moot. She absolutely is entitled as a victim, to testify to victim impact evidence. ... There is no law to support his position. ... When he spouts off these opinions, which means I think, which is irrelevant to the record ... The law is contrary [to his opinion?] ... His conversations with the German government are of no consequence."

"She was told there was a trial going on in [the US?]. That she was part of a pattern that was ongoing since 1974. ... Counsel is putting forth his own beliefs and that, as a Jew, it is offensive to me that anyone would involve the Holocaust as counsel would in this case. ... To bring up the Holocaust, which was the extermination [of millions of Jewish people?] ... to somehow, liken that to what a serial killer has done in this country to someone ... How is that an issue in this case like this? Where a woman was so brutally assaulted in 1974, that she can't go anywhere without someone holding her hand? ... Where she was gang raped and treated like trash and this defendant only received 3.5 years for gang raping a witness."

Amster continues to argue. "The US military did not seek to increase his punishment. His co-conspirators received 4.5 years."  DDA Silverman quickly responds, "That's false!" Either Amster or the court replies not to interrupt. Amster continues to argue. "In no way is the defense stating that 3.5 years is appropriate. ... The US Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty is not an appropriate remedy for a rape. ... I'm not going to address the personal attacks on me as a Jew. ... And right in front of me was my father's scrap book. Right in front of me was my father's scrap book..."

Amster continues to argue about his father and what happened in Germany. That every single person [after the war?] was forced to look down at the bodies.  And not only Jews, but Gypsies and so many other ethnicities.

It goes on and on. I stop typing for a bit.

Amster states, "This witness should have been part of that education and somehow, she has ... counsel to turn her back [on her education? country?] and not chosen her [country's? position?]..."

DDA Silverman turns around and tells her witness to leave the courtroom so she doesn't have to listen to counsel's argument an accusations.

Amster states for the record,  "[Silverman] got up and ordered the witnesses to get up and ordered [them out]." DDA Silverman explains to the court, "I set the witness out because she's a victim and he's offending her." [Although the witness was in the gallery, the court's German interpreter was sitting beside her and interpreting for her.]

I believe that Amster is now asking for sanctions. Judge Kennedy responds, "Mr. Amster, what you are saying is offensive. It's certainly offensive to the witness. You are saying what her point of view is when you have no idea what her point of view is."

The court asks DDA Silverman, "On identification, have you inquired of the witness whether she recognized [Mr. Franklin?]" DDA Silverman responds that the people have not shown her any photographs. She adds, "I don't plan on asking her about making an identification."

I believe Amster is asking the court that they hear from the witnesses that are going to establish the ID, as an offer of proof. DDA Silverman tells the court that the records have been turned over to counsel years ago. One witness was in the US Army at the time in the internal affairs division. It was his responsibility to visit all the service men who were in custody. That was part of his job requirements. He did that on a regular basis with all individuals.

The court asks, "How is that person going to identify the defendant?" DDA Silverman states, "Through his observations, like any other witness." The court replies, "That's not clear to me." DDA Silverman goes into detail about the witness.

"He met with him and other individuals in custody. His responsibility was to attend the trial and ensure that all regulations were complied with according to the agreements between the US and Germany. He heard the victim testify. He heard the defendant testify. He transported the defendant's mother to court every day and translated for her and was her interpreter every day. He assisted in interpreting the proceedings for her. ... A second witness, ... was in charge of military personnel records. These were turned over to counsel ... indicating that the defendant with the same date of birth, home address as on his enlistment document with his [defendant's] signature. ... And because he was discharged because of this case. ... Fingerprints, signatures, ... all sorts of personal information including a document that has already been put into evidence that matches up to the same document that was in his possession."

Amster argues, "That is double and triple hearsay."

Judge Kennedy challenges, "Let's start with the military observer. Just because he was there doesn't get over the hearsay position. ... He can't testify to the contents of testimony. He can testify to observations." DDA Silverman tells the court, "The defendant got up on the stand and testified. It was in the [documents? conviction?]. ... He testified in English and our witness is English speaking."  The court tells the people, "But you still have to show that the person is Mr. Franklin. ... Are there records that show that Lonnie David Franklin was a charged person in this case which this military observer attended?" DDA Silverman answers, "Yes. ... His entire military record and the trial observer's report ... and his [observer] observations. ... It's part of his military file." The court counters, "Just because it's part of his military file doesn't mean it can come in."

DDA Silverman continues to proffer what her witnesses will bring in. "There are his documents in his name, his file, and his date of birth and that [the conviction in Germany] was the basis of his discharge. ... There are certified official documents. ... These are official records ... in exception to the hearsay rule ... and there's also circumstantial evidence. ... there are the documents in his personnel file that were the same [as those found in the search?]." DDA Silverman gives the number of the form. "It's a discharge document. It's in evidence. ... People's 209, a copy of the discharge papers. It says the same thing for discharge. Same name. Same date of birth. Same ID number that's on his enlistment."

Judge Kennedy tells the defense, "I think they are going to be able to establish identification."

[At some point through this combative exchange, my computer freezes and I have to resort to hand notes. I'm not sure where the following hand notes fall in the sequence of the mornings arguments. This is my best guess from memory where they fell.]

DDA Silverman tells the court that the German witness is entitled to testify under Factor B, to testify as a victim. She tells the court that the defense was given notice under Factor B, in the notice of aggravation, that he was given notice that this witness was going to testify.

Amster reads from the notice of aggravation.

Judge Kennedy states that Factor A related to the circumstances of the crime in this case. She adds, "I'm not going to preclude victim impact." The court asks the people about their witness, who is still outside in the hallway.  DDA Silverman responds, "I need a moment to speak to my witness ... she's upset because [of defense counsel statements]."  Amster interjects, "Well, we want notes on that." And then Amster laughs.

I've had the opinion, my opinion only, that Amster's laughter at odd times is nervous laughter. For the first time that I'm aware of, Judge Kennedy comments on it. She addresses Amster, "The fact that you're sitting here giggling right now is offensive [to me]."

[End of my handwritten notes.]

9:44 AM
In my opinion, I would not blame the victim if she didn't want to get up on the stand right now.

Deputy Sargent Westphal is in the well of the court. The countenance on his face, it's a dichotomy of expressions at the same time.

There are several new victim family members in the gallery that I haven't seen before. All the Anderson family that I've seen over the last several weeks are here.

9:51 AM
Judge Kennedy retakes the bench. She asks counsel if they are ready for the jury. Judge Kennedy's bailiff is now in the well of the court by the jury box. He has a big smile on his face and greets the jurors as they pass. The prosecution team stands for the jurors. The defense counsel remain seated.

Judge Kennedy greets the jury. "I'd like to welcome back all our jurors and alternates. I apologize for keeping you waiting."

The people call the woman German witness.

A dark-haired woman and her husband take seats in the witness stand. The woman's husband is seated to the left, closest to the court. He puts his arm around her and holds onto her. Also in the witness box is the German interpreter.

[Although the witness has chosen to be identified by a first name and an initial to protect her identity, T&T has decided not to publish the first name or initial. The name she provided can be found in other media reports. Local ABC 7's report with sketches by Mona Edwards. LA Times Stephen Ceasar's report, People Magazine's Christine Pelisek's report, MyNews LA Hillary Jackson's report, and local KPCC's report.]


Mam, where do you reside?
In Bavaria.
Have you ever been to the US before?
Did you fly out here to testify in this case?
Can you calculate and tell us how old you were in April 1974?
And where were you living in that time?
And is that in Germany?

I want to direct you attention back to April 17, 1974. Do you remember that night?
And that night, were you on your way home when something happened?
And where were you coming from?
From my [boy?] friends.
And where did that person live?
In [F..?].
Is that in Stuttgart?
In order to get home that night, were you waiting for some type of transportation?
Were you waiting at a certain location?
Yes. ... In front of the train station.
Was that in Stuttgart?
Was there anyone there at the location with you or were you alone?
Were there any other people out there near you while you were waiting?
I cannot recall.

As you were waiting did someone approach you?
A car.
And where did the car approach? ... How close to you did the car come? ... Motioning with her hands, about a foot, foot and a half to two feet.

Defense: So stipulate.
And did the car stop?

Amster asks to approach. DDA Silverman responds, "Unless there's an objection...." Amster asks the court to approach again. They are at sidebar. I overhear DDA Silverman say something, interrupting Amster. Judge Kennedy addresses DDA Silverman, "Stop. I'll give you a chance. Stop."  Even at sidebar, Judge Kennedy is having to tell the parties to stop interrupting each other. When the sidebar is over, Amster goes over to his mitigation specialist to say something.

You said there was a vehicle that drove up close to where you were standing, is that correct?
What  do you remember is the next thing that happened?
They asked me something.
The people inside the vehicle?
Did you talk with the individuals inside the vehicle?
I cannot recall.
Did you see how many individuals were inside?
Did you know these individuals?
Had you ever met them before? ... Were they strangers to you?
Were they female or a mix there of?
Were you able to tell what race or ethnicity?
Yes. African American.

How many of them tried to speak to you?
I cannot recall exactly.
Do you recall what they were trying to say to you?
Yes. I believe they were asking for an address for directions.
Did you approach the vehicle in order to respond?
I cannot recall.
What was the next thing you can recall happening?
Somebody grabbed me and pulled me into the vehicle.
When you were inside the vehicle, could you clearly see that there were three African American men inside the vehicle?
Yes. ... A man held a knife to my throat.
Can you show us where on your own body?

She puts her left hand up under her chin, against her neck. Her hand motion is described for the record.

Can you describe for us the length of that knife? Was it a small knife, a large knife? ... Motioning with her hands what looks to be about a foot.
Do you know what type of knife it was?
No. I cannot recall.
The kind of knife that you might see in a kitchen or a butchers block?
A knife ... but with ... yes.
Was anything said to you when this knife was up to your throat?
Kill you.
Did you take that as a threat to kill you?
Yes. I was in fear of my life.

Judge Kennedy: Were the words said in German or English?
In English.

Were you afraid?
You didn't know the men and you were in a car with three men?
With a knife to your neck?
What was the next thing that happened?
They drove off and some time later they turned into a field.
You said they drove off. Did you know the direction the car was headed?
In the direction of Ludwigsburg Square.
Approximately how long did the car travel before they pulled off?
Half an hour, I think.
During that time, ... were the three man talking at all?
I cannot recall.
Did you hear them say anything in particular?

You said at some point after about a half hour, they drove off into a field?
Was that a field where there were any phones close by?
And people?
And street lights?
Was that an isolated, or ... what one might say is a remote area?
What was the next thing you can remember happening?
I was raped by all three.
They came to a stop at some point?
Did anyone get out of the vehicle ... did they get out?
I cannot recall.
Did that take place inside the vehicle?

Her husband holds her a little tighter. The witness rubs her face and then nods her head to something her husband said.

How long did that go on for that rape by three men?
The rest of the night.

There was a small murmur or gasp from the audience. Then I heard the words, "Oh my God," from someone in the rows in front of me. Amster asks to approach. The bailiff brings over a glass of water for the witness. A sidebar is called.

10:13 AM
Side bar is over. Judge Kennedy reminds the people in the audience to not audibly respond to the answer or the questions asked by the attorneys.

When you say that the rapes by these three men went on the entire night, did each of the three men have sexual intercourse with you?
Was that against your will?

There are stern faces on the jurors.

Not to belabor the point, but when you say sexual intercourse, ... that each of the three men placed their penis inside your vagina?
Did you suffer any type of injury during the sexual assault?
Yes, on my abdomen.
What type of injury did you suffer?
As far as I can recall, there were cuts.
Do you know....?
I believe from the knife.
During the course of this night did you believe that you would be able to survive?

Some jurors look down at their laps.

Did you play along after the sexual assault in order for the men to take you back to the city?
Yes. [She sighs.]
By the time you got back to your home that night, was it still dark outside?
When you got home that night, what did you do?
I took a bath.
I felt dirty.

It appears the witness bites her lip.

Do you recall what time it was when you got home?
No I cannot recall.
What did you do the next morning?
I went to the police.
And you told the police what happened?
Did you describe the individuals to the police, and subsequently did you identify with the police all three of your attackers?
Subsequent to that, did you seek medical treatment?
No. I did not have any help.
Did you seek any type of psychological counseling?
No, because my mother did not make any attempts and I was too young to do it by myself.

In November and December 1974, were you requested to attend a trial?
Did that take place in a German court?
And were the three men who raped and kidnapped you present during that trial?
Did you identify each of the men?
And at that trial, did you also describe in detail what each man had done?
Did you watch as each of your attackers testified at that trial?
Objection! Overruled.
Do you recall there being a family member of any of the three men who raped you present during the trial?
Objection. Sustained.

Can you tell us, what impact, if any, that experience, the kidnapping, the gang rape, what experience that has had on your life?
I'm still afraid to this day when it gets dark. ... I do not go outside by myself when it's dark. If I'm at home alone, I turn on the lights in the entire house if my husband is not home. And we got a large dog. ... And my entire family, my daughter and grandchildren suffer from it because I passed [my] fear onto them.
Objection [to last sentence]. Sustained as to daughter and to other family.

How has this impacted how you deal with your own daughter and grandchildren?
Yes, they are taken by car everywhere. They are picked up ... and the big one is 19, and she's still being driven to school and picked up. And it's still the same with my own daughter.

Her granddaughter is 19.

And is that because of your fears of what happened to you?
Yes because I did tell my daughter about it and she got afraid.
And you said you got a big dog?
Yes. ... I do not feel secure without a dog when I'm home alone.
What type of dog did you get?
A Newfoundland.
So a big dog?

Direct is finished. Amster states he does not want to cross on these issues. He asks to court to approach.

10:22 AM
We take a three minute sidebar. Cross examination proceeds.

Mam, at any time had you been contacted by a representative of the German government concerning these proceedings?
The general police in [BG?].
And what inquiry, if any?
Whether I would be willing to give my statement in this trial.
And when they contacted you, did they acknowledge that they were representative of a government agency in Germany?
I don't understand. ... They were part of the police authority in Germany.
Did any individual associated with any German government ever contact you in regards to these proceedings?
Yes. ... The police in [LUD?] wrote me a letter. ... That there was an inquiry from the US whether I would be willing to give my statement in these proceedings.

Amster tells the court, "I think the next question I can ask at sidebar first." There is a minute sidebar.

In the letter did it state in any way your assistance was being requested for the government or anyone associated with the US to obtain the death penalty in America?
What did the letter say?
[More or less it] just stated, it was asked if I was willing to give my witness statement in this case. Because this happened to me. Because it happened to me and there might be some connection. ... And because the letterhead said [LUD?] Police Department and there was a phone number.
And so you believe it was the police department in [LUD?]?
And you were directed to the person who signed the letter? ... When you talked to someone at the police department concerning the letter, correct?
What did they say to you?
Objection. Hearsay. Sustained.
As a result of talking to someone in the police department that helped you to determine if you should cooperate to come to America to participate in this proceeding or not?
Were you directed to talk to anyone else after you had....
Objection. Sustained.

Did you ever talk to any other German official besides whom you mentioned after you called the German police department?
Yes. An interpreter contacted me by email ... by the US, ... trying to find out if I would be willing to get my statement.
I'm interested in German Government officials so my question is ...

I believe the witness interrupts because she remembers something.

Only... [I] forgot that ... I forgot. Someone from City Hall. ... He inquired whether he could give out our email address because he had a request from US authorities ... LAPD, to give our [email] address. I asked if this really came from US authorities. ... He confirmed that it came from the LAPD and he confirmed that it did. So I said he could give out our address. ... They were able to connect this old case with this.
Any other German officials, have you been contacted, other than [that]?
Nothing further.  ... Oh wait. One second please.
When did you learn that this was a death penalty case and from whom?
Objection. Facts not in evidence. [Miss ruling.]
Were you aware that this was a death penalty case?
Who did you learn that from?
From the media.
The media where?
Internet. ... Los Angeles Times ... and the media at home.
So, prior to testifying you've been following this case in the news?
Yes. I was interested in it but I had already decided to come.
So you had decided to come knowing that the Government of the State of California is seeking the death penalty in California?
Oh. Nothing further. Oh, wait. Did anyone associated with the German government tell you this was a death penalty case?
Did you [learn?] from anyone associated with the German government this is a death penalty case?
Objection. Sustained.
Nothing further.

The court asks if there is any redirect. There's no redirect. The witness is excused. The court says, "Thank you very much for coming. You are free to go."

Amster asks for a sidebar before the next witness.  Several reporters leave the courtroom, possibly to interview the witness. Most of the mainstream press leave [People, KNX, etc.].

10:37 AM
Side bar over. DDA Silverman presents the next witness.


Did you fly out here from your home state in Florida/
Are you now retired?
Retired military. ... I was active during [9?] years. Twenty-one years in the reserves but still in private practice as a lawyer.

He was with US Army Judge Advocate [General - JAG] branch. Judge Advocate Core.

What does that entail?
It depends on where you're assigned. It could be any number of duties. You could be defending ... you could handle claims against the government ... you could give assistance to servicemen and their families.

Were you a lawyer when you went into the military?
Back to 1974. Where were you assigned?
In 1974, I was assigned to the 7th Core headquarters in Germany.
How long were you stationed in Germany, in Stuttgart?
I was stationed there for about 9 months before moving to Munich.

He was  JAG officer. A captain, oh-three [03].

What was the job [of] Judge Advocate General in the 7th Core as an International Affairs Officer I mean?
I dealt with the German government. Whether the US or Germany would take jurisdiction with cases involving servicemen [in incidents? charges?] outside the base. ... I also visited US servicemen who were imprisoned either awaiting trial or after trial. ... Each month, [I was] required to visit each such person within my jurisdiction which was southwestern Germany. ... In addition to that ...

Let me ask you something. You would deal with German authorities involving crimes involving service men?
NATO agreement with Germany had jurisdiction against servicemen who committed civilian crimes. ... My request would be to waive jurisdiction ... to wave and allow the Army to take jurisdiction. ... Because they [Germany] thought the Army was taking more lenient [punishments?] they took jurisdiction more.

His responsibility was to contact Dr. Beckstein [sp?] to determine who would take jurisdiction.

Were you well [acquainted] with Dr. Beckstein, [as] the head prosecutor in Germany?
Yes. I had routine contact with him.
Did you attend several trials?
Was that also your duty?
As the International Affairs Officer in Stuttgart, but also to attend the trial. ... Under the Army regulations ... in effect at that time, I was required to attend, or another JAG officer was required to attend any such trial.

He covered the areas of southwest Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Now in terms of your responsibilities, with respect to attending any trials, attended trials, did you also have responsibilities to what you were supposed to do subsequent to this trial?
Under general [guidelines?] I was responsible to attend the trial and also required to prepare a trial report. Although I attend trial and speak reasonable German at the time, but not any more. ... I would have an interpreter from my office who would be with me at those trials.

In terms of US military obligations, if they had a serviceman who was being tried in Germany, were there attorney's who were provided?
Objection. Sustained.
Were you in contact with English speaking individuals who represented all of the servicemen?
Objection Side bar.

10:38 AM
The court states that they are going to take their 15 minute break for the morning.

Amster is having an animated conversation with Judge Kennedy's bailiff over at the clerk's desk. Earlier, it was the bailiff who "shushed" the audience.

11:06 AM
Defendant is brought out. We're back on the record. The witness retakes the stand. We're ready for the jury. I note that Detective Dupree must have left the courtroom with the German witness and her support group of interpreters.

Continuing direct examination of Frank Pyle, by DDA Silverman

Mr. Pyle, we were discussing not only did you visit all the US servicemen that were in custody, you also attended all the trials and prepared formal reports for each ... those were the scope of your duties?
My job was to assure they had what was what we would call a fair trial, that it met the agreements with shared forces agreements and German law.
If Germany chose to prosecute, did that foreclose the military then from doing any type of military proceeding?
Correct. It would appear to be double jeopardy.
Did you visit [Mr. Franklin] between April and November multiple times in 1974?
It was my job. I don't specifically remember Mr. Franklin.
Objection. [Miss ruling]

So you visited every serviceman in custody, including a gentleman named Lonnie Franklin?
Objection your honor, Sidebar.

11:12 AM
Questioning continues.

Each man you visited in custody, did you document their [name] date of birth, [identification number]?
Yes. That would have been identified to me before I visited the serviceman.
Do you know what the date of birth is, whose trial you attended and visited in custody?
Objection, foundation. Sustained.
Do you have any recollections of [the date of birth]...
Objection. Sustained.
With respect to the individual ... did you visit [M?] prison between April 19 and June 21 of 1974?
I don't believe so.
What is [M?] prison?
Objection relevance.

Did you visit Sondheim Prison between April 19 and June 21 of 1974?
Every month.
That's a German, high security prison?
It was high security because of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist group in Germany.
Did you visit someone by the name of Lonnie David Franklin, Jr., at the prison?
Objection. Sustained.
As the International Affairs Officer, were you responsible, as the International Affairs Officer for writing a letter to the local German prosecution regarding the prosecution of a certain individual?
[Miss answer or if there was an objection.]

Did you write a letter requesting jurisdiction with respect to a certain trial requesting jurisdiction over a certain individual?
Who was that individual?

Judge Kennedy calls parties to sidebar. It's a very nuanced part of the law. The prosecution has to be able to show identity by laying the proper foundation and, I believe, without leading the witness. The foundation must be laid from the ground up.

11:18 AM
Sidebar over.

Did you visit someone at Sondheim Prison between June 21 and November 11, 1974 related to the trial that you attended in November and December?
Objection, hearsay! Overruled. 

Who was that individual?

He identifies the defendant, Lonnie Franklin.

How did you know that person was Lonnie Franklin? ... Did you write a letter to Dr. Beckstein requesting jurisdiction for the crimes that Mr. Franklin was in prison for?

I believe there are more objections. Judge Kennedy asks her own question. "Did the US military assert jurisdiction over the case?" Mr. Pyle answers, "The German authority chose jurisdiction."  DDA Silverman continues with her questioning.

There were also two other men who were also included in your order request? ... Who were the other individuals that ... the ones you mentioned that you visited? ... How many individuals in connection with the defendant that you also visited?

Objection. Sustained.

Did you eventually attend the trial of the defendant along with others in Stutgartt Germany?
And when did that trial take place?
It took place in November and December 1974. ... There were actually eight hearings.
Eight days of the hearing? 
Yes. It was not eight consecutive days. It was partial days.
How many individuals were on trial there?
And did that also include the defendant, Lonnie Franklin, Jr.?
And what type of court was this
It was a German criminal court ... [a regional court].
You said that was some type of a regional court?
In Florida, it would be [like] the circuit court, that would be trying felonies as well as other large civil cases.

Did you attend the proceedings as required?
I was there each day, along with my interpreter.
Did you watch as multiple witnesses testified?
Was one of them a woman by the name of [German witness first name and initial].
Objection, sidebar.

DDA Silverman asks, "What's the legal objection?" Judge Kennedy tells the parties she will see them at sidebar.

11:25 AM

Sidebar over.

You said you had your own interpreter?
Karen Ritchie. ... [She] worked in the International Affairs office where I was the chief .... and she spoke German.

I believe there may have been another objection and the court orders the people to turn the lectern over to the defense for voir dire questioning.

Seymour Amster questions the witness.

Were you fluent in German?
At the time I spoke German but I'm not fluent anymore.
What was the name of the interpreter?
Karen Ritchie.
Were you qualified to determine any of her competency to interpret German?
There were other interpreters at the trial who interpreted for the defendants.

Please just answer my question. You did not have.... Your honor, can we approach? ... The prosecutor is making hand motions that the jury can see. ... I ask that the prosecutor be sanctioned. Judge Kennedy appears to be fed up at this point and tells counsel, "Both of you, just stop it! Just sit there and don't do anything!"

Amster continues questioning.

What personal knowledge did you have that Ms. Ritchie was competent to translate German?
Personal knowledge. ... I was dealing with her on a personal basis.

Judge Kennedy asks, "Had she translated for you prior to that date?" 

At that point, probably three [or four months before] the trial.
But you did not have the ability yourself [to determine] the accuracy of her interpretation? ... You could not validate her accuracy?
I am not fluent in German.

Amster states, "No further voir dire questions." The court asks if the people have any other questions on this point.  DDA Silverman resumes her questioning.

You said there were other interpreters to assist. Approximately how many?
According to my report, three.

Judge Kennedy asks, "You refreshed your memory and now recall there were three?" [Miss answer.] DDA Silverman resumes questioning.

And based on the interpretation through various sources somebody by the name of [German woman's name]. I believe the court intervened and DDA Silverman moved onto another question.

As to this Ms. Ritchie, did she interpret for you in court or did she do other interpretations for you as part of her duties for the court? 
She did receive documents from German and translated them from German to English.

Judge Kennedy tells counsel, "Okay. Lets go to sidebar."  A reporter's phone goes off.

11:32 AM
Sidebar over.

Did you watch a woman by the name of [German woman's first name and initial] state her name and testify to the crime that occurred and the two other individuals who were on trial?

Objection. [Sustained?]
Did you watch a woman get on the stand and state her name to be [German woman's first name and initial] at the trial.
Objection. Compound again. Hearsay.

Judge Kennedy states, "She may not have use the word [German woman's first name and initial]. She may have used her entire name. We do that to protect the ID of victims of sexual assault ..."

Amster states they [the defense] are not going to publish her name. There is more back and forth between counsel. DDA Silverman continues.

Did a woman [named __], with a last name that started with [__], testify at this trial?
And again, was that at the same time the defendant along with two other individuals were being tried in a German court?
And did miss [German woman's first name and initial] articulate at that time the extent of the participation of each of the individuals?
Objection. Sustained.
Did the defendant himself testify at this trial?
Did he state his name on the record at this trial?
Did you also, through your conversations with the defendant, [with the visits at the jail/prisons?] document his date of birth, his home address and his identification number?
Objection. Sidebar.

11:36 AM
During your conversations with the defendant, did he provide you with his background information?
I don't know that he specifically did.
Were you aware of what the defendant's rank was in the military?
Objection! Sustained.

DDA Silverman asks to approach for sidebar.  It's over.

Were you in contact with any of the defendant's family during the trial?
Objection. Over ruled.
Who was that?
Objection, hearsay. [Over ruled?]
That was the defendant, Lonnie Franklin's mother.
And what type of contact did you have?
She flew over during the summer. ... I used to pick her up and take her to the trial.

Judge Kennedy asks the defendant, You picked her up and [took her?] to court?" The witness answers, "I picked her up every time if not almost every time."

Did you provide translation for her during the trial?
Objection. Sustained.
In terms of the report that you created, based on your required duties, did that [report] become a part of the defendant's military file?
Objection. It's irrelevant. [Miss ruling.]

No further questions from the people. There is no cross examination of this witness and he is excused. The people call Lamar Whatley. The witness is sworn in and takes the stand.


How is it you're employed sir?
I'm [?] record supervisor and I'm resources command for [the] Fort Knox, Kentucky, records facility there.
How many people do you supervise?
Maybe 40, 30, something like that.
And what is it that you do as a supervisor of records custodian?
We maintain all the records for the Army.
US Army?
US Army, yes mam.

The witness has been employed his whole life with the Army either as a soldier or a civilian.  So about 32 years employed and working with army records.

At some point, were you also stationed in Germany?
I've been stationed in Germany two different times.
Were you stationed near Stuttgart ... Was that where the army headquarters [were?]?
Headquarters for my particular unit.

Headquarters that you're referring to, that's where all the records were maintained for servicemen serving in Germany?
Eventually were those records .... Do you know based on what you do on a daily basis, where records are maintained abroad?
[Miss answer.]
Are you actually familiar .... that you've been doing this for 32 years, for [where] records are prior to when you came into the military [record keeping?]?
Yes mam.
Objection, leading. [Miss ruling.]
Tell us how you are aware records are [kept?] ... and are maintained dealing with individuals in the military?
I'm a resource commander. I'm responsible for all the records in the army. I have to know where they are prior and where they are now.

He's a supervisor as an army soldier records branch.

What are your duties?
Ensure that soldier's Army documents are put in here correctly by the people who do that.

He ensures that the right records are in the right place.

If there is a public records request for records, is that something that comes through [your office/department?]?
There's a different process for public records request.
FOIA request?
FOIA goes through FOIA officer first.
Eventually, everything comes through you?
Where are military records maintained?
Depends on when the individual separated [from the army].

Those who separated prior to 2002, those records are in a national personnel records center in St. Louis, Missouri. Amster asks for a sidebar. The court says no sidebar. Amster tells the court he knows there was someone talking in the audience. The court addresses the audience, ordering them not to talk to each other and not to make noise. "Do I make myself clear?" The court adds. "I see heads nod."  DDA Silverman continues.

In terms of the records that are maintained in St Louis or Washington, D.C., or electronically, if you get a request for records, are you able to [answer requests?] for each of those records from those locations?
Yes. ... Not all [initial] records requests have to come through his department.
The records that are maintained by the US Army, are those the type of records that are created by the normal course of business, personnel documents ... [etc?]?
That is correct.
Are they created by the army personnel to document certain events?
That is correct.
Did you review the records by a certain person by the name of Lonnie Franklin, Jr.?

A sidebar is called. I'm not sure, but it's probable that the court excused the jury for the morning, based on what the court said in the next paragraph.

11:49 AM
The court addresses counsel. Normally I would tell lawyers to work this out but I don't want world war three. You're going to have to do it in a professional method. I want both of you to stop it. I'm sick and tired of it. ...

[I believe Amster is speaking now. I'm sorry my notes are not clear.] The people can establish the ID of the records and then there's the issue of hearsay as to what is admissible and what is reliable. And then they have their exhibit as to what they can allow in. What we are objecting to is any summary by this witness ... they ... then the court will make a ruling ... Judge Kennedy replies, "that's what they pay me the big bucks for."

Judge Kennedy is discussing the people's witness who attended the trial. Your gentleman who went to the trial and made a report, and that's something that you [defense] probably don't want in. The people state they laid their foundation. Judge Kennedy agrees that the foundation has been laid. The defense comments on the points that the people wanted to get out of that witness. I believe it's Amster who complains that it's one thing to make legal objections and it's another thing to make extemporaneous comments in front of the jury. Amster thinks that if the people want more than the name ....

DDA Silverman states, "Counsel [defense] has copies of all the documents I plan on putting on documents ... to put on that crime." Judge Kennedy rules, "I'm going to tell you right now if that report ... of that report ... the fact that it's in there [in the personnel file] is not hearsay."

Amster cites a case he is relying on regarding records. He argues that the witness [on the stand now] any information that the parties have heard so far is based on the records. He's not testifying on personal knowledge, he's testifying on the records. He argues that it's hearsay and that it doesn't have the proper hearsay section attached to it.

My notes are not clear on who it is that reads section 1280 of California's Evidence Code. I believe it's DDA Silverman, but could have been Judge Kennedy.  Amster is arguing the "trustworthiness" of the documents in Franklin's personnel file. It's not clear in my notes if Judge Kennedy made a ruling before lunch.
Continued in Day 9, Part II .....