Part one of John Wilburn’s account now posted, part two posted at 7 AM Thursday morning .
In the meantime, I was able to attend the afternoon session, after the Jury View of the house. Sometimes, you have to be there.
After the jury was brought in, Det. Roberts was called back to the stand questioned about the video of the re-enactment performed on March 20th of 2008 pursuant to a search warrant. Roberts testified the re-enactment varied from the actual night in a number of ways, that the light was on in a window which was not lit on Jan. 17, that the timing of the approach was more not the same, that the knock and announce was done slightly differently. With those differences understood the video was played, revealing egregious prosecutorial misconduct.
One other thing different was that the lower right panel of the door was missing from the beginning though obviously it was still there until knocked out by the battering ram on Jan. 17. The video was shot twice, and frm different angles, including from a separate camera inside the house.
One thing became immediately apparent in the video, and that was that the door, which was described as a four panel door actually was more complex. It had an arched window in the top, which was covered by a dark curtain on the night of the raid, but not in the video. Most four panel doors have the horizontal middle bar even with the lockset. This one was different in that the horizontal bar was about a foot higher, even with the deadbolt lock, making the opening left by the missing lower panel about 8 inches higher than the doorknob. Because the opening was so large vertically, you could clearly see the forearm and hand of Det. Barone as he pantomimed breaching the door panel. His hand was at about the level of the doorknob, supporting Frederick’s contention that he thought he saw a hand reaching for the doorknob. Further, the timing between breaching the door and the time the shot was called was only about a second.
When viewing the video from the inside of the house, through the missing panel, only Det. Roberts’ hand knocking on the storm door, and, after he opened it, Det. Barone’s hands using the the ram were visible, all other officers were lost in the darkness. Later, when the string was being used to estimate the trajectory, it was necessary to shine a light on the officer standing in for Det. Shivers to be seen.
On cross examination, Barcolletti questioned why, with all the effort to recreate exact placement of the officers and other details, the critical questionof the timing of the knock and announce procedure was not also done as it had happened.
After that, the prosecution rested.
The defense asked the judge to rule at that point that the prosecution had not made a case for marijuana manufacture with intent to distribute and asked that the charge be reduced to possession only. He also asked that the Capital Murder Charge be reduced to Second Degree murder. Findings of fact are supposed to be left to the jury, but sometimes these motions succeed when the judge believes that even if seen in best light, evidence does not support the charge. I expected her to leave the murder charge to the jury but to agree on the marijuana charge, but she denied both motions.
After that, the defense case began with two Sheriff’s Dept. Deputies and a Sheriff’s Lieutenant testifying to actions they took regarding other prisoners harassment of Frederick. They were not permitted to say what complaint Fredrick had made ot them, only on what actions they took, which were to make a complaint to the Internal Affairs Department. This was clearly a step toward discrediting the jailhouse snitch testimony from yesterday.
Following that, several of Frederick’s neighbors testified that they clearly heard the battering ram hitting Fredrick’s front and back doors, but did not hear the preceding knock and announce cycles. They did later hear the SWAT TEAM using bull horns. It seem no one but police officers and dogs heard those announcements.
Last for the day, Frederick’s supervisor from the Coca Cola company testified to his good work record and good relationships with their customers.