Gateway murder trial

Witness Whitney Tinsley

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She’s a part time resident of Fort Myers, with a home in Cypress Pointe in Gateway, the same community where Michelle and Steven lived.

She’s talking about the gated entrance to the community and the fact there’s no video surveillance of the gate. There’s also a walkway next to the gates where anyone can walk into the community.

She says on the night of December 26th, she was at a neighbor’s house and got home around 11 and went outside to walk the dogs. She said she always walked from her house up to the gate and over to the empty field across the street from the community.

She says her dog didn’t want to go into the field and she says she saw a man walking across the field toward her. Says he never hesitated as he walked toward her. The closest she got to him was between six and nine feet.

He looked over at her, but no words were exchanged.

She says there was something about his eyes. She says they were very noticeable. (this is around 11 pm)

She says she wasn’t scared. She says she paid attention because she was told by her husband she always needs to know her surroundings.

She says he had a jacket on – a camoflouge jacket.

She’s showing the jury the path he took into the community (Cypress Pointe) She lost sight of him as he went into the community.

She continued to walk the dogs. She says shortly after that she saw some boys she knew come out of the Cypress Pointe entrance gate. They continued on down the street.

She says then she saw the man in the camoflouge jacket come out of the community. (No more than 5-6 minutes had passed). She says she looked away and when she looked back he was gone. She says she didn’t see him again.

She returned home, didn’t hear anything unusual that night.

The next morning she walked outside to walk the dogs and as she turned to walk down the street, she saw all the police cars at the Andrews home.

Shortly thereafter she spoke to deputies and they took her statement. They showed her a photo lineup. This was done in front of the Potter’s home. She was unable to pick out anyone from the lineup.

Cross examination by defense.

Defense is going over her statements. They are asking her yes and no questions, but just going over the same testimony.

Distance from the gate to the field, she thinks it’s maybe twenty, thirty yards. There are no lights on the field. She says she could only see the man when  he was halfway through the field. He was medium height, medium build, medium everything.

She says he was wearing a camo jacket. And she says she never took her eyes off of him. She also says it wasn’t unusual to see strange people around this time of year.

She didn’t see backpack or anything on his back. She couldn’t see the man after he walked into the community.

She says the jacket had a hood. She didn’t see anything in the man’s hands.

Tinsley says he was coming from the church area, walking at a diagnal across the field.

Prosecution redirect.

Prosecution asked Cooper to stand up and asked Tinsley if anything about Cooper was inconsistent with the man she saw that night. She said no.

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Written by Melissa Hudson

October 7, 2008 at 10:09 am

Posted in Day 5

Tagged with ,

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