Gateway murder trial

Jim Peters called to the stand

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Jim Peters was Fred’s boss at Sunsports. Fred was a motorcycle mechanic at Sunsports when he was arrested.

(Peters called detectives and told them Fred was cutting the lining out of his camouflage jacket and was scrubbing it)

Evidence #51 a photo of Sunsports exterior from December 2005.

Peters’ office had a view of the service area where mechanics worked on motorcycles and ATVs.

He is the one who hired Fred Cooper. Says Cooper had worked there for 8 or nine months in December 05. He worked on motorcycles and ATVs.

Confirms Fred drove a yellow Suzuki motorcycle.

Each mechanic had his own bay to work. They would test drive the motorcycles when fixing them. If it was a routine test drive, they didn’t need special permission.

In Dec 2005, he learned about the double homicide from the news.

The prosecution asked if Peters remembers seeing LCSO deputies speaking with Cooper at Sunsports. (He said he didn’t recall, so now he’s reviewing his prior testimony.)

He does remember Cooper asking to leave to run an errand. Cooper left on his motorcycle and was gone approx 25 minutes.

When he came back Peters saw Cooper, “with his camoflouge jacket and spent the next hour cleaning and scrubbing on it.” Peters was in his office and looking through the window seeing this.

He was using spray solvents on the jacket. Those are used clean, evaporate and dry. They have strong odors.

Exhibit 52a – picture of the interior of the Sunsports shop (Fred’s work area).

Peters says Fred was in the corner by his toolbox when scrubbing the jacket.

Next, Peters saw Fred “cutting a section of the lining of the jacket with a razor blade or something like that.”

Says Cooper threw the lining away in the trash can in his work area.

Two pictures of the mesh lining in the trash can are entered into evidence. (exhibits 53 and 54). [No blood was found on the lining]

You can see more of the evidence here:

[The camo jacket still has not been entered into evidence]

After seeing Fred doing this to the jacket, he called the investigators. One of the detectives went to Sunsports and collected the liner from the trash can.

He also turned some items over – a couple of cans of spray cleaners and some of the rags they use for cleaning.

State’s exhibit 52b – can of cleaner (one of the cleaners Cooper may have used to clean his jacket).

State’s exhibit 90 – can of electrical contact cleaner (one of the cleaners Cooper may have used to clean his jacket).

There was a video surveillance system at Sunsports. (this is new information – not released before)

State’s exhibits 55 – 65 (still photos from the surveillance video). Shows the exterior of Sunsports and Fred is in the shot – near a truck. Hard to tell from here – too far away.

The photos are from Dec 27 and Dec 29 at various times.

Fred Cooper is in the photos, on his motorcycle. There was a hose at the corner of the building where they would wash motorcycles. Employees were allowed to wash their motorcycles there.

(No DNA was found on Cooper’s motorcycle. Seems like they’re implying Cooper washed his motorcycle there).

Peters said “I asked if he did it he said nope I had nothing to do with it.”

15 minute recess


Written by Melissa Hudson

October 8, 2008 at 10:18 am

Posted in Day 6

Tagged with ,

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