Gateway murder trial

Walter Ryan cont’d **Strong content**

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As a member of the Major Crimes Unit, he was called to the scene the  morning of December 27, 2005.

He arrived between 8:20 and 8:30 a.m. He says there were a lot of deputies on scene.

As the lead detective, he was in charge of the investigation. He was also in charge of meeting with the next of kin and giving them the news.

At the scene, he met with Maj Jeff Taylor and Jim Jones, Ron Curtis and another supervisor and was briefed about the incident. Next, he was shown the crime scene and walked around the home.

He entered the home through the front door. He walked through the home, didn’t notice anything missing. TV was still in place, guitars were on the wall, items of value were on the dining room table. He says nothing on the ground floor seemed out of place.

He didn’t see any broken windows or signs of a forced entry.

He went up the staircase for an initial walk through. he didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary or signs of a struggle in the baby’s room or in the office. (There were three bedrooms and two bathrooms on that floor).

The master bedroom had signs of a struggle. He is describing how Michelle was positioned on the carpet, the bedsheets showed signs of a struggle, dresser drawers were open.

There was blood spatter on the dresser and on the wall and the ground by Steven’s body.

The initial walk-through took less than an hour.

He walked around the home in a counter-clockwise manner, looking for signs of forced entry or signs someone had disturbed the bushes.

He found one of the screen doors to the lanai was unlocked.

The sliding glass doors were unlocked and not completely closed.

Ryan confirms a deputy was stationed at the back of the Andrews property to prevent entry from the rear of the home to the crime scene.

Ryan says Michelle’s mother arrived to the scene. He left the scene and drove Mrs. Kokora to the sheriff’s office on Six Mile Cypress.

He confirms the neighborhood canvas took several days.

For the investigation, Ryan says “At 5 pm every afternoon we all came in and had a briefing, basically a round-table and everyone explained what they had done that day. Any investigative information they passed it on.”

Ryan and another deputy took Mrs. Kokora to the sheriff’s office on Six Mile. The Andrews were already there and Dan Kokora had also arrived.

That’s when Ryan told the family what happened at the Andrews home.

Ryan says it was obvious it was a homicide from the beginning. There were no signs of forced entry so he knew they hadn’t interrupted a burglar.

“It seemed they were targeted.”

After telling the parents what happened, they began taking statements from the family members. He “wanted to get a background on the victims to see if there was anything that pointed to what happened in the home.”

The statements were taken at headquarters in his supervisor’s office.

He didn’t return to Gateway on the 27th. From the parents, had he generated any suspects. He says the person they wanted to talk to ended up calling the station to talk to them – and that was Kellie Ballew.

He says he met with Kellie around 5pm on the 27th and interviewed her. Her interview was in an interview room.

After meeting with Ballew, Ryan says he wanted to meet with her “cohabitant boyfriend Fred Cooper.”

He wanted to speak to Cooper because Kellie had confided to having an affair with Steven. Neighbors had seen an unknown white male the night before wearing a camoflouge jacket. Kellie had confirmed Cooper owned one.

Kellie called Cooper and asked him to go to the sheriff’s office to make a statement. He says he asked Kellie to call him. He instructed Kellie to say she needed an alibi – if Cooper didn’t want to go or asked why.

He asked about Kellie’s wherabouts on the night of the murder.

Ryan met with Cooper sometime after 6 p.m. on the 27th. He drove his mother’s Saturn. Detectives followed him home.

Cooper was taken to the major crimes area and interviewed in an interview room. The room is 8′ by 8′ with a table and chairs. There are no windows.

Bill Kalstrom was also present during the questioning. Both Kalstrom and Ryan were wearing shirts and ties.

Cooper was not under arrest or handcuffed when Ryan and Kalstrom spoke to him. He didn’t force him to speak to them.


Written by Melissa Hudson

October 8, 2008 at 2:07 pm

Posted in Day 6

Tagged with ,

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