Gateway murder trial

Posts Tagged ‘closing arguments

Recess until 1:30

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We’re recessing until 1:30 then the jury will receive their instructions.


Written by Melissa Hudson

October 14, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Posted in Day 9

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Defense cont’d

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Garber is talking about state’s DNA evidence on the nightgown. The DNA lab got a partial profile. He says there’s foreign DNA to Fred and Steven.

“There’s foreign DNA on that nightgown”

Also says DNA can be washed off. She probably washed it fairly often.

He says the DNA on th einside ofthe nightgown has foreign DNA in it.

The DNA on the pink rag didn’t match anyone.

The fingernails had a foreign allele.

“All of this evidence is consistent with what Mr. Cooper has said.”

They have tried to link him to the scene and the Andrews to the motorcycle. Garber says nothing links him to this crime.

Says they failed to test the bedsheet.

Michelle had defensive wounds.

There were stains with directionality on the sheets, yet they weren’t tested.

That and there are foreign alleles present.

Garber says he’s tried to show reasons for doubt, when looked at without emotion, Cooper is not guilty.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 14, 2008 at 11:57 am

Defense cont’d

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Detectives used Kellie and his relationship turmoil to lure him down there to give her an alibi.

That statement isn’t voluntary under those circumstances, according to Garber.

They told him reading him his rights was merely a formality. Said formality five times.

How voluntary was this statement, Garber asks.

The last thing Cooper wants Kellie to know is that he had a one night stand with Michelle Andrews. His relationship is already rocky.

This is the large part of why he wasn’t truthful to the police.

He went down there to give Kellie an alibi

“What I see here is loyalty and betrayal”

Says Kellie had never mentioned Cooper told her about the 7-11 meeting with Michelle. “another betrayal”

“Suspicious cleaning of the jacket” occurred out in the open in a wide open area visible to Jim Peters.

One stall at the end has a partition, but cleans it right in the open.

“Cuts out the liner and throws it right on top of the trash where it was later collected”

Cooper apologized to Det Ryan and says he had the jacket the whole time.

“It just doesn’t add up, ladies and gentlemen”

The morning of Dec 27 he wears the camo jacket to work. Why did he wear it, because there wasn’t any blood on it.

Bike doesn’t have a windshield, so it’s dirty with road grime and bugs.

Shows jury a photo of surveillance from Sunsports.

“That’s the bloody jacket, suposedly, he wore it to work”

Mr. Jimmo wasn’t confident in his identification.

It’s important to note both men testified it was a very early hour of the morning. (Mr Lukomski’s statement and Jimmo’s statement).

Kellie testified Fred came into her bedroom the morning of the 27th. She guessed it was 6:30 a.m. but it was getting light out.

“You can’t be two places at once ladies and gentlemen”

Walter Ryan drove it – it’s 24 miles, 30 minutes to get from Village Walk to Gateway.

The evidence indicates it wasn’t Cooper the people saw. Camo jackets are common, hundreds are sold every year.

On Dec 26th, Tinsley says she didn’t get a good look at his face. She walked the dogs around 11 p.m.

Garber says witnesses said Cooper’s appearance is similar to the man they saw that night, but so are thousands of others.

The photos at the 7-11 show Fred going by the gas pumps at 10:31 p.m. Everyone testified they saw the man at 11 p.m.

Garber – A trial is the search for the truth, Fred Coope rhas tried to bring you the truth here today. Did he use bad judgement lying to police in this investigation, yes he did. No question about it. the fact he was untruthful, plagued with guilt…turmoil that was going on with these families during that time. The state would rely on the testimony and identification by Jimmy Lynn Craven.

She sees Fred on TV when he appears in court he’s wearing a red jumpsuit, with cuffed hands. She says he looks similar to number three, but it could be six.

He says Craven’s identification, Garber says it was a subtle situation where Walter Ryan was trying to steer her towards the suspect.

Her statements changed that the man was there five minutes, then ten minutes. Her description was vague until getting help from Det Ryan who has an interest in the case. Saying Ryan may not have done it intentionally (allegedly influencing Craven’s ID).

We have work records from Sunsports saying Fred was at work, all day, with no lunch break on the day the man asked Craven for the gate code to Cypress Pointe. (7:36 am out 5:53)

Says Fred was good about clocking in and out.

On the 7-11 video Fred did not have a bag, backpack or helmet bag.

They didn’t find any DNA on the motorcycle.

he gave permission for them to search his home twice.

“the pink rag is not a mechanic’s rag as the prosecution would have you believe” It was an irregular size. It was just a suggestion, not evidence.

There was a DNA profile of a man who did not match Steven or Fred.

The lividity of Steven shows he was killed sometime around 3 am, said Garber.

Fred didn’t try to hid his lies from the courtroom. Said he didn’t want anytone to know about his relationship with Michelle, so he lied to detectives.

Fred tells Kellie, because he knows it will come out when he’s arrested. Before that he didn’t think he was a suspect.

Says Fred came out with the information about him and Michelle when he knew it would come out and that’s why he finally started telling the truth.

Prosecution objects…15 minute recess

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 14, 2008 at 11:28 am

Defense closing

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Reasonable doubt can come from the evidence, conflict in the evidence, doubt of the evidence.

Sympathy can’t cloud jury’s judgement.

December 2005 was a time of turmoil for these two couples. they became intertwined because of that.

Kellie and Steven were having an affair and Michelle suspected it. She wanted to save her marriage and had confronted Kellie about it.

A phone conversation – Kellie tried to call Steve to help her move some items, Michelle intercepted that call and told Kellie not to call her husband to help Kellie move.

As these things unfold. Michelle is becoming more and more concerned with her marriage. She’s looking for someone to reach out to, someone who can help her save her marriage.

That person she turned to was fred Cooper.

She called him at work because she would have access to his work number. The contact sheet from Outside Productions was also found int he Andrews home. It had Fred’s work number on it.

McGruther says there’s importance to the fact there’s no record of the calls between Michelle and Fred.

Michelle won’t want to p u blicize the fact she’s doing this. This is something that’s very, very personal to her.

She calls fred and they meet at Unos. they find out they both want to save ethier relationships. They’re both feeling the same things.

She found an ally in Cooper. Someone who was going through the same thing.

They aren’t just trading information…also exchanging common feelings theyr’e going through. Showing compassion for each other.

It culminates inDec 26th meeting.

Michelle tells Fred Steven admitted the affair to her.

They’re both upset and “one thing leads to another and there’s consensual sex”

“McGruther will have you believe it’s a concocted story from Mr. Cooper”

Det Ramsey says DNA doesn’t lie and that’s when Fred says he had sex with Michelle.

Fred calls Kellie and Ramsey listens to the call he tells Kellie about his relationship with Michelle because Kellie’s going to find out. He’s got to come out with th etruth. Says he wants Kellie to hear it from him.

Deputies spend three days at the crime scene, going over it thoroughly. They send Cooper’s DNA to the two labs for comparison of the DNA compiled from the murder scene.

Collected blood from the room and from the victims

State says the target of the crime was Steven Andrews. But that doens’t fit with the crime scene. There’s a very, it’s very apparent Michelle was posed in the position she was put in.

“She could be the target of this crime’

Steven’s genitals were not injured in any way and the only wound was the gunshot wound.

“There could be another motive that’s unknown to us that caused these killings”

“They send all this sdtuff away to these crime labs and come up with no connection with Fred to this house, other than Michelle’s right hand fingers, swabs of those and the nightgown, where there’s DNA that’ sconsistent with Freds.”

We also find out that Fred is excluded from the left hand finger swabs.

“Fred was scratched on both forearms, yet Fred was excluded from everything but the right hand swabs” (Also on the nightgown)

Dr. Hamilton says Michelle had sex before her death.

Michelle had deefensive wounds and may have scratched the perpetrator.

“SHe stayed fit, put up a fight”

One of the flaws in the investigation, is the bedding was never tested (ie the sheets, duvet, etc)

Garber: When you have evidence that may have DNA from the perpetrator, that’s a failure or weakness of the investigation

They took Fred Cooper’s bike on the 29th, took it apart and tested the parts. they found no blood or DNA on the bike. Only found Cooper’s DNA on key fob.

Same thing with the gloves, they found Fred’s DNA but no one else’s.

They took Fred’s shoes. One had DNA of a female, not Michelle or Kellie. Another pair of shoes had blood, not Michelle or Steven’s DNA.

“They left no stone unturned to link him to the crime scene.”

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 14, 2008 at 10:47 am

Prosecution cont

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Cooper testifies –

After three years to work on his story (and receiving all of the discovery documents) he took the stand and gave his side.

He swore to tell the truth “Obviously that means nothing to him.”

Says the defendant has weaved a tangled web of lies.

Cooper says one of the first time he and Michelle met, he was supposed to go to her house around 7:30 p.m.

Another prearranged meeting, to meet on the 26th. It was a busy time, yet they preplanned a meeting a week ahead of time.

Cooper said the meetings were set up by calls at his work.

There were no calls to his home or cell from Michelle. “How very convenient”

He said he and Kellie shared a phone, but the outside productions contact sheet doesn’t support that.

He couldn’t say they used cell phones because there were no calls from Michelle to the defendant from her home phone or cell phone.

He said they were meeting at 7-11 because of the surveillance video placing him there.

Cooper said she didn’t show up so he drove his motorcycle to her house.

“He must have had a twin walking across that field that night, walking towards the Andrews house.”

“no one said anything about a motorcycle”

No one saw a motorcycle that night.

He says as he gets to the Andrews house, Michelle is outside in the driveway in a running suit. What was she doing outside at 11 at night?

He drives his motorcyle right up to the house, but no one sees him.

They talk in the driveway in front of the house. they get into the 4-runner and they had sex right there in the driveway – in the vehicle.

At about the same time Steven is emailing Kellie (in the office which looks out onto the driveway).

“That is preposterous”

He testifies she’s wearing a running suit with a slip under it. Then he said he ejaculated on her midsection and she cleaned it up with a napkin. That napkin was never found.

There was no trace evidence on Michelle’s body.

He also gave her a card, and she gave him a card. but Kellie must have thrown them away.

Kellie turned over emails and gloves she found months later. But didn’t turn over a card from Michelle?

Kellie would’ve turned it over if there’d been a card, McGruther said.

In the emails Steven never mentioned Michelle was outside.

If his wife was out of the house, wouldn’t he just pick up the phone and call Kellie instead of sending an email?

He then rode his motorcle and spent four hours on the beach on a cold night.

All while someone else in a camo jacket entered the Andrews home and killed them.

“He admits to lying to every fact in this case.”

“He expects you to believe he did it (lied) to protect Kellie”

He stuck with his story even when he was a suspect.

He didn’t reveal his knowledge of the affair even when Kellie told him he would need to respect her if she got into a relationship with someone.

If Michelle was really his friend, wouldn’t he want to help find otu who killed her?”

“a lot of convenient testimony by Mr. Cooper, but nothing more convenient thant this. The only person who could come in her eand say no that didn’t happen that night is dead.”

Just as she was unable to defend herself on Dec 26, 2005, she was unable to defend herself in the courtroom.

What evidence is reliable…”you should use your common sense, ladies and gentlemen”

You may find some evidence more reliable than others. how they acted can be taken into account (like Cooper shaking on the stand)

Did the witness have an interest in the outcome is Cooper.

is the witness testimony consistent with other statements made in court:?

Was it true Cooper convicted of a crime.

Juror may believe or disbelieve any or all of the evidence or testimony.

“Cooper took the stand and testified, but you can’t beleive a word he said after he told you his name.”

So what did happen?  he read her text messages and they were erased.

A couple of nights after the murder, Cooper plays a song for her “Hold onto the night” That was the song he text messaged to Steven Andrews.

He was losing her and knew it. Only way to keep her was to eliminate Steven Andrews.

He was planning it several days ahead of time,  tried to get gate code on Dec 23.

Why didn’t he shoot michelle? we’ll probably never know. Maybe he only planned to shoot Steven. Maybe she recognized him. Maybe the gun jammed after the first shot then he beat her with it.

He choked her to death while she scratched him with her free hand.

During the struggle, some of his bodily fluid got on the nightgown. The DNA was not semen, possibly mucous.

He then (around 11:30 to 3 am) got rid of the clothes in the helmet bag, which was never seen again, along with the gun.

Why did he go back – we may never know. Did he fear one or both may not be bed? Steven didn’t die immediately, Michelle was strangled.

Was he concerned one was still alive? Did he go back to check them. Michelle was pulled by the arm and rolled over.

maybe he was concerned about Lukasz “even killers have kids”

He wanted child found so he called 911 and was seen by Douglas Jimmo leaving the area.

“You have to be dcruel to commit a cold blooded murder like this”

He started getting tripped up by the 7-11 video, seen by people while wearing camo jacket.

Three years to develop his story. long case, days of testimony, lots of evidence.

The real world, the evidence is introduced and you have to interpret its significance.

If you look at each dot, it doesn’t look like much but when you look at th ewhole picture.

The picture is abundantly clear.

Only one person had the motive. Fred

One person had the opportunity. Fred

One persn was at the scene in that bedroom. Fred

Only one person has shown a total disregard for the truth. Fred

Only one person had the audacity to use the victim as his alibi. Fred

Only one person killed them. Fred

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 14, 2008 at 10:26 am

Posted in Day 9

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Prosecution closing cont’d

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Back screen door to the pool was unlocked. Sliding glass doors could be lifted off the track and opened, even if they were locked

At first light, Ballew was aware of the defendant coming into her room.

Al Lumkomski saw someone in Gateway that morning (Dec 27) wearing a camo jacket. Person said nothing, eyes straight ahead as he walked into the community.

Doug Jimmo – was up early on Dec 27, went out to swap the cars. Saw a stranger coming in the gate walking towards the Andrews house. He was wearing a camo jacket. At 7:05 he saw the same man coming from the corner/back of the Andrews house back towards the field.

The 911 call from the Andrews residence was at 7:03 a.m.

Jimmo identified the man in a police lineup – (Cooper). Then identified Cooper while testifying in court.

The next time Kellie saw Cooper – was about 3:30 pm. The gate shows he entered at 3:28 p.m. She was getting ready to leave and Cooper comes home on his motorcycle.

She left and got a call from Cooper – you need to come home. She says I’m not coming home until you tell me what this is about.

He said Steven and Michelle have been murdered. Kellie doesn’t belive him.

She calls her boss (also Steven’s boss), who hadn’t heard anything.

Her boss calls her back and says Call the detectives, they’re looking into a possible murder suicide at the Andrews house.

Defendant didn’t say “murder suicide” he said Steven and Michelle have been murdered.

Her boss said detectives wanted info on the family and Kellie went down to talk to them. She told them about her breakup with Fred and his motorcycle.

He went to the sheriff’s HQ and gave a statement. He said he’d never been in Gateway, had nothing to do with it, didn’t know about the affair.

But his right hand was swollen and red. He had a scratch on his arm.

Kellie looked at his arm and saw his scratch. She said it looked like a fingernail scratch.

First thing Kellie said to Fred – were you in Gateway last night?

The investigation continues and at 7-11 there’s surveillance video and they see a yellow motorcycle going through at 10:31 and the bike matches Fred’s.

The rider is wearing a camo jacket.

Police want the camo jacket so they go to Sunsports and Cooper says it’s at home in Bonita Springs.

Detective Ryan goes to get it.

Then the defendant goes to his boss and says he has to run an errand. He leaves and is gone about 25 minutes. When he comes back he’s got the camo jacket.

He takes solvent and is spraying it on the jacket and is scrubbing the jacket. Then he takes a razor blade and cuts the lining out of it.

He used so much solvent, the odor was strong when he gave the jacket to detectives.

The solvent was so strong it had a strong odor.

He takes an hour to clean the jacket and take the liner out of it, coincidentally, right after the detective asked for it.

Fred had a gun. It wasn’t a revolver, but it would fit in his hand and would fit in the storage area of the bike, as would a change of clothes.

The crime scene –

Killers who plan their crimes also plan not to get caught.

“this was a planned premeditated crime”

“In real life killers wear gloves”

The nightgown had a handprint, consistent with a gloved hand.

On tv they find hair, but “one must have hair” (as McGruther looks at Cooper)

He says crime scene investigation is nothing like TV. Can’t find and do anything in one hour.

DNA isn’t everywhere:

The phone – no DNA, no fingerprints.

Michelle’s rings – no DNA

In real life, DNA “tells the obvious”

The DNA in the bedroom was Michelle and Steven’s.

Steven’s DNA found in Steven’s jeans as was Kellie’s and Michelle’s.

In real life, DNA of the killer and victim is mixed.

No injuries to killer, too fast, too sudden. He wasn’t injured.

It’s not the quantity of scientific evidence you’d find on TV.

“there were no other DNA profiles except those of Steven Andrews, Michelle Andrews and a DNA profile consistent with that of Fred Cooper.”

That was found by two differnt labs on Michelle’s nightgown and under her fingernails of her right hand.

Up until this time Fred has given two statements, never been to Gateway, didn’t know about the affair…even when the questioning was accusatory he stuck to his story of  he didn’t know about the affair.

When arrested, Ramsey said DNA doesn’t lie. That’s when Cooper says he and Michelle had sex the night before the murders.

Then he calls Kellie and tells her he lied to her. Says he had sex with Michelle and that’s where the DNA came from.

Then Cooper writes a letter to Kellie – says he met Michelle – meeting was real, but the physical aspect of it was not.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 14, 2008 at 9:59 am

Posted in Day 9

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Closing arguments begin: The prosecution

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McGruther giving closing for prosecution

Dec 26, went upstairs, fired a single shot to kill steven, pulled Michelle from the bed and strangled her.

Showing photos of the couple together, then showing photos of them dead in their bedroom.

“Killing when done in this manner is first degree murder”

Death was caused by a criminal act of another and was premeditated. Killing after conciously deciding to do so.

Felony murder – killing that occurs while other felonies committed – and Cooper is also charged with burglary (entering home without permission).

The lesser included offenses – second degree murder and manslaughter.

“There is no issue whatsoever that these murders were premeditated and committed during a burglary”

“Evidence has  clearly shown beyond a reasonable doubt the perpetrator…was Fred Cooper.”

Facts of the case – both Michelle and Steven were brutally murdered. Steven was shot while lying in bed (blood and bullet show that’s where he was)

Michelle was dragged from bed and struggled with the attacker until she was killed on the floor.

This wasn’t a drug deal gone bad or the work of a burglar who got caught. There was only one person, one reason, this person committed these murders. It was a crime of passion.

It wasn’t to steal, because no valuables were stolen. Both of Michelle’s rings untouched, gifts still downstairs, guitars, nothing was taken.

There was no confrontation anywhere else in the house. No signs of a struggle elsewhere in the house.

Other facts not in dispute. Only one person has been described as having a motive to commit this crime of passion. His girlfriend was moving on and told him to move out.

The person whose girlfriend was having an affair with Steven Andrews.

To “get through this” he needed to get rid of Steven Andrews.

Was told on Dec 26 he needed to be respectful if she began dating someone elese.

While Kellie was at Outside Productions Dec 26th, Fred was on the computer. On the desk was a list of the employees, their addresses.

Kellie and Steven’s time was brief that evening, cut short by a call from Michelle – who was suspicious. She wanted to know where he was and what was taking so long.

Kellie left when Steven did. Got home a little before 10. Fred was still on the computer. She told him she was tired and he needed to put the kids down.

A little later she heard the kids and sent her niece to go get Fred downstairs, but he wasn’nt there. His motorcycle wasn’t there.

At 10:31 – Cooper is riding through the 7-11 in Gateway – as shown by the surveillance video. He didn’t return home until 3:01 a.m. Dec 27.

The gate code showed he arrived at 3:01.

There are no other entries with his bar code around that time.

Close to 11 pm. Whitney Tinsley is out walking her dog and as  she enters the field across from the community, her dog stops. Someone is walking out of the shadows towards her.

Her husband told her to look a stranger in the eye. She did that – and looked him in the eye, there was no acknowledgement between the two.

She did notice he had “catchy eyes” unique eyes (the prosecutor turned and looked at Cooper) and was wearing a camo jacket.

She lost sight of the man, but not before seeing three neighborhood kids come out. The three boys (Ben, Ryan and Colin) also saw a man in a camo jacket walking into the community. When the man saw them looking at him, he pulled the hood over his head.

The boys were adamant there was plenty of light and could see the man well.

Neither Tinsley or the boys saw anyone else in the neighborhood. No one in the neighborhood canvas saw anyone else in the neighborhood.

The man was headed toward the Andrews house.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 14, 2008 at 9:37 am

Posted in Day 9

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