Gateway murder trial

Posts Tagged ‘Fred Cooper

Fred Cooper cont’d

leave a comment »

“so did you just want the jacket nice and clean before handing it over to detetives”

When being questioned he was told his story didn’t make any sense and Fred had said that was his story.

“I was not truthful when talking to detectives”

“Let’s use the right words, you lied”, “yes I did”

Kunasek is asking Cooper about whether or not he knew Kellie was having an affair. He keeps getting Cooper to say  “That was a lie”

When they started asking about his whearabouts, he says he didn’t think he was a suspect.

“Was that a truth, or was that a lie?” “That was a lie” (repeated for many different statements he made earlier to detetives)

Kunasek is going through all of the statements Cooper said to detectives and is asking was that a truth or was that a lie, and Cooper has to respond, that was a lie.

He’s admitting to lying about knowing about the affair, where the Andrews live, where he was the night of the 26th, about knowing Michelle and Steven.

He said he never had a reason to suspect Kellie was having an affair – he said that, but admits it was a lie.

State is bringing up when Cooper started realizing he was a suspect (during his interview with detectives)- yet he never told about his calls with Michelle.

When he said he gets agitated very quickly in his statement. Is that an accurate statement? He says yes when it involved Kellie.

He’s not answering the question, it would be easier with Steven out of the way.  He said he didn’t look at it that way.

He says they had worked through similar problems before.

On December 29th during his statement he knew he was a suspect. He again said he didn’t know Kellie was having an affair until he went to the sheriff’s office on Dec 27 for questioning. Again he says he lied.

Saying it hit him out of left field was a lie (informed about the affair).

He admits he lied about ever being in Gateway.

State’s exhibit 50 – Someone driving a motorcycle through 7-11. Detectives asked him about it and he denied the person in the surveillance video was him.

He told detectives, that’s not me. Cooper now admits that was a lie. He said the video isn’t that great so it’s hard to tell, but the time fits.

In his statement he denied he came in at 3 am on December 27th he told detectives it was impossible.

State confirms he received all of the discovery documents in this case and it has been nearly three years since the incident. He’s had an opportunity to review all of that evidence. (Nothing further said about this)

Michelle always called him at work, he never called her on 407 area code. The 407 phone was his and Kellies. They shared the phone.

He says Kellie had gotten a company phone a couple weeks prior.

He says he took the 407 phone with him to work.

He says Michelle knew he worked at Sunsports and that’s why she called there. She called at least four times. He would be notified of a phone call over a PA system.

To set up their meeting on December 26th – they made contingency plans – at least one.

They met in the Toyota 4-Runner in the driveway of the Andrews home. He says Michelle came out in a workout outfit. He says she was wearing the blue slip (the one with the bloody hand print which is in evidence). They were out there 25 minutes or so.

The phone call to Kellie Ballew on January 11th. He says the detectives told him DNA evidence linked him to the scene when he was arrested. He says he didn’t question detectives. He said the detective was untruthful on the stand.

When he said it was DNA evidence, the detective didn’t tell Fred Cooper what the evidence was or where it was found.

When they got to Sheriff’s headquarters he called Kellie. He says he figured they knew about his involvement with Michelle and he wanted to be the one to tell Kellie.

“So you’re trying to be a stand-up guy”?

“I knew when they arrested me the only possible way was through Michelle because that was the only contact I had”

“I didn’t need to explain anything”

“I did not kill Steven and Michelle”

You only explained DNA evidence on January 11th, not before.

States evidence 92 – A letter he wrote to Kellie. It was written January 21, 2006. Ten days after his arrest.

In the letter Fred wrote to Kellie, he wrote “the meeting was real but the physical aspect was not” referring to his meeting with Michelle.

He says the reason he didn’t tell detectives about his relationship with Michelle is because he didn’t want Kellie to find out.

He’d had the jacket two years and the jacket liner was ripped for the last six months.

“And you just happened to decide on December 29th to take the liner out?”

He had the camo jacket in his motorcycle trunk and not the work trunk?

Mr. Peters testified Fred asked to run an errand and came back 25 minutes later with a camouflage jacket. Then he began cleaning it. Fred says Mr. Peters was not truthful with his testimony.

State, Are you keeping track of the number of lies you’ve told in this case? You lied to Ryan, Kalstrom, Ramsey, Kellie?

“Yes I did”

State – before testifying today, he raised his right hand and swore to tell the truth. Before, when speaking to detectives, he also swore to tell the truth.

Did you tell Kellie you were trying to get hair out of your jacket? He says she lied on the stand.

Where’s the card Michelle gave you? He says it was put in storage. He wants to know why he would give it to anybody.

He says everything of his in storage was thrown away after his arrest (by Kellie).

He said he didn’t know her password for email or erase text messages. How did he know about the song? He says he doesn’t remember the incident and he questions Kellie’s testimony.

“Are you qustioning Kellie Ballew’s testimony?” “Definitely”

Defense redirect

Fred says his sister asked for his belongings and Kellie gave his sister one box.

The camo jacket and the liner – he had an opportunity to go into the privacy of another stall to clean it, yet he didn’t.

He also says he didn’t use the hose outside of Sunsports to clean his bike before turning it over to detectives.

About lying to detectives – he says the first night he was there, he thought Kellie really did need an alibi. He also didn’t want her to know about his contact with Michelle (and sexual contact from Michelle).

The information about the affair came from one source – Michelle.

About the letter he wrote to Kellie. He says he noticed a change in Kellie’s demeanor after his arrest. So he wrote the letter saying he lied about the physical contact with Michelle.

He says Kellie wasn’t cooperative about him maintaining a relationship with his daughter. He didn’t want something he might have done used against him with his daughter.

He says Kellie was upset about his relationship with Michelle and was using that against him in the custody.

“Did you hurt these people?” “No I did not”

Prosecution redirect

Questioned about, again, his lying to deputies about his affair. He says he really thought Kellie needed an alibi. He says he really did think she needed an alibi but he didn’t think she could have done it.

Then the prosecution said he got all of his information regarding the information from Michelle. “We can’t substantiate that information from Michelle can we?”


No defense redirect

Fred released from the stand.


Written by Melissa Hudson

October 13, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Posted in Day 8

Tagged with , ,

Fred Cooper cont’d

leave a comment »

After det Ryan left, he went to the store for a bit, that’s when he realized his jacket was in the trunk of his bike.

He says under the seat of the bike, there wasn’t wiring related to the bike. it was actually a phone charger.

He says he didn’t remember the jacket was in the bike.

When he pullled out the jacket, he then started cleaning the jacket because his bike has no windshield. He noticed it was really direty He was cleaning  and street grime off his jacket (using contact cleaner – something for electrical purposes).

He says the road grime doesn’t come off in the wash.

The liner was separating from the jacket on the inside seam. He removed the liner because it was a nuisance. He said the liner snagged on his gloves all the time.

He says he wasn’t trying to hide the fact he was cleaning his jacket. The last stall had a wall partition (rather than hiding and cleaning he says he did it out in the open).

He says when he threw away the liner he threw it on top, didn’t try to hide it.

The entire time Cooper has been on the stand, Mr. and Mrs. Kokora have been staring at the floor. They haven’t looked up once. Only Mr. Andrews has actually looked at the defendant on the stand.

Defense is asking about the helmet bag. He says he’s never used it as a back pack. He says it couldn’t be used that way.

On the 29th, Det Ryan asked him to go back to the Sheriff’s Office.

That’s when he met with detectives Ryan and Ramsey.

He was asked again if he suspected the affair and he said no. He also said he’d never been to the Andrews. He told them no.

“At that point I’d already made a statement and if I’d changed my statement at that point they’d really look at me as far as a suspect.

“I knew they were questioning me, but I didn’t feel I would ever be a suspect.”

What about him coming home at 3 a.m. He told detectives it was impossible he was out that late. He says at the time he didn’t think it was possible that he was at the beach that late and arrived home that late on the morning of December 27th.

Detectives asked him about the affair and about the 7-11 video.

He lied about the 7-11, he says, because he didn’t want to tell about meeting Michelle, he says if they had known what was going on he would’ve been a suspect.

On Dec 29th he didn’t feel he could tell them about the contact with Michelle.

He didn’t want Kellie to find out.

On Dec 31st, detectives had a search warrant and searched his home.

Kellie continued to live with Cooper even after the murders.

Kellie says she was fired from her job and had to move back to the Orlando area and he says Kellie asked him to move back to the area with her.

“I was in agreement. I didn’t want to be away from my daughter that far of a distance, so I was fine with moving back.”

He says he quit Sunsports. When he gave his notice, they didn’t have intentions to fire him.

He noticed the open surveillance and talked to the officers. He said he gave detectives the names and addresses of where they would be. He says he continued to communicate with officers every time he was leaving and would tell them where they were going and would give them directions.

He even told them if he was going to the bathroom (if they were at a restaurant or bar).

On January 11, 2006 he says he knew he was going to be arrested because a detective had called an hour and a half before. The det said they were ending surveillance and wanted to take photos of him. He says he knew they were going to arrest him.

He went outside (det called and asked him to come outside).

He didn’t resist in any way.

He was driven to Fort Myers, once here, he was given a phone. He called Kellie and spoke with her.

Detective Ramsey gave him the phone and listened.

He said he had not been honest about knowing Michelle and that he’d met her the night of the murders and they’d had sex that night.

He says Kellie never knew he and Michelle were in contact.

He says after he was arrested, he figured they’d found out (detectives) about the contact with Michelle, ie…the sex. He says he didn’t want anyone else to tell Kellie about it.

He went in front of a judge the next day, January 12.

On December 27, detectives took pictures of his hands. He says he had a nick on his knuckle. He said he got them all the time – and he got them at work.

He still didn’t tell detectives about his phone calls with Michelle because he didn’t want Kellie to find out.

Didn’t want anything to interfere with his contact with his daughter.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 13, 2008 at 11:42 am

Posted in Day 8

Tagged with ,

Fred Cooper cont’d

leave a comment »

He then drove home, says he sets the alarm on his phone so woke up at the normal time (around 6:30 a.m.)

He says he checked on Carly, then went into Kellie’s bedroom.

He says his clothes were still in the main bedroom and left Kellie a note, then went to work.

He left around 7 am.  He gave himself an hour to get to work. Says he liked to get to work early. (he says it’s because of season)

He arrived around 7:40 a.m. He says that was the average time he got to work (this is all on Dec 27th)

Says that’s the average time he got there

He left early – around 3 p.m.

When he got home he saw Claudia go out their back door as he went in. He said Kellie was upstairs still.

He believed Kellie had spent the day with her friend Claudia and they were going back to Claudia’s.

He says he got home and opened some presents left for him. He turned on the TV and saw the news reports of the murders of Steven and Michelle.

He then tried to call Kellie.

During that conversation he says Kellie asked him to go to Claudia’s and drive her back home.

At some point he confirmed what he saw on TV.

He says he left on his motorcycle and headed to Claudia’s house to pick up Kellie, when he arrived, he found out Kellie had already left.

He says he can’t hear his phone when riding his motorcycle, then realized Kellie had called.

He then went back to his home at Village Walk. That’s when he got a call from Kellie again. (That’s the call from Kellie while she’s at the sheriff’s office and asks him to come down to give her an alibi)

That’s the phone call when Cooper said he’d be right down to give her an alibi.

“I told her I’d be right down”

He says he went to the sheriff’s office and met with Det. Ryan and Det  Kalstrom. That’s when they recorded his statement – on December 27th.

Detectives asked if he knew of the affair and he said no. He said he didn’t leave Village Walk. Why did he lie?

He says because Kellie asked him down for a specific reason – to give her an alibi. He says he couldn’t give her an alibi if he wasn’t home.

They asked if he’d ever been to Gateway or knew where the Andrews lived. Why? He said he knew he’d not done anything to Steve and Michelle. He didn’t feel it was relevant.

He says he lied about the affair, “I did not want my and Michelle’s contact to be known and get back to kellie. It was another thing we wouled have to overcome our relationship was already unsteady. It was just not something i wanted her to find out.”

To him the worst thing that could hapen was Kellie to find out he had had sexual contact with Michelle. He says he didn’t think he’d be a suspect.

He says he had the gun three to four years. He was living in Indiantown when he bought the gun. He says Kellie was not comfortable at home, there was wildlife (it was a rural area). He says she would hide in the bathroom and say someone was on the front porch.

He says Kellie was afraid of wildlife.

He says when they moved to Orlando, the gun was put in storage. He says when they moved to Fort Myers it was in one of the boxes. He saw it again in November 05. It had been in storage a couple of years.

He says it was on the top shelf of the master bedroom closet.

“No I never intended on using that weapon on myself or anyone else.”

He says it was a very emotional time and he says Kellie had called him and asked him to get rid of the gun.

He says he took it to Wiggans Pass and threw it in the water. (the gun)

He has been convicted of a felony five times. It was in his late teens.

Kellie knew of the convictions. They started dating soon after that.

On Dec 27th – after he gave a statement, he says the detectives followed him to search his home. He says they were there a little over an hour.

On Dec 28th he went to work. On Dec 29th he also went to work.

He says sometime on the 29th Ryan came out to his work looking for the camo jacket. He says he told Ryan it was at home in the garage. He signed a consent to search.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 13, 2008 at 11:22 am

Posted in Day 8

Tagged with ,

Fred Cooper cont’d

leave a comment »

He and Kellie went back home, his daughter, niece and mother were all at the home.

On the 26th, he did some more searching for apartments online. He says it had been about a week since he and Kellie had split up. He says he didn’t even know Kellie’s email address, that he didn’t know the password to her account.

He says he never tried to get messages from Kellie’s phone.

He says he was on the computer and Kellie was sitting on the bed talking to her when she got a phone call. He says Kellie stepped out on the balcony to take the call.

Kellie said she was going to go to Claudia’s for while. She left around 8 p.m.

She got back right after 10 pm he says.

He still planned on trying to meet Michelle that evening.

He says Kellie wanted to go to bed so he shut the computer down and left. He was going to meet Michelle, so he left the home around 10.

He didn’t see Michelle when he got there. He stayed there a few minutes.

He says Kellie called at some point, but couldn’t hear the phone. When he stopped at the 7- 11 he realized he had missed a call. So he called Kellie back.

During that conversation, she asked where he was. He said he had to ride and clear his head.

When Michelle didn’t show up after a few minutes, he went to the Andrews home.

As he was pulling up she was coming out of the house. They sat in the vehicle in the driveway (Toyota 4-Runner) because it was cold. He says he was wearing the camo jacket. She had on sweat pants/matching jacket. Says it was dark blue.

They spoke that night.

Michelle was upset, she said Steven was in fact having an affair with Kellie and it was sexual.

It was the first time it was confirmed the affair had become sexual.

He wasn’t 100 percent sure until Michelle told him.

Michelle was very upset, very emotional.

They were trying to comfort each other as much as possible. They were going through the same thing in their relationships.

He says, “it’s one of those things that just happens. We were dealing with a lot of the same emotions. Missing the same things from our relationships.”

Missing compassion, not getting from their significant other.

He says they had sex that night in the back seat of the vehicle.

He says he didn’t ejaculate inside of her, based on his experience, and that’s how he did it with Kellie Ballew. Says it was his particular preference and method of birth control.

He says she was wearing a blue slip underneath the jogging suit.

They were there 25 minutes to half an hour.

He says Michelle was very upset and they just comforting each other.

They were still trying to save their respective relationships.

He says she gave him a card, something along the lines of hang in there…

He says he isn’t sure what time he left Gateway. He thinks he left somewhere around 11 pm.

After he left Michelle, he says they agreed to maintain contact.

He says he left Michelle’s and ended up on Fort Myers Beach. He says he went right to the pier. He says he drove down to one of the beach access points (drove up on the catwalk) and parked up there.

He still didn’t think his relationship with Kellie was over.

He isn’t sure how long he was at Fort Myers Beach, wasn’t keeping track of time.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 13, 2008 at 11:07 am

Posted in Day 8

Tagged with ,

Fred Cooper cont’d

leave a comment »

Work was very busy during the week before Christmas.

He says test drives were about five minutes. There was a loop they did. They would go right on Metro left on Crystal, left onto Plantation, left onto Idlewild and back to Sunsports.

On December 23rd, did you leave that day?

He doesn’t recall ever leaving to go to Gateway. Doesn’t ever recall meeting Lynne Craven.

he was required to work a full day on the 24th. They closed around 4 pm

He received a phone call from Michelle Andrews on that day.

Michelle asked his plans for Christmas to find out what he and Kellie were doing.

She said her in-laws were in town. They were to meet after the holidays to talk about how things had gone. He was not going to be in town.

They were to meet December 26th. She said if she could get away, they would meet at 7-11 by her house. he didn’t know where it was until she told him at 10:30 p.m.

Michelle wasn’t sure what the plans were for that day, so they were to meet as late as possible. They were to meet at 10:30.

If she couldn’t get away, she had a card for him and Michelle said she’d leave it in the back of the car.

He said most of their phone calls were so short Jim Peters never would have noticed.

On Christmas eve, he went to his sister’s house with his mother. (in Port St. Lucie). Kellie arrived at around 5 pm that evening.

Carly was already up near Orlando to visit with family members. By late on Christmas Day Kellie arrived.

He says Kellie asked if he’d ride back to Fort Myers with her and their daughter.

That night they got in late (this was Dec 25).

On December 26th he wasn’t scheduled to work. He and Kellie didn’t have plans. Kellie said she had errands to run. Cooper says he went looking for a place to live, but hadn’t found anything yet.

He says he signed up on a roommates type website and Kellie helped him with that.

He says Kellie asked him to meet her at Target. She had picked up some items for Carly’s room.

Carly had “a lot of things”

Kellie and Cooper were going to spend some time unpacking Carly’s room and getting it set up together.

He said the best part is getting to spend time with his daughter.

He says he and Kellie had lunch. That’s when Kellie asked if he’d respect her boundaries if she started dating someone else. He told her he would.

He didn’t use that opportunity to confront Kellie. He didn’t want to confront her yet.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 13, 2008 at 10:51 am

Posted in Day 8

Tagged with ,

Fred Cooper cont’d

leave a comment »

He says he picked up Kellie for lunch every Monday (because he worked Tuesday through Saturday). he would meet other employees therre.

At an outing at Sanibel, he met Steven and Michelle. He says he already had met them at Outside Productions when he would go to pick up Michelle.

He says when they were there for the weekend they “hung out” with Michelle and STeven.

They also attended a housewarming party where the Andrews attended as well as the Christmas party.

They decided to move to a condo in Village Walk because it was a bigger place (He keeps referring to Kellie as Kellie Ballew).

His mother, Kellie, Carly and Fred all moved there in late 2005. In late December they still had things in storage, things were still in boxes.

Around this time in December 2005, “It was rocky” “we had our problems in the past, this wasn’t the first time we’d had problems.”

At the Christmas party in 2005 – he and Kellie had been arguing. “it was rocky is probably the best way to describe it”

He didn’t feel this was the final separation, kind of par for the course of their relationship.

In Dec 2005 they’d been together around six years.

They sat at the same table with the Andrews at the Christmas table.

After the christmas party he got a call from Michelle Andrews, maybe a day or two after the christmas party

While he was at work.

Michelle contacted him – objection. He can’t say what she said.

He was shocked at what she had to say. They wer eon the phone maybe a minute or two.

“You never really knew with Kellie”

(Defense alluding Michelle told him about the affair)

He says he and Michelle met at a restaurant, Uno’s. They met during his lunch break.

When I arrived, she was already there. He says they talked in the parking lot.

“She believed that Steven and Kellie Ballew were having an affair”

She said that based on how Michelle and Steven were getting along the past few weeks.

Michelle wanted to know about his relationship with Kellie. He told her.

They decided they would keep in contact with each other and let each other know what was goin on – they both wanted to save their relationships. Working for the same goal.

Says she was trying to save her marriage.

The Unos meeting took about half an hour. He then went back to work.

She called again to check on how things were going with Fred and Kellie (he called at his work).

There were just a few phone calls. Each time it was while he was at work and they only lasted a few minutes.

She would share info on how she and Steve were doing. And would say anything she might have learned from Steve.

He says he noticed changes in Kellie. “She was just very distant, unemotional”

Not long after the Christmas party, he says they were laying in bed one night and Kellie said she wanted to end the relationship and asked him to find another place to live.

He was pretty shocked.

He was not devastated. He says they argued. He was to take steps to move out and she wanted him to move out in the new year.

He continued to work during this time.

He says he got a phone call from Michelle – she was very upset and emotional and asked if he would meet her so they could talk. He didn’t have a problem with meeting.

He asked her to meet him after work at the Gateway community. He wanted to go home and take a shower first. She agreed to that. They decided to meet around 7:30 at the Andrews home.

At the time Michelle gave him directions during the phone call. He says this was a week or so before Christmas.

Says it takes about half an hour to get home, 20 mintues to show, he got there around 7:30.

Typically worked 8 am to 6 pm. He typically left work at 6.

He got there around 7:30.

He didn’t know it was a gated community. He says she forgot to tell him there was a gate at Cypress Pointe.

He says he got into the habit of going around the gate at his own community. and did that at Cypress Pointe.

She was in the driveway in her car when he got there.

They talked about what Steven and Kellie might have been doing. Says the affair was going on at the time.

He says Michelle didn’t know if it was sexual at that point.

He says he was “a bit shocked”

What was Michelle’s demeanor – very emotional, very upset.

He says he was there right around 20 minutes.

He says she sounded upset on the phone so on the way over there he stopped and got her a card…from Walgreens. A “Hang in there” card.

He says he never called Michelle, she always contacted him (and always while he was working).

He did not go home and confront Kellie.

He still hoped they could work it through, they had gone through similar things before.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 13, 2008 at 10:40 am

Posted in Day 8

Tagged with ,

Fred Cooper

leave a comment »

He met Kellie on the east coast when he’d just turned 21, she was 20.

They began livivng together on the east coast of Florida. They lived there together a couple of months at first. They moved to the Orlando area when she got pregnant and moved closer to a specialized hospital and because she had complications. She also had family there.

Baby born August 2000.

They then moved to Indiantown Florida, close to Stuart.

They lived out in the country – Fred, Kellie and his daughter.

They moved back to Orlando so Fred could go to a school to specialize in motorcycle training.

He got a job training as a mechanic.

They lived in Orlando area about two years.

They decided to move to the west coast of Florida to be close to Cooper’s mom and he got the job at Sunsports.

Originally they lived with his mother when they moved to SWFL (june 05)

Ballew got a job at Outside Productions working in the office.

His mom was helping take care of their daughter.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 13, 2008 at 10:20 am

Posted in Day 8

Tagged with ,