Gateway murder trial

Posts Tagged ‘Jim Peters

Jim Peters recalled – for defense

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Jim Peters, who hired Fred at Sunsports, has been called as the defense’s first witness.

Peters looking at Cooper’s timecard for December 2005 (late in the month).

Timesheet says Cooper worked from 7:36 a.m. and didn’t take a lunch and left at 5:53 in the afternoon.

(On December 23, Lynne Craven says a man matching Cooper’s description asked for the gate code of Cypress Pointe in Gateway)

Peters is now looking at Cooper’s helmet. And Peters brought a helmet bag with him and just showed it to the jury.

Prosecution now cross examining.

The testimony is surounding the helmet bag – and whether clothing and a jacket would fit inside (Peters said they would).

On December 27th – Cooper clocked out at 2:53 p.m.

On December 29th – he clocked in at 7:46. He punched out at 9:08 and 5:29 p.m. (No reflection showing he punched out around 3 pm on the 29th)

(Defense is trying to say Fred’s timesheet proves he didn’t leave on the 23rd to go to Gateway to get the gate code to Cypress Pointe)

Timesheet doesn’t reflect times they left to test-ride a motorcycle.

Peters confirms if Cooper didn’t punch out, it doesn’t mean he didn’t actually leave for lunch.

Defense redirecting

On December 29th, punched in at 8 a.m., out at 2:50, in at 3:50 and out at 5:29 p.m.

He has been excused.


Written by Melissa Hudson

October 13, 2008 at 9:20 am

Posted in Day 8

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Peters cont’d

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Back from 15 min recess and Jim Peters is still on the stand.

The defense is cross examining the witness.

He says Fred was a good worker and good employee. Says Fred never left without permission or took advantage of test driving the bikes.

Defense asking Peters to look at Fred’s helmet. Peters can’t confirm it’s Fred’s for certain. He confirms helmets come with bags with a drawstring, but the bag would be unsuitable for use as a backpack.

Peters is looking at some pictures the defense is entering into evidence.

Defense exhibit 45 – a picture of the work area in Sunsports.

Defense exhibit 46 – trash can in relation to work bay. Not sure if it’s the exact trash can the liner was found in.

Defense is asking if Fred tried to conceal the mesh liner in the trash can. Peters confirms Fred didn’t seem to be hiding the fact he was cleaning his jacket. (Defense is trying to say Fred was doing this out in the open – therefore had nothing to hide).

Peters’ first statement to LCSO was lost and they came back out and did another statement.

Fred did recalls and small repairs, nothing like rebuilding an engine.

Peters confirms getting scratches and scrapes common when working on motorcycles. (Fred said his scratches and swollen knuckles were because of working on motorcycles)

Peters said employees didn’t have a card to “punch in” but used a keypad.

Peters said he never saw any unusual injuries on Cooper.

Fred’s motorcycle didn’t have a windshield, so driver would get grime, bugs and other road debris on them. Peters says it’s possible someone would use the cleaners to clean grime, bugs, etc – but doesn’t seem to think it’s likely.

Prosecution redirecting

Sunsports was closed on Christmas Day.

Peters confirms he didn’t check his employees for injuries every day (rebuttal to defense question).

Peters confirms for the state if Cooper left on the Dec 27 it would have been policy for Fred to punch out. He confirms sometimes employees didn’t – doesn’t know if Fred punched in or out when running the errand on the 27th.

Defense redirecting

Defense asked if driver seat of motorcycle can be taken off. He said yes.

Peters says it was common for Fred to work through lunch to keep up.

Prosecution redirects.

Confirms records of punching in and out doesn’t confirm the person was there.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 8, 2008 at 11:00 am

Posted in Day 6

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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

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