Gateway murder trial

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Kellie Ballew cont’d

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Still showing Kellie photos of the garage.

Defense exhibit #16 – another picture of the garage. Photo taken around December 2005. Defense exhibit 17, also another shot of the garage. Also Defense exhibit 18 – photos of the garage at the Jeneva way apt.

It’s how the garage looked when the police came over to search. The pictures show Fred’s backpack.

She says by January deputies were watching Fred 24 hours a day and Fred and she knew it.

The defense is asking about Kellie and Fred’s sexual relationship and their birth control method.

Redirect by the prosecution.

Prosecution asking about Kalstrom telling Kellie to move out of the Jeneva Way home. Kalstrom said she and Carly should be in fear for their lives.

Fred knew his letters were being read (the ones he wrote to Kellie while in jail)

She says she never paid much attention to items he bought for the motorcycle (including the gloves in evidence)

Redirect Defense

Asks if Kellie ever told Fred about her relationship with Steven. She says no


Written by Melissa Hudson

October 6, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Posted in Day 4

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Kellie Ballew – continued (cross exam.)

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She is being questioned by the defense now.

Defense asks if she recalls telling Fred about the call with Michelle – she didn’t.

He asked if she was fired from her job and she said , no she quit.

Defense asked about the next time she and Steven had sex (the 23rd in Steven’s car)

She thinks Fred came into her room around 6:30 a.m. and went into the closet. (This is on the morning of the 27th)

She says she didn’t have a code to delete text messages but she did have a password for her email.

She says she went into the sheriff’s office room where Fred was to look at his injuries and asked him about the bruises (in order to help the deputies). (this was on the 27th)

She told Fred she was going to Claudia’s on the night of the 26th, not that she was meeting Steven.

She says on the 23rd when they had sex in his car, the had sex in the back seat.

Saturday the 17th is when Michelle questioned the secret santa gift. Also when Michelle told Kellie it was inappropriate to ask him for help moving.

She confirms Fred never hit her.

When she was at the sheriff’s office and spoke to them, they never read her Miranda rights. She says she initially didn’t think she was a suspect.

When they asked her to call Fred for an alibi, she thought she was a suspect. But then they explained they wanted Fred to call and ask him to come down and give an alibi. She says they recorded the call.

Now the defense is reading the transcript of the call.

She gave him directions to the sheriff’s office. Then Fred said he loved her. (during the phone call)

Fred wrote a number of letters to Kellie and she gave copies to the Lee Sheriff’s Office and in those letters he maintained his innocence.

After moving to Orlando, she found a pair of gloves in her brother’s home at the bottom of her daughter’s hamper. She contacted the state and they said to put them in a paper bag and they would be picked up. (This was about two months after she moved to Orlando)

The phone call she had with Fred after his arrest was not recorded. In that call

Deposition August 18, 2006 near Orlando and there was a court reporter there. (Now the defense is having her read a transcript to refresh her memory)

Fred told Kellie they linked him through DNA evidence and she asked why he said that. Fred said he met with Michelle that  night and they had sex in her car.

The brown shirt that’s missing was flannel, and had three buttons on the front.  Shirt came down way below waist, but the camo jacket was waist high. (Defense is asking Kellie to confirm all this – not sure where this is going).

She was present when they took photos of Fred, who defense says allowed deputies to search the home.

She says Kalstrom was the one who gave her instructions on how to talk to Fred. He instructed her to leave the home and she did after a few days. That’s when she went to Claudia’s house and stayed a few days, then went back to the Jeneva way home to pack some belongings.

Defense is going to show her some photos of the garage of the Jeneva way apt. Defense exhibit 15…pictures taken from the attic.

The state and defense are approaching the defense.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 6, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Posted in Day 4

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Ballew cont’d (post 3)

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He went back to the house before she did. Detectives followed him there.

During December 2005 – did she ever see Fred with a firearm – yes..when – it was a week before Christmas. this was after she said she wanted to end their relationship. She says she was asleep and he was standing over her while she was sleeping.

When she awoke and saw him standing there she said he was crying and that he couldn’t live without her. She asked him to go to bed. About an hour later he was standing outside the door watching her. She said she told him to get some sleep he was scaring her. He apologized and left.

After that, about 10 minutes later he went into the closet and got the gun and bullets and went downstairs. She says she could see the gun.

She says it was a small, handheld automatic. After he ran out of the room with the gun, she called him on his cell phone and he said he couldn’t live without her, he was in his truck, felt like he was losing his mind and was scared. She told him he needed to rebuild his life, but he should think of his daughter.

He was in the garage and in the truck when all this was going on.

This truck was traded in for the Nissan.

After that night, she was concerned about the gun, but Fred said he had gotten rid of it. He said he threw it into Wiggans Pass. She checked the house to see if the gun was there. She didn’t know if he was telling the truth.

She didn’t want her daughter to find the gun.

She told Fred she was going to Claudia’s the night of the 26th. She didn’t feel it was the appropriate time to tell Fred about her relationship with Steven.

She remained in the house after the 27th because she didn’t fear for her life. She didn’t think at the time he could’ve done something like this.

Shortly after she moved to Orlando. She and Carly moved in with her parents. Fred moved in with her older brother.

She spoke with him after his arrest. He called her from one of the detectives’ phones. That’s when she found out he  had been arrested.

He told her they had DNA evidence against him. He told her he had one of michelle’s hairs on his jacket because she had met Michelle at the 7-11 and had sex with her on the night of the 26th. Said he met her at the 7-11 and had sex in her car.

At a later date he wrote Kellie a letter and said she did not have sex with Michelle in Michelle’s  car.

Kellie saw Fred at the sheriff’s office the 27th and detectives asked her to go into the room with Fred to see if there was anything unusual about Fred’s hands or arms. She said his hands were swollen and his right forearm had a scratch on it. She said it wouldn’t be abnormal to have scrapes on his hands, but these were different.

Exhibit 70 – image of Fred’s arms and hands.

(For more info on the Gateway murders:

Kellie says it looked like a fingernail scratch.

Long sleeved brown shirt was missing as was the helmet bag. She never saw them again.

A few days later, Fred was on the computer and he said there was something he wanted her to listen to. He was looking for Richard Marx song Hold onto the night. She asked him where he heard that from. She sent that song and artist name to Steven Andrews just prior to his death.

Kellie wasn’t able to give deputies her text messages off her phone because they had been erased and she didn’t do it.

Exhibit 50 entered into evidence – 7-11 surveillance video. She says it appears to be Fred on the motorcycle.

Fifteen minute recess, then the defense will question Kellie.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 6, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Posted in Day 4

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Kellie Ballew cont’d (post 2)

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She is shown a picture of Fred’s motorcycle and she confirms it’s Fred’s.

She says Fred didn’t have another vehicle. She had a fairly new Nissan X-terra. He didn’t have his own set of keys to the Nissan. She didn’t let him drive it.

She is being shown the helmet in evidence. She says it is Fred’s helmet. She confirms the gloves in evidence are Fred’s. She says he had a couple pairs of gloves.

She says he bought the gloves at some point, knew they were new, but hadn’t seen them prior to December 26.

December 26 when he wasn’t home, she tried calling him but he didn’t answer. About 15 minutes later he called her back. She asked why he left and he said he went for a ride to clear his mind.

(The only phone number Kellie knows off the top of her head is Fred’s phone number at the time)

She didnt see Fred again until the next morning. She said she heard her door handle move.

She saw Fred on the morning of the 27th. She was in bed and said he came into the room and she pretended to be asleep – but she could tell it was him.

She testifies that there had to be a bar code on the vehicle, she didn’t have one but Fred had one on his motorcycle. It allowed automatic entry to the Village Walk community where they lived.

She turned over emails between her and Fred to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. She’s being asked to open the evidence bag contaning the emails between her and Steven. She confirms they’re the emails she turned over. (the emails are evidence #47)

After those emails, she never heard from Steven again.

She did not have to work December 27th. She was going to work out with a coworker (Claudia) and go to the office. She had also told her mom about her relationship with Steven.

A little after 2 pm she and Claudia went to her Village Walk apt to meet her brother and a friend of his to get her belongings from a storage unit in orlando. They were there about half an hour or 45 minutes or so.

After they unloaded, they left again.

Around 3:30 p.m. she saw Fred, which was unusual because he never came home early (usually around 6 or 7)

He was wearing jeans and a shirt, his jacket and boots. He was wearing a Joe Rocket motorcycle jacket. She says he also wore a hooded camouflage jacket with a lining.

The prosecution is asking Kellie to look into the bag containing the camo jacket. She confirms it’s Fred’s jacket. She says “there’s no lining and there’s a bunch of writing all over it.”

She’s now looking at the lining of the jacket in the evidence bag (State’s exhibits 66 and 67 are the jacket and liner)

Defense is objecting for chain of custody issues with the jacket.

She says Fred also had a backpack and a helmet bag.

Around 3:30 p.m. she asked why he was home early. He says they let him off early. She says that was the end of their conversation. Kellie was driving and they were going back to Claudia’s.

While in the car, Fred called Kellie between 3:30 and 4:00. He called and said “he had bad news and I needed to come home.”

He didn’t say she had to keep questioning him. She says he says he was watching the news and he saw Steven and Michelle had been murdered in her home.

She says she was upset, started shaking told him he was lying and hung up the phone.

She then called her boss.  He hadn’t heard anything about it either.

Trepps called sheriff’s office and then called Kellie back. He told her there was a possible murder-suicide and if she had any information, she was to call the sheriff’s office.

She called sheriff’s office and called Cooper back.

She asked Cooper where he was the night before and had he been in Gateway. He asked why she thought he had anything to do with it.

She met with Kalstrom and Ryan – Claudia drove – at the sheriff’s office.

She told detectives about her relationship with Steven and with Fred Cooper. She says they thought he might be a suspect. She says she called Cooper to come to the sheriff’s office to give her an alibi at the request of the detectives.

Fred did go to the sheriff’s office.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 6, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Posted in Day 4

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Kellie Ballew testimony (post 1)

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Kellie Ballew is on the stand. Says she has lived in Orlando for three years.

She identified Fred Cooper as the man she lived with in December 2005. they were together almost 6 1/2 years.

She says her and Fred’s relationship was coming to an end in the beginning of Dec 05. She was the one who requested it.

He still lived there after the breakup. She didn’t want to kick him out during the holidays. He was supposed to move out at the first of the year.

When she said she wanted to break up, they didn’t have any physical contact after that.

She says she was in a relationship with Steven Andrews, her coworker at outside Productions.

Steve was the office manager, she was the accounting manager.

They became friends in July 05 had common interests. Developed over time, one thing led to another. She knew he was married. They discussed their relationships with their significant others.

They would tell each other if anything was out of the ordinary with the other’s significant other.

She says Michelle would come into the office and that’s how she met her.

Says they had company was a summer outing to a hotel on sanibel island and there was also a christmas party – which was a weekend thing.

That’s where Fred met Steven and Michelle on December 10, 2005. This was right before she wanted to end the relationship with Fred – they weren’t getting along very well.

She says their relationship became sexual on December 20th. After the first of the year, Fred was going to move out and Steve was going to divorce Michelle and move in with her (kellie).

Secret santa gift – she gave him a keychain for his car and Michelle took offense to it. She didn’t like it. It was for his Marauder.

She contacted Steve while she was in Orlando and she was bringing items to Bonita Springs from Orlando and she called him for help. (This was on the 14th of December). She called his work cell phone – the only cell he had.

Michelle answered the phone instead. She asked why Kellie was calling and she said he was busy and he wouldn’t be available and was quite nasty. Kellie hung up on Michelle, but then Michelle called back and demanded to know why she spent so much on the keychain. That’s when Kellie suspected Michelle knew there was something going on between he and Kellie.

They would text message each other and email each other. She used work and home computers to send the emails. She had those set up in her bedroom, the one previously shared with Fred. Fred did have access to that computer and used it.

McGruther is showing a photo of the computer in Kellie’s room and is state’s exhibit 46.

She is the one who prepared the Outside productions contact sheet, which has everyone’s home address,  phone number. Exhibit 45 is the contact sheet. Employees are listed there, as are their spouses names and their addresses. Kellie had a copy of this on her desk in front of the monitor.

Now asking about December 26, 2005. She and Steven hadn’t seen each other since the last day of work. He called her in the early afternoon of the 26th. He was at the beach with his parents and Michelle.

He said he was looking forward to seeing her the following Thursday. (The 26th was a Monday).

Around 8:30 p.m., Steven called Kellie. He said he was going to the office and he asked if she’d meet him there. They met at Outside Productions, she got there maybe 8:45 p.m.

Kellie had been with Fred all day on the 26th. They had lunch and went shopping. During this lunch she and Fred talked about the end of their relationship. She asked him to be respectful if she got into a relationship with someone else.

Kellie says Fred said he would deal with it, knew he had done wrong and would be okay with it.

Fred was home on the computer when Kellie left at 8:30 p.m.

Steve drove the Marauder to the office. She says they had sex that night. Steve didn’t use a condom.

They were there maybe an hour. Michelle called and wanted to know where Steve was, so he had to leave.  That’s when they both left.

says steve was wearing jeans, boxer shorts, tshirt and flip flops.

She says she went straight home. Steve called her while driving home and apologized for having to leave so quickly.

When she arrived home, Fred was still on the computer.

Fred, Carly and Fred’s mother were all home.

When she got home, she said she was tired and was going to go to bed and asked him to put carly to bed. She asked Fred to leave the room so she could go to bed.

It was approx 10 p.m. or a little later when she went to bed.

She got up to check on the girls and discovered Fred was gone. The girl visitng went into the garage and Fred wasn’t there either.

She then turned the computer back on, emailed Steve, and put the girls to bed.

Kellie thought Fred was in the garage working on his motorcycle.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 6, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Posted in Day 4

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Kellie Ballew called to the stand!

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Written by Melissa Hudson

October 6, 2008 at 1:35 pm

Posted in Day 4

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