Gateway murder trial

Posts Tagged ‘Oct 7 testimony

Recess until 9 am Wed

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Written by Melissa Hudson

October 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm

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State calls Melissa Wood to the stand

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She works at Village Walk in Bonita Springs.

She deals with leases, rentals, HOA, facility operations, access gate, etc.

She also is the custodian of the database associated with the access gate.

At 3:28 p.m. Fred Cooper’s bar code shows him coming into Village Walk.

A 3:01 a.m. Fred Cooper’s bar code shows him coming into Village Walk.

If they don’t have a bar code, they have to enter through the visitor’s side.

Defense cross examining.

She is being asked about how many people had access to the computer which held the database in 2005. She really doesn’t know.

There was no backup of the information or a backup plan.

In December 2007, the hard drive crashed (which holds the database).

Wood also says there was no one whose job it was to maintain the bar code equipment.

Prosecution redirecting.

She says she has no reason to question the reliability of the documents in the system.

She has never had a doubt about the accuracy of the information in the computer.

The witness has been excused.

We’re recessing until 9 am tomorrow

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 7, 2008 at 4:31 pm

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Edward Lawson called to the stand

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He works in the gate/access control devices business. He’s been doing this type of work over 20 years.

In December 2005, he was the manager of the west coast office of ISN Securities in Bonita Springs. He also did sales for the company.

His company installed the security gates for Village Walk, where Fred lived.

(Mr. Lawson’s testimony is relevant because the security gate logged Fred as going into Village Walk between 2:55 a.m. and 3 a.m. the morning of the murders – Dec 27th)

The software to the gate system kept track of all visitors and the bar codes used by residents.

Lawson says the system is very reliable.

State’s exhibit 75 and 76 – screen shots of the gate entrance and exit system. (76 is the activity log of which bar codes went through at which times).

This information was stored in a computer in the guard house.

The activity log is real-time (ie recorded as it happens). The records can be searched by any criteria.

State’s exhibit 74 – The item is a bar card (bar code to be attached to a vehicle)

In December 2005, one of their technicians retrieved information from the activity log and the database manager for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Defense cross examining

Says there were three PC’s at the guard house. One was the computer the guard used. The second stored the log record and voice messaging system. Third PC recorded the video. Lawson was on site during the installation, but didn’t installl it himself.

The database manager system was housed in Naples. Two people managed the data for the community.

The defense asked if the system was just as reliable as the person using it…and he says yes, that’s true.

The defense asked asked if the systems were maintained. Lawson said they were not after the warranty period ran out (but we don’t know when that was).

Village Walk didn’t have video of resident lane for entry/exit.

There was a backup utility for the resident info but not for the activity log, which tracks people coming in or out.

Prosecution redirect

He says there is no maintenance necessary on the units. He says there were ocassional service calls because of a camera out of place, but never for the scanning system.

Defense redirect

She’s asking if the equipment should be maintained according to the schedule the company that built the bar code system recommended.

The model used at Village Walk has been taken off the market. The sun interfered with the scanner – the one in Village Walk wasn’t a problem.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 7, 2008 at 4:02 pm

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William Kalstrom cont’d

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Bill Kalstrom is still on the stand. The defense is cross examining.

Kalstrom says Kellie was never a suspect.

Defense is confirming with Kalstrom that Fred voluntarily allowed detectives search his home and take photographs of him and his injuries.

Defense is asking Kalstrom about whether or not he was with Kellie during her entire interview (he was). He doesn’t remember who asked Kellie to call Fred about coming to the LCSO to give her an alibi or what he told her.

The search of Fred’s residence was on December 27th and it took between an hour and two hours. Fred did not interfere with the search at all.

On the 29th, detectives returned to Fred’s to conduct another search, specifically the garage. They collected a backpack from the garage.

He doesn’t recall finding anything in the backpack.

The defense is complete. No redirect.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 7, 2008 at 3:30 pm

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William Kalstrom called to the stand

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He’s one of the detectives on the case.

He began investigating immediately. He arrived to the scene around 8 a.m. December 27. Walter Ryan was the lead detective on the case,

He helped conduct the neighborhood canvas the day the bodies were discovered.

He also assisted in the questioning of Kellie Ballew.  He says after talking to her, they wanted to speak to Fred Cooper.

He says first thing they look for is motive.

He says they requested Kellie contact Fred and ask him to come down to the main headquarters to speak with detectives.

Kalstrom and Sgt Ryan interviewed Fred when he came to the LCSO on the 27th.

Fred’s statement was recorded, and he wasn’t coerced into making a statement. It lasted about an hour and a half.

After his statement, Kalstrom followed Kellie and Fred back to the Jeneva Way apartment so deputies could conduct a search. Both Kellie and Fred agreed to the search.

When they arrived, deputies did a brief search and took photographs. they were looking for a handgun or any firearm, the camo jacket and anything connected to the crime. They did not find the camo jacket.

That evening, deputies were at Fred’s about an hour or two.

They took pictures of Fred’s hands and forearms because they noticed scratches on him.

After taking photographs and some evidence, deputies left Fred and Kellie’s home.

Next Kalstrom investigated the entry gate to Village Walk (the community where Fred lives). He says each resident is issued a sticker that is affixed to their vehicle. It only records them going in – not out.

On the 29th, they made a second visit to Fred and Kellie’s home to conduct a second search – a more thorough search. This time they were looking for the jacket and a firearm, but again did not find the camo jacket.

He says he also took a buccal swab from Kellie ballew on that day.

State’s evidence #69 – buccal swab from Kellie.

Cooper told Kalstrom that between 10:30 and midnight he was tinkering with his motorcycle on the night of December 26th.  

Prosecution asks Kalstrom to identify Fred Cooper and he points Fred out and saysd it is him.

Kalstrom wasn’t openly involved in the decision to openly follow Cooper. 

On December 30, Sgt Ryan asked Kalstrom  to go the Sun Sports where he spoke to Jim Peters.

State’s exhibit 52 b – brake cleaner from Sun Sports. Defense objects to this being brought into evidence (for relevance).

After collecting the items from SunSports, he was no longer part of the case.

15 min recess

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 7, 2008 at 3:05 pm

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Sheri Roan called to the stand

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She collected DNA evidence at the scene and processed some of the DNA evidence.

She is the lead crime scene investigator in about 70 crime scenes a year.

She responded to Michelle and Steven’s home to help process evidence at the scene.

She went to the scene and then she also went to the ME to process the bodies for fingerprints.

They only collected a fingerprint off Michelle’s neck.

On the 28th she returned to the scene. She was to make sketches of the residence.

On the 29th she went to Fred’s home to assist in evidence collection with Bill Kalstrom.

She photographed the residence and specific areas, they were also looking for evidence to connect the residents to the crime scene.

Once the photographs are complete, they perform a thorough search, checking drawers, cabinets, air vents, attic, garage.

The items she collected include black tshirt, wrangler jeans and addidas tennis shoes.

Other items collected include a cheek swab of Kellie Ballew and Ballew also turned over emails.

She says when collecting an item, it is photographed multiple times. The tennis shoes were put in a paper bag and sealed and the crime scene tech signs the bags. She then took the evidence with her and she signs over the property to the property room clerk until it’s needed again.

The next time she worked the case was when she was asked to execute a search warrant on Cooper’s bike. She says Richard Joslin (of the LCSO) was with her.

She also processed the motorcycle helmet and gloves.

First she photographed the motorcycle then began disassembling it for evidence.

All the photos of the motorcycle are here: on the page key evidence explained.

She took parts of the motorcycle and took swabs of certain locations on the motorcycle and collected them as evidence.

The rest of the motorcycle remained at the impound facility.

Other than sending those items to the lab, she didnt’ have anything else to do with the case.

Defense is cross examining the witness.

First she confirmed several photos were taken by either her or Bill Kalstrom of the garage of the Jeneva way home.

Garber had Roan go over the list of everything she collected from the motorcycle.

Defense exhibit 20 – picture of the passenger seat of the motorcycle.

Defense exhibit 21 – picture of the rear passenger seat from a different angle.

Defense exhibit 22 – picture of the compartment under the rear passenger seat of the motorcycle.

Defense exhibit 23 – picture of the compartment underneath the rear passenger seat of the motorcycle.

Defense exhibit 24 – picture of the length of the compartment underneath the rear passenger seat of the motorcycle.

Defense exhibit 25 – pciture of one of the motorcyle parts she removed.

Defense exhibit 26 – picture of the motorcycle foot peg.

Defense exhibit 27 – picture of the motorcyle parts she removed.

Defense exhibit 28 – picture of the motorcyle part she removed

Defense exhibit 29 – close up of handlebars

Defense exhibit 30 – key fob

She helped Suboch process the Andrews home for evidence. The first day they photgraphed and measured the scene. The following day they collected evidence, including the carpet in the master bedroom.

Black adidas tennis shoes (size 11) collected from Fred Cooper’s Bonita Springs home.

She says the evidence was sent to DNA diagnostics center.

Kalstrom collected a backpack from the garage at Fred’s home.

Prosecution redirecting.

Kunasak is asking about processing of the motorcycle and if there were any other stains or things that stood out. There weren’t.

Prosecution asked if the motorcycle was clean or dirty – she says it was clean.

Defense – no redirect.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 7, 2008 at 2:30 pm

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Doug Jimmo called to the stand

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Doug Jimmo is one of the people who saw a man in a camo jacket that morning as well.

He also identified Cooper in a photo lineup. Previously the defense has tried to get his photo lineup ID thrown out.

Right now he’s living in Wake Forest, IL, but he lived in Gateway in December 2005.

Jimmo  is showing where he lived at the time. He lived near the pool area. He was an acquaintance of the Andrews but didn’t know them very well. They lived two houses down.

He usually arrived to work around 7:30 a.m. and had to work on December 27.

Says he got up around 4:30 – 5 a.m. Moved his car to the street, got his wife’s car from the pool area and put it into the garage, then put his car back in the driveway.

It was around 6:30 a.m. when he moved cars around.

Says as he was walking towards his wife’s car, he saw someone coming into the community and he had never seen him before. Didn’t think much of it because of the holidays. Says he walked within 20-30 feet of the man.

Jimmo says the man was taller than him, medium build and was wearing a camoflouge jacket. Says the man had some facial hair, a goatee.

Didn’t notice if the man was carrying anything. says the man was walking towards the area where the Andrews lived.

Says he left the house around 7;05 to go to work. (says he was running late because of having to move the cars around.)

He says he saw the man in the camoflouge jacket walking away from t he Gateway community. Said it was unusual that he saw the man walking in, then shortly after walking out.

Jimmo says the camo jacket was not like the military camo, but more like hunting camo.

He’s now going to look at the camo jacket seized from Cooper to see if it is similar to the one he saw the morning of the 27th. He says it seems like the same style as the one he saw on the man that morning.

His wife called later to let him know Steven and Michelle  were dead. He went home in the early afternoon.

When his wife called, he thought about, then called her back and told her what he had seen. He then spoke to a detective on the phone.

The next afternoon was the first time he spoke to detectives face to face and he gave them a statement. At another time he gave a recorded statement from his home. He was also shown a photo lineup.

He says the photo lineup was in color. Asked Jimmo if he recognized anyone.

Says Det Ryan laid the lineup on the table, then walked away from the table and asked if he could identify anyone.

He’s now looking at a photo lineup to be entered into evidence. (State’s exhibit 48)

There’s a copy of this on the “Key players” page when you click on Doug Jimmo’s name.

Jimmo wrote on the sheet, I think it looks like #3 but I’m not positive. he gave the lineup back to Detective Ryan.

Says Cooper’s body is consistent with the man he saw that morning of the 27th.

The prosecution is asking if there’s anyone who looks similar to the man he saw that morning in Gateway. He says the man he saw that morning looks very similar to Fred Cooper.

The jurors are now looking at the photo lineup Jimmo signed.

Defense cross examining.

Asking if the man had a hood on the camo jacket – Jimmo doesn’t recall.

Jimmo says he cannot be 100 percent positive Cooper is the one he saw that day.

State redirecting

Showing Jimmo the aerial picture and asking about the median on the access road.

Jimmo worked outdoors on his yard often. He never saw a yellow motorcycle parked outside the Andrews home. Says he never saw it there or even in the neighborhood.

Defense redirecting

Asking about the route Jimmo drove that morning and when he saw the man in the camo jacket.

We’re going to recess until 1:30.



He was a neighbor of Michelle and Steven in 2005.

Written by Melissa Hudson

October 7, 2008 at 12:22 pm

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