Stacey Barker Murder Trial - Day Two
Day two (Thursday, April 28 ) of the Stacey Barker murder trial was a frustrating day pretty much all around. Sue Barker, the defendant's mother, was back on the stand for more direct questioning by Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Kelly Cromer. The day was frustrating for DDA Kelly Cromer because Sue Barker seemed to have developed a serious case of the "I don't recall" syndrome....the state had requested the court to declare her a hostile witness yesterday.....and the court agreed. (Sorry missed reporting this yesterday)
The day was also frustrating for our friends, here is what Tori had to say about Sue's testimony, " I felt so sorry for her I could feel her pain and she looked like she was in a daze...this has taken a toll on her, Ange commented that she felt like she just wanted to hug her and tell her it was NOT her fault, that she felt heartsick for this woman she did not know...a husband that would leave her in her greatest pain for thoughts and words she said about her daughter. A daughter that had killed her only grandchild, she is in great fear of losing her husband now...how sad she loses her granddaughter, her daughter and if Stacey is convicted because of her testimony she may also lose her husband, because Stacey Barker is a "Daddy's girl" and always has been.
Just hearing Tori's description makes Sue's pain palpable for me. Does it you? No doubt, this was one of the more frustrating days of Sue's life. She learned she was recorded in an interview with the homicide detectives when she said of her daughter, " I know she did it, and I want you to prove it". Her gut instinct was justice for her granddaughter, not of making up lies to protect her daughter. If you haven't seen them already, Tori very kindly made several comments here giving her impressions of the day.
There was something worrisome that happened in court after the jury was dismissed yesterday. Our friends learned today that Judge Zackey advised both parties that he wants Sue Barker examined and her testimony is to be recorded in case something were to happen to her. The court didn't expand on that, but I think we can read between the lines :(
There's a lot to say so I'll get to reporting the court business and testimony. Before the jury was brought in for the day's testimony, DDA Cromer had some things to say about the first day of trial and Stacey Barker's Public Defender, Roberto Dager. Kelly made it clear to the court that she was mad at things PD Dager had said in his opening statement. Cromer felt that that Dager's concentration in his opening on condemning the state and detectives including making personal attacks against them for recording X's conversations with Barker was misconduct. Judge Zackey agreed with the state. Zackey said if it was misconduct, it will not be tolerated, adding he will read the transcripts of the defense opening and would rule later. (I wonder if he will wait until after trial to make a ruling?)
There is a few other issues for the court to discuss before testimony could start, Judge Zackey advised both parties that someone had called the LA County Sheriff's Office to report that Sue Barker was heard talking about her testimony in the hallway in front of some jurors. Judge Zackey had the jury brought in and questioned them whether they had overheard anyone talking about the case in the hallway during break. No one on the jury had heard anyone talking about the case, so the judge reminded them of the admonishment not to talk to anyone about the case or allow anyone to talk to them about it. If this did happen he advised them to talk to Johnnie, the court's bailiff who would let him know.
( An interesting side note is Tori had mentioned she saw and heard Brendon Borrelli's mother talking to Gary Barker and Brendon in the hallway about Sue's testimony during a break . Seems important enough to mention now....did someone else witness the same and get confused who was who and reported it, or was the incident reported with Sue a different incident?)
Here is the abbreviation key I will use for the defendant and those speaking in court today....
"JZ" for Judge Hayden Zackey
"KC" for Deputy District Attorney Kelly Cromer
"RD" for Deputy Public Defender Roberto Dager
"SB" for Stacey Barker
"Sue" for Sue Barker
"Hoyt" for Detective John Hoyt
Testimony started at 11:20 today with more direct examination of Sue Barker by DDA Kelly Cromer. I'll use the same Q&A format as yesterday.
Direct Examination- Sue Barker
KC - Who are the people out in the hall ? Sue - My husband and my sister. KC - The husband you told Detective Nava that you didn't want to lose? (No response noted.)
KC - Who came into the courtroom yesterday after the second break? Sue - I don't know. KC - No one came in ? Sue - I was. KC - Did your son Matt come in ? Sue - Yes. KC - That was the same time that you seemed to have some lapse in memory. Is it hard for you to testify? Sue - Yes. KC - Why? Sue - It just is. KC - Do you feel guilt because of the argument you had with Stacey? Sue - Yes
KC - Did you tell Detective Nava that you and Stacey had argued in recent weeks before Emma's death and you said something about kicking her out? Sue - I don't know. KC - Did you know that interview was recorded? Sue - I didn't see a recorder.
KC - Did you tell Detective Nava that Brendon Borrelli might be a suspect? Sue - Yes KC - Did Det. Nava say that if Brendon had told her to do it it was still her decision? Sue - I know it was Stacey's doing.
KC - Anyone in the family in the legal profession? Sue - Not that I know of. KC - Any relation, not just immediate family? Sue - Gary's sister is a para-legal but I haven't talked to her about this.
KC - You don't recall searching the house for Emma's binky (pink blanket) ? Yesterday you said didn't remember looking for it but today you remember asking Stacey, who said it was in the car. Sue - Yes, but...
KC - Did you ask Stacey why she didn't leave the blanket with Emma's body? Sue - Yes, but she didn't answer.
KC - Did Stacey keep granola bars in her purse for Emma? Sue - Yes, that was standard.
KC - Whose idea was it for you to have a conversation with Detective Nava at the station?
Sue - Don't know.
KC - Yesterday you said that you remember Emma playing with Stacey's purse. Did you tell detective Nava that it was unusual for Emma to play with her purse? (no response noted)
KC - (Gets out the letters alleged to be written by Stacey to Witness X and pulls out 4 of them) Sue, is this Stacey's writing? Sue - Yes KC - (shows Sue exhibit 1e, an envelope from the pack with butterflies drawn on it.) Wasn't that on Emma's Binky? Sue - Yes, there were butterflies on Emma's Binky.
KC - No more questions.
Cross Examination - Sue Barker
RD - Mr. Dager greets Sue Barker....How are you? Sue - Fine. RD - You never wanted to talk to me before? Sue - No RD -Do you want to now? Sue - Yes.
RD - Stacey attended Quartz Hill High school, and handed Sue some papers to look at. Sue - These two pages I have never seen. The third page I have seen. RD - When did you see this? Sue - Sometime near graduation. RD - What does it say? Sue - Academics RD - What does it say? Sue - 3.5 RD - Say the whole number. Sue - 3.055 (Tori noted that Dager seemed pretty pleased with himself after Sue read all the digits. DOH! That makes her GPA 3.1 not 3.5 !)
RD - Did Stacey have any history of street fights? KC - Objection, speculation. JZ - Rephrase. RD - have you seen her come home with any bumps, cuts, or bruises? Sue - No. RD - How many physical fights have you seen her have with her brothers? Sue - Once in her whole life.
RD - When did Stacey move back home? Sue - When she found out she was pregnant at age 23. She moved out when she was 18. At 18 she had her own apartment. RD - How many jobs did she have to work to afford her own apartment? Sue - Two. RD - Kind of hard to work two jobs when pregnant?
Sue - Yes, because she couldn't keep the pizza job. RD - Did she go to college? Sue - No. RD - Why? Sue - Because she worked two jobs , she didn't have time.
RD - Has she always been emotionless? She never cried before Emma died? Sue - No, she has only cried 10 times in her whole life. She was never an emotional person.
RD - So, are you an alcoholic? Sue - Yes. RD - Did you drink daily before Emma died? Sue - No, just a couple days a week. RD - Did you drink Jose Quervo tequila? Sue - Yes, shots of Jose Quervo. RD - Were you taking depression medication at the same time? Sue - Yes. RD - Pills and alcohol? Sue - Yes.
RD - Did you know that could kill you ? Sue - No. RD - You've been sober 13 days? Sue - Yes.
RD - When did Stacey move back home? Sue - Immediately when she found out she was pregnant.
RD - How long was that? Sue - She was a month or two.
RD - What if anything did Stacey tell you about Anthony? (Emma's Dad) Sue - Nothing. RD - How many times did you see Anthony at the house? Sue - Once at her house. RD - Did you ask he3r why she didn't live with him? Sue - No. RD - What did you say to Stacey about Anthony? Sue - That he didn't seem to be concerned about being a dad.
RD - How many bedrooms are there in your home? Sue - Four, one room was an office that we turned into a bedroom for Emma when she was about 3 months. RD - So where did Emma sleep the first 3 months?
Sue - In Stacey's room. RD - Who suggested changing the office into a room for Emma? Sue - I did.
Court broke for lunch here and returned at 1:30 pm.
RD - What was the daycare when Stacey went back to work? Sue - Emma went to daycare for one day.
RD - Why only one day? Sue - Because I went to daycare to pick up Emma and it wasn't good, she wasn't being cared for as she should have been. RD - What was Stacey's demeanor when you told her about the conditions at daycare? Sue - She cried. RD - Why did she cry? Because her daughter wasn't being cared for? Sue - Yes, I suggested going back on nights so that Emma could be cared for in the day without daycare. Nick cared for Emma during the day until I could get back on nights. That took about a month, I cared for Emma from 4 to 18 months. Stacey started out working an eight hour shift, the eight am to five pm. Stacey asked to go in earlier and earlier so I could sleep.
RD - You went to see Stacey at Linwood (Detention center) once and called her only once. Why? Sue - I wasn't happy with Stacey. RD - Do you want to see her now? Sue - Yes. RD - Did anyone tell you what to say? Sue - No. (◔_◔)
(Tori made a note before this question was even asked, that it did appear that Sue had been coached compared to her testimony yesterday.)
RD - These are defense exhibits, pictures A-G. Who is in the pictures and what is she wearing?
Sue - Emma. RD - Who bought the dress she is wearing? Sue - I did. RD - Dager showed Sue photos B-G and each picture asked, "Who bought this dress she is wearing?" Sue - Each time asked, Sue responded, "I did".
(Tori notes that yesterday Sue testified she bought all the toys for Emma and Stacey bought her clothes....guess one or the other response is false. She also noted some jurors looked back in their notes after this round of Q&A. )
RD - This receipt is defense exhibit (#?), it's a Target receipt dated March 17, 2009. Junior - ears are purchased, is that familiar? Sue - Yes. Stacey bought it. RD - What is it? Sue - 2 pairs shorts, 2 shirts, sandals and tennis shoes. RD - Where did the receipt come from? Sue - I gave it to the defense investigator. I found it on top of Emma's dresser.
RD - This next item is is defense exhibit H, a Baby Blender Cookbook. Why did Stacey have this book?
Sue - because she didn't want Emma to have processed food. Stacey herself ate healthy after she became pregnant. RD - Did she use these recipes? Sue - Yes, she made them and froze them for Emma. RD - Do you recognize this book? Sue - Yes, it was in Emma's room too and I gave it to the investigator. RD - You did? Sue - Well...Gary did. (Sue's husband, Stacey's dad) RD - So she blended meat and vegetables and fruit? Sue - Yes, to freeze for future use.
RD - Did Stacey tell you she was going out for St. Patricks ? Sue - no, she didn't say.
RD - When was the last you saw Stacey and Emma? Sue - On March 18, when Stacey came home from work. RD - At 3:15, did you argue? Sue - Yes. RD - How long did it last? Sue - 5 minutes. RD - Was there screaming? RD - Stacey was screaming she couldn't make anyone happy. I told her she needed to come home on time so I could rest.
RD - When did you find out what happened? Sue - On March 18 at 11 pm, I got a call at work from Gary to tell me what happened. Gary picked me up from work and we went to the Park n Ride on Avenue S.
RD - Who was there? Sue - Stacey, Nick and Brendon. We stayed a fewminutes. RD - Why only a few minutes? Sue - Stacey was being loaded into the ambulance so we went to the ER. RD - Did you leave the hospital and go to the Palmdale Sheriff station? Sue - Yeah, that was morning March 19.
RD - Any law enforcement contact you? Sue - No, we spent several hours at the Sheriff's station and then went home. At some point Detectives Nava and McCarthy and told us they had found Emma. We had a half hour conversation with them. RD - Did they ask for any suggestions of potential suspects? Sue - Yes. Do you think Brendon Borrelli could be a suspect? Nava asked that, and do we think Brendon and Stacey could have conspired to get rid of Emma?
Sue - On March 20, LE took us ( Gary and Sue) to the Sheriff's station because they needed to question us. I sat in the lobby until Detective Nava joined me and said she wanted to speak to me alone. We only had 3 conversations in all. RD - Were you recorded? Sue - I didn't know we were recorded.
Sue - On March 20, LE took us ( Gary and Sue) to the Sheriff's station because they needed to question us. I sat in the lobby until Detective Nava joined me and said she wanted to speak to me alone. We only had 3 conversations in all. RD - Were you recorded? Sue - I didn't know we were being recorded. RD - During that conversation did Detective Nava tell you something? Sue - Yes, she said pink fibers were found in Emma's throat. RD - How did that make you feel? Sue - I was devastated. RD - Did you know that Det. Nava was lying and no fibers were found? Sue - No. RD - Is that why you were mad at Stacey? Sue - Yes, after a half hour conversation Stacey went to live at Larry Barker's home. ( Gary's Dad ) RD - That was an interrogation technique. Detective Nava didn't have fibers. Sue - No, I didn't know. RD - How did Nava know the blanket was pink? Sue - I don't know. RD - You didn't know she was lying at that time?Sue - No.
RD - What do you know about a drinking game? Was there drinking going on during the mourning period?
Sue - Yes. RD - Was there a party? Sue - Not a party the night before but people were coming in and out.
RD - When you had dinner were all of Nick's friends there? Sue - Yes, that's when we played beer pong.
JZ - Can you explain what beer pong is? Sue - Beer cups are set up on a ping pong table like bowling pins, each person bounces a ping pong ball trying to get it in a cup, those who make it drink the beer. RD - Did Stacey play? Sue - Stacey only played 45 minutes, at my request. I was trying to cheer her up. She was quiet the whole time.
RD - How did you feel when you found out Detective Nava lied to you? Sue - Mad. JZ - Strike that, that's for the jury to decide what is the truth. RD - How they dealt with grief. (WTH, this is what we meant about questions jumping around.)
Cross Done - Re-direct Starts
KC - Why did you only visit Stacey once at Linwood? Sue - I was hurt. KC - Why, Did you think Stacey killed Emma? Sue - I did, yes. KC - So, when after 3/19 did you have a lot to drink? Had you drank alot when you were interviewed by Detective Nava? Sue - No, after. KC - Did you tell Detective Nava you knew Stacey was guilty and say I want you to prove it? Sue - Yes.
KC - You said you didn't go to the doctor with Stacey when she was pregnant? Sue - Yes, I didn't go with her. KC - But Anthony did go to the Stacey's doctor appointments when she was pregnant? Sue - Yes
KC - I thought he had no interest in being a dad? Sue - I don't know.
KC - When did Stacey start dating again after Emma's birth? Sue - 3 months, she had 2 or 3 boyfriends before she met Brendon.
KC - Did Stacey have any significant injuries when growing up? Sue - One. She hurt her shoulder in gymnastic, but she didn't cry.
KC - So you drank daily before Emma died? Sue - uuhh....yeah. KC - What? Sue - Shots of Jose Quervo, 4 to 5 shots in the evening a couple days a week. KC - How much do you weigh? Sue - 195 lbs.
KC - Do you know Colleen B.? (Colleen is Anthony's mom.) Sue - I met her after Emma's birth.
KC - How long ? Sue - 4 or 5 months. KC - Her daughter? Sue - One time, only.KC - Defense exhibit H, the baby food book, Is this is the book that Stacey used? Are you sure ?
Sue - Yes. KC - This book doesn't look as though it's been opened much, pages stick together. Sue - I don't know, but she did use it. KC - Hmmm...nothing spilled on it, no pages pressed down, doesn't seem to want to open to any one area...like it's been used. Sue - I don't know. KC - Huh (Not said as a question but rather an opinion aka mild equivalent of BS.)
The pictures I will post here are not what are part of the defense exhibit but may be close in age to the ones the jury are seeing.KC - The photos, defense exhibit A-G, what ages are they? Sue - (went through pictures) This is 3 months, this is Stacey with Emma at 3 months, this is 3 months, this is Emma newborn. KC - She looks awfully good for newborn? Sue - C- section, picture C is between 3 and 6 months. D is Thanksgiving, uhh...about 2 1/2 months. JZ - Who cooked it? Sue - I did. Emma had a bib that said 1st Thanksgiving.
Judge Zackey is such a nice guy, but this is Kelly's direct and she has a job to do, sooo.....
KC - You said when you and Stacy were fighting on March 18, she was screaming "I CAN'T MAKE ANYONE HAPPY!" What did she say? Sue - I can't make anyone happy, work, you.... Emma's never happy and I can't make my boyfriend happy!
KC - You made several statements to detectives, each statement to Detective Nava was after she had died, had Emma had an Autopsy yet? Sue - No. KC - What were you told? Sue -Not for 3 weeks. KC - So the day you spoke to Nava, you knew Emma didn't have an autopsy. Sue -No. KC - The 1st day you talked with Nava, the autopsy wasn't done, and you made the statement that Stacey killed Emma, you knew no autopsy, no fibers. When you said Brendon might have helped was before the pink fibers were mentioned or you should have known Nava was lying.
(Tori notes here that Kelly Cromer is on fire today!)
KC - Did Stacey ever shed a tear for Emma? Sue - No. KC - Remorse or regrets? Sue - No.
KC - Why was Stacey going to Long Beach? You told Nava she had plenty of money. Did you say you thought she killed Emma in Palmdale and was going to Long beach to pin it on Anthony? Sue - Yes. KC - How many times had Stacey taken Emma to Long Beach? Sue - None. KC - Stacey herself to Long beach? Sue - When she was pregnant she spent a weekend with Anthony in Long Beach.
KC - What was the one major injury that Stacey had growing up? Sue - she dislocated her shoulder during gymnastics. KC - She didn't cry? Sue - No, but had to heal, it took a couple weeks to heal.
KC - Defense exhibit I, is the Target receipt. You said this was new clothes, how do you know they are new? Sue - I saw them, tags still on them. KC - What are ears? Sue - I don't know. KC -I thought you saw the stuff, what was it? Sue - 2 shorts, 2 shirts, sandals and tennies. KC - The receipt time is 5:10 pm from Target in Lancaster.
(Tori noted that takes at least 15 minutes to go from that Target to Barkers and Sue had to leave at 5:30.....either the times don't add up or someone else was watching Emma.)
Re cross examination
RD - She had this blender book. Tori notes as Dager holds the book he is flipping through the pages and bending the binding. Sue - yes, she used it. RD - I JUST DONT LIKE MISS CROMER SAYING THERE WAS NO FLOUR....RD is standing right behind Kelly Cromer as he screamed this. KC - Objection! Personal Attack...and screaming in my ears! JZ - Mr. Dager.... RD - Just because there isn't any flour or food on this doesn't mean it wasn't used! As Dager said this he was manipulating the book and threw it down on his table and picked up a few times to the extent our friends thought he might be trying to age that book a little...just saying. Re-cross done. Brendon Borrelli is told to stand by before re-direct.
JZ - Want to ask more? (asks KC) KC - no, but I'm thinking. JZ - You can have her recalled. KC - My next witness won't be short so I want to change the witness order. JZ - OK.
Detective John Hoyt is called to the stand. Hoyt says he is employed with the LA County Sheriff Department assault and crime unit. He is dressed in a uniform.
Direct examination - Detective John Hoyt
KC - Did you go to the crime scene? What did you see? Hoyt - A silver Mazda parked with all 4 doors open. Both front seats were in a reclining position....reclined all the way back. KC - Did anyone move them? Hoyt - Protocol doesn't allow moving anything. KC - What is this? Hoyt - An adults brown sandal and a child's tennis shoe with a red and white bottom.
KC - Did you stay with the car? Hoyt - No, I went to the hospital to talk to SB.I asked her what happened and she didn't know but thought she was knocked out at the city park. (Lancaster) KC - What did she say to you? Hoyt - Her eye hurt, the back of her head and her ribs hurt. KC - Did she ask about the baby? Hoyt - No KC - What did you notice about her? Hoyt - Clean feet, hands and fingernails. KC - In this informal interview not once asked about Emma. (More of a statement than a question.) Direct exam finished.
Cross examination - Detective John Hoyt
RD - If you are a detective, why are you wearing a Sheriff's deputy uniform? Hoyt - With budget cuts we dress for the street. RD - Did you stay with the car? Hoyt - No. RD - Did you touch the car? Hoyt - No
RD - When did you get called? Hoyt - About 11:40 pm. RD - What were you doing when called? Hoyt - Trying to sleep. RD - Got there about Midnight? Who was there? Hoyt - The Crime Scene Unit was there. RD - How do you know no one else touched the car? Hoyt - That's not protocol, so I doubt it.
Cross Examination was finished and the day is over. JZ - instructed the jury to be in the jury room by 10:30 am tomorrow and he will try to have them up here by 10:45. ( Day 3, tomorrow is, Friday, April 29)
There is a detail that I hadn't mentioned yet. On the first day of trial Tori had noted an attractive young woman with short (pixie cut) with blond over black hair, that she didn't know, speaking with one of Stacey Barker's grandfathers. After speaking with him for a few moments she moved away to her own seat and took notes. We discussed her that night and concluded she may be a cousin or friend.
Today the same young woman was in court but this time she had a woman with her. After a few moments Tori realized the woman with her was Anthony's mother. Later on a break Tori and the young woman spoke and we learn the young woman is Susan, Anthony's sister and the other woman is indeed Anthony's mother, Colleen B.
Susan asked Tori...are you guys the bloggers? Tori, replied , yes...I suppose you hate us too. (It seems as though Stacey Barker's family blame every vile thing that has been said about Stacey out on the web on us.) Susan said, no...we love you guys, extended family and friends are able to follow the case through our blogging. Susan and Colleen did ask us not to use their last names and we agreed. Tori assured them we have been following this case for Emma and are here for Emma .
The reason I bring up Colleen and Susan at all is because "reportedly" Gary Barker pointed Colleen out to Dager who said he has been trying to contact her. Dager wants Colleen added to the witness list and tells Judge Zackey that. Kelly Cromer said she would like to talk to her as well. Evidently, Kelly added Colleen to the state's witness list because she will be the first witness on the stand tomorrow for day 3.
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Palmdale, California, United States