Friday, July 22, 2011

Notes from the Trial Part ONE

One of the attendees at the trial took many pages of handwritten notes. As she types them up, I will be posting them to the blog.


Transcribed as hand-written during the trial by Bethany.

May 23, Monday, 2011 Tina Anderson Rape Case, Concord Court House Courtroom #1

Wayne Coull is the prosecuting attorney/district attorney. The Defense Attorney for Ernie Willis is Donna Brown. The judge is Judge Larry Smukler.

There are 25-30 supporters of Tina here. 3 people in the back are from Trinity, according to someone supporting Tina (Aunt Laurie maybe or someone else). A guy in the back looks professional—Lon Siel. He is from Trinity—wearing a suit and tie, using a notebook, pen, and printed out papers.

Right now we are sitting in the courtroom, and it is 10:00am. Sitting next to Rachel Griffith. We are on the second row, reporters on the end, and Tina, Laurie and Joc are sitting on the front row. Ernie Willis just walked in. Rachel punched my leg. Ernie and his lawyers are talking. Then they walked out of the room again.

All rise for the Jury, and for the Judge. Jury takes oath. Lady reads the charges. Aggravated sexual assault. June-July 1997. Not consensual sex. The clerk is reading this off to us, the jury, the judge. The speech and conduct of the victim (Tina) show that she did not consent. Felonious Sexual Assault. The car and the house. Victim is within 13-16 years of age at the time.

Judge addresses Jury. The Jury is composed of 8 men, and 4 women. All white, Caucasian. Mostly in their late 40’s early 50’s. One young man, maybe in his 20’s. One guy is in his 60’s.

5 indictments, one of them Ernie Willis has plead guilty for. Several of the indictments:
1). Aggravated sexual assault.
2). Felonious sexual assault.
~three parts/elements of the crime:
I. Occurring in different locations
II. Sexual penetration
III. Act occurred by the forcing of the will with the victim signifying no consent by speech or conduct
IV. The actor was aware of sexual penetration and lack of consent by the victim.

~3 elements of felonious sexual assault.
I. sexual penetration
II. Defendant used force
III. Defendant acted knowingly

~Four elements of felonious sexual assault:
1). Sexual penetration
2). Between 13-16 years old
3). Not the defendant’s wife
4). Actor did so knowingly.

Wayne Coull Opening Remarks: a 15 year old girl was raped. The defendent, Ernie Willis, signed his name as the father of the baby. We will focus on force and frequency. We will also mention 3 things:

Tina’s mother and step father were members of Trinity Baptist Church (Concord, NH). Let’s look at what happened to that little girl Tina back in 1997. She was enrolled in Trinity Baptist Church’s Christian school. Her family and her faith played big in her life. Church, family, and school.

Sex outside of marriage was taught by TBC as wrong, a sin. Tina learned of her pregnancy and called Willis. Willis bought her a pregnancy test. in September of 1997, Tina tried to tell Sarah Harrison that she was pregnant. Sarah called Susan Cappucci, an older sister. Chris Leaf and Chuck Phelps were called. Trinity Baptist Christian School expelled her for becoming pregnant. Chuck Phelps’ wife Linda asked her if she “enjoyed it.” Tina was made to ask Tammie Willis for forgiveness. Faith, fear, family.

Tina was sent off to a stranger’s house, another IFB family in Colorado. She wasn’t allowed to go stay with her grandparents in Texas. There was a public hearing at Trinity Baptist Church, to perform “disciplinary actions.” Ernie Willis apologized for cheating on his wife. A little girl, in front of hundreds of people, and had to ask them for forgiveness for putting herself in a “compromising situation.”

Dawn Fisher, a friend of Tina’s from TBC high school told her parents (defense attorney: objection! Overridden by judge). Dawn told her parents something was wrong, that this public discipline was wrong. Chuck Phelps made a “bare minimum” call to the police, saying Tina did not want to cooperate with the police and did not want to press charges. A detective talked to Chris Leaf, Tina’s mom. The detective looked for Tina, but could not find her. When Chuck Phelps presented this to the congregation, he presented it as two separate incidents, and not connected. (I leaned over and asked Rachel if they are going to mention the fact that Tina was sexually abused by Dan Leaf from ages 9-12?).

A woman named Jocelyn Zichterman (Objection by defense! Overridden by judge) Jocelyn had a blog talking about this story. Matt Barnhart wrote about Tina’s story on Jocelyn’s blog. Shortly after Jocelyn confirmed the story with Matt, she called Detective (Chris DeAngelis). Chris started looking into the case. Detective Deangelas asks Tina about what happened in 1997.

Tina was told that a good Christian forgives and forgets.
Phelps told Tina a different law from the Old Testament. The OT says if a virgin goes into the city and lies with a man, and does not cry out, then both man and woman will be taken outside of the city and be stoned to death. Thank goodness that is not the law today. (objection by defense, overridden by judge). Age of legal, consensual sex in this state is 16. Tina was 15 years old, and Ernie was 39.

When Tina came forward to tell the true story, it is not because she was seeking money or fame. She was called out of the blue by the police. She did not go seeking this attention. She was contacted by Oprah, The Today Show, and many others, but she turned them all down, and instead, aired her story on 20/20. Tina will take the stand in the next following days. She will swear to tell the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth. Ask yourself, jury: do you believe Tina Anderson? If so, then Ernie Willis is guilty.

Opening remarks by defense attorney:
There is no doubt that the father of Tina’s baby is Ernie Willis. Tina said she had sex once, and that is true, it was only once, not twice. Secondly, there was no force involved. Ernie and Tina had consensual sex one time, when Tina was 15. While Ernie is guilty of felonious sexual assault, he is not guilty of aggravated sexual assault.

What has happened is that Tina’s memory is blurry. Her story is constantly changing (the DA sets up a paper chart on a board to explain the sexual charges against Ernie). 2 allegations of sexual intercourse, 5 indictments by the state of NH. Tina did consent, as the evidence will show. The big word here is “consent.” Tina was 15. Legally, she can’t consent, but when I use the word consent I mean that Tina consented to having sex in 1997. Even though Tina could not legally consent, she chose to have sex (Tina periodically shakes her head, but makes no noise and does not raise her head to look up).

Tina turned 16 in August of 1997. Sarah Harrison will tell you that Tina didn’t say “no” or use the word “force.” Tina only told Sarah that she was pregnant and scared to tell her mom, Chris Leaf. Tina told her parents and Chuck Phelps that it happened only once. The word rape was never used by Tina or anyone else. (Rebecca Hunter was the nurse that examined Tina). Mrs. Hunter wrote a medical note using the word “intercourse,” not rape or force.

Now that 13 years have passed, and all the emotions are rising for Tina, she is substituting her emotions now for what happened back in 1997. Those feelings she feels now are making her believe that she said no to Ernie when in fact, she never said no. Jury, this is not about emotions or feeling. This is about the truth.

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