Thursday, July 28, 2011

Notes from the Trial Part THREE

***In this section of the trial notes, Bethany puts any of her own thoughts inside parentheses.

Cross Examination of Tina Anderson by defense attorney, Donna Brown

Brown: Your mom filed a report with the police after you claimed to be assaulted.

Tina: I am aware of that. But I believe she lied on the report, and misled the police.

Brown is writing on a board about the timeline of events. That Tina told Sarah Harrison the same night Chris took Tina to the doctor.

(Tina is doing a really good job. It is obvious she is upset, but she is keeping it under control, and answering Brown very well.)

Brown keeps questioning Tina as to when her last menstrual cycle was back in 1997, before Tina realized she was pregnant. Brown just keeps asking her the same thing, trying to pinpoint a date.

(Brown is trying to say that since Tina can’t remember her last period, then she can’t remember anything else.)

Tina: My birthday is August 22. I am not sure when my last period was. I don’t think most women keep track of their periods for 14 years straight!

Brown: So did you say days or weeks?

Tina: Well, what does the transcript say? Would you remember when your last period was 14 years ago? Give me a break! I am frustrated with you. You keep badgering me! I am saying maybe it was a few weeks, but I can’t remember! I was scared. I know what you are doing. I know what you are trying to do by asking me the same thing.

Brown: I just want to know the truth.

(If you are interested, this segment of the trial was shown on TV. You can see it at with reporter Amy Coveno.)

The judge called for a break time.

2:30pm, break is over, now the cross examination continues

Brown: So, when you had sex…

Tina: you mean when I was raped, yes?

(Some more things were said, now the cross examination is over. During the cross examination, Ernie Willis’s lawyer Donna Brown referred to Tina twice as “Tina Willis.)

Now District Attorney, Wayne Coull, is questioning Tina.

Wayne: I know this is an odd question, but have you ever been married to Ernie Willis?

Tina: No.

Tina Anderson is done being on the stand, no further questions. Tina takes a seat next to Jocelyn Zichterman on the front row. It is 2:37pm.

Sarah Harrison is asked to the stand. Sarah is the sister of Sue Cappucci, one of Tina’s teachers at Trinity Baptist Christian School.

Sarah: I was a member of TBC. Tina used to babysit my kids. She told me that she had gotten pregnant by one of the men in our church. I called my sister Susan Cappucci. I think she called Chuck Phelps. Phelps came over to my house, but did not come in. He took Tina and Chris and left. I don’t remember Phelps saying anything, no thanks, nothing. Two objections made, and both are overruled by the judge.

Donna Brown questions Sarah, and when she can’t remember, Brown says “well that’s understandable since it has been almost 14 years.”

(So how come she lets Sarah’s memory lapse go, but grill Tina on hers?)

Sarah Harrison leaves the stand, Sue Cappucci takes the stand, and Wayne Coull begins questioning Sue.

Sue: I taught Tina back in high school. Now I work at the YMCA. I remember Tina was called to confess in front of the whole church for “unfaithfulness.” Tina looked scared.

Objection made and sustained, Coull, Brown and Willis’ other lawyer are talking to the judge now.

(I am sitting on the second bench, and right next to me is a reporter for the local news here in Concord, NH. Her name is Amy Coveno and she seems pretty cool. She is taking copious notes and posting them live on a news blog. A camera man is standing next to her. A couple of us noticed that the reporter is wearing a turquoise/teal blouse. When Melanie leaned over and said “nice shirt,” Amy replied, “I heard it’s the popular color to wear around here” and smiled. A teal, bluish-green color is the color for abuse victims. Purple is also a color for abuse. So most of the supporters here are wearing turquoise ribbons, bracelets and shirts.)

3:15pm, Sue Cappucci is done on the stand.

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