Witness for the People: Guilt Phase
September 8, 2004
Direct Examination by Rick Distaso
DISTASO: And let me mark this real quick, Judge.
JUDGE: 223. 223.
JUDGE: Have you seen this, Mr. Geragos?
GERAGOS: Yes and I have an objection to it.
DISTASO: The --
GERAGOS: I have an objection to the second page.
JUDGE: Do you?
GERAGOS: I have an objection to the second page because it was filled out by her, not by him.
JUDGE: What's the second page? He's going to show a photograph?
DISTASO: A photograph and map.
GERAGOS: The photograph I've got no objection to. The map I've got an objection to.
JUDGE: What's the --
GERAGOS: It's hearsay.
JUDGE: -- what's the problem?
GERAGOS: It's by his wife, it's not by him.
JUDGE: First of all, if it's a map, I can take judicial notice of a map.
GERAGOS: No, take a look at it, you'll see what it is.
DISTASO: Well -- well, give me a second. Let me just ask some questions. If there's a hearsay objection, hold on, I'll --
JUDGE: All right. Fine.
DISTASO: Let's see, Mr. Dempewolf, is this a picture of yourself, your daughter and your wife? What day was that taken?
DEMPEWOLF: January 11th, of 2003.
DISTASO: Okay. Can you just do me a favor and write January 11th, 2003 on there.
GERAGOS: Did you mark that, Mr. Distaso?
DISTASO: I did.
JUDGE: It's 223.
GERAGOS: Thank you.
DISTASO: It's -- yeah, 223. And did your wife -- let me just show this picture real quick. Do you live in the La Loma neighborhood down by the Dry Creek Regional Park?
DISTASO: On the morning of December 24th, 2002, was your wife pregnant?
DISTASO: And how many months along was she?
DEMPEWOLF: On the 11th? Did you say -- I'm sorry.
DISTASO: On the 24th of December of 2002.
DEMPEWOLF: She was probably just shy of nine months.
DISTASO: Okay. And the baby was actually born on the 11th; is that right?
DEMPEWOLF: That's correct.
DISTASO: And this picture -- we had already talked, this picture was taken basically as you were getting --
GERAGOS: Objection. Leading.
DISTASO: -- ready to go to the hospital?
GERAGOS: Objection. Leading.
JUDGE: It is leading, Mr. Distaso.
DISTASO: When was the picture taken?
DEMPEWOLF: The picture was taken January 11th, 2000 and 3, at my home.
DISTASO: Okay. And when was the baby born?
DEMPEWOLF: The baby was born January 11th, 2003, at the hospital.
DISTASO: And do you -- do you live in the La Loma area?
DISTASO: Down by the Dry Creek Regional Park?
DEMPEWOLF: We live in the neighborhood that is next to the park, yes.
DISTASO: Okay. And did your wife go for a walk in the park that morning?
DEMPEWOLF: Yes, she did.
DISTASO: And did she go by herself?
DEMPEWOLF: Yes. With my dog.
DISTASO: Okay. And what I should have done is attach this picture of -- of your dog. I'll just mark it as an exhibit?
JUDGE: We'll make it 223
DISTASO: That would work, Judge. Let me just staple it to it.
JUDGE: What's the name of the dog?
JUDGE: Jake. This will be a photograph of Jake.
DISTASO: And what time did your wife go walking in the park?
DEMPEWOLF: She left our home between 9:15 and 9:30.
DISTASO: And how long does it usually take her to -- to complete the walks that she does?
DEMPEWOLF: Between 45 minutes and an hour.
DISTASO: And do you remember what she was wearing as you sit here today? ?
DEMPEWOLF: Some sweats and a jacket.
DISTASO: The -- let me show a picture of your dog, Jake, that she took with her. This is 223 A. And is that a picture of your dog, Jake?
DISTASO: And your daughter's sitting on him, right?
DEMPEWOLF: That's correct.
DISTASO: What -- what kind of dog is it?
DEMPEWOLF: That's a chocolate lab.
DISTASO: Okay. And are you familiar with the route that your wife would normally walk?
GERAGOS: Objection. Hearsay.
DISTASO: And had you walked that route with her in the past?
DEMPEWOLF: Yes. We usually walk it on the weekends together.
DISTASO: Let me show you --
GERAGOS: There's no foundation. This wasn't a weekend day.
DISTASO: Let me show you 223, the second page of it. It's a map. It's got a highlighted portion. Does -- does that highlighted portion show the route that your wife would normally take in the park?
JUDGE: Or that him and his wife would normally take.
DISTASO: That you and your wife would normally take?
DEMPEWOLF: Yes, that's correct.
DISTASO: Okay. Let me just show that briefly.
GERAGOS: Same objection.
DISTASO: And it looks like just from the outline that we have, your wife would go down into the park --
JUDGE: Wait. Now, see, that's a leading question.
DISTASO: Yeah. Okay.
DISTASO: Can you just -- you know, it's going to be actually easier if I just give you the map and have just you explain to the jury, they're familiar enough with the park now. Can you just explain to the jury --
JUDGE: Use the pointer and that map.
DISTASO: Well, that one's got -- the streets aren't labeled,
JUDGE: I'll just have him explain it to them. It's all right.
DISTASO: Can you explain to the jury the route you and your wife would normally take when you go on walks?
DEMPEWOLF: We would leave our home on Whippoorwill Court, fish down through the subdivision, enter the park on East La Loma, walk down through the park, down to where there's a transfer station in the park, walk up that paved path, because it was -- it is easiest for a pregnant woman to get up, with a stroller or just walking in general. Walk -- continue walking Edgebrook back towards our home, down to Covena, to Encina, back to our home.
DISTASO: No further questions.
Cross Examination by Mark Geragos
GERAGOS: Did you get interviewed January of this year by Kevin Bertalotto? Do you remember some time -- it looks like his report's dated January 26th.
DEMPEWOLF: Of 2000 and 4?
GERAGOS: Of 2004. I'll show you a Bates numbered stamped 38231. See the yellow highlighted. See if that refreshes your recollection as to what you told him back in January.
GERAGOS: Does that refresh your recollection as to when he asked you what time your wife went for a walk that day?
DEMPEWOLF: I --
GERAGOS: You told him you didn't know; is that correct?
DEMPEWOLF: I told him I didn't know exactly.
GERAGOS: Okay. Has something happened between January and now that made you all of a sudden remember?
DEMPEWOLF: If you're asking me did my information change, I would say no. What I do remember is there being a time in that morning that, after we had breakfast and my daughter was jumping on my lap, my wife was leaving for the walk, I looked at roughly what time it was, and that was roughly the time.
GERAGOS: Okay. Did you tell that to Bertalotto in January of this year?
DEMPEWOLF: I don't recall that. I mean I --
GERAGOS: Didn't you specifically tell him that your wife went for a walk in the morning, however he can't say exactly what time she went? Isn't that what you told him?
JUDGE: The question is what you told Bertalotto.
DEMPEWOLF: Well, that was in January. I mean, it's October almost. It's September. It's a long time ago.
GERAGOS: Nine months ago.
DEMPEWOLF: That's correct.
GERAGOS: Okay. And this walk took place how long ago? Two years, roughly? About 20 months?
DEMPEWOLF: That's correct. That was a day that was, in my neighborhood, very populated by search and rescue and police and everybody. That's why I specifically remember that day.
GERAGOS: Something happened on January 26th of this year that makes you not remember that day?
DEMPEWOLF: Maybe he caught me when I had a screaming kid in my arms. Maybe, I don't know.
DEMPEWOLF: Could be a variety.
GERAGOS: Did anybody ever tell you that this dog -- this is your dog, Jake, right?
DEMPEWOLF: That is my dog, Jake. That is my dog, Jake.
GERAGOS: Okay. That's a Chocolate Lab?
GERAGOS: Did anybody ever tell you it looks like a Golden Retriever?
GERAGOS: They do?
DEMPEWOLF: In the summertime when his hair -- he's been in the sun a lot, he tends to get a little more blond.
GERAGOS: Okay. Is that -- was this summertime? Christmas Eve, December 24th, was that summertime?
DEMPEWOLF: That picture?
DEMPEWOLF: I would say it would be after that time sometime.
GERAGOS: The -- when was this picture taken?
JUDGE: If you know.
DEMPEWOLF: My wife has a good memory. I don't. I mean she's the one that took it. I can't tell you.
GERAGOS: Thank you. I have no further questions.
DISTASO: Mr. Dempewolf, all -- alls I want to know is does -- was your wife pregnant on December 24th, 2000 and 2?
DISTASO: Did you go for a walk in the park that day, in the morning?
DEMPEWOLF: She did, yes.
DISTASO: Nothing further.