The Flashlight Incident

This is the testimony of Officers Letsinger and Spurlock about the incident.

Derrick Letsinger: We basically, I believe we excused Mr. Peterson and asked him to step back outside. And as he was leaving through the front door, got to about this area here, and the front door, I believe you could see through, or it was open, and I could see out. And Mr. Peterson threw his flashlight down on the ground. And then I heard something under his breath, like a curse word. I'm not quite sure what it was. But heard something mumbled under his breath.


Mark Geragos: Also that Scott getting mad and throwing a flashlight down, you didn't put that in your report, did you?

Derrick Letsinger: No.

Mark Geragos: And, in fact, when was the first time you have ever told anybody that remembrance?

Derrick Letsinger: About which remembrance?

Mark Geragos: The flashlight thrown on the ground? Today?

Derrick Letsinger: No. We told Sergeant Duerfeldt about it that night as he was there.

Mark Geragos: Have you seen any report, either Duerfeldt's, Evers', yours, Spurlock's, anybody that mentions that?

Derrick Letsinger: I haven't seen any report that mentions it, no.

Mark Geragos: Have you seen any report anywhere that mentions that?

Derrick Letsinger: I have seen limited reports.

Mark Geragos: Okay. In the limited reports you have seen, has it been mentioned anywhere?

Derrick Letsinger: No.

Rick Distaso: Okay. What happened then? After you asked him about the fishing, and where did that conversation take place?

Matthew Spurlock: It kind of occurred from, from his bedroom, the master bedroom where the purse was located, kind of in a, a, a walking and talking type situation, from, from the other bedrooms and through the hallway to kind of the front entryway, where the kitchen front door was at.

Rick Distaso: Just if you could, we haven't labeled this. Can you label what you're calling the front door? If here's the courtyard where you walk through. Here's, use that.

Matthew Spurlock: This area right here is where I consider the front door area.

Rick Distaso: Okay. Okay. Go ahead, have a seat. After, after this conversation, then what happened next?

Matthew Spurlock: After the conversation we pretty much finished looking through the house, and Scott was asked to go outside at that time. And he walked from, from the sitting room area, front door area, through the front door, and not closing the door all the way. Kind of left, maybe, like a seven inch to five inch gap where the door was opened.

Rick Distaso: And what happened next?

Matthew Spurlock: I followed, loosely followed him at a distance, went to the front door. As he was stepping out of the front door and onto that sidewalk area, I heard what sounded like a cuss word, and if you want I can say it in court.

Rick Distaso: Go ahead.

Matthew Spurlock: Sounded like the word "fuck," and it came through what sounded like gritted teeth.

Rick Distaso: Okay. After you heard that, then I, I seen,

Mark Geragos: Objection as to his conclusion that it came through gritted teeth.

Judge Delucchi: Sustained. The jury can disregard, but the word "fuck" can remain.

Rick Distaso: Can, can you, I hate to put you on the spot at all, and tell me if you can't, but can you demonstrate, like, how it sounded?

Matthew Spurlock: I can.

Rick Distaso: Go ahead.

Matthew Spurlock: It sound something like "fuck." Kind of like that. It wasn't very clear, but it was obviously through what appeared to be through some type of frustration.

Rick Distaso: Okay. And did you see,

Mark Geragos: Objection. Motion to strike as to,

Judge Delucchi: Sustained. Calling for the defendant's state of mind.

Mark Geragos: I also, I also want to be heard.

Judge Delucchi: On what?

Mark Geragos: Outside the presence.

Judge Delucchi: On the word, on the epithet?

Mark Geragos: No, on a discovery violation.

What followed in Court was a discovery hearing.  1054 requires the Defense to be given 30 days notice of any "statements" by the Defendant.  Geragos found it incredible that two officers, testifying in succession, independently remembered the same incident, yet neither of them put it into a report, nor did Evers or Duerfeldt.  Rick Distaso did finally admit that he found out about the flashlight incident earlier that morning when he spoke with the two officers. 


In the end, Judge Delucchi gave Distaso a mild admonishment but said the situation was not enough of a violation to warrant an instruction to the Jury.