Fifth day of Vojtas trial - Nov. 8

Report on court session, Friday, Nov. 8, 2:45-5:30 (adjournment)
by Dave Demarest

1) "expert" police witness (Willis? -- I came in on closing moments)

* testifies (viz. issue of whether Vojtas saw gun or phone in G's hand as he came out of car) that "recollections will evolve as time passes" -- presumably explaining why V said *later* that he saw a gun, when his *first* two recorded accounts, right after the episode, state that G had a phone, not a gun.

* Krastek (DA office) on cross puts final emphasis on phone-in-hand by making "expert" admit that it was a phone in V's *first two* accounts of his approach to G.

2) Kathleen Diffendal, defense witness to discredit Belajac

* testifies that Belejac stopped by to tow her car and was bragging about how "the cops were asking me all kinds of questions" about the G beating. Did he see it? she asked him. "No, I was down the street," she says he said. She: "He was like a boy with a toy, bragging."

* DA cross gets her to admit that she can't remember the date of her supposed talk with Belejac. [Saturday's testimony would show that Belejac did not work for the relevant tow company -- thus not fitting the scenario Diffendal described.]

3) The longest testimony of late Friday afternoon was via Christopher Kelly, Baldwin police chief, who puts into record a roughly half-hour audio tape recording, with transcript, the radio communications to and from the Rt 51 killing site.

+ A long cross exam, conducted by Krastek's assistant, argues -- utterly pointlessly, as far as I could tell -- that since two or three different time clocks were used (the transcription's, the police station's, etc.) the exact time of the tape is arguably variant within a minute or so.

This cross exam seemed to me emblematic of the prosecution: low-keyed, bureaucratic, almost improvised on the spot -- no plan or point visible.

4) Brentwood acting police chief

* Denies that Brentwood police had ever heard of the concept of "positional asphyxia" before the G episode.

* Cross merely brings out emphasis that this concept is now a part of required video training.

5) Cynthia Geisler, who is a waitress and EMS assistant

* Testifies that when her med truck arrived at killing scene she immediately went up to "Johnny Vojtas" -- she knows V & Mulholland -- and asked him what happened. "He said he didn't know, he rushed out of his car at me." Then V "asked [her] for a cigarette, which is really funny because he doesn't smoke." [G is never mentioned in this testimony.]

video is played showing Geisler and Vojtas at site

* Krastek asks for video replay that shows V turning toward the camera laughing, then turning away and abruptly stopping laugh after he sees camera.

Geisler was "in Shock City," she says, when she saw herself on TV the next day.

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