THE COURT: Are there any matters we need to
take care of before I bring the jury in for the final jury arguments?
MR. PANOSH: No, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Again, I remind those people that are here in the audience the doors will be shut. You will not be allowed to leave during the argument. Once the argument is over with, then we'll take a break before the second argument. So if you need to step out, you need to do that now. Otherwise, you're going to be with us for the hour or whatever it takes.
Bring them back.
THE COURT: Very pleased to have the panel back. Hope each of you had a nice lunch and are feeling okay. Anyone who is experiencing any problems this afternoon I should know about, if you'd raise your hand, I'll be glad to talk with you about that.
As you remember, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we have the final two arguments. Mr. Hatfield will have the first argument. It will be on behalf of the defendant. You may address the jury.
MR. HATFIELD: Thank you, Your Honor.
Judge Cornelius, Mr. Panosh, Mr. Lloyd, ladies and gentlemen: I truly apologize for taking your time like this. You've already shown tremendous attention to
everything that's been said this morning and probably everything that's been said that needs to be said. I've been working on this case for almost 17 months and I have thought about it day and night, and I have some ideas about it which I want to try to share with you. Although, I'm sure mostly you know what I'm going to say and mostly you've already seen anything that I might try to point out to you about this case.
Ladies and gentlemen, you were told at the beginning that this was a conspiracy case. And you were told that the State was going to prove it. They promised they would prove it. And in connection with their promise to prove that it was a conspiracy, they were provisionally allowed to tell you many, many things that Ted Kimble supposedly said. But almost every time that a witness was allowed to tell you something that Ted Kimble supposedly said, you were cautioned by the Court that you were only being given that information with the understanding that at some point a conspiracy would be proven. And that if a conspiracy between Ted Kimble and Ronnie Kimble wasn't proven, then all of that testimony should be disregarded.
Now, we can't disregard the things we've heard, because we're only human. And, you know, if we hear a thing that sticks in our minds, even if we know that we
should not consider it as a factor, we're probably going to remember it anyway. So I'll just say to you that I hope that you will first determine whether you think there was any conspiracy whatsoever between these two young men. And then if you can't do that, I think you have to sweep aside the many, many things that you've heard from Ted Kimble.
Now, just like lawyers think that these final arguments are important, and really they're probably not, lawyers also think that their cross-examination of witnesses is important. They just believe that.
Because how else are you going to see that they're doing their job if they don't come in here and ask a lot of questions of the witnesses to try to show that they know everything the witnesses already said and they've already thought about this whole case. And really, you know, lawyers are full of words, full of hot air. They do like to show off their petty little skills with wordsmanship, and I'm probably the worst. So I know I've asked some people some questions on the witness stand, and probably asked too many questions on the witness stand, but once in a while the truth comes through because someone who is making an assertion in court is forced to clarify that assertion or to put it in perspective, or to explain what they meant. And then
if you're the listener, you think, hmm, when I first heard that, I thought it meant one thing, but now that I've heard a couple of more questions, I'm starting to think it might have meant another thing. And I'll give you an example of what I mean, ladies and gentlemen, because you have already seen on Friday, when you read all of the exhibits that are over here on the table -- no. Pardon me. You did not see it. You will see it for the first time sometime today or whenever you request it, the written statements of a guy named Rob Nichols.
This has been a long trial and some of you may have forgotten Mr. Nichols. He came in here after three and a half or four years at UNCG, told us he came from a prominent family, a high-placed dad, that he was married, needed to make a little extra money to put himself through college and take care of his wife. You know. The usual bit. The usual excuses. And his statements were permitted by the Court into evidence for the purpose of corroborating what he said on the witness stand if you think it does corroborate what he says on the witness stand. Once again, comes in with a proviso, very similar to Ted's statements that come in with a proviso.
Mr. Nichols has a memorable quote in here. He
says -- he's talking to Ted. Of course, they've been out stealing in the middle of the night numerous times. And, of course, Mr. Nichols has said that he didn't really know it was stealing at first. It's really pretty good reading here if you get a chance.
Mr. Nichols claims that the first time he went out with Ted it was early in the morning. It was snowing. And when he means early in the morning, ladies and
gentlemen, it is after every other living soul has gone to bed. They're talking 2 and 3 a.m.
He said Ted got out of the car and went over and removed a couple of two-thousand-dollar doors from a nice house in Brassfield, and then they loaded those up. Two-thousand-dollar doors. Then they went back and got some windows. I don't know how much those cost. And then they -- it finally took them two or three loads to--get this stuff away. Mr. Nichols said that time he didn't realize it was stealing. He thought this was legit. But later when he went on similar forays, around 20 or 25 of them, he began to understand that there might be something questionable about this behavior.
So he started asking Ted personal questions.
And he was interested in whether Ted had had anything to do with the demise of Patricia.
Now, Rob Nichols did not know Ted Kimble at any
time when Ted was married to Patricia or when any preparations were made for insurance policies or anything else having to do with the life of Patricia. Mr. Nichols came on the scene later.
He says he asked Ted these questions, and Ted said, Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies. And as a result of this, Mr. Nichols says in these interesting documents, that he concluded that Ted had something to do with the death of Patricia. Ask me no questions, and I will tell you no lies.
Now, I don't know what that phrase means to each of you, but to me it means something along the lines of none of your business, or shut up, because I'm not going to talk about anything like that with you. That's not what Mr. Nichols concluded. And somehow Mr. Nichols was able to sell his conclusions to the sheriff's department_ of Guilford County, because in a series of interviews, the first beginning on April 18, 1997, and marked State's Exhibit 121, this is the -- on page 5 of 6 pages, in State's Exhibit 121: I asked Ted if he said -- had anything to do with his wife's death. And he wouldn't say anything. So I asked him again and again over a few months. And Ted told me, quote, Yes, I did. And now are you happy? I asked him if he was involved, and Ted said, quote, Ask me no questions, and
I'll tell you no lies.
I hope that you will give some thought to this in light of what might happen if someone interested in Ronnie Kimble's well-being were to have a chance to cross-examine Ted Kimble who is the person who supposedly made that statement. Do you really think that Ted Kimble would say, Yes, I was admitting that I had something to do with Patricia's death. I just wanted to shut him up, so I thought I'd go ahead and tell him I killed her. So I said -- didn't want to, you know, act like I was mad or anything, so I said, Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies.
I don't think so, ladies and gentlemen. That is a tortured piece of quotation that probably doesn't mean what it is offered to you as meaning. It probably means something else. And if there had been a right of
confrontation between Ronnie Kimble and Ted Kimble, you probably would know that that was not truly an admission of anything.
Now, these statements go on and on. And at some point, I'm sorry to say, you may feel that you have to read these statements of Rob Nichols. But let me tell you something about these statements. I read them very carefully this morning. There is not one word in any of those statements about Ronnie Kimble. So remember,
ladies and gentlemen, the first thing the State has to do is prove that there was a conspiracy between Ted Kimble and Ronnie Kimble to do something that Ted Kimble wanted done. This kind of stuff -- Rob Nichols' written statements -- is offered to prove that. But Rob Nichols didn't know Ted Kimble when Patricia died and didn't know Ted Kimble when Ted formulated whatever terrible plans he had for Patricia's demise, and didn't know Ronnie Kimble, and never heard Ted and Ronnie Kimble talk about anything. Not a thing. He didn't even hear them have a casual conversation.
Now, where is the conspiracy, ladies and gentlemen? Where is the threshold proof of a conspiracy which the Judge has told you again and again you must be satisfied exists before you consider any of the things that Ted Kimble said?
Now, while we're talking about Rob Nichols, let's move to Patrick Pardee. I'll show you something interesting.
Take a look at 148-A, ladies and gentlemen, when you're reviewing the evidence. It's a picture of the wedding party when Patricia and Ted celebrated, memorialized their marriage. Of course, they had gotten married the previous December, and this memorialization took place a few months later over at Ron Kimble, Sr.'s,
church over at Monnett Road. And who do you suppose is in this picture? Mr. Patrick Pardee, beloved member of the wedding. A person, ladies and gentlemen, who, without having any thought that he was under investigation for anything, told Melanie Oxendine, Do you think that I would have continued to be friends with Ted Kimble for one moment if I had thought he had anything to do with Patricia's death.
Poor Melanie Oxendine was just a bar tender, ladies and gentlemen. She was not an SBI agent. She was not a detective with some 20 years experience. She just heard what the guy said. He had no way of anticipating that what he was saying to Melanie would eventually make its way into a courtroom and be formalized by being told to you under oath. Is it possible that Melanie Oxendine, who has absolutely no interest in this case, would come forward and tell you something like that if it weren't true?
It is these kinds of statements that people make that are not formed and shaped and put together under
the pressure of an investigation for numerous B&E's that
could result in several years in prison. It is these kinds of spontaneous utterances that people make in their day-to-day life that do have a ring of truth.
Now, in a little while, I have to sit down. I
can tell by some of you, your eyes, you wish it were in five minutes. And I'm sorry. I apologize. In a little while, I will have to sit down. And after I sit down, someone from the State will probably tell you Melanie Oxendine, she goes to visit Ted Kimble practically every week. She's part of his crowd. Don't believe a word she said. Because this is smear every witness that we don't like.
MR. PANOSH: Objection.
THE COURT: Sustained. Disregard that.
MR. HATFIELD: That's what's done here, ladies and gentlemen.
MR. PANOSH: We'd ask that that last comment be stricken.
THE COURT: Strike it, members of the jury.
MR. HATFIELD: This is discredit what you don't like and credit what serves your purpose.
For example, we have four criminals who visited us here in the last two weeks. Four splendid criminals. Probably the most charming and probably the most believable is Jeff Clark. He's already got 20 years. He knows nobody can help him. So I suspect that to at least some extent he tells it like it is.
Another interesting criminal who paid us a visit here is Mr. Rodney Woodberry. He's probably not going
to get any time because of anything that's happened in connection with these proceedings or the events that were -- went down before these proceedings.
And then there's Patrick Pardee, ladies and gentlemen, acknowledged to have participated in five, six, seven, eight, ten, twelve, fifteen B&E's in the middle of the night, stealing building materials, stealing generators, stealing go-carts; taking these things off to use as your own personal property; running the whole gamut from luxury items to stuff that only a builder who knew how to install it would need.
And then there's Rob Nichols. Rob Nichols. Who, if justice had been done, would be a three-time loser right now.
MR. PANOSH: We object, Your Honor.
MR. HATFIELD: Rob Nichols worked and made a deal with the law enforcement authorities in California and wiggled out of felony charges. He came in here in Greensboro with felony charges unrelated to his activities with Ted Kimble. Wiggled out again. And now he has felony charges, numbering some 25 to 30, stealing thousands of dollars of building materials every night that he went out. And probably, ladies and gentlemen, throwing the beer cans out the window. Because he did admit that, although Ted didn't like to drink, he always
drank a little bit as he went on these forays.
Well, just like Rodney Woodberry, ladies and gentlemen, Patrick Pardee and Rob Nichols won't go to jail. They had something better than gold. They had something better than a good lawyer. They had words. Words that could be used in this forum to prove murder.
Now, they never said anything about those words before April 1, 1997, when Ted Kimble was arrested and placed in jail without bond for murder charges. They didn't call the police and say I'm terribly afraid of this man, and I'm also terribly ashamed of what I've done, and I'd like to tell you the truth about it. They didn't do any of that. Because they were desperately hoping against hope that they would somehow wiggle out. And, ladies and gentlemen, they did.
When you look at the sequence of statements that were given by Rob Nichols, it's quite interesting. First, he gave a statement on April 18th, said nothing about Ronnie Kimble or any involvement that Ronnie Kimble might have in murder. He really is just putting his toe in the water, ladies and gentlemen, and seeing whether he wants to make the plunge. This is the time when he says, Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies is what Ted Kimble told me, but I knew he really meant murder.
Then on May 16th, a month later, his -- he perfects his line. He's closing on these guys now. There's going to be a deal that doesn't require him to spend a day in prison. And this is so good that it's too good to be true. And he comes back on May 19th, and again meets with Mr. Church, talks about gun silencers that Ted had. Said Ted told him that he, Rob, wouldn't make a good criminal because he opened his mouth too much. Talks about how Ted made him do these things. Ted made him get up in the middle of the night, buy a few cans of beer, and go out and circulate in the nicer neighborhoods of Guilford County where the better houses are being built and steal the expensive building materials.
Ladies and gentlemen, that's what makes inflation. It's not the bankers with the high interest rates. It's the shoplifters and thieves who take things that are not theirs and cause the price for honest people to be raised.
Ladies and gentlemen, you're going to hear a lot after I sit down about how Ronnie Kimble is lacking in believability. Even though Ronnie Kimble spent almost eight and a half hours on the witness stand in front of you and talked about his life in every aspect that he was asked about, including things that he should not
have been asked about.
Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to think for a second about where Ronnie Kimble is coming from. Patricia Kimble died on October 9, 1995. It will be almost three full years that she has been dead when we proceed to have ended this case. It's coming on September in a few days, as soon as we get to October -we're only about five or six weeks away from the third anniversary of her death.
Ronnie Kimble had to have known that his brother was a suspect from the very beginning, because there was so much activity surrounding his brother. And even on October 30th, which is only three weeks after Patricia died, naval investigators were requested to sit down with Ronnie in Camp LeJeune and ask him all about what he knew about that, what he had been doing on those days, and so forth.
And ladies and gentlemen, I do not believe that there has been any evidence put before you that would indicate that the statement that Ronnie made to this Agent Monroe on October 30, 1995, was lacking in candor or that any of the facts stated by Ronnie were any different then than what he told you about this case now. So there's been no change. But he has known that he was under a cloud of suspicion. And in November of
that year, you will recall from Mr. Church being on the witness stand, Mr. Church went out and told Ted that Ronnie was the last person to see Patricia alive. A statement that we have tried to evaluate in several different contexts since then.
Ronnie knew that he was a suspect. Again, it was not enough to give a statement to Mr. Monroe. He was asked to give a statement to Mr. DeBerry, and then another statement, and then another statement, and then on and on and on. Simultaneously with that, some of his friends like Neil Silverthorne were also being questioned.
I can tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that when you've done nothing wrong and your friends are being asked serious questions about murder, you have to notice and it has to bother you. That's not a sign of guilt, ladies and gentlemen. Not being comfortable being investigated, not being comfortable being the target of an investigation is just good self-protection. It's just the normal way that any rational person would behave. People don't like to have the finger of accusation pointed at them, and Ronnie understood very well that he was being accused of things that he had no hand in.
And in addition to the straight-ahead
accusations that were being made about him were the backhanded accusations, like circulating information that he was the last person to see Patricia alive when there was no foundation for that statement. And yet we have seen from Ms. Kelly how horribly misleading that was. So misleading that she personally was outraged at what was being done to confuse the issue. And it did have an amazing bad effect because look what RPI Cato Jackson concluded: Absolutely the wrong thing. And came in here and testified to it. Not knowing that a better, more reliable witness was waiting in the wings to let us know what kind of an investigation Ronnie Kimble was dealing with.
Now, by June of 1996, ladies and gentlemen, there was another cycle of rumor circulated about Ronnie Kimble. This time it was based on the erroneous supposition that someone had seen Ronnie Kimble -‑
MR. PANOSH: Objection.
MR. HATIFLED: -- near -‑
MR. PANOSH: Objection.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. HATFIELD: Your Honor, I'd like to be heard outside the presence of the jury. This is clearly in evidence. I got it out of Church and a number of others. Request a hearing.
THE COURT: Members of the jury, step out a moment, please.
MR. PANOSH: May I approach?
MR. HATFIELD: I'd like to know what's been handed to the Court.
MR. PANOSH: Transcript of the Court's order. MR. HATFIELD: We have a new rule now where the Court considers things that -‑
THE COURT: No. You may come look at it.
MR. PANOSH: I've provided counsel with a copy. THE COURT: You have a copy, sir?
MR. HATFIELD: No, I don't. I don't even know what it is.
THE COURT: It needs to be stapled.
MR. PANOSH: Mr. Lloyd, do you have a copy? Did I give you a copy?
MR. LLOYD: Mr. Panosh gave me a copy, Your Honor.
MR. HATFIELD: This is not based on Tammy Patton. This is based on statements that Mr. Church made to numerous suspects which he admitted on cross-examination. This has nothing to do with Tammy Patton. Tammy Patton is not a witness in this case. And we are the ones who vigorously argued that nothing,
no inference of any kind should be drawn from anything having to do with Tammy Patton because they didn't call her as a witness. However, the fact that Mr. Church repeatedly advised people he was interviewing that he had -- and including the defendant himself -- that he had a witness that identified the defendant at approximately 6:20 p.m., and since the witness told such important witnesses as Mitch Whidden that he had allegedly been sighted at the scene, we feel that it is a legitimate issue to discuss in front of the jury. This has nothing to do with Tammy Patton.
THE COURT: Wish to be heard, Mr. Panosh?
MR. PANOSH: My recollection is there was no evidence of this until Detective Church was testifying. It was brought out on cross-examination. The State asked to be allowed to offer specific evidence in regard to that. Your Honor said we could not. There was an agreement by counsel that it would not be referred to in argument, and that was Your Honor's order.
MR. HATFIELD: I want to be heard before you make any decision. That is not the case.
THE COURT: What's the argument you wish to make, Mr. Hatfield?
MR. HATFIELD: Your Honor, this is the argument I wish to make. Mr. Panosh marked for identification
some sort of a photo lineup and attempted to use it in the case when the only link that that photo lineup had to the case was that one Tammy Patton had reviewed it with an uncertain outcome. Our objection to Mr. Panosh being allowed to show those photographs was only partly sustained, and the Court went ahead and let the exhibit be marked for identification, but then precluded any further discussion of Tammy Patton, which was exactly right, because Tammy Patton has not been a witness in this case. Either side could have changed that situation entirely by calling Tammy Patton as a witness. That has nothing to do with Mr. Church admitting that he suspected that Ronnie Kimble had been seen at the location of Brandon Station Court at 6:20 p.m., on October 9th, and that he had told numerous people about that. And this is so critical to the case that it made its way into Mitch Whidden's view of the case. And when Mitch Whidden talked to Mr. Panosh on July 28th, he talked about that in his conversation with Mr. Panosh over the telephone which -- the substance of which was later disclosed to us.
THE COURT: I just want to know what's in evidence. That's the only thing you can argue before the jury is what's in evidence.
MR. HATFIELD: What's in evidence is
Mr. Church's admission that he asked the defendant and others whether or not Ronnie Kimble had been -- that he told Ronnie Kimble and that he told others that Ronnie Kimble had been sighted near the premises at 6:20 p.m. Just because they didn't prove that has nothing to do with whether or not Mr. Church said it. And all I want to do is talk about the fact that Mr. Church said it.
This interruption is coldly calculated to ruin my summation.
THE COURT: Wait a minute. Cool off. Settle down.
MR. HATFIELD: Well, this is how we waste 45 minutes so he gets to argue tomorrow.
THE COURT: I've got the door open back there.
I can send you out for a while if I need to, but just -- I want you to control yourself.
Mr. Panosh, I believe there was testimony to that effect.
MR. PANOSH: There was testimony about an identification. And the State had a perfect explanation. We wanted to get into it and explain it and, Your Honor, we were cut off by an objection, and you ruled that we could not get into it. And counsel at that time agreed at the bench they would not get into this whole 6:20 thing.
MR. HATFIELD: No.
MR. PANOSH: Mr. Hatfield says Ronnie Kimble was told that he was identified at 6:20. I don't recall him testifying to that. Others were told that. I don't recall others testifying to that.
THE COURT: I think -- the evidence I heard he was in the vicinity of the area sometime or another.
MR. PANOSH: Yes. And that was on cross-examination through Mr. Church. But there's' a whole -- you know, there's 6:20 and there's 7:20, and there's a whole range, and we could have very easily explained that if we would have been allowed to do that.
MR. HATFIELD: No, Your Honor. They did not offer live testimony.
THE COURT: Let Mr. Panosh finish, then I'll hear your statement.
MR. PANOSH: We were cut off. And we didn't object to being cut off because the agreement at the bench was it would not be gone into on argument, and Your Honor's order was it would not be gone into on
argument. Now, he's absolutely right when he says Tammy Patton could be called by either side. If they wanted this evidence in, all they had to do was call her. They didn't do that, because what they want to do is rely upon some innuendo based upon questions to Detective
Church that we were not able to explore and find out. And no, there was never any evidence as to the specifics of the identification. If there was evidence, the identification would have been dated and timed.
MR. HATFIELD: May I respond?
THE COURT: Yes, you may.
MR. HATFIELD: Your Honor, if they had offered Tammy Patton, there would have been no objection. What they offered was a photo lineup that had -- was not -did not illustrate anybody's testimony. And, unbelievably, that somehow was permitted to be used in the presence of the jury. Upon our objection, it was agreed that there would be no arguments one way or the other about Tammy Patton, not about the widely-held and circulated accusation that Jim Church originated. And he didn't make it up. He had a good faith basis for going and telling the defendant and others who cared about the defendant and those who did not care about the defendant that he had been sighted there at 6:20 p.m. And this was the thing that was so disturbing to Ronnie Kimble that occasionally he told his friends about it. And those people -- Dziadaszck's testimony makes reference to this sort of thing. Mitch Whidden's testimony makes reference to this sort of thing. can't understand why we're wasting my summation time
talking about this and then Mr. Panosh will claim that he gets to sum up tomorrow after the jury -‑
THE COURT: No. We're all going to do it today. If we're here till midnight, we're going to do it today. Let's get that straight.
MR. HATFIELD: Thank you.
MR. PANOSH: First he's saying Tammy Patton's information shouldn't come in, but now he just admitted he wants to bring it in through the back door.
MR. HATFIELD: It is not Tammy Patton's information. It is Church's information.
THE COURT: Well, that's the backhanded way of saying it.
MR. HATFIELD: No. Church didn't tell anybody it was Tammy Patton. They tried to conceal her in -THE COURT: You may argue and refer to
Mr. Church having referred to witnesses saying that he was in the area at that time.
MR. HATFIELD: I may?
THE COURT: That's the extent of it, sir. MR. HATFIELD: Thank you.
THE COURT: I've already ruled on the other part.
MR. HATFIELD: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: Bring them back.
THE COURT: You may continue your argument, Mr. Hatfield.
MR. HATFIELD: Thank you, Your Honor.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Church alerted Ronnie Kimble and others that he suspected that Ronnie Kimble had been seen in the vicinity of Brandon Station Court at 6:20 p.m., on October 9th. Ronnie Kimble knew he had not been. It is these kinds of accusations swirling around the young man that are going to affect the way he handles himself as he deals with the problem. It is not a simple matter to be suspected of murder. And if you are innocent of that murder, then you must do everything in your power to defend yourself.
Now, Ronnie Kimble's way of defending himself, I submit to you, was to again and again and again cooperate with the investigators and show unfailing goodwill toward the people who were basically trying to take his liberty away from him. Even on the day that he was arrested, on October 1st -- on April 1, 1997, after being with various investigators, the naval people in the early part of the morning, Detective Church for the remainder of the morning, and all afternoon, through 7:00 at night, after it was all over with and he told them that he didn't want to say a word to them about
this case, he shook hands with them and said that there was no hard feelings, he knew they were just doing their job. Unfailing goodwill.
When his friend Jim Dziadaszck on March 4,
1997 -- was interviewed both on March 4th and March 5th. As soon as the investigators found out that Jim went back and saw Ronnie on the evening of the 4th, they went running back to see Mr. Dziadaszck on the 5th, to see if anything had been said. And what was said was absolutely faultless.
Ronnie asked him what he said, responded that it wasn't exactly his recollection, but did not, did not, ladies and gentlemen, try to urge Mr. Dziadaszck in any way to change what he had said to the investigators or not to talk to them further. And the next day, when the investigators came back, they talked to him again. This happened again and again.
Ladies and gentlemen, every time Church and Pendergrass went to see James and Judy Stump, they were welcomed into their home. There were conversations there. There was hospitality. Kim Kimble, the same thing, who at one point Detective Church didn't even really know who Kim Kimble was. He couldn't recognize her. But whenever they sought information about this case, they got full cooperation from Ronnie Kimble and
his immediate family.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, when Ronnie was finally arrested on April 1, 1997, he was locked up in the Guilford County jail across the street, and he has been there ever since. He has been on suicide watch. He has been in close confinement. He has been essentially in solitary confinement. He can't see his wife, his mom, his mother-in-law, except through glass. He can't hear their natural voices. He has to communicate with them over a telephone. That's where he's been for the last 17 months. The only thing that he has been able to think about --
MR. PANOSH: We object, please.
MR. HATFIELD: -- is --
THE COURT: Sustained as to what he was thinking about.
MR. HATFIELD: The only thing -- the only human contact that I'm aware of that he's had -‑
MR. PANOSH: Object. None of this is in evidence.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. HATFIELD: -- has been the preparation -MR. PANOSH: Objection, please.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. HATFIELD: -- of his case.
Can I talk about the preparation of his case?
THE COURT: You may talk about the evidence and the law. That's what you may talk about in the arguments, sir.
MR. HATFIELD: So you know where he's been. One day he gets to put a suit on and come in here and take the witness stand and talk to you about the most important things that are involved in his life.
Now, he didn't have to take the witness stand, ladies and gentlemen. He has an absolute right not to. And if he had not taken the witness stand, we would be entitled to have the Judge tell you that he doesn't have to testify in this case. And we tell you that he has no burden of proof in this case. But he has chosen to address you. And he knew before he ever had a chance to step up on that witness stand that things that had no bearing on this case were going to be brought out. For example, whatever it was that went on between him and Joy Hedgecock Dyer. We didn't put her on the witness stand first, ladies and gentlemen. She was called there by the State of North Carolina. For what purpose? To let him know that a mistake that he had made back five or six years ago was going to be paraded out in this courtroom and used hopefully to affect your judgment of his credibility. Why was she brought here? Why did we
have to listen to her accounts of having chosen to have an abortion several years ago.
Ladies and gentlemen, you know that there is no abortion clinic that does not require the young lady who is submitting --
MR. PANOSH: Objection, please.
MR. HATFIELD: -- to that procedure -‑
MR. PANOSH: Object, please.
THE COURT: Overruled.
MR. HATFIELD: -- to sign papers indicating that she understands what is going on, proving what her age is, showing that this is a knowing and a voluntary decision. They don't make those decisions because the boyfriend asks them to, ladies and gentlemen. They make those decisions because the young women who are directly affected ask them to make those decisions.
Now, personally, I think such decisions are highly regrettable. And I hope that no one in my family has to make a decision like abortion. Ever. But on the other hand, I know that many people do have to make that decision, and that's their business, ladies and gentlemen. So how did it become our business that Ronnie Kimble and a young lady who apparently, when cross-examined, admitted she had had some sort of an illicit relationship with Ted Kimble? Is that what this
is all about? Is that what this is really all about? Or is it that she's now willing to say that she was afraid of him, because after they broke up he went over to her business, and she thinks she saw him showing his .22 rifle that she had used target practicing and shooting out in the woods.
You know, when you first met her, ladies and gentlemen, she told some story about Ted and Ronnie shooting a pistol at a paper target. By the end of your relationship with her, you found out it was she and Ronnie who had gone out target shooting in the fields around her house. What is the probative value of any of that, if not to smear a nice young man who Father Soutiere called a very good marine; who Natalie Kelly called a very good marine?
What a horrible situation. You are indicted because you have a brother. The proof against you is mounted through your former girlfriends, even girlfriends that you haven't even seen in five or six years. You don't put your character in evidence, ladies and gentlemen, but it doesn't make any difference. Because you are accused of all kinds of questionable behavior. Pointing guns at people and intimidating people. We see this stream of intimidation through here. It's impossible for Mr. Pendergrass and
Mr. Church to interview a witness without them declaring themselves to be absolutely terrified.
Read Rob Nichols' stuff. This guy is a senior in college going to a public university that we support with our tax dollars, paying his way through there by stealing, and explaining his behavior by saying that he's terrified. Patrick Pardee says he's terrified. Rodney Woodberry, he says he's terrified. The only one that didn't say he was terrified is that Jeff fella. What was his name? It's hard to remember him. Jeff Clark. Probably the only honest one in the bunch. Because he already got his time.
Now, do you think, ladies and gentlemen, that if Mr. Church had shown Jeff Clark pictures of Patricia looking beautiful as a bride and pictures of her charred and horribly mutilated body, do you think Detective Church would have put that in his report? You think he would have? Because it's not in there. But after Jeff Clark finished testifying, Mr. Church took the witness stand, and he never denied that he had said those things to Jeff Clark.
So we see what you do with criminals in order to get them to say what you want them to say to help your case.
You have been told, ladies and gentlemen, that
Ronnie Kimble and Ted Kimble engaged in a conspiracy, and in fact you can't consider anything Ted said unless you believe that. And in connection with that, we have Exhibits 145 and 149. 145 are the phone numbers that Ronnie Kimble basically said that he could remember from his time at Camp LeJeune while he was being investigated. And I'll make it easy for you, if I may, ladies and gentlemen. I was studying this this morning. Three of these numbers have a 451 prefix, that is, the first three numbers, and one of them has a 577. Now, here are the cellular phone records of Ted's pocket telephone. And these cellular phone records are billable to Lyles Building Supply. And they apparently run from either 9/18 -- I see a phone call on
September 18th. Then I see a series of phone calls from October 11th. There are quite a few calls on October 11th; October 12th. Then it goes through -- 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, so forth, through the month of October. And this is all 1995.
So we know, ladies and gentlemen, from looking at these billing records, that this is -- this reflects_ telephone activity on Ted Kimble's pocket telephone during the time and around the time that Patricia died. And we're thinking about this. Is there evidence of a really close relationship between Ted and Ronnie Kimble
from which we might be able to infer that there's some kind of a conspiracy between these guys?
So you take the 451 and the 577 and you start going through these numbers. And you'll never find a single call except on one day. October 30, 1995, there were, as was shown to you in earlier proceedings, a few calls. And Ronnie Kimble said some of those calls were made to me by my dad, and I can't say positively that my brother didn't call me later on that day too.
Okay. There may have been some calls on that particular day, but there weren't any calls on any other day. So if these guys are coconspirators, ladies and gentlemen, when did they do their coconspiring? They have no relationship at all. And we know it. And it's not Ronnie Kimble's lawyers' job to prove that they do not have a relationship. It's the State of North Carolina's job to prove that they do have a relationship.
Now, they start with a tremendous advantage. They start with brothers. Only two years apart. So you say well, you know, they must be joined at the hip. Only where is the evidence of that? Ronnie Kimble in no way -- there's nobody who says that Ronnie Kimble participated in the conspiracy to steal building materials that Rob Nichols, Patrick Pardee, James Ogburn
and Ted Kimble participated in. Nobody has ever said that.
Now, if these kids are -- if these brothers are criminals, both, then surely they would have continued their criminal activity and Ronnie would have at least had knowledge or at least have somehow benefited from some of this stolen goods. Nobody, the investigators who investigated it, the participants, nobody has ever said that Ronnie had anything to do with all of that stealing that went on.
For almost a year, Ronnie was on float in the Marine Corps. He was in the Mediterranean and places like that. There is no evidence, ladies and gentlemen, of any communications between these two young men.
After I sit down, a great deal will be made of the fact that the family of Ted Kimble decided to schedule some sort of a memorial to a celebration of marriage of Patricia Gail Blakley and Theodore Mead Kimble. And there are literally dozens -- I haven't counted them, ladies and gentlemen. Perhaps 12, 15, 18, 20 people participating in this ceremony. The best man, Gary Lyles. Other close friends. Patrick Pardee. A guy named James Day. Ronnie Kimble was put down here as an usher, ladies and gentlemen. Probably because at the time this was printed no one was really sure whether he
was going to be able to make it or not. And so his name is included just so he wouldn't be left out. And as he says, he really was afraid that Patricia might think he was somehow trying to upstage her if he wore his uniform. He wasn't sure he was supposed to do that.
Okay. He didn't immediately remember his involvement in that wedding. Of course, it wasn't really a wedding either. The wedding had happened the previous December.
How important is that, ladies and gentlemen? How important is that when there is not one single telephone call between Ted Kimble and Ronnie Kimble between the time that Patricia died and several months later except on that one day when -- I'll concede this to you. I'll bet Ted Kimble wanted to know what Officer Monroe had said to Ronnie, not particularly what Ronnie had said to Officer Monroe. So I don't doubt that Ted Kimble wanted to know something about what was happening in this investigation. He may have put a call in there. But that doesn't show a conspiracy.
Did Ronnie initiate the call? How long did the call last? Who was talking on the call? You don't have any information about those things. But when you look at those billing records, look at how there are no calls for weeks before and for weeks thereafter.
Ladies and gentlemen, just a little while ago in this courtroom Mr. Panosh said to you -- and I wrote this down very carefully -- Ted needed an airtight alibi. Mr. Panosh again said, Ted needed an iron clad alibi. Mr. Panosh said again, He knew he was the primary suspect. And again, Mr. Panosh said, Hit men don't work on credit.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I believe it is also apparent to all of you that there are no eyewitnesses in this case and no direct evidence that Ronnie Kimble did anything unlawful at any time. So what we have is a circumstantial evidence case. And in a circumstance -and it's not impossible for a- person to be convicted of murder based on circumstantial evidence. Indeed, in order to do so, you simply have to establish the three primary elements: Motive, means, and opportunity. Those three elements, ladies and gentlemen, can, under certain circumstances, add up to murder. And you don't have to have somebody see it happen.
Now, unfortunately, the history of the United States is a violent history. And in every community all through the ages there has been murder. This country has had many murders. And many, many murders have gone through our court system. Some of the greatest people who have ever lived in this country have been the
victims of murder.
When John Wilkes Booth killed Abraham Lincoln, there was direct evidence. Mr. Booth slipped in behind Mr. Lincoln with a small gun, pointed it at his head, shot him, jumped off the balcony, landed on the stage, fractured his leg and limped away. A few days later he was found in a farm house not too many miles away with a broken leg. Direct evidence of murder.
When John F. Kennedy was murdered, it was not so easy. The best that could ever be done was to make a circumstantial evidence case against Lee Harvey Oswald. And they began with motive, and they proceeded through means, and they focused on opportunity. And eventually they satisfied many, many people in this country that they had the murderer. Maybe not the only murderer, but one of the murderers.
Ladies and gentlemen, the State was allowed to put on its evidence in this case for nine full days. And during that nine days, they proved that Ted Kimble had a powerful motive to murder his wife Patricia. It would have -- it would take a lawyer with blinders and - with myopia not to see it. The case is there. I say this with sadness, because I know that there are people in this room who love Ted Kimble and who hope for the best for him. Like his mom and dad. And his brother.
But we -- this is a murder trial, ladies and gentlemen. And I can't talk junk to you. It's there. The motive is past any doubt. And the means, ladies and gentlemen, is equally past any doubt.
We did get ballistics tests. There were lots of test results we did not get. But we got ballistics tests. And it doesn't matter whether we did or didn't. It's better that we did. In all probability, the projectile that killed Patricia came from the gun that's over here in evidence. In all probability, that gun was owned by Ted Kimble. Ted Kimble has got a problem. Did Ted Kimble have opportunity, ladies and gentlemen?
At 3:20 p.m., on October 9, 1995, Ted Kimble called his wife Patricia. Nancy Young was sitting by and heard the phone conversation. There is no doubt that the person calling was Ted, and there is no doubt that Patricia responded in a cheerful way, and there's no doubt that about ten minutes later at about 3:30, Patricia Kimble left her office with the intention of going home to mow the lawn.
Around 15 minutes later, or even less than that, Patricia was seen on Randleman Road in Greensboro driving north. And -- correct me if I'm wrong, but this is my recollection -- the person who saw her turned off and merged into 1-85, and her vehicle continued
Ladies and gentlemen, Nancy Young does not know where Patricia was going, because she didn't tell us in her testimony. Only Ted Kimble knows where Patricia was going at a quarter of four on the 9th of October, because he's the only one who talked with her.
Now, many of us are married, or we have companions that we spend a lot of time with. If your companion says, As soon as I leave the office, I'm going to stop by Harris Teeter and get some vegetables, we'll have a meal, you can calculate how long that's going to take. And that means to you, I'm coming home but it still may be 45 minutes, or something along those lines. Patricia Kimble undoubtedly said something to Ted Kimble at 20 minutes after 3 on the day she died that let him know exactly where she was going.
Ladies and gentlemen, at 6:20 p.m., there's little doubt that Ted Kimble walked into Precision Fabrics and spoke to his coworker and got on the job. Three hours in which Ted Kimble is totally unaccounted for.
Ladies and gentlemen, Detective Church testified in this case, and he told us that he knew who was at Lyles on the 9th of October of 1995, between noon and 5 p.m. And when he was specifically asked that
question, he named the six people who I have listed here on this piece of paper: Ted Kimble, Patricia Kimble, Ronnie Kimble, Steve Swaney, James Ogburn and Billy Smith. Any one of these people could, if available, perhaps account for Ted Kimble's activities between 3:20 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.
But as you know, ladies and gentlemen, most of these people can't help us. Ted is unavailable, although some of his words have been allowed in. Patricia is unavailable. Ronnie Kimble has already testified. No one seemed to care when vigorously cross-examining Ronnie Kimble what he knew about the whereabouts of his brother. Steve Swaney is unreliable. Detective Church told you that. He's just not worth listening to about serious matters. Therefore, he's not available. James Ogburn is part of the stealing conspiracy. Even with all of the pressure that we've seen can be used against these criminals, it wasn't enough to bring him in here. So he's not here. And Billy Smith, who knows?
Ronnie Kimble doesn't have the burden of proof,_ ladies and gentlemen. It is the law of this land that he does not have the burden of bringing forth any evidence in order to prove or disprove the guilt of others or his own innocence. The State always has the
burden of proof and it never leaves them, regardless, in this kind of a criminal case.
We don't know where Ted Kimble was for those three hours.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, there are things about this case that are deeply troubling, because they reveal to us the perspective that law enforcement had on their case.
Take, for example, Defendant's Exhibit 119, a map that does not contain anywhere on it the location of Lyles Building Supply, even though the victim and the two accused were known to be at Lyles Building Supply between noon and 5 p.m., on the day this horrible crime occurred. Where -- why is Lyles not on this map which was prepared by Mr. Church in the early stages of this case? It was not presented by me. I'm sorry, ladies and gentlemen. It's not a trick. I didn't do this to lure a detective into foolishness. Where is Lyles?
I asked Mr. Church, during the first day I had the opportunity to cross-examine him, if he knew what
the direct -- best and most efficient direct route from - Lyles Building Supply to Brandon Station Court was and he didn't. I also asked him how long does it take to drive that. He didn't. And I also asked him what the distance was. Didn't know that either.
Like I said, in another five or six weeks, this crime will be three years old and it's still not solved. Fortunately, Detective Church is an intelligent man, and during the recess that night between my questions in the afternoon and my questions the following morning, Mr. Church went out and traced those distances. And he found that it was approximately 12 and a half or 13 miles between Lyles and Brandon Station Court, and that it could be driven in 18 minutes. He found that out because I asked him to. He was not asked by Mr. Panosh to find that out.
Ladies and gentlemen, when you think about what happened to Patricia, it couldn't have taken more than a minute or two for this horrible deed to be done. I don't pretend to know what happened to her in detail. But I can guess, ladies and gentlemen, that the person who murdered her probably stood in this bathroom with a gun in his hand, such as the gun illustrated over there. And that as she walked by, she received a slug in the side of her head which killed her instantly.
Now, I don't know whether, as Mr. Lloyd suggested, she had that knife in her hand. I can't think of any other reason that it would have been found under her body, somewhat burned. I don't know. But I think that the bullet entering the left side of her head
strongly suggests that she was shot as she walked past here by a shooter who basically had his -- the gun up at basically the level of her head. And probably the muzzle of the gun was three or four or five or six feet from her head and she probably never knew what hit her.
Now, if the perpetrator had entered the house minutes before Patricia and if, as was speculated earlier in these -- on this day of summations, she found the door unlocked, because she did have this dead bolt, then perhaps the perpetrator only had to wait two or three minutes. And having shot her and her dying instantly, he could have quickly grabbed the gas can from the carport, come in and sloshed it on her body, trailed it back out in the manner that those trail marks indicate, and tossed a match around the door. The force of the -- and those experts, don't think that they don't know some facts about fires. Those experts are bound to be right. That there was a huge flare as that highly flammable gasoline and the fumes emitted from it ignited. And of course, as they said, it blew the door shut. When it blew the door shut, part of the curtain went around the edge of the door and the door slammed from the shut, and there weren't very many other sources of air in the house. And probably, just as Mr. Panosh argued earlier in the day, and as the experts suggested,
probably the fire burned rather slowly. Who can quarrel with that?
How much time did it take this perpetrator? Two minutes? Three minutes? Four minutes? Ladies and gentlemen, if you add 18 minutes to 18 minutes, you get 36 minutes. And if you give the perpetrator four minutes to murder Patricia, you've got 40 minutes.
Ted Kimble only needed to be away from Lyles for 40 minutes. And there is nobody who can account for his whereabouts at any time between approximately 3:30 and approximately 6:20, when he showed up at Precision Fabrics.
Motive, means, and opportunity. That's how you prove a case of circumstantial evidence of murder.
They spent more time with Rodney Woodberry's half-baked alibi than they did trying to satisfy you that the perpetrator of this crime was not the one they suspected all along. Why did they do that, ladies and gentlemen?
You know, ladies and gentlemen, when the State undertakes to prove murder by circumstantial evidence, then we have to look at the various theories that are consistent with the evidence, and if we've got two theories, we've got a problem. That's what's wrong with circumstantial evidence. It was okay, I guess, when Lee
Harvey Oswald who, of course, was dead by that time was receiving the blame for the killing of John F. Kennedy. But ladies and gentlemen, circumstantial evidence doesn't work very well when there are two or three equally believable and equally rational theories that hook up to the same evidence.
So, ladies and gentlemen, if all of the evidence in the case says that Ted Kimble had a huge motive to kill this unfortunate woman, that she was killed with his gun, and that he had a 3-hour window of opportunity on the day she died when no living soul can account for his whereabouts, how can you rule him out? And why would anyone bother to try to put together a case against Ronnie Kimble when you have such a good case against Ted Kimble? Why?
Ladies and gentlemen, how many mistakes are you going to let North Carolina make in one case? I told you in the beginning of this case that this was not going to be a case about science. This case could have happened -- somebody this morning -- David Lloyd said something about the Salem witch trials which happened in the 17th Century in Massachusetts. And you know, that's not the dark ages, ladies and gentlemen. There are beautiful houses that you can visit in New England right now that were standing when those terrible witch trials
were going on. It's not that long ago.
But they didn't have science, ladies and gentlemen. Not like we do. Only where is the science in this case? There isn't any. It's 1998, and there's -- no door has been closed. No fact has been established by the simple use of science.
North Carolina is the tenth strongest economy in the United States. We have a fantastic university system; an incredible science lab with more than a few locations around the State. Fingerprints: None identifying any suspect. Fingerprints: No tests performed on the murder weapon.
Ladies and gentlemen., that's unbelievable. You know. If a mad man goes in a museum and throws acid on a gorgeous painting from hundreds of years ago, painting from the Renaissance, it can sometimes be repaired. In the art restoration world, you can take years of grime and dirt from the era when churches were lit with beeswax candles and the smoke went streaming up and covered these beautiful paintings. They can remove that dirt and expose a painting that was made a hundred-or a hundred and fifty or even three hundred years ago as it looked when the artist finished. And yet, nothing was done with that gun to determine whose fingerprints were on it. They shined it under a bright light.
Mr. Lindell took his last training about fingerprint analysis in the 1960's and hadn't been back. That was a mistake, ladies and gentlemen. What if only Ted's prints were on that gun? Don't you think we could have avoided all this?
Arson analysis. They don't know what time that fire was set. I'm not knocking them. They just don't know. I don't know either.
Fire could have burned from two to four or more hours. I'm sure that's true. In the end of this case when there was almost nothing left to be said,
Mr. Pendergrass said, I'm satisfied that Patricia died around 4 p.m. So I asked him a couple of questions about that. And he opened it up to between 4 and 5. And I asked him a couple of more questions about that. And we got it opened to between 4 and 6. And that's the truth. It is between 4 and 6. Only we don't know it's 4 any more than we don't know it's 6. We don't know.
You know. If I'm out on the high seas in a life raft, there's no sense in me paddling in a certain direction, because I don't know where land is. What good is it going to do me to paddle? It's just going to wear me out. What good does it do us to talk about what time that fire was set or whether it was ignited by some kind of tricky device that involved the stove? It
doesn't help us understand this case any better.
Ted Kimble had two offices, and he was frequently in them. And let me tell you something, ladies and gentlemen -- of course, the autopsy doesn't help us either. We just don't know when this poor woman died.
Ted Kimble had two offices. He had numerous telephones. He was -- he had numerous vehicles. And he was his own boss. And he could forego a couple of sales of building materials in order to be off that lot for 40 minutes in order to go and take care of this business himself. He could have done that, and he probably did do that. And we're all here for naught.
Ladies and gentlemen, as has already been stated, Ted Kimble located this job at Precision Fabrics because he needed an alibi to cover the time that he was going to engineer the death of his wife. And he was operating within a very narrow framed reference. Because, as was pointed out by Mr. Lloyd this morning, one of the more significant policies of insurance that Ted Kimble stood to benefit from was the Maryland Casualty policy on the premises, and he had a right to the proceeds of some of that. The part not covered by the mortgage he had a right to, because he was a joint -- he wasn't an owner, but he lived there. And
they understood that when the policy was created. And the policy was worth $16,000 in living expenses that he collected and over $50,000 in compensation for personal property, and he and Patricia had received word that that policy was going to expire on the 30th of October of the year in which Patricia died. So poor Ted found himself jammed up. He couldn't wait for all of the various variables to fall into place.
You ask yourself -- I know you have, even though I'm sure that you're much nicer, all of you, than us lawyers are. I'm sure you've asked yourselves how could he have applied for this two-hundred-thousand-dollar policy with Mr. Jarrell and been so stupid?
Because, ladies and gentlemen, it's really not fair to Ted. I don't know why he's deserving of any fairness. But, you know, it doesn't do him justice. He didn't think there was a two-hundred-thousand-dollar policy on her life I don't think. There's no evidence that he thought it. He knew he was just trying to reserve a policy. He knew it wouldn't be active unless the physical was taken and the blood test was taken and all of that. I don't know how he got a lawyer to write a demand letter. I don't have any burden of proof in this case, ladies and gentlemen. If we want to know why the lawyer wrote a demand letter to Mr. Jarrell's
insurance company, let's bring the lawyer in here and ask him. Otherwise, it's not something that Ronnie Kimble has to prove to you.
Ted knew the casualty insurance on the house was going to be gone on October 30th, and he couldn't bear that job at Precision Fabrics. He couldn't bear the thought of going over there and working for 6.45 or $7 an hour until the wee hours of the morning in a glue-filled environment where they were gluing layers of material to each other. That wasn't his thing. This guy drives a Jeep Cherokee and has a boat and has a vacation house in Williamsburg. People that have those kinds of possessions, ladies and gentlemen, do not have second jobs at basically chemical factories where you have to smell that terrible glue. And he never worked there.
He didn't have an alibi, ladies and gentlemen. If he had arranged for the death of Patricia through his brother or through a hit man, then he would have been at that Precision Fabrics job at 3 o'clock. He would have been there. Then he would have had a perfect alibi. He didn't have an alibi. He didn't go in until 6:20. He left that opening. He had to leave that opening. Because he couldn't get anybody to do this horrible thing. Nobody. Not his brother, not Rodney Woodberry,
not anybody else. He had to do it himself.
Now, what's the story on Rodney Woodberry? Surely, you don't think that after Rodney quit his job that Ted was going to continue to pay for his beeper. Obviously, the beeper was a means of sending messages to people while they were working for the business either out on the lot or running an errand. You know. If you terminate your employee, then you terminate the benefits that go with the employment, and obviously there's no reason to suppose that Ted would continue paying for Rodney's beeper. Ted's problem with Rodney was exactly what Rodney said. That Ted had demonstrated a terrible bad temper toward Patricia in Rodney's presence.
Now, you know, he may have demonstrated a terrible bad temper toward Patricia in front of those people like Mr. Swaney and Mr. Ogburn, and people like that too. I don't know. All I know is Rodney Woodberry said that on several occasions Ted said, I wish she were dead. I wish I hadn't married her. I wish I could strangle her. I wish I had a hit man. And I say that he did think that somehow Rodney could have plugged him into a hit man. Because Rodney had a drug conviction.
MR. PANOSH: Objection.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. HATFIELD: Rodney could have been the kind
of guy who knew where you find people like that. And it doesn't matter whether Rodney succeeded, because basically I'm satisfied that Rodney is a very unreliable human being. But I'm also satisfied that Ted asked him where he could find a hit man.
Don't look at what Rodney says, ladies and gentlemen, because he's one of the four criminals. You can't really believe a word he says. But look at what he does. And what he does is this: As soon as he reads about or hears on the TV news about Patricia being dead, he makes himself scarce. And what happens? Ted continually tries to call Rodney through every means available.
Now, to a great extent we only know of the numerous calls that were made to Laura Shepard. But we don't know about those calls solely because Laura Shepard says so. We know about them because Detectives Church and Pendergrass found her phone number in Ted's phone records and went out there to say to her why is this guy who we suspect of murder calling your number all the time? And she says he's desperately trying to find Rodney Woodberry. So we watch what Rodney does and not what Rodney says.
What does Rodney do? He does everything in his power to avoid Ted. And then when he can't avoid the
police, he starts dealing with them and telling them whatever they want to know. So that in the end he made a whole series of statements, none of which has any believability at all, because every statement was different. And they were giving him an opportunity to clear himself. That's what Mr. Church said. And he -like Mr. Pardee and Mr. Nichols, he managed to stay out of some of the trouble he might have been able to be in.
I don't say that he was the hit man. I say it's absolutely true that Ted asked him about a hit man and then after Ted took care of the business himself that he recognized that Rodney was going to probably break down and tell somebody, and so he had to go and talk to Rodney. He was simply covering his tracks.
This is a very sad and distressing case.
Because a Christmas present should have been given to Ted Kimble. On December 24, 1995, he should have been handed warrants for murder. Let him prove where he was. Because as we now know, there would be no proof forthcoming.
A terrible potential mistake has been made here in which a young man's life has basically been ruined. He's lost his career in the Marine Corps. And as Father Soutiere said, he was a good marine. He's lost his wife, unless she changes her mind, because they've just
been separated too long and too many things have happened.
MR. PANOSH: Object. There's no evidence of that.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. HATFIELD: Well, she's divorcing him. believe there's evidence of that.
THE COURT: There's evidence of that, sir.
MR. HATFIELD: She's divorcing him, ladies and gentlemen. Let's hope it doesn't go through.
He's lost his brother. And his family will never, never be the same. Life will never be the same.
The people here in this room who love Patricia, my heart goes out to them, because they too have been asked to support a prosecution which is wide of the mark. It's a circumstantial evidence case. And the facts as you have been presented them are just as consistent with Ted's guilt as they are of anybody else. Much more so.
Ronnie Kimble has no motive. And even though, when I sit down, you will be told numerous petty examples of how Ronnie Kimble didn't handle himself just perfectly on the stand. But think about where he's coming from. And think about a 26-year-old trying to defend himself against skilled prosecutors in a court of
law. It's not so easy.
Was he too confident on the witness stand? Well, that's about all he's got going for him at this point is his Marine pride. Because everything else has been taken from him.
Did some of his answers seem too pat? Well, he hadn't had anything to think about but this case. Sure, he's thought about all these things. They're all he has to think about.
Have mercy on this young man, ladies and gentlemen, because he didn't do this crime. Make the prosecutors bring Ted in here as they should have done. If he were in here now, things might be different.
THE COURT: Members of the jury, we're going to allow you to take about a ten-minute recess to kind of refresh yourselves before final argument. Please, again, remember do not discuss the case among yourselves. Keep an open mind. You have not heard the final argument or the Court's instructions as to the law.
Everyone remain seated while the jury leaves. (Jury absent)
THE COURT: Ten-minute recess.
Published August 15, 2006. Report broken links or other problems.
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