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Ronnie Lee Kimble 

                                                  

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Jeffrey Conluis Clark, Witness for the Defendant


 

THE COURT: You may call the next witness for the defense, please.

MR. HATFIELD: Jeffrey Clark.

JEFFREY CONLUIS CLARK, being first duly sworn, testified as follows during DIRECT EXAMINATION by MR. HATFIELD:

Q    Will you state your name, please, sir.

A    Jeffrey Conluis Clark.

Q    Okay. You have to speak up. This room has very poor acoustics, Mr. Clark.

A    Jeffrey Conluis Clark.

Q    Mr. Clark, are you currently serving a prison sentence in the North Carolina Department of Corrections?

A    Yes, I am.

Q    In recent months, have you been incarcerated in both the Greensboro and High Point Jail?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Do you know Ronnie Lee Kimble, who's sitting beside me?

A    Yes, I do.

Q    At some point in time, were you confined in the same jail facility as he was?

A    Yes, I was.

Q    Do you also know Ted Kimble?


2505

A    Yes, I do.

Q    And were you confined with him for a period of time -‑

A    Yes, sir.

Q    -- in the same facility? And was that High Point?

A    Correct.

Q    Did a time arrive when an incident took place, perhaps in July of 1997, between you and Ronnie Kimble?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Can you briefly describe that incident.

A    Well, one day I was -- well, Ronnie used to serve and clean up the trays in the jail. And one particular morning, the officer allowed me to go out and clean up. And before that, there was some words exchanged, and Ronnie thought that I was just making a racial thing, but he got the wrong -- he wasn't right about it. It wasn't me, it was another inmate. So I couldn't get Ronnie's tray from up under his door, so, you know, when the officer opened the door, Ronnie like pushed his tray, Kimble took his foot and pushed his tray towards me at the door. And I thought that, you know, he was trying to attack me or something. So it was like a little confrontation. But other than that, that was it.

Q    And did the -‑

A    Like it blew over.

Q    Did the guard who was present resolve that controversy right away?


2506

A    Yeah. Officer Stevenson.

Q    All right. Now, did something happen later in the day?

A    Yeah.

Q    What happened?

A    Detective Church called me down to his office.

Q    In the Detective Division of the sheriff's office?

A    I guess that's what it is. I know -‑

Q    Is that in the same -‑

A    -- it was outside -- I know it was out-‑

Q    Is that in the same building where the jail is?

A    Yeah. Where B.J. Barnes' office is.

Q    What did Detective Church say to you?

A    He stated his name, told me who he was, and heard that -- he had got word that me and Ronnie Kimble had got into a little confrontation. And he said he's the first to know about anything that has any dealings with Ronnie Kimble.

Q    He told you he -- whenever anything happened with Ronnie Kimble, he was the first to know?

A    Yeah.

Q    And did he ask you the details of what had happened with Ronnie Kimble?

A    Yeah.

Q    Did you tell him?

A    Yeah.

Q    And then what did Mr. Church say to you?


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A    He asked me, he said, "Well, back up --" "When you go back up there, find out --" you know, "see what you can --" said, "Have Ronnie said anything to you concerning why he was in the jail? Or have you heard him talking about his case?" And at the time -‑

Q    Did Detective Church tell you anything about Ronnie's case?

A    Not at that present time, but on another occasion, he did.

Q    So this time, he told you to go back up and see if Ronnie would say anything about his case?

A    Yeah, he did, he did say that.

Q    Did he tell you how it was that Ronnie's sister-in-law had met her death?

A    Yeah.

Q    What did he tell you?

A    He said that she was shot in the head with a large caliber pistol, and she was chained and soaked with gasoline and burned.

Q    Chained to a chair?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And soaked with gasoline?

A    Yes, sir.

Q     And burned?

A    Yes, sir.


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Q    Did he tell you that he thought Ronnie did that?

A    He said that -- yeah, he has good -- he said he has a good idea, and he's pretty for sure that Ted and Ronnie had something to do with it.

Q    Now, did Detective Church write up a -- was he writing while he was talking to you?

A    Yeah. Every occasion he was writing.

Q    And did he show you what he wrote?

A    No.

Q    Now, subsequently, did you have another occasion to meet with Detective Church?

A    Yes, in -‑

Q    Where was -

A    -- High Point.

Q    In High Point?

A    Yes.

Q    Do you know when that was?

A    I'm not for certain on the dates.

Q    All right. And tell the jury what happened then.

A    Well, on that occasion, he came to me and asked me, had I talked to Ted at the time. And I told him, yeah, we talked. And -- I'm not really for sure right off what he said to me at that time or what that really -- that conversation was about. But I remember the last conversation.


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Q    Did he ask you if Ted had given you anything?

A    Yeah.

Q    What did you respond?

A    I said yeah. He gave me a little pamphlet, it's like a religious pamphlet. And he asked me, could he see it. I showed it to him. He was writing some stuff down. And he said, "Well, are you sure I will get Ted Kimble's fingerprints off of this?" I said, "Yes, sir." And he took it.

Q    Did it have any drawings in it of anything unusual?

A    Yeah. It had some drawings, like little cartoon things. And I'm not really for sure. It's been so long.

Q    On that occasion, did Detective Church say anything to you about the prison time you were facing?

A    Yeah. He said he would -- don't worry about -- don't worry about anything, he would help me. Whatever time that-- I get, I wouldn't get it.

Q    And what did you think he meant by that?

A    I mean, I wasn't going to prison.

Q    He was going to excuse you from going to prison, if you'd cooperate with him?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Is that what he made you believe?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Now, was there a subsequent visit after that with Mr.


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Church?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And what happened then? Was anybody with him?

A    Yeah. It was SBI agent -- I don't see him in here.

Q    Was it Mr. Pendergrass?

A    Pendergrass. Pendergrass.

Q    All right. And what happened on that occasion?

A    Well, that occasion, he came and talked to me, and he told me he was going to visit an inmate by the name of Dominic Harris at the high-rise. And we had talked. And SBI Agent Pendergrass, he walked out of the room, and Detective Church showed me three pictures.

Q    What were those pictures of?

A    It was of a -- well, one of them I know was a female. It was a small wallet-size picture of a female, looked like maybe a Glamour Shot picture, a very pretty girl. And the second one was of an open-face garage, with a gas can outside of it. And he said that "I'm for sure this is the gas can that was used in the burning." And the second one was -- it could have been a body, you know. I couldn't really tell. All I know, it was like ashes. It was a burned house. I mean -‑

Q    That was the third one?

A    Yeah. If you showed me the picture, maybe I could maybe identify it.


2511

Q    I show you what's been marked State's Exhibit 1. Does that look like the picture of the girl he showed you, except bigger?

A    No, that's not the picture, but it's a much smaller picture, but it looks like the girl.

Q    The girl depicted in Exhibit 1 looks like the girl in the picture that he showed you?

A    Uh-huh. It's a much smaller picture, though.

Q    All right. And showing you what's been marked Exhibit 5, does that look like the garage that he showed you a picture of?

A    That's the garage, but it was a gas can outside of it.

Q    There was a gas can in there?

A    Yeah.

Q    And showing you Exhibit 46, a body that's severely burned.

A    Yeah.

Q    Does that look like the picture he showed you?

A    Somewhat of it.

Q    Now, what -- after he showed you these pictures, what did he say to you?

A    Well, after he showed them to me, we was sitting there just -- I think we was talking about the weather or something, and he noticed that Mr. Pendergrass was coming back in, so he slid them in the file and he said, "Look, you


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didn't see this from me or hear it from me, these pictures."

Q    And what did -- did you draw the conclusion he didn't want Mr. Pendergrass to know he'd showed you that stuff?

A    Correct.

Q    And what was his purpose in showing you that stuff?

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Was he asking you to implicate the Kimble brothers in murder?

A    Yeah.

Q    Now -‑

A    I mean, from the whole time I got with talking to Mr. Church, it was like, what I got from it, it was trying to put this on the Kimble brothers.

Q    Now, did -- at any time prior to very recently, did anyone show you any of these writings that Mr. Church wrote-down?

A    Well, I think about maybe two to three weeks ago, I came back here and -‑

Q    Back here?

A    Well, I came to the DA's Office.

Q    Yeah.

A    And the DA, he went downstairs and got a stack -- a book with a stack of papers in it. And he just briefly read over some things. It was like maybe --


2513

Q    Was that Mr. Panosh?

A    Right. But he said at the time that he really didn't have time to talk, because Mr. Church wasn't in, he had to go to Winston-Salem for something.

Q    Did Mr. Panosh read to you any of the things from the statements that Mr. Church had turned in on you?

A    He didn't read over them. He just opened them up and started briefly reading to his self.

Q    Did he mention anything to you that you felt you hadn't heard before?

A    I think he read the first statement when I went to see Mr. Church. That's about me and Ronnie being into the confrontation.

Q    And did you tell Church on that occasion that Ronnie pushes religion at everybody?

A    I think I made the statement, Ronnie talks the religion talk to everyone in the jail.

Q    And was it your -- did you try to put it in terms of pushing religion on people?

A    I'm not going to say, because it's been so long.

Q    Did you tell Detective Church that Ronnie was always trying to start trouble among the inmates?

A    No.

Q    You didn't tell him that?

A    No, I don't think so.


2514

Q    Did you tell Detective Church that Ronnie had his wife call the jail and find out what you were charged with, and then told other inmates?

A    No.

Q    You didn't tell him that?

A    No.

Q    Did you tell him Ronnie gives the young guys that come into the cell block snacks, to try to win their friendship over?

A    No.

Q    You didn't say that?

A    No.

Q    Did you tell him that Ronnie said that his brother had been selling stolen property from his business?

A    No.

Q    Did you tell him that Ronnie said his brother had taken an insurance policy out on his wife, the woman who was murdered?

A    (The witness shook his head from side to side.)

Q    Did you ever hear Ronnie discuss any of those things?

A    No. But I heard Mr. Church, he discussed it some briefly to that about it.

Q    So, while Detective Church was writing this statement, he was telling you those things?

A    I remember one occasion in High Point, yeah.


2515

Q    Did you tell Detective Church that you overheard Ronnie Kimble on the telephone talking to someone, and he stated that "They," meaning law enforcement, "think my rifle was used, but they don't know for sure if it was a rifle or a pistol"? Did you ever make that statement?

A    No, sir.

Q    Did Detective Church say something like that to you?

A    I don't remember that statement.

Q    Did Ronnie Kimble say to you and did you tell Detective Church that Ronnie thinks his truck was seen in the area, but the person who seen the truck cannot positively identify him? Did you ever say that to Church?

A    No, I didn't. But I do remember Mr. -- the DA reading that to me.

Q    And did you tell Mr. DA when he read it to you that you had never said it?

A    Say again.

Q    Did you tell him you never said it?

A    I don't recall. I mean, at the time that I saw the DA, it was like real brief.

Q    After you saw Mr. Panosh, did you realize that there were things in Church's reports that you had never said?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And are you telling this jury now that Mr. Church told --


2516

MR. PANOSH: Objection to leading, please.

THE COURT: Don't lead him.

MR. HATFIELD: No further questions.

Thank you.

THE COURT: Mr. Panosh?

MR. PANOSH: Yes.

(Mr. Panosh showed exhibits to Mr. Lloyd and Mr. Hatfield.)
MR. PANOSH: May I approach the witness?

THE COURT: Yes, sir.

CROSS-EXAMINATION by MR. PANOSH:

Q    Mr. Clark, I'm going to show you three exhibits. The first one is numbered 150. Do you recognize your signature on 150?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And I believe it says here it's Page 1 of 4; is that right?

A    I recognize my signature.

Q    Okay. But the page number is identified as Page 1 of 4, right?

A    Okay. Right.

Q    Okay. And your signature's on Page 1. Is your signature on Page 2?

A    Correct.

Q    Is your signature on Page 3?

A    Correct.


2518

A    (The witness shook his head from side to side.)

Q    So on State's Exhibit 152, you're saying that's yours on the first page, but the other ones look different?

A    Yeah, they look different.

Q    Okay.

A    They don't look like my writing.

Q    But you're sure on the first page that's your signature?

A    Yeah.

Q    Okay. Going back to State's Number 150, and on the second page, there are cross-outs and there are initials there. Do you recognize those initials?

A    Correct.

Q    Are those your initials?

A    Yeah.

Q    Page -- there were no more on that one. Excuse me. 151 -- I'm sorry, 152, Page 2, there's a cross-out. Do you recognize your initials?

A    Yeah.

Q    The second cross-out, do you recognize your initials?

A    Right.

Q    Page 3 of Number 152, there's a cross-out there. Do you recognize your initials?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Okay. And then on Page 5, there's a cross-out. Do you


2519

recognize your initials?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    So you recognize your signature on each of these, except for the Pages 2 through 5 of 152; is that right?

A    Correct.

Q    And you recognize the initials on 152 as being your initials?

A    J.C.

Q    Okay. Isn't it a fact, sir, that these are the interviews you gave Detective Church, and he read them over and let you make corrections?

A    No, sir.

Q    He didn't make -‑

A    He didn't -- I signed them. He never read them over to me.

Q    Okay. You signed them, without reading them?

A    Correct.

Q    And when he crossed things out, those initials, J.C., did you put those there?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    So you initialed things, without reading them?

A    Correct.

Q    But you did sign each page?

A    Yes, I did.

MR. HATFIELD: Objection. He said there were


2520

pages he said he didn't sign.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Of the pages you indicated you signed, do you recognize your signature?

A    Yeah.

Q    And all of the cross-outs, you recognize as your initials?

A    Correct.

Q    Now, drawing your attention to 150. It indicates your name; is that correct?

A    Correct.

Q    Your date of birth, March 17th of '66; is that correct?

A    Correct.

Q    It says that you're 31, or you were then?

A    (The witness nodded his head up and down.)

Q    That you're six foot three and 205 pounds. Is that information correct?

A    Correct.

Q    It says, "I was arrested on July 22nd of '97 and moved to D floor of the jail on July 23, 1997. After this date, became familiar with Ronnie Kimble, by Ronnie's trying to push religion and the Bible at me." Is that correct?

A    No.

Q    You didn't say that?

A    No.


2521

Q    Sir, under the line that says "push religion and the Bible at me" is your signature, and you've already identified that as your signature; isn't that right, sir?

A    Correct.

Q    So you're saying that you signed that piece of paper with that -‑

A    What I'm saying is that -‑

Q    -- statement on it, without reading it?

A    What I'm saying is that I signed this paper without Mr. Church reading it to me or me reading it. That's what I'm saying.

Q    Well, why would you do that, sir?

A    I mean, if a man promised you, if you're facing a lot of time, if a man promised you that he would get the time up off of you, if you cooperate with him and help him out in the case, would you go along with him?

Q    If it's all right -‑

A    That's my reason for that, okay.

Q    Isn't it a fact that he read to you this entire statement and asked you to sign it page by page?

A    No, it's not true.

Q    And isn't it a fact that he went on to say that you -"that Ronnie was trying to push religion and the Bible at me, while he was in the hallway of the cell block and would be cleaning the same. Ronnie pushes religion at everyone.


2522

I also been the cleanup person in our cell block"? Is that true?

A    Yeah, that's true.

Q    "Yesterday, I was doing the cleaning and picking up food trays. When I got to Ronnie Kimble's cell, I couldn't get his tray from under the door, so the officer opened the door, and I saw Ronnie Kimble's foot on the tray." Is that true?

A    Correct.

Q    "Ronnie was upset, because I got the job of cleaning up. He accused me of being a racist. But I don't know why, other than it's his excuse to keep the cleanup job on that hallway." Is that true?

A    Correct.

Q    "Ronnie put his finger in my face and took his foot and kicked the food tray at me." Is that true?

A    Not the finger part.

Q    Okay.

A    But he did push the tray at me.

Q    "I pushed him away, and that's when Officer Stevenson came between us." Is that correct?

A    I never put my hands on him.

Q    Okay. "Ronnie is always trying to get things started, and causes trouble among the inmates." Did you say that?

A    No.


2523

Q    "Ronnie somehow found out what I was charged with. I heard the inmate in Cell G and Ronnie talking, and Ronnie stated that he had his wife call the jail and find out what I was charged with. And Ronnie told the guy in Cell G that I was charged with rape." Is that true?

A    No, sir.

Q    Were you charged with rape?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Now, in that sentence, there are two cross-outs, and you initialed them. Are you saying that you changed -- made those changes, without reading it?

A    I initialed it and I signed it. I never did read it, and neither did Mr. Church ever read it to me.

Q    So you're saying Mr. Church made those changes for some reason, and you just initialed them?

A    Mr. Church did all the writing. The only thing I did was sign.

Q    And initial?

A    And initial it.

Q    Okay. So he changed -- here it says, "Ronnie somehow found out what," and he changed that, and you initialed it; is that right?

A    I initialed and signed. Mr. Church did all the writing.

Q    Right. And you're saying that you had no input into


2524

what changes he was making?

A    No, I didn't.

Q And then you -- it goes on to say, "what I was charged with. I heard the inmate in Cell G," and the change is the word "heard." And you had no input in there?

A    I signed J.C. I signed my name Jeffrey Clark. I never changed anything, and Mr. Church did all the writing.

Q    I understand he did the writing. Did you tell him what to write there, sir?

A    No, I did not.

Q    Okay. "The guy in Cell G called me a rapist." Was that true?

A    No, sir.

Q    "I know for a fact that the inmates on the floor don't like Ronnie Kimble. They told me so." Was that true?

A    No, sir.

Q    "Ronnie gives the young guys that come in our cell block snacks, to try to get them --" "to win them over." Was that true?

A    No, sir.

Q    "I heard Ronnie talking to an inmate named or called Dominic on one occasion. Ronnie told him that his brother was selling stolen property from his business, and that's how he was linked to the murder." Was that true?

A    I never said that Ronnie told Dominic anything about


2525

his brother. I told Detective Church that Ronnie had a friend, Dominic Harris, that he always talked to.

Q    Okay. You didn't say Ronnie told him that his brother was selling stolen property from his business, and that's how he was linked to the murder that he is charged with?

A    No, I did not.

Q    But in the middle of that sentence, there's a correction with your initials?

A    It's a whole lot of it with my initials in there.

Q    Okay. So you're saying that was corrected and you didn't have any input in that correction?

A    I put J.C. on it. I never corrected anything.

Q    "He also said that he was home on leave that weekend from the Marine Corps." Did you say that?

A    No.

Q    "He further told Dominic that they, meaning law enforcement, think that is why she was killed, for the insurance money." Did you say that?

A    No, I did not.

Q    You do know who Dominic is, don't you?

A    Yeah.

Q    You didn't mention Dominic Harris?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    In fact, that's the reason they went to see Dominic Harris, is because you gave them their (sic) name?


2526

A    I'm not for sure, other than, I told Detective Church, he asked me, he said, "Who does Ronnie associate up there in the block?" And I said, "Dominic Harris."

Q    So that part of the statement is true?

A    Read it again.

Q    "He further told Dominic that they, meaning law enforcement, think that's why she was killed, for the insurance."

A    No, it's not true. I never heard Ronnie tell Dominic any such thing concerning his case.

Q    Okay. "I also heard him on the telephone talking to someone, and he stated that they, meaning law enforcement, think my rifle was used, but they don't know for sure if it was a rifle or a pistol." Is that true?

A    No, it's not.

Q    "He also said that they, meaning law enforcement, think his truck was seen in the area, but the person who seen the truck cannot positively identify him." Is that true?

A    No, it's not.

Q    "I also heard him say that he would be released if they, meaning law enforcement, did not release information to his attorneys within 45 days."

A    I did hear that.

Q    And that part is true?

A    That part is true.


2527

Q    That part is true. So there are some parts in here that are true, but most is false?

A    Correct.

Q    But you signed every page?

A    Correct.

Q    151.

MR. HATFIELD: Object.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    "On the night --"

MR. HATFIELD: Your Honor, this is a means of bringing evidence in that's completely extraneous.

THE COURT: Overruled.

MR. HATFIELD: We don't need -- this is cross-examination. I didn't bring these other statements up on direct. We've heard enough.

THE COURT: He's testified. Overruled.

Q    "On the night before I was moved to High Point Jail, there was a young kid in a cell beside me that was finding out about some other inmates' cases. On that night, this

kid had found out about Ronnie Kimble was in jail for."

MR. HATFIELD: Your Honor, these statements were not disclosed, to the best of my knowledge, only -‑

THE COURT: The witness has identified the statements as being his.

MR. HATFIELD: They were not disclosed in


2528

pretrial, as far as I know. The only thing I have -

THE COURT: Overruled. Sit down, sir.

Move along.

Q    "Everybody was locked up, and this kid kept talking on and on about Kimble being charged with murder. This kid kept saying, 'You murderer. You murderer. You burned her. You burned her. You call yourself a man. You ain't no man. Why don't you try to shoot me, if you think and call yourself a man.' This kid --"

MR. LLOYD: Objection, Your Honor.

Q    "-- just kept on and on saying --"

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    "-- this, and at one point, Kimble started yelling, 'How do you know I'm a killer?' and broke down and started crying." Did you say that?

A    I have no knowledge.

Q    You have no knowledge?

A    Not of that right there statement.

Q    Sir, didn't you just say that you signed this two-page statement?

A    I said that I signed and initialed all the ones that I recognize as my handwriting.

Q    There's not a lot of writing there, sir, is there?

A    No, it's not.

Q    And you're saying that you signed these documents


2529

without reading them?

A    That's what I said.

Q    Without having anybody read them?

A    Correct.

Q    Did you know these were important, sir?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    The statement goes on, "Everybody could hear it." Was that true?

A    I have no knowledge.

Q    Were you present on the cell block?

A    Yes, I was -- I may was.

Q    Did you hear that?.

A    I have no knowledge.

Q    Sir, could you say yes, you heard it or no, you don't -- didn't hear it?

THE WITNESS: I have no knowledge, Your Honor.

THE COURT: He's answered.

MR. PANOSH: Yes, sir.

Q    "An officer came and took the kid out in the hallway and talked to him for a while." Do you remember that?

THE WITNESS: Your Honor, them officers -

THE COURT: Answer the question, sir.

A    I have no knowledge.

Q    "The officer came back in the cell block and told the kid to keep his mouth shut or closed, or he'd have to chain


2530

him down in a chair." Do you remember that?

A    I have no knowledge.

Q    "Kimble was put back in his cell, and no one said anything the rest of that night. The next day, I was moved to High Point." Did you say that?

A    No, I didn't.

Q    Were you in fact moved to High Point?

A    Yes, I was.

Q    152. "Since I've been in the High Point Jail, I have met Ted Kimble. I never knew Ted Kimble was (sic) before coming to the High Point Jail."

MR. LLOYD: Object again, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Objection sustained at this point.

MR. PANOSH: I believe he's identified this, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Page 1.

MR. PANOSH: That's what I'm reading from.

THE COURT: All right.

Again, members of the jury, this testimony of what Ted Kimble may have said is not to be used against this defendant, unless you first find that there was an agreement to commit an unlawful act and that this defendant and Ted Kimble participated in that agreement or intended to participate in that agreement.

Q    Were you in fact moved to the High Point Jail?


2531

A    Yes, I was.

Q    Did you meet Ted Kimble?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    Was that first sentence true, "Since I have been in the High Point Jail, I have met Ted Kimble"?

A    Yes.

Q    "I never knew Ted Kimble before coming to the High Point Jail." Is that true?

A    Correct.

Q    "I did or do know his brother Ronnie Kimble from the time I spent with him in the Greensboro Jail." Is that true?

A    Correct.

Q    "The only thing I know about their case is that they are charged with murder, and I don't know what Ted has told me." Excuse me. "The only thing that I know about their case is that they are charged with murder, and I know what Ted has told me." Is that correct?

A    That first line is.

Q    What part isn't correct, sir?

A    What Ted has told me. Ted never told me anything.

Q    "Approximately two weeks ago, Ted Kimble and I were out on the floor at the same time. Ted asked me my name and told me that he had observed that I stayed in my cell and kept to myself a lot." Did you say that?


2532

A    I don't recall.

Q    It's got your initials there at that correction, sir.

A    It's a lot of things has my initials in there I didn't say.

Q    "Ted said he noticed that I didn't beat on the door and yell through the vents like the other inmates do." Do you remember saying that?

A    I don't recall.

Q    "After that, Ted and I --"

A    Yes, I do. Yes, I do.

Q    You said that part?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    Okay. "After that, Ted and I didn't talk until this past Tuesday, November the 4th of '97." Did you say that?

A    I don't recall.

Q    It's got -- the date is crossed out and Tuesday's written in and there's your initials. Didn't you make that correction, sir?

A    No, I did not make the correction. I put J.C. beside it. I never did do any of the writing.

Q    So you don't know what was being done when that correction was made?

A    No, I don't, because I never -- didn't read the statement.

Q    You didn't watch him cross it out, put in Tuesday and


2533

put your initials there?

A    No, I did not.

Q    "On this day, Officer Roberts was talking to an inmate Simmons about the Bible. I didn't pay any attention to exactly what they were saying, but I know it was about religion." Was that true?

A    Yes. Correct.

Q    "I was cleaning on the top tier at the time Officer Roberts was talking to inmate Simmons in front of Ted Kimble's cell door." Was that part true?

A    Correct.

Q    "Ted spoke to me through the slot in the door and asked me if I had heard what Officer Roberts had said." Was that part true?

A    Correct.

Q    "I told Ted that I heard them talking, but I hadn't paid any attention to what they said. Ted asked me if I was saved, and I told him that I believed in God." Was that part true?

A    Correct.

Q    "Ted said, 'Did you hear what Officer Roberts said, that there's only one belief?'" Was that part true?

A    Correct.

Q    "I told him I didn't hear Officer Roberts say this.

Ted told me what he heard Officer Roberts say was that there


2534

was only one belief and that was God." Is that true?

A    Correct.

Q    "Ted indicated Officer Roberts meant that one belief was God, and not Baptist, Holiness or any other denomination." Is that true?

A    Yes.

Q    "I took this to mean that Ted did not agree with Officer Roberts." True?

A    Correct.

Q    "Ted then handed me a pamphlet and told me to read it, and told me that he had --" "that if I had a radio, to put it on 95 point something." Is that true?

A    Correct.

Q    "I didn't listen to the station, like he asked me to." Was that true?

A    Correct.

Q    "Ted told me he would talk to me when he came back for his hour." Is that true?

A    Correct.

Q    Talking about an hour of exercise?

A    Correct.

Q    "I did read the part of the pamphlet he gave me. It was a truck driver, one believed in God, and two didn't. And also, something about burning a house and a murder." Is that true?


2535

A    No, it's not.

Q    Ted didn't give you a pamphlet that said that?

A    Yes, he gave me a pamphlet, but as far as him saying a murder and all that, he never said that.

Q    Well, actually it says it in the pamphlet; isn't that correct?

A    I'm not for sure. I think I -- I didn't get through the whole pamphlet.

Q    You gave it to Detective Church; is that right?

A    Correct.

Q    "Like I said, I didn't read the whole pamphlet," correct?

A    Correct.

Q    "Ted and I didn't talk again until yesterday. It was after lunch when Ted got his hour out of his cell. Ted came up to my cell and asked me if I had read the pamphlet, and I told him yes." Is that correct?

A    No, I didn't.

Q    You didn't say that?

A    No.

Q    "Ted said, 'You know, every time I read that pamphlet, I get upset and cry.'" Did he tell you that?

A    No. He told me that -- he said it upsets him. He did say that, correct.

Q    Left out the --


2536

A    Crying.

Q    The crying part wasn't true?

A    He didn't say nothing about crying.

Q    Even though you signed that?

A    Correct.

Q "Ted asked me if I was from North Carolina. I told him no, that I'd been in North Carolina a couple of years on and off." Is that correct?

A    Correct.

Q "Ted then said, 'I really can't go into it, but I can't believe I saw that burning house and hurt the one I loved.'" Did you say that?

A    No, sir.

Q    That's not correct?

A    No, sir.

Q    "I asked him what he meant, and Ted said, 'I wanted more.'" Did he say that?

A    No, sir.

Q    "I asked him 'More what?' and he said, 'More money.'" Did he say that?

A    No, sir.

Q    Although you signed it?

A    Correct.

Q    "At that time, the canteen man came into my cell and Ted walked away, and that was the end of the conversation."


2537

Did you say that?

A    I don't -- I don't recall that.

Q    Uh-huh. Did you go on and tell Detective Church, "The reason I have come forward to give this information is not because I like to tell on anyone, or not because I dislike Ted or Ronnie Kimble, but it's the right thing to do. And if my wife, mother or sister had been murdered, I would only hope if anyone had information, that they would do the same." Did you say that?

A    No, I did not.

Q    Even though you signed it?

A    Correct.

Q    "Detective Church and Agent Pendergrass --"

THE COURT: Well, Mr. Panosh, is that Page 1, or is that 2, 3, 4 or 5?

MR. PANOSH: He just identified Page 5 as signing it, sir.

THE COURT: All right, sir.

Q    "Detective Church and Agent Pendergrass have made it very clear to me that no promise, no deal or anything related to my charges could be made by either of them." Did you say that?

A    No, I did not.

Q    Even though you signed it?

A    Correct.


2538

Q    "This statement that I have given is absolutely the truth, and I'm willing to take any test to prove my truthfulness." Did you say that?

A    No, sir.

Q    Even though you signed it?

A    Correct.

Q    "Detective Church or Agent Pendergrass has not asked me to contact, talk to, or do anything in their behalf related to Ted or Ronnie Kimble, prior to this statement or the other statements." Did you say that?

A    No, sir.

Q    But you signed it?

A    Correct.

Q    And that's the last thing that's on that page?

A    Correct.

Q    And you're saying you didn't read the last thing right before your signature?

A    I never read anything on any of those papers.

Q    But you have identified Page 1 as your signature and Page 5 as your signature, correct?

A    That's not my signature. (Indicated.)

MR. LLOYD: Let the record reflect, Your Honor, that he said Page 5 was not his signature.

THE COURT: Let the record so reflect.

Q    Do you remember talking to me on August the 6th, this


2539

year?

A    Yes, I do.

Q    About lunchtime?

A    Correct.

Q    In the DA's Office conference room?

A    Correct.

Q    Do you remember -- did I make any promises?

A    No, you didn't.

Q    Did I in fact tell you that nothing could be done to alter your sentence?

A    I don't recall. I know you didn't make me any promises.

Q    Do you remember telling me that Ronnie is all God one minute, and then he's totally different the next?

A    We never did really have a conversation, DA.

Q    So if I wrote that down, that's incorrect?

A    Correct.

MR. HATFIELD: Objection.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. HATFIELD: If he wants to testify -‑

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Do you remember telling me that "Ronnie never admitted it, he started to say it, but he just wouldn't come out and say it"?

A    No, I do not.


2540

Q    That's not correct?

A    No. We wasn't there long enough to really have a conversation, because you went downstairs to get a book, supposedly with these papers right here in it, and you wanted Detective Church to be there, but you said he wasn't there, he had to go to Winston. And you said, "Well, I got to get back to court." So that was the end of that conversation. We was there maybe 10 to 15 minutes.

Q    But I did go downstairs and get those papers?

A    You went downstairs and got a book with those papers in it.

Q    Yes. And we went over those papers, didn't we?

A    No, we did not go over all those papers.

Q    And what have you been tried and convicted of in the last 10 years that carries a punishment in excess of 60 days?

A    I don't know. Less than 60 days?

Q    Greater than, sir.

A    Kidnapping, armed robbery -- I mean, yeah, robbery and rape.

Q    What's your present sentence, sir?

A    240 months to 273.

MR. PANOSH: No further questions.

REDIRECT EXAMINATION by MR. HATFIELD:

Q    Did you ask Detective Church to put these promises to


2541

you in writing?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    What did he say in response to that?

A    Told me that he couldn't, because it was an ongoing investigation, but he would take care of it.

Q    Did he mention that he would assist you with avoiding a prison sentence each and every time he talked to you?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Is the reason that you signed some of these documents, in order to satisfy him, so that he would help you avoid a prison sentence?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Is that what your understanding was?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Now, when I asked you about the photographs that you were shown by Detective Church, you said that Mr. Pendergrass was not in the room. Do you see Mr. Pendergrass in the room now?

A    Yes, sir. This gentleman right here. (Indicated.)

Q    This gentleman seated next to the family? (Indicated.)

A    Correct.

Q    And Mr. Pendergrass was not present when these photographs were shown to you, was he?

A    No, he wasn't.

Q    And did Mr. Church tell you not to let Mr. Pendergrass


2542

know he showed you these pictures?

A    He said not to let anyone know.

Q    Now, do you remember talking to Investigator Mike Ingold on July 11, 1998?

A    Yes, I do.

Q    Where was that?

A    High Point Detention Center.

Q    And did you tell Mr. Ingold the entire story of how you were dealt with by Mr. Church?

A    Yes.

Q    Are the things that you told Mr. Ingold the truth?

A    Correct.

Q    And have you told the truth today in this courtroom?

A    Correct.

Q    Does it make any difference to you whether you serve 240 months or a life sentence?

MR. PANOSH: We object to leading this witness.

A    It is a life sentence.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    It is a life sentence?

A    Yes, it is.

THE COURT: Don't answer that.

Q    Sir, would you misrepresent the truth -

MR. PANOSH: We object to -‑

Q    -- in this courtroom?


2543

MR. PANOSH: -- leading, please.

THE COURT: Your witness. Don't -‑

A    No, sir.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Now, you were shown State's Exhibit 151 a few minutes ago, weren't you?

(Mr. Hatfield approached the witness and indicated.)

A    Correct.

Q    The printing on that -- on the text of this statement, whose handwriting is that?

A    Are you talking about these here? (Indicated.)

Q    Yeah. The words.

A    Detective Church.

Q    Did you write any of those words?

A    No, sir.

Q    Now, in this statement -- Is the date of this

statement October 28, 1997? Can you see that?

A    Correct.

Q    Who wrote that date?

A    I wrote that date.

Q    You did?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    Were you told to write it?

A    Yes.

Q    Now --


2544

A    He told me to sign it, put the date and time on it.

Q    Now, this is a very short statement. Are you saying that you did not read the words in the statement?

MR. PANOSH: Object to leading his own witness, please.

A    I never read any of it.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    You never read any of this statement?

A    No.

MR. PANOSH: We object to leading his witness, please.

THE COURT: Overruled.

MR. HATFIELD: First of all, he's not my witness.

THE COURT: Well, proceed.

MR. HATFIELD: He's Mr. Church's witness, if Your Honor please.

THE COURT: Well -‑

MR. HATFIELD: I submit I ought to be entitled -

THE COURT: -- counsel --

MR. HATFIELD: Yes, sir.

Q    Who was the person -- do you recall an inmate screaming at Ronnie Kimble, "You murderer. You murderer," etc.?

A    No.

Q    You don't recall that event?

A    No.


2545

Q    Do you recall Kimble responding to some inmate who was screaming taunts at him?

A    No, I don't.

Q    Did you ever say to Detective Church or anyone else

that you heard Ronnie Kimble discuss being a killer?

A    No.

MR. PANOSH: Object, please.

A    No.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    Then when it's written here, "The kid just kept on and on saying this, and at one point, Kimble started yelling out, 'How do you know I'm a killer?'" Did you ever hear Kimble say that?

A    I never heard Kimble say anything concerning being a killer.

Q    Do you know of anyone else that ever heard this incident?

A    No.

Q    Did you ever see Ronnie Kimble break down and cry?

A    No.

Q    And did you ever hear Ronnie say, "Even if I am a killer, you don't know. You weren't there"?

A    No, I didn't.

Q    It says, "Everybody could hear it, the whole cell block." Is there any truth to that?


2546

A    I didn't hear it.

Q    Now, I believe that this statement was taken in High Point. Is that your understanding?

A    10/28. That's October?

Q    Yes.

A    Correct.

Q    Now, is this the time that Mr. Pendergrass was present with Mr. Church, or was this one of the occasions when Mr. Church was by himself?

A    I'm not for sure, because I had Mr. Church interview me two times in High Point. Only on one occasion was Mr. Pendergraph (sic) there.

Q    Do you know whether -- you were on D floor before October of 19-- late October of 1997, in Greensboro? Were you on D floor in Greensboro?

A    No. I was on D floor in Greensboro from July through September the 28th of '97.

Q    So, September 28th?

A    Right.

Q    So where were you during the 30 days prior to the time you were transferred to High Point, so that you could give that statement?

A    I was in High Point -- Okay. In Greensboro. Like I say, I got in Greensboro the 22nd. I was placed on D floor the 23rd. From the 23rd of July of '97, through October --


2547

I mean September 28, '97, I was on D floor.

Q    So, for the last month that you were in Greensboro, you were not on D floor; is that right?

A    Yes, I was.

Q    You were on D floor?

A    Right.

Q    I thought you said that you were on D floor until September 28th?

A    I was. From the 23rd of October -- I mean, from the 23rd of July, up through the 28th, and from then, I was in High Point after that.

(Mr. Hatfield approached the witness and picked up an exhibit.)

Q    Now, this statement was made in High Point, wasn't it?

A    What month was that, October?

Q    Yes, sir.

A    Correct.

Q    October 28th. (Indicated.)

A    Correct.

Q    So this statement would have been one month after you had left D floor in Greensboro; is that right?

A    Correct.

Q    So this statement would have been referring back to conduct that would have taken place in the latter days of September, if it happened on D floor?


2548

MR. PANOSH: Object to leading his own witness, please.

A    Correct.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Don't lead him.

Q    So, does the statement say, "On the night before I was moved to the High Point Jail, there was a young kid in a cell beside me that had been finding out about other inmates' cases"? Is that what the statement says?

A    That's what the statement says.

Q    All right. Now, do you remember such a person finding out about other people's cases?

A    You have so many guys come up there. They assume about other inmates' cases.

Q    It says, "On the night before I was moved to the High Point Jail." What would the date of "the night before I was moved to the High Point Jail" have been?

A    The 27th.

Q    September 27th, wouldn't it?

A    Correct.

Q    And this statement is dated October 28th?

A    28th, correct.

Q    Do you remember which section of D floor you were in on September 27th?

A    Yes. I was in D, Block 1, Cell 2.


2549

Q    Do you remember where Ronnie Kimble was?

A    One, two -- maybe three cells down.

Q    Do you remember whether or not you communicated with Ronnie at all during those latter days?

A    Yeah.

Q    Do you remember anything that Ronnie said to you during that period?

A    No, I don't. I mean, after that incident that we had, it wasn't nothing negative going on between us.

Q    Would you classify yourselves as friends?

A    Yeah.

Q    Did you have respect for each other?

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

A    Yeah.

THE COURT: Sustained.

A    I mean, other than that incident that we had -‑

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

A    -- you know -‑

THE COURT: Overruled. He may answer that.

A    -- after that, it's no problem.

Q    Other than the incident that was written up -‑

A    Correct.

Q    -- by Officer Stevenson, there was never any problem; is that right?

A    No.


2550

MR. HATFIELD: I don't have any further questions.

MR. PANOSH: No further.

THE COURT: You may step down, sir.

(The witness left the witness stand.)

MR. HATFIELD: Your Honor, may I ask the Court to release this witness. He's got trouble with his surgery and he's had surgery.

THE COURT: Release him to what, sir?

MR. HATFIELD: Just have him released from this trial, so that they can ship him back to where he can be treated for his injury.

THE COURT: Yes, he may be transported back for medical attention.

Stand and stretch, if you'd like.

 

 

Published August 15, 2006.  Report broken links or other problems.

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