MR. LLOYD: Thank you, Your Honor.
The defense would call Kim Kimble to the stand. KIMBERLY KIMBLE, being first duly sworn, testified as follows during DIRECT EXAMINATION by MR. LLOYD:
Q Mrs. Kimble, would you state your name for the record, please.
A Kimberly Kimble.
Q If you could keep your voice up, so the jurors all the way over here at the end can hear you. And Mrs. Kimble, where do you live now?
A 5821 Monnett Road in Julian.
Q And where do you work, Mrs. Kimble?
A Jefferson-Pilot Financial Insurance.
Q And do you know the defendant in this case, Ronnie Kimble?
Q How is it that you know him?
A He's my husband.
Q And Mrs. Kimble, when were you married?
A December 10, 1994.
Q And was that here in Greensboro? _
Q All right. And how long prior to that had you known your husband?
A About 12 years.
Q And after your marriage, what sort of work pursuit did Ronnie Kimble pursue?
A He was in the military when we got married, and he was continuously in it.
Q And what branch of the military, Mrs. Kimble?
Q All right. And where was he stationed at that time?
A Camp Lejeune.
Q All right. And after your marriage, where did you live?
A For the first six months, we lived in Swansboro, which is right there at Camp Lejeune. And then, we moved back six months after that, approximately June, and got a mobile home, and it's where we are now, currently.
Q All right. And when you got the mobile home, where was that mobile home?
A Where it's located now?
Q Yeah. Well, yes, where it's located now. Where is it?
A 5821 Monnett Road.
Q Okay. So that's the same residence that you're living at now?
Q And when did you get your mobile home?
A We got -- we ordered it like in May, and we -- and it was delivered like the first week in June of '95.
Q All right. And so, you moved into it sometime in June of '95 or shortly thereafter?
Q All right. Now, were you working at that time --
Q -- around that date when you moved into the mobile home in June?
Q And where were you working at that time?
A Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab in Greensboro.
Q And what did you do for them?
A I was a physical therapy assistant.
Q And what did your duties and responsibilities entail?
A Massages, phonophoresis, exercise, you know, things like that, for people who had injuries, sports injuries.
Q Now, Kim, directing your attention to the weekend of October 9th and that prior weekend of 1995, do you recall if your husband, Ronnie, came home that weekend?
A The weekend --
Q Of Patricia's death.
A -- right before --
A Yes, he did.
Q All right. And where did he come home from?
A Camp Lejeune. He had a 96 that week.
Q And when you say a 96, for members of the jury who don't have military experience, what does that refer to?
A It was a holiday for the military, or federal, I'm not sure. But he got off on that Friday and didn't have to report back till like the following Tuesday.
Q All right. And do you recall what time he got in on that Friday?
A It was sometime that evening. It wasn't late, because he got in just there right -- I mean, it was maybe 30 minutes after I got home from work.
Q And directing your attention to the events of October the 9th, the day that Kim -- that Patricia died, excuse me
Q -- do you recall what you did that morning?
A I went to work.
Q All right. And was Ronnie -- what time did you get up, Kim?
A Around 6:30.
Q All right. And did Ronnie get up with you at that time?
Q Do you recall what he did?
A He was going to get dressed and leave before myself.
Q All right. And did he do so?
Q All right. And do you know what his plans were that day?
A He -- since he was off that day and I had to work, our plans were for him to get some underpinning, to underpin our trailer, because it was already October and, you know, we didn't want pipes to start freezing.
Q All right. And do you know if he had any plans to get the underpinning in a particular place?
A Atlantic Mobile Home Supply.
Q And do you know how he planned on transporting the underpinning?
A He had asked his brother that weekend if he could borrow a box truck, to haul it in, because we didn't have a vehicle that would haul that.
Q All right. And was that his brother Ted?
Q And when he left that morning, do you remember which car he was driving?
A He drove the Camaro.
Q All right.
A It's --
Q And so, what car did that leave you with?
A White Daytona, Dodge.
Q And do you know where Ronnie was going when he left
your mobile home that morning?
A He was going to go over to Ted's and Patricia's house, to pick up the box truck, because that's where he was told it would be.
Q Okay. Now, after you left for work, did you hear anything from Ronnie?
A Yes, I did.
Q All right. And when was that?
A It was around 12:30.
Q And what did Ronnie tell you at 12:30?
A We had planned on possibly going to lunch together that day, because we never get to do that, because he's not in during the week. And I asked him had he picked up the underpinning, and he said, "Yes." And I said, "Well, have you got started on it?" And he said, "No." He's a procrastinator. And so, I told him to go on and go home and start putting up the underpinning, because I knew he had to be back at work the next day.
Q All right. So you did not go to lunch --
Q -- with your husband that day?
A No, sir.
Q And instead, encouraged him to get on the job installing the underpinning?
Q Now, did you hear from him again during the course of the day, before you saw him after you came home from work?
A Yes, I did.
Q All right. And about when was that, if you remember?
A It was sometime after 3:00. It wasn't much after 3:00. And he called, and was just letting me know that he was going to go up to Ted's business to pick up a tooth saw blade or something like that, to cut the underpinning, because he couldn't cut it with what he had, it wasn't cutting it right, it was tearing it up.
Q And did you encourage him to get on the job with installing the underpinning at that time?
A Yes, I did.
Q Now, Kim, when was it that you actually saw Ronnie, after you got the call from him about the saw blade?
A I get home from work -- I got -- at that time, I got home from work around 20 minutes till 6:00.
Q All right. So that would have been 5:40; is that correct?
Q And did you see Ronnie at that time?
A Yes, I did.
Q And how was the underpinning job progressing? A It was -- he had had like a tracking put up, but the underpinning was laying out.
Q All right.
A I told you he's a procrastinator, so he --
Q And what did you say to Ronnie when you saw him when you got home from work?
A Well, I went over there and I hugged him and kissed him and asked him "What you been doing?" "You know the underpinning needs to be --" you know, "Are we going to get this underpinning up before you go back in the morning?" He was having trouble with it. It wasn't staying on the track right. And he had just said, "Did you just --" "Didn't you just miss your dad? He was just here." And I said, "I didn't pass him." Of course, I probably came a different way than he went home.
Q Now, when you say your dad, what is his name?
A James Stump.
Q All right. And where do your parents live, Kim?
A Just around the corner --
A -- on Coble Church Road.
Q And if you know, Kim, how far is it, in terms of --
A I don't know. I don't know.
Q Well, is it less than a mile?
Q All right. Is it a distance that you could walk?
A Oh, yes, definitely. I have before.
Q And had you -- on that occasion, had you seen your father?
A No, I had not.
Q All right. And what did you -- after you had gotten home, what did you and Ronnie do at that point?
A We pretty much -- he'd gave up on the underpinning. He said that dad and a friend was going to look at it, and try to get it up or, you know, help him out, until he had to come back in for the weekend. And I was hungry, he was hungry, so we decided we was going to get something to eat. But I didn't want to cook. I'm not much of a cook. I don't like to cook. And so -- but I didn't want to really go out. And I knew I needed to go over to my mother's, so we were discussing that. And he was going to go on in and take a shower, and then we were going to head out.
Q All right. And did Ronnie in fact take a shower?
A Yes, he did.
Q And you mentioned something about your mother's. Did you go over to your mother's?
A Yes, we did.
Q And if you recall, Kim, what time did you get over to your mother's?
A It was about 6:15, somewhere around there.
Q All right. And was there anything that you were able to gauge the time by?
A The news was on. When we got in, I -- my mother and I was going to go over ABC Distributing catalog. I was going to get some stuff for Christmas presents. And Ronnie went in partially into the living room, because he didn't want to take his shoes off, and you don't walk on the carpet with shoes. And he and my dad were sitting there watching Channel 2, and "2 Wants to Know" was on, and they were talking something about mobile homes. So him and my dad was kind of interested in that, since we had just purchased one, and we had had trouble ourselves, trying to get things fixed that was supposed to have been fixed and wasn't, things that was supposed to have been added and wasn't, and that's what Channel 2 was talking about.
Q So this was some kind of investigative reporting on defects in mobile homes that people were having difficulty in getting fixed or refunds on or whatever; is that correct?
Q All right. And you said something about your mother and ABC Distributing company?
A That's correct.
Q Did you talk with your mother?
A Yes. We were in the kitchen discussing it.
Q And you had mentioned something, Kim, that this was -this involved a catalog?
A Yes. You order out of it items, you know. So we were
-- she was writing it down, because she was going to take it to her place of employment, and they do it there, and so, she was going to take it to her place of employment and give them my order, so I could get it back before Christmas.
Q And you indicated that you were -- this was primarily for getting Christmas presents --
Q -- for you, right?
Q Do you remember how many Christmas presents you were going to order from that catalog?
A Quite a few. I don't know the exact amount, but it was -- it was quite a few.
Q All right. And did you and your mother sit down and talk about that?
A Yes, we did. It took some time, because like I said, it -- I ordered a lot, and I think she'd even ordered some herself, so we were just writing it all down together, so she could give it all to them at once.
Q And did you socialize during the course of your conversation?
A My mother and I?
A Yes, we did.
Q All right. Now, did you eat at your parents' house?
A No, sir, we did not.
Q Do you remember, Kim, how long you stayed there?
A At least an hour or so, because I know that when we were getting ready to leave, "Wheel of Fortune" was on, and I know it comes on at 7:00. So it was -- it was at least an hour or more.
Q Okay. What happened when you left?
A Ronnie and I headed to Winn-Dixie, to pick up some supper.
Q All right. Now, let me get you to back up in your memory, Kim.
Q Do you recall anything significant about leaving?
A Yes. Mom and dad -- we're all real close, and Ronnie travels all the time. He'd come home on weekends and then he would leave. And mom and dad's always made a point that when we get ready to leave their house, they walk out with us, to tell him "Bye. Be careful." And they were doing that, you know, because they knew he was going to leave the next day. They were telling him "Bye" and "Be careful" and "Don't fall asleep," because he has a sleeping disorder.
And we probably were out there maybe five or 10 minutes, and then we headed on.
Q So Ronnie had to be back at the base –
A The next --
Q -- noon of the next morning?
Q Which would have been Tuesday; is that correct?
Q So what time was he planning on leaving in the morning?
A Pretty early, because like I said, he's -- he has a hard time staying awake, so he wanted to try to get back. Plus, it's hard to get on the base when you've had a 96 or something and everybody's trying to get on it at once.
Q So he was going to allow himself extra time to get checked in; is that right?
Q All right. Now, after you left your parents' house, where did you go?
A We went to the Winn-Dixie at Forest Oaks.
Q And what was the purpose of that, Kim?
A To pick up something to eat for supper.
Q Okay. Do you remember -- Well, let me strike that. When you went to the Winn-Dixie, what did you purchase there?
A We wanted something quick, and so -- because we wanted to get to bed early, and so, we picked up like two stuffed flounders and a bag of Tater Tots.
Q Okay. Did you have any problems in getting anything at the --
A Yeah. No one was at the seafood, and so, it took awhile to get someone to come to the seafood. And one of the girls that I had had as a patient at physical therapy worked there, and I saw her, and so, we spoke, and I introduced her to Ronnie.
Q Now, what was her name, Kim?
A Melissa Williford.
Q And how did you know this woman?
A She was a patient at Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab. She had had an ACL done on her knee.
Q Okay. When you say ACL, what do you mean?
A She had had to have surgery, because it was -- the tendons and stuff were all messed up and she couldn't walk on it, so she had to have surgery.
Q Now, did she help you in getting someone into the seafood department?
A Yes, she did. She motioned for someone to -- she went up and motioned for somebody to come in, to go back to the seafood counter and get what we needed.
Q And you indicated that sometime during this conversation with her, that you introduced her to Ronnie?
A Yes, I did.
Q Had she -- I take it by that she had not met Ronnie prior to that point?
A No. I had talked to her, you know, because when you're
working with somebody in a physical therapy setting, you kind of get to know them pretty well, because you're sitting there just kind of talking to them, while they're riding a bike or something. And I had told her about him being in the military and told her that he came home on weekends. So she sort of knew him, but she -- you know, she'd not met him. So when we were there at the grocery store, I introduced her. And after he walked off, she goes, "Well, he's really cute," you know, so she -- you know --
Q All right. Did you take that as a compliment?
A Yes, I did. I told her "Thank you."
Q After that conversation, and after you got the fish and -- I believe you said you got another food item; is that right?
A Yes, we did.
Q Did you check out and pay for your purchases?
A Yes, we did.
Q All right.
MR. LLOYD: If I may approach, Your Honor.
THE COURT: You may.
Q Now, Kim, I hand you what's been marked as Defendant's Exhibit Number 12, and ask you if you recognize that.
A Yes, I do.
Q And what is it?
A It's the check that I used to pay for the food items
that we got at Winn-Dixie that night.
Q All right. And when you paid for the check -- for the food items with the -- with your personal check, did the cashier run it through the machine?
Q All right. And what is the date on the check that you wrote, Kim, your date that you put on it?
A October 9, 1995.
Q Now, directing your attention to the back, the cancelled part of the check, does the writing show on there a time?
A Yes, it does.
Q And what is that time?
A 7:36 p.m.
Q All right. And is that consistent with what you remember about when you checked out of Winn-Dixie and paid for your purchases?
Q And after that, what did you do, Kim?
A We went back to our home.
Q All right. Now, had you gone straight from your parents' house to Winn-Dixie?
A Yes, we did.
Q All right. And what did you do when you got home?
A We put the stuffed flounder in the oven. And I wanted
to go ahead and take my shower and wash my hair, so I jumped in the shower, and he sits there and talks to me while I'm in the shower. And I told him, I said, "Keep an eye on the," you know, "the food, so we don't burn." And after I got out of the shower, we sat in our living room and watched the program that came on at 8:30, which was a 30-minute program, and sat there and ate.
Q All right. And did there come a time when you went to bed?
A Yes, at 9:00 o'clock --
Q All right.
A -- after that show was off.
Q Now, did you get any phone calls that night?
A Yes, we did.
Q And if you remember, Kim, when did you get a phone call?
A It was about 9:15. We were just -- you know, like I say, we went to bed about 9:00 o'clock, so we had not really gotten in bed pretty good. So --
Q And did you answer the phone at that time?
A Yes, I did.
Q And --
A It was beside me.
Q -- who was it on the phone?
A It was -- well, I didn't know at that time. It sounded
like a frantic voice, and she was just like, "Edna?" which is my mother-in-law. I said, "No, this is not Edna, but this is her youngest son's residence. Can I help you?" And she said, "No. I just need to speak to Edna." She said, "I'll just call there." And I said, "Okay." And she seemed, you know, sort of fearful in her voice or something like that.
And so, I hung up the phone, and Ronnie said, "Who was that?" I said, "I don't know. I didn't ask." I said, "Probably somebody from the church." Because my father-in-law is a minister at Monnett Road Baptist Church. And I said, "But she sounded really worried." I said, "I wonder if everything's okay?" And I know just about everybody in our church, so I was a little worried myself, because it's not a huge church, but I've been there for so long, I know everybody.
And so, I tried to call Edna myself at home, at her home, and no one answered. So I was like, "Well," you know, "maybe I'll find out tomorrow."
So within two or three minutes, the phone rung again, and she told me her name was Christie Blakley, and that it was Reuben's wife, which was Patricia's brother. And I said, "Yeah," you know, "what's wrong?" And she says, "Don't be too alarmed, but Ted and Trish's house is on fire. I was wondering if y'all could come on up here." And I
said, "Okay." And then I started getting a little frantic. I said, "Is everybody okay?" And she said, "Well, Ted's here. We don't know where Patricia is, but," you know, "we don't know. If y'all could just come on up there. And if you could get in touch with Edna." Well, Ron's out of town, because he was in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Q Now, when you say "Ron," who do you mean by Ron?
A Ronnie Kimble. He's my father-in-law.
Q This would be Ron, Sr.?
A Yes. I'm sorry.
Q All right. And so, were you able to get in touch with Ronnie's mother?
A No. I paged her twice, and I never got a return call. That's when I called my mother and told her, and she said -I said, "Please keep trying to get in touch with Edna," because I felt like she needed to know. And she said, "Okay." And I said, "We'll get back in touch with you, once we come back." And so, I left it to my mother -- I left it up to my mother, to try to get in touch with Edna.
Q And what did you and Ronnie do at that point?
A We quickly got dressed and went over to Patricia and Ted's house in the white Daytona.
Q Did you -- and what did you find when you got to Patricia's house?
A Tons of emergency vehicles, and just personnel. And
when we got there, we parked on the other side of Brandon Station Court, on the right-hand side, I guess it was Brandon Station Road, because that's the only place we could find a place to park.
Q And did you learn immediately the situation regarding Patricia?
A No. I mean, we knew that the house, you know, had been on fire, because the fire trucks were there, but that's all we knew, until, you know, we went up there. And we were trying to get through the heavy traffic of people, and they're like -- one of the, I think it was a fireman said, "You can't go through." Or it might have been a police officer. And Ronnie said, "Well, this is my brother's house." And they were like, "Oh, okay. You can go on in."
And a lady that I used to know really well, named Suzy Marley, came up to me. Her husband, I don't know if he's a chief now, but he used to be chief at Pleasant Garden, hugged me, and she said she was really sorry. And I was like, "What are you talking about?" you know, because, I mean, I didn't know anything, I'd just got there. And she said, "I think there's a body in there." And she said, "The house is on fire." That's all I know and that's all she told me. And then we headed on through.
Q Okay. And what did you -- what happened after that?
A We were heading on through, like I said, we were
already in the driveway area, and Ted came up.
Q And did Ted tell you anything concerning Patricia?
A He had tears in his eyes, and he was just like, "I feel like this is a dream. I don't know what's going on. How can this happen?" And that was the -- pretty much the extent of it.
Q Now, did you see your parents, did you see your parents at the scene?
A No, sir.
Q All right. How long did you remain there at Ted and Patricia's house?
A Maybe 30, 40 minutes. Not too long. I don't -- I don't like things that stress me out a lot, and it was really bothering me, and I told Ronnie it was way too much going on, that, you know, "Let's head back to mom and dad's house and pick them up," because we knew that everybody was heading back to the South Elm Street Baptist Church. And so, we were going to go back there. We were going to go pick up my parents first and head over there with the family.
Q All right. And did you go back and pick up your parents?
Q And did you go to the South Elm Street Baptist Church?
A Yes. We went back to my mom and dad's, and they drove
over to South Elm Street Baptist Church and we rode with them.
Q And how long did you stay there?
A Oh, probably until like 1:00 or 2:00 o'clock in the morning. It was -- it was real early in the morning.
Q And what was Ronnie's demeanor during that time?
A During which part?
Q Well, during the time from the fire, to the time that you went to the South Elm Street Baptist Church.
A Oh, he was upset. I mean, he was just like me. I was upset. We was trying to figure out what was going on. I mean, you know, I don't -- seeing a fire, seeing all these personnel -- I mean, we didn't really see the fire, but the house was like, you could tell that it had -- the fire was in there, you know, and they'd already putten (phon.) it out, but it was real dark and just -- you could smell smoke. And I mean, it's just -- not knowing where Trish was and not knowing anything, it just really bothered us and -- I mean, it just upset us both.
Q Now, when you got to the South Elm Street Baptist Church, did you know at that time that there was a body inside the house?
Q All right. And did anyone tell you that it was Patricia's body?
A We had heard that that's what it was. And I -- you know, I wanted -- I wasn't 100 percent sure. That's what we heard. And, you know, we were just wanting to hear it from more than, you know, one or two sources. But yeah, that's pretty much what we had heard.
Q All right. Now, after you left the church, what did you do then?
A We went back -- Let's see. I drove Edna, my mother-in-law's car, and Ronnie rode with me. And my mother and my father -- my mother drove their vehicle, my mom and dad's vehicle. And dad drove Ronnie and -- I think Ronnie and Edna's vehicle, another vehicle, back -- no, excuse me, Ted's vehicle, Ted and Trish's vehicle, back to Ron and Edna's house. Ron and Edna -- not Ron, Edna was really upset, and they didn't think Ted should drive, so, you know, I was wanting -- I didn't have a car, so I was driving Edna's vehicle. Mom, like I said, was driving their own vehicle. And then my dad was driving Ted's vehicle, Ted and Trish's vehicle, to go back to the Kimbles' house, so they wouldn't have to drive, because they didn't think they were in any state to drive.
Q Now, did Ronnie go back to Camp Lejeune the next day?
A No, sir.
Q What happened with respect to that?
A He called the next morning, to let them know what had
happened, and that he would let them know when he would be back.
Q And when did Ronnie get permission to come back?
A I'm not 100 percent sure. I don't think -- I think he went back like the following Sunday or Monday, but I'm not 100 percent sure.
Q Did there come a time after that when you went to Patricia's funeral?
A Yes, we did.
Q All right. Now, Kim, directing your attention back to October the 9th, when you first came home --
Q -- from work, and you saw Ronnie, and I believe you indicated that it was around 5:40 p.m.?
Q Did you notice anything unusual about Ronnie's demeanor at that time?
A No. He looked just like he always did. It was kind of warm that day, and he had on jeans. He always wears a cowboy hat when he works. So he had his cowboy hat on, and he had on work boots, and he didn't have a shirt on, but it was laying right there, so --
Q All right.
A And he was working on the underpinning.
Q Did you say anything to him about it -- at that time
about not having done the underpinning?
A Yeah. I mean, I always pick on him, because, you know, like I said, he's just a procrastinator. I mean, he didn't have a lot of time, because he was there only on weekends, and -- but he always says he's going to get something done. And it seems like it took months, but -- I mean, he eventually gets to it, but that's just -- that was just Ronnie. So that, yeah, I was -- I was like "This doesn't look like it's going to get done today, so --"
Q Kim, did you smell anything unusual about Ronnie?
A No. Like I said, I went over there and I hugged him and I kissed him, and I didn't smell a thing.
Q All right. Now, directing your attention to late January of 1997, did there come a time when you and Ronnie went up to Virginia?
Q All right. And what was the purpose of your trip to Virginia?
A He was actually going to Norfolk, Virginia, to the naval hospital there, to get a sleep test done. And he got permission from the military base for me to go along with him, and they would reimburse us if I had to stay in a motel room, because they didn't think that with him having a sleep problem, that he should be going that distance by himself.
Q Okay. And what was the nature of Ronnie's sleep
A Like -- Explain.
Q I mean, what did you observe concerning his sleep problems?
A I'm a light sleeper, and he would wake me up all the time. He had these weird dreams constantly. One night, he woke -- he woke me up, and he's at the end of the bed growling, and I was like, "What is wrong with you? Wake up." And he just -- he was like, "A wolf was after me." I said, "No, I think you are the wolf." I said, "You're sitting there, growling." And you know, he just had dreams like that. It was just really weird. He would like jerk in his sleep, things like that. So, his sleep pattern weren't that good, so it kept me up a lot.
Q Now, as far as his duties in the Marine Corps were concerned, how did his sleeping problems affect his duties in the Marine Corps?
A He just -- I know the reason why they put him in the chaplain's office, because he was in the grunt unit, and in the grunt unit, you -- I don't know the name of the guns, I think it's like M-16's or something, that they would go out in the field and have and stuff, and he couldn't -- he would fall asleep out in the field. And so, they thought it would be dangerous to him. So they put him in the chaplain's office, because they didn't want to harm him or others, just
because he had a sleep -- you know, he was always falling asleep. I mean --
MR. PANOSH: Your Honor, we believe this is beyond her actual knowledge. We'd object, please.
MR. LLOYD: That's all right.
THE COURT: Sustained.
Q Now, Kim, to your knowledge, had Ronnie been evaluated prior to this date for his sleeping problems?
A He was like evaluated a few times, just briefly, down at Camp Lejeune, but they didn't have a sleep study lab. And if he went to Norfolk prior to that or somewhere else, it was before we got married.
Q All right. So, as far as you know, he was just evaluated by the Marine Corps doctor down at Camp Lejeune?
Q But he had never been to any sort of sleep disorder center?
A Not since we were married.
Q All right. And on this occasion in January, what was the purpose of going to Norfolk?
A For him to have a sleep test done, where they put electrodes on him and watch him while he sleeps.
Q Okay. And if you recall, Kim, when did you go up for that?
A I think it was like on Tuesday, the 21st or 22nd of
A I don't have a calendar. I can't --
Q All right. But regardless of what the date was, your recollection is that it was a Tuesday?
Q All right. And what happened when you got to the hospital there?
A He -- we -- they signed him in. And we hung out for a little while. They were telling him what was going to happen. And they said, "But you can go on and leave --"
MR. PANOSH: We object, please.
THE COURT: Sustained.
Q Okay. Don't say what they said. But he signed in, and after that, what happened?
A We -- he didn't have to be back till 9:00 that evening - back at the sleep lab. So we went to, I think Holiday Inn, which is right there on the water, to sign -- to get me a room, because I couldn't stay there while he was having the sleep test done.
Q All right. And did you in fact stay in a room in a motel?
Q All right. And how many nights was Ronnie there at the sleep center, being tested?
A Two, I think. Yeah.
Q All right.
A If -- yeah, two.
Q And was he there during the day, as well, being evaluated?
A Part of the day. But like I said, he can sleep at any time. And so, you know, they wouldn't wake him until like -- I don't know exactly how it works, but they would only wake him at certain like intervals and phrases and stuff -phases that he goes through. So, it was like they would wake him like at 9:00 or maybe 10:00, and then he'd go back to sleep like at 12:00 or 1:00 or something like that. It was just that type of test.
Q All right. Now, after Ronnie's sleep evaluation, what did y'all do then?
A We -- after we left -- we were heading to Lynchburg, Virginia on Thursday, because he didn't get done till real late Thursday afternoon. We weren't sure if we were going to make it to Lynchburg Thursday.
Q And did there come a time when you called the Whiddens?
A Yes. Ronnie did.
Q All right. And when was that, if you remember?
A Sometime after -- like I said, he didn't get done with that sleep test till it was like going on 4:00 or 5:00 o'clock that Thursday. And so, he called them somewhere
around there. I remember us getting something to eat, because he was hungry. And he called them somewhere around that time.
Q Okay. And as a result of that phone call, did you and Ronnie establish plans for Thursday night?
Q And what were those plans?
A To meet them at the school -- well, to meet Mitch at the school, at Liberty University, to have him -- us follow him back to their home.
Q All right. Now, Kim, what was the purpose of going to Lynchburg and staying with the Whiddens?
A Ronnie was going to be getting out of the military, and he'd serve four years come April 6th, and he was trying to decide what he wanted to do in life. And he had thought about the ministry, following his dad's footsteps, and he'd been praying about it. And so, he wanted to just go check Liberty University out. So that's -- since, you know, we were already in Virginia and I had time off, we decided to go and do that.
Q And did you establish plans for spending the night with the Whiddens?
Q All right. And what were your feelings on it?
A I really didn't want to, because I didn't know them.
And I --
MR. PANOSH: We object to feelings, please.
THE COURT: Overruled.
A I didn't want to, because I didn't know them. And I'm just the kind of person, if I don't know you, I don't really want to stay with you. I'd like to get to know someone first, before I go and stay at someone's home. That's just how I've always been.
Q But in spite of that, did you agree to --
Q -- stay with the Whiddens?
A Yes. I mean, because we were kind of low on cash. We didn't -- I mean, we wasn't well off, but, you know, we had enough to do us, but we didn't know if we were going to stay one or two nights, so I decided that, yeah, I would stay, you know, I'd get to know them, and if I still felt uncomfortable, maybe the next night we could get a room or something, because like I say, I just didn't know them.
Q So you had not met the Whiddens prior to this?
A No, sir.
Q And did you -- what time did you arrive at the Whiddens'?
A It was after 10:00.
Q All right. And what did you do that first night?
A We kind of introduced ourselves. And, like I say, it
was kind of late, so we -- I could tell the kids seemed like they were tired. They had two children. And they showed us where we were going to sleep. At first, they were going to put their little girl, she has a crib, and they were going to put her in there with us, but she was kind of whiny and crying, so they said, "No. She'll keep you up all night. So we'll just let her stay in here with us."
And Ronnie asked if he could take a shower, because he had had all that glue from the electrodes on him. And they said, "Yeah. Sure." So, you know, he took a shower. They pretty much went on to bed, I went on to bed, and he came on to bed, too.
Q Now, when you woke up the next morning, what did you do then?
A We had made plans to go with Mitch to the campus, just to check it out, maybe go to a couple of his classes and see what it was like.
Q And did you do that?
Q All right. And did you go to all of Mitch's classes?
Q What did y'all do?
A We went to his 8:00 o'clock class for probably an hour and a half. I was bored. And so, I -- he got up, Mitch, Ronnie and I got up. And it was during their break, they
had a break or something. And he was introducing us to everybody. And Dr. Wilmington was supposed to be there that day, teaching, because that was his class, but he was like on some kind of trip or something that he wasn't there. So, I think Rick Buck and someone else spoke. And so, he had introduced us to him and to a lot of his friends that was in that class. And then he went back to -- no, I take that back. Then he showed us around the campus, showed us the church where Dr. Falwell's office was, where the library was, where Dr. Wilmington's office was. And then he headed back to class and -- it was probably around 11:00, and Ronnie and I decided to go get something to eat, because we hadn't had breakfast that morning, so we decided to go away from the campus and grab a bite to eat.
Q Now, did there come a time, Kim, when you got back up
with Mitch Whidden?
A Yes. Because we had drove that day, we had drove our vehicle, and he had rode with us. So we went back to the campus to pick him up.
Q And what did you do after you picked Mitch up?
A We went back to his apartment.
Q And when you got back to his apartment, what happened then?
A We just kind of hung out for a little while. We wanted to get in touch with -- we knew -- we wanted to see Dr.
Wilmington, but we knew we wouldn't be able to see him, because he wasn't there. And so, we wanted to talk to Dr. Falwell. And the reason why we wanted to speak to both of those was because, Dr. Falwell had been to our church before, to dedicate the new sanctuary. I had met Dr. Wilmington through my father-in-law, Ronnie Kimble, Sr. And so, we wanted just, you know, to say "Hey" and then talk to Dr. Falwell about the school itself.
Q And did there come a time when you went back to the campus?
Q All right. Did Mitch go with you then?
Q All right. And what did you do when you got back to the campus?
A We went to Dr. Falwell's office and stood outside, and-- asked the secretary if -- you know, would he be available just to come out and speak to us for a moment. And within probably 10 or 15 minutes, he came out.
Q All right. And did you have a conversation with Dr. Falwell then?
A Yes. And he also gave us a book on Strengthening the Journey and signed it.
Q And if you recall, Kim, about what time was this?
A Probably around 3:00, 3:15, somewhere around there.
Q And what did you do after that?
A We headed back to his apartment. It was -- actually, the weather was kind of icy. Because I remember going by Dr. Falwell's vehicle, and I said, "Ooh. He's already getting ice all over his windows." So we wanted to head back. And we had -- I told Ronnie on the way back, I said, "I don't know. Maybe we should just go on and leave tonight," because, you know, I didn't want to -- ice is not something you can just drive on. And so, we -- I had talked to him about it. But, you know, we hadn't made any plans to do that at that time. So we just went on back to the apartment.
Q So there was not actually ice on the streets at this point?
A No. It was just falling on the trees and the vehicles.
Q Now, what time did you get back to the Whiddens'?
A I don't know. It was probably around 4:00, 4:15, somewhere around there.
Q All right. And what did you do at that point, Kim?
A We were debating on -- well, actually she -- Ms. Whidden was talking about how she -- what did we want to do, did we want to go out to eat, did she want to cook, you know, kind of debating over that. And she wasn't feeling good. She -- I remember her stating she really wasn't feeling good at all. And I said, "Well, then, let's just go
out to eat," you know. "Let's -- y'all pick the place and" you know, "we'll -- it's on us." You know, "You've let us stay in your home," you know. "You don't even know me, and," you know, "you don't even know Ronnie, but Mitch does." And I said, you know, "That's the least we can do." So we decided to go out to eat.
Q Okay. Now, before you went out to eat, do you recall any phone calls?
Q All right. And --
A Well, actually no. I had called my mother.
A And I wanted to let her know how Ronnie's sleep study went, and to let her know that we were in Lynchburg. My mother and I have a close relationship, so I always kind of keep in contact with her. So I was just calling her to let her know. And I could tell that she -- you can always tell -- because she's got call waiting, you can always tell when she pushed the button, she was on the phone. I said, "Who are you talking to?" And she said, "Well, I'll call you back." And I said, "Who are you talking to?" She said, "Detective Church." And I said, I said, "Well, what's he want?" And she said, "Well, I'll call you back. What's the number?" So I gave her the number and she called me back.
Q All right. Now, was there a discussion about --
A No. I had just told Ronnie that. I said, "Well, Mom's going to call back. Detective Church is on the phone, asking her some questions."
A But that was the extent of it, because I didn't know what he was wanting. So she said she'd call back.
Q And did your mother in fact call back?
A Yes, she did.
Q And did you talk to her?
A I'm sorry?
Q Did you talk to her?
Q Was that -- do you recall, Kim, how long that conversation was?
A I don't know. Maybe around 15 minutes, maybe. We just really discussed -- I -- you know, like I said, I called her to begin with, to let her know that everything was okay and that we got to Lynchburg okay, and we got -- we didn't really know anything about his sleep study yet, because they didn't get the result. And then I proceeded to ask her "What did Detective Church want?" because, I mean, this was January of '97, and I -- you know, I figured that they had already gotten everything they needed, and we told them that if we knew anything, we'd get in touch with them.
Q All right. Now, did you --- after your conversation
with your mother, did you carry on a conversation regarding what Detective Church had --
A It was --
Q -- talked to your mother about?
A -- brief. I just got off the phone, and I said that, "Ronnie, Detective Church was just asking more questions." And I know it was just last year, but I can't remember the exact questions he was asking. I said, "I guess," you know, "they're going to keep on bugging us," and that's exactly how I said it, "until they figure out who did this." I said, "But," you know, "I don't blame them," you know. "I'd like to know, too." I said, "But," you know, "we told them and told them that if we knew anything, that we would definitely let them know." Because I had cooperated 100 percent with them, talking to them. So --
Q Now, did you go out to eat, as planned?
A Yes, we did.
Q And do you recall where you went?
A I don't know the name of it. I just remember them saying that a bunch of people from the school, from his classes, always went there, because it wasn't real expensive and, you know, being students, it was something that most everybody could afford.
Q All right. And who went when you went out to eat, Kim?
A Ronnie, myself, Mitch, Debra, and their two children.
Q All right. And do you recall what the restaurant was like?
A It was okay. It wasn't nothing fancy. We sat in a large booth, and it was like a buffet type thing, so we would go up and get our food and then come back to the table.
Q Now, do you recall a conversation at dinner that evening centering around Ronnie's desire or thoughts about going into the ministry and attending Liberty?
Q All right. And do you recall Ronnie ever saying anything about having a haunted past?
Q Do you recall Ronnie saying anything about wanting to talk to Mitch in private, without your being present or without Debra Whidden being present?
A No, because if he had said that, I would have asked him what was he wanting to talk about, where I couldn't hear it.
Q All right. And do you think if he had made the comment about having a haunted past, do you think that that would have stuck out in your mind?
A Yeah, definitely.
Q Do you recall Mrs. Whidden saying anything about -- to Ronnie, "You haven't done anything that any of the rest of us haven't done"?
A No, I sure don't.
Q Now, after you finished your meal, who paid for it?
A Ronnie and I.
Q And what did y'all do after that?
A Ronnie and Mitch took the two children and headed to the van. They had a van. And Debra and I walked to Best Products. And they were going to get the van and go around to where the store was. And she and I stopped off, I don't know the name of the store, but it was where they sold shoes, and she was looking at the children's shoes and stuff, because they had like a little sale rack outside and then just a little bit on the inside. And then she said, "Well, we'd better get on over to Best, because the boys are going to be looking for us." So we headed on over there and went to Best Products.
Q All right. What did you do at Best?
A Looked around. They were closing, just like the one here, they were closing, and everything was marked down more than, you know -- each week, they were marking stuff down. So we were just kind of looking around, seeing what kind of deals there was. They were looking at a karaoke machine. I think they went back to it two or three times, looking at the karaoke machine, thinking that it would be a good investment for something that has to do with church. And I recall the price, because they were like, "No, it's too
expensive." It was like $100. So they decided against it. And then we went over to the housewares, which consisted of different chairs and stuff. And we purchased an office chair, because we had a desk, we didn't have chairs for it. And then they purchased one, as well.
Q All right. After you made those purchases, what did you do at that point?
A We headed back to the apartment.
Q And if you know, Kim, what time do you think you got back to the apartment?
A I can give you an approximate. It was probably around 9:00.
Q All right.
A I really couldn't tell you. I know it was dark, but --
Q And what did you do at that point?
A Ronnie took our chair and put it in our vehicle. And Mitch -- and then we all went back into the apartment. Ronnie and him started, you know, taking the chair out. And Ronnie was going to put it together downstairs. And me and -- Debra and I started playing Nintendo and Game Boys again.
Q Were the children in bed at this time?
A No. We had just got home, so they were still downstairs with us.
Q All right. And if you know, Kim, how long did it take to put together the chair?
A Maybe 10 minutes.
Q And what happened after the chair was put together?
A It's a chair that spins around, so Ronnie was spinning it around. And their little son kind of was like jumping on it, and then Ronnie was spinning him around, and he'd jump off. He was -- he was tired, but he was hyper, in the same sense, so it was just -- you know, he was jumping back and forth on the chair.
Q All right. And what happened after that?
A Debra and I kept playing Game Boy and Nintendo, and Ronnie and Mitch said, "We're going to go upstairs and do a Bible study and pray, since you girls don't want to be involved." I guess they could tell, because we were sitting there playing Game Boy. And so, they went on upstairs.
Q And so, that left you and Debra and the children downstairs?
Q All right. Now, do you recall anything with regard to the children?
A The little boy, like I said, was kind of hyper, and he was going -- running back up and forth to the stairs. And she kept saying, "Mitch, get down here," you know. "Stay down here. Leave the boys alone." So finally he did. And I just recall her doing that, because, like I said, she and I was on the couch playing Game Boy. So --
Q Now, how long were Mitch and Ronnie upstairs?
A 15 minutes tops.
Q All right. And when was it -- what were you and Debra doing when they came back downstairs?
A We were still playing Game Boy. She wasn't feeling good, I can tell you that. She kept telling me, she said, "I just don't feel so good." And I said, "Do you need to lay down or anything?" And she said, "Well, I'll be okay. It's probably just my blood sugar." Because, I mean, she just -- you know, like, she was pregnant, and she said she -- her blood sugar would drop now and then.
Q And had she -- had Mrs. Whidden laid down before Ronnie and Mitch came downstairs?
A She had laid down right before they came down the steps. I mean, they probably were coming down the steps as she was laying down.
Q All right.
A Because like I said, she -- we were playing Game Boy, and that was right before, I had told her, I said, "Well, do you need to lay down?" And she said, "Well, I'll be okay. It's probably my blood sugar." And then I heard them coming down the steps, and she did. She decided to go ahead and lay down. And she looked kind of white, you know, I could tell. Being in the medical field, I could tell that she was kind of white. So I was kind of glad she was laying down.
I didn't want her to pass out on me.
Q And when Ronnie and Mitch came down, do you recall them saying anything?
A Well, I told them, I said "Does she get like this --" I was asking Mitch. I said, "She --" I said, "Look at her." And she was white. And next thing I know, she kind of went out. Her eyes was closed. I was like, "Is she okay?" And I said, "You need to get her a wet rag." I said, "Let's put it on her forehead." And so, I said, "Make sure it's cold." So I think Mitch did do that. Ronnie may have done it. I don't know who got the rag, but somebody got the rag.
Q And how long did Mrs. Whidden remain like that?
A She wasn't like that a real long time. But I know when she came to, she just -- she was like a wet noodle. She was just like -- you know, she just felt like she couldn't hardly make it. She didn't look like -- she wasn't able to stand up, more or less walk up steps.
Q And did Ronnie and Mitch help her up to bed at that time, or was that at a later time?
A Mitch says, "Well, do you want to go upstairs and go to bed and lay down up there?" And I said, "Well, don't you think you need to take her to a doctor?" I was concerned. I had -- you know, I know they stated it was her blood sugar, but with her being pregnant, I felt like, you know, they should be concerned about her, but the unborn child, as
well. And they said that she just gets like that all the time, that she'd been like that with one of her past pregnancies. And she said she'd be okay, that she had a doctor's appointment on Monday morning. And she said if it gets worse, that she would definitely go.
Q And so, was it at that time that Ronnie and Mitch helped her upstairs to bed?
A Uh-huh, pretty much. It was probably five minutes and they just took her on up. She just kind of wanted to lay there for a few more minutes, just -- I don't know, I guess because she just didn't want to move.
Q Now, when Ronnie and Mitch came downstairs and you first saw Ronnie, was there anything unusual about his demeanor at that time?
Q Did he act strange in any way?
Q And if you remember, Kim, were the children in bed at this time?
Q All right. So, Ronnie and Mitch helped Mrs. Whidden upstairs to bed?
Q And was she able to get up the stairs on her own, or was --
A No. Like I said, she was like a wet noodle. I guess from passing out and her blood sugar dropping so much, that she just couldn't -- she couldn't stand up by herself. So they picked her up off the couch and carried her up the steps to their bedroom.
Q And did Mitch put the children to bed at that time?
A I think so. It was -- it was right there afterwards. Because I think we all pretty much went to bed after that.
Q All right. And when you went to bed, did you notice anything unusual about Ronnie?
A No. Nothing.
Q Notice anything unusual about his demeanor at that time?
A No, sir.
Q And what happened the next day, with regard to your leaving?
A The next morning?
Q The next morning.
A We decided to get a head start early, because like I said, the night before, the weather wasn't all that great, but it still not had really -- the ice had not formed on the roads yet. It was still somewhat icy. And I knew Ronnie had to go back the next morning to Camp Lejeune. And with his sleep disorder, I really -- you know, I felt like he needed to get a good night's sleep. He had been gone all
week, out of his bed and stuff. Plus, I needed to do some washing and go to the grocery store and things like that. So we were going to leave early.
And I guess it was about 10 minutes till 8:00 when we started to head out. And we go downstairs and Mitch is there, and he says, "Do y'all really have to leave?" And I said, "Well, yeah." I said, you know, "I'd love to stay, but we can't." And he said, "We really wanted you to go to Thomas Road Baptist Church and we wanted -- to Dr. Falwell's church, to see him, since you've never been to the church." I said, "Oh, man, we'd love to." I mean, he and I really wanted to. And I said, "But Ronnie needs to get back." I said, "If he didn't have to be back till Monday," I said," we'd go for it." But with him, with his sleep, you know, problem and stuff, we were like, "No, we'd better go on." Because like I said, he had to leave the next day, on Sunday, to go back to Camp Lejeune.
Q All right. And how -- if you know, Kim, in terms of -not necessarily in terms of miles, but in terms of time, how far was the drive from Lynchburg back to Greensboro?
A Hour and 45 to -- a little over -- an hour and 45 to two hours, something like that. Depending on traffic. And that morning, it was not busy.
Q And how far would -- in terms of time, would the drive have been from Greensboro to Camp Lejeune?
A From our house to Camp Lejeune?
A Three and a half to four hours.
Q And when did Ronnie have to be back on the base that weekend?
A I can't remember. Sometimes he had to be back like that evening. Sometimes it wasn't till the very next morning, at 6:00 or 7:00 o'clock in the morning. That weekend, I assume it was Sunday night, but I'm not 100 percent sure. Because I know he'd been -- I know he had been gone for a whole week. And usually when you have that much time off, you have to report, you know, like at night or something like that. So it may have been Sunday evening.
Q All right. And did you see Mrs. Whidden when you left?
Q Now, Kim, directing your attention to the afternoon when you were at the Whiddens', did there come a time when you watched a tape of Dr. Falwell on television?
A Yes. Mitch had it. He had it taped. And it was -- he asked if we wanted to watch it, and we said, "Sure." So we -- he popped it in the VCR, and we sat there and watched it. I don't think we watched the entire thing, but I know we watch at least 30 minutes of it.
Q All right. Do you recall when during the course of the afternoon that was?
A It was after we got back from Dr. Fal-- seeing Dr. Falwell.
Q All right. And what was the mood of the group?
A We kind of laughed about it. I don't remember the whole thing, but it was talking about pornography and how, you know, he thought every -- what's his name, Flynt, I think, he acted like everything's okay with it and all that. And, you know, Dr. Falwell, he debates pretty good, and he was really debating with him and letting him know exactly what he thinks and what, you know, the Bible states. So we were having a good time with that.
MR. LLOYD: That's all I have, Your Honor.
CROSS-EXAMINATION by MR. PANOSH:
Q Ma'am, what did you say your marital status is?
A We're separated right now.
Q And is that the extent of your marital status?
A No. I have filed for divorce.
Q And your testimony before this jury today is that, you are -- on October the 9th of 1995, Ronnie Kimble left early in the morning, and you didn't see him again until 5:40?
Q And you have a real good recall of that particular situation and that weekend?
A The -- I'm sorry. What?
Q Do you have a good recall of that particular weekend?
A The weekend prior to her death, that weekend?
Q October the 6th through October the 9th.
Q Okay. Do you remember being interviewed by Detective Pendergrass, Special Agent Pendergrass, on August 4th of 1998? I'm sorry. On July the 31st of 1998?
A Yes, I do.
Q And do you remember telling him, beginning the interview by saying that you could not recall the specifics of the weekend of October the 6th of 1995?
A That is correct.
Q But today you can recall it?
A I have recalled it prior to today. My cousin got married that weekend, and it wasn't like a big event. I mean, it wasn't like my wedding, so, of course, I didn't remember it. But I have seen my cousin, and my sister had came up, and my mother and my aunt and my cousin all went to this wedding. And I have seen them prior to that, so it made me remember it. So that's why the weekend came back to me of that particular weekend, what I remember.
Q So what you're saying then is, when you were interviewed on July the 31st of this year, not even a month ago, you told Agent Pendergrass that you could not recall the specifics of the weekend beginning October 6, 1995?
A I'm sorry. I don't remember being interviewed on July 31st of this year.
Q Okay. Are you saying Agent Pendergrass didn't call you on the telephone?
A Oh, on the phone. Okay. I'm sorry. Yes.
Q And did you begin that interview by telling him that you could not recall the specifics of the weekend beginning October the 6th of 1995?
A That's correct. I said that, yes.
Q So, on July the 31st of this year, less than a month ago, you told him that you could not recall specifics, but today, you can recall every detail of that weekend?
A That's correct. But a couple weeks ago, I -- like I said, I saw my cousin, I've talked to my mother, my sister has came up, and it brought it back. I mean, I just remembered it. Like I said, it wasn't a big event. I mean, it was just a wedding. But I remember it now. I mean, back then, no, of course not, but now I do. I mean, it was brought to my attention that that wedding was that weekend, and then everything fell into place what had happened.
Q Okay. I don't think I understand you. You said, back then, of course not, you could (sic) remember it, are you referring to July --
A Two weeks ago, I remember. Two weeks ago -- or a week -- two weeks ago, my mother and I were discussing it, and
she told me "Do you remember your cousin got married that weekend?"
Q So, when you talked to the detective -- to Agent Pendergrass on July 31st, you did not remember?
Q But after that, you talked to your mother -
A And she --
Q -- and it all came back to you?
Q So --
Q -- all those details you've related to the jury today all came back to you after you spoke to Agent Pendergrass, based upon your opportunity to speak with your mother about your cousin's wedding?
A The only thing I remember telling the jury was about the other details. I haven't really discussed this -- that past weekend.
Q Oh. You didn't talk about getting up and leaving on October the 9th?
A Yes, but that's on a Monday.
Q So, now you're saying that you -- Let me see if I can ask you again. Do you recall telling Agent Pendergrass that you did not recall the details of the weekend beginning October the 6th of 1995?
A I could not remember the Saturday and Sunday of what we did, especially that Saturday, of what Ronnie and I did when he came in on that Friday evening. But two weeks ago, my mother and I were talking, and she remembered that my cousin got married that weekend, and that's when things started coming back, of what had happened that Saturday and Sunday. I already knew what happened on that Monday, but the Saturday and Sunday, I could not remember, until my mother and I had spoke and she was telling me about my cousin's wedding on that Saturday afternoon.
Q So you recall the events of Monday, but you didn't recall your events of Saturday and Sunday, prior to October the 9th; is that what you're saying?
Q But you do recall them now?
Q Okay. Going back to June the 10th of '96, do you remember being interviewed by Detective Church?
A I don't remember the date, but I remember talking to Detective Church.
Q Okay. And do you remember him asking you specifically if Ronnie Kimble, your husband, had any friends from the military that might have been home with him that weekend from Camp Lejeune?
A I remember him asking me that, yes.
Q And what did you tell him?
A I'm thinking I told him that I thought Neil Silverthorne was there, which was a friend of his, but then I remember that -- I think he was out on float or something in Cuba or something like that.
Q In fact, you told him about Silverthorne, but you didn't tell him about Mr. Dobesh, who was the friend who was home with your husband that weekend?
A That's correct.
Q And you never mentioned Mr. Dobesh being with your husband on October the 6th?
A That's correct.
Q Now, do you recall now when Mr. Dobesh came to your home on October the 6th?
A Yes, I do.
Q And do you recall now whether he stayed there?
A Was that on Friday? I'm sorry.
Q I believe October the 6th would have been a Friday, yes, ma'am.
Q And he stayed there how long?
A He left on Saturday, because --
Q Now, why was it that Mr. Dobesh came to your home on Friday and Saturday?
A That weekend prior to, he had came up with Ronnie. He
was dating a friend of ours, and he came up that weekend prior to. And I recall Ronnie leaving his vehicle at the house that Sunday before they left, and he rode with Dobesh back to Camp Lejeune that week. And then, they came back in together on that Friday afternoon, in Dobesh's vehicle.
Q So, they both came up Friday night in the same vehicle?
Q And he left Saturday morning?
A Saturday afternoon.
Q What time was that?
A I really couldn't tell you. I know that he was still there around lunchtime.
Q So he made the four-hour trip to stay for a half a day and then turned around and left?
A Yes. He was wanting to see the girl that he was dating at that time.
Q My question to you is, he made a four-hour trip, stayed a half a day and left?
Q And are you saying that he had to drive up to Greensboro to see that girl?
A I'm sorry. I couldn't hear you. Someone was coughing.
Q Are you saying that he drove up to Greensboro to see that girl?
A Well, that, and he also was bringing Ronnie home.
Q Can you explain why, in your prior interviews, neither you nor Ronnie Kimble ever mentioned Mr. Dobesh bringing him home on that Friday?
A Like I said, I had forgotten, but it came back to me two weeks ago.
Q Okay. So the events of October the 6th in regards to Mr. Dobesh did not come back to you until two weeks ago?
A That's right.
Q Is there a particular reason you would have difficulty remembering those events shortly after those events occurred, when you were interviewed?
MR. LLOYD: Well, objection to the phrase "shortly after those events occurred." We're referring to an -
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. LLOYD: -- interviewing on June the 11th, Your Honor.
Q Well, you said that you cooperated 100 percent with the Guilford County Sheriff's Department; is that correct?
A Yes, I did.
Q Did you at any time after the murder of Patricia Kimble relate the events of October the 6th of 1995 to the Guilford County Sheriff's Department?
A No, because I could not remember at that time. If I could have remembered, I would have told them. And I told Mr. Pendergrass that when I was on the phone with him two
weeks ago or three weeks ago.
Q That you couldn't remember?
A I'm sorry?
Q That you couldn't remember?
Q Okay. So then, Patricia being killed on the 9th, and the investigation starting on the 9th and going through the next several weeks, during those several weeks right after her death, when you said you were cooperating 100 percent with the sheriff's department, did you ever go and mention the fact that Ronnie Kimble came home with Justin Dobesh on October the 6th?
A Are you talking about -- I'm sorry. I was -- I'm confused on what you said. I apologize. Could you repeat that?
Q Yes, ma'am. Patricia Kimble was killed on October the 9th.
Q On the week right after that, when the sheriff's department was actively investigating her death, when you said you were participating and cooperating 100 percent, did_ you ever go to them and tell them that Ronnie Kimble had come home with Justin Dobesh on October the 6th?
A I don't -- I didn't see why that was relevant at that time. I mean, it was just a weekend, and it was an ordinary
weekend for us.
Q So, first you didn't think it was relevant, and after that, you forgot?
THE COURT: Let me stop you there a minute. What time is your flight, Mr. Hatfield?
MR. HATFIELD: 5:40.
THE COURT: What time do you need to leave here, sir?
MR. HATFIELD: In about five or 10 minutes.
THE COURT: All right, sir. We'll stop in about five minutes.
MR. HATFIELD: Thank you.
Q Now, you did say that Ronnie Kimble, your husband, and you lived in Swansboro for about six months?
Q And then after that, you were living in Greensboro?
Q So for approximately three years, he was driving back and forth?
Q Did he drive every weekend?
A Pretty much. Sometimes I went down there.
Q And that's a four-hour approximate drive each way?
A Three and a half, four, depending on which way I go.
Q And you said that he has a sleeping disorder, where he falls asleep?
Q But he drove back and forth?
A Like I said, not every weekend, but some.
Q Quite frequently?
Q Most weekends?
Q And in fact, he had the sleeping disorder before you were married; isn't that right?
A He -- yes, but it wasn't like they -- they were checking it out, but they didn't know that that's what it was at that point.
Q Would it surprise you to find out that he said in the medical records that he'd had this sleeping disorder all his life?
A No, it would not surprise me.
Q And in fact, the reason he was being checked out in 1997 is because he was applying for an early discharge; isn't that right?
Q And he was applying for disability; isn't that right?
A They had looked into it, because the military said that he can't do his job, which his job was being in the grunt
unit. His job wasn't the chaplain's office. That's just where they put him.
Q But he knew at the time he went into the military that he had a sleeping disorder?
A But it wasn't that bad.
Q And he also knew he could get out of the military because of a sleeping disorder?
A No, he did not know that at that time.
Q Isn't it a fact that that's how his father got out of the Marine Corps?
A That his --
MR. LLOYD: Well, object, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. LLOYD: She doesn't know why his father got out of the Marine Corps.
Q If you know, isn't it a fact that that's how Ronnie Kimble, Sr. got out of the Marine Corps in 1967?
A I did not know my father-in-law was in the military.
Q In any event, when he signed up for the Marine Corps, he was well aware of his -- of what you refer to as a sleeping disorder?
A I'm sorry. Repeat that, please.
Q When he signed up in the Marine Corps, he was well aware that he had a sleeping disorder?
MR. LLOYD: Well, object, Your Honor. She doesn't
know what he's well aware of or --
THE COURT: Well, sustained.
Q Were you married to him at that time?
A When he was in the military? He was in the military before we got married, yes.
Q Okay. Were you dating him and acquainted with him at the time that he went into the United States Marine Corps?
A I was -- acquaintance, yeah, we were friends, but I was not dating him.
Q And you said, I think, that you had been dating him or acquainted with him for approximately 12 years?
A Yes. We had been friends since -- for 12 years.
Q Okay. So you knew then about his, what he refers to as a sleeping disorder?
A No, I did not, because like I said, it never -- it wasn't -- I didn't know it till we get married that, you know, he was having problems at night sleeping and things like that and during the daytime. I wasn't --
Q When you were dating him or driving around with him as a friend, did he ever tell you about his propensity to fall asleep?
A No. I mean, when we were dating, we were very young.
Q Regardless of your age, when you were dating him, or was driving around with him as a friend, did he tell you about his propensity to fall asleep?
A That's probably --
MR. LLOYD: Objection. Asked and answered, Your Honor. She said no.
THE COURT: Overruled.
You may answer the question.
A The year before we got married, I remember him saying something about him getting really sleepy at times, but I wouldn't call that a sleep disorder. I mean, if you don't get a lot of sleep, you get sleepy.
Q Uh-huh. And you said part of it is that he has bad dreams?
A Well, that is -- that's what I've observed, when I've gone to --
Q And based upon that --
A -- bed with him at night.
Q Excuse me?
A I said that's what I observed when I went to bed with him at night.
Q Would it surprise you to find out that all the times he's been evaluated, he doesn't mention the fact that his sleeping disorder includes bad dreams?
A I recall that when I was with him in Norfolk, Virginia, that was mentioned.
Q So that would be reflected in the reports?
A I just know that it was mentioned. I don't know what's
in the reports, I haven't seen them, but I know that that was mentioned.
Q So you have not seen the results?
Q You don't know --
A They don't give them to us.
Q They don't give them to you? They didn't give you the results?
Q They never gave you the results?
A They may have gave them to Ronnie, but they never gave them to myself.
Q Well, in fact, you know that he was turned down for his application for early discharge and disability, wasn't he?
A As far as I know, they were looking into it. I don't think it ever came about.
Q Did you --
A They were still looking into it.
Q Wasn't he turned down because they found there was no sleeping disorder?
A He was arrested in April, and they were still looking into that, so I couldn't tell you. I do not know.
THE COURT: Going on to another subject?
MR. PANOSH: Do you want me to stop?
THE COURT: If you're getting ready to go to
MR. PANOSH: Yes.
THE COURT: You may step down, Ms. Kimble. (The witness left the witness stand.)
THE COURT: Members of the jury, we've made good progress. We're much further ahead than we thought we'd be at this particular point, and I know it's been a long week, and I know you have personal obligations to take care of. Some of the court officials have administrative matters that we need to deal with tomorrow, so we're going to give you tomorrow off, start back fresh on Monday morning. We will start at 9:30 on Monday, rather than 10:00. Does everyone understand that? Is that going to be a problem for anybody?
I hope you have a nice weekend. Please remember the instructions the Court has given you in the jury responsibility sheets. Have a nice weekend, and I'll see you on Monday at 9:30.
(The jury left the courtroom at 4:51 p.m.)
THE COURT: Let me see the attorneys up here on an administrative matter before the recess.
(All three counsel conferred with the Court at the bench.)
THE COURT: You may declare a recess until 9:30 Monday morning, sheriff.
(A recess was taken at 4:53 p.m., until 9:30 a.m. Monday, August 24, 1998.)
MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 1998
(Court convened at 9:34 a.m. The defendant was present. The jury was not present.)
THE COURT: Any matters we need to take care of before we bring the jury in?
MR. LLOYD: Your Honor, I think you had instructed Mr. Panosh and I to see if we couldn't iron out some sort of agreement on the statement of Mrs. Jackson. We have not been able to reach an agreement on Mrs. Jackson's statement. There's a great deal -- the first part of her statement, I don't have any problems with, because I think it basically corroborates her testimony.
MR. PANOSH: Your Honor, I'll hand them up. I thought we had reached an agreement. If there's anything else that needs to be redacted, we need -- I can probably take care of it.
MR. LLOYD: Well, maybe if I could see it. Maybe I misunderstood, Mr. Panosh.
(Mr. Panosh handed an exhibit to Mr. Lloyd.)
MR. LLOYD: This would be the redacted statement?
MR. PANOSH: Yes. Here you go. Here's the other_ redacted statement.
(Mr. Panosh handed an exhibit to Mr. Lloyd.)
MR. LLOYD: Well, I see Mr. -- my discussions with Mr. Panosh did do some good, Your Honor.
(Mr. Lloyd handed the exhibits to the Court.)
MR. LLOYD: He has eliminated what I requested.
THE COURT: So there's no problem at the present time?
MR. LLOYD: No problem, Your Honor.
(The Court handed the exhibits to the bailiff, and the bailiff placed the exhibits on the exhibit table.)
MR. LLOYD: I do, Your Honor -- and I think this is probably as good a time to bring it up as any. The statements of Rob Nicholes, those Your Honor had indicated would come in for corroborative purposes, if they did so. The problem that I have with it, Judge -- and we haven't passed those, we haven't published those statements to the jury yet, so there's still time on that. There's a great deal of material in what Mr. Nicholes said in his statements that simply is not corroborative, nor is impeaching, because we never asked him about it, Your Honor.
There's a statement in here, "Ted's father saw the generators --" this is in reference to the theft ring that involved Mr. Nicholes and Mr. Pardee and Ted Kimble. "Ted's father saw the generators and asked Ted to get one for him. I believe Ted's father knew they were stolen. He had to, because Ted's father helped with the books and went through the paperwork. Ted's father also saw the two-by-fours, twoby-eights, two-by-tens and all the other building materials,
so he had to know Ted wasn't buying the items." Never got into that. It's not corroborative of anything he said on the stand. It's not something that we inquired into on direct (sic) examination.
There are other statements -- my main concern, Your Honor, is, in one of his statements, he makes a reference to Ted saying that Ronnie had an alibi. And that's something that -- my clear recollection is that when we went up and we talked about this at the bench, Mr. Panosh said that he would not get into that, and Your Honor gave your seal of approval on that. We did not cross-examine him on that. We didn't cross-examine him on any of these statements. And so, now we've got a situation where we're attempting to, under the guise of corroboration, get in stuff that is not sworn testimony.
And I guess the final question we all have to ask here, Your Honor, is, is the sworn testimony from the witness stand the evidence in this case, or is it some statement that the witness signed and gave to the police officers? And I don't -- there's not a court in this land that would say that the evidence in a criminal trial ought to be the statements that the witness gave to some police officers at some time prior to his testimony, not under oath and not subject to cross-examination.
So I just wanted to alert the Court to that.
THE COURT: Mr. Panosh, do you wish to be heard?
MR. PANOSH: Your Honor, I don't have the case law in front of me right now, but the case law says that it is the -- that the prior statements need not be wholly consistent, and in fact, there can be new information in there, as long as that new information is not inconsistent. I can get that case law and hand it up the next time we discuss this, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Well, hold those from the jury at this point.
MR. PANOSH: We will.
THE COURT: They've not been shown to the jury at this point.
THE COURT will rule on that. Certainly certain portions of it ought to be redacted out.
MR. PANOSH: Your Honor, I've got the case right now. It's State v. Ramey, 318 N.C. 457, a 1986 case. "In order to be corroborative and therefore properly admissible, the prior statement of the witness need not merely relate to specific facts brought out in the witness's testimony at trial, so long as the statement in fact tends to add weight or credibility to such testimony." Prior statements of the
THE COURT: Well, the statement about his dad knowing about the generator being stolen, that has absolutely nothing to do with -- that should be redacted
MR. PANOSH: Well, Your Honor, we don't --
THE COURT: The alibi part is the only one that gives me concern.
MR. PANOSH: We don't have any problems going over it and trying to reach an agreement about redaction, but we feel that the statements as a whole, under --
THE COURT: I think the witness was cross-examined from the statement, was he not?
MR. PANOSH: Extensively. And Your Honor did not allow the statements in on direct, but because of the extensive cross-examination, the State renewed its motion and Your Honor allowed it in.
THE COURT: That was part of the reason the Court allowed it in.
MR. LLOYD: Well, Your Honor's recollection may differ from mine. I don't recall doing that, but I -- my memory's not perfect, I'll be the first one to admit.
THE COURT: Well, anyway, that part about his dad should be redacted out. The alibi thing, I'm not -- I need to review my notes on that. Leave that pending and I'll look at that.
MR. LLOYD: Well, I know I specifically did not cross-examine him on that, because I -- I specifically remember that Mr. Panosh said he wasn't going to get into
that alibi concerning Ronnie. Here's what he said in the statement: "I asked again several times if he killed his wife or had anything to do with that, and he would always say that he had an alibi and that his brother also had an alibi. He said that Ronnie's alibi was that he was watching television with his wife and her parents." And then he goes in to describe what Ted told him, that he did have something to do with his wife, and not to ask any more questions about it.
THE COURT: Well, some of that may become relevant if Mr. Kimble testifies and may come out on cross-examination at some point.
MR. LLOYD: Well, if it does, then it comes in, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right.
THE COURT's going to rule that it should be kept out at this point and not be exhibited to the jury.
Any other matters before I bring them in?
Bring them back, sir.
(The jury entered the courtroom at 9:41 a.m.)
THE COURT: I'm very pleased to have the jury panel back. I hope each of you had a nice weekend and feeling okay this morning.
Mrs. Scoggins, feeling better?
MS. SCOGGINS: Just fine. Thank you.
THE COURT: Anyone else got any problems today that I should know about or any conflicts that I should know about?
Okay. If the witness would return to the witness stand, please, Ms. Kimble.
(The witness Kimberly Kimble returned to the witness stand.)
THE COURT: Ms. Kimble, the Court will remind you you're still under oath.
You may continue with your examination.
MR. PANOSH: Thank you.
KIMBERLY KIMBLE, having been previously duly sworn, testified as follows during CONTINUED CROSS-EXAMINATION by MR. PANOSH:
Q Ma'am, I believe on Friday you said that you didn't recall the events of October the 6th until about two weeks ago. Would you relate for the ladies and gentlemen of the jury the events of October the 6th, that is, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
A Yes. Like you said, two weeks ago, I recalled it, or three weeks ago. My mother and I were talking, and that's why I remembered it, because of the wedding of my cousin.
That Friday, my husband came in with Dobesh, a friend, and they got there that evening around 5:30, 6:00 o'clock on Friday, the 6th. And then I don't really recall what we did that evening, but the next morning, I remember getting up
and doing things around the house, such as washing and stuff. And he did stuff, you know, just piddling around outside. And then sometime after lunch, we -- myself went to a wedding with my mother and my aunt and my cousin and sister. And I don't recall what he did, because, of course, I wasn't there.
I remember Dobesh saying he needed to leave sometime around 2:00 o'clock. He had duty the next day.
That Saturday night, I don't remember exactly what me and my husband did. But the next day, I do recall. It's a ritual we go to church every Sunday. And I don't really cook that much, so I always go with my -- over to my mother and father's house. We always went on Sundays after church and ate with them and hung around the house there, watch TV, talk, sleep, whatever. Then we go to back to the house.
And if he didn't have to go back to the base that night, we would go to church or something like that.
Q And in fact, when you say "he didn't have to go back to the base," you're talking about Ronnie?
A Yes. But he did not have to that weekend, because he had the 96.
Q But your recollection is that Justin Dobesh had duty on Sunday?
A That's what he told us.
Q When you said you went to the wedding, you and your
mother, does that mean that Mr. -- that Ronnie Kimble went with you?
A No, sir, he did not. None of the men went. He didn't know my cousin, so he didn't really want to go.
Q So you don't know what Ronnie and Mr. Dobesh did?
A No, sir, I do not.
Q And the reason that you were -- when you were asked about whether he had a friend home, and you gave the name of Mr. Silverthorne as a possible friend, why was that?
A Because he was always coming home with him. That was the friend that was always there with him on weekends.
Q And I believe you have a friend or an acquaintance by the name of Sherry Wilson?
A Yes, sir.
Q And was Sherry Wilson dating Mr. Dobesh?
A Yes, sir.
Q And that Friday night, did you go to see her or get up with her in any way?
A I did not, no, sir.
Q Did Mr. Dobesh?
A I think he was trying to get up with her. I don't know if he ever, you know -- I know he was going to try, but I don't know if he ever succeeded or not. I do not know.
Q So you believe he spent the evening and the night at your trailer?
A I know he left at one point, but like I said, I don't know if he got up with her or really what he was doing that evening.
Q And you said that you got home from work and they were already there?
A No. I got home -- I get home around 20 minutes till 6:00, and they were probably there within 30 minutes. It was a real short time.
Q You testified about Ronnie being responsible or planning to put underpinning on the trailer?
A Yes, sir.
Q How long had that been planned?
A Oh, gosh. We had talked about it since we got the trailer in June. We knew we was going to have to go ahead and, you know, get that done. I mean, one, it makes the trailer look better, and so, we had discussed it once we got-the trailer back in June.
Q June of '95?
A Yes, sir.
Q But he didn't begin working on it until Monday?
Q And you said that he was driving your vehicle?
A Yes, sir.
Q And what type of vehicle was that?
A It was a 1992 teal green Camaro.
Q It was what?
A A teal green Camaro. It was a 1992 teal green Camaro.
Q I show you now what's been marked as 135. Do you recognize your car in that photo lineup?
A This one right here. (Indicated.)
Q And would you say the number, please, for the record.
Q And when did you sell that car?
A I'm trying to --
Q Did you sell it, ma'am?
Q Was it after Patricia's death?
Q Thank you. You indicated that on the evening of October the 9th, that you came home and got changed and went to your mother's house; is that correct?
A I didn't change. He did. I mean, he had taken a shower.
Q And then you went to your mother's house?
Q And you indicated you were there at approximately 6:15, and you stayed there until "Wheel of Fortune" came on?
A Yes. It was after 7:00.
Q Is there a reason that you never told the police about that?
A About what?
Q About you getting there at 6:15 and staying till "Wheel of Fortune" came on?
A I recall telling Detective Church that, and I think that Mr. Pendergrass was with him at that time. I told him that I was there after 6:00, I got there a little after 6:00.
Q Yes. Did you tell him about staying there until "Wheel of Fortune" came on?
A Yes, I did.
Q And if that's not in your written statement, you wouldn't know why?
A I do not know why, because I know I did state that.
Q So you don't think you mentioned Mr. Dobesh, but you do think you told them about "Wheel of Fortune"?
A Yes, I do remember that.
Q You indicated that you were at the fire scene for a few minutes, and then you decided to leave?
Q And you said Ronnie was upset?
A We both were upset.
Q Okay. When you said Ronnie was upset, what did you mean?
A I mean, you know, it was, it was -- it was tragic. I mean, you know, the fire and everything. I mean, why
wouldn't we be? I mean, it was just -- it was so many emergency personnel. We didn't know exactly what was going on, but we knew the house was on -- had been on fire, so it bothered us, as it did everyone that was there.
Q Ma'am, when you say he was upset, are you indicating he was crying or he was --
Q -- pacing, or what are you indicating?
A He was not crying. I mean, you could tell that we were just like, kind of in shock, I guess you could say. It was like -- I could see the expression on his face, as well as he could see it on mine. We were just like, "Man, how could this happen?" you know. "What happened?"
Q And you and Ronnie went to the house together?
A To what house?
Q Patricia's house at the time of the fire.
Q Did there come a time when he was riding with your father-in-law that night? I'm sorry. Did there come a time when he was riding with your father that night?
A My father?
A We both rode with my mother and father over to the church that evening.
Q Any other time that you're aware of?
A No, sir.
Q You indicated you went to Winn-Dixie and you bought two stuffed flounder and some Tater Tots, I think you said?
Q And the total on that was $4.06?
(Time was allowed for the witness.)
Q And you indicated that you got home that evening on October the 9th, prior to knowing about the fire, and you said it was kind of warm; is that right?
A I'm sorry. I didn't hear the last part of your question.
Q You indicated it was kind of warm that day?
A I know when we left the fire -- when we left to go see about what had happened, I had on long sleeves. It was a little chilly to me.
Q All right. Drawing your attention to when you came home, when you first saw Ronnie Kimble working on the underpinning --
A Oh, okay.
Q -- I believe you testified it was kind of warm?
A Yes. I'm sorry. I didn't know which part you were talking about.
Q And when -- did you hear the prior testimony that at that time, it was approximately 68 degrees? Is that what you mean by kind of warm?
Q Now, you indicated in January of 1997, you and Ronnie went to Virginia, specifically to Portsmouth, for medical tests; is that right?
A Yes, sir.
Q Is this the first or second time he was there?
A The first.
Q To your knowledge, has he been to Portsmouth for that same test on a prior occasion?
A Not to my knowledge.
Q Did he tell you he had a prior sleeping test? A He had one, I think it was right before we got married, but I don't think it was in Portsmouth.
Q When was that?
A I do not know, sir. I know I was married in December of '94, so --
Q So you believe he had the test prior to December of '94?
Q And you didn't go with him on that occasion?
A I was not married to him, no.
Q But you said on this particular occasion, the reason
you went with him is because he needed someone to drive him?
A That's what the military had said to him, I guess it was the doctor that was treating him at that time in Camp Lejeune, said that he needed someone to ride with him, since it was a great distance from Camp Lejeune to Norfolk or Portsmouth, Virginia.
Q Does that indicate that you drove or he drove or –
A When we first went, I think we were taking turns and then I drove.
Q So if he arrived at the testing center and told them that he had driven there without incident, would that be accurate?
A Yes. Because he hadn't had the test at that time, so it wasn't that big of a deal. Is that what you're -- I'm sorry.
Q Did he drive on the way to Portsmouth, Virginia?
A Like I said, we took turns.
Q And how long did that trip take?
A I could give you an approximate, but I don't know for sure.
Q Did you leave from your home in Julian, or did you leave from the base?
A He was at the base, and then he came by to pick me up, and then we went.
Q So he drove four hours to pick you up --
Q -- approximately, and then you drove whatever time it took to go to Portsmouth?
Q And do you know how long that was? A Like I said, I could give you an approximate, but I really don't know.
Q Could you estimate for us, please.
A I'm sorry?
Q Could you give us an estimate, please.
A Maybe three hours, two and a half, three hours. I don't -- I don't know.
Q So your testimony is then that he didn't need someone to drive the four hours to your home, but he needed someone to drive with him the --
Q -- two and a half, three hours?
A Correct. He had not had the test yet, so that was -that was fine. They were just concerned after he had the test done, if he needed -- you know, if someone needed to be there, just in case.
Q Well, there was nothing invasive about the test, was there?
A No. I mean, the only thing is that they just -- he -they let him sleep a lot, just to watch his pattern.
Q So his physical condition wouldn't be any different before the test than from after the test, would it?
Q And you stayed in the Holiday Inn?
A Yes, sir.
Q Was that one night or two?
A I think I said on Thursday it was two, but it was actually one. I was -- it was one.
Q Okay. So that would have been Wednesday night, does that sound correct?
Q And because the military approved your travel, was that paid for by the Marine Corps?
A Yes, later on it was.
Q What do you mean "later on"?
A We had to pay for it when we got there, and they were supposed to -- said they would reimburse later.
Q And how did you pay?
A I do not recall. I can't remember.
Q Credit card or cash, you can't recall?
A It was either credit card or cash. I can't remember. I think it was credit card.
Q And much later, you indicated that you or Ronnie paid for the meal at the restaurant that you and the Whiddens shared; is that correct?
A Yes, that's correct.
Q Was that paid for cash or --
Q Do you remember saying that you were low on cash that day?
A Low on cash? What day? I'm sorry.
Q When you arrived at the Whiddens' house, that was one of the reasons you decided to stay with them?
A No, sir. We -- I mean, we -- of course, we're not rich, but we -- you know, I had told him that I'd rather stayed at a motel, but since, you know, that was ridiculous, because we already had paid for one night, even though we was getting reimbursed, we knew that we was going to probably stay at least one or two nights, so we decided to try it out, and if it worked out okay the first night, then, you know, we could continue staying with them, if that was okay, but if not, we were going to get a room the next night.
Q My question to you, ma'am, is, do you remember on your direct testimony saying that "When we got there, it was after 10:00, the kids were up, and although we were low on cash, we decided to stay -- one of the reasons that we decided to stay with them was because we were low on cash"? Do you remember saying that?
A I don't recall saying that.
Q Was that true?
A Well, I mean, like I said, we weren't rich, but we wasn't low, low on cash. I mean, we could afford a room that night, either by check or credit card.
Q So you did have a credit card with you?
A We had one, yes.
Q And you indicated that Ronnie's plans were to get out of the military, the Marine Corps, on April the 6th of '97; is that correct?
A That's correct.
Q Why was it that he was applying for a medical discharge then in March of '97?
A The only thing I can tell you is, he was still having tests done, because this test was in January of '97. And he -- the medical there told him that he would probably end up having to get a medical discharge, because he could not go-back to his regular job as a grunt, because of falling asleep at the post.
Q Well, my question to you is, he could have just let his term in the military expire, but he chose to apply for a medical discharge; is that correct?
A I do not know that, no.
Q Do you remember whether or not he told you that he was scheduled for a medical discharge board on the 9th of April of '97 at 1:00 p.m.?
A All I know is -- what he told me was that they were going to extend it, because of his -- they had not figured out -- they were still looking into his sleep disorder.
Q Ma'am, my question to you is, if he's due to get out anyway, why is he applying for this discharge?
A Because the medical department told him that that's probably what he would be doing. They had not discharged him yet. They have to discharge him.
Q You're saying the Marine Corps wanted him to do the medical, instead of just letting his time expire?
A I'm just telling you what he told me. They said that they were going to continue looking into his sleep disorder. He was supposed to get out April 6th. That was his day of four years.
Q In fact, he was applying for disability, wasn't he, ma'am?
A I -- no, sir.
Q Isn't that what the medical board is about?
A It's a medical discharge. It's not the same thing as a disability. That's two different things.
Q And they also determine disability, don't they? If you know.
A I don't know.
Q All right. You indicated that when you drove from Portsmouth to Lynchburg, that the weather was icy, I believe
A I'm sorry. Repeat that, please.
Q When you drove from Portsmouth to Lynchburg, what was the weather?
A It was clear.
Q When was it that you said that it became icy?
A The -- on that Friday, when we were there, and we were visiting Dr. Falwell, it was icy some then. It wasn't on the roads, but it was on the trees and vehicles.
Q So on Friday, when you were touring the campus, there was ice on trees and vehicles?
A Yes, sir.
Q But not on the roads?
A No, sir.
Q But you decided to get up and leave early the next morning on Saturday; is that what you said?
A Yes. We were thinking about leaving early that -- we were thinking about leaving Friday evening, but we decided to stay till Saturday morning.
Q Were the roads too bad to leave Friday evening?
A Well, we were figuring that, you know, people probably wasn't traveling as much in the evening, so we was afraid that the roads would be slick. So we was going to try to wait till the next morning, try to get an early start.
Q So, on Friday evening, based upon your observations of
the weather, the roads were icy?
A Yes, sir.
Q What type of vehicle do you have? A Now?
A I had a --
Q What type of vehicle were you driving on that occasion?
A A Jeep Cherokee.
Q Is that a four-wheel drive?
A No, sir.
Q And you decided not to leave that Friday. Why was that?
A We thought the roads would be slick. We didn't want to take a chance.
Q But you decided to leave first thing Saturday morning?
Q Ma'am, wouldn't it be better if you'd have waited a few hours, till things warmed up?
Q Isn't that normally what happens when there's ice on the roads, the sun comes up, things warm up, and it's better driving conditions?
Q So you're saying you left early, to avoid the icy conditions?
A No, I didn't say that. I just said we left early Saturday morning.
Q Why did you leave so early that morning?
A Because we wanted to get back.
Q So, if you said yesterday (sic) that you left early to avoid the icy conditions, that wouldn't have been accurate?
A I'm sorry. Say that again.
Q If you said -- excuse me, on Thursday, that you left early to avoid the icy conditions, that wouldn't have been accurate?
A If I left -- No. We just left early Saturday morning.
Q To get back to Julian?
A Yes, sir.
Q You were planning to go to Julian and stay there, and not go on to the base?
A No. I had to go to work the next -- that following Monday.
Q And Ronnie planned to stay there that weekend?
Q And how long is the drive from Lynchburg to Greensboro?
A Depending on traffic, I would say approximately two hours, from --
Q And what time did you -- Excuse me. Go ahead.
A I was going to say, to our -- to our house.
Q All right. And what time did you return to Julian?
A Somewhere between 10:30 and 11:00, really.
Q So you feel you left Lynchburg around 8:30; is that correct?
A Actually, we left around 8:00. I think we stopped for gas.
Q And the evening before, there was this telephone call that you placed to your mother, in reference to Dr. Falwell; is that right?
A I called my mother, to let her know we got there okay, because I had not talked to her and let her know what the -what, you know, that we had been to Portsmouth and everything.
Q This would have been the second night that you were there?
Q And just before you planned to leave?
A Yes. But I talk to my mother all the time, so it was not --
Q And you were calling her to let her know that you got there all right?
A I just called to let her know that we were there and to let her know that, you know, everything was okay in Portsmouth and that we'd be coming home the next day.
Q And what, if anything, did she say at that time about her conversation with Detective Church?
A She did not say anything. She just told me that she
was on the phone with Detective Church, and that could she call me back.
Q And she did later on call you back?
A Yes, sir.
Q And did there come a time when you related that to Ronnie Kimble?
Q What happened?
A I just told him, I said, "Detective Church had called Mom again." I said, "I figured that, you know, we've helped them as much as we could and told them that we would call them if we knew anything." And I said, "But he was just asking her a couple of questions." I don't recall the questions.
Q You said you'd helped him as much as you could?
Q How many times were you interviewed?
A Prior to that date? I don't know. Three, maybe.
Q You --
A I don't recall.
Q You were interviewed three times?
A Two or three. Like I said, I'm not 100 percent sure of how many.
Q Okay. Where was the first interview?
A At my mother and father's house.
Q And that was with Detective Church?
Q Where was the second one?
A I'm not sure.
Q Was there a second one?
A I know that I was at my mother's office one time and he came in.
Q And when he came to your mother's office, did he interview you?
A We talked.
Q And when you say "we talked," did he ask questions about the death of Patricia Kimble and did he write down your answers?
A I don't think he wrote down any answers, but I know we discussed it.
Q What did you discuss?
A Just about everything, about Patricia's death, and, you know, if we knew any -- you know, "Do you know anything else?" you know. I mean, just questions like he'd been asking.
Q So, if your first interview was on June the 11th of 1996, then your second interview would have been sometime after that; is that right?
Q And your third interview would have been when?
A Just -- as far as I know, it was the phone interview with Mr. Pendergrass on July 31st of --
Q All right.
A -- this year.
Q But that had not occurred when you got this telephone call?
Q So, when you said you had cooperated with him as much as you could, you were referring to the fact that you spoke to him on --
A I cooperated --
Q -- two occasions?
A Yeah. I cooperated with him every time he called or I -- you know, or I seen him. I mean, to the best of my ability. I just didn't know anything, so I was just cooperating with the best I could.
Q And you knew, on October the 9th of 1995, when Patricia was killed, you knew your husband had been to her house on at least two occasions that day?
Q Did you go to the sheriff's department and tell them that?
A No, because I didn't think it was that big of a deal. I mean, he was there to get a box truck and then take it
Q So, if you had been at the house of a person who was killed, and you'd been there within several hours of the date -- of the time of their death, you wouldn't feel it was appropriate to go to the sheriff's department or law-enforcement agency and say, "You need to know I was there, and this is what I saw" or "this is what I didn't see"?
A I wasn't with my husband, but I know that he did go there both times. I did not feel that it was a problem that I needed to tell the sheriff's department, because I knew my husband didn't do what they said he did.
Q But they hadn't said that he did that, that he was responsible, until April the 1st of '97.
A They --
Q Now, I'm going back to October of '95, ma'am. In the four or five days right after Patricia was killed, why didn't you go to the sheriff's department and say, "By the way, my husband was there on two occasions, and this is what he saw" or "this is what he didn't see"?
A Because, like I said, I didn't think it was that big of a deal.
Q In fact, Ronnie never went to the sheriff's department during those four or five days, either, did he?
A I don't know what my husband did.
Q I thought you said that you had a very close
relationship, you discussed everything that goes on in your marriage. Are you saying he could have gone to the sheriff's department and not discussed it with you?
A I just know that he and I -- I mean, he never told me if he did or if he didn't.
Q So, when you told the ladies and gentlemen of the jury on direct examination that you had cooperated 100 percent, we're talking about the interview that occurred on June the 11th of '96, which would have been eight, nine months after her death, and a subsequent interview?
A What I meant was that every time he called me or he came by the house, I cooperated. I didn't go hide from them. I didn't say, "I don't want to talk to you." I never did anything like that. That's what I --
Q And on this particular day --
MR. LLOYD: Well, let her finish her answer.
MR. PANOSH: I'm sorry.
THE COURT: Finish your answer, ma'am.
A That's where I say that I cooperated.
Q Now, on this particular day when you talked to your mother, and your mother mentioned Detective Church, how did Ronnie react?
A He was like me. I mean, we were kind of getting tired of it. We told everything we knew. We didn't know anything. And I mean, it was just -- it seemed like it was
getting old, because it seemed like he continuously kept coming back to us. So we were -- I mean, we weren't angry. We were just like, "I wish that they would just leave us alone." We told them that if we knew anything, we would come to them.
Q So you described the two occasions Detective Church came to you on June the 11th and a time thereafter as continually coming back to you?
A They called more than once. They were calling quite frequently --
Q Who called?
A -- at my mother's house. Detective Church.
Q But did they contact you?
A No. But I'm with my mother and father. I would -- you know, we're close, and they were calling them, so to me, it was the same thing.
Q So you and Ronnie were upset about the fact that Detective Church was in touch with your mother and your father?
A Yeah. Continuously asking questions that we've already answered or we couldn't answer, because we didn't know.
Q And that upset you?
A It didn't --
Q It upset you --
A -- upset me. It --
Q -- that the –
A -- just bothered me.
Q -- detective was working on the case?
A It didn't upset us, it just bothered us that they continuously called. I mean, like I said, if we knew anything, we would have -- we would have been there. I want to know who did this as much as anyone else.
Q I think you referred to Detective Church as bugging
you; is that right?
Q And so, you said Ronnie wasn't visibly upset?
Q Did you at that time discuss the case in front of the Whiddens?
A No, not really. I mean, we were just saying that we wish we knew who did this tragic thing. I mean, you know, who doesn't? We want to know who killed Patricia, and that's basically all we said.
Q So there would have been nothing for the Whiddens to observe and feel that Ronnie was upset?
Q So if they said that, they were not being accurate?
A No, sir, they were not.
Q Is there any reason that these folks, who you'd just known for a few days, and who had invited you to share their
home, is there any reason that they would say anything but the truth in regard to this matter?
A I'm sorry. Could you repeat that, please.
Q Is there any reason that the Whiddens would say anything but the truth in regard to this matter?
MR. LLOYD: Well, objection, Your Honor. It's not
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. LLOYD: -- a proper question.
THE COURT: Sustained.
Q Based upon your relationship with the Whiddens, was there any animosity?
A No. I actually enjoyed my time with the Whiddens. We were discussing that on the way home. I told him, I said, "If we go to Lynchburg," I said, "they're going to be great friends." I thoroughly enjoyed being with Debra. She was just a nice person.
Q And did you also enjoy being with Mitch?
A Well, yeah, but I mean, he was a guy. I mean, you know, I didn't talk to him like I did with Debra. She and I, you know, talked and, like I said, played Game Boy and stuff. So we had a good time.
Q Was there any animosity between you and Mr. Whidden?
A No, none whatsoever.
Q And they were open to you, they shared their home with
A Yes. I didn't see any problems whatsoever.
Q When you said you cooperated with the sheriff's department 100 percent, does that include the fact you didn't mention Mr. Dobesh?
A I told you, I'd forgotten that he came up that weekend, and I just recalled it a couple of weeks ago.
Q Why is that, ma'am, that you remember some events and forgot other events?
A I guess I'm just human. I don't remember everything. But when something tragic happens, you remember it.
Q Well, the wedding was something that you remembered; is that right?
A Not until my mother mentioned it to me a few weeks ago. That's what brought the events back.
Q And the reason -- and you knew that when you went to the wedding, Mr. Dobesh was there with Ronnie?
A What made me remember him coming in with Ronnie was, because Ronnie did not drive that weekend prior to. And I remember Ronnie stating he had wished he had drove, because he -- you know, he didn't have a car that week prior to and _ couldn't go about like he needed to that week.
Q So in those several days after Patricia's death, you certainly would have remembered your cousin's wedding?
A Yes. But he did not interview me until eight months
Q I thought, ma'am, you said that they were constantly bugging you?
A They didn't start bothering us until eight months later, when he first interviewed me.
Q And you said that you were at dinner, and when you were at dinner with the Whiddens in Virginia, you don't remember your husband saying anything about having a haunted past?
A No, sir. I would have remembered that.
Q Were you present at the table at all times?
A Yes. When we went up to get food, he and I went up together.
Q Every time?
A Yes. Because I was on the inside of that booth. He was beside me. And we only went up once.
Q And you went to the buffet one time and you were together?
Q But there was a period of time when Mitch and your husband, Ronnie Kimble, were present in the van together and you weren't there; is that right?
A No, sir. We -- oh, yes. When he went to take the -get the van, to drive it around to Best Products.
Q And you were window shopping, I believe you said?
A Yes, with Debra. We walked.
Q And then you said that during the period of time you were back at their home, Ronnie and Mitch went upstairs to do a Bible study or prayer?
Q And when they came down, everything was normal?
A Everything seemed normal, yes.
Q When was it that you noticed that Debra was having some distress or some physical discomfort?
A When they were upstairs, she seemed like she didn't feel good. I could tell that she didn't look, you know, up to par. She just looked weak. And she looked kind of pale. And I had asked her, I said, "Do you need to lay down?" you know. "Are you feeling okay?" And she said she just felt kind of weak at that point.
Q And when was it that you say she passed out or nodded off?
A Right after that. I mean, she -- like, within five minutes, she said, "Well, I think I'll lay down." So she laid down. And I could tell that she was going out. When they came downstairs is when I told, I think it was Mitch, I said, "Would you please get a wet cloth. Could you put it on her forehead," because she had gone out, and, you know, you need to apply a wet cloth once someone passes out, to try to help them come back.
Q So as they were coming downstairs, she had passed out,
and you suggested that he get a cloth?
A Yes, a wet clot, to put on her forehead.
Q But ma'am, didn't you just say that when they came downstairs, everything was normal?
A Well, everything was normal. I mean, with them two, everything was normal.
Q Okay. So, although you were concerned about Debra and whatever first aid she needed, and you were discussing with Mitch, you were able to look at your husband and make an assessment that everything was normal?
A Everything seemed fine, yes.
Q You weren't focusing your attention then on Debra at that point?
A Well, we all were.
Q And this underpinning that you had been discussing, that was going to be the project for the day?
A Well, it was going to be a project that he was starting that day.
Q And I think you said several times that he was a procrastinator?
Q But he did get up at -- before 7:00, to go get the boxcar?
A Well, he thought that the Atlantic Mobile Home Supplies opened at 8:00, but it did not. I do not know what time,
but he said it did not open at 8:00.
Q But he did get --
A He didn't call first.
Q He did get up early?
A So he could go get the box truck.
Q To get the --
A To get the keys from Ted, before he -- Ted left to go to work. And then he was going to try to be at the mobile home -- Atlantic Mobile Home Supply at 8:00.
Q When they opened?
A Yes. That's when he had thought they opened, but they did not.
Q Whenever they opened, he was there shortly after they opened?
A That's what he told me.
Q Got the supplies?
A That's what he told me.
Q And brought them back to the house?
Q To the trailer, rather?
Q What's procrastinating about that, ma'am?
A I didn't say that was procrastinating. I just stated that he is a procrastinator, but I didn't mean at that specific time.
Q But it was apparent from your discussions and his conduct that that was his project for the day; isn't that right?
Q And he got an early start on it?
Q You said he didn't go to the wedding with you on Saturday, but you're not sure what project he was working on that day?
A No, sir.
Q Then you said he called you around lunchtime; is that right?
A What day, sir?
Q On the day of Patricia's death, October the 9th.
A Yes. Around 12:30.
Q And where was he calling from?
A Lyles Building Material, is what he told me.
Q And that's when he was there to get the saw?
A No, sir.
Q Why was he at Lyles at 12:30?
A I do not know.
Q Did you and your husband, Ronnie Kimble, go to high school together?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you remember an incident where he passed out in high
A No, sir. We were not in the same grade.
Q In the course of his medical reports, he described his sleeping or his daytime sleepiness as a lifelong problem. Is that the way he discussed it with you?
A I knew when we were dating, I did not recall seeing him sleep no more than anyone else. I mean, we would -- we would take naps on Sundays, you know, after church and after we ate, but who don't, you know? I didn't really see anything different.
Q My question to you, ma'am, is, he says in his medical reports, he refers to it as a lifelong problem. Did he use those words to you?
Q You said at one point in your examination, I believe it was direct examination last week, that the nightmares started to get worse. When was that?
A After we got married, I'd say the first six months, I didn't really see anything that, you know, would be a problem, but later on, afterwards, I'm a light sleeper, and he would wake me up, either jerking or moaning or talking in his sleep. And on occasion, like I think I said on Thursday, was that one dream where he was at the end of the bed, barking. So it was, I would say, six months or so after we got married.
Q So, getting married in December of '94, that would put it till mid-June --
Q -- before it started to get worse?
Q And they got especially worse after October the 9th of '95, didn't they?
Q Did they get better?
A No. I'd say they're the same. I mean, he just dreamed, or, you know, he would just jerk his body.
Q And did you suggest that he see a physician about this?
A Yes. I was the one who told him he needed to see someone, because I felt like he had a problem. And I was tired of not getting sleep.
Q In fact, what you complained about most was his snoring; is that right?
A No, he didn't really snore that much. He jerked a lot. That's what kept me up. Because, I mean, he would just jerk. I mean, it was -- it was a bad jerk.
Q So if the reports say on several occasions that he told the doctors that you complained about his snoring, that wouldn't be accurate?
A He snored, but it wasn't the biggest problem. You asked me the biggest problem. The biggest problem was where
he was jerking. But he did snore, but it wasn't that bad.
Q Well, obviously the snoring woke you up, or you wouldn't know about it; isn't that right?
A Yeah. I would wake him up because he would wake me up, because -- and I'd tell him to get on his stomach, because he was on his back.
Q And that would correct it, to some extent --
A Yeah, it --
Q -- the snoring?
A Yes, it would.
Q So as you think back upon it now, you did complain about his snoring?
A I mean, I complained about his snoring, but the jerking was the problem for me.
Q Did he ever tell you, in reference to his daytime sleepiness, that if he took sugar, that is, foods with sugar-- in it, that he got better?
Q And did you know that he had a sleep study on May the 4th of '95, which would have been just several months after you were married?
A I'm sorry. Could you repeat that. I don't understand.
Q Did you know that he had his first sleep study on May the 4th of 1995, which was several months after you got married?
Q And --
A He had discussed that with me. I think he was going to go ahead and have that done down at Camp Lejeune.
Q And he discussed the results of that?
A I don't recall them.
Q Isn't it a fact that on or about July the 31st of 1995, he got the results back and the results said that his sleep was normal?
A I don't recall it.
Q He didn't discuss the results of the study that was done --
A All I remember --
Q -- just four or five months --
A -- is him stating --
Q -- after you --
A -- that they were going to --
Q -- were married?
A I just remember him stating that they were going to continuously observe him. And I know he was seeing a doctor down at Camp Lejeune.
Q Let me ask you this. You do agree that in about May, shortly after you were married, he had his first sleep study?
Q And are you saying he didn't discuss the results of that with you?
A I don't recall -- like I said, I don't recall any results. I just know that he said that he had that done. don't recall him telling me about any results, but I do recall him stating that a doctor was seeing him pretty much on a regular basis.
Q Now, did he describe this study, where they make him spend the night overnight in the lab and put electrodes on various parts of his body?
A I just remember the last one he had done, because I was there.
Q Drawing your attention to the first one, did he describe the first sleep study?
MR. LLOYD: Well, objection. She said she just remembers the last one, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Sustained.
Q But in any event, you didn't discuss the results of that study, that you recall?
A I -- what did you say? I'm sorry.
Q You don't recall him ever discussing the results of that --
Q -- first study? Did he ever tell you that he
sleepwalked as a child?
A I do not recall that.
Q Are you saying he didn't, or are you saying that you don't recall such a discussion?
A I don't recall that discussion.
Q Do you remember him having an accident -- Did you know him in 1991?
A I've known him for 13 years, 12 to 13 years.
Q Do you remember him having an accident in 1991?
A I don't --
Q That is, an auto accident?
A I remember him having a car accident, but I was not there, we were not dating at the time, so I don't know anything about it. I just remember hearing about it.
Q Do you know whether he told you about that accident, and that it was caused by his daytime sleepiness?
Q He did tell you that?
Q And that would have been prior to him going in the Marines?
Q And you're telling the ladies and gentlemen of the jury that when you got up that Saturday in January of '97 and decided to return to Julian, that Mitch Whidden pretty much
asked you repeatedly to stay at his house?
A He asked us like twice, he says, "Would you like to stay and go to Thomas Road Baptist Church with us on Sunday morning, to see Dr. Falwell preach?" because he knew that we'd been wanting to do that.
Q Was he trying to persuade you to stay?
A Well, he asked us twice.
Q Did he seem like he was trying to persuade you to stay?
A I think so. I didn't -- I mean, he seemed real nice and, you know, he acted like he really wanted us to stay.
Q But you decided to leave early, to avoid the ice?
A Well, that was part of it. Part of it was because I knew he had to go back the next day, and that we wanted to get some things -- I wanted to get some things done around the house.
MR. PANOSH: No further questions. Thank you.
THE COURT: Additional questions, Mr. Lloyd?
MR. LLOYD: If I could have the Court's indulgence
for just a second.
THE COURT: All right, sir.
You may stand and stretch, members of the jury, if you'd like.
(Mr. Lloyd and Mr. Hatfield conferred.)
MR. LLOYD: No questions, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Step down, ma'am. Watch your step
Published August 15, 2006. Report broken links or other problems.
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