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James R. Stump, Witness for the Defendant


THE COURT: Next witness, please.

MR. HATFIELD: I'd like to call James Stump, please.

JAMES R. STUMP, being first duly sworn, testified as follows during DIRECT EXAMINATION by MR. HATFIELD:

Q    Will you state your name, please, sir.

A    James R. Stump.

Q    And what is your relationship to Ronnie Kimble?

A    Son-in-law. He's my son-in-law. I mean, I'm his --

Q    And Judy Stump is your wife?

A    Right.

Q    And Kim's your daughter --

A    Right.

Q    -- is that correct? Now, Mr. Stump, where are you



A    Berico Fuels.

Q    How long have you been there?

A    28 years.

Q    Briefly stated, what are your duties there?

A    I do a little bit of everything. I started off as far as installing heating and air conditioning. But what I do now is just strictly sales.

Q    And are you familiar with the workings of oil fire and natural gas heating units?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And air conditioning units?

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

Q    Are you also familiar with basic code requirements for residences?

A    Yes, sir.

Q Do you have any firsthand knowledge as to code requirements having to do with precautions that are necessary in the home against gasoline vapors?

A    I know you have to -- anytime you put anything in a closet -- when I say closet, like in a utility room that may be in a garage area, or just in a garage, it has to be 18 inches off the floor.

Q    And what is the reason for that rule?

A    It's because of vapors rising.


Q    Does that mean that it is very difficult for gasoline

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

Q    Does that mean that gasoline --

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    -- vapors will not rise about 18 inches under normal circumstances?

MR. PANOSH: Object to --

A    I don't --

MR. PANOSH: -- examining his own witness.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    I really don't know if that's the reason for it or not. I know that this code come out probably about five or six years ago. The problem we were running into was, people were setting these things right down onto the floor. And if you've got -- most people that's got a good garage -- or a good size garage, they put everything in there, except the car. If you look, they'll be a lawn mower or something like that pushed right up to it. And anytime you've got a natural gas and you got gas, it's very simple to get vapors off of that, and then you've got an explosion.

Q    Now, with regard to gas-fired heating units, are you familiar with both. LP and natural gas?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Is there any difference in the way those two function?


A    Well, LP gas has got a tendency to lay down. It's got a tendency like a cloud. It wants to settle on the floor. Natural gas has got a tendency to rise. That's the reason, if you got a leak -- one thing we look for real good when we go into a house, or we try to, at least sniff a little bit, in other words, smell. If we go into a house and somebody said they have a problem with their heating system, you know, automatically we go -- when we go in there, when we open the door, they let us in, the first thing we have to do is smell. If you're in a house, you cannot tell if you have a leak or not, because you're already there. But if a person just comes from outside, inside from the fresh air, you usually can pick it up. But natural gas does rise. You cut a light switch on, you got a problem.

Q    So a light switch or any other electrical contact switch could arc and ignite these fumes --

A    That's it.

Q    -- is that right?

A    Takes very little.

Q    And is that the reason -- again, one of the reasons why the code requires that pilot lights and arcing ignition devices be 18 inches above the floor?

A    Right.

Q    Now, Mr. Stump, you say that when you go into a house where there may be a repair problem, that you sniff the air.


What's your reason for that?

A    Well, most of the time is when somebody calls us, usually, you know they got -- their furnace is bad, there's something wrong with it. Because I don't do the service, I do the selling end now. So if you go in there, automatic when you open the door, there's sometimes you can smell natural gas, you can actually smell it when you open the door up to the house. And then you know what you're looking for. And then you say, "Well," you know, "you must have a leak in your gas system here." Sometime that doesn't mean that. It can be something else, but it may not be bad enough to cause a problem.

Q    Now, based on your 28 years of experience and what you've just said, are you sensitive to the fumes of ignitable --

A    Very.

Q    -- easily ignitable materials?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Are you also sensitive to the fumes of gasoline?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    All right. Now, taking you back to October 9, 1995, did you see your son-in-law, Ronnie Kimble, that day?

A    I sure did.

Q    When did you see him?

A    Around, I guess it was -- are you talking about the



Q    Yeah. The night that --

A    Okay.

Q    -- Patricia died, did you see him?

A    It was 10 minutes to 5:00.

Q    About 10 minutes --

A    Right.

Q    -- to 5:00?

A    Right.

Q    What was the occasion for you to see him then? Had you been to work that day? I know it was a Monday and it was a holiday.

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Had you worked that day?

A    Uh-huh. Sure had.

Q    And what time did you leave your work?

A    I got a guy to lock up. See, we have an alarm system we have to put on, so I got this other fellow to lock up for me, and I stayed there, I guess, around 4:30.

Q    So you left Berico at approximately 4:30?

A    Uh-huh.

Q    Where is that location?

A    721 Winston Street.

Q    So what was your route down to your residence?

A    Well, I leave Winston Street, come right down through


Lee Street Extension. And I can't think of what that other road is. But they were working right in that area. Wiley-Lewis Road. I cut off of Wiley-Lewis and get on Alamance Church Road. Alamance Church Road, after you go through the curve at the bottom of the hill, you turn right back up on Coble Church Road. So it's a very simple route.

Q    Now, there's an illustration up there that was drawn by Detective Church or one of his assistants, indicating the location of your house and Ronnie's house. Would you step over there and look at that.

(The witness approached the diagram.)

Q    And would you state the number that's up on the blue marker on that exhibit. What's the blue number?

A    7.

MR. HATFIELD: Your Honor, we move for its admission as a defense witness (sic), as well.

THE COURT: The Court'll allow the introduction -­

MR. HATFIELD: Thank you.

THE COURT: -- of Exhibit Number 7.

Q    Does Defendant's 7 show the location of your house? (Time was allowed for the witness.)

A    Number 1.

Q    All right. Does it also show the location of your daughter and Ronnie Kimble's --

A    Number 2.


Q    -- house trailer?

A    Number 2.

Q    Would you say that the proximity of those two dots is reasonable and accurate, based on your knowledge of the actual terrain?

A    Pretty close.

Q    Pretty close?

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

Q    Looking at the part of map that includes the location of your residence and Ronnie and Kim's residence, is that generally accurate?

A This part -- this part here is. (Indicated.) I don't see Wiley-Lewis Road. Some of the roads that come off here is not in here at all. (Indicated.)

Q    Okay. Have a seat.

(The witness returned to the witness stand.)

Q    So, based on your recollection of leaving work at approximately 4:30, what time did you -- did you go to your house first --

A    No, sir.

Q    -- or did you go to Ronnie's?

A    I went straight to Ronnie's house.

Q    Well, what time did you get there?

A    I got to his house about 10 minutes to 5:00.

Q    All right. What did you find when you got there,



A    Ronnie had everything already laid out. He had already had -- there was a saw. And I'm wanting to think there was a drill sitting there. But the drop cords and everything was pulled out. He was already busy when I pulled up there.

Ronnie was trying -- I don't know if you know anything about pickets, like you see on a -- on a deck. They're real small, the way they're cut on 45, you have to put them together. And what he was trying, he was trying to reset (sic) this underpinning under the trailer, instead of just coming straight down with it. So that's what was taking him so long, as far as I know.

When I got there, he had already probably put up 12, 13 of those pickets or something like that. He had the runner down, which you have to put nails down, which goes on the ground. And that's probably about an inch, inch and a half-thick. And that's where you take it and stick the panels in that and go up against to the treated pickets that he was putting up. But that didn't work. After I got there, I think me and him worked somewhere around -- I stayed there about 5:30, and we only got one more of those things up. And one of them, we couldn't even get a screw to even hit.

Q    Now, the runner that's on the ground, is that a U-shaped metal channel?

A    Right.


Q    And do you -- and you attach it to the ground -­

A    Right.

Q    -- by driving large nails into the earth?

A    Nails probably about eight, 10 inches long.

Q    Sort of like the nails that hold up guttering on a house?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Long, thick nails?

A    Uh-huh.

Q    Now, is there a comparable channel at the top of the underpinning, that holds the top part of it, stabilizes it?

A    Well, he didn't pick those up. I don't know if they had those or not. I'm not that familiar with the stuff or not (sic). I just do about anything, once I got started, I just do it. They make the stuff where it hooks onto the side of the trailer, where you've already got your siding, because there's siding on there now, it's regular vinyl siding. So this -- if he'd have got the right pieces, he could have fit it right there and come right down with it.

Q    Could you -- had you ever done a project like that before, put --

A    No, sir.

Q    -- underpinning on a house trailer?

A    Never have.

Q    Did you wind up completing that job afterwards or


assisting Ronnie in completing it?

A    I had a guy to come by, to help me on this, to show me how this went together. And I think after that, Ronnie would come in on a weekend or two, then he would -- he would, you know, catch up to where I was at or where I'd finished at. He had -- probably 90 percent of it I did myself.

Q    Can you estimate, based on your experience completing that job, and what you saw on the afternoon of October 9th, can you estimate how much time Ronnie had spent actually engaged in that project that day?

A    That day?

Q    Yes, sir.

A    If it took him as long as it took me and him to get this straight, because like I say, you have to level it, it's a possibility he could have been there for two to three hours. I'm only guessing now. I don't know.

Q    All right. Now, when you were working with him, did you detect any odor of gasoline on his person?

A    No, sir.

Q    Did you have occasion to look at his shoes and clothes, to see if gasoline had splattered on him?

A    I didn't pay any attention to it.

Q    In any event, if his clothes and shoes had gasoline, would you have smelled it?


A    Oh, yeah.

Q    Now, did you --

A    I'd have picked that up real fast.

Q    -- notice anything unusual about Ronnie's demeanor, when you confronted him at 10 of 5:00?

A    No, sir. Everything was just like it's always been. Me and Ronnie's always kidding, cut up, and that's what we were doing, we was sitting there talking. Because I remember I said, "Well, man, you ain't hardly done anything here." But then after we got started, I found out, hey, this is not easy to put up, because I had never done it, either, you know.

Q    Now, did Ronnie have some sort of saw blade that he had obtained?

A    He was -- what Ronnie had done, he had like a Skil saw over there, and I told him, I said, "Man," I said, "you don't need that thing." I said, "I got a pair of bulldogs," because, you know, that's what I do for a living. I said, I

Q    Would you tell the jury what bulldogs are.

A    Bulldogs is a pair of long snips like this that we cut metal with. (Indicated.) You can go up to 24 gauge, which is very thick, you know, as long as you're man enough to do this, so that you can cut it without any problem. Well, vinly siding is nothing, it's just about like paper. It's


not heavy at all.

Q    So your suggestion was, it would be easier to use these bulldogs than it would be to use a saw --

A    Right.

Q    -- is that right?

A    Right.

Q    In any event, he had the fine-toothed --

A    He had a fine-toothed blade. Now, Ronnie did tell me that he did get that from Ted that afternoon.

Q    Now, do you know what time Ronnie got back there and started that work that you joined him in at 10 minutes to 5:00?

A    No, sir.

Q    Do you recall seeing Kim at the -- at her house trailer, or did you leave to go home before she got home from work?

A    Talking about Kim?

Q    Yeah.

A    Yeah. I left before Kim got there.

Q    Do you know what time that was?

A    Probably around 4:30. And it could give or take, it could vary a little bit. But I know when they got down at the house, the first thing Kim said, she said, "Ronnie said it's a wonder we hadn't run into each other."

Q    So as far as your recollection goes, it would have been


a quick -- pretty close -­

A    Right.

Q    -- time right there --

A    It would have --

Q    -- between you leaving --

A    -- been pretty close.

Q    -- and Kim arriving; is that right?

A    Uh-huh.

Q    Now, do you know what vehicle was in the area before Kim got home, when just you and Ronnie were there, what Kimble vehicle was there?

A    Camaro, teal green.

Q    Teal green? And whose car was that at that time?

A    Kim's.

Q    Did Ronnie seem to be out of breath or nervous or sad or emotional or any -- did he show any signs of emotion at all?

A    No, sir.

Q    Based on your experience from knowing him for many years, do you think he would have shown emotion if he'd been involved in something terrible, like the death of Patricia?_

MR. PANOSH: Object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    So you saw no signs whatsoever of emotion on or about him; is that right?


A    No, sir.

Q    Now, after you left and went home, what time did you next see Kim and Ronnie?

A    It was after 6:00 o'clock. I could say 10 after and I could say quarter after, but I'm not really sure about that.

Q    Do you remember what you were doing the next time you

A    I was --

Q    -- saw them?

A    -- watching the news. News 2 was having segments on about -- I could even tell you the trailer, but I'm not. But they were talking about people having problems getting their trailers fixed after they purchased these things. And I was telling Ronnie when he came in, I said, "Hey," I said, "this is what I've been looking for." But I cannot swear to you that that was on that afternoon. They were running segments on it now from Channel 2. But that's what I was setting there for.

Q    And you wanted to see another segment --

A    That's exactly --

Q    -- about house trailers and remedies for owners that were unsatisfied with warranty problems?

A That's exactly it. See, they had a few problems with theirs, but these people won't come out, unless they're in the area. And that's what we were -- that's what we were


sitting there discussing.

Q    So the representatives of the manufacturer won't come, unless they're in that area?

A    Got to be in that area.

Q    All right. Now, do you remember what -- after they came in the house, what time it was, when Kim and Ronnie came in the house?

A    Came in our house?

Q    Yes.

A    Sometime after 6:00 o'clock.

Q    And do you remember where Ronnie positioned himself?

A    Ronnie will not walk in -- I don't know why he won't walk in the living room, but he won't walk in there with his shoes on. As far as I -- he must have had his shoes on, because he laid down. His feet was still in the kitchen area or the dining area, but his body was in the living room area.

Q    Did he have the same clothes on that he'd had when you'd seen him a little earlier?

A    No, sir.

Q    He'd changed his clothes?

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

Q    Have you got some kind of special rug or carpet in that den that --

A    No. It's just a habit he's always had. I think he did


it as a child, you know. And a lot of people do that, they take their shoes off. But he eventually came in there and we set down and we was in there talking.

Q    Now, do you remember what your wife and your daughter were doing during that period of time?

A    They had an ABC book and they were talking about ordering some stuff for Christmas, and they was going over this. And I think Judy was talking about some of the people where she'd worked was doing the same thing, and she was telling Kim I think of what some of those people were ordering. And that's the onliest (phon.) thing I know that they was doing.

Q     Do you know what time they finally got up to leave?

A    Kim and Ronnie?

Q    Uh-huh.

A    Seemed like we'd walked into the kitchen -- or Judy and - them was sitting there, and then we walked in the kitchen and we was standing there. Now, I did hear the music of "Wheel of Fortune" come on, but I cannot sit here and tell you it come on. I don't know. But I did hear the music. We--

Q    And after that, what happened?

A    We was -- well, we stood in the kitchen for, I guess, maybe a minute or two, and we walked them outside. And when we got outside, Judy was sitting (sic) out there, as always,


we always tell Ronnie "Please be careful going back." Because I do -- I do know that there's times that he's had to pull off the side of the road. I do know that. But I've always told him, I said, "Ronnie, you've got to be careful." I said, "You pull off the side of that road, somebody's going to knock you in the head." I said, "Be sure your window's up, or at least it's cracked, so," you know, "somebody's going to make some noise before they get to you."

But I would say we stood out there approximately 10 minutes. It could have been a little longer.

Q    Do you know where they went when they left your house?

A    They had said something about going to Winn-Dixie, because they both was tired, they was going to bed --

Q    Now --

A    -- to pick up something for lunch (sic).

Q    -- when was the next time you heard from Kim and Ronnie?

A    The phone rung, I think it was around quarter after 9:00. And I do not answer the telephone at my house. If

you call, you'll find that out. I just don't do it. I have_ enough phone calls when I'm at work. But Judy answered the telephone, and Kim said that they was trying to get in touch with Edna, that there'd been a fire over at Ted's place.

Q    And as a result of that conversation, what did you and


your wife do, do you remember?

A    She kept trying -- she kept trying to get in touch with Edna, at least paged her one or two times. And I sat there. She said, "What do you think?" I said, "Well, it's probably just an electrical fire." I never look at something real, real major till something happens.

Q    So you did not jump to conclusions --

A    No.

Q    -- and decide the worst?

A    No, sir.

Q    So did you and your wife eventually leave the house that evening?

A    Kim and Ronnie came by, I think it was sometime after 10:00 or 10:30, and we left there and went over to the church.

Q    And so, Kim and Ronnie picked you all up?

A    No. No. No. I drove.

Q    Did you go by and get them, or how did it work?

A    They come to our house.

Q    Did they leave their vehicle at your house?

A    Uh-huh.

Q    Which vehicle were they operating?

A    Teal green. I think now. I'm not even sure about that.

Q    Okay. So then the four of you went where?


A    Over to the church, where everybody else was meeting --

A    So you at --

Q    -- where Patricia was a member.

Q    -- no time visited Brandon Station Court on that evening?

A    No, sir. Me and my wife never went over there. I have never been there, except one time when me and Ronnie, his dad, went by there, I think it was sometime in the summer.

Q    So you went with Ron, Sr. --

A    Uh-huh.

Q    -- over there at some point? And you were not accompanied by Ronnie at that time?

A    No, huh-uh.

Q    Now, after you got to the church, what did you find? What was going on?

A    There was a lot of people there.

Q    Which church was this? Was this South Elm Street --

A    South Elm Street Baptist Church.

Q    That was Patricia's church?

A    Right, uh-huh. On the corner of Ritters Lake Road there.

Q    And you say there were a lot of people there?

A    A lot of people were there.

Q    And how long did you and your wife remain there?

A    Probably somewhere after 2:00, 2:30, something like


that out there.

Q    So were you there from 10:00 or 10:30 until 2:00 or 2:30 --

A    Uh-huh.

Q    -- in the morning? When did people generally understand that Patricia had died in this fire?

A    What I -- what I was listening to when we got to the church, that there was a body. And I think everybody was putting it together that it had to be Patricia. You know what I'm saying? I don't think anybody really knew, but the car was there, from what I understood, the car was setting there, and stuff of that sort. So it was pretty obvious it was Patricia inside.

Q    Did you know Patricia's immediate family? Did you know her brother, Reuben --

A    No.

Q    -- or her dad, Richard, or her mom or any of those people?

A    No, sir.

Q    Did you meet those people that night?

A    I saw those people that night.

Q    Did you have any chance to extend any sympathies to them and talk to them?

A    I just -- I don't remember. You know, in a situation -- in a situation like that, I probably didn't say too much


to anybody.

Q    Before you and your wife went home, did everyone at the gathering understand that Patricia had died in this fire?

A    I think that's what the conclusion, that everybody thought that was Patricia.

Q    But there had been no autopsy and no positive identification?

A    No, sir.

Q    Of course, at that time, there was no thought at all of murder or gunshot or anything like that, was there?

A    No, sir.

Q    So no one at the church had any idea that anything illegal had happened?

MR. PANOSH: Object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Based on your recollection of what was being said, anyone alert you that a crime may have occurred?

A    No, sir.

Q    Do you know what -- when you left, who did you leave with?

A    I took the Jeep, took it to Edna and Ronnie, Sr.'s house. Edna was in there and Ted was in there. I drove them home.

Q     So you drove Edna and Ted back to Edna's house?

A    Yes, sir, on Liberty Road.


Q    Now, Monnett Road is there -- is Ron, Sr.'s church, isn't it?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And what is the size of that congregation?

A    He probably can -- if you count the choir and everybody, it's a possibility you can seat somewhere between 400 and 450 people.

Q    And have you been a member there a long time?

A    Probably 12 years, 11 or 12 years.

Q    I take it your wife and Kim were members of that church through that --

A    That's right.

Q    -- same period of time?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    So you know Ron and Edna quite well?

A    Uh-huh.

Q    He's your pastor?

A    Right.

Q    Now, Ron himself was not present that night, was he?

A    No, sir.

Q    Did you know where he was?

A    Liberty University. They was having a pastors' conference up there.

Q    So is that why you drove Ted and Edna over there, or do you know?


A    I just drove them back to their house, from the church.

Q    Do you remember what Ted's demeanor was on that occasion?

A    I think Ted was about like everybody else. Everybody was a little upset, you know. You couldn't understand why something like this was going on. And you'd pay no attention to anything like this, until it kind of gets close to home, then it kind of bothers everybody. But everybody was -- everybody was pretty upset.

Q    Now, you said the Jeep. Whose vehicle were you driving?

A    Ted's.

Q    So after you got there, did someone come and join you, somebody come get you?

A    Judy did. Judy was driving our car. Kim was driving Edna's car. And I think she had the little dog in there with her.

Q    Was there some concern that Ted and Edna were unfit to drive?

A    I think there was a little bit of concern that, you know, they were upset, just like everybody else, you know.

Q    Where was Ronnie at this time?

A    Little Ronnie?

Q    Yes, sir.

A    I mean -- Little Ronnie. That's what we call him. I


think he may have been in the car with Kim.

Q    And that was not the same car your wife was driving?

A    No. She was driving ours. Kim -- Ronnie was in there with Kim, with the dog. And I had Ted's Jeep, and I had Edna and Ted in the -- in the car with me.

Q    All right.

A    They were sitting in the back seat.

Q    Okay. Now, after you got over to Ron and Edna's house, how long did you remain there?

A    We really didn't. We pulled up and they got out, and Judy pulled in. We got in the car. We told them we'd see them later, and we got in the car and left. Because I felt like it was already late, and everybody needed to get some rest.

Q    And what time was it at that point?

A    It could have been 2:30, something to 3:00. I'm really not sure.

Q    And it was -- now it was early, in the early morning hours of Tuesday morning?

A    That's right.

Q    And you then drove back to your house with Judy, your wife?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And went to bed?

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


Q    Did you hear any more from Kim and Ronnie? You must have. When did you next hear from Kim and Ronnie on the 10th of October?

A    Well, I didn't hear from them, I don't think, at all, until that afternoon. Because I went on to work, like normal. We got together that afternoon. Me and Ronnie drove back over to Reuben's house. And Judy and Kim, they was going to come later. They had something they had to do.

Q    Do you know whether Kim had an appointment for an MRI or some such medical evaluation?

A    I don't remember. I just don't know.

Q    In any event, you and Ronnie drove over to Reuben's house together?

A    Uh-huh.

Q    And who drove?

A    I did.

Q    Did you notice anything unusual about Ronnie's demeanor then?

A    No.

Q    Did he seem nervous or unhappy or distracted or anything?

A    No, sir.

Q    Well, what was the reason to go over to Reuben's house?

A    That's where the family and everybody was going to meet.


Q    So this was an extending of sympathy --

A    Right.

Q    -- and acknowledgment? Now, as you and Ronnie rode over to Reuben Blakley's house -- By the way, where is Reuben Blakley's house?

A    I could take you there, but I can't tell you. I just know it's in Randolph County, off of Randleman Road. I think it's on back down there in that area somewhere, off of 220 --

Q    Is it --

A    -- over 220.

Q    -- more than a few miles between Brandon Station Court and where Reuben lives?

A    I would say approximately, guessing, five miles or so.

Q    So you knew how to get there, it's just -- it's too complicated to explain; is that --

A    Well, I don't know the streets.

Q    Now, as you and Ronnie drove over to Reuben's house, did you have any knowledge of the cause of Patricia's death?

A    No, sir.

Q    Did Ronnie indicate to you that he knew anything about _ this?

A    No, sir.

Q    Did you find out what had happened to Patricia when you got to the Blakleys' house?


A    I think we found out when Judy and Kim came in. I think somebody had said something about it was on the news. I'm not sure. But anyway, I think when Judy and Kim -- or one of them told us, that they said something about she'd been shot.

Q    So, rather than hear it from anybody in Patricia's immediate family, you think you heard it as a result of a newscast?

A    I think I heard it from Judy or Kim one.

Q    Now, do you know what time you got to the Blakleys' -­to Reuben Blakley's house?

A    It was still daylight. It could have been 6:30, 7:00, something like that right there.

Q    And your --

A    And I'm not sure about that.

Q    And your wife and daughter were not yet there?

A    No, sir.

Q    How many people were there?

A    It was quite a few. 20, 25. There was quite a few people inside. There was quite a few people standing outside, talking. It was a nice day.

Q    Now, how long were you there during the period of time that Ronnie was there?

A    I guess the biggest portion of the time.

Q    Did you -- did anyone introduce you to the immediate


members of the family, now that you were at Reuben Blakley's house?

A    I think I knew who they were. You know what I'm saying? I mean, I knew who they were. But I may have talked to Ms. Blakley or something like that, because I think she was sitting in the living room. I knew Reuben's wife was walking around, and I'd spoke to her.

Q    Was it pretty obvious that Ronnie Kimble was there?

A    Ronnie was there.

Q    If Detective Church wanted to know where Ronnie was on October 10th, could he have asked anybody at that gathering and found out?

A    Should have been able to.

Q    Now, did Detective Church at any time ask you any questions about your knowledge of the events of those days?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    When was that?

A    It had to be sometime in the first part of June. I could guess and say the 10th or 11th. I don't keep up with the dates.

Q    So June is the sixth month of the year.

A    Well, my birthday's the 9th, and I think it was a little bit after that.

Q    All right. But June is the sixth month --

A    Right.


Q    -- of the year? And October is the tenth month of the year, isn't it?

A    Yeah. I mean, that's a long period of time.

Q    So it would have been nine or 10 months --

A    Uh-huh.

Q    -- after Patricia had died, before Detective Church made his first inquiry of your --

A    Right.

Q    -- recollections?

A    That's right. The reason I know it was sometime like that, Judy bought me a utility building, and I was redoing it on the inside. I was going to do the electrical work, put the sides and stuff, because I was going to make myself a gym, you know, put my equipment in there. And when she told me, she come there and she said, "Somebody's here to talk to you." And I said, "Well, who is it?" And she said, "Well, there's somebody here to talk to you." And I said, "Well, you tell them to come up here or just leave me alone." And then she told me it was Detective Church, I said, "Okay." So I just dropped everything and we went -­we went back down and went in the house, sat down and talked.

Q    So you were working on this utility shed, was it somewhere in your back yard?

A    It was right on the other side of the carport.


Q    And when you found out it was a detective from the Guilford County Sheriff's Department, had you ever met him before?

A    I seen him at the church, but I didn't talk to him.

Q    Was he attending as a member of the congregation, or was he --

A    No. No. No. He was there the night of the 9th, when Patricia had got killed.

Q    So you saw Detective Church at South Elm Street Baptist Church on the night that Patricia was killed?

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

Q    And of course, you were there with Ronnie?

A    Uh-huh.

Q    So if Detective Church had wanted to know where Ronnie was on October 9th, he could have just looked at Ronnie, couldn't he?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Now, taking you back to the utility room -- utility house episode shortly after your birthday on June 9th, was Detective Church alone?

A    Yes, sir, he was.

Q    Did you invite him in to sit down?

A    Yes, sir. I always do.

Q    And which room did you all sit down in?

A    In the living room.


Q    Did you offer him a refreshment?

A    I don't think so.

Q    Did he have a piece of paper or a --

A    He had his note pad, like a pad that y'all are using there, and it was --

Q    Do you remember what he asked you?

A    I think he was asking me, as far as where Ronnie was that day, was I with him or vice versa, you know, things that we'd went over so far.

Q    So did you tell Church all the things that you have just gotten through telling this jury on that occasion?

A    I don't think he asked me all of that stuff. I think he was more or less asking me where was -- did I -- was I with Ronnie that day, did I know anything about Ronnie that day.

Q    Okay. Did he explain to you why, eight months after Patricia died, he was beginning to ask questions about Ronnie Kimble?

A    Not that -- not on that occasion, no, sir.

Q    Did he tell you that Ronnie had been spotted near Patricia's house by a witness?

A    I don't think he told me on that occasion. It's possible he could have, but I don't think he did.

Q    Do you know how long your meeting with Detective Church was?


A    It wasn't that long.

Q    Did you answer every question he asked you?

A    To the best of my ability.

Q    Was your wife there?

A    She was there, but she was like, she was going backwards and forwards from room to -- one room to the other.

Q    So, Detective Church appeared to have the objective of talking to you, and not to you and Judy?

A    Well, he didn't ask to talk to her at that time.

Q    And did he talk to her in your presence?

A    I really don't know.

Q    Did he make any notes of what he'd found out from you? A    Yeah. He was taking notes. He sure was.

Q    Did he show you his notes?

A    No, sir.

Q    Did he at any time type up any kind of a statement, based upon his interview with you in the early days of June of 1996?

A    No, sir.

Q    Did he ever come out a week or two or a month later and show you a statement and say, "Mr. Stump, this is what I've typed up for my report"?

A    I haven't seen anything. If I hadn't have got what you give me, I would have never known anything that was going



Q    So you have never had an opportunity to know what Mr. Church says you said until I turned it over to you?

A    That's exactly right.

Q    Now, returning to October 10, 1995, over at Reuben Blakley's house, do you know how long you and Ronnie were there before Kim and Judy arrived?

A    I want to say somewhere around an hour. It seems like -- I don't know if Judy and them got there just before it got dusty (sic) dark, but seemed like it was after -- it may have been after dark. I'm not --

Q    Do you remember whether Ted and any of his family were there?

A    I know Ted was there.

Q    Now, did you see Edna, by any chance?

A    I want to think Edna was there in the kitchen, but I'm not sure.

Q    Did --

A    Because I really didn't have any reason to look at it this-a-way.

Q    Well, Ted was sort of the nearest relative, other than Patricia's mom and dad, wasn't he? Did you see any signs of distress in his demeanor?

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

A    No, sir.


Q    What did you --

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    -- see when you observed Ted?

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    He seemed to be just like always.

Q    Was he moving around the room, talking to people?

A    He sure was. He was going from one place --

Q    Were --

A    -- to the other.

Q    Were people hugging and --

A    Oh, yeah.

Q    At that point in time, do you know whether or not it was generally understood that Patricia had been murdered?

A    On the 10th?

Q    Yes, sir.

A    I would say yeah, at that time we probably did.

Q    Well, you say that the night before, you had not known that she had been murdered.

A    Right. But this -- it depends on what the time was. Judy and them had came over there, and they said it was on the 6:00 o'clock news that Patricia had been murdered, you know, they'd found a gunshot wound in the head. So probably at that time right there, we probably knew about it ourself then. But I think Judy or Kim one told us about it -- or


told me.

Q    Were you -- did that -- the knowledge that she'd been murdered have any effect upon you?

A    It bothered me. Well, the whole thing has bothered me from day one.

Q    When was day one, the day before?

A    Well, the day she got killed. I've lived this thing since she got killed.

Q    Did anything that you saw on the night of the 10th cause you to suspect that Ted or Ronnie was in any way responsible?

MR. PANOSH: Object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Did you see anything about Ronnie that made you think that he was responsible?

MR. PANOSH: Object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Can you tell the jury when you first met Ronnie Kimble.

A    From day one?

Q    Yes, sir.

A I met Ronnie probably, I guess he was 14 years old, at the church. Because, like I said, we've always been church­going people. Ronnie used to come down to the house quite a bit, eat dinner with us, things like that, after church. He would stay down there and we'd go back -- he'd go back to


church that night and then he'd go back and he'd go on home. But I got to know Ronnie pretty good. I never had any boys. Of course, I treated my girls, most of them -- my girls was raised up on a ball field. So I'd treat my -- Kim there, I treated her a lot like a boy. She could play baseball as good as most any guys do.

But me and Ronnie did a lot of things together. We'd go outside and we'd play badminton like in the summertime and stuff like that. If it was snowing or something like that, because we live on the real steep hill, we was always down there, you know, on the -- on the hill, we'd go down, me and Kim. We just had good times together, you know.

If there's anything there with Ronnie --

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

A    -- I feel like I --

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

Q    Now, what year was it when you first began to be acquainted with him on this regular basis that you've described?

A    It would have probably been somewhere in the neighborhood of about 1975 -- I mean, '80. I'm losing my train of thought, ain't I? It would have been somewhere -­like I said, I knew Ronnie, like I said, at age 14. And I probably -- the year would have been somewhere '84.


Q    So you've known him since approximately 1984 fairly well?

A    Fairly well, not -- I wouldn't say that good. But like I say, we did play around some like at -- right there at the house and things like that, you know, at that age, 14.

Q    So was he also the type of athlete that you brought your girls up as, playing a lot of ball and that type of thing?

MR. PANOSH: Object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Do you remember whether it was sports activities with him?

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

THE COURT: You may answer.

A    Sports activities with Ronnie?

Q    Yeah.

A    Ronnie played at school. I think he played a little bit of football one year or so. Other than that, I -- you know, he just -- me -- we'd just go outside and just play. We'd do about anything, play some softball in the back yard, pitch, just anything, just to stay out of the house.

Q    Now, you stated that your -- on a busy day with the choir and everything, the church, Monnett Road Church, could have as many as 400 people there; is that correct?

A    No, it will seat that many. It may seat 450. Our --


the big-- the most we've ever had there, I think, is like 311.

Q    What do you have on an average week?

A    Now?

Q    Yes, sir.

A    People coming to Sunday school, it's down in the 80's

Q    What was it --

A    -- about 89.

Q    Two or three years ago, what was the average, a little higher?

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

Q    Could you tell, if you know, what the average was two or three years ago?

THE COURT: How is this relevant, Mr. Hatfield?

MR. HATFIELD: Because it shows his relationship with a person who's on trial for murder.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Proceed. You may answer.

A    Probably average somewhere between 135, 140.

Q    Now, how many regular activities are there at the church in any given week?

A    Well, you got Sunday morning service. You got Sunday night service. You have Wednesday night service. Which is three. You have visitation on Tuesday night. And usually


there's something maybe once a month or so that may come up that's -- that you -- you know, that the church is doing.

Q    Now, are you personally an active participant in all of those weekly meetings?

A    I used to be.

Q    You used to be?

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

Q    Do you know, when you were more active, was Ronnie an active member in all of those proceedings?

A    Yes, sir.

MR. PANOSH: Object, please.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    After Kim and Ronnie got married, did they go to church every Sunday together at that church?

A    Uh-huh. Yes, sir.

Q    And did you and your wife go to church every Sunday at that church?

A    Uh-huh. Sure did.

Q    And where did Kim and Ronnie sit?

A    They sat over there pretty close to us about every Sunday on the same bench. And sometimes they may sit to the other side. I mean, you know, it was always pretty close.

Q    Do you remember, after Kim and Ronnie got married, whether or not Ronnie would from time to time bring friends home from his Marine Corps days?


A    Yes, sir.

Q    Do you know the names of any of those young men that would come?

A    I know Neil Silverspoon (sic) used to come by quite a bit. We got to know him real well.

Q    Was that Neil Silverthorne?

A    Silverthorne, that's right.

Q    Would you say that Neil Silverthorne was Ronnie's best friend during his Marine Corps years?

A    I would say that was Ronnie's best friend, period.

Q    Do you know any other young men who were enrolled in the Marine Corps with Ronnie during that period that accompanied Ronnie to Greensboro?

A    There's a guy named Dobesh.

Q    And how many times did you see Mr. Dobesh?

A    No more than three or four.

Q    And do you recall anyone else who came on a regular basis?

A    Jim Dziadaszek.

Q    Is that Dziadaszek?

A    That's it.

Q    Okay.

A    I just can't pronounce that last name.

Q    Now, other than those three people whose names you've told the jury, can you recall anybody else from the Marine


Corps that came on a regular basis with Ronnie?

A    I just don't remember.

Q    Now, during the period when they were first married, and before anything had happened to Patricia, who was Kim's best friend?

A    Repeat that, sir.

Q    Who was Kim's best friend during that period, before Patricia died, while Ronnie was in the Marine Corps?

A    I would say probably Troy Dodson.

Q    Was Sherry Wilson a good friend?

A    Sherry Wilson, too.

Q    Now, are the Wilsons also members of Monnett Road?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And do you know Sherry Wilson and her mom and dad?

A    I've known Sherry for years. We used to go to another church together, before we ever went to Monnett Road.

Q    So your relationship with Sherry and her parents goes back even further --

A    Oh, yeah.

Q    -- than the relationship with Ronnie --

A    Right.

Q    -- is that right?

A    Uh-huh.

Q    Now, do you remember whether there was a period of time while Ronnie was in the Marine Corps when Sherry lived with



A    Right. She stayed with her off and on quite a bit.

Q    So that Kim could use her house trailer -­A    Right.

Q    -- while Ronnie was away at the Marine Corps?

A    Right. Yes, sir.

Q    All right. Now, returning to September (sic) 11, 1995, over at Reuben's house, do you recall Ronnie and Ted leaving for any reason?

A    I sure do.

Q    What do you recall about that?

A    Ronnie came out and he said, "Mom wants me to ride with Ted up to the business." He had to get some forms of the employees or something like that. I don't know what it was. And I said, "Ronnie, are you sure?" He says, "Yeah." He said, "She wants me to go up there with him." They didn't want him to be by himself. I said, "Okay."

Q    So did they do anything, did they make any requests of Reuben in your presence?

A    No. No, sir.

Q    We are talking about October 11, 1995, aren't we? We're talking about the day after Patricia died on the late hours of the 9th, we are talking about October 10th, aren't we? I may have misspoken.

A    I think you said -- I think you give me a date that was


either the 11th, I think it was.

Q    All right. I may have said September.

A    But I think that the 10th -- I think the 10th may be the night that they went up there.

Q    Well, the 10th was the -- the 9th was a Monday, and you've already described people's activities that night,  when you did not go to the fire scene, but you went over to the Kimbles' -- Ron Kimble, Sr.'s house.

MR. PANOSH: We object. It's the wrong day.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    I've got mixed up on my dates, because of the 9 and the 10. On the night of October 9th, there was a fire and Patricia died, wasn't --

A    Yes, sir.

Q -- is that correct? Now, on the 10th of October, you were at Reuben's house for a gathering of concerned family members; is that right?

A    That's correct.

Q    Now, do you recall what time it was when you were told that Ronnie's mother had asked him to go with Ted over to the business?

A    I don't remember. It seemed like to me it was dark out there, outside.

Q    Did you see anything unusual in that?

MR. PANOSH: Object.


A    Well, not really.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    Not when they was saying what they're -- you know, what -- I understood what they were going for. I heard -- I think it was later that somebody said that --

MR. PANOSH: We object to this hearsay.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Do you know how long they were gone?

A    It could have been an hour and a half, hour.

Q    How long would it have taken any normal driver under those conditions to drive from where Reuben Blakley lives up to Lyles Building Supply on Lee Street anyway?

A    Guessing?

Q    Yes, sir.

A    It probably would take somewhere in the neighborhood between 20 and 25 minutes to get there, 20, 25 minutes to get back.

Q    And you think that they were gone how long?

A    Seem like to me around an hour and a half.

Q    After they left, did Reuben Blakley express any surprise that they had gone and done this?

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

A    I didn't talk to him.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Did Reuben Blakley say anything to you in your presence


A    No, sir.

Q    -- about it? Okay. Now, were you still there when Ronnie got back?

A    Uh-huh. Yes, sir.

Q    And how much longer were you there, and with whom did you leave?

A    I really don't know. It could have been an hour or so. It could have been an hour and a half.

Q    Did you at any time see Detective Church or any representatives of the sheriff's department at this gathering?

A    No, sir.

Q    Was Ronnie there, with the exception of the time that he went off with Ted to run this errand, was he back there again --

A    Oh, yeah.

Q    -- visible to everyone?

A    I was there when him and Ted come back.

Q    All right. And did you see anything unusual about their appearance then?

A    No, sir.

Q    And did any -- did either Ted or Ronnie explain to you what they had done or whether they'd accomplished whatever it was they'd wanted to do?


A    No. The only thing I knew is, when they left, Ronnie

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    -- Ronnie said something about that Ted had to have some paperwork on the employees or something like that who was employed at the business. It was something of that sort. So I didn't really pay any attention to it.

Q    Okay. Now --

MR. PANOSH: We ask that be stricken, since he doesn't know what was said.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Disregard that, members of the jury.

MR. HATFIELD: Your Honor, I think he's given a perfectly clear answer, and I don't understand why we're striking the testimony, just because the prosecutor --

THE COURT: I've stricken the testimony, Mr. Hatfield. Proceed with your question.

Q    Do you know whether, based on your knowledge and experience of what happened that night, do you know whether Ted Kimble got any of these documents that he wanted?

A    No, sir.

Q    Did you at any time subsequent to that discuss this incident with Ronnie in any way?

A    I don't think so. I may have said something to Ronnie


about that, you know, later, but it would have been a long time later.

Q    All right. Now, what time did you and your wife leave that gathering that night?

A    Guessing, it could have been anywhere from 9:30 to 10:00 o'clock.

Q    Do you know whether, when you and your wife left, that Ronnie and Kim were still there?

A    I would say that they -- again, this is saying -- I don't know, no, sir. I don't know if they were there when we left or not.

Q    All right. Now, that would have been Tuesday, October 10, 1995; is that right?

A    Right.

Q    On Wednesday, do you know whether anything happened involving Patricia and her family?

A    No, sir.

Q    Was there a funeral or a memorial service of any kind?

A    They had something on, I think it was on a Saturday.

Q    Did you attend that?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And do you know whether Ronnie Kimble was given permission by the Marine Corps to wait -- remain in Greensboro and wait for the memorial service?

A    Right. Ronnie had called in, and they told him with


the situation he was going through, he could just, I think, report to -- not that week, he'd have been out the rest of that whole week, but it would have been like on that coming Monday, that he'd be reporting back.

Q    Now, the following day, which would have been a Wednesday, did you go to your job at Berico --

A    Yes, sir.

Q    -- in the morning? And do you remember seeing Ronnie and Kim that evening, or any other time before the memorial service?

A    Probably seen Ronnie and Kim every evening.

Q    Do you know what they did during the daytime?

A    As far as I know, Kim was at work.

Q    Do you know how Ronnie spent his time?

A    No, sir.

Q    You say you think the memorial service was on Saturday?

A    I think that, but -- you know, because it seemed like everybody was off that day.

Q    Was it at South Elm Street Baptist?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And --

A    Well, they had -- now, they did have the -- we met at the -- the memorial service what I'm looking at is where everybody met at the church. That's what I would call the memorial service for me. Now, we did meet at the funeral


home one night, everybody was over there, which is on High Point Road, going into Jamestown, the new one out there.

Q    Was that one of the week nights?

A    Right. Uh-huh. That was on a night.

Q    And when you went to the funeral home, did you see Ronnie and Kim there?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Did you see Detective Church?

A    No, sir.

Q    During this period between the gathering at Reuben's the day after Patricia died, when everyone realized that she had been murdered, and her memorial service at South Elm Street Baptist the following Saturday, did you at any time see Detective Church or any other sheriff's department people?

A    No, sir.

Q    Now, was there any time when there was a gathering of people concerned and sympathetic to Patricia that you didn't see Ronnie and Kim in attendance?

A    No, sir.

Q    Now, do you know whether or not Ronnie and Kim were well acquainted with Patricia?

A    I have no idea. I know they wasn't around that much each other. You know, it seemed like they had their friends at their church and Kim and Ronnie had their friends at


their church. And they didn't get together that much.

Q    Were you and your wife invited to Ted and Patricia's marriage?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Was that the December private ceremony or the later ceremony?

A    Later, at the church wedding.

Q    When you went to the invitation ceremony later, did you know that they had already been married a few months before?

A    No, sir.

Q    Now, did you receive your invitation because your daughter is married to a Kimble or because you and your wife and daughter have been members of Ron Kimble, Sr.'s church for more than a dozen years, or do you know?

A    I would say that because we're members of the church. And we knew Patricia, just knew her, but we knew Ted, you know, as long as we've known Ronnie.

Q    So how did you know Patricia?

A    We had -- I had met her, I think, one time before that.

Q    Was she with Ted?

A    I think so.

Q    So --

A    But I don't remember where I met her. It may have been at church. They may have come by. They used to come by the church after their service was over, and if ours was still


going or something, maybe at night, maybe in the morning, they may walk in or something like that.

Q    Now, before -- so you may have seen Patricia one time in Ted's company before you were invited to their marriage ceremony?

A    Could have.

Q    Did you ever speak one-on-one with her or face-to-face with her?

A    No, sir.

Q    So would it be fair to say, you really -- other than knowing who she was, that's as far as it went?

A    That's it.

Q    Now, did you know any of Ted Kimble's former fiancees?

A    I knew a few of them.

Q    And were there a lot of them?

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    I don't know how many -- what you mean a lot, but there was -- there was a few.

Q    Did Ted take it upon himself to introduce you to women that he was interested in?

A    No. No, sir.

Q    Now, up until Ted was married to Patricia, do you know what church Ted belonged to?

A    Now, as far as I know, he was still a member of our


church. Now, he may have joined their church over there, but I wouldn't -- I wouldn't know that.

Q    So, for all of the years that you recall the Kimble family, up until the marriage, at least, Ted was a member of his dad's church?

A    As far as I know. He may have already joined her church. I don't know.

Q    Well, now, you described seeing Ronnie around for years

A    Right.

Q    -- and some sports activities? Did you have a similar familiarity with Ted Kimble?

A    Not really. To be honest with you, I never really knew Ted that good. Still don't know Ted that good.

Q    Do you know what the difference in age is between Ted and Ronnie?

A    Two years, I think, or a little over two years, something like that.

Q    Now, at any time, was Ted a friend of your daughter's?

A    No. Well, I mean, he could have been a friend.

Q    Can you recall any occasion when Ted Kimble visited your home?

A    Ted has eat lunch at our house I think a few times, with his parents. We've invited his parents down. Being a minister of the church, we've invited them to have lunch.


Q    So if Ted Kimble ever visited you and Judy -- By the way, how long have you and Judy resided at the home that's -- that you live in now?

A    23 years.

Q    And that's the one that's indicated --

A    Yes, sir.

Q    -- up on the drawing?

A    Uh-huh.

Q    During the years you knew Ted then, if he visited in your home, it was in the company of your pastor and your pastor's wife?

A    There's only one other instant I can recall Ted and Ronnie being there without their dad.

Q    What was that instance?

A    They was coming in off the highway up there, coming into Monnett Road, and I think Ronnie was turning like he was coming to our house, and Ted had weaved around somehow. So they bumped each other --

Q    So --

A    -- in their vehicles.

Q    -- they were both driving vehicles, and they had a collision near --

A    Right.

Q    -- your house?

A    Right. One was going one way, one's going the other,


one turning in front of the other one. And I didn't even go up there to take a look at it, either.

Q    And did they come up -- after this happened, did they come over to your house?

A    They come to our house, because that's the closest place.

Q    Do you remember -- and is that to use the telephone or something?

A    Right. Ted was going to call the state patrol, and which I think he did finally call them out there. But, you know, they were blaming each other.

Q    Each one said the other one had caused it?

A    Right. And I didn't -- wasn't about to get involved in that one.

Q    Now, so other than this occasion of which you have just spoken, was there any social occasions when Ronnie Kimble brought Ted over to your house?

A    Not as I know of. I know in one of the statements, there's something about this Lynn, I can't think of -­

MR. PANOSH: We object to the statement.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Well, you've listened to all the testimony in the trial, haven't you?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Do you recall an occasion when a Lynn McLeod Johnson


may have come to your house with Ted, while Ronnie was there?

A    There's always that possibility, but I just don't know.

Q    You don't know about that?

A    No, sir.

Q    Now, you've known Ronnie Kimble since approximately 1984. Have you also known Ted Kimble from that period of time?

A    Right. As I said, I've known them both the same, but I never really got to know Ted. As Ronnie being 14 years old, you know, Ted would have been 16, probably had his license, and he probably had a lot more freedom than Ronnie had. So you just didn't see that much of Ted.

Q    So is it your observation that Ted and Ronnie were close as brothers?

A    No, sir --

MR. PANOSH: We'd object, please.

A    -- they --

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    -- were not close.

Q    They were not close?

A    They were not close. They love each other as brothers, but they're not close.

Q    Well, what do you base that on?

A    Because they fight like two dogs after a while, if they


stay together.

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    They just didn't get along.

Q    And can you give the jury some specifics, that let you know this?

A    Well, one of the situations come along about the car, and it wasn't nothing but a bump-up. But they couldn't work together. Of course, his dad knows more about that than I do, Ron. Gary Lyles that was in here, when them two would be working up there together, they --

MR. PANOSH: Your Honor, this is all hearsay. We


THE COURT: Sustained.

A    They couldn't get along.

MR. HATFIELD: Well, it's all just hearsay, but I

asked --

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

MR. HATFIELD: -- the witness to testify to what he knew.

THE COURT: He may testify to what he saw and what

he observed.

MR. HATFIELD: I can't control what he says, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Proceed.


Q    What do you know of your own knowledge about their relationship, not relying on what Gary Lyles said or --

A    Okay.

Q    -- what Ronnie said?

A    My -- the things that I've seen with Ronnie and Ted is this. Ronnie has always, in my opinion, been a little bit different treated, a little bit different than Ted was treated.

MR. PANOSH: We object to his opinion, please.

THE COURT: Overruled as to what he saw.

A    And when it comes down to somebody being accused of something or something was to happen --

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    -- it was always Ronnie.

MR. PANOSH: We object. These are not observations. These are his opinions.

THE COURT: Sustained as to opinion. What he observed, specific instances, he may testify to.

Q    So what -- you heard the rules of what you -- how you have to testify from His Honor. What did you observe, based on your own firsthand knowledge of those two young men interacting since you've known them?

A    The best of my ability that I can tell you, that I witnessed myself -- That's hard to say, because a lot of it


is hearsay. But what I have seen myself, just little things, is, everything was Ronnie's fault. Everything was Ronnie's fault.

Q    Now, do you remember when Kim and Ronnie got married?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Did you observe that Ted participated in that wedding?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Was he -- did he have a role in the wedding?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    What was his role?

A    He wasn't the best man. I think he was -- I don't know what you call all these things you dress up in the suits, but he was in there.

Q    Now, after Kim and Ronnie got married, did you see Ronnie with his brother at any time?

A    After they got married?

Q    Yes, sir.

A    Are you talking about that same day?

Q    No. At any time during the period that Ronnie was married to Kim, did you see them, Ted and Ronnie, hanging out together or doing things together?

A    No, sir.

Q    Now, do you know whether Ronnie spent time at Lyles Building Supply?

A    Right. He did.


Q    And do you -- and how much time did he spend there?

A    He would come in on the weekends, but not every weekend. There's a lot of times Kim would have to go down there. Because you never know when you got duty. But he would go up there and work some with them. What he would do, there were a lot of times that he would get something from --

MR. PANOSH: We object, unless he was present.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    So do you know that Ronnie went up there and worked?

A    Off and on, yes, sir.

Q    Was he on the payroll?

A    No, sir.

Q    So what was his mode of compensation?

MR. PANOSH: Object. This is not personal knowledge.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    Do you know how Ronnie was compensated if he went up there?

A    What Ronnie would do, as he would pick up stuff from Ted, to use around the trailer --

MR. PANOSH: We object, unless it --

A    -- he would --

MR. PANOSH: -- was personal knowledge.

A    -- work it off.


THE COURT: Overruled.

A    He would go up there and work it off. He didn't get a paycheck.

Q    Do you remember some items of building material that Ronnie actually got from Ted and put around the trailer?

A    That's where the underpinning come from.

Q    And was there anything else that Ronnie got from Ted?

A    There was a lot of pilasters, like you would be using on railroad tracks, those type of things. There's a pile of those back there. I've already moved them back behind the trailer. He got those --

Q    Railroad ties?

A    Right. There's a pile of those back there behind the trailer now that he got from Ted.

Q    He got them from Ted?

A    Right. And I know that we were doing his dog lot for the dog that he's got, and there's some four-by-fours and things like that he got from Ted. But the understanding I got now, everything he gets from Ted --

MR. PANOSH: We object to understanding, please.

A    -- he would work it off.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Now, do you have any knowledge as to whether or not Ronnie owned any firearms?

A    Do I have knowledge?


Q    Yes, sir.

A    I do.

Q    Does he own any firearms?

A    There's one at my house.

Q    And what is it?

A    It's a rifle.

Q    Do you know when Ronnie acquired it?

A    Christmas of '96.

Q    And how did he acquire it?

A    I think Ted and his parents give it to him for Christmas. And I --

Q    So, after Patricia died, you're saying that Ted and his parents gave Ronnie a rifle that's now at your house; is that right?

A    It's at my house.

Q    Are you positive that Ronnie did not own that rifle at some earlier time?

A    Oh, no, he didn't.

Q    Do you know whether Ronnie's used the rifle in any way?

A    A lady that lives down -- that goes to our church owns the southeast airport area, and she owns the airport up there. And Ronnie's went down there a few times, I think. It's like a target -- like they've got a pile of dirt, and he's went down there. And I think -- this is what he's told me. He's went down there and fired it a few times.


Q    Fired a rifle down there?

A    Right.

Q    Did he -- previous to receiving that from his parents, did he own any gun, to your knowledge?

A    I don't know.

Q    Have you ever seen Ronnie in possession of any kind of a handgun?

A    No, sir.

Q    Based on your friendship with Ronnie over all these years since 1984, did he exhibit an interest in guns?

A    Not -- well, I don't -- I could say not really. Possible at times, you know, because I'm the same way. I think Ronnie liked to hunt. Of course, I don't think he done much of it, but I think he -- I think he enjoyed hunting and stuff like that there.

Q    Do you know whether Ronnie was able to progress as a shooter in the Marine Corps with any special training for shooting?

MR. PANOSH: We'd object. This is calling for hearsay.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Did Ronnie tell you what his progress was in training in the Marine Corps?

A    What I understand, Ronnie was telling me one time he -­

MR. PANOSH: We'd object.


MR. HATFIELD: Well, the defendant is --

THE COURT: Overruled.

MR. HATFIELD: -- going to take the stand.

A    He had problems, as far as getting sharpshooter and things of that sort. And that's firing your firearm out on the field. And it took him for a long time to get that.

Q    So he had problems progressing through the marksmanship grade --

A    Right.

Q    -- in the Marine Corps?

A    Uh-huh.

Q    Did he ever get to sharpshooter?

A    He may have. As far as I know, he has.

Q    During the time that Ronnie was in the Marine Corps, after he married Kim, would you consider him, based upon your experience with him, to have been a motivated Marine?

A    Oh, sure.

MR. PANOSH: Objection, please.

A    He was.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Did he express to you whether he liked the Marine Corps or not?

A    He loved the Marine Corps.

Q    And was he any good at it?

A    I think Ronnie was a good Marine. I think Ronnie would


have probably made a career out of it, if he hadn't had the sleeping disorder.

Q    Now, at any time since you've known Ronnie, has he told you that he would like to get some kind of disability out of the Marine Corps?

A    No, sir.

Q    Do you have any firsthand knowledge of the attempts that were made, after he went into the Marine Corps, to try to evaluate this sleep disorder?

A    I just know he was having problems with his sleep disorder. That's all I know.

Q    Have you observed Ronnie in any way, just your own firsthand observations, not what others have told you, that lets you know whether or not he has a sleep disorder?

A    Do I know?

Q    Yes, sir.

A    Well, he can't set still too long. If he -- if Ronnie stays busy, he's fine. If he sets still, I would say in 10 or 15 minutes, he's going to shut his eyes. Especially unless you can keep him motivated on something. I know even in church, you have to keep punching him in church, because he keeps going to sleep in church.

Q    These are things that you, yourself, have seen?

A    Right.

Q    Did you feel that they had reached the extent that he


might need some medical consultation?

A    I -- not really. Well, when I say not really, I really don't know. I just know there had to be a problem somewhere. We've all talked about it, you know, there's got to be something there. That's what scared her so much about him coming in every weekend, which he didn't come in every weekend, but he come in pretty close to every weekend. And him driving that three and a half to four hours, if he didn't pull over and stop -- sometimes he would call up on the phone and he said, "Look, I'm not going to get there when I'm supposed to. I had to pull off the side of the road and just rest for a while." It may take 10 or 15 minutes, it may take 30 minutes. But more times than one, he'd call, where he would have to pull off the side of the road.

Q    Now, do you remember the events in January of 1997, when Ronnie and Kim went to Portsmouth, Virginia?

A    I knew that Ronnie was going up there because of a sleep disorder up there. I knew that.

Q    And do you remember whether Kim went along on that trip or not?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Do you remember how many days they were gone or how the scenario developed?

A    I think they left on Wednesday, I think.


Q    Did you see them before they left?

A    No, sir.

Q    And were you with your wife when she received a call from Detective Church?

A    I think I had just come into the door that afternoon from work. Because, see, there's a lot of times I have no idea of knowing when I'm going to be home. I don't know if I'm going to be home 5:00 o'clock. I may not get home before 10:00 o'clock at night. But I think I had just walked in the door, or just gotten there. In other words, I'm not going to say I just came into the door, but anyway, I do remember Detective Church calling, yes, sir.

Q    Did you hear what your wife said to Detective Church while she was on the phone with him?

A    No, sir.

Q    Were you aware that Kim had called -- do you have call waiting or something -- two lines or something like that in your house?

A    She had -- she told me that Kim had -- she looked at me and she says, "Kim's on the phone, and I'm talking to Detective Church," I mean, I -- you know, like that in her eyes. I said, "Well," I said, "just tell her you'll call her back, or vice versa," you know, "she can call you back."

Q    Now, after your wife finished with her conversation with Detective Church, and before she called Kim back, did


you and your wife have any discussion about what Detective Church had said?

A    I don't think it was anything about what he said. I think I made a comment to my wife, I said, "Well, dang," I said. "They even know he's up there right now."

Q    So you got the impression that Church knew where Ronnie was?

MR. PANOSH: Objection to impression.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Is that what you just stated to the jury?

A    Right.

MR. PANOSH: Objection to impression, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Now, do you know whether Church was calling because he knew where Ronnie was, or because he wanted to find out where Ronnie was?

A    No, sir.

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

A    That was just --

THE COURT: Sustained.

A    -- my opinion.

Q    Did you hear your wife say anything while she was on the telephone with Mr. Church, to the effect that Ronnie and Kim were in Lynchburg, Virginia?

A    My wife say anything to him?


Q    Yes, sir.

A    I didn't pay any attention.

Q    Did you know that Detective Church attended Liberty University in Lynchburg --

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

Q    -- Virginia himself?

A    He had told me.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    He told you that; is that right?

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

Q    So you were aware that he had a connection up there; is that true?

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    That's true.

Q    Now, you've described your conversation with Detective Church around your birthday on June 9th or so --

A    Uh-huh.

Q    -- a day or two later, of 1996. When was your next conversation with Detective Church?

A    I'm no good at these dates. I can only guess. Him and Mr. Pendergrass came by two different occasions, I think, before Christmas of the same year, and -- but they really didn't -- the only thing we did was just talk. There was no -- I don't think it was anything major. If anything else


come up or something like that, you know. And I said, "Well, I don't know anything." But there wasn't even no pad. They wasn't writing anything or anything like that. Q    Did you -- were you able to tell from Mr. Church and Mr. Pendergrass' conversations with you, whether they considered Ronnie a suspect?

MR. PANOSH: Object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Could you -- did they ask you questions about Ronnie, or did they ask you questions about Ted?

A    Most of the questions was about Ronnie. I felt like then they felt like Ronnie was --

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

A    -- a suspect at that time.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Did Detective Church tell you what his reasons for asking questions about Ronnie were?

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    The first time -- when they were talking about on that situation, it was something about a lady had seen Ronnie down -- said she had seen Ronnie, was able to pick him out of photographs or vice versa, that she could pick him out, that she seen the car down there at Brandon Station Court, which I think was somewhere around 6:20, 6:30. And I said,


"Well, that's impossible." I said, "They were setting at my house at that time."

Q    So when he told you he had this woman that supposedly had seen Ronnie, you told him you knew where Ronnie was then?

A    He was at our house at that time.

Q    Did Mr. Church tell you when witnesses that he had spoken to had seen signs of smoke and fire?

MR. PANOSH: Object. Double hearsay.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. HATFIELD: It's not double hearsay.

THE COURT: Well --

MR. HATFIELD: It's exactly the same thing. I'm asking him what Mr. Church said to him. I'm not asking him what the witnesses --

THE COURT: Overruled.

You may answer that.

Q    What did Mr. Church say to you about smoke and fire?

A    At the house?

Q    Yes, sir.

A    I don't know if he said anything about the smoke and fire at the house. It's a possibility --

MR. PANOSH: We object --

A    -- that he did --

MR. PANOSH: -- to possibility --


A    -- but I don't know.

MR. PANOSH: -- please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    What else did Mr. Church tell you that he -- were the reasons why he thought Ronnie should be investigated? MR. PANOSH: Objection, please.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    The only thing I can think of is the situation with the lady seeing the car there. That's the only thing I can come up with. And I'm sure they were sitting there thinking, well, Ronnie had been at the house a couple of times, you know, that day, but that's the only thing that I could put in my mind. He really didn't go into a whole lot of details on it.

Q    Now, you say that you're bad on dates, but that Mr. Pendergrass and Mr. Church came and saw you at some time after the birthday meeting?

A    Right.

Q    Was there another occasion when either one or both of those investigators came to see you?

A    Yes, sir. They came a little while after that and talked to me again. And this time, they had said something about my daughter. Her name was mentioned.

Q    And what did they say to you about your daughter?

A    That --


MR. PANOSH: Objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    That they was hoping -- I may not say it word for word -- that she was telling the truth about where Ronnie was that afternoon, which would have been, you know, going to Winn-Dixie. See, what they were -- what they were looking at, they was thinking that --

MR. PANOSH: Well, we object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    So they told you they hoped that she was telling them the truth --

A    That's it.

Q    -- about her going with Ronnie to Winn-Dixie --

A    That's it.

Q    -- is that right?

A    That's it.

Q    Now, do you know what time Kim and Ronnie went to Winn-Dixie?

A    I know they went after they left our house, which would have been, you know, something after 7:00.

Q    Now, when they came back and told you that they suspected your daughter was involved, what did you say to them?

A    They didn't use the word "involved." What they were saying was, if she was telling the truth.


Q    And did you explain to them again what your activities had been that day and what you knew Ronnie's activities were?

A    We didn't go in through all of that. I just told --

Q    So they didn't ask --

A    -- them I --

Q    They didn't ask you again about the time frame? Did they specifically ask you what time you first saw Ronnie that day?

A    They didn't go over that again.

Q    Did they ask you how long Ronnie and Kim had spent at you and your wife's house?

MR. PANOSH: Object. This is his witness.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    I don't think we went into that at all that time.

Q    Did they ask you about what was on television or how you might have been able to --

A    No, sir. Nothing like that was mentioned. They probably spent approximately one hour with me.

Q    And this would have been the third meeting?

A    This -- yeah, the third meeting.

Q    Now, after that meeting, was there again another occasion when they came to see you?

A    This year.

Q    This year?


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

Q    Right before trial?

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

Q    Would you tell the jury about that, please.

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    Except for one time, the only place I ever met Detective Church and Mr. Pendergrass would have been at the office where I work. They came over there this time just before -- the week before the trial, or it may have been when the jury was being selected, and they was talking to me then.

Q    And did they tell you that you were subpoenaed to be a witness for Mr. Panosh?

A    I don't think they give me that. I have got a subpoena from him, but I don't think they said anything about that.

Q    So you were subpoenaed by Mr. Panosh?

MR. PANOSH: Objection to relevance.

A    I have a subpoena.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    So you did receive a subpoena from the State, and not

A    Yes, sir.

Q    -- from Mr. Lloyd --

MR. PANOSH: We object --


Q    -- and me?

MR. PANOSH: -- please.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    Yes, sir.

Q    You did?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Now, after you were told about the subpoena, did -­then did they come to your office?

A    Detective Church and Pendergrass came to the office right after I got the subpoena, and said that somebody seen me over here one night. Usually on the mornings, I visit Ronnie. I think it's somewhere -- the visiting --

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

A    -- hours are like at 9:30 in the morning.

MR. PANOSH: We'd object, please.

A    And they thought --

THE COURT: Overruled as to what they said to him.

A    They thought I was going to --

MR. PANOSH: We object to --

A    -- talk to some detective.

MR. PANOSH: -- "they," Your Honor.

THE COURT: Well, he said Officer Church and Officer Pendergrass were there together.

MR. PANOSH: No, Your Honor. He's saying that somebody else said --


THE COURT: Well, sustained to somebody else. Clarify it, Mr. Hatfield.

MR. HATFIELD: So now the question is not what I asked him and what he was answering, but what Mr. Panosh said?

THE COURT.    No, just ask the question, sir. Just ask your question.

Q    What did Mr. Church and Mr. Pendergrass say to you?

A    They thought when I went over here, they said that they seen some detective here that said they'd seen me over here when I was going to visit Ronnie. They thought I was going in there like I wanted to talk to him. I said, "Well, I didn't do that. I went in, opened the door, like normal. walked up to the desk, so I could go visit Ronnie on a Tuesday."

Q    Who said this to you?

MR. PANOSH: Well, we object.

A    Detective Church.

MR. PANOSH: This is totally irrelevant.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    Detective Church said to you, "I saw you going into the_

THE COURT: He's answered it.

A    No. He said --

THE COURT: Move along. He's answered the


question, sir.

Q    What did Mr. Church say to you?

A    He said a detective told him that it looked like I was going to my left -- to my right, which would have been going in there to talk to Mr. Church or something of that sort. And I said, "No." I said, "I was going straight in to visit Ronnie."

Q    So then, what else did Mr. Church say to you?

A    On that same occasion?

Q    Yes, sir.

A I can't remember if it was that time or the other one, but he wanted to know if I knew anything about Mr. Whidden, and I told him "Yeah."

Q    So he wanted to find out if you knew what Mr. Whidden was going to say in this trial?

A    I don't know if that's what he was trying to find out. He just wanted to know if I knew him.

Q    Did you tell him the answer to that question?

A    I just said, "Yeah."

Q    Did he ask you whether you were familiar with what Mr. Whidden was going to say?

A    No, sir.

Q Now, has there been any other occasion that Mr. Church and Mr. Pendergrass have contacted you or your wife in your presence?


A    Since then?

Q    At any time, other than the ones you've already told the jury about.

A    The last -- like I say, at the trial, I think the -- I think they were already going on, as far as picking a jury. And other than that, that's the last time I saw them.

Q    But they were still getting in touch with you while the jury was being chosen?

A    They did come by the house. I'm sorry.

Q    Another time?

A    Right.

Q    After the jury-selection process had started?

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

Q    And who did they speak to on that occasion?

A    They went up to speak to Kim, or was going to talk to Kim at the trailer. She wasn't there, and -- because I had just left from up there myself, but she was there when I was there, but evidently she wasn't there. So they came by the house. And I invited them in. I was by myself. And then Judy come in while they was there.

Q    And who spoke, Mr. Church or Mr. Pendergrass?

A    I think they both said a little something.

Q    And what did they say then?

A    To tell you the truth, I don't even remember.

Q    Did they ask you questions about anything that Ronnie's


lawyers were doing?

A    No, sir.

Q    Did they ask you whether or not you had been told by me not to talk to them?

A I just -- I can tell you what they told me. They was asking that they wanted to come by and tell me there was a possibility, a possibility --

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

A    -- that there could --

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    -- there could be something up there on that property that would relate to this trial.

Q    The property being Kim --

A    Kim and --

Q    -- and Ronnie's trailer?

A    -- Ronnie's, right, uh-huh.

Q    Did they say anything about a search warrant?

A    They said they could get a search warrant, but they didn't -- they weren't -- or they wasn't going to do it or wasn't going to fool with it or something of that sort.

Q    Well, did either one of those people tell you what they were looking for?

A    No, sir.

Q    Do you know what their purpose in saying that to you was?


THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Do you -- what feeling did you get when you were told this information?

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

A    The feeling that I had?

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    Yes, sir.

A    Honestly, the feeling I had, they wasn't too sure about themselves.

MR. HATFIELD: Nothing further. Thank you.

THE COURT: All right. You may step down, sir. We'll take our lunch break. You may step down, sir. (The witness left the witness stand.)

THE COURT: Members of the jury, we're going to take our lunch break. You need to be back at 2:00 o'clock. Have a nice lunch. I'll see you at 2:00. Please remember the instructions.

(The jury left the courtroom at 12:31 p.m.)

THE COURT: 2:00 o'clock, sheriff. Recess until 2:00 o'clock.

(A recess was taken at 12:32 p.m.)

(Court reconvened at 2:09 p.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?



(The jury entered the courtroom at 2:10 p.m.)

THE COURT: Well, I hope everyone had a nice lunch and feeling okay. Anyone on the panel having any problem this afternoon that I should know about, if you'll raise your hand, I'll be glad to talk to you about that.

I believe the bailiffs mentioned that some of you have children that are starting school tomorrow morning for the first time, and you've asked that you be allowed to kindly go with them, to make sure that everything gets off to a proper start. And I think you've indicated that 10:00 o'clock would not be a problem, to be back here at 10:00 o'clock.

Okay. So when we recess this afternoon, you remind me of that, if I don't say 10:00 o'clock, then you remind me, or someone raise your hand and say, "Judge, you said 10:00 o'clock," and we'll start at 10:00, to accommodate you and get them off to a good start.

Okay. Any other matters?

Mr. Stump, if you'd come back to the witness stand, please, sir. You're still under oath, sir. (The witness returned to the witness stand.)

THE COURT: You may continue with the examination, Mr. Hatfield.

MR. HATFIELD: I'm finished, Your Honor. Thank



THE COURT: Mr. Panosh, you may cross-examine the witness.

MR. PANOSH: Thank you.


Q    Mr. Stump, I believe you said that on October the 9th of 1995, you arrived at Ronnie Kimble's trailer at 4:50?

A    10 minutes to 5:00, right.

Q    And it could have been a little later than that, maybe 5:00 o'clock?

A    No. If anything, I would say it would have probably been a little bit earlier. Because I used to could make that trip in about 15 minutes from work, you know, to there. But I can't say definitely that I left right at 4:30. May have been 25 after 4:00 when I left the shop.

Q    So your best recollection is now that it was 4:50 or earlier --

A    Right.

Q    -- is that what you're saying?

A    The reason for that, I had somebody to lock up for me and turn the alarm on.

Q    Okay.

A    And usually we close up -- or they -- the guys usually leave about 4:30.

(Mr. Panosh showed an exhibit to Mr. Lloyd and Mr.



MR. PANOSH: May I approach the witness?

THE COURT: Yes, you may.

Q    I show you now what's been marked as State's Exhibit Number 136 for identification only. And turn to the second page. Do you recognize your signature, sir?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And the date there, sir?

A    12/5/96.

Q    Okay. And this was an affidavit that you prepared? A    Uh-huh.

Q    Okay. And your recollection on December the 5th of '96 would be better than today, is that right, the recollection of those events?

A    I wouldn't say it would be better.

Q    Well, on December the 5th of 1996, did you say under oath that you arrived at Ronnie Kimble's trailer between 4:50 and 5:00 p.m.?

A    Right. It would be somewhere in the neighborhood of that.

Q    Are you saying that now you have a better recollection and now you believe it was earlier than 4:50?

A    No, I'm not saying it was earlier than 4:50. I said it would -- it could have been either way, two or three minutes either way or five minutes either way.


Q    But back then, your best estimate was 4:50 to 5:00?

A    Right, it would have been 10 minutes till 5:00.

Q    Well, actually it says --

A    Or 5:00 o'clock, somewhere --

Q    -- 4:50 to --

A    -- around there.

Q    -- 5:00 o'clock, correct?

A    Right.

Q    And you were testifying for Mr. Hatfield about the various codes, and basically you don't know the reason for the codes; is that right?

A    I just know that they passed those codes probably five or six years ago. It's in our code book at work.

Q    And you're not in any way an expert, you're not saying that fumes couldn't mount up --

A    I'm not an expert.

Q    You're just going based upon your information that you saw in the code book; is that right?

A    Right. We just know what we have to do to get something passed if we put it in that position.

Q    And you said in the course of your duties, you're very familiar with the smell of natural gas?

A    Well, natural gas and LP gas got a completely different smell. And being in the selling business, like if I was to approach your house or something like that. Normally if you


say you got a -- you think there's something wrong with your furnace --

Q    All right.

A    -- but that doesn't --

Q    I don't need all that explanation. I'm just asking you, did you say that?

A    Repeat that again.

Q    Did you say that you're familiar with the smell of natural gas?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Okay. And I believe you also said that you're familiar with the smell of gasoline?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And again, is that from your business, or is that just from ordinary --

A    Well, LP gas and stuff of that sort and natural gas like that and oil, which is heating oil, that's from business.

Q    And you said you didn't smell anything on Ronnie Kimble on that particular day?

A    No, sir.

Q    Of course, that didn't mean he didn't handle gas?

A    Possible.

Q    As a matter of fact, he told you that he'd been to Sprinkle Gas Station earlier that day, put gas in the truck


and gas in that red can in the back, didn't he?

A    No, I didn't hear anything about a red can.

Q    But you remember him saying he'd been to Sprinkle Gas?

MR. HATFIELD: Objection. There's never been a word of Ronnie Kimble putting a --

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. HATFIELD: Thank you.

Q    Do you remember him saying he'd been to Sprinkle Gas earlier that day?

A    Right. And put gas into the truck.

Q    So the fact that you didn't smell gas didn't in any way mean that he didn't handle gas?

A    No, sir.

Q    And in fact, natural gas doesn't have any odor whatsoever, does it?

A    Natural gas? Did you say natural gas?

Q    Natural gas.

A    I can pick the smell up.

Q    Isn't it a fact that they have to put --

A    They put a chemical in it.

Q    Put a chemical in it, so folks can smell it?

A    Right. Also, they do the same thing to LP gas.

Q    Right.

A    Smells like rotten eggs.

Q    Now, when you got there, you said he was in the process


of doing what? Ronnie was in the process of --

A    Ronnie had everything all laid out. He was working on the -- well, if I say underpinning, the first thing he was going to put up, he was working on the underpinning itself, but what he was doing, he was trying to put these wood strips underneath the trailer. He was trying to reset them -- recess them back under there, I guess it was something like four or five inches. And he already had the runner laid underneath with the spikes in those. He probably had about, I'd say 12 of those things up. And me and him worked on -- we got one up, I guess, pretty fast. But the other one, it took a pretty good while.

Q    When you say "12 of those things," are you talking about the wooden pickets?

A    Right.

Q    Okay. And these are pretty much like deck posts?

A    That's what they are.

Q    Okay. And you don't need any special saw to cut those, right?

A    No. They're already cut up. You just got to be sure you put them right, because they're cut on 45, and you take a 45 and put it with the other, it comes up perfect.

Q    But you said that he had a special saw, and I think you described it as a Skil saw?

A    I think that was a Skil saw there. I know he had said


something about he had to get a blade.

Q    And when you say "Skil saw," that's a brand name you're talking about, like a circular saw --

A    Right.

Q    -- or a --

A    Like -- Skil saw like you just hold in your hand, like you would, you know --

Q    Circular saw?

A    Uh-huh.

Q    With a round blade?

A    Right. Yes, sir.

Q    And you said it had a special blade on it?

A    It had a blade there, but it had the big teeth on it. And he said he had to go by Ted's and pick up this fine-toothed blade.

Q    But in any event, that would have been for cutting the metal panels, not for cutting the pickets?

A    Right. Because the pickets was already there. You didn't have to cut them, until you had to cut the end off.

Q    And when you got there, none of the metal panels had been cut?

A    No, sir. Me and him cut two of those ourself.

Q    Do you remember the first time that Detective Church interviewed with Detective -- with Agent Pendergrass, do you remember saying that your recollection was that Ronnie had


little or nothing done, that he had just stretched out some drop cords, and that you tried to help him out, but you didn't really know how to help him?

A    I don't remember exactly that way. I can remember when I got up there, I said something to Ronnie, I said, "Man, what you been doing?" But then after me and him got busy on those two -- on that one picket, it took us seemed like 15 minutes, and we never found anything for it to hook to.  I mean, it just was nothing there.

Q    What do you mean nothing was there?

A    Well, the studs, we couldn't hit the studs, because we was trying to go down the end of the trailer. On the side, your stud runs this-a-way. (Indicated.) That was fine. But on the ends, there was nothing to hit at all.

Q    And I think you explained that by saying, he failed to pick up the channels that should have gone on top?

A    I don't think he had those panels. Now, it's possible they were laying there, because some of the stuff was still in boxes. But most of the stuff Ronnie had laid out, "This piece goes here. This piece goes there."

Q    All right. Well, you eventually finished the job?

A    Right. I had a guy from work to come by. Me and him -- he was showing me how to put it up.

Q    Did you --

A    We did it --


Q    Did you have to buy those top channels, or were they there?

A    No.

Q    They were there?

A    No, sir. They were there.

Q    Okay. So when you said before you didn't know if Ronnie had just failed to pick up the top channels, now that you think about it, they were there and you just didn't see them?

A    They could have been in one of the boxes. I think there was two or three boxes or something like that that wasn't open. You know, these things comes in these little old bitty boxes, and a lot of this stuff, you know, unless the boxes are open, just throwed out there, you're not sure.

Q    So most of the boxes weren't open?

A    Most of them were open. There was two or three that weren't open.

Q    And then you talked about the fact that you spent some time with Ronnie, and how long do you think you were there?

A    I guess I was around there around 5:30.

Q    And you were home in time for -- or about the time for the 6:00 o'clock news?

A    Right.

Q    And by the time the 6:00 o'clock news came on, Ronnie was there at your house?


A    I can't say as soon as it come on. Ronnie and Kim came in after the 6:00 o'clock news was on. It could have been 10 after.

Q    And you're not sure if that was the time that they had the segment about mobile homes, or that was at 10:00 o'clock?

A    I know there was something on there, but I don't know if it was that afternoon or not. They had two or three segments on there from Channel 2.

Q    And eventually, you went down to Brandon Station Court, not the day of the fire, but substantially after; is that right?

A    A long time after.

Q    And you did travel on at least one occasion down to Reuben Blakley's home?

A    No.

Q    You didn't go to --

A    I went to Reuben Blakley's house the night of Patricia's death.

Q    But on one occasion after her death, you did go there, right?

A    After her death, right.

Q    Now, what would you say the distance is from your residence and Ronnie's residence to Brandon Station Court, approximately, in time or miles, whichever you want to say?


A    It's maybe eight miles, seven miles.

Q    And how long does it take you to get there?

A    Between 13, 15 minutes or something. I don't know. It depends on the traffic, I'd say.

Q    And how far is it from Brandon Station Court down to Reuben's house?

A    I think I heard Reuben say the other day about five miles.

Q    But do you recall?

A    But I'm not sure.

Q    From traveling it, you don't know?

A    No.

Q    Now, do you remember at approximately 10:00 or 10:30, I think you said Ronnie Kimble came to your house, and you went with him to the church?

A    Right. Me and my wife. They come down, they left their car, we rode over to the church, because they -­

Q    How was Ronnie acting?

A    He was nervous. Kim was nervous. And when we found out what was going on, we were, too. I had actually went to bed, because like I said before, I don't -- I don't pay a lot of attention to something until something happens. I usually figure that, you now, everybody's got a little good in them. Things like this, you know, just doesn't upset me that much, until it happens.


Q    Okay. I wasn't asking how you were acting, sir. I'm asking how Ronnie was acting when he --

A    Just like anybody else would have -- you know, listening to the news or something like this, where something traumatically would happen, like this to Patricia, or anybody else --

Q    Could you describe --

A    -- especially if you know them.

Q    Could you describe that, please.

A    Ronnie was like myself. Now, I can only say acting like myself. Usually sometime when something like that traumatically happens to me, I get -- I get nervous, but I feel like I got a chill. And sometime your hands are shaky or something like this right here. (Demonstrated.)

Q    Would you say he was crying, or how was he acting?

A    I can't -- I can't say he was crying at the house.  When we got over to the church, I don't know if there was -­probably wasn't an eye there that somebody wasn't crying, including myself.

Q    Okay. My question to you is, how was Ronnie acting, not how were you acting, sir. Was he crying?

A    He wasn't crying at the house, no, sir.

MR. PANOSH: May I approach the witness?


Q    Showing you again your affidavit, sentence number 13


there. Do you want to look at that.

(Time was allowed for the witness.)

A    I remember him talking about he couldn't understand anything like this happening, but he wasn't crying.

Q    Well, sir, you did sign this affidavit?

A    I did, yes, sir. It's got my name on it.

Q    And it was under -- you were sworn before a notary public?

A    Right.

Q    Do you need to see this or do you remember it?

A    No, sir, I don't need to see it.

Q    It says, "I observed Ronnie again while he was at my home, riding in the car and at the church. At this time, his emotional state was very different than when I'd seen him earlier. He was crying a great deal, and he stated he could not understand how anything like this could happen. In my opinion, he was completely grief-stricken." Is that what you said then?

A    I think he was grief-stricken.

Q    Are you saying, sir, that your affidavit about crying a great deal is not accurate?

A    I don't remember, as far as him (sic) saying he was crying a great deal in that. And I did sign it, but I don't remember that.

Q    Well, did you prepare this for the DA's Office?


A    I didn't prepare it, I don't think, for the DA.

Q    Who did you prepare it for?

A    This was for Ted's -- when Ted had a lawyer.

Q    So you met with Ted's lawyer, and this affidavit -­

A    I met with, I think it was Detective Brooks.

Q    Okay.

A    And it took about four times to even get that halfway right.

Q    Okay. So --

A Because I don't -- I may have the other copy, where I kept getting it back, and every time I got it back, it was wrong.

Q    Okay. But eventually, Detective Brooks reduced your words to writing, and you said he was crying a great deal, and you signed it?

A    That's what's on there.

Q    But today you say that's not accurate?

A    No, sir.

Q    And eventually you talked about going to Reuben's house on October the 10th?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And you said that it was pretty much general knowledge that she'd been shot. Is it a fact that that was on the 6:00 o'clock news, do you know?

A    I think they had -- my wife came over, I think is where


I got it from. But I didn't know it until my wife or my daughter one was telling me about it.

Q    So the other persons --

A    But they said it was on the 6:00 o'clock news.

Q    So the other persons there, if they'd have watched the news, they would have been aware of it?

A    They could have known about it, right.

Q    And you said that on the night of the fire itself, late October the 9th, going into October the 10th, you were at South Elm Street Baptist Church?

A    Yes, sir, that's right.

Q    And you saw Detective Church there, this gentleman? (Indicated.)

A    I seen Detective Church, right.

Q    Now, at that point, there wasn't even a homicide, they hadn't determined the cause of death; is that right?

A    No, sir, they hadn't.

Q    And he wasn't asking questions of people --

A    No, sir.

Q    -- was he?

A    I think the only person he may have talked to was maybe Ted.

Q    And much later, Detective Church started coming to see you quite frequently?

A    Right.


Q    And you never said, "Don't come see me"?

A    No, sir.

Q    And when --

A    I would not have --

Q    -- he talked to you --

A    -- done that anyway. I would not have done that.

Q    When he talked to you, he was always courteous; is that correct?

A    He was a fine gentleman.

Q    And in fact, he told you the reason he was coming to you is, because he wasn't getting the information he needed from the Kimbles?

A    That's exactly it.

Q    And you did receive a subpoena from our office?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And there was also a follow-up letter; is that right?

A    I don't remember a follow-up letter. I did call your office, and I think I talked to a Mr. Sellers or somebody.

Q    A letter asking you to call and make an appointment?

A    Right.

Q    Okay. And you did call and make an appointment?

A    I did, at 10:30.

Q    And --

A    I didn't show up.

Q    Didn't show up?


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

Q    But again, no one treated you --

A    No.

Q    -- or was rude to you --

A    No, sir.

Q    -- when you contacted our office?

A    No, sir.

Q    And you said that on October the 10th of 1995, you saw Ted and he was acting just the way he had always acted since you knew him in '84; is that correct?

A    I think Ted was nervous. I mean, you could see some nervousness in everybody that was there. To tell you the truth, I really didn't have any reason to observe anybody.

Q    Then you indicated that you've known Ronnie since at least 1984 and that you and he are quite close?

A    We're pretty close.

Q    I believe you said something about, you'd never had a son, but you became very close to him?

A    Right. Well, I treat my daughter like a son. My wife used to get after me about it all the time.

Q    And how do you treat Ronnie?

A    I guess as close as you can to a son. But he's not my son.

Q    Yes, sir. And in watching Ted and Ronnie and the dynamics of their family, you always got the impression that


he was getting blamed for things; is that what you're saying?

A    I didn't get the impression. It was there.

Q    And you said that to your knowledge, Ted and Ronnie weren't close?

A    I never seen them be -- as far as I -- in my opinion, they were never close. Now, they liked each other, as far as brother, but as far as being close, no.

Q    Well, you wouldn't say that the testimony about them target practicing together, that wouldn't be inaccurate, would it?

A    I wasn't with them. I've heard that. As far as I know, that could have happened.

Q Could have happened? And on this particular occasion, his brother was willing to let him borrow his truck, borrow his tools; is that correct?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And from time to time, Ronnie and Kimberly went with Ted to the lake with his boat; is that right?

A    I don't think they've ever been with them to the lake. That's what I'm saying. There was no -- they never socialized with each other that much, what I'm trying to tell you. They just didn't do it.

Q    If --

A    I think their family went with Ted and Patricia a lot,


but Kim and Ronnie didn't socialize with Ted and Patricia that much.

Q    Ronnie and Kimberly never went to Ted and Patricia's house?

A    No, sir. As far as I know, they never did. They never said anything to us about it.

Q    And you gave a specific example of them having a car accident and arguing about it?

A    Yes, that's right.

Q    What year was that, sir?

A    I don't know.

Q    Was it before your daughter's marriage?

A    Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Yes, sir.

Q    Was it before he went in the Marine Corps?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Was it when they were both in high school?

A    Oh, yeah. The only reason I knew about that, they both come to my house, arguing about it. And I told them to call their dad. Ted ended up calling the state patrolman. And he wouldn't deal with it, he said, because they're just brothers and they're just accusing each other.

Q    But the specific example you used of their animosity was something that you remembered from when they were in high school?

A    Right.


Q    And then you made some statements about Ronnie not being an expert with a rifle; is that correct?

A    To my knowledge, it took Ronnie forever. You know, you have to be a sharpshooter or something in the military. I don't know if that's to get -- to move your rank up or what you have to do. But to my knowledge, it took him a long time before he ever got that -- before he was able to do that.

Q    But he did attain that level?

A    I think so.

Q    All right.

A    I can't -- I just don't know, but I think he did.

Q    Well, if his records show that, you wouldn't dispute that, would you?

A    No, sir.

MR. PANOSH: May I approach?

THE COURT: You may.

(Mr. Panosh picked up an exhibit.)

Q    Now, when you're talking about weapons, it doesn't take any particular skill to point that red dot at something and pull the trigger, does it?

MR. HATFIELD: Objection. That gun did not have a red dot functioning when it was introduced in evidence. That's been tampered with. That did not work when we examined it, and it didn't work when it was introduced.


THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    Does it, take a lot of skill to just point that red dot? (Demonstrated.)

A    No, sir.

Q    You talked about what you referred to as Ronnie's sleeping disorder?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Actually, more accurately, it's a difficulty in staying awake, isn't it?

A    Right.

Q    And how long did he have that problem?

A    I really don't know how long he's had it. I know after him and Kim got married, it seemed like that that's when we was -- what's when we would notice it the most. He may have had it for a while back, as far as I know.

Q    And again, if the records show he had it all his life,  you wouldn't dispute that?

A    No, sir. There's no reason to.

Q    You made some statements about him being a -- wanting to make the Marine Corps his career?

A    Ronnie had said something at one time he would like to make the Marine Corps his career, but I think with the sleeping disorder that he had, I don't know if it would have worked or not.

Q    To your knowledge, did the military force him to leave?


A    No. He was picked up the 1st of April, on April Fools' Day. He had four days to go. That's when he was picked up by Detective Church and them.

Q    All right. During the period of time --

A    But I don't think they asked him to leave.

Q    You mean after his arrest?

A    Right.

Q    All right. In the months leading up to his arrest, was it your impression the military was forcing him to leave?

A    No, sir. No, sir.

Q    He had decided on his own to stop with the Marine Corps after one term; is that right?

A    I don't know if he decided to stop. That's what I'm saying. I'm not sure about that. Ronnie may have re-enlisted. But that would have been something he would know, not me.

Q    Did you hear your daughter testify earlier that he had decided to limit it to one term in the Marine Corps?

A    I think she said something like that, but I'm not sure.

Q    And you don't know anything contrary to that, do you?

A    No.

Q    Now, you made some statements about what Ted and Ronnie did on the night of October the 10th of '95. That information came from what other people told you; is that right?


A    No. Are you talking about when they went to the office

Q    Yes.

A    -- to pick up some -- I think he said Detective Church or somebody told him to go up there and get some names of the people that worked for him or something like that.

Q    Sir, I'm asking you, did that information -- is that your knowledge, or did that come from someone else?

A    Ted told me his -- Ronnie told me his mom said for him to go with Ted up there.

Q    So that information came from Edna?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And you didn't hear it firsthand?

A    I didn't hear it said.

Q And during the week after Patricia's death, starting that Tuesday, and until Saturday, the day of the funeral, Ronnie was at home in Julian; is that right?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And to your knowledge, did he work on that trailer?

A    I don't think so. Because if he had, I'd have been up there, and I don't remember being there. I think everything -- we just dropped everything for the time being for that week.

Q    You said that Ted -- when Ted got married, Ronnie was not his best friend -- or not his best man, rather?


A     I don't think so.

Q    In your direct testimony, you said something that Ronnie Kimble was not the best man. Who are you referring to?

A     What, are you talking about when Ted got married?

Q    Yes.

A    I don't know if Ronnie was the best man or not, to be honest with you. I know Ted wasn't Ronnie's best man when they got married.

Q     On October the 9th of 1995, the day that Patricia was killed --

A     Uh-huh.

Q    -- do you know where Ronnie was prior to 4:50 or 5:00 o'clock, when you arrived there?

A     Only what I was told.

MR. PANOSH: No further questions.


Q     Have you been to the Sprinkle Gas Station that you referred to in your testimony a few minutes ago?

A     I've been there, right.

Q     Isn't that a station where they strictly pump the gas, and there's no self-serve?

A     Right.

Q     So --

A     They do it themselves. You don't do it yourself.


Q    You don't do it yourself?

A    No. It's the old way, like it used to be years ago.

Q    So, even if Ronnie did purchase gas at Sprinkle on October 9th, he wouldn't have touched the pump or the hose or the nozzle or anything else --

A    No, sir.

Q    -- would he?

A    No, sir.

Q    So when someone else pumps the gasoline for you at a station like that, do you get the odor of gasoline on your own person?

A    You shouldn't.

MR. HATFIELD: No further questions.

THE COURT: Step down, sir.

(The witness left the witness stand.)



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

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