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Harold G. Pendergrass, Witness for the State's Rebuttal


(The defendant entered the courtroom at 3:34 p.m.) (The jury entered the courtroom at 3:34 p.m.)

THE COURT: Okay. The State call its next witness, please.

MR. PANOSH: Special Agent Pendergrass, please.

HAROLD G. PENDERGRASS, being first duly sworn, testified as follows during DIRECT EXAMINATION by MR. PANOSH:

Q    Sir, you're Special Agent Pendergrass of the State Bureau of Investigation; is that correct?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Do you see State's Exhibit 152 in front of you, that of Jeffrey Clark?

MR. PANOSH: May I approach?

THE COURT: Yes, sir.

(Mr. Panosh handed the exhibit to the witness.)

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Do you recognize 152?

A    Yes, sir.


Q    How do you recognize it, sir?

A    I was present on the date that this interview was conducted with Mr. Clark at the High Point Jail facility there in the CID division, on an interview room.

Q    And before you testified this afternoon, did you have an occasion to read that?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And does it -- is it accurate, based upon your recollection of those events?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Is there anything in there that is not accurate?

A    No, sir.

Q    Were you present for the signing of that document?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And do you recall whether or not Mr. Clark signed each and every page?

A    Yes, sir, he did.

Q    Were you present when certain corrections were made?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Would you tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury of the method that was used to make those corrections.

A    The corrections were made by Mr. Clark, by initialing each and every correction that he pointed out to Detective Church, during that interview -- or after the interview was completed, and the paperwork was presented to him for his



Q    How did he identify the item or items he wanted to correct?

A    He read the statement.

Q    And when he found an item he wanted to correct, what, if anything, happened?

A    He pointed it out to Detective Church and stated that this -- those particular corrections were incorrect and that those needed to be corrected, and it was noted by his initials.

Q    Was he cooperative on that day?

A    Yes, sir, he was, fully.

Q    Drawing your attention specifically to the last page, would you review that quickly.

(Time was allowed for the witness.)

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Did you or Detective Church in your presence make any promises to Clark, in order to induce him to write that statement?

A    Absolutely not.

Q    Does that last page specifically contain that language?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    What does it say?

A    States that "Detective Church and Agent Pendergrass have made it very clear to me that no promise, no deal or


anything related to my charges could be made by either of them. This statement that I have given is absolutely the truth. And I'm willing to take any tests to prove my truthfulness. Detective Church or Agent Pendergrass has not asked me to contact, talk to or do anything in their behalf related to Ted or Ronnie Kimble, prior to this statement or any other statement."

Q    And were you present when that particular page was signed?

A    Yes, sir.

MR. PANOSH: We'd move for the introduction of 152, please.

MR. HATFIELD: Objection.

MR. LLOYD: Objection, Your Honor.

MR. HATFIELD: Like to be heard.

THE COURT: Overruled. The Court'll allow the introduction.

Q In the course of your duties, did you also -- were you also present when Mr. Woodberry was interviewed, on various occasions?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Would you describe Mr. Woodberry's demeanor.

A    On each and every occasion, Mr. Woodberry cooperated fully with myself and Detective Church during the investigation of the homicide of Patricia Kimble.


Q    Can you detail that cooperation?

A    Yes, sir. Mr. Woodberry was approached on more than one occasion to meet with us for interview purposes. On one occasion, he met myself and Detective Church at the SBI Greensboro office, where he gave us a statement. Following that statement, he agreed to make a recorded telephone conversation. He consensually agreed to record -- to have a recorded conversation with Ted Kimble made on that occasion. On any additional times that we met with Mr. Woodberry, he cooperated fully and met with us anytime we requested that he do that.

Q    And in the course of those interviews, did he tell you his specific location on October the 9th of 1995?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And in the course of corroborating that, did you just interview Ms. Jeffers, the lady who just spoke -- who just testified?

A    Myself and Detective Church met with Ms. Jeffers on two separate occasions, once at -- once at the Graham Police Department, and a subsequent occasion at her residence in Burlington.

Q    Now, when you met with her at the Graham Police Department, where did you pick her up? How did you come in contact with her?

A    We telephoned her place of employment, the McDonald's


there in Graham.

Q    And you said the second one was where?

A    At her residence in Graham, or Burlington.

Q    And what, if any, information did she give you, if you recall?

A    On the first occasion, she stated she was employed at McDonald's, and she had worked on October 9th that day, that following her completion of her scheduled time at work, she returned home and met with Rodney Woodberry.

Q    Did she tell you at what time she returned home?

A    Sometime after 1:00 o'clock.

Q    And did she tell you how long that she was with Rodney Woodberry?

A    For the remainder of the evening.

Q    And to the best of -- at that point in your investigation, had you fixed the approximate time of death of Patricia Kimble?

A    Sometime around 4:00 p.m. or thereafter.

Q    Based upon your interview with Ms. Jeffers, were you satisfied that Mr. Woodberry was with her during the relevant -- during the time of her death -‑

MR. LLOYD: Well, objection.

MR. HATFIELD: Objection.

Q    -- during Patricia Kimble's death?

THE COURT: Sustained.


MR. LLOYD: Move to strike.

THE COURT: Disregard that, members of the jury.

Q    After your interview with Ms. Jeffers, did you feel any further follow-up was necessary -‑

MR. LLOYD: Well, objection, Your Honor.

Q    -- in regard to the statements of Rodney Woodberry about his location on October the 9th of 1995?

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    No, sir.

MR. PANOSH: No further questions. Thank you, sir.


Q    Now, you just got through telling Mr. Panosh that at some point while you were interviewing these various witnesses, that you had determined the time of Patricia's death, didn't you? Did you just say you determined the time of Patricia's death?

A    Through the course of our investigation, it was -- it was not totally determined, but we -- during the investigation, we felt like it may have been sometime around 4:00 o'clock or thereafter.

Q    Or thereafter?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And how much time does thereafter encompass?

A    Well, it could be shortly thereafter or one hour



Q    So, are you saying to the jury that you determined her death and it was sometime between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.?

A    I haven't personally determined the time. That would be left up to the medical examiner. I've not determined that -‑

Q    But you just -‑

A    -- made that determination.

Q    You just were asked the question concerning whether or not, based upon your knowledge of the investigation, you've been able to determine the time of Patricia's death, and your answer to that was, yes, 4:00 p.m. or thereafter?

A    Yes, sir, based upon my knowledge of the investigation.

Q    And that was --

A That's all I can state, that it was based upon my knowledge of the investigation, around 4:00 or shortly thereafter.

Q    Well, now, you said shortly thereafter.

A    Well, shortly thereafter meaning one hour.

Q    Could it be two hours?

A    Could be.

Q    Could be?

A    Could be.

Q    So it could have happened between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.; is that your testimony?


A    Could be.

Q    Could it be three hours?

A    I don't think it could be three hours, no.

Q    But could it be three hours?

MR. PANOSH: We object. He's answered.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    So it could be two hours, but you don't think it could be three hours; is that your testimony?

MR. PANOSH: Object. He's answered both those questions.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Did you satisfy yourself when you were dealing with Rodney Woodberry that he had told you everything he knew about Ted's efforts to hire a hit man?

A    Are you asking me if we fully investigated that particular statement that he made?

Q    Yes, sir.

A    I think every effort was made to determine whether there -- we could corroborate that information, based on his statement, and -‑

Q    Well, there's no one else that has testified in this case, and there's no one else whom you have interviewed who has ever said that Ted Kimble said to them that he was looking for a hit man, has there been?

A    I think he made the statement to Rodney Woodberry, if


I'm not mistaken.

Q    That's right. I believe you were questioned by Mr. Panosh in connection with your evaluation of the status of the Woodberry investigation, because you participated in some of the interviews, right?

A    That's correct.

Q    And you told Mr. Panosh that you were satisfied that Rodney Woodberry told you everything that he knew, right?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And one of the things he told you was, that Ted Kimble told him he was looking for a hit man, right?

A    He made that statement to Rodney Woodberry, yes.

Q    Ted Kimble made the statement to Rodney Woodberry that he was looking for a hit man?

A    I think he did.

Q    Now, did you find out whether Rodney Woodberry was able-- to assist Ted in finding a hit man?

A    None that I could determine, no.

Q    Now, Rodney Woodberry could have been involved, without physically being present, if his involvement was to arrange a hit man, couldn't he?

A    I suppose that's correct, but I don't -- based on my interpretation or dealings with Mr. Woodberry, I don't think he pursued the request by Mr. Kimble to find him a hit man, no.


Q    But all you did was verify an alibi with a couple of women and kids, didn't you?

A    Yes, sir, we spoke to some people that could verify his whereabouts on that occasion.

Q    But, of course, those children could have gotten along just fine without Rodney Woodberry being present -­

MR. PANOSH: We object.

Q    -- because the other -- because a woman was present?

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    It was not necessary for Rodney Woodberry to be there all afternoon, because someone else was there all afternoon; isn't that right?

A    I think that what Ms. Jeffers testified to, that she left the children in -- with Mr. Woodberry, for purpose of taking care of them. Had she wanted someone else to take care of them, I think she would have arranged for that to occur. I don't know. She asked Mr. Woodberry, and I think he complied with her request.

Q    Now, Mr. Woodberry wasn't always completely forthcoming in this series of interviews, was he?

A    I think there was an occasion when he had met -- when he met with Detective Church or Mr. Panosh and subsequently told them that he had not been forthcoming with everything that he knew about this investigation, and provided that


information to them on those occasions, that I was not present.

Q    Right. Mr. Woodberry's told Mr. Panosh he wasn't always truthful, hasn't he?

A    I think he testified to that.

Q    And he's told Mr. Church he wasn't always truthful?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And he told the jury he wasn't always truthful?

A    That's correct.

Q    Now, in a statement prepared -- in a statement based upon a June 4, 1996 interview with Mr. Woodberry, didn't he say that he was sorry that he had not related something about .a hit man previously on the 30th, when he'd given a statement?

A    That was a June what date?

Q    June 4, 1996, says that, "gave Agent Pendergrass and this writer a statement on May 30, 1996." So I'm sorry. The statement was on May 30th, but the run time must have been June 4th. Do you remember a May 30th statement?

A    Yes, sir.

Q Then in the second page of the May 30th statement, it says, "But on the next day, during an interview at the SBI office --" that's your office, isn't it?

A    That's correct.

Q    "-- Rodney said that Ted had told him that he wished he


had a hit man, and Rodney said he had forgotten to tell me about it on Thursday, the 30th." What do you make of that?

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

Q    Do you have any memory of it -‑

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    -- at your office?

A    Is that my report there? I'm -‑

Q    I think it's Mr. Church's report.

A    Okay.

Q    Could I show it to you?

A    Oh, yes, sir.

(Mr. Hatfield showed a document to the witness.)

A    Where was it?

Q    I'm referring to the second page.

A    Okay.

Q    Right in here. (Indicated.) (Time was allowed for the witness.)

A    What was your question, Mr. Hatfield?

Q    My question is, what do you make of the fact that in this statement, it is narrated that Rodney Woodberry related that Ted had asked him to help him find a hit man, but that Rodney was sorry he hadn't mentioned it in the interview of the 30th at the SBI office?

A    And what do I make of that?

Q    Yes, sir.


A    Only thing I can say to that is that Mr. Woodberry failed to mention that on a prior interview, and that if -‑

Q    So when you were asked on direct examination a few minutes ago, has he always told you the truth on every interview, the fact is, it's taken interview after interview after interview to pull anything out of him, hasn't it?

MR. PANOSH: Object.

THE COURT: Sustained -- overruled.

A    Well, we've never had to pull everything out of him. I think that during the course of this investigation, and when we've asked him to meet with us and give us -- cooperate with us in giving those statements, he may have related new information each and every time. I've never had to sit there and pull it out of him. I mean -‑

Q    Well, you thought that he had made some kind of deal with Rodney Woodberry, that would probably lead to the proof of murder, because you had Rodney Woodberry call him up and tape record the conversation and have Rodney Woodberry ask him a bunch of questions; isn't that right?

A    We wanted to corroborate what he had told us, and certainly make that telephone call to Ted Kimble, to see if he'd make any admissions over the -- during the tape recording, to -‑

Q    But of course, if Ted Kimble had in fact engaged Rodney Woodberry to help him find a hit man, there would have been


no way on earth that he would have discussed that with Rodney Woodberry over the telephone later on, would he?

A    If I can recall that conversation, he stated he didn't like -- want to talk over the phone, and that basically, he wouldn't talk about it over the phone.

Q    What happened here is, Rodney Woodberry indicated to you that Ted had asked him to help him find a hit man, and on this day, the last day of the trial, you still can't say whether Rodney Woodberry helped Ted find a hit man or not, can you?

A    Based on my knowledge of the case, I don't think Rodney Woodberry engaged in assisting Ted Kimble find a hit man.

Q    Well, then, why, based upon your investigation, did Ted Kimble make numerous attempts to reach Rodney Woodberry, through anybody that he could think of, including Laura Shepard, in the weeks and months after Patricia had died?

A    I can't give an opinion as to why he attempted to contact Rodney that -- Woodberry so many times. I don't know why he tried to do that.

Q    You knew from that pattern of conduct, which involved Ted's telephone records, indicating that he was attempting to reach Rodney Woodberry numerous times, and Rodney Woodberry's pattern of conduct in evading Ted, that something was going on between those two people, didn't you?

A    Possibly, yes.


Q    And you just don't know what it is?

A    No, I don't -- I personally do not know what their relationship at that particular time was, to make a determination or give you an answer to that. I don't know what their entire relationship was, other than employee/ employer.

Q    Now, this tape recorded statement that -- where Ted didn't want to talk to Rodney, for not wanting to talk to somebody, it went on for quite some time, didn't it?

A    I hadn't -- I haven't seen the final transcript, but it was a few minutes.

Q    Are you telling me that you've never seen the transcript of the conversation you just told the jury you knew about, in which Rodney Woodberry was tape recorded calling Ted Kimble and trying to get some information out of Ted?

A    I've listened to the tape, but I haven't seen the transcript. That was turned over to -‑

Q    Well, you have listened to the tape?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Do you remember Ted Kimble saying to Rodney Woodberry, "Well, let me tell you something. You know what the butthole detective did? He went around -- he went --"

MR. PANOSH: We object.

Q    "He went and told people --"


THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    "-- that he was convinced, and the family was convinced, that I paid you. That's what the detective, a lying detective, said." Do you remember Ted Kimble saying that?

A    I think I recall something of that effect, yes.

Q    So, what you found out when you had Rodney Woodberry talk to Ted is, is that Ted knew that the word was being circulated that he had paid Rodney Woodberry to kill his wife, right?

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    That's what Ted knew, based upon the conversation that you listened to; isn't that right?

MR. PANOSH: Object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    You heard Ted say that in that conversation, didn't you, Mr. Pendergrass?

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    Didn't you hear him say that, sir?

A    You'll have to ask me again, because I'm not sure and clear about what you're wanting me to testify to in that regard. I -- you've made several statements there, and I -‑

Q    Well, I'm --


A    -- lost track of your question.

Q    I'm sorry. Mr. Kimble said, "Well, let me tell you something. Do you know what the buttholes -- the butthole detective did? He went around, he went and told people that he was convinced and that the family was convinced that I paid you. That's what the detective, a lying detective, said." Now, isn't that Ted Kimble, telling Rodney Woodberry that the detectives were circulating information, and in fact, that the Blakley family believed that information, that he had paid Rodney Woodberry?

A    That's what Ted Kimble said over the tape. I don't know whether -- I know for a fact that Detective Church didn't go around spreading that information around. I think -- my estimation, in my opinion, that's what he was -- he was trying to relay to Rodney Woodberry. Why he was giving him that information, other than to slander Detective Church, that's all I can tell you.

Q    Rodney Woodberry was a suspect, and he was so told by you and Mr. Church on a number of occasions, wasn't he?

A    We approached Rodney Woodberry with information that we had, that was gathered during the investigation, and told him in an effort to clear him out of this investigation, we'd have to set down and talk with him. And he agreed on more than one occasion to do that, completely.

Q    And he told you lie after lie after lie, in an effort


to clear himself, didn't he?

A    Well, I'm not going to say that he told us -­everything he told us was a lie. I think he may have forgotten some things that he felt that was important later on, and then gave that information to Detective Church and myself and Mr. Panosh.

Q    He sat down and made a bunch of false statements and wound up clearing himself, didn't he?

A    Again, I don't think everything he said was a complete and false statement.

MR. HATFIELD: No further questions. Thank you.

THE COURT: Step down, sir.

(The witness left the witness stand.)



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