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Reuben Blakley, Witness for the State


MR. PANOSH: Reuben Blakley.

Your Honor, may Mr. Jarrell be excused?

THE COURT: Any objection, gentlemen?

MR. LLOYD: No objection, Your Honor.

MR. HATFIELD: No objection.

THE COURT: You may be excused, sir.

REUBEN BLAKLEY, being first duly sworn, testified as follows



Q    Would you state your name, please.

A    Reuben Blakley.

Q    And what relationship are you to the deceased, Patricia Blakley?

A    I am her brother.

Q    Now, where do you live, sir?

A    6965 Lawrence Farm Lane in Randleman, North Carolina.

Q    How far is that residence in Randleman from Patricia's home on Brandon Station Court?

A    About five miles.

Q    Did there come a time on October the 9th of 1995 when you were contacted at your home?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Who called you?

A    Ted Kimble did.

Q    And what was the purpose of Ted Kimble calling you?

MR. HATFIELD: Objection.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Without stating what he said, what action did you take, after Ted Kimble called?

A    My wife and I went to Patricia and Ted's house.

Q    And what was the purpose of going to Patricia's house?

A    To check and see where Patricia was.

Q    Before you actually went there, did you take any other



A    Yes. I tried to contact Patricia at the church, at South Elm Street Baptist Church. And then I tried to page her. And then I tried to call the house, as well.

Q    You said you tried to call. Did you try to call her home first? Is that what you said?

A    Yes.

Q    When you called her home, about what time was that?

A    About 8:20, 8:15 in the evening.

Q    When you called her home, was there any answer?

A    No.

Q    And after you called her home, what action did you take?

A    I tried to page her -- or I did page her, and put my home phone number in.

Q    And after you paged her, did you take any further action?

A    Yes. We -- I called the church, and I didn't -- did not get an answer at the church. The answering machine picked up. So I just -- I did not think that that would be any benefit to me, so I just hung up. And after that, my wife and I decided to ride to the house, to see if she was there. And on the -- right before we left, I paged her and put my car phone number in, for my car phone, so she could call us, in case she could call us on the way to the house.


Q    And what number did you put in, when you paged her?

A    The first time when I paged her, it would be my house number, it would be 674-6426. And the second time, when we were on the way to the house, I did my car phone number, and that is 314-3303.

MR. PANOSH: The Court's indulgence for a moment. (Time was allowed for Mr. Panosh.)

Q    After you attempted to call her on her pager and telephone, what action did you take?

A    We rode over to her house.

Q    And about how long does it take you to get to her house?

A    Something less than 10 minutes, probably eight, eight or nine minutes maybe.

Q    And when you arrived there, what did you observe?

A    When we pulled in the driveway, I had -- I smelled a faint smell of smoke, and begin worrying at that point. But I drove on up in the driveway, and Patricia's car was parked on the left side of the driveway, and I pulled up to the right and turned on my bright lights, so I could see what was going on, because there wasn't -- there was not any light on in the house or around the house, so it was real dark. I turned on my bright lights, so we could see what was there, what was in front of us. And we got -- left the truck running, so the lights would be on, and got out of the


truck and went up to the door inside the garage and smelled smoke and seen smoke inside the garage, and felt of the door, and it was -- it was hot. So I turned around and told my wife, Christie, to go to the front door and see if it was hot, as well. And she said it was. So at that time, I went back to the truck and called 911.

Q    And when you say you approached the door, which door was that?

A    The door going to the kitchen, that enters from the garage.

Q    And after your wife called 911 for the fire department, what action did you take?

A    I called 911 from my cellular phone, and I -- after that, after talking with the operator there, my wife left and went down the road to get my dad, he lives about two to three miles down the road, and -- to pick him up and tell him what was going on. And I stayed there and waited for the fire department to arrive.

Q    And when you say your dad, are you talking about Richard Blakley?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And what did you observe about Patricia's car and the house, other than what you've already stated?

A    There was no lights on around the house. The car was parked. It was unlocked. Once the fireman arrove (phon.),


he asked me if I could move the car, and I -- it was unlocked, so I looked in it, and her keys to the car were in it. So I tried to start it, and I couldn't get the car started, to move. And he told me, "Well, don't worry about it." So I left the car where it was and just waited on everybody else to get there.

Q    Did you make any observations about the contents of her car?

A    Her pocketbook was on the front seat. I believe her pager -- her pager was clipped on -- clipped on her pocketbook.

Q    When the firefighters arrived and they made entry, what occurred?

A    Well, we tried to stay out of the way as much as possible, but we told them what we had found and told them that the door was hot, so I did not open it. They felt of it and said it was hot, as well. And we went out to the front yard and pretty much just let them do what they needed to do, to take care of the fire.

Q    And eventually, the firemen did fight the fire and discover your sister's body; is that correct?

A    Yes.

Q    And thereafter, you and the rest of your family members went to the South Elm Street Baptist Church; is that right?

A    That's correct.


Q    Now, going back to the period of time immediately before her death, did you and Patricia have any conversations?

A    Yes. The last time I talked to Patricia was that Saturday afternoon before her death, and I just talked briefly, not very long, but just general, how things were going. And the week before that, we had went out to lunch with Ted and Patricia and I, and on the way back to Cinnamon Ridge Apartments, I talked with her some, because she had expressed some concern about an insurance policy.

MR. LLOYD: Well, objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    What did she say to you?

A    She -- I asked her a question about some insurance, question she had, and she said that she was upset, because

MR. LLOYD: Well, objection, Your Honor. Ask to be heard on this matter.

THE COURT: Well, members of the jury, I'm going to let you go ahead and take the evening recess. You'll need to be back in the morning at 9:30. Please report to the jury room. Again, remember the instructions on the jury responsibility sheet. Do not discuss the case with your family or friends. Do not read, watch or listen to any news or media accounts. Keep an open mind.


Have a nice evening. I'll see you in the morning at 9:30.

(The jury left the courtroom at 4:50 p.m.)

THE COURT: All right. I'll hear you.

MR. LLOYD: Judge Cornelius, this is precisely what we filed a motion about. First of all, I don't see how -- what we're going to get is a factual recitation from the victim in this case. We're not -- I don't think we're about to get into anything where we have words like, "I am afraid" or anything like that. We're about to get a bunch of statements about facts or beliefs, which the rule, then existing mental or emotional condition, specifically excludes. It says, "but not including a statement of memory or belief to prove a fact remembered or believed." And then it talks about a will. But that doesn't apply in this case, obviously. And we -- once again, we have the problem of confrontation. We don't get a chance to cross-examine Patricia Kimble about this. And it doesn't fit within one of the firmly-rooted hearsay exceptions. And I think it's clearly inadmissible, Your Honor. It's inadmissible hearsay, and it runs afoul of the confrontation rule, both on state and federal constitution.

THE COURT: Let me see your rule book, please.

MR. LLOYD: Yes, sir.

(Mr. Lloyd handed a book to the Court and indicated.)


THE COURT: All right. The State wish to be heard?

MR. PANOSH: Your Honor, I previously handed up the Westbrook case. I don't know if you still have it or not. But in that case, they specifically analyze the rule, and they specifically said that that is not what the rule meant.

(The Court handed the book to the bailiff, and the bailiff handed the book to Mr. Lloyd.)

MR. PANOSH: And they went back and looked at -­Your Honor, do you have that case?

THE COURT: Yes, it's -- well, I don't have Westbrook here.

MR. PANOSH: Okay. In that case, they specifically said that the victim could -- the victim did describe to her brother -- Excuse me. The victim did describe to his sister and to his father specific things about -- that he was concerned on about the marriage, and those included credit card bills, telephone bills, specific things that were concerning him. And then the victim went on to say that -- expressed his specific concerns about the welfare of their marriage. At no time did the victim say in that case that he was afraid, but the Court allowed those hearsay statements in, and the Supreme Court held that that was admissible and proper. And I'm sorry I didn't bring it


with me. I thought it was still on your bench. But I think it covers this 100 percent.

THE COURT: How close a point in time to the death are we talking about? This statement, he said was made on Saturday, before -‑

MR. PANOSH: Your Honor -‑

THE COURT: -- her death on when, sir?

MR. PANOSH: -- my recollection is that this was the Pizza Hut, it was on September the 27th, and she was killed on October the 9th.

THE COURT: Well, I hadn't heard what the witness is going to say. You may need to put in the record at this point what he's going to say, and then we'll hear you.

MR. PANOSH: All right.


Q    Tell the Court what Patricia said to you on that day at the Pizza Hut. First of all, what day was it, if you recall?

A    I believe it was -- it was on a Thursday, I believe the week -- not the week before, but the week before that. She was killed on October 9th. I believe it was the Thursday week before that.

Q    If I hand you a calendar, can you -‑

A    Sure.

Q    -- pick the date?


A    Sure.

(Mr. Panosh handed a document to the witness.)

A    I believe it was the 28th.

Q    28th of September of '95?

A    Yes.

Q    And what did she say to you at that time?

A    I had questioned her about some concerns she had about Ted's getting the insurance policy on her, and she was kind of not real avid to talk to me about it, but she did tell me that she was real worried and real concerned, didn't understand why he -- they needed more insurance, but that she had talked with him since then, and he had said -­apologized and said he would not do it again. And she pretty much just left it at that, that he had smoothed it over, per se, I guess, and apologized.

Q    Did she say whether or not the life insurance policy was going through?

A    She did not say.

Q    Did she indicate to you whether she had any concerns about their financial condition?

A    She had -- she was a real thrifty money person. She had ongoing concerns. She wanted -‑

Q    Did she give you specific examples of that?

A    She was always wanted to save money, and she would -‑

Q    I want you to limit your answers now to this


conversation that you had at the end of September of 1995.

A    Okay.

Q    Did she tell you about specific concerns she had?

A    No, she didn't, not at that time.

MR. PANOSH: Your Honor, that would be the evidence -- the statements on voir dire.

THE COURT: Do you wish to be heard again?

MR. LLOYD: Well, Your Honor, I think it's -- I think Mr. Panosh talks about the Westbrooks case. I cited cases in the motion. I don't have it with me. Pickens comes to mind. But I think whatever the Supreme Court said in Westbrooks, our case is distinguishable here. What we're talking about is -- in terms of what she said was that she was real worried. This isn't a specific item. Didn't know why they needed more insurance. Well, that's a -- that's a -- I guess that's a very -- when you get right down to it, Your Honor, that's a very technical opinion, that without analyzing their entire financial position or putting that in front of the jury, we're not in a position to make. It's basically speculation. I don't think you'd allow the witness to state that if she were here and we could cross-examine her. You wouldn't allow the witness to say, "I don't -- I didn't know why we needed more insurance."

And the rest of the statement, that they talked about it, and that at some point, Ted apologized, I think


once again, we get into the same situation that we talked about before, where you're just giving a recitation of facts, and it doesn't fit within one of the hearsay exceptions, and therefore, you've got a double problem with it. It's hearsay that doesn't fit within an exception, and you have got the confrontation problem. So -‑

The other thing, Your Honor, I think we tend to lose sight of here, and I think what would clearly distinguish our situation from the Westbrooks situation is, we're -- this case, Mr. Panosh's case is against Ronnie Kimble. It's not Ted Kimble that we're trying here. And we all seem to lose sight of that with respect to all these statements. And I think that's another thing the Court has to consider. And when you finally take it all into consideration, and put it through the 403 balancing test, I think it just doesn't measure up.

But that's our position.

THE COURT: Well, objection overruled. The Court will allow those statements as an existing mental state within two weeks of her death.

Restrict it to what you've just put into evidence here.

MR. PANOSH: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: I assume that's all you intend to ask him about her statements?


MR. PANOSH: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Any other matters before the recess? You may step down, sir.

Start here in the morning. Anything before the recess?

MR. PANOSH: No, sir.

THE COURT: 9:30 in the morning, sheriff. (The witness left the witness stand.)

(A recess was taken at 5:01 p.m., until 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 11, 1998.)



(Court convened at 9:33 a.m. The defendant was not present. The jury was not present.)

THE COURT: Mr. Blakley, if you'll come back up to the witness stand, please, sir. You're still under oath. (The witness Reuben Blakley returned to the witness stand.) (The defendant entered the courtroom at 9:35 a.m.)

THE COURT: Any matters we need to take care of before we bring the jury in?

MR. PANOSH: No, Your Honor.

MR. HATFIELD: No, Your Honor.

(The jury entered the courtroom at 9:36 a.m.)

THE COURT: I'm very pleased to have the jury panel back this morning. I hope each of you had a nice evening and feeling okay. Anyone on the jury panel experiencing any problems today that I should know about, if -- you'll raise your hand, I'll be glad to talk with you about it.

(Juror Number 12, Mr. Majors, raised his hand.) THE COURT: Yes, sir?

MR. MAJORS: I'm not having a problem, but us as a group have a problem.

THE COURT: Yes, sir.

MR. MAJORS: Yesterday, when the witness was on the stand, people were going in and out that door


constantly, and it seemed like it distracted us. We couldn't hear good.

THE COURT: Well, that's always a problem in any courtroom. Used to be the judge locked the doors, but you can't do that anymore. And I guess your kidneys are not quite as strong as it used to be.


THE COURT: Blame it on the fire marshal. But anyway, that's a real problem. I'll try to -‑

Officers, if you'll kindly watch the doors and see if it gets to be a problem, step back there and tell them to wait.

We'll try to take a break -- those of you in the audience, we'll try to take breaks, to give you a chance to refresh yourselves from time to time, but I would ask that you not move in and out of the courtroom while the witness is testifying. Wait until the witness has finished his testimony or the attorneys -- it switches attorneys to cross-examine the witnesses, and then kindly step out, if you need to. We'll try the best we can. If it gets to be a problem, we'll take some more drastic steps.

Anything else?

You may continue with your examination of the witness, Mr. Panosh.

MR. PANOSH: Thank you.


REUBEN BLAKLEY, having been previously duly sworn, testified as follows during CONTINUED DIRECT EXAMINATION by MR. PANOSH:

Q    Mr. Blakley, before we broke yesterday, you were describing a conversation you had with your sister, Patricia, on or about the 28th of September. Would you tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury about that, please.

A    Yes. It was a Thursday, September 28th, and we was on the way back from Pizza Hut, from lunch, and she was expressing some concerns about life insurance that Ted had taken out on her -- or tried to take out on her. And I asked her about that, and she didn't want to talk about it much. I could tell it was kind of a tense subject with her. But she did say that Ted had apologized and said he wouldn't -- said he wouldn't -- decided that he would not do it or just apologized to her, said he was sorry.

Q    Did she give you specifics of the life insurance that she was referring to?

MR. HATFIELD: Objection, Your Honor. This testimony was given yesterday afternoon in its entirety.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    No, she didn't. She just expressed life insurance to me.

Q    And who was the person the life insurance was being taken out on?


MR. HATFIELD: Objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    Herself, Patricia.

MR. PANOSH: May I approach the witness?

THE COURT: You may.

Q    I'll show you now what's been marked for identification as State's Exhibit Number 3. Would you look at that. Yesterday, you indicated that you made certain calls to Patricia's pager?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And drawing your attention to Exhibit 3, do you recognize the telephone numbers on there?

MR. HATFIELD: Objection. That's not a telephone record. That's just a memo that was made by the sheriff's office. It's hearsay.

THE COURT: Overruled. He may identify what the document is.

MR. HATFIELD: But Your Honor, it doesn't -- it's just a list Mr. Panosh made.

THE COURT: Continue.  Overruled at this point.

Q    Do you recognize any of the numbers on there?

A    Yes, I do. I recognize all of them.

Q    Okay. And would you identify the numbers for the ladies and gentlemen of the jury, please.


A    The first number, 314-3303, that says 8:31 p.m. That is my phone number.

MR. HATFIELD: Objection. This is pure hearsay. This is not a telephone number (sic), Your Honor. I ask Your Honor to take a look at it, before you let him read from it.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    That is my cellular phone number at the time. The next number, 674-6426, at 8:21, that is my home phone number. 271-1300 -‑

MR. HATFIELD: Objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

MR. HATFIELD: It's not one of his numbers.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    -- is Ted's pager number. And then the next number is all 7's, and that's numbers that Ted and Patricia used to use, to notify each other. 674-6426 would be my phone number again. And the last number, 294-0789, was a business number at Lyles.

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

THE COURT: Mr. Lloyd?

MR. HATFIELD: I'm going to handle this one.

THE COURT: Mr. Hatfield?

MR. HATFIELD: May I approach the witness –­

THE COURT: Yes, you may.


MR. HATFIELD: -- and look at this exhibit? (The witness handed the exhibit to Mr. Hatfield.) CROSS-EXAMINATION by MR. HATFIELD:

Q    Do you know who typed this exhibit up?

A    I have no clue.

Q    Does it look like a telephone record to you?

A    I've never seen a telephone record.

Q    Do you know Ted's business number –­

A    Yes, sir.

Q    -- by heart?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    You do?

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

Q    You read this in the reverse order of the times, didn't you? At least, that's how it appears on the document.

A    I read it as it was stated there.

Q    Right. So the first indication on the beeper was 8:31 p.m., that would have been the last, in actuality the last entry, wouldn't it?

A    Sure.

Q    Okay. So the last entry was your call attempt to communicate with Patricia?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And that happened at 8:31 p.m.?

A    Yes, sir.


Q    And you had already tried to beep her 10 minutes before that, at 8:21 p.m., from your house; isn't that right?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    So the next number down the line is 674-6426. Is that your home number?

A    Yes.

Q    Then do you recall that at 8:11 p.m., her beeper indicated Ted's pager number?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And then, apparently, at 8:11, the same time, the 777777 friendship sign was put into her beeper; is that correct?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And was that something that they did in order not to incur a toll call for a quick communication?

A    Yeah, at times.

Q    Okay. And then, at 9:09 a.m. -- it skips really almost 12 hours -- 674-6426 appears; is that correct?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    That would be your mobile phone?

A    That would be my home phone.

Oh. It is your home phone?

A    Yes.

Q    That's right. And so, you called her at 9:00 o'clock that morning?


A    I can't verify that morning. The pager does not have the date on it.

Q    So, but it may -- well, based on the order that it appears on this document, whoever wrote this thing, it would have been before all those other calls that we just talked about, wouldn't it?

A    Before, yes.

Q    So you're saying that you can't say that it was at 9:09 a.m. on October 9, 1995, it might have been 9:09 a.m. on October 8th?

A    Correct.

Q    So, do you remember why you were trying to beep your sister?

A    I remember talking with her on Saturday, and I very well could have paged her that morning, to talk with her on Saturday. I do not remember specifically paging her to talk to her, but I did talk to her on Saturday.

Q    So, actually, the 9:09 a.m. beep may go back literally 48 hours to Saturday?

A    Very well could.

Q    Since most of these numbers appear on Monday night?

A    Right.

Q    And then there's another entry even earlier than the 9:09 that you read to the jury, 11:44 a.m., and that's Lyles; is that right?


A    Correct.

Q    That would have been Ted Kimble's business telephone?

A    Correct.

Q    And since we don't know precisely what day your a.m. beep to her was, and we certainly don't know what – when his was?

A    That's correct.

Q    So you recall talking to your sister on Saturday, which would have been October 7, 1995?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Did you see her on that date?

A    No, I didn't.

Q    Do you remember what you and she talked about?

A    No, I do not.

Q    Do you recall that she was involved in a big joint yard sale project?

A    At that time, I did not know that. I found out at a later point that that's what she was doing on Saturday.

Q    Okay. So on the Saturday that these -- this memorandum indicates that you beeped her in the morning, you later found out that was the day that she had this yard sale?

A    Yes.

Q    Where was the location of the yard sale? Did you ever find out?

A    It was at the Cinnamon Ridge Apartments.


Q    Did Edna Kimble participate in that, Ted's mom?

A    I'm not sure if -- I wasn't there, so -‑

Q    Do you know anything about it at all?

A    I remember my mom saying she went.

Q    So your mom was there on Saturday, with Patricia, at Cinnamon Ridge, conducting -- helping out with the yard sale?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    This was a big event, though, wasn't it?

A    I don't know. I wasn't involved.

Q    I know it, but people told you about it in your family, didn't they?

A    Briefly, maybe. It didn't seem to be a big event for me.

Q    Did you hear about how much money Patricia made that day?

A    No, I didn't.

Q    Do you know whatever became of any money that she may have made that day?

MR. PANOSH: Objection. Speculation and hearsay.

MR. HATFIELD: It's not speculation.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. HATFIELD: It's a straightforward question.

THE COURT: If he knows. Overruled.

Q    Do you know what may have become of any money that she


made that day?

A    No, I do not.

Q    Now, she's your only sister; is that correct?

A    Correct.

Q    Do you have any other siblings?

A    No.

Q    Who's older, you or Patricia?

A    Patricia was.

Q    How much older?

A    Six years.

Q    Did you know her very well during the last few years of her life?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    Did you see her often?

A    I seen her at church, every Sunday, and I would stop by the apartments periodically during the week and speak with her.

Q    Did you stop by her house out on Brandon Court?

A    Not very often. Every now and then, we would have things there we would go see them, but not necessarily just to stop by.

Q    Did you visit Ted and Patricia and have dinner or play board games or anything -- activities of that kind?

A    On occasions, yes.

Q    Was Ted a member of the same church that Patricia was?


A    Yes.

Q    This was your family church; is that correct?

A    Family church seems kind of vague to me, but we were members for four or five years.

Q    You and Patricia?

A    Patricia was a member longer.

Q    So, did she get you involved in that particular church?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And she got Ted involved in it, too, didn't she?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Now, in seeing Patricia on a regular basis, would it be fair to say that you talked to her at least once a week?

A    Sure.

Q    And did she tell you what her activities were?

A    She was a very busy lady, as I was, so I couldn't -­didn't have time to listen to all of her activities, but at times, she would tell me things that she may or may not do.

Q    What is your occupation?

A    Currently I'm a sorter at UPS in the evenings, and I go to school during the day.

Q    What are you studying at school?

A    Going to A&T, studying civil engineering.

Q    Is that a degree program for a four-year engineering degree?

A    Yes, sir.


Q    How much more time do you have in school?

A    I'm a second semester sophomore now, so I have about two and a half years, three years.

Q    Well, with full-time work and full-time school, there really wasn't that much opportunity to socialize, was there?

A    Not during the week, no.

Q    Did you have occasion to use the motorboat that Ted and Patricia purchased?

A    On occasions we did go with them, yes.

Q    Did she seem to enjoy that boat?

A    Yes, she did.

Q    Do you remember when they acquired it?

A    I remember the day, but I do not remember the date exactly.

Q    Well, how long was it before October 9, 1995?

A    I believe it would be the fall before then, before then.

Q    So it would have been approximately a year -‑

A    Yeah.

Q    -- before the events?

A    Yes.

Q    Do you know how the boat was purchased, whether money was paid down or whether it was financed?

A    No, I do not.

Q    Did you hear any complaints from Patricia about the


cost of the boat?

A    No, I did not.

Q    Would it be fair to say that it was new when it was purchased?

A    No, it was not.

Q    Was it a nice boat, in good condition?

A    Yes.

Q    Do you have any idea what its market value was at the time it was bought?

A    An idea? What kind of idea?

Q    Well, do you know how much it was worth when they

bought it?

A    I would say under $10,000.

Q    Under $10,000?

A    Yeah.

Q    But you don't know how it was paid for?

A    No.

Q    Could have been paid for in cash?

A    Could have been.

Q    Do you remember when Ted and Patricia bought a Jeep Cherokee?

A    Yes.

Q    When was that bought?

A    I believe May, May of '95.

Q    So in the very year that your sister met her


unfortunate end, she and her husband bought a Jeep Cherokee; is that right?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Was that a new car when they bought it?

A    Yes.

Q    Do you know what the circumstances of that purchase were, whether it was a cash purchase or what?

A    No, I do not.

Q    Did she complain about the cost of the Jeep Cherokee to you?

A    Yes, she did.

Q    Did she say it cost too much?

A    Yes. She was a little concerned that there were some extra options that Ted wanted on it, that she didn't, and they had a budget to work at, and it ended up a little bit higher than what they were looking for.

Q    So she was in favor of the vehicle, but she didn't maybe want leather upholstery or something extra on it?

A    I could say that, yes.

Did it have leather upholstery?

A    No, it doesn't. No, it does not.

Q    Do you know what those options were?

A    CD player, sound system, mainly.

Q    Well, both Ted and Patricia had a considerable collection of CDs, didn't they?


A    I believe so, yeah.

Q    And it pretty much ran the gamut of all types of music, from sacred and spiritual music, all the way to rock and roll, didn't it?

A    Sure.

Q    Do you think that both of them, based on your knowledge of their lifestyle, enjoyed their music?

A    Probably Ted more than Patricia, but sure.

Q    Do you recall your sister buying a timeshare apartment in Williamsburg, Virginia?

A    No, I never knew that.

Q    You never knew it?

A    Not before her death, I did not.

Q    But after her death, you found out that she had bought a timeshare in Williamsburg, didn't you?

A    Sure.

Q    Did you have a chance to look at any of the paperwork associated with that?

A    No, I did not.

Q    Do you know how it was paid for?

A    No, I do not.

Q    Would it refresh your memory if I told you that it was paid for by putting an equity account on her residence?

A    I knew they had equity account, but what they bought with it, I did not know.


Q    So your sister bought a two-week timeshare in Williamsburg and never even told you about it?

A    Sure.

Q    Did you -- were you aware that she and Ted had gone up to Williamsburg to visit the town?

A    I do not recall. I -‑

Q    Would it be fair to say that there were many weekends when Patricia and Ted went out of town?

A    Sure.

Q    And could you tell the jury what kinds of weekend trips they took?

A    Various. They may -- like you say, may go to Williamsburg, to Busch Gardens, or just different places.

Q    Did they go on church-related weekend activities, also?

A    Sure.

Q    What's the furthest away from home you can remember them traveling?

A    I believe they'd been to Disneyworld, so -‑

Q    That's down in Florida?

A    Yes.

Q    Or out in California?

A    Orlando, Florida.

Q    Orlando. Did you hear Patricia complain about the cost of travel and that sort of thing?

A    No. That's something she enjoyed to do.


Q    She enjoyed doing that?

A    Yes.

Q    Do you remember what mode of transportation they would take, whether it was airplanes or --

A    Car.

Q    -- trains? What?

A    Car.

Q    Generally a car, even when they went as far as Orlando?

A    Yes.

Q    Did Patricia express any fears to you of a joint death, where she and Ted would be killed at the same time?

A    No.

Q    Were you aware of any plans that she may have made concerning a will?

A    No, I wasn't.

Q    She didn't discuss that with you at all?

A    No.

Q    Did you know that Patricia owned land in another county?

A    Yes, I --

Q    Had you seen that land yourself?

A    Not before -- not before her death, I do not believe.

Q    After her death -‑

(A man came in the courtroom.)

THE COURT: Wait just a minute.


MR. HATFIELD: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Can you not read, sir?

MAN: I'm sorry, Your Honor. I didn't see the sign.

THE COURT: Isn't there a sign on that door?

THE BAILIFF: Yes, sir, there is. There is.

THE COURT: There's a sign on there that says, "Do not come in when a witness is in the witness chair."

MAN: I apologize to the Court, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Well, I'm going to take some money off you, if you do it again. Now, step out and wait until the witness finishes.

(The man left the courtroom.)

THE COURT: We put a sign on the door out there, "Do not enter if a witness is in the witness box," and we've had five people walk in this courtroom. Either they can't read or they don't intend to honor it, one way or the other.  Put a contempt citation on the bottom of it. See if they understand that.  I apologize, but I'm trying to, you know, keep it as quiet as I can. I know you expressed a problem with people moving and going.  Try that and see if that works. If it doesn't, we'll put yellow tape across it.



MR. HATFIELD: Thank you, Your Honor.

So, most of the travel that they engaged in was by in the Jeep Cherokee, basically?

A    They did take the Subaru on occasions, I believe.

Q    Now, was the Subaru your sister's car, primarily?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Is that the car that you found at her house on October 9th, when you went over there in the evening?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    You stated on the witness stand a minute ago that at 8:21, you paged your sister from your house. Was that right after you had talked to Ted?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Did you expect to receive a call from Ted?

A    No, I didn't. The first time I had ever received a call from Ted to look for Patricia.

Q    Well, if you had never received a call from Ted before, how could you possibly know his phone number by heart?

A    I don't think you need to know a phone number to receive a call.

Q    Well, why would you know his phone number, if you didn't talk to him?

MR. PANOSH: Object to him arguing with the witness, please.

THE COURT: Overruled.


Q    Why would you know his phone number by heart, if you didn't regularly talk to him?

A    I have called Lyles. I didn't say I didn't talk with Ted. I said that he didn't call me and ask for Patricia, ask for me to look --

Q    So you knew his number by heart because of various times when you had to call the business to speak to him?

A    Sure.

Q    What was your usual purpose in calling his business?

A    I did buy things there every now and then, or I'd -­looking for Patricia or -- it's pretty -- I wouldn't say I called every day. I probably called once or twice a week or every other week or something.

Q    How often did you buy things from Ted?

A    Just depends how often I was building something.

Q    Building stuff around your house?

A    Sure.

Q    I assume you own your home?

A    Sure.

So you bought building materials to use on your property?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    On the day that Ted called you, at approximately 8:10 p.m., did he tell you where he was calling from?

A    Yes, sir.


Q    Where did he say he was calling from?

A    Said he was calling from Precision Fabrics in the -‑

Q    Were you aware -‑

A    -- break room.

Q    Did you know what he meant, when he said Precision Fabrics?

A    Yeah. I knew he had a second-shift job.

Q    And when had he taken that job?

A    Approximately a week or two weeks before Patricia was killed.

Q    Did you think there was anything unusual about his taking a laborer's job in the evening, when he worked all day long at a business that he owned?

A    Sure.

Q    Did you ask him about that?

A    No, I never talked with him about that.

Q    Was this the first time that he had called you since he took the job at Precision Fabrics?

A    Sure. Yeah. I believe it was.

Q    The church that you and Patricia belonged to in fact had an activity going on on Monday, October 9, 1995, didn't it?

A    There was a Bible study going on, yes.

Q    Were you -- was that a regularly scheduled class at the school -- at the church?


A    I believe there was a study called "Experiencing God" that she was involved in, and that was just beginning to start up on Monday nights.

Q    Was she the teacher?

A    She has been the teacher of that program before. I'm not sure if she had planned to be that time or not.

Q    Do you happen to know -- I know it's been a long time, but do you know why she was in attendance on that particular evening, or why she planned to be in attendance?

A    She was either taking the course or teaching the course, one of the two.

Q    Had she discussed that with you?

A    Yes, she had.

Q Well, before Ted called you on the evening of October 9, 1995, did you know that your sister was probably at the Bible class at her regular church?

A    I did know that she was supposed to be there, and Ted also said that she was supposed to be there.

Q    But separating the information that you had when you received the call from Ted, from anything Ted said to you, what did you know of your own knowledge? Did you know she was supposed to be there?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    How did you know that?

A    I -- it was common knowledge in the church that several


people were taking the "Experiencing God," and I knew she was involved in that.

Q    So it couldn't have been the first session of that class?

A    I'm not sure.

Q But you -- even on Saturday, you didn't talk to her, you just tried to exchange beeps, so it was awhile before October 9th that you had had any actual conversation with her; isn't that right?

A    Actually, I did talk to her on the 7th, which would be Saturday afternoon.

Q    You did?

A    Yes.

Q    That was after the yard sale?

A    I suppose so, yes. It's about -‑

Q    Well, wasn't she pretty excited, and told you the results of the yard sale?

A    I don't remember any conversation about the yard sale, no.

Q    Well, I don't -- I know it's hard to remember times gone by, and especially when it's associated with tragedy, but a minute ago, when I asked you if you'd talk to her on Saturday, you couldn't recall. Is it now your recollection that you talked to her Saturday afternoon?

MR. PANOSH: We object. He didn't testify to



THE COURT: Members of the jury, take your own recollection of the evidence.


Q    You talked to her on Saturday afternoon?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Who initiated that call?

A    I believe she called me.

Q    Do you know why?

A    I'm thinking probably because I had paged her, and she called back responding to my page earlier that morning.

Q    Do you think she -- Well, strike that. Trying your best to remember that Saturday afternoon call, do you think she mentioned going to church on Monday evening?

A    She very well could have. I do not remember that.

Now, what were you doing around 8:00 p.m. on October 9th? I assume you were home with your wife?

A    Yes, I was. I had just gotten home about 7:30. I'd been working all day in Raleigh with my dad, and I had just gotten home, taken a shower, and I was sitting down, I believe, eating a sandwich, when Ted called.

Q    Was that sandwich going to basically be your supper that evening?

A    Yes. I had to get ready and go to work that night at UPS.


Q    What time were you going to have to go to work?

A    10:15, 10:30.

Q    Did you pick up the phone yourself when Ted called?

A    No, I didn't.

Q    Your wife answered the telephone?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Did she have any discussion with Ted?

A    That would have to be her testimony. I'm not sure exactly what her words were.

Q    Did you hear her answer the -- did you hear the phone ring?

A    I heard the phone ring.

Q    Did you hear her answer?

A    No, I didn't. She had to go back in another room to pick it up. So I stayed in the living room.

Q    So when she told you that the call was for you, did she tell you who was on the line?

A    I do not recall.

Q    Did she -- was there any urgency in her voice when she spoke to you?

A    I do not remember.

Q    In any event, did you have to get up and walk to the phone, she didn't have one of these walk-around phones?

A    She handed it to me. It was a cordless phone.

Q    All right. And so, what was the first thing you heard


on the telephone call? Did you say, "Hello" or something like that?

A    Yes.

Then what did you hear?

A    Ted asked me if I had seen Patricia or knew where Patricia was.

Q    And what did you tell him?

A    I said, "No." I asked him if she was not at church, and he said, "Well, I don't know. I want you to call the church, because I do not have the phone number for the church. I want you to call and see if she was there."

Q    But based on your knowledge, it would have been highly likely that she'd be at the church, wouldn't it?

A    Sure.

Did you know the number of the church by heart?

A    No, I did not.

Q    You've been a member of the church for several years. I guess you just don't have to call it?

A    Not much.

Q    Did Ted ask you for the church number or ask you to call?

A    He asked me to call.

Q    Did you do that?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    And what did you find out when you called the church?


A    It rang. No one picked up. The answering machine picked up. And the answering machine was not going to help me any, so I just hung up, and then I tried to call her house and paged her.

Q    So, right after you called the church, you made the two calls that are summarized on this memorandum; is that right? In other words, you made the 8:21 p.m. call to her pager. Did you make any other calls, try to -‑

A    I made a call to her house.

Q    What's the number at her house?

A    At that time, it was 674-1148.

Q    And did you let it ring more than four times?

A    I'm sure I did, because it rang and rang and the answering machine never picked up.

Q    The answering machine never picked up?

A    No, sir.

Q    Subsequently, did you take a look at the answering machine, to determine whether it was turned on or not?

A    Which answering machine?

Q    Her answering machine at her house.

A    I did not go in the house. I let the firemen handle that.

Q    So you don't know whether her answering machine was on or off, or whether the phone had been damaged or whatever, do you?


A    No, sir.

Q    Now, a telephone line can ring even if there's no phone attached, can't it?

A    I do not know.

Q So after you called -- well, you weren't surprised when you called Patricia's home number and got no answer, because you fully expected she'd be at church, didn't you?

A    I was a little concerned at that point, because I knew the answering machine was usually on. I was a little concerned, yes.

Q    Well, how long would the class that she attended at the church have lasted under normal circumstances?

A    I would say it started at 7:00, probably get out around 8:30.

Q    So if she'd gone to the class as she had told you she was going to do, then there would have been no way she'd be home, would there?

A    Shouldn't have been, right.

Q    Well, then, if you called her home and got no answer, why would there have been any concern?

A    Because the answering machine didn't pick up, and there was concern in Ted's voice.

Q    There was concern in Ted's voice?

A    Yes.

Q    Now, were you concerned when there was no answer at the



A    The answering machine picked up at the church, and that's fairly normal for the office, no one to be in the office to answer the phone.

Q    So, based upon calling Patricia, when you knew she wouldn't be home if she was doing what she told you she was going to do, and calling the church and simply getting its answering machine, which is what you would have expected at that hour, you became so concerned then, that you decided to get in your vehicle and drive over to Patricia's house?

A    That concern stems from what Ted told me to do. Ted told me -- I asked him if I did not get an answer at the church, what did he want me to do, and he told me to go to the house and check on her.

Q    Well, didn't you think that was just ridiculous?

A    Yeah, it seemed very strange to me.

Q    And you'd been working all day down in Raleigh, you're -- barely time to eat a quick sandwich, you got to go right back to work, and Ted wants you to get in the car and go over to Patricia's house, because of what?

A    That was my concern. I didn't know.

Q    And you asked your wife to go with you?

A    At first, I was going to go by myself, and then she offered to go with me, so I obliged, and we rode together.

Q    You and she don't have any children?


A    No.

Q    Nothing else to do?

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Well, literally, you might as well go together, she didn't have any responsibilities at the house, if you were going to go out in the car for a few minutes; isn't that right, Mr. Blakley?

A    Sure. She could be cleaning the house. Actually, it was time for me to go to bed, so I'd have been glad to stay at home and take a nap before I had to go to work.

Q    So, wanting to have a nap, and your wife having plenty to do around the house, you change all of that and jump in the car and drive five miles, from Randleman down in Randolph County, over to Pleasant Garden in Guilford County. I don't see why you felt the need to do that.

MR. PANOSH: Object to the form of the question.

THE COURT: Do not answer that.

Q    I would like to know why you felt the need to do that.

A    I felt the need totally from Ted's persistence, and me going to the house and checking out where Patricia was.

Q    But when you told us about Ted's call to you, you did not describe any persistence.

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

You said –


THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    When you told us about Ted's call to you, you said it was -- he just told you that he tried to reach Patricia and she wasn't at home, which is not surprising.

MR. PANOSH: We object. That's not a question.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    You will agree with me that, based on your knowledge of her plans, she was to be at the church from approximately 6:30 or a little thereafter, until approximately 8:30 or a little thereafter; isn't that about right?

A    Sure.

Q    And you knew that from your communications with her on Saturday afternoon --

A    Yes.

Q    -- among other things --

A    Yes.

Q    -- didn't you?

A    Yes.

Q    So when you got the call from Ted, there was no reason for you to think that she would be at home?

A    As well there shouldn't have been a reason for Ted to think she would have been at home.

Q    So there would have been no reason to try to reach her at home?

A    Shouldn't have been.


Q    This is a young woman, six or seven years older than you; is that right?

A    Six.

Q    Very industrious young woman?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Worked all her mature life?

A    Yes, she did.

Q    I don't see --

MR. PANOSH: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    -- what your -- I would like you to tell us what it was that made a busy man like yourself feel this urgency to go and get in the car and check her house, when you had no reason to think she'd be there.

A    The urgency and concern from Ted just transferred to me, and I -- and I was concerned why he was concerned, so I didn't -- the house is five or six miles down the road, so I figured it would take 10 minutes there, 10 minutes back, and at the most, I mean, I wouldn't lose 20 minutes of sleep if there was nothing wrong, so why not check the situation out and be for sure?

Q    Did you tell Ted that, you know, there's no reason to expect her to be at home, because she's at the church?

A    No, I didn't. I don't recall saying that.

Q    Well, wouldn't that have been the logical thing to tell



MR. PANOSH: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. HATFIELD: I'd like to know what grounds that question is objectionable on, just since it's the beginning of a long --

THE COURT: You don't need to say that. I've sustained the objection. Move along.

Q    You beeped Patricia again at 8:31 p.m., when you were in your motor vehicle at that time?

A    I paged her from the house, with that number, because I knew we were getting in the car and going over there, so I went ahead and put my mobile number in.

Q    So in the memo here, marked State's 3, where it says "8:31 p.m., cellular phone, brother Reuben," you actually did that from your driveway?

A    Actually did that from inside my house.

Q    So it's like a pocket phone, it's not a -- not connected to the telephone -- to the car?

A    Actually, it's a cordless phone in the house that I paged her and put the mobile number in the pager.

Q    Okay. So, both these calls are made from the same telephone instrument, you just put different numbers into her -‑

A    Correct.


Q    -- pager, because you knew were you going to be in the car?

A    Correct.

Okay. Then, since that was at 8:31, then you and your wife walked out to your car and got in your car and started it up and started heading for Patricia's house?

A    Correct.

Q    And it's about five miles away?

A    Correct.

So would it be fair to say that you got to Patricia's house around 10 or 12 minutes after that was entered in her beeper?

A    That -- yes.

Q    Do you have any other means of knowing what time it was then, such as a wristwatch?

A    I had a clock on the radio in the truck.

Q    Do those clocks, those other timepieces that you could see, do they bear out -- back up these numbers? What I'm asking you is, do you have an independent knowledge of what time it was when you headed out to her house?

A    I remember -- I remember it being around 8:15 when Ted called, and I remember it being about 8:30 when we left, because the show we were watching on TV was going off. And I remember seeing my clock in the truck saying 8:42 when I was trying to call 911. Other than that, that's –


Q    When you -- did you -- you would have had to proceed toward her house on Highway 22; is that right?

A    Do you want directions from my house to her house or --

Q    Well, what was the last road you were on before you turned into the cul-de-sac where she lived?

A    It would be 22.

Q    When you were coming close to the turn into her cul-de-sac, did you see any other vehicles of any kind?

A    No, I did not.

Q    It was October, and so it must have been reasonably cool out; is that right?

A    I do remember having shorts on to go to work, and I got cold standing outside, so I would say cool.

Q    Did you have your window down or partially down in the vehicle?

A    I do not remember.

Q    Did you smell any smoke as you drove up?

A    I did -- I started to smell the hint of smoke as I was driving up the driveway into her house, yes.

Q    Now, did you make a left into her little street?

A    Yes.

Q    And then, how far is it from where you make the left off 22 to the beginning of her driveway?

A    Maybe less than a -- less than a tenth of a mile. I mean, it's just maybe a city block length.


Q    Maybe 100 yards?

A    Yeah.

Q    Now, at that time, her house was the only house on that cul-de-sac?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And it's literally a round, circular, paved area, isn't it?

A    At the end of the cul-de-sac, yes.

Q    And it's quite large for just having one house on it?

A    Never thought of it that way.

How long is her driveway from the paved part of the cul-de-sac up to the carport?

A    50, 60 yards maybe.

Q    So it's a fairly long driveway?

A    Fairly, yes.

Q    In October, were the leaves still on the trees?

A    I do not remember.

Q    Did you think that there was a fire in her house as you drove up the driveway and smelled the smoke, or did you think it was leaves burning?

A    I thought it was -- I was thinking that something was on fire. I do not recall remembering what, until I felt of the door in the garage and realizing that the door was hot.

Q    You stated yesterday that her car was parked to the left. Could you be more specific about that?


A    The driveway comes up kind of right to the center of

the garage, and there's a two-car garage. And she would be parked on the left, like going into the left side of the garage.

Q    Was the -- at that time, there were no garage doors; is that correct?

A    Correct.

Q    Was there anything in the right section of the garage?

A    No, sir.

Q    Would it have been -- was there enough space in the right section for a person to park an automobile?

A    Sure.

Q    Wasn't a riding mower or anything there, blocking the way?

A    Not in the right section, no.

Q    Do you remember where she customarily put her vehicle?

A    Yes. She would usually park the Jeep -- they usually parked the Jeep up underneath the garage on the right, and then they would -- she would usually park the Subaru kind of right behind the Jeep.

Q    So --

A    But it would not be in the garage.

Q    So normally, the right section of the carport was reserved for the Jeep?

A    Correct.


Q    So her pulling her car up to the left would have been quite logical, because it would have left room for the Jeep to come in and take the covered parking place closest to the door to the kitchen; isn't that right?

A Logical, I'm not sure. If there was no one else there, she was not expecting Ted home, I don't see why it would not be logical for her to park closer to the door.

Q    What was his shift at the time? Was it a full eight-hour shift?

A    I am not sure about that. I do not know.

Q    Did you have information that he would be out all night at this job, or would he just be out until midnight or 1:00 a.m.?

A    My impression was that he got off around midnight.

Q    So if he got off at midnight and came home in the Jeep Cherokee, just park it right in the normal space on the right side of the garage and go on in the kitchen door, wouldn't he?

A    He could, yes.

Q So where she put her vehicle on October 9th, when you found it, was where it would have normally been under most circumstances; isn't that right?

A    Possibly so.

Q    Now, you did not immediately approach the vehicle, when you got out of your vehicle, did you?


A    No, I didn't.

Q    What you did was, immediately go and try the door into the kitchen?

A    I felt of it, to see if it was hot. At that time, I seen smoke and smelled smoke in the garage pretty heavily, so I just felt of the door, to see if it was hot. I did not try to open the door.

Q    So even before you touched the door, you had

apprehension that there might be some real trouble inside?

A    Sure.

Q    Was it customary for the Kimbles to use the side door, rather than the front door of the house?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    You don't know of your own knowledge whether that door was locked at that time or not, do you?

A    I did not try the door. I do not.

Q    Now, you must have been extremely concerned when you felt the heat?

A    I was, yes.

Q    And so, what was the next thing you did?

A    My wife was getting out of the truck at that point, and I asked her to go check the front door, to see if it was hot, as well.

Q    Why did you not immediately dial 911?

A    I did on the way to the truck. My wife was checking


the front door, and I was on the way to the truck, to dial 911.

Q    Weren't you afraid that something would happen to your wife, if she touched that door?

A    No.

Q Were you familiar with the fact that your wife's -- or your sister's house had been broken into by intruders on at least two prior occasions?

A    Yes, I was.

Q    Did it occur to you on this occasion that the fire may have been caused by intruders?

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Why did you allow your wife to go up to the front door, when you knew that this particular house had been broken into on prior occasions, and you didn't know what was going on?

A    I knew that the house was on fire. I wasn't -- I wasn't concerned about an intruder coming and getting her.

Q    What telephone did you use to dial 911?

A    My mobile phone in my truck.

Q    At that point in time when you dialed 911, had you approached Patricia's vehicle?

A    No, I hadn't.

Q    All right. Now, after dialing 911, you asked your wife


to do something?

A    Yes.

Q    What was that?

A    I asked her to -- I tried to dial my father's number, and I barely had enough strength to go through 911, and the phone wouldn't pick up real well. And I couldn't get through to my dad, so I asked her to go to my dad's house and pick him up or tell him what was going on.

Q    So basically the battery was running down on the power supply and the phone was running down at that point?

A    No. It was just the signal strength. Battery would be my truck battery. It was fine.

Q    That's a cellular system?

A    Yes.

Q    You were just pretty far from a -‑

A    Yes.

Q    So you had to ask your wife to go to your dad's house. Did you know that he was home?

A    I felt pretty sure he was home and maybe in the bed, because he gets up real early and goes to Raleigh every day. And so -- and I had just left his house approximately an hour before then, so I was -‑

Q    And he was there then?

A    Yes. Yeah.

Q    Now, when your wife -- did your wife immediately pull


out of the driveway in your and her car?

A    In my truck, yes. She got in the driver's seat and backed down the driveway and headed toward my father's.

Q    So there you are standing all alone in the dark?

A    Waiting for the fire department, yes, sir.

Q    Now, at that point in time, you had not approached Patricia's vehicle?

A    Not yet, no.

Q    And what did you do next?

A    I walked around the house, trying to find some evidence maybe what was going on. I looked under the crawl space and seen fire up underneath the house. And I walked around the house, and I probably made one round around the house and Mr. Vickrey from the Pleasant Garden Fire Department was pulling in the driveway at that time.

Q    So it would have been literally no more than three minutes that he got there?

A    Not very long at all.

Q    At any point in time before Mr. Vickers (sic) came into the driveway, had you gone over to Patricia's vehicle?

A    No, sir.

Q    Now, after your wife pulled out, and before Mr. Vickers pulled in -‑

A    It's Vickrey.

Q    Vickrey. I'm sorry.


A    Yeah.

Q    You're right. After she pulled out and Mr. Vickrey pulled in, was it very quiet during that interlude?

A    Yes, it was.

Q    Could you hear the engine running in Patricia's Subaru?

A    No, I couldn't.

Q    Would you have been able to hear it, if it had been running?

A    Sure I could.

Q    So if it was still running at that point in time, you would have known, you would have heard it?

A    I would think so, yes.

The fire wasn't making any noise, was it?

A    No.

Q    Now, Brandon Station is a Duke Power sub-- electrical substation, isn't it? That's what it really is?

A    There's a switching station behind the --

Q    With a huge mass of wires, with chain link fences, keeping people away; is that correct?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And there are the usual bright utility lights keeping that thing lit all the time, aren't there, or at least during all -- during dark?

A    I do not recall if there's lights around there or not.

Q    So you don't recall any light coming from the location


of the substation --

A    No.

Q    -- switching station?

A    It was very dark at the house.

Q    Now, when the fireman came, did he ask you to move the vehicle, or when did that happen?

A    Yes. He asked me -- he stated that the vehicle may be in the way of fire trucks coming in and out of the driveway, and it would be easier if the vehicle was moved.

Q    Where were you going to move it?

A    I were just -- I was going to back it down the driveway and park it -- park it on Brandon Station Court there and try to get it out of the way.

Q    But when you got behind the wheel, you found the keys in the ignition, didn't you?

A    Yes.

What did you do then?

A    I tried to start the car, and it wouldn't -- it would not start.

Q    Do you know whether the -- whether it was in fact in the on position?

A    I just remember trying to start the car, and I couldn't get it started.

Q    So it could have been in the on position?

MR. PANOSH: We object.


THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Isn't it a fact that you don't know whether it was in the on position or not?

A    Sure.

Q    So it's just as possible that it was on, and that somehow the motor had stopped, as that it was off -‑

MR. PANOSH: We object.

Q    -- based on your knowledge; isn't that right?

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. HATFIELD: Your Honor, I'd just like this witness to answer the question.

THE COURT: Well, he's answered it, sir. He said he doesn't know.

Q    Did the engine turn over at all when you tried to start it?

A    I do not recall the engine turning over, no.

Q    Did you hear the solenoid made a quick --

A    No, I did not.

Q    -- clicking sound? You know what I'm talking about?

A    Yes.

Q    So the battery was absolutely dead, or some other electrical problem?

A    To my knowledge, yes.

Q    The engine was not receiving any power?


A    Correct.

Q    Did you try the lights?

A    Did I try the what?

Q    The headlights.

A    No, I do not remember trying the headlights.

Q    Then you don't even know whether the headlights were on when you got in the vehicle, because it had no power; isn't that right?

A    I do not remember the headlights being on, no.

Q    Would it be fair to say that you do not know why the battery was dead, or this vehicle otherwise had no power?

A    That's correct.

Q    Based on the time that you were out there at your sister's house on October 9, 1995, did anyone succeed in moving that vehicle?

A    No.

Q    Did they try to put it in neutral and push it away?

A    Not to my knowledge. After that, I had no more contact with it. I was more concerned about other matters at hand.

Q    Well, you did say that you found her pocketbook in the car?

A    Yes. It was sitting in the seat.

Q    And the beeper was attached to the pocketbook?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Could you see a display on the beeper?


A    I do not remember looking. I just remember glancing and seeing the pocketbook and the beeper sitting in the passenger seat.

Q    Did you attempt to bring up a display?

A    No, I did not.

Q    Did you look in her pocketbook?

A    No, I did not.

Q    So you have no idea whether her wallet or any money that she may have had or anything else was still there or not there or anything else?

A    I do not.

Q    Did you notice anything else inside the vehicle?

A    I do not remember noticing anything else, no.

Q    Did you feel the hood of the vehicle, to see if it had been recently operated?

A    No, I did not.

Q    Would it be fair to say that at that point in time, you simply weren't trying to figure out what time your sister had come home that day?

A    That's fair to say, yes.

Q    And you also didn't know what time she'd come home, did you?

A    That's correct.

Q    Now, you said that on September 28, 1995, you had a conversation with your sister and she mentioned insurance?


A    Yes, sir.

Q    And -- but she -- did she tell you that she already had some life insurance policies on her life?

A    No, she did not.

Q    Do you have any independent knowledge of that?

A    No, I did not.

Q    Can you -- prior to September 28, 1995, can you recall ever having a conversation with your sister about her

insurance coverage?

A    No, I do not.

Q    Did she mention any problems she had collecting from homeowners policies when there were break-ins at her house?

A    No, she did not.

Q    When you heard about the latter break-in, do you know whether property was lost?

A    The second break-in?


A    Yes, there was property stolen or missing, yes.

Do you know what that property was?

A    I remember some. I remember some of the -- seemed like one of Ted's cameras or something was stolen. I do not remember specific, no.

Q    Do you know who filed that claim?

A    No, I do not.

(Four people entered the courtroom.)


THE COURT: Wait just a minute.  Take them out. Let them read the sign.  Those four that just came in, go back outside the door, read the sign, and stay out there until the witness is finished.

(The four people left the courtroom.)

THE COURT: Proceed. Additional questions, Mr. Hatfield?

MR. HATFIELD: Yes, sir.

Q    She didn't indicate any difficulties in settling the claim the second time her house was broken into, at least none that had been communicated to you; is that correct?

A    The day of the 28th?

Q    No. At any time prior to that, between the time the break-in happened.

A    I do not remember that, no.

Q    So was the 28th of September 1995 literally the only time that you can recall discussing insurance with your sister of any kind?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And you stated that she had ongoing concerns about this process of lining up life insurance; is that right?

A    That's what she expressed to me at that time, yes.

Q    But you also said that she did not have any specific concerns?


A    On the 28th, she did not have specific concerns; is that what you're saying?

Q    Yeah. Isn't that what you're saying?

A    She said that she -- yeah, she expressed some concerns about life insurance that Ted had taken out on her.

Q    But didn't you say just a little while ago that she didn't have any specific concerns?

MR. PANOSH: We object, Your Honor.

MR. HATFIELD: If I could just ask him.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    Did you say a little while ago that she didn't have any specific concerns?

A    I do not remember saying.

Q    In any event, she didn't tell you that she was afraid of Ted or anything like that, did she?

A    No, not at that point, no.

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

THE COURT: Mr. Panosh?

MR. PANOSH: Yes, sir.


Q    In reference to the breaking and entries that Mr Hatfield discussed with you, did your -- do you know if your sister was afraid to go back in that house?

MR. HATFIELD: Objection.


THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    What, if anything, did you -- she tell you about her concerns about those prior breaking and entries?

A    She had some concerns about going to the house alone. She began locking her dead bolt every time she left, trying to prevent what she could. She was not at ease like she was when she first moved in, after the break-ins, obviously.

Q    And Mr. Hatfield discussed certain financial items that were purchased. Was there ever a discussion with your sister in reference to a motorcycle?

A    Yes.

Q    Would you tell the Court about that, please.

A    Ted wanted to buy a motorcycle, and she did not feel that they had the money to buy one, but also, she didn't want him to have one, because she cared about him enough to where she didn't want him to have a wreck and get hurt on one.

Q    Prior to her death, was a motorcycle purchased?

A    No, not to my knowledge.

Q    After her death, was there a motorcycle purchased?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    How soon after?

A    It's say within two to three weeks.

Q    Did you know where the money came from to –­

MR. HATFIELD: Objection.


Q    -- purchase that motorcycle?

A    I had a conversation with Ted, and he told me –­

MR. HATFIELD: Objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

MR. HATFIELD: He asked him if he knew where the money came from.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    I had a conversation with Ted, and he told me that most of the money come from a -- come off of a credit card that he paid, or used to pay for the motorcycle, and some of it come from -- he told me that the down payment or some of it come from money that the church had taken up for him.

Q    After her death?

A    Yes.

Q    And you're a member of that church?

A    Yes.

Q    What was the purpose of that collection?

MR. HATFIELD: Objection. This goes way beyond.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    To my knowledge, it was to replenish some of his clothes and different personal things that had -- he had lost in the fire.

MR. PANOSH: No further questions.

THE COURT: Mr. Hatfield?

MR. HATFIELD: Just one or two.


THE COURT: All right, sir.


Q    So the reason that Patricia was opposed to Ted buying a motorcycle was quite simply that they're dangerous; isn't that right?

A    That was one of the reasons, yes.

Q    Now, she could have easily just written a check for the thing off her equity account, couldn't she, if she didn't -­wanted to buy it?

MR. PANOSH: Object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Well, they could have gotten the money the same place they got the money to buy the timeshares up in Williamsburg, couldn't they?

MR. PANOSH: Object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    They were more than able to handle the cost of financing a motorcycle, weren't they?

A    I do not know that.

Q But you do know that the reason she didn't want him to have it was because she just didn't believe in motorcycles; isn't that right?

A    That was one of the reasons.

MR. HATFIELD: All right. Thank you. No further questions.


THE COURT: Step down, sir.

(The witness left the witness stand.)

Recalled on Thursday, August 13,1998

MR. PANOSH: We'd recall Reuben Blakley for a limited purpose.


THE COURT: Overruled.

MR. PANOSH: May I approach the witness?

THE COURT: Mr. Blakley, the Court will remind you you're still under oath, sir.

(Mr. Panosh placed exhibits on the witness stand.)

REUBEN BLAKLEY, being first duly sworn, testified as follows during DIRECT EXAMINATION by MR. PANOSH:

Q    Mr. Blakley, you've previously testified that you were the first person to arrive and discover the fire?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    When you walked around the house, as you've previously testified to, would you tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury whether the windows were open or closed.

A    All the windows were closed and all the doors were closed.

Q    And during the period of time that the -- there were


firefighters there, and were there civilian personnel that also came throughout the evening?

A    Yes.

Q    And are you familiar with the area where the picnic tables are?

A    Yes, I am.

Q    Do you know if any of the civilians who were present were congregating in that area of the picnic tables?

A    Yes, several. That's where most of us congregated, was around the picnic table and gazebo area.

Q    And you were waiting for the result of the firefighting efforts?

A    Yes.

Q    Now, drawing your attention to the photographs that I've shown you, State's Exhibits 8 and 9, do you see those?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Those show the door between the kitchen and the garage; is that correct?

A    That's correct.

Q    Are you familiar with that door prior to the fire, and the condition of that door prior to the fire?

A    Yes, I am.

Q    And what do you base that familiarity on?

A    Base it on several times going in and out of the door. But more specifically, I -- probably two to three years


before Patricia died, I had to break into that door myself, to let her in, because she had locked her keys in the house.

Q    Now, drawing your attention to the door and how it existed in the days prior to the fire, do you see any new damage on that door?

A    It -- both pictures look as if it was the week prior when I talked with Patricia. I had a conversation with Patricia and Ted both at the luau on September 30th about the door, and Patricia expressed concern to me that Ted needed to fix the door, because it was -- needed to be secured a little better than it was.

Q    Now, you indicated at one time you actually forced entry to that door?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    At the time, was the dead bolt in place?

A    Yes. Yes, sir, it was. But at that time, she frequently did not lock the dead bolt.

Q    Okay. And you're aware of the fact that there were breaking and entries?

A    Yes, sir. That -- the breaking and enterings were after the time I'd broken into the -- or forced entry or whatever into the door. And after the breaking and enterings, she had a lot more caution about locking the dead bolt. And I would say every time she left the house, she was sure that both dead bolts on the front and garage door,


they were secure and locked.

MR. PANOSH: No further questions.


Q    So you're saying that you assume that after those break-ins, every time she'd come and go, she'd use that dead bolt?

A    That was common practice, yes, sir.

Q    Was the dead bolt used on October 9, 1995?

A    The dead bolt was unlocked when the firemen arrived.

Q    How do you account for that?

A    Because they opened the door and walked right in. was the --

Q    Who did?

A    The firemen. I was behind them when they went in.

Q    So who unlocked it that day?

A    I do not know. I wasn't there.

Q    Are you assuming that Patricia locked it that morning?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Are you familiar with the keys that were found in the kitchen, after the fire?

A    I have not seen those keys.

Q    If the dead bolt was not locked on the morning of October 9th, how easily would it have been to get through that door?

A    Much easier than if the dead bolt was locked. You


could take a screwdriver of sorts, maybe get in it.

Q    Or just push it hard?

A    I don't know about push it hard. Maybe a little more effort than that.

Q    It's a glass door anyway, isn't it?

A    Most of it. It's got a wood frame around it.

Q    So anybody who wanted to get into the house and didn't care whether they did damage could just knock the glass out, couldn't they?

A    Sure.

Q    Or knock anything else out, couldn't they?

A    Sure.

Q    But on the occasion when you came and touched the door and found it warm, do you know whether that dead bolt was in place then?

A    I did not try to open the door, so, no, I do not.

Q    So you're just making an assumption that she locked it in the morning, and/or that it was unlocked later, aren't you?

A    Yes.

Q    Now, there was no power on and no lights on -- well, the power may have been on, but there were no lights on in that house when you got there around 8:30 and walked around the house, was there?

A    That's correct.


Q    So how could you tell whether any of the windows on the back side of the house were broken or not?

A    I looked at every window and every door as I went around the house, because I was looking for maybe evidence where one of them would have been open, where she -­somebody or her may have tried to get out.

Q    So what did you use to see them?

A    My eyes.

Q    Well, wasn't it dark?

A    It was not dark enough to where I could not see if the window was open.

Q    Do you know whether the air conditioning system was on?

A    It was not running when I went around the house, no, sir.

Q    But you -- that would mean the condenser on the outside of the house wasn't blowing?

A    Correct.

Q    But if the air handler, if it was on fan, you wouldn't have known that, would you?

A    I believe the way their heating system was arranged, that the fan was connected with the outside unit, so I could have heard it, if I'd walked around the house.

Q    Was smoke coming out of the vents for the crawl space?

A    I do not remember much amount of smoke. I remember smelling smoke, and I remember looking under there and


seeing flames underneath the house.

Q    That was when you opened the crawl space door?

A    Yes, I did that, also. I also could see flames through the foundation vents.

MR. HATFIELD: Thank you.

THE COURT: Step down, sir.

MR. PANOSH: May we approach on a scheduling matter?

THE COURT: Yes, you may.

(The witness left the witness stand.)

(Counsel conferred with the Court at the bench.)

THE COURT: Well, I want to thank you for your patience. I know it's been a long four days for you, and you've been good about being here on time and been very attentive. We're moving much faster than we anticipated, so we're going to give you tomorrow afternoon off and kindly let you take care of some personal matters that I'm sure you probably have not been able to do since you've been here in jury service. Our schedule is to start in the morning at 9:30 and we'll go until 12:00, or maybe a little bit after 12:00, depending upon the witnesses' testimony. But you'll have tomorrow afternoon off, and we'll not resume again until Monday of next week. Does everyone understand that? So if you've got weekend plans, you can go ahead and kind of schedule it and take care of it.


Again, remember the Court's instructions about the jury responsibility sheet. Have a nice evening. I'll see you in the morning at 9:30.

(The jury left the courtroom at 4:52 p.m.)

THE COURT: All right. You may declare a recess until 9:30 in the morning, sheriff.

(A recess was taken at 4:53 p.m., until 9:30 a.m. Friday, August 14, 1998.)



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