PWC Consulting


Ronnie Lee Kimble 


 Home   v  Search

 Timeline  v  Case File  v  Trial Record  v  Media Coverage





Cara Dudley, Witness for the State


MR. PANOSH: Ms. Young. Stephanie Young.

Ms. Dudley.

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

Q    Would you state your name, please.

A    Cara Dudley.

MR. PANOSH: Your Honor, this witness also is covered by the motion in limine.

THE COURT: All right.

Members of the jury, you need to step out again, please.

(The jury left the courtroom at 2:40 p.m.)

THE COURT: All right, sir.


Q    Were you acquainted with Patricia Kimble before her death?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    How did you know her?

A    We met in the fall of '91 at church. We became good friends. When I married in '92, she was in my wedding. And when she got married, I was her matron of honor.

Q    And that would have been May of '94; is that right?

A    When they married?

Q    Yes.


A    In the -- in the church wedding, yes. But they had actually married earlier.

Q    Did there come a time in the weeks preceding, two or three weeks preceding her death, when Patricia Kimble called you or spoke to you?

A    Yes. We talked frequently, and there were several conversations in the weeks preceding her death.

Q    And in one of those -- does one of those conversations stand out in your mind?

A    Yes.

Q    Would you relate that to the Court, please.

A    She called one evening. Her voice was shaky. She wanted me to know -- she was very upset. In case anything strange ever happened to her, she wanted me to know that she had discovered by accident that Ted had taken out a large insurance policy on her, without her knowledge. She said, "I did not sign it. He must have forged my name." And she said, "I know of no checks that have been written to pay for such a policy, that he must have paid cash for the policy."

She did not understand why he wanted such money -- so much money. They already had some insurance. She felt that that was very adequate, that all of this extra was -- she just couldn't understand why he wanted so much. She kept saying he would have so much money left over, even after everything was paid off, that he would just have this large


sum of money, and she just could not understand why he wanted so much.

Q    Did she also talk to you, make specific reference to a motorcycle?

A    Yes. She was upset because Ted wanted to buy something again, something more, this motorcycle. She didn't understand why a married man wanted a motorcycle to cruise High Point Road with. She just didn't think that was something, because he wanted to go cruising High Point Road, and she just didn't understand why a married man would want to do something like that. That was just not a married thing to do.

Q    Did she indicate to you whether or not she would allow him to purchase it?

A    She indicated that he had gotten the second job so that he could buy a motorcycle. He wanted the extra money, so that he could buy the motorcycle.

Q    Other than characterizing her voice as shaking, what did you determine -- or what did you perceive about her demeanor?

A    She was scared. She did state she didn't want to believe that he would do anything to her, but she just didn't know. She just wanted someone to know what she had found out, in case, as she had stated to me, anything strange ever happened to her.


MR. PANOSH: That would be the substance, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Do you wish to cross-examine the witness, Mr. Lloyd?

MR. LLOYD: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Do you wish to be heard?

MR. LLOYD: Just very briefly, Judge.

Judge, I made all the arguments before, we've all heard them, and I'm not going to replow that ground. One thing I would like to say to the Court that I probably didn't say before, that maybe I should have, it is very difficult for us, in the situation of defending Ronnie Kimble, when all these hearsay statements come up, which basically concern Ted Kimble. They don't have anything to do with us. And that's one of the problems these particular witnesses pose for us. And that's why it's distinguishable from these cases that Mr. Panosh has cited. We're talking -- those statements went directly to the defendant at trial. We don't have that situation here, Your Honor. And I would reiterate -- I'm not going to replow the ground we've already been over, but I would ask the Court to consider it. And it puts us in virtually an impossible situation here, because we represent Ronnie Kimble, we don't represent Ted Kimble.

THE COURT: Mr. Panosh?


MR. PANOSH: Your Honor, I made all the arguments before. We think it's extremely important to our case. We have to show a motive on the part of Ted, to show that he convinced this man to pull the trigger. And this definitely goes to his motive. It's admissible as to her state of mind.

THE COURT: Okay. The Court's going to find that the statements made by Cara Dudley are admissible under the hearsay exception under Rule 803(3), existing mental state. These conversations were two to three weeks prior to the

death, that they involved an emotional state of the victim, and her feelings, the fact that she was scared. And this is admissible, in that the Court finds the probative value would outweigh any prejudicial value. I will, however, instruct the court (sic) about they must consider this only in the event that there is a -- the State has proven beyond a reasonable doubt there is a conspiracy and this defendant was part of that conspiracy.

Bring them back.

(The jury entered the courtroom at 2:46 p.m.)

THE COURT: Members of the jury, the Court will caution you about the testimony of this witness, from the standpoint that her testimony may involve statements made by Ted Kimble, and the Court would again remind you that these statements would only be considered against this defendant


in the event that you should find the State has established beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a conspiracy, and that Ted Kimble and this defendant were co-conspirators. Otherwise, you're not to consider this against this defendant, if you do not find the conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt. And that's the extent that I can tell you about it right now.



Q    Ms. Dudley, did you know Patricia Kimble prior to her death?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    How did you meet her?

A    We met in the fall of '91 at South Elm Street Baptist Church. We became good friends. When I married in '92, she was in my wedding. And when she married, her church wedding, in May of '95, I believe --

Q    '94.

A    '94. I was her matron -- or maid of -- matron, yes. I was married then, matron. And we talked quite frequently. We were very close friends.

Q    In the two to three weeks preceding her death, did there come a time when she called you on the telephone?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And of those telephone conversations, is there one that


stands out in your mind?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Would you tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury about that telephone conversation.

A    She called me, and she wanted me to know that in case anything strange ever happened to her, that she had discovered by accident about a large insurance policy that Ted had taken out on her. Her voice was shaky, as mine is now, when she was relaying this to me. She just wanted someone to know, in case anything strange happened to her, that this large policy had been taken out. She did not understand why he wanted such a large policy, they already had insurance. She said he would have so much money left over, even after everything was paid off, if he got this large policy, which he had done, taken out. She said, "I never signed anything. He must have forged my name." She said, "He must have paid cash for the policy," also. She did not know of any checks that had been written to pay for such a policy. She just did not understand why he wanted so much money, to have so much money, if something ever happened to her. They, she already felt, had adequate insurance.

Q    Did she state to you whether or not -- how this information caused her to feel?

A    She was very upset. She did not want to believe that


Ted would do anything to her, because she loved him so much. But she just didn't know -- she just didn't know what to believe. And she just wanted to make sure that someone knew what was going on, in case anything strange, as she stated, ever happened to her.

Q    Other than describing her voice as shaking, could you describe her demeanor.

A    She was upset. She just -- I think she couldn't believe it. She just could not believe what was going on. She was definitely trying not to cry. She was trying to make sure I understood everything she was telling me.

Q    In the course of that conversation, did she discuss with you the -- a motorcycle?

A    That same week we had talked, she was -- she didn't -­again, Ted had gotten a second job. He wanted -­apparently, part of it was to use the money he had got at the second job to buy a motorcycle. She didn't understand why he wanted a motorcycle to go cruising High Point Road, because married men don't do that kind of a thing. She just -- she didn't understand why he wanted that motorcycle.

Q    She said that she had discovered it by accident. Did she say how she discovered it?

A    The insurance man had called her. She had thought at the beginning of the conversation that it was about, she mentioned dental insurance, that they had taken out some


other insurance. But come to find out, within the conversation she had with --

MR. LLOYD: Well, object to this, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. PANOSH: No further questions. Thank you, ma'am.


Q    Ms. Dudley --

A    Yes, sir.

Q    -- how long have you been married?

A    Six years on Saturday.

Q    And I believe you said that Patricia was married in May of 1994?

A    Her church wedding was then, but they were actually married secretly in December the year before.

Q    You participated in the church wedding?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    But you didn't know anything about the secret wedding in Danville, Virginia, did you?

A    No, I did know about it. She told me Christmas Eve the -- after the wedding.

Q    So just a few days after the secret wedding, she told you?

A    Yes, she did.

Q    Did you tell anybody else?


A    My mother and my husband.

Q    Was the understanding to keep it a --

A    Yes.

Q    -- relative secret?

A    I did encourage her to tell her family. I thought she needed to go ahead and get it out in the open. But she did not choose to do so.

Q    Do you know why she and Ted got married in December secretly?

A    I questioned her on that. She said that they thought it would be good for taxes.

Q    So Patricia was a very business oriented and conservative young woman about money?

A    Yes, she was.

Q    And yet, she was also very successful, wasn't she?

A    I'm sorry. I don't understand.

Q    Well, I'm sorry. She was pretty successful with money, too, wasn't she?

A    Yes, she was. She did quite well with it.

Q    And you say that in your conversations with her shortly before she died, that she indicated that she and Ted had no financial problem?

A    No, they did not have financial problems.

Q    And your impression was that her belief was, they could easily live within the means that they had; is that right?


A    Within, yes.

Q    And therefore, that she couldn't understand why Ted would want this part-time job that would keep him away from home in the evening?

A    Correct.

Q    Do you know when he began that part-time job?

A    I'm not sure, sir.

Q    Well, even after he got the job, he and Patricia continued to take their weekend trips, didn't they?

A    I don't know when he took the job, so I don't know what occurred after -- you know, during the time period he had the job.

Q    But isn't it a fact that Ted and Patricia took many weekend trips?

A    Oh, during the time, yes, that they were married, they

took --

Q    During the time they were married?

A    Yes.

Q    Both church-related trips, on retreats and things --

A    Uh-huh.

Q    -- of that sort --

A    Yes.

Q    -- and just entertainment trips to Williamsburg and things like that?

A    I remember mostly she talking about Florida, going to



Q    Do you know how many times she and Ted did that?

A    I would like to -- I think there were probably about two times. I'm not really sure.

Q    Did Patricia tell you that she bought a timeshare house up in Williamsburg, Virginia?

A    No, sir, she never told me that.

Q    She never told you that?

A    No, sir.

Q    Did you know that she and Ted had gone up there on several occasions?

A    I did not always know where they were going. I knew they went on trips.

Q    Did you know that even before she married Ted, that Williamsburg was one of her favorite places to visit?

A    I don't remember her stating that.

Q    Did you know her when she bought her house on Brandon Station Court?

A    Ever since I knew her, she had that home.

Q    And of course, that was her home in her own name, and not in Ted's name, wasn't it?

A    She owned it before they married, so I assumed it was in her name.

Q    Did you know that she borrowed a large sum of money against that house to buy this timeshare apartment up in



A    No, sir, I did not know that.

Q    Did she ever complain to you about this Jeep Cherokee that she and Ted bought?

A    All that she ever stated about the Cherokee was, she didn't understand why Ted had to have so many options on it. There were like, I think she said somewhere in the range of almost $4,000 of options that he had to have on this Jeep.

Q    So he was the more flamboyant, and she was the more conservative?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Now, but about the boat, she loved it, didn't she?

A    They -- yeah, and they loved going with the -- they went out a lot on it.

Q    So she spent a lot of time with Ted, even though he did have this part-time job at Precision?

A    They spent a lot of time, especially with the church groups, together with the church groups. There were a lot of gatherings at their home. When they had a -- we had lake trips with the church, I'm sure the boat and them -- they went on it all together.

Q    Without talking about anything that she may have said to you, I would just like to know if she ever discussed any of her personal relationships with people she knew before she married Ted.


A    Are you referring to any type of boyfriend?

Q    Did she -- I don't want you to tell about it, I just want to know if she had -- if she discussed her concerns at any time in earlier years.

A    I never knew her to date anyone, except for Ted.

Q    And other than the time you're talking about, a couple of weeks before she died in September of 1995, did she ever have a telephone conversation with you where she'd seemed emotional and upset?

A    Well, she died in October.

Q    I'm sorry?

A    You said September. She died in October.

Q    Yeah, she died in October.

A    Oh.

Q    She talked to you in September of 1995 on the telephone?

A    Yes. Okay.

Q    Other than that particular telephone call that you've already told about --

A    Uh-huh.

Q    -- were there any other telephone calls where she was really upset?

A    She was upset at one point, she called, when we were talking, that somebody had come by Lyles and had offered some stereo equipment for sale for a very few hundred


dollars, and Ted had told her about it, and she told Ted, "Don't buy it. It's got to be stolen. There's no way you get all this stereo equipment for free --" or for, not free, what she considered free, but for just a couple hundred dollars. But he gave the money to one of the gentlemen that worked there at Lyles, sent him to get the equipment. Ted told Patricia and Patricia told me that the guy went there, gave the person the money that was supposed to go get this equipment for exchange, but the guy never showed back up.

Q    So Ted was a fool and just lost his money?

MR. PANOSH: We'd object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    The upshot of your story is, Ted lost his money; is that right?

A    In the end, he ended up with nothing, yes.

Q    He ended up with nothing?

A    Yes.

Q    But what I was asking you about was, whether on any other occasion, except that one time in September of 1995, when you were talking to Patricia on the telephone, did she seem emotional and upset.

A    Well, that conversation I just told you about, she was upset with Ted at that point.

Q    So she was upset with Ted at that time because he had lost several hundred dollars?


A    Her main upset with him was that he was getting involved in something that she considered that would be illegal, buying stolen merchandise.

Q    And when was that conversation?

A    It was in -- within the last two or three weeks before she died, also. Because the night she called, Ted was at his job. So I'm thinking it was sometime in those last couple of weeks or month -- maybe a month. I'm not sure.

Q    So in the conversation about the stereo equipment, was Patricia crying?

A    No, she was not crying. She was upset, though, you could tell. She had a heated voice, and she was --

Q Well, was she upset because she was a good and sensible business manager, and she just didn't like to see money lost unnecessarily?

A    She was mostly upset about the fact that what he was involved in was what she felt was illegal. I think she was most upset by that fact, more than the money.

Q    So she was disappointed in what she found out about his character?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Now, when she called in this time in September, what time of day was it?

A    It was evening.

Q    Did she call you or did you call her?


A    She called me.

Q    Were you alone?

A    No. I was at home with my husband and son.

Q    How long did you and she talk?

A    It was not a very long conversation. Probably 15, 20 minutes.

Q    Did she launch right into her talk about Ted, or did she talk about other things?

A    Pretty much went right into that.

Q    After you hung up the phone, did you feel that you should maybe talk to somebody about Patricia?

A    I told my husband. And then several days later, I told my mother, also, because I was concerned.

Q    Did you tell your pastor?

A    No, I did not.

Q    Did you mention this conversation to Patricia again?

A    We never had the opportunity to speak alone about it.

Q    But she was virtually your best friend.

A    She was one of my closest friends. But we did not have an opportunity to speak alone about it after that conversation.

Q    But Ted was at Precision every week night. You could have called her any week night.

A    Sir, I have a full-time job, a husband and a child. My evenings are -- were very busy. At the time, I was


pregnant, too. So I had a lot going on in my life and was not able to probably keep up with her like I should have, especially after that conversation. I will regret that always.

Q    Now that the terrible thing has happened to Patricia, it seems awful that you didn't follow up, doesn't it?

A    Thank you for pointing that out again, sir.

Q    I'm not trying to -- I'm trying to do my job in this courtroom. I'm not trying to hurt your feelings.

MR. PANOSH: Object to the comments of counsel.

THE COURT: Sustained. Don't make any comments, Mr. Hatfield. Just ask your questions.

Q    You were very busy during that time. Did you -- was there anything about your activities that would let you help us know when in September this happened?

A    It would have been very late in September. The night she called, I was installing carpet in my bathroom. That carpet had been purchased several weeks earlier from Piedmont Salvage. And it was about three weeks, because I wasn't feeling real good at that point in the pregnancy. And that night she called, I was in the bathroom installing the carpet.

I also a couple days later told my mother. And then a couple of days after that, my mother left on a cruise. And when she returned, she returned the day of the funeral -- or


the memorial service at church.

Q    So how long was the cruise?

A    It was a week.

Q    So this call would have been perhaps two weeks before Patricia died or --

A    About ten days when I talked to my mother. So it was probably three days before that, so 13, 14 days before her death. I'm not specific of the actual date, but that's --

Q    Did you stay in touch with Patricia's relatives after she passed away?

A    We've seen each other at church quite frequently.

Q    Don't you know that there was no insurance policy on her life?

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    What information do you have about whether there actually was an insurance policy on her life?

A    That it -- I had known through the testimony that I've heard of --

MR. PANOSH: Well, we --

A    -- and through the newspaper --

MR. PANOSH: Object to what happened in the newspaper, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Don't you know, and didn't you know before this trial


started, that there never was an insurance policy?

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. HATFIELD: May I take one moment? THE COURT: Yes, sir.

(Time was allowed for Mr. Hatfield.)

Q    You said that Patricia was opposed to her husband getting a motorcycle?

A    Uh-huh.

Q    But her basis for that was, she just thought motorcycles were dangerous; isn't that right?

A    She thought they were dangerous, and she didn't understand why he needed something. They just -- they had the boat, they had the new Jeep. It was just another expenditure that he was making, that he may -- spent money quite frequently, that that bothered her.

Q    But she also told you that they had adequate money and didn't need more money?

A    She felt like they did not need any more money. But the fact is that Ted wanted to purchase more.

Q    Wasn't it -- wasn't the matter of the motorcycle settled because they bought the Cherokee, with the --

A    I'm not --

Q    -- understanding that --

A    -- aware of that.


Q    -- he would forget about the motorcycle?

A    I've never heard that stated.

Q    Are you sure that on that conversation a couple of weeks before she died, she was talking about the motorcycle?

A    I'm sorry. I'm --

Q    Are you sure that on that one conversation in September, a few days before your mom went on her cruise, that Patricia was actually talking about the motorcycle?

A    The few days before the cruise was when I told my mother about the conversation I'd had about the insurance policy with --

Q    All right.

A    -- with Patricia.

Q    But isn't it possible that your recollections of Patricia's opposition to Ted buying a motorcycle go back quite a bit further?

A    I don't believe so, sir. It was just -- it was a conversation -- a conversation right prior to the conversation in regards to the insurance.

Q    So you're saying that she told you that she had gotten word from an insurance man that a policy was being negotiated for or purchased on her life? You did say that, didn't you?

A    She had -- well, when he called, he began talking about a policy, and she thought it was the dental, but somewhere


within the conversation, it came to her knowledge that it was not the dental that he was speaking of, that it was a large insurance -- life insurance policy.

Q    Right. And what I'm asking you is, isn't it possible that she just made no reference to a motorcycle when she was saying these things to you that day, that the motorcycle was

A    No, sir. No.

Q    She was not?

A    She was definitely talking about an insurance policy.

Q    I understand she was talking about an insurance policy. Are you sure she was talking about a motorcycle?

A    The prior conversation before that? Yes, sir.

Q    Now, you said that she mentioned to you that there'd been break-ins at her house?

A    Yes.

Q    How many break-ins at her house had there been, of your knowledge?

A    I believe there were two.

Q    Was she married to Ted when both of those took place? A    I believe they were both before her marriage.

Q    So, once Ted moved in with her, he took steps to protect the house from further break-ins?

A    I'm not sure -- I know he had helped put a lock back on at one point. I don't know what other steps he took.


Q    Do you know whether they bought a burglar alarm system? A    I don't know anything of that.

Q    Do you know whether Patricia was actively involved in the management of Lyles, the building business?

A    She had done the books at one time, but Ted had kind of pushed her out of doing the books.

Q    But she had something to do with helping to purchase it, didn't she?

A    Lyles? The little bit I know about the purchase of it was that her -- his parents, I believe, had taken out like a second mortgage, to help them purchase the business.

Q    Do you know whether Patricia had made any arrangements with the insurance man to make sure there was insurance to cover those debts?

A    I know nothing of that.

Q    So, even though you and she were best friends, you really didn't discuss the Kimble finances, did you? A    Not about the business or anything like that, no, sir.

Q    Do you know whether, after you had your conversation with Patricia about the insurance, that maybe she confronted her husband, Ted, and that they had some conversations about that themselves?

A    I don't know what occurred after that. I never did get to speak with her again on the policy in any way, shape or form.


MR. HATFIELD: Thank you very much.

THE COURT: Step down, ma'am.

(The witness left the witness stand.)



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

© PWC Consulting.  Visit our website at for information on our Mission and Services, and to sign up for our Newsletter.