Skip to comments.A LOOK BACK AT THE PROSECUTION'S CASE (180 FRANK)
Posted on 07/02/2002 11:03:37 AM PDT by FresnoDA
A LOOK BACK AT THE PROSECUTION'S CASE
(07-02-2002) - The prosecution began its case with emotional testimony from Brenda and Damon van Dam.
"I asked that the room not be cleaned. So we put one of the dog gates up and put a 'do not enter' sign on the door," said Damon van Dam as he talked about Danielle's room.
"Do you need a moment, or are you able to continue?" asked prosecutor Jeff Dusek on the second day of the trial.
"I'll try. I'll try," replied Damon van Dam as he began to get choked up.
Brenda van Dam then took the stand on the third day of the trial.
"Who is your next child?" asked Dusek.
"Danielle," replied Brenda, sobbing on the stand.
"How old was she?"
"She's seven," said Brenda as she began to cry.
They answered a number of questions about Brenda's "girl's night out" and smoking pot the night Danielle disappeared.
Denise Kemal also talked about their lifestyle.
"So you never engaged in sexual relations with Damon and Brenda van Dam?" asked defense attorney Steven Feldman.
"Yes I did, but with Damon. It was more of a swap," said Kemal.
After that, testimony focused on Westerfield's wanderings. And the prosecution played a portion of Westerfield's tape-recorded interview with police.
"This whole story sounds weird to everybody else, but it make perfect sense to me," said Westerfield.
The prosecution pointed out inconsistencies in Westerfield's story. He said he left Silver Strand because it was cold, but campers testified it was a nice day.
He also said he didn't have his wallet, but an employee said Westerfield showed it to him.
"He pulled out his wallet and showed me four, three or four twenty dollar bills," said Silver Strand employee, Donald Raymond.
Then at Galamis, a tow truck driver said he thought he heard Westerfield talk to someone. And there was an inconsistency in Westerfield's testimony about his trailer.
The physical evidence was then introduced, starting with two fingerprints next to the bed in Westerfield's motorhome.
"This print, or these two prints from this handprint was made by, were made by Danielle van Dam," said SDPD fingerprint analyst, Jeff Graham.
"How certain are you?" asked prosecutor Dusek.
"Absolutely certain," replied Graham.
And DNA experts testified that bloodstains on Westerfield's jacket and in his RV were without a doubt from Danielle. But when it came to fiber and hair evidence, the experts were not as certain.
An orange fiber in Danielle's necklace and blue fibers around her body matched fibers in Westerfield's laundry. And five fibers similar to Danielle's carpet were found in his RV.
"I believe these carpet fibers from 74, 60, and 155, could have come from Danielle van Dam's bedroom," said SDPD criminalist, Tanya Dulaney.
Experts also testified that Danielle's hairs and 24 hairs similar to the Van Dam's dog were found in Westerfield's laundry, trash, bedding, dry cleaning and RV.
Westerfield, 50, is charged with kidnapping, murder and misdemeanor possession of child pornography in the disappearance and killing of 7-year-old Danielle van Dam. The self-employed design engineer could get the death penalty if convicted of the felony charges.
Today, an expert on animal genetics is expected to testify as the prosecution's final witness in the trial of accused child killer David Westerfield.
Dr. Joy Halverson, a canine DNA specialist with QuestGen Forensics in Davis, testified yesterday during a six-hour closed-door hearing held to determine if prosecutors could call one more witness.
Oliver Ryder, a UCSD adjunct professor, who has published articles on mitochondrial DNA, also testified at the hearing.
Superior Court Judge William Mudd is scheduled to announce his decision on the final prosecution witness when the trial resumes this morning.
Mudd has told defense attorney Steven Feldman to be ready to call his first witness today. Feldman has indicated he should be able to conclude his case by July 15.
Feldman told the judge he plans to call insect expert David Faulkner to the stand to try to pinpoint the time of Danielle's death.
In his opening statement, Feldman said the child's nude body could have been placed off a road in Dehesa as late as February 16, a dozen days after his client came under 24-hour surveillance by law enforcement.
Prosecutors theorize that Westerfield, a twice-divorced father, killed the Sabre Springs second-grader and dumped her body at the East County site shortly after she disappeared February 2. Volunteer searchers found the girl's decomposing body on February 27.
Westerfield was arrested February 22.
CTV cut away from the nice neighbor man who says the MH was unlocked at times...Lisa Bloom must be having a cow by now.
OK, we now have the possibility that the motor home was left unlocked, but they cut away before I could find out if the kids played in there....go figure..duhhh.
Run for cover, Brenda and Damon...the process of elimination is getting closer to YOU!
I guess tomorrow morning, if CTV so inclines, we'll hear the whole testimony...sigh.
I'll be out of here by One'ish or so tomorrow...hope to get caught up from these threads by the time I get back the next day...sw