Skip to comments.Carr brothers not monsters, women insist [Wichita Massacre]
Posted on 11/07/2002 4:33:26 AM PST by KS Flyover
Juanita Culver found it hard to believe that the Jonathan Carr she knew could be facing the death penalty for a crime rampage that included multiple rapes, robberies and murders.
But District Attorney Nola Foulston wanted to clarify the crimes for the 73-year-old woman from Dodge City, who testified Wednesday in the penalty phase of Jonathan and Reginald Carr's capital murder trial.
Foulston showed Culver color crime-scene photos from a soccer field where four people were shot to death on Dec. 15, 2000, and asked: Did that change her mind?
"No, it doesn't.... I see that stuff, but it's very, very hard for me to believe it," Culver said.
Everyone the defense called Wednesday agreed the acts were brutal, but they didn't waver in their support of the brothers who have become two of Wichita's most infamous killers.
In challenging people who said they have seen the Carrs' humanity, Foulston made sure they also saw photos of the crime scene that have her now seeking the death penalty against the brothers.
But she couldn't budge them.
"My brain says, 'Juanita, just face the facts,' but my heart says 'I still love him,' " Juanita Culver said of Jonathan Carr, who as a teenager worked for her and her husband doing carpentry work.
"I found him to be one of the nicest, polite, kind, warm, giving -- he was the epitome of the finest young man," Juanita Culver told Jonathan Carr's lawyer, Ron Evans.
Foulston pressed on cross-examination: Did the picture of the murder scene look like the work of a warm person?
"I have to accept it, because you said it, but deep down, I can't believe it," Juanita Culver said.
She later added: "I feel so sorry for those people who lost those children."
But neither Juanita nor Leroy Culver wavered in their opinion of the Jonathan Carr they knew.
"He just was a child who wanted love," Juanita Culvert said.
Reginald Carr, meanwhile, seems to have inspired a host of faithful women who have not abandoned him.
Richele Kossmen spoke through tears as she talked about the 7-year-old son she had with Reginald Carr.
The boy "sees no evil; he just sees his dad," she said.
Kossmen cried when Foulston showed the crime pictures. Foulston then stood over the 26-year-old woman's shoulder and peered at Reginald Carr.
"I'm sorry you have tears in your eyes," Foulston said. "You see any tears in that man's eyes?"
Answered Kossmen: "I've never seen any tears in that man's eyes -- even when he was hurting."
As Foulston asked pointed questions between Kossmen's sobs, some jurors looked away from the witness stand.
"I don't know the person who could do this," Kossmen said.
Kossmen said she knew a Reginald Carr who provided no financial support, but regularly played with his boy -- when dad wasn't serving time.
"I think there's a boundary between the way he acts with children and the way he acts with other people," Kossmen said.
That's the Reginald Carr who Kossmen's son writes letters to in jail. She read one letter, "For Daddy..."
"I wish you would come back," the letter read. "I love you very, very much. I love when you play games with me...
"I'm a good boy like you tell me to," the boy wrote.
Reginald Carr hung his head, as Kossmen read aloud.
Foulston pointed out that Reginald Carr had been put in diversion as a teen on a charge of indecent solicitation of a child. When he robbed a Dodge City bookstore, the court in Ford County certified him as an adult. When he continued to get into the trouble, he went to prison.
"If Mr. Carr would walk out of here today, would you resume that relationship?" Foulston asked.
"I sure would," Kossmen said.
Kossmen also cried for the families of the dead and the woman who survived the shooting in the soccer field. She lived, despite a gunshot wound to the back of her head, and her testimony helped convict the Carr brothers of capital murder.
"I have every bit of remorse for those families," Kossmen said.
But she doesn't fear Reginald Carr: "He's the man who was good to my son."
Mandy Carr, Reginald's estranged wife, was pregnant with his second child on the night five people were raped, robbed and shot in the back of the head.
"You wouldn't want to tell your son about that, would you?" Chief Deputy District Attorney Kim Parker asked.
"No," Mandy Carr said.
But Mandy Carr has stood by Reginald through his troubles.
She married him after he went to prison for possession of methamphetamine, a year after they met. He was 16; she was 21.
Reginald Carr wrote poems to her. He drew cartoons and portraits from photographs.
Mandy Carr knows about the other women. She knows Reginald Carr came to Wichita, stayed with Stephanie Donley, and then went on a weeklong crime spree that ended with his arrest in Donley's apartment.
Wednesday, Jay Greeno, one of Reginald Carr's lawyers, asked Mandy Carr: "Do you feel he misled you... lied to you?" "Yes," she said.
"Has that affected your relationship?"
"No," Mandy Carr said.
Reach Ron Sylvester at 268-6514 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reginald Carr's wife tells jurors about his children
Last Modified: 12:51 a.m. 11/7/2002
By Roxana Hegeman - The Associated Press
WICHITA -- Mandy Carr told jurors deciding whether her husband should live or die for killing five people that she keeps the couple's children away from news reports of their father's crimes.
The Dodge City woman also testified Wednesday that she would like her children to have contact with their father, Reginald Carr, as they grow up.
Reginald Carr and his brother Jonathan Carr were convicted Monday on murder, robbery and sex crimes charges stemming from a nine-day rampage in December 2000.
Mandy Carr said she was already pregnant with the couple's son, Anthony, when Reginald Carr went to prison in 1996 on drug charges. She married him in 1997, while he was still serving time. Reginald Carr was released from prison on March 28, 2000, and that summer she became pregnant with their daughter, Regina.
Mandy Carr tearfully told jurors her husband has never held his infant daughter, who was born four months after his arrest for the killings.
Anthony began wetting the bed shortly after his father was arrested again, but he knows nothing about the specifics of the crime spree, Mandy Carr said.
"He understands his dad is in jail," she said. "He understands his dad is in trouble for not doing the right things."
Jurors returned capital murder verdicts in the Dec. 15, 2000, deaths of Aaron Sander, 29, Brad Heyka, 27, Jason Befort, 26; and Heather Muller, 25. All four were shot execution style in the back of the head as they knelt side-by-side in a snow-covered soccer field.
The brothers also were convicted of attempted first-degree murder of Befort's girlfriend, then a 25-year-old teacher, who also was shot in the head but survived to testify.
The brothers also were convicted of forcing the five friends to engage in sex acts with each other and repeatedly raping the women. The Carrs also were convicted of first-degree murder for the shooting of another woman, Ann Walenta, four days before the quadruple murder. She later died.
Reginald Carr also has a 7-year-old son, Devon, from a previous relationship with another woman. Rachelle Cossman, Devon's mother, testified Wednesday that her son has watched television news reports of the crimes his father has committed.
"Regardless of the things he has done, Devon sees no evil. He sees his dad," Cossman said.
Between sobs she read a letter the boy wrote to his father: "I love you. Why do you have to go to jail? I am being a good boy like you said. ... Sometimes I cry because I miss you. I am never going to do stuff like that because I am good," the later stated.
Reginald Carr looked down as Cossman read the letter.
Under cross-examination, Cossman said she wasn't concerned about her son being with Reginald Carr.
"I think there is a boundary with the way he acts with his children and the way he acts with other people," she said.
Defense attorneys introduced into evidence Wednesday the poetry that Reginald Carr has written to his wife since he has been jailed, and the drawings of Sylvester the Cat and Daffy Duck he has sent his son.
Mandy Carr said her son can't understand why he isn't allowed to be in the same room as his father when he visits him in jail now and doesn't like going to the jail. She said when Reginald Carr had been imprisoned earlier, the inmates were allowed to play with their children when they came to visit.
She said she has explained to the boy that his father is never going to get out of jail again and told her son she would mail for him any drawings he would like to send him.
"I try to explain to him my spiritual belief people have souls," Mandy Carr said. "And even when we do something that is horrible we still have a soul and God provides us with the grace to let that soul be saved. That is a hard thing for a five year old to understand. I don't know if he understands to be worried about a soul at this point. He worries more about what (his father) eats and where he sleeps."
Earlier Wednesday, David Preston, a retired doctor and former professor from the University of Kansas Medical Center, testified that brain scans performed on the Carrs showed a deficit in the metabolism in the part of the brain that handles short term memory and assigns risk to events and situations.
But he acknowledged under cross-examination that such deficits aren't uncommon, and that the scans aren't medically acceptable to predict or explain criminal behavior.
Reginald Carr also was convicted in a Dec. 7, 2000, robbery in which the victim was left unharmed. Jonathan Carr was found innocent in that case.
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For detais about the murders see: The Wichita Massacre
Wichita Massacre Trial Threads:
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Carr trial: Survivor describes sexual attacks by armed intruders [Wichita Massacre] Day 2 - 10/09/2002
Witchita Case of Black Racist Crime Survivor's testimony horrifies courtroom Day 2 - 10/10/2002
Woman testifies that Carrs killed her friends in a soccer field [Wichita Massacre Day 3] - 10/10/2002
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Carrs' mother testifies [Wichita Massacre] - 11/06/2002
TODAY: Scheduled to testify are several Wichita police lab investigators as well as relatives of some of the victims.
Maybe we can get them included in the witness list for his execution?
Talk about a diversionary program.
Sorry, I could not defend my family member or friend on this one. They would not call me as a defense witness, that is for sure.
"Has that affected your relationship?"
"No," Mandy Carr said.
Find yourself a good co-dependent, you can do whatever you want, including rape, torture, and murder. Sheesh.
Maybe somebody should inform Junior and the other kids that Daddy shot a poor little defenseless doggy in cold blood. Perhaps that will get through to them...
Ladies and Gentlemen, see the O.J. Juror mentality in action.
(Memo to Martin Luther King: Exactly when is that "Judge us by the content of our character" thing supposed to begin?)
I can already see this kid in therapy years from now. "My mother, the person who gave me life and whom I expected to protect me, chose a drug dealing adulterer to be my father. then told me that in return for cartoons and poetry, I was to offer my unthinking and unquestioning loyalty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence of my fathers viciousness and complete lack of remorse, pity and humanity. I remember going to the jail..."
Does she think that second graders are so protected that their classmates haven't already filled his ears with why his father is in jail? I'll bet that she has a license plate that says, "Only God can judge me." on her car. May God have mercy on this innocent child, spawn of an idiot and a demon.