Woodworth Hearing – Live Blog

| October 3, 2012
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The Missouri State Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday in the case against Mark Woodworth, who is appealing his murder conviction in the 1990 death of neighbor, Cathy Robertson.

The proceedings come several months after Boone County Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler ruled that Woodworth was the victim of “a manifest injustice” and should have his conviction set aside. Oxenhandler was appointed in November 2010 as a special master in the case. Woodworth was found guilty by two different juries and is currently serving a life sentence.

KMZU will provide updates here.

  Woodworth Supreme Court Hearing (10/04/2012) 
10:25
[Standby]  The host is placing this Live Event into Standby Mode.
10:23
We will recap today’s hearing at noon on KMZU 100.7 FM.
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:23 
10:21
The hearing is now over.
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:21 
10:21
Ramsey said the prosecution presented a “substainally altered version of the true facts. It is ironic that the prosecutor in the second trial repeated this over and over again in her final argument to the jury. She was either totally ignorant of all of the activiites of these investigators in concealing and suppressing evidence.. or she knew.”
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:21 
10:18
Going back to an earlier reference (9:56 a.m.), June Cairns said she observed Brandon in her home on the morning of the shootings, directly contradicting Thomure’s alibi. Cairns observed Brandon talking on her phone to Cathy Robertson approximately two weeks before the shootings and threating to “slit her throat.” Matt Cairns testified that he heard Brandon say, “*** *****, I’ll slit your throat.”
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:18 
10:13
Ramsey is now discussing Gary Calvert and David Miller’s actions.

*Addendum: Ramsey said Miller testified that he got Woodworth’s fingerprints off a box of bullets. Ramsey said the crime scene video showed no bullets on the shelf. That argument by the state is absolutely fallacious.

Thursday October 4, 2012 10:13 
10:11
Ramsey is now speaking again. “The physical evidence was tainted.”
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:11 
10:11
The state concludes saying Woodworth was convicted on scientific evidence.
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:11 
10:09
The state aruges that there is no evidence that puts the gun in Brandon’s hands.
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:09 
10:08
Back to Duncan’s statements… Bruce is discrediting the “several” statements Duncan made.
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:08 
10:08
The state argues Woodworth’s incriminating statements and scientific evidence proves his guilt.
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:08 
10:07
Bruce: It was conclusive that the Robertson gun was not used to fire the bullets. If Lyndel saw who did, it makes no sense why he would spend $35,000 to find out who did it. Lyndel was telling the truth about what he saw and didn’t see.
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:07 
10:06
Bruce: The problem Mr. Woodworth has and still has is that’s not the reason the jury found Woodworth guilty. There is no evidence to put the Woodworth gun in Brandon’s hands.
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:06 
10:05
To clarify some of the people being discussed in this hearing, Terry Diester was employed by Cathy’s husband, Lyndel, to assist in the investigation.
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:05 
10:04
Bruce: Mr. Ramsey cannot produce admissible evidence as the result of the letters. Bruce said the defense thought they were going to present was Doug Roberts saying Lyndel said he [Brandon] did it. The Justice said there was a witness that Lyndel said Brandon did it (seven witnesses in fact). Brandon is the red herring. Neither jury convicted Woodworth based on the strength or weakness of Brandon’s statement/alibi. It was based on scientific evidence. Brandon “took the fifth” when questioned about alibi.
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:04 
10:03
They’re talking about the protective order. Rochelle has never testified, according to Bruce. “The defense cannot present new evidence, because it is not there.” Now the justice is asking about the state’s brief about the defense turning over all of their files.
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:03 
10:02
According to the special master’s report, Aaron Duncan encountered Brandon in 2007. Duncan claims Brandon threatened to kill him. While threatening to kill Duncan, Brandon referred to some clippings and documents regarding the Robertson crimes.
Thursday October 4, 2012 10:02 
9:59
The state said the statement made by Aaron Duncan about Brandon’s actions following the murder. The prosecution admits that is new evidence, but clarifies that is not credible or a “Brady” violation.
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:59 
9:57
The Justice is now asking about statements Brandon allegedly made.
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:57 
9:57
Bruce said the Cairns talked to the defense prior to the second trial. This is not new evidence. He said the officer spoke to them and we have a report. The evidence is not new and it is not credible. He is arguing that the defense had access to the police report and Brandon’s threatening statement. It’s not new. None of it is new. Nothing is new.
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:57 
9:56
The defense had the “Diester letter.” Trial counsel had that letter and they used it at the trial in cross examination. The letter did not reference midnight transfer. Bruce doesn’t think by Diester seeing the file that evidence tainted the state’s case. Bruce is now discussing the Cairns family statement about Brandon’s whereabouts and statements.
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:56 
9:53
Bruce is arguing that the defense understood how the evidence was transferred. “It wasn’t hidden.”
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:53 
9:52
They are discussing the “chain of custody.”
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:52 
9:52
Bruce: The defense counsel made a decision not to fight the fact that Diester had the gun. Where is one shred of evidence to suggest that somehow compromises the integrity of the conclusions in this case?
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:52 
9:51
Bruce: Diester did in fact take the gun and evidence to England. There is absolutely no suggestion the trial counsel didn’t know about it.
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:51 
9:49
Bruce: There is no new evidence. The Western District has found that. Maybe Mr. Ramsey didn’t know about it before. He hasn’t proven his case, or cause. Justice interrupts and asks about a citation in Bruce’s brief to any other case that says it is an obligation of a defendant to show their entire defense file to the prosecution to make a “Brady” case. Bruce said the defense has the burden of proof. The Justice said the master found based on the inventory produced by the prosecutor these items were not produced and that violated “Brady”. Bruce said that is in regard to the Lewis letters. Bruce said that is true. The Justice said there is not a question that the “protective order” were not in the file. Bruce disagrees with that. Bruce said the defense has not sustained the burden of proof.

Bruce: [Oxenhandler] had an insufficient basis for his claim. The special master was encouraged to speculate.

Thursday October 4, 2012 9:49 
9:48
Justice is asking about Diester’s relationship with Mr. Summers (examiner), the supervisor of the man who testified on behalf of the state. Diester allegedly had access to the bullet and gun prior to its transfer to England. Ramsey said two experts (KC Crime Lab and MSHP) were unable to say it was anything more than inconclusive.

Ramsey said there were documents released by the firm in England after the special master’s report. Ramsey said he had never seen the letter from Diester to Summers. Another letter to judge Lewis… a Justice interrupts Ramsey…

The fact that Diester had possession of the bullet came out before the special master’s report. Ramsey answers yes.

Thursday October 4, 2012 9:48 
9:46
Ramsey said Diester was given evidence without supervision… the bullet (Woodworth father’s gun).
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:46 
9:45
Another Justice is asking about Terry Diester… Diester said he was given access to the sheriff’s investigative file. Ramsey said Diester testified that it was a “middle of the night, park bench drop.” Ramsey is claiming case files were removed from the Sheriff’s office with no chain of custody or inventory.
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:45 
9:44
Ramsey: There were files missing from the Circuit Court.

Ramsey is referring to the Lewis letters.

Thursday October 4, 2012 9:44 
9:43
Ramsey: The information about the alibi was not included in the police report or contradicted by the state. Some of the “Brady” material we didn’t even find out until the evening before the hearing began.

He now talks about “deal making.”

Thursday October 4, 2012 9:43 
9:42
Justice: But what evidence do we have that a “Brady” violation did occur? How do we know they didn’t already have the evidence and chose not to use?
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:42 
9:42
Ramsey: There is prejudice. The state has attempted to have a piecemeal analysis of each piece of “Brady” material. When you consider the cumulative effect of the conduct, the defense was deprived of very powerful evidence. These officers were engaged in a pattern…
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:42 
9:41
The Justice is questioning “prejudice.” She said the state said the statements made by Matt Cairns were in the file. If it was in the police report, it was ineffective counsel for not using it, rather than “Brady” violation.
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:41 
9:39
They were successful keeping evidence about Brandon out in the first trial. Ramsey said the state hid evidence in the second trial that would destroy Brandon’s alibi.

One judge is asking about police failing to put in the file threats Brandon allegedly made to Cathy’s daughter. The state said that isn’t prejudicial. Ramsey says the Justice is mixing up the evidence about the Cairns statements and the protective order.

*Addendum: The special master’s report said Rochelle Robertson sought an ex parte protection from Brandon. Rochelle filed complaints alleging that Brandon violated her order of protection.

Thursday October 4, 2012 9:39 
9:37
Ramsey discusses the “Brady” materials. He said the prosecutor could have only made that statement because she had or didn’t know about some “Brady” material that had been suppressed. The Cairns family testified after hearing a news report and they testified by deposition that there were a couple of things that no one ever called them back. The Cairns family reported to officers that Brandon was in their home the morning of the shootings, when his alibi had him in Independence. The Cairns family said Brandon made threats to Cathy. Basically, “Brady requires that a petitioner prove that evidence favorable to the petitioner was requested but not disclosed and that petitioner therby suffered prejudice.”
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:37 
9:35
Ramsey: “I have felt in preparing this case sometimes a daunting and sometimes even crushing sense of responsibility not only to Mr. Woodworth, but to the integrity of our profession.” He quotes Justice John Paul Stevens opinion in the Kyles v. Whitley case. He called Oxenhandler’s review “exhaustive.” Ramsey said during the second trial the prosecutor argued that the Robertson’s weren’t worried about Brandon Thomure. “Rochelle was still dating him. It is ludicrous to say there was a controversy.”
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:35 
9:34
Ramsey is speaking now. He says it has been 20 years since he was in the courtroom. Justice: “I’m sure you will do just as well as you did 20 years ago.” Ramsey: “I’m not sure how well I did back then.”
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:34 
9:32
Today’s hearing is expected to last about 30 minutes.
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:32 
9:32
The docket is being read. Woodworth is first. The representatives for the defense and the state introduce themselves. Woodworth is being represented by Robert Ramsey. The state is being represented by Ted Bruce (assistant attorney general).
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:32 
9:31
The absent judge will still review today’s hearing.
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:31 
9:30
They are seating five judges, one will not be in court today due to a death.
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:30 
9:30
Court is now in session.
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:30 
9:27
We have interviews with both Ramsey and Susan Ryan, a spokesperson for the Robertson family on kmzu.com. Click the link below to listen to their interviews:



http://www.kmzu.com/state-v-woodworth-both-sides-speak/
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:27 
9:22
According to Woodworth’s Attorney Robert Ramsey, Woodworth is not expected to appear in court today.
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:22 
9:20
The Missouri Supreme Court is getting ready to review the case against Mark Woodworth. The Chillicothe resident was twice convicted in the 1990 shooting death of his neighbor Cathy Robertson. The Supreme Court appointed Boone County Judge Gary Oxenhandler as a special master in the case. Oxenhandler wrote in May 2012 that Woodworth was the victim of “a manifest injustice” and deserves to be freed or have a third trial.



The high court is not expected to rule immediately following today’s hearing.
Thursday October 4, 2012 9:20 
 
 

Related Stories:

Mo. Supreme Court to Hold Hearing in Woodworth Case

Oxenhandler Stands by Woodworth Ruling

AG’s Objections Rejected in Woodworth Case

AG Files Protest in Chillicothe Murder Case

Woodworth to Remain in Prison

Woodworth’s Lawyer Files Motion for Bond

The Woodworth Trial: Key Players

Judge to ‘Pore Over’ Woodworth Letters

Former Prosecutor to Testify in Woodworth Case

Chillicothe Man Indicted by Grand Jury

Trial Date Set for Man Convicted in ’90 Slaying

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