The FAQ: The Murder of Anastasia WitbolsFeugen
Did Byron Case resist arrest?
According to testimony in court by one of the officers involved,1 Byron Case fled from arresting officers and attempted to barricade himself inside his bedroom after they had clearly identified themselves as officers.Top of page
The significance of his action is that it suggested to the jury that Case knew that they were there specifically to arrest him, and that he had a reason to flee. It was not necessarily incriminating in itself, but did not help his claim of innocence.
Had Byron Case simply frozen, raised his hands, and questioned why officers were in his home (which could be considered a more natural reaction of an innocent person), it might have given his claims of innocence more credence. Instead, his attempt to resist arrest gave an indication to the jury that he knew exactly why the police were there and had fled in panic.
Case's web site claims that he "was dragged from his bed by a tactical police unit," as if he had been awakened by some sort of a home invasion, ignoring the fact that the arresting officer testified that Case turned and ran upon seeing officers, and then attempted to barricade himself in his room.1
The site further claims that Case "did not know it at the time, but he was being arrested for murder. Led to a waiting Sheriff's car in handcuffs, the only reply he got to his repeated questions was stern silence." The truth is that once Case was subdued and formally identified by officers, he was informed that he was under arrest for murder and was read his Miranda rights, including the right to remain silent. There is no record of him asking "repeated questions" of the arresting officers, though there is a record of him being informed of why he was being arrested.
One Case supporter is on record in a book as strongly suggesting that the Detective who testified at trial about Case's arrest committed perjury by offering more detail of the arrest than was included in his report, claiming that such detail was fabricated for the jury's consumption. Evidently, this supporter has not dealt much with police reports, which tend to eschew narrative detail in a general effort to give "just the facts". The Detective's testimony was consistent with the bare bones written description, but the additional detail does not prove any sinister motive on his part; if anything, it suggests a certain desperation on the supporter's part to invent controversy where there is none, possibly for no reason other than to sell his own book.