The FAQ: The Murder of Anastasia WitbolsFeugen
Was Byron Case too sick to understand
his accuser's questions and statements?
One reason offered by Byron Case for his failure to challenge Kelly Moffett when she directly accused him of murder on June 5, 2001 was that he had been running a high fever at the time and was simply not coherent when he conversed with her that night.1Top of page
However, they had been speaking quite clearly and coherently for more than three minutes2 at the time she specifically asked him why he felt a need to kill Anastasia. He remained silent, then she repeated the question two more times, and then he told her "We shouldn't talk about this".3
His responses seemed more from a man with guilty knowledge being suspicious and guarded than a sick and incoherent individual.4 It should also be noted that once the subject had been changed he continued to converse about the investigation for a couple of minutes more.
He testified that he had been running a 103° fever and saw a doctor the day after that phone conversation,5 but the diagnosis he produced as an exhibit showed that he had a temperature of 101°, known as a low-grade fever, with no mention of confusion or disorientation. He was told to take an antibiotic (Pen-Vee K) and regular Tylenol. Nowhere in the doctor's diagnosis is any indication that he was too sick to communicate coherently. The jury was left with only his own unsupported claim of fever-induced confusion with no documentation to back it up.
In an online diary that Case kept right up to the day of his arrest,6 he wrote of his illness, but told of how he'd been walking around for the previous two days without knowing how sick he was, and that he'd gone to the doctor only because he was required to do so after taking time off from work, making his claim of delerium even less believable.