THE COURT:Page 358MS. CRAYON:Is the State ready to proceed with opening statement?THE COURT:Yes, we are, Your Honor.MS. CRAYON:You may do so.THE COURT:May it please the Court.MS. CRAYON:Ms. Crayon.MR. LANCE:Counsel.MS. CRAYON:Yes.Ladies and gentlemen, four and a half years ago the lives changed drastically for a group of people who live in this community.
Page 359Families lost children. Friends tried to make sense of the senseless tragedy and criminal charges have resulted.
Now, those losses and that tragedy that we're going to all hear about this week centered around four young people and the events of what happened on October 22, 1997, in Jackson County, Missouri.
Of those four young people, two are now dead. One is going to be a witness before you this week. And one sits here charged with murder in the first degree and armed criminal action.
Anastasia WitbolsFeugen was 18 years old when she was shot in the face and left for dead in Lincoln Cemetery.
Lincoln Cemetery is just east of here. If you take Truman Road and drive straight out heading towards Independence. She is left for dead and she is not found until the next morning by a sheriff's deputy who is on routine patrol. She was 18.
The second young person you're going to hear about, his name is Justin Bruton. Justin was Anastasia's boyfriend.
Page 360And at age 20, he took his own life by way of a 12-gauge shotgun outside an abandoned building in De Soto, Kansas, which is just near Lawrence. And he is found days after Anastasia -- within 48 hours -- and he's found by the Johnson County Sheriff's Department.
The third young person is Kelly Moffett. Kelly is going to be a witness this week. She is going to come and talk to you probably today. Kelly, well, she is 19 now. At the time of the murder, she was 15. She had just turned 15 the week before.
And she is going to come in and tell you that she was there; she saw what happened; and that it was her then boyfriend, Byron Case, who did it.
And that leaves the fourth person, who is the defendant in this case who is facing charges of murder in the first degree. He's now 23 years old. He was almost 19 at the time. He was a month short of 19.
Now, you're going to hear from lots of different people. One of the people you're going to hear from is a Deputy Epperson.
Page 361Deputy Epperson works for the Jackson County Sheriff's Department. One of the things he's going to do for you is he's going to try to give you an idea of what the area looks like and the layout, because that's going to make a difference as you're listening to testimony throughout this case.
What he's going to tell you is that 435 cross-sections with Truman Road. He's going to tell you there is a couple of businesses, which include an Amoco gas station or Standard gas station, several book stores, Erotic City that are lined right approximately here as you come off -- as you cross under 435.
He's going to tell you that crossing Truman at some point, this is 24 Highway, and he's going to tell you that Blue Ridge runs right here. He's going to tell you that on either side of Blue Ridge are two cemeteries.
The first is Mount Washington. The second is a smaller cemetery called Lincoln. This is where Anastasia WitbolsFeugen was found killed.
Page 362He's going to tell you there are two entrances to both cemeteries. Each one has one that comes from Truman Road. Now, the one for Lincoln Cemetery, he's going to tell you there is a little dirt road that comes up and connects them into Lincoln Cemetery off of Truman.
There is an entrance to Mount Washington from Truman Road. There is also one off 24 Highway, and across from that is a Dairy Queen. You're going to hear about all of this as people testify.
Deputy Epperson is also going to tell you that he was the one who discovered Anastasia. He's going to tell you he was on routine patrol. He worked the middle of the night, and about 3:45 AM on routine patrol, he came in Lincoln Cemetery; and he came upon a body of what appeared to be a young woman with massive facial trauma is how he described it and that, when he saw her and once he realized that she was dead, he did what he was supposed to do.
He called, reported it in, got people to come out and help, roped off the area. And he's going to tell you that there was no identification on Anastasia. They weren't able to immediately identify who she was.
Page 363And he's going to tell you that he had contact with a man at about 7 in the morning. Deputy Epperson, his job became to kind of watch the perimeter and not let people come in and out.
He's going to say a man named Glenn Collier -- Colliver, excuse me, came up to talk to him. Identified himself as the caretaker of Mount Washington Cemetery. And he's going to tell you that "he came up to me, and he said 'I heard that you found a young girl in here killed. Let me give you some information that I have.'"
And Glenn Colhver proceeds to give him some information which eventually helps them identify who Anastasia is.
Now, Glenn Colliver is going to come in and testify. He's going to tell you he managed that Mount Washington Cemetery for 50 plus years, and he recently retired. He's going to tell you he was working on October 22, which was a Wednesday, and that about 5 o'clock, while he's making his rounds in Mount Washington, that he comes across a young woman who is sitting at what is known as the Nelson Mausoleum.
Page 364He said she was just sitting there and she was by herself, and he estimates that was about 5 o'clock on the 22nd.
He's going to say he didn't have any conversation with her. Just smiled at her, waved and went on.
He's going to tell you that a couple of hours later he sees her again at the same spot, but this time she is with three other people and they're in a greenish colored Honda.
And he's going to tell you that sometimes, when he sees kids sitting around in the cemetery, he takes down license plates. These kids didn't cause any problem. They just left. He had no contact with them. But he kept the license plate number. And that at 6 o'clock the following morning, on the 23rd, he comes in contact with Anastasia's father, and Anastasia's father is sitting outside the gate of Mount Washington Cemetery about 6 in the morning looking for his daughter.
Page 365"She hasn't come home. Do you recognize her?" He has a picture. And Glenn Colliver is going to tell you he did recognize the picture, and it was the woman he had seen at the mausoleum on two separate occasions that evening.
And he's going to tell you, once he heard that they had found someone up at Lincoln, he immediately went up and made contact with the deputy and gave him the information that he had.
And he had more information from Anastasia's father, because he had his phone number. So he passed that on to the deputies, and that's how they were able to figure out it's Anastasia and do the identification that's necessary to confirm it.
Now, the other person you are going to hear from is a Diane Marshall. Diane Marshall is Anastasia's stepmom. She is going to come in and tell you about Anastasia.
She is going to tell you that Anastasia had lived with her and her dad for about the last year, along with Anastasia's younger sister, Francesca.
Page 366She is going to tell you what Anastasia and Francesca moved in. Anastasia was starting her senior year at Lincoln Prep, and Francesca was going to be a freshman. They lived there the entire school year.
She is going to tell you that Anastasia graduated from high school and that right after graduation she moved in with her boyfriend, Justin Bruton, who she hadn't known for very long, but Justin had a condo down on the Plaza, and Anastasia wanted to go to UMKC like Justin was and wanted to live there with Justin; and that's where she moved right after graduation.
She is going to talk a little bit about how Justin and Anastasia's relationship appeared to her; that they got along well, except toward the end of the summer, things started getting a little rocky, and Anastasia was very upset. She wanted the relationship to work out very badly, and Justin wasn't being very committal to her. Very committed.
Page 367And so they had back and forth, on and off again. And she is going to tell you Anastasia would come home towards the end of the summer, like in August or early September, to stay at the house for a couple of nights and then she would go back and stay at Justin's. It was on and off again.
She didn't get too involved in the specifics of it, but she is going to tell you that was the climate of the relationship. And that in October 22nd, she was actually staying more at the house with them, not at the condominium.
She is going to tell you that day, just like any other, she picks Francesca up from school at Lincoln Prep. Francesca is in a guitar club. She plays guitar and she is in a club after school.
She picks her up between 3:30 and 4 o'clock. She drives Francesca home to the house, and when she arrives, she is going to tell you Anastasia is standing there, coat on, in the entryway wanting a ride.
Because Anastasia didn't have a car, she had to depend on somebody either picking her up or dropping her off.
Page 368She is going to tell you, "She asked me for a ride. She wanted to go meet her friends. She needed me to drop her off at the entrance to Mount Washington Cemetery," and she is going to tell you that's not very far. "Just a couple minutes' drive from my house."
Diane Marshall is going to tell you she did that. She dropped Anastasia off, and that then she left from there and went over to her own mother's home where there is a renovation project going on at the house, and that's what she started doing.
She is going to tell you about an hour later, she got a phone call from Anastasia's father, and she decided she was going to go back and check to see if Anastasia was there, because they had had word that maybe Justin wasn't picking her up.
She is going to tell you, "I went back. I looked. It was about 6 o'clock. She wasn't there. So I just came back, and I went back to work at my mom's house."
She is there until Anastasia's father shows up at about 9, and she realizes no one has seen her.
Page 369Anastasia is gone, and she'll explain to you how the family responds to that that night and how they find out the next day that Anastasia has been killed.
The other person you're going to hear from is Anastasia's sister, Francesca. Now, Francesca is going to come in and talk to you about her sister. She is going to talk about the relationship she observed between Anastasia and Justin. There is three years difference between the two of them.
So she is, what? fifteen years old at the time that this happened? And she is going to tell you that, on October 22nd, on that Wednesday afternoon, her stepmother, Diane Marshall, picks her up at school, brings her home.
When they get there, Anastasia is dressed and ready to go. It seems pretty upbeat, and she specifically remembers her saying she was going to meet Justin. Seemed like she was in a really good mood.
And she'll tell you, you know, Anastasia was very up and down about Justin, and this seemed like an up mood. She was anxious to go meet him. She asked for a ride, and her stepmother, Diane, agreed to do so.
Page 370She is going to tell you they left probably about 4:15-ish, and about 10 or 15 minutes later the phone rings. Francesca is going to tell you she answers it, and it's Justin Bruton.
And Justin asks for Anastasia. "Is she there?"
And Francesca is going to tell you she said, "Well, no, she is out meeting you out at Mount Washington."
And that Justin says, "I didn't think she had a ride."
And she goes, "Well, yeah, she is down there. She is ready to meet you."
And Justin says, "Well, I'm over here in Lenexa. All right. All right."
And that's how they ended the conversation. They hang up.
Francesca is going to tell you she didn't think much about it. She knew Anastasia was going to be waiting a little while for him to come.
Then she has a conversation with her father. The dad is upset. "What do you mean she is dropped off there and Justin is not picking her up?"
Page 371And then she receives a phone call from Diane Marshall saying, "I'm going to stop by and pick you up. Do you want to go by and get your hair cut? I'll go by and see if Anastasia is still out there."
And Francesca will tell you that's what happened. And as she is being dropped off to get her hair cut, Diane is telling her, "I'm going to go check and see if Anastasia is there. I'll be back to pick you up."
Francesca is going to tell you, when Diane comes back, she is going to tell you no, she is not there. She is going to tell you she assumed Justin made it out there and picked her up.
Then Francesca is going to tell you a little bit about her evening, how things progressed that night, and she went to a meeting at church, and she did some homework.
When she came back from her meeting at church and she is home, mom and dad aren't there, and the phone rings again. She is able to figure out it's about 9:30 and it's Justin Bruton.
Page 372And this time Justin doesn't ask for Anastasia. He just starts in and says, "You know, Francesca, this is Justin," and here comes the story.
Okay, ladies and gentlemen, this is a story that comes out as to what happened from the beginning.
The story is from Justin to Francesca over the telephone: "Anastasia got really mad at me. She jwnped out of the car at about 435 and Truman Road. She wouldn't get back in. She stomped off and walked away, and I'm just calling to make sure she got home."
Francesca says, "She is not here. When did this happen?"
Francesca is going to tell you that she hears another voice in the background. It's his. And she recognizes the voice, and Justin also says, "I'm here with Byron."
She says, "Who are you talking to?" She says there is confusion. There is talking and whispering between Justin and Byron, and then they say, "About 8:30."
Page 373And Francesca says "that's how I know it was 9:30 when he called, because my reaction was she's been out there an hour?"
And Francesca is going to tell you that she says to him, "You know, if something happens to her, it's your fault. You know that."
And they ended up hanging up.
Now, she is going to tell you that later a very short amount of time passes, and her stepmother and her father come home. And there is phone calls, et cetera, and that she passes this information on to her father; and that is what ends up sending the father out to look for Anastasia. And he drives around at night.
Francesca is going to tell you she went to bed. She got up the next morning, and she says her dad had already been out that morning again looking.
She goes to school and Diane is the one who picks her up eventually later that day and tells her the news about her sister.
Page 374Now, the other person you're going to hear from is Kelly Moffett. I told you Kelly is 19 now. She turned 14 one week before this homicide -- she turned 15 one week before this homicide.
She is dating the Defendant, who at that time is 18. Almost 19. She met him, she is going to tell you, when she was in eighth grade, and he had graduated high school.
They started to date, and her parents weren't happy about it, partially because of the age difference, and that they spent the summer of 1997 together an awful lot. Saw him practically every day.
In the course of spending all of her time with the Defendant, she spent a lot of time with Justin and Anastasia, because the Defendant and Justin Bruton were like best friends.
And she'll tell you that the Defendant lived in Justin's condo quite a bit. He stayed there most of the time. He didn't get along with his family, and he stayed there.
She is going to tell you that Justin and Anastasia had a good relationship at the beginning. They were living together there. They were talking about being in love. Getting married. Everything was fine.
Page 375And over the course of the summer, things started to not be fine. It's the end of the summer. Justin started to pull away from the relationship, and she'll tell you that drove Anastasia crazy.
Anastasia wanted this relationship. Was very focused on it. That's all she could talk about, and that, when they would break up, Anastasia couldn't do anything but worry about where Justin was, what he was doing.
She didn't call Kelly so much because they weren't quite as close, but she was calling Byron Case all the time.
We're talking about late August, early September, through September to early October, that time when the relationship is on again, off again.
And she is going to tell you that she observed the Defendant and Justin Bruton together an awful lot because they were best friends, especially during that time when Kelly was in school, she is going to tell you, but Anastasia wasn't hanging around with them very much.
Page 376And the boys would talk a lot. Over the course of the summer and in September, these boys would talk a lot about these schemes is what Kelly will call them. These schemes that they would come up with. Things they were going to do, like blow up a church. Put a bomb or plastic explosive up in the spiral of the RLDS Church out in Independence, try to get some ransom money.
The other scheme that Kelly is going to tell you about that she specifically remembers them talking about, and Anastasia being part of that conversation as well, is Justin Bruton -- involves Justin Bruton's parents.
Justin was from Oklahoma, and you're going to hear testimony that his family was fairly well off; and they provided the financial ability for Justin to be able to go to school and have his condo and have his car and not have to have a job.
Justin portrayed his relationship with his family as not a good one and that one of his schemes was they were going to jump in the car, go down, rob his parents, kill them if they had to, and get money to live off of.
Page 377The kids would sit around and talk about it. Kelly would tell you they would talk about that stuff mostly when she wasn't there, and she would bear about it later.
She is going to say once or twice the Defendant, Justin and Anastasia, got in the car and started for Oklahoma. They didn't get very far. Turned around and came home. She is going to say this is something they did all the time. They always talked about doing things like this, and they never followed through. They were all talk, which will come into play in a moment.
On October 22nd of 1997, Justin and Anastasia's relationship was still tenuous. Byron and Kelly were still dating. Kelly is going to tell you, on that Wednesday, she came home from school, she laid down for a little bit, and she got a phone call.
It was the Defendant. And he said, "We're going to come pick you up to go hang out."
She says, "All right."
Page 378She is going to tell you the boys came in Justin's car, green Honda, picked her up. They went driving around. And she said she was sitting in the back seat. Justin was driving. Byron, the Defendant, was in the passenger front seat and that, while they're driving, almost immediately after she gets in the car, the conversation starts up, both boys are participating in, it is initiated by Justin, and it's initiated in this way, according to Kelly.
Justin says, "Hey, Kelly, who is my biggest problem?" And Kelly is going to tell you she guessed his parents.
He said, "No, no."
She goes, "Anastasia?" She is going to tell you the reason she. said that was because of the relationship, the way things were going, and Anastasia was calling constantly, wouldn't leave him alone.
And he said "Yeah. Wouldn't it be better if she wasn't around anymore?"
And Kelly is going to tell you at that point both boys start talking and participating in the conversation and telling her, "Yeah, we've been talking about it all day. We're going to kill her."
Page 379Kelly is going to tell you her first reaction is, "Yeah, right just like all these other times, all these other schemes that you have, all these other things that you're going to do, you never do it."
And that both boys really talk about it and try to convince her, "We're going to do it."
She says, "You don't even have anything to do it with."
"Oh yes we do. There is a gun."
"Where is it?"
"In the trunk."
She goes, "Neither one of you have guns. Where did you get the gun?"
Byron says, "I got it from my dad. My dad's house."
And then it comes out Justin says, "Well, I'm not going to do it, because I can't do it but Byron is going to do it for me."
And she says, "I looked at Byron and said, 'Why? It's his girlfriend. What are you going to do it for?"
Page 380And Byron says, "I just always wondered what it would feel like to kill somebody." And that isn't the first time she has heard that. He has said that to her before.
And she is going to tell you that they talked about it that day. They were going to find a secluded spot, because she is challenging him. She's saying, "It's broad daylight. There is no place to do anything like this. You're going to get caught."
They have an answer for everything. She says they clearly talked about it.
And she says that on the way -- that they're not very far from her house when they're talking about this and that they say, "Hey, she was going to meet us. Here, call her. Just tell her to meet us at the Dairy Queen out by Mount Washington."
Kelly is going to tell you she does that. She makes that call and she speaks to Anastasia and she says, "Meet us out at the Dairy Queen."
And Anastasia says, "Yeah, okay, no problem." And that Dairy Queen is across from Mount Washington Cemetery.
Page 381Kelly is going to tell you she doesn't recall any kind of stops between there, between making the phone call and reaching Dairy Queen.
But when they get there, they're in Justin's car. Anastasia comes out, gets in the front seat, and Byron gets in to sit in the back with her. And Byron ends up sitting behind Justin who is driving, and she is behind Anastasia in the passenger side.
She's going to tell you they crossed 24 Highway and went into Mount Washington Cemetery. They go to the Nelson Mausoleum. The idea is Justin and Anastasia want to talk about their relationship, and she is going to say that's not unusual. Anastasia always wanted to take him aside and discuss the relationship, which drove the guys crazy. Anastasia wanted to talk about it. So that's what they were going to do. They were going to give them some privacy.
Her and Byron were just going to sit in the car, and Anastasia and Justin were going to get out and have a conversation.
Page 382Also, during this drive, after the phone call to go pick her up, the boys have provided Kelly with some Jack Daniels, I believe it is, some alcohol; and Kelly says she started drinking some of it. Not a lot, but she had some. And she can't tell you whether the boys were drinking that day or not, that they had it. It wasn't full. But she said they had it.
So while they're at the Nelson Mausoleum, she goes we're barely there, they're going to get out and talk, and a car comes up from behind us; and they assume it's the grounds keeper or something.
So they say, "Let's go. We got to get out of here. We can't stick around here." So everybody is in the, car, drive off.
She says they leave Mount Washington the same way that they came in, out here. Now, Kelly doesn't know the name of these streets very well, but she'll say it was across from the Dairy Queen. We left the same way we came in, and they leave.
She's going to tell you that while her and Byron are in the car themselves, the same kind of conversation. "You're not going to do this."
Page 383"Oh, yeah we are."
"No, you're not." Back and forth. She just truly doesn't believe it's going to happen.
She is going to tell you, after they got back in the car and left Mount Washington, they drove a long a busy street, which is probably Truman Road, and that they end up, one of the boys, she doesn't remember which one, says, "This looks like it might be a cool place," and they make a right off of Truman Road and go up a dirt road and past what she calls like the stone building.
You're going to see some photographs when people are testifying, and this dirt road that comes up here, there is a stone building here right prior to the entrance into the cemetery.
She said, "We drove up into there, and I thought it was a park." She goes, "I didn't even know it was a cemetery."
Anybody who is familiar with -- or you'll hear Deputy Epperson talk about it.
Page 384Mount Washington Cemetery has very tall gravestones and mausoleums and things. Lincoln Cemetery has flat headstones that are down. There is no tall things. It's not a big -- not obviously a cemetery. That's what Kelly says. We went into an area, "I thought it was a park. There was a lot of trees. it was dark."
You could see the lights on for some of these people below in the cars on the busy streets. She goes, "We go up in there," and this is what she tells you is going to happen.
They pull up to a little circle area drive. Justin parks the car. She is going to tell you Justin and Anastasia get out. They go onto the passenger -- excuse me, the driver's side of the car. Justin is up towards the front of the car. Anastasia is towards the back. It's a small little Honda, and they're on the driver's side of the car.
She is going to tell you that her boyfriend, the Defendant, who is sitting next to her in the back seat says, "I'll be right back."
Page 385He gets out. He goes back to the trunk of the car. Pops the trunk, and she hears that, and she is going to tell you, "I'm sitting in the back seat, but I can see out. What I see is Justin standing there waving his arms saying 'No, Byron,' yelling his name and then saying something in German."
Kelly says I don't understand German, but they used to talk in German once in awhile. He's talking in German at him and yelling and waving his arms and that she can see Anastasia just a few feet away turning and looking straight at Byron at the trunk of the car.
The trunk is up, so she can't see what is Byron is doing at the trunk. She is going to tell you she sees Byron step forward. He's got a big gun. She can't tell you if it's a shotgun or a rifle. But it's a big gun. It's up on his shoulder. He points it right at Anastasia's face and pulls the trigger and she hears boom.
And at that moment she says I scream. I turn my face away and cover it, and when I look back, she is going to tell you that she sees Anastasia laying back on the ground, sprawled out like this. And then she hears Byron. "Get in the car. Get in the car."
Page 386And Byron then comes around and gets in the front passenger seat, and Justin gets in the driver's seat, and it is at that time Justin is going, "Didn't you hear me tell you don't do it? Didn't you hear me tell you to stop?"
And Byron's reaction to that is, "I couldn't. She already saw the gun. It was out. I couldn't back out at that point. This is what you wanted me to do." Kelly is going to tell you Justin is shaking. He's upset. In her words, he is freaking out, and she is going to tell you I'm in the back seat and I'm crying and I'm like, "Oh, my God," and Byron was calm through this. He's the one that's going to get them through it.
"Let's get rid of the gun. We have to get rid of the gun. We've got to get out of here. Go."
Justin drives out and Kelly is going to say that the gun gets dumped. Byron is the one that throws the gun. Both boys get out of the car.
Page 387She stays in. Byron is the one she sees throw it. She is going to try to describe for you where they do it. She calls it like an industrial area where there is some railroad tracks or something, and she sees Byron throw the gun over the railroad tracks.
She cannot tell you where that is, and you're going to hear testimony she went with Sergeant Kilgore from the Sheriff's Department later after they came forward with the truth as to where it happened, where the dumping of the gun was, and she can't find it. She doesn't know.
So the gun gets dumped, and what she tells you is that they then go back to the condominium, and on the way back to the condominium, Byron is like, "We've got to come up with a story. What are we going to say? Because when they find her, the police are going to want to talk to us."
So she is going to tell you on the way back and at the condominium the story is constructed. She is going to tell you she didn't participate in putting the story together.
Page 388Byron mostly did it. Justin did some too, and they came up with a story. And the story was they picked up Anastasia. She was mad. Mad at Justin for being late, which was true.
The four of them drove around and that, at one point, Anastasia looks at Justin and says, "I don't understand why you don't love me anymore.
And that Justin says, "You know, I can't tell you. I don't know either. Sorry."
And at that point the story is that at 435 and Truman Road Anastasia opens the door, gets out, slams it and walks away and that the three of them left in the car to drive off heading in towards Kansas City, leaving Anastasia at 435 and Truman, and she is walking away.
That's the story that they construct that night. That's the story that Kelly Moffett gives later. That's the story that the Defendant gives later. That's the story that the investigating agency has to work with. She just walked away.
Page 389They put it right about here. Right here at 435 and Truman Road near these shops. The story, Kelly is going to tell you, is constructed in a way that the boys are like, "Would you believe that, Kelly? Would you believe she would do that?"
And Kelly goes, "Well, yeah, I guess I would, because Anastasia is known to be hot tempered, upset about the relationship and said things like 'Don't you love me anymore? Why don't you love me anymore?"' And pushed it and pushed it and would get very angry. So the story made sense.
Kelly is going to tell you, after they met at the condo for a little bit, Kelly had a curfew. She had to get home. She is a freshmnan in high school.
Mom is going to be waiting, and they take her home. Both boys drive. I should tell you that, after the gun is thrown, Justin is so upset, he can't drive. So Byron takes over the wheel, and they drive back to the condo. They drive back to Kelly's house eventually, and they're going to drop Kelly home.
Page 390When they get home -- they get Kelly home, they have decided, "Now, Kelly, you've got to give this story to your mom, because this has got to seem real. And when we get in there, we're going to call Anastasia's house, because we're going to make sure we have called someone and covered our bases."
And that's what they do. Kelly runs in the house. Kelly tells her mom the story. And Justin Bruton makes a phone call about 9:30, according to Kelly, to Anastasia's house. Hence, the telephone call with Francesca WitbolsFeugen.
Kelly is also going to tell you that, after this happened, she continued to date Byron Case. She stayed with him. She is going to tell you it took about a month for all this to really sink in. It was like a bad movie. She couldn't believe this happened.
Byron told her, "You got to go into survival mood." That's what she did. She did as she was asked. She couldn't go to her parents. She didn't feel like she could go out on her own to do anything.
Page 391So she hung out with Byron Case an awful lot. Spent Christmas together. Byron's birthday together, which was less than a month later.
And then she is going to say that that night, after they make that phone call to Anastasia's sister, that Justin hangs up, and he's white as a sheet. And he says to her, "You're not going to believe what her sister just said to me." She just said, "If something happened to her, I'm responsible. It's almost like she knows."
And Kelly is going to tell you that the next day she went with her mother to visit her grandma. That was planned to do. That when she came home, she spoke to the Defendant on the phone, and Anastasia's death was on the news.
That's when they found out it was in a cemetery she was in. So she spends the night with the Defendant. The next day, Kelly's mother, at the request of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, brings Kelly and Byron down to the Sheriff's Department to give a statement. And they both give a statement.
Page 392And Kelly will tell you, "I told them the story that we came up with."
When they asked me, "Well, exactly where is this? Give me some idea of where this intersection is."
Kelly is not familiar with out in Independence, heading out that way, so she tells them, I just said, "Well, it was kind of like by the highway and some businesses were there." And she has a hard time describing whether it's under the bridge or this side of the bridge.
So she says, well, I can tell you if I see it. And after the statement, she tells the Defendant that that's how she handled it. So she is going to tell you the Defendant took her out there in ensuing days, and showed her here is the route. Here is where we're saying, so that, when she meets with Sergeant Kilgore again, she can give a spot.
Kelly is going to tell you over the course of the next two years -- now, the Defendant and her continued to date for about a year after that. She is going to tell you over the course of the next two years her life went in a downward spiral.
Page 393She is going to tell you, "I drank every day. I used all sorts of drugs. He wouldn't talk to me about it at all, and there was nobody left," because they had since found out Justin had killed himself.
And after Justin killed himself, they added something to the story. Justin bought a shotgun about a month before this happened. According to what Justin had said, he sold it too before it happened. But you'll see evidence that Justin did buy a shotgun in September. You're also going to see evidence of Justin buying another one the day he killed himself.
But they add this to the story at the Defendant's direction, because Justin is already gone. Let them blame Justin for this. There is no sense in raining two more lives over this. They'll let it go if they think Justin did it.
And Kelly is going to tell you she went through rehab over the course of these couple of years. She was in and out of crack houses. She was a mess. And she is going to tell you that, and she has addictions she still deals with.
Page 394And the thing that bothered her over the course of those two years, and she'll tell you it was totally destroying her, and the Defendant was just fine, that he was handling it, and that each time she would agree to go talk to the police again, he would get angry with her. "Just say you don't remember anything more. Just say it's been too long. You don't remember."
She comes forward eventually in September of 2000 to tell the truth about what happened. After all the addictions, almost, what? Three years --just short of three years after the homicide, after she has lied to the police repeatedly about it. The same story the Defendant is giving.
And she comes forward through a counselor, through her parents, she is given immunity by the State from prosecution for anything to do with the homicide or for lying to the police, being prosecuted for that crime, and she is given immunity for that to come forward and tell the truth.
Page 395She is going to tell us too that the Defendant -- her testimony is that he moved to St. Louis about that same time. She tried to talk to him before he came forward -- before she came forward. He wouldn't talk to her about it. He moves to St. Louis.
And she is going to say that she never voluntarily tried to contact him after that. She did, however, try to contact him after she came forward at the direction of law enforcement.
There was a device that she is going to tell you that was placed on her telephone to record telephone conversations that she might have with the Defendantif she was able to get a hold of him.
She is going to tell you about what Sergeant Kilgore came and put it on her parents' phone where she was living. All you had to do was push a button once she was able to get a hold of him, and it would record the conversation.
She is going to tell you while he was in St. Louis, she tried to do that several times. She kept getting a woman answering the phone, if anybody, and she said say "No, he's not here. He doesn't live here." Things like that.
Page 396Then, in the spring of 2001, just prior to charges being filed, she is told by law enforcement that he's moved back to Kansas City, and he is living at his mother's house. And she is asked,to try to contact him again there, and she does. And this time she is successful.
She uses the device on the phone, she pushes the button, and she records the conversation. That conversation happens about midnight, first week of June, and you're going to hear the tape of that conversation and follow along with the transcript, because the tape is very difficult to hear, some portions of it.
But a transcript has been prepared, and you will hear that as part of ft evidence. You're going to bear Kelly talking to Byron Case.
And she is going to be able to tell you it's his voice. "I recognize it." When she says, "Is this Byron. Is Byron there?"
Page 397She says he says, "This is him." And that she tries to get him to talk about the homicide. You're going to hear about how he doesn't talk about the homicide and how he tells her, "Don't talk to the police. Just say you don't remember."
You're going to hear all of that and be able to review the transcripts. There are two tapes. One has to do with that conversation, and the second one has to do with a follow-up conversation with him.
In the first conversation, she is going to tell you, "I made arrangements to try to meet him. We were going to meet at Loose Park." She's going to tell you she didn't make any arrangements beforehand to let law enforcement know about that. So she was given a directive, "Do not go. Given what we're dealing with, we do not want you to go without everything being fixed and ready to go.
So she doesn't show up. So when she tries to call him back, the second conversation has to do with, "You didn't show up."
Page 398"Well, can you just talk to me about this? Because the cops are going to talk to me again, and I have forgotten the story. I've been on drugs. I don't remember."
And that Byron Case's reaction is: "Don't talk to them. Just say you don't remember."
There are other witnesses, ladies and gentlemen, who are going to come in, and very briefly, after Kelly Moffett testifies, you're going to hear from her mom. Debbie Moffett is her name. And she is going to come in and tell you, "Yeah, he dated my daughter. This is what my husband and I thought about the relationship."
She is going to give you some insight into that day on the night of October 22nd that Kelly came home, she gave the story to her mom, that there was a lot of whispering going on downstairs. There was a phone call being made. Kelly Moffett can't tell you the specifics of all that, but it gives you an idea of what the atmosphere was like in her home that night.
Page 399Debbie is also going to be able to tell you that Kelly and her went to visit her grandmother the next day. When she came back, she spoke to the Defendant, found out about the death of Anastasia and found out about the death of Justin Bruton days later and how that affected Kelly. What she saw happen to her 15-year-old child after that.
And she is going to tell you that two of them wanted to go to Justin Bruton's funeral and that she drove them down there and what happened at that point.
Then she is going to tell you that she was the one who gave them a ride to give a statement to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department on Friday to try to help get the kids down there to tell.
She is going to tell you that Kelly maintained this story that was given originally to the police throughout that time and, again, what Kelly -- what she observed about her daughter during those ensuing two years.
The other person you're going to hear from is John Bruton. John Bruton is Justin's stepfather.
Page 400He's going to tell you about 9 something Thursday night he gets a phone message on the machine that Anastasia is dead and Justin is missing, and that phone message is left by the Defendant, calling down to the family to let them know Justin is missing; and they were looking for him.
John Bruton is going to tell you he tried to call Justin. He couldn't get an answer. Jumped in his car and drove from Tulsa, Oklahoma, up to Kansas City and arrived about 3 o'clock in the morning on Friday.
Sergeant Kilgore's card was stuck in Justin's door. He came in. He made contact with them right then in the middle of the night and stayed at Justin's condo through the remainder of that weekend.
He's going to tell you that Kelly and the Defendant showed up at Justin's condominium to speak with John Bruton on Friday night; that when they came in, Byron Case was the one who did most of the talking. Kelly hardly said a word. And that Byron Case told him Anastasia and Justin weren't getting along. Anastasia was in the passenger seat.
Page 401She asked, "Don't you love me anymore?"
The answer was, "No, I can't say that 1 do. I'm sorry." And that Anastasia gets out and stomps off, takes off. They stopped at a stop sign out there at that intersection.
He's given the story by the Defendant at that time, the same one that Kelly has been instructed to give to law enforcement.
He's going to tell you he sees the two of them again the next day on Saturday after they find Justin's body. And they come by and Justin's stepdad says, "Is there anything of Justin's that you guys would like to keep as a memento?"
And the Defendant asks for the cat, Pagan, the black cat. And the stepdad says, "I'm sorry. Justin's sister asked for that. Is there anything else?"
And they say, "No," and they leave. Those are his contacts with the Defendant and Kelly. And he'll also tell you they came down for the funeral. As far as he knew, they didn't even come in for the service. They sat outside.
Page 402And then the next person that you'll probably hear from is Jim Dodd. Jim Dodd is going to be a brief witness. He runs or he works at The Bullet Hole, which is a firing range and gun shop in Overland Park, Kansas.
He's going to tell you Justin Bruton came in Thursday morning at approximately 10:30, and he bought a 12-gauge shotgun and some shells. And he filled out the paperwork that he needed to, and he gave them a receipt like he's supposed to; and Justin went on his way.
And there is a video that was taken, not a very long one, but there is a video that shows it, because they keep that, and you'll see that too. Justin Bruton is not acting like there is any problem. He's going to tell you Justin Bruton was calrn. Didn't act shaken up about anything. Wasn't acting upset. Bought the shotgun and left.
And you're going to hear from Detective Scott Atwell. He's the Johnson County Sheriff's detective who headed up the investigation of Justin, his body being found. And he's going to tell you that it was on routine patrol.
Page 403The body was discovered behind an abandoned building. The car was there. Same car that had the license plate that was seen by Glenn Colliver two days or three days before.
He's going to tell you the injuries he suffered; that it was ruled a suicide by the Medical Examiner over there. And he's going to tell you it was obvious that Justin had been there a couple of days.
And the reason he can say that is because it had been raining for the last two days, that Friday and Saturday, drizzling on and off and that under Justin's body and under Justin's car it was dry, which led them to believe he had been there for awhile.
You're going to hear from a Detective DeValkenaere who works for the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department and very briefly he is going to describe for you the arrest of the Defendant, Byron Case.
There are some other people you may hear from. There was an area canvass that was done of those businesses along Truman Road to see if anybody saw anything or heard anything.
Page 404And there was one person that they had contact with, a Don Rand, who I believe you'll hear from through the defense. He worked at the Standard station. He believes he may have seen Anastasia, but no one else along there was helpful.
There is a woman named Dawn Wright who worked at the Dairy Queen who was going to verify Anastasia was there, and the State agrees with that, that she was at the Dairy Queen and she was picked up at the Dairy Queen.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have gone through a whole lot of information. What I'm going to ask you is, in the next two days, pay very close attention to what people are saying and how it fits in and why it makes sense.
Because at the end of the case, you're going to be asked to go up and evaluate people's credibility. Talk about what they said. Does it make sense?
We're going to ask you, after you have done that, to come back and tell Byron Case that you believe Kelly Moffett; you believe that he's the one who pulled the trigger, and he is the one who murdered Anastasia WitbolsFeugen on the 22nd of October.
I'm going to ask you to find him guilty of murder in the first degree and armed criminal action.
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