Testimony and cross examination of Don Rand
State of Missouri v. Byron Case
May 1, 2002.
Pages 987-1001

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Direct examination by Mr. Lance, page 987
Cross examination by Ms. Crayon, page 994

Summary

Mr. Rand's direct testimony was that at about dusk on the evening of Anastasia's murder, he saw an attractive young woman of average height1 get out of an eastbound car and walk east to and past the Amoco station where he then worked. His testimony noted that the woman was possibly arguing with an occupant of the car, and that she appeared to be angry or upset as she walked past the Amoco station,2 and that he lost sight of her at about Erotic City. He testified that he had been shown a couple of photos by police a day later and had identified Anastasia out from the photos.3 He stated that he had never met the defendant, and had no reason to help him out.

Upon cross-examination, Mr. Rand acknowledged that in his original statement to police (on the day after the murder), he had been unable to tell at all whether there was an argument going on, and that he could not tell at all whether the woman he saw was upset.4 He also clarified that of the two photos he had been shown, one was of Justin Bruton, and the other of Anastasia.5 He also denied remembering any meeting6 with Tara McDowell7 and any conversation regarding the murder case with her.

Mr. Rand's identification of an eastbound vehicle8 was of little or no use to the defense, as Case's alibi specifically stated that Justin's car was westbound at that point. His definite description of the woman he saw being of "average height, 5 foot 6 or 7"9 was at odds with the fact that Anastasia was noticeably short at 5'2". Mr. Rand's having apparently embellished his testimony to the benefit of the defense after similar behavior by the previous two witnesses, and his denial of having communicated with another witness (Tara McDowell) after that witness' earlier admission of having done so gave the jury a further impression of coached testimony.


Page 987       (Don Rand direct testimony)
THE COURT:
Ladies and gentlemen, I think there are two short witnesses that are available to us that we anticipate to be very short or rather short. So I think we'll go ahead and bear those since we started late, hear those witnesses, and maybe take a little later lunch if that's all right with you. With that being said, Mr. Lance you may proceed with your evidence.
MR. LANCE:
Defense calls Don Rand.
THE COURT:
Sir, if you would come forward.
DON RAND, having been duly sworn by the Court testified:

DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. LANCE:

Q.

For the record, please state your name.
A.
Don Rand.
Q.
And where are you currently working, Mr. Rand?
A.
Warehouse One.
Q.
Where is that at?
A.
7800 East 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri.
Page 988       (Don Rand direct testimony)
Q.
Did you work at that same job back in October 1997?
A.
No, I did not.
Q.
Can you tell the jury where you were working back in October of 1997?
A.
Truman Road Amoco, comer of 435 and Truman Road.
Q.
And when you worked there back in 1997, what was your job or job title?
A.
Mechanic.
Q.
All right. Do you understand we're going to ask you questions about the evening of October 22nd 1997?
A.
Yes.
Q.
Do you recall if you were working that specific evening?
A.
Yes, I was.
Q.
Can you recall what shift you worked?
A.
Two to ten every night.
Q.
Two to ten?
A.
(The witness nodded.)
Q.
On the evening of Wednesday, October 22nd, did you notice anything unusual happening with any vehicles or pedestrians in the area of your job?
Page 989       (Don Rand direct testimony)
A.
I recall a young lady that either just gotten out of a car or was in some type of an argument with somebody in a car at the light of Truman Road and 435 eastbound and from that point on she proceeded to walk away from the car before the light had even changed.
Q.
All right. And you're inside the Amoco station
A.
Yes, I was.
Q.
-- working, but you saw this happening. This may be a very tough question. Do you know how many feet away from you the stoplight is where she got out of the car?
A.
100 feet maybe. Maybe a little more.
Q.
Was this during the daylight or dusk or after dark?
A.
Oh, it was dusk or just a little bit after dark.
Q.
All right. Since it was a little after dark, were you able to get a really good look at the young lady?
A.
Not until she got up close to the station.
Q.
Okay. Let me ask you that. After she got out of the car, which direction did she walk?
A.
East.
Q.
Which would have been in the direction of your gas station?
A.
Yes.
Page 990       (Don Rand direct testimony)
Q.
So you got a better look at her at that point?
A.
Yes, I did.
Q.
I believe there is a pay phone in that area?
A.
Yes, there is.
Q.
Do you remember whether or not she stopped to use the pay phone?
A.
No, she did not.
Q.
She just kept walking east?
A.
Kept walking east up the hill.
Q.
East up the hill towards Independence?
A.
Yes.
Q.
Right on Truman Road?
A.
Right on Truman Road.
Q.
Did you speak to the young lady at all?
A.
No, I did not.
Q.
Can you give the jury -- I know it's been a long time but can you give the jury a general description of the young lady?
A.
Probably about 5'6", 5'7" maybe, 130 pounds maybe, dark hair. Not really dark, but brown hair.
Q.
Anything else you remember about her?
A.
She was fairly good looking.
Q.
Do you remember feeling at the time she was atractive?
Page 991       (Don Rand direct testimony)
A.
Yes.
Q.
Mr. Rand, do you know the defendant, Mr. Byron Case?
A.
No.
Q.
Any reason to come in here and help him out today?
A.
Never seen him before in my life.
Q.
That same week in October, did the police contact you?
A.
Yes, they did.
Q.
Can you remember in proximity to that evening, can you remember when the police contacted you?
A.
It was either the next day or the day after that. It was like a day or so right after it happened.
Q.
Do you remember the name of the officer who contacted you?
A.
No, I do not.
Q.
That's okay if it's been too long. Did the officers show you a photograph of the young lady they were questioning you about?
A.
Yes, they did.
Q.
Can you remember whether or not -- first of off, how many photos did they show you?
A.
Two, I believe.
Q.
Can you remember if you recognized anyone in the photos?
Page 992       (Don Rand direct testimony)
A.
One of the photos they showed me looked like the girl that had walked by.
Q.
The previous evening?
A.
Correct.
Q.
And did the detective make any comments -- do you have any reinforcement in your mind if that was the correct girl or not or do you know?
A.
I don't know for sure.
Q.
Detective didn't offer that?
A.
No, he didn't.
Q.
At any rate, you told him you had seen this girl get out of the car and walk past?
A.
Yes, I did.
Q.
In the location where she got out of the vehicle, is there a stop sign or stoplight?
A.
Stoplight.
Q.
You seem to recall that this happened after dusk, that it was dark outside?
A.
Yes.
Q.
Is there anything about the evening that helps you remember it was dark?
A.
As far as cars were driving with their headlights on.
Page 993       (Don Rand direct testimony)
Q.
That's perfect. That's all I wanted to establish. Did you see the young lady actually get out of the car?
A.
To my recollection I cannot remember.
Q.
Did you
A.
I think I might have, but I can't be 100 percent certain.
Q.
Did you see her speak or do anything near the car?
A.
Looked like she was arguing with somebody in the car. Because when she came and walked away from the car, she was walking at a faster pace than what she had just walked.
Q.
When the young lady was walking at a faster pace than normal, what does that indicate to you?
A.
She is angry, upset.
Q.
Walking quickly?
A.
Yes.
Q.
As she went east up the hill?
A.
Yes.
Q.
The last time you saw her, was she still walking on the shoulder of Truman Road?
A.
Yes, she was. I watched her go all the way up to about Erotic City and about there is where I lose sight of people.
Page 994       (Don Rand direct testimony)
Q.
At that time you had no knowledge this was going to be something important to remember?
A.
No.
Q.
During the time that you saw the young lady, did you see her leave Truman Road to go off on any side streets or anything like that?
A.
No, I did not.
MR. LANCE:
No further questions.
THE COURT:
Cross examination.
MS. CRAYON:
Yes.
CROSS EXAMINATION BY MS. CRAYON:

Q.

Hi, Mr. Rand. I'm Theresa Crayon. You and I spoke on the phone very briefly I think last week, right?
A.
Yes, we did.
Q.
How many businesses -- I know Amoco is right there on the comer, right?
A.
Yes, it is.
Q.
And how many businesses or do you know?
A.
Amoco, Conoco, Erotic City, a liquor store and then there was another gas station at that time, but it has since disappeared.
Q.
And you can't see anything beyond Erotic City; is that what you're saying?
A.
Correct.
Page 995       (Don Rand cross-examination)
Q.
And I'm sorry. I started to count. Three businesses beyond Amoco?
A.
Yes.
Q.
And given the nature of those businesses, would they have all been open at the time that you saw this young lady?
A.
Yes.
Q.
And there is a pay phone at Amoco, right?
A.
Yes, there is. There is one at Conoco also.
Q.
So those are at least two that you know of?
A.
Three right there. There is two at the Amoco.
Q.
And the Amoco station is one of those stations that you've got a garage where you were the mechanic, right?
A.
Correct.
Q.
There is also some cashier who takes the money and has candy and things like that inside there?
A.
Yes.
Q.
There is a place somebody can go in there and sit and wait for someone if they wanted to, right?
A.
Yes.
Q.
And you have people show up there to ask to use the phone very often? Would that have been unusual for someone to come in and ask to use the phone?
Page 996       (Don Rand cross-examination)
A.
No, not really.
Q.
Okay. So, in fact, when you and I talked about this situation, you had mentioned that this isn't the only time that you would have seen a woman come up from that intersection, right?
A.
Correct.
Q.
So that's happened before. This was a pretty sensational situation at the time that this happened, wasn't it? I mean, since it happened close in the area, were a lot of people talking about it?
A.
Not really. I didn't know anything about it until the detectives showed up and asked me questions about it.
Q.
And then there was newspaper reports. It was in the newspaper, on the TV. You don't know anything about those?
A.
No.
Q.
And when you talked to the detectives the day or two after, you told them that -- and you said -- let me back up. I'm sorry. They showed you two pictures, right?
A.
Yes.
Q.
One was a boy, one was a girl; is that right?
Page 997       (Don Rand cross-examination)
A.
Yes.
Q.
And the girl was the one that you said you recognized?
A.
Yes.
Q.
And when you talked to the detectives, you told them that you remembered seeing the girl walking east across the drive at about you said 8:30; is that right?
A.
Could be about that time, yes.
Q.
Pretty dark around 8:30 though, right?
A.
Yes. But the Amoco is well lit.
Q.
Okay. And the Amoco itself was well lit, but up along right in there in that strip, pretty dark at 8:30, isn't it? I know there are businesses.
A.
Only until you get past the businesses. Once you get past the businesses, then it's dark, but right in front of the businesses, it's well lit.
Q.
But at 8:30 at night at that time of the year, it would have been pretty dark outside?
A.
Yes.
Q.
And you told the detectives that you looked up, and you saw her walking and thought she was attractive, right?
A.
Yes.
Q.
And you told them that you couldn't tell if she was emotional or upset at all, right?
Page 998       (Don Rand cross-examination)
A.
Correct. I believe.
Q.
So back when this happened, like a day or two afterwards when they were asking you about it and telling you they were investigating a homicide, you said, "We couldn't really tell that she was upset or emotional at all?" Is that what you told think you told --
A.
That's what I told the detective, yeah.
Q.
But today you're saying that you thought she was upset because she was walking at an angry -- you thought she was angry or upset because she was walking at a fast pace?
A.
Yes.
Q.
And you think you might have seen her get out of a car at the stoplight?
A.
Correct. I'm not 100 percent on that.
Q.
You're not 100 percent certain. In fact, you didn't tell the police that that day, right?
A.
Right.
Q.
And are you saying you think she might have been having a fight or an argument with somebody in the car; that was your testimony, right?
A.
Right.
Q.
But back a day or two after this you really didn't recall that?
Page 999       (Don Rand cross-examination)
A.
No.
Q.
Other than having what you have just talked about that you saw and what you heard, you don't recall a lot of activity about this case?
A.
No.
Q.
Do you recall a young woman coming to the gas station looking for Lincoln Cemetery and talking to her about it? It was a friend of the victim's? Do you remember that?
A.
No. I may not have been on duty when she showed up.
Q.
Okay. So, if she said that she had talked to you, and you don't recall that
A.
No. You get so many people asking directions in there.
Q.
Sure I understand. Do a lot of people
A.
They usually go to the cashier first before they'll come to the garage.
Q.
Okay. But do you get a lot of people coming by asking about where Lincoln Cemetery is?
A.
A few. Not many.
Q.
And since you had found out that you had seen this girl and it was probably -- and she had been found murdered nearby, that sticks out in your mind, right?
A.
Yes.
Page 1000       (Don Rand cross-examination)
Q.
And you would agree with me that, from where you are at the Amoco gas station, that you really can't see very -- you can't see the entrance into Lincoln Cemetery, right?
A.
You can see the back entrance.
Q.
Okay.
A.
That's on the other side of the highway, on the other side of Truman Road, there is a road that winds up and goes up to the old Sysco building. There is another old road that goes in the back way to that cemetery.
Q.
Okay. This is State's Exhibit No. 3 that's already been entered into evidence and, if the Amoco station is down here, what entrance are you talking about?
A.
Right here.
Q.
Okay. So you believe that, from Amoco, you can see this entrance you think?
A.
Yes. I know I can.
Q.
And you can see up to that entrance and you can see during the day?
A.
Or night.
Q.
You can at night too?
A.
Yeah. We watch the sheriffs sit there all the time.
Page 1001       (Don Rand cross-examination)
Q.
Right. But if someone was walking, would you be able to see them entering in up there?
A.
No, no.
Q.
So, if somebody had said that -- a person at the Amoco had said they could see the person going up that strip there, that curvy road, that wouldn't be right, would it?
A.
No.
Q.
And you have described this girl as about 5'6" or 5'7" about 130 pounds, you think, as best you can remember?
A.
Right.
MS. CRAYON:
I don't think I have anything further. Thank you, Mr. Rand.
THE COURT:
Mr. Lance.
MR. LANCE:
Nothing further.
THE COURT:
Thank you, sir. Appreciate your testimony.

(The witness was excused.)


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