Sunday, January 22, 2012

Seeking an Absolute Pardon for Byron Case: Rejoinder #2

According to The Free Dictionary, a rejoinder is "a reply or response to a question or remark, esp a quick witty one; retort." This post will be a rejoinder but not especially so, since it will be neither particularly quick nor witty.

In a string of comments to my series Seeking an Absolute Pardon for Byron Case, reader Anonymous eventually claimed that the first 3 of my 12 time-of-death indicators were false. In my previous post, I presented his comments and rejoined his claim regarding the first time-of-death indicator. In this post, I will rejoin his claim regarding the second time-of-death indicator.

For convenience, I include yet again my time-of-death summary in graphical format.

As you can see, the second time-of-death indicator consists of the recollection of  Sulaman Saulat, the owner of the Dairy Queen where Anastasia waited for Justin, Byron, and Kelly. Mr. Saulat independently reported to the police the same evidence that Dawn Wright reported to the police: Anastasia WitbolsFeugen was alive well after dark. This is critical because the story of Byron's sole accuser, Kelly Moffett, demands that Anastasia was murdered near sunset.

I rejoin the claim that the second time-of-death indicator is false by presenting first what I wrote to Governor Nixon followed by the entire police statement of Dairy Queen owner Sulaman Saulat.

My Summary to Governor Nixon Regarding Sulaman Saulat
Sulaman Saulat also was working at the Dairy Queen as Anastasia waited to be picked up. He too was interviewed just 2 days later by Detective Kilgore. Once again, Detective Kilgore recorded and transcribed that interview. From the transcription, I offer the following.
Well she came to my Dairy Queen Wednesday night or Tuesday night, or Wednesday night, the evening. ... I think it was about 7:00 when she came in: 7:00, 7:30, somewhere in there. ... Well, she was here for a long time, ... over an hour, an hour or hour and a half. I asked her was she expecting somebody to come pick her up? And she said yes. And I said are you sure they're coming? She said if they don't, then I'll be really really mad at them if they don't. And then I asked her if she needed anything, because I was going to ask her if, I mean, if she needed a cab or something, I'd call a cab for her, you know. She said she didn't have any money, and that's the whole conversation I had with her. ... It was between 8:30 and 9 :00 I would say. ... Saw two guys and a girl came pick her up.
Sulaman Saulat was not called to testify. The jury did not know that he corroborated Dawn Wright's testimony that Anastasia was alive long after sunset, well beyond dusk. 
As did Dawn Wright's statement and testimony, Sulaman Saulat's statement places Anastasia's death more likely near midnight than near sunset. 
And as did Dawn Wright, Sulaman Saulat's statement absolutely impeaches Kelly's testimony by placing Anastasia alive more than an hour after the end of civil twilight.
Sulaman Saulat's Police Statement

I now present Sulaman Saulat's police statement in its entirety, as recorded and transcribed by lead investigator Sgt. Gary Kilgore. The ellipses are in the original. It seems as if Sgt. Kilgore used the ellipses to indicate an interruption or a pause, rather than an exclusion. The ellipses do not indicate that I excluded anything from Sulaman Saulat's statement.
CASE NO.: 98-11829
The following is an interview with Sulaman interview was conducted on 10/24/97 starting at 1635 hours. 
Q. Would you state your name, please?
A. Sulaman Saulat.
Q. And your date of birth, Mr. Saulat?
A. It's 12/7/69.
Q. And your home address?
A. [Redacted]
Q. And a home telephone number, please?
A. [Redacted]
Q. And who are you employed by, Mr. Saulat?
A. Self employed.
Q. And what might that be?
A. I own the Dairy Queen.
Q. Okay, and the address of the Dairy Queen you own?
A. 9338 Winner Road. It's in Independence, Missouri 64053.
Q. When I first contacted you this evening, I showed you a photograph of a young lady and asked if you recognized her and you immediately responded yes, you did. Where do you recognize this young lady from?
A. Well she came to my Dairy Queen on Tuesday night, or Wednesday night, the evening.
Q. Do you remember about what time that was?
A. I think it was about 7:00 when she came in. 7:00, 7:30, somewhere in there.
Q. Did you have conversation with her?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. And would you tell me about that conversation?
A. Well she was here for a long time, so . . .
Q. What's a long time?
A. Uh, over an hour, an hour or hour and a half. I asked her was she expecting somebody to come pick her up? And she said yes. And I said are you sure they're coming? She said if they don't, then I'll be really really mad at them if they don't. And then I asked her if she needed anything, because I was going to ask her if, I mean, if she needed cab or something, I'd call a cab for her, you know. She said she didn't have any money, and that's the whole conversation I had with her.
Q. Did she order anything?
A. No. She said she just didn't have any money. She asked me if she could use the restroom. We don't have a public restroom, but I did let her use my restroom. She went in the back and used it.
Q. Okay, but she never did order anything, did you give her anything to eat, or drink?
A. No.
Q. Did you see anybody pick her up or anything?
A. Yes. Yea, I did. I saw two guys . . .
Q. And about what time was that?
A. It was between 8:30 and 9:00 I would say.
Q. Okay, and what did you see?
A. Saw two guys and a girl came pick her up.
Q. Did you see how they arrived?
A. They arrived in a car, but I didn't pay any attention.
Q. Did you see the car pull in and park?
A. No. No, actually I just saw them walking up to the door.
Q. Okay, and where did you first see them at?
A. I was standing by the front door, by the window, the big window back there.
Q. Okay, and they were where?
A. They were by the door.
Q. Do you remember where they parked or anything, or what  direction they came from?
A. No, I didn't pay much attention to that.
Q. Can you describe these three individuals that you saw?
A. I think the guy she was talking to because I was looking at him, I had a good look at him, the rest of them I probably didn't. He was tall, I mean good looking guy. Probably about close to 6, 5'9, 6, around in there. A white male.
Q. Could you tell about how much he weighed?
A. Weighed I would say about 160 -170.
Q. What about his hair style?
A. Hair style? Short hair.
Q. Do you remember what color it was?
A. Uhm, probably the same color as hers. Could be, but I 'm not, I could be wrong.
Q. And do you remember what he was wearing?
A. Dark colored shirt and a jacket over it, like a leather jacket, could be wrong, but I have very vague memory of, I mean I can remember the face, but if I can see a picture of it I can pretty much, pretty sure I can say this is the guy.
Q. Okay, did they come into the Dairy Queen here?
A. No, they didn't. They just met her out , she just went outside as soon as they were walking towards the door.
O. Did you hear any conversation or anything?
A. No.
Q. Could you tell what they were doing outside?
A. Well I mean, uh, she just talked to them for a minute and then they just walked back towards the car. And I saw them walking back and that was the end of it.
Q. Did you see the car leave?
A. No.
Q. Anything else at all that you can remember?
A. Well, she was on her period.
Q. And how do you know that?
A. Cause she asked Dawn for a tampon.
Q. Did she tell you that?
A. Well, I went in the bathroom after she used it, I guess she didn't flush it for some reason and there was blood there.
Q. Did you have any more conversation with her than what you've already told me? I mean, did she tell you anything about her life or her name or anything about her personal relationship with her boyfriend or anything at all?
A. That night she told me what she had told Dawn at that point, she didn't really, I mean not now, but Tuesday she told me or whatever the conversation was those two had.
Q. Dawn told you ...
A. About the conversation they had.
Q. ... but you personally?
A. No.
Q. You didn't have any conversation about what her personal life, or her boyfriend or anything like that?
A. No. That's correct.
Q. Anything else then?
A. No , not that I know of.
Q. Are you aware our conversation is being tape recorded?
A. Yes.
Q. End of interview.
Sgt. Gary M. Kilgore #18
And that, ladies and gentlemen is that.

Astonishingly, Byron's public defender did not call Sulaman Saulat to testify. No one did. Other than his police statement, I am aware of no claim by Mr. Saulat regarding the time he witnessed Anastasia WitbolsFeugen to be alive. His recollection substantiates that of Dawn Wright. Both are reported that Anastasia was alive well after sunset. Both statements falsify Kelly Moffett's version of events.

If anyone can find any evidence in Sulaman's police statement that he did not claim to see Anastasia alive between 8:30 and 9:00 PM, please point that out.

If anyone can find any other Sulaman Saulat statement that shows Sulaman Saulat did not see Anastasia alive between 8:30 and 9:00 PM, please point that out.

Since Kelly's timing of events demands that the murder occurred around sunset (she even testified to that effect), then Sulaman Saulat's police statement contradicts Kelly's claims. Since a sequence of events had to take place before Anastasia died after she left the Dairy Queen, Sulaman Saulat's police statement more likely places Anastasia's time of death closer to midnight than to sunset.

To minimize confusion, I ask that comments be limited (for the time being) to the accuracy of my representation of Sulaman Saulat's police statement. I will invite comments regarding other Anonymous challenges to my time-of-death indicators as I rejoin each of them, one at a time.


Anonymous said...

I got a chance to read your back and it's a good book.

However unless you can show footage from like a Dairy Queen camera that shows her there that late it won't work. It contradicts some other testimony and makes it hard to show where they were all at that time.

But is interesting that he said she had no money which makes it look like that she actually left her wallet at home.

Your best argument which will be your next post is the cornea one.


Anonymous said...

I am the "anonymous" who initially challenged your "eyewitness" points, and I did not challenge the accuracy of your "representation of Sulaman Saulat's police statement". I challenged the accuracy of the statement itself, when there is so much evidence, including Byron Case's own testimony, that contradicts it. Both DQ employees said that Anastasia left about 9 PM, but Dawn Wright identified Byron as being there at that time, and Byron said he was at Kelly's house by 9PM, and had stopped at Justin's condo and another friend's house before that, taking at least an hour in the process. His friend testified that Byron came over about 8:30.

If you insist that Mr. Saulat's statement must be taken as absolute proof of your assertion, then you either are insisting that Byron and his friend were both incorrect in their testimony, opening up a new can of worms there, or you are insisting that each piece of evidence be taken as having occurred in a vacuum.

You can argue your other time of death indicators, but I remain unconvinced by the first three, and I doubt that I am as skeptical as the body who will review Byron's petition.

If you're going to make this an argument about the accuracy of your "representation" of the statements, then we're playing high school debate games, and the people reviewing the petition don't have to do what any of us tell them.


PS - having carefully read your book, your amicus letter, Byron's letter, the actual petition, and the website maintained by the victim's family, I would now dispute the value of several of your indicators, but I'll save that till you've responded on the first three.

tsj said...

I will respond in detail once I begin posting again in March.

Four people told the police soon after the murder that they saw Anastasia alive well after dark. None of those four had any reason to favor Byron. None of those people knew that years later Kelly would claim that Byron murdered Anastasia at dusk, when it was still light enough for her to see on a moonless, cloud covered night in the completely unlit Lincoln Cemetery.

And you suggest you are only trying to help by claiming such testimony and reports are actually counter-productive to efforts to convince others that events could not have happened as Kelly described.

Your veneer of impartiality wears increasingly thin. As you note, however, we can continue to discuss this later.

Anonymous said...

Q: On a cloud-covered moonless night in an unlit cemetery, how dark is it at close quarters when you have your car's lights on?

tsj said...

It's quite dark when all parties are standing behind the headlights.

Anonymous said...

No lights reflecting off of trees or bushes, no side lights on the car? I can see pretty good by my car's lights like that. Not good enough to read, sure, but good enough to see things. And for important details, I can see about as much at 8pm as I can at midnite.

tsj said...

The point is that Kelly did not claim she could see only because of the headlights. The point is that she claimed it was dusk. Everyone else testified that it was either dark or gave a specific time so late that it must have been dark.

It's not a point of being able to see via headlights or not. It's a matter of who was lying about it being dusk even after they all left the Dairy Queen: Kelly or everyone else.

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