Unofficial Transcript of Bear Lincoln Cross-Examination
After a brief delay while Deputy District Attorney Aaron Williams reorganized his papers, he began the cross-examination on September 4:
Aaron Williams: How many times did you rehearse your testimony with your attorneys?
Lincoln: I didn't rehearse it.
Did you ever go over it with your attorneys? No.
Did you ever go over it in your own head? Yes.
And that's it; other than going over it in your own head you never went over it with anyone? Yeah.
Did you ever tell any of your family members, other than at Sylvia Duncan's that evening, what happened that evening? No, I didn't.
And you never told your attorneys what happened that evening?
What you've told us today, you've told us the absolute truth? Yes.
And have you told us that because you want this jury to know what happened that evening? Yes.
You threw away your rifle as you were running from the scene? Yes, I did.
And then as soon as you got home, you picked up another rifle? Yes.
Can you tell us why you threw away your rifle? It was empty.
And you had more bullets at home for it, didn't you? I don't think so. Not that I knew of.
When Joseph Lincoln brought you that rifle, did he bring ammunition with it? Yes.
Were you home when he brought it? Yes.
And what did you do with that rifle and ammunition? I put it in my loft in the cabin.
And you live there by yourself, correct? Yes.
And you've never bought any .223 ammunition yourself have you? No I didn't.
Never in your life? Not that I can remember.
Can you explain why Paul Lozada found 16 rounds of live .223 ammo at your house when it was searched the next day? Well, it might have been left over from my nephew's ammunition.
And that's the ammunition that you put in the loft? Yes, it would have been, I imagine.
And why did you think you had no more left? I just didn't think there was any more left.
Well, you looked at that ammunition that afternoon when you loaded up the rifle, correct? Yeah, I did.
And wasn't that ammunition there at the time? I don't know if it was or not; I don't remember.
When did you first become aware that the rifle you had just thrown away was stolen? I didn't know it was stolen.
And have you ever become aware that it was stolen? No.
Were you provided by the prosecution all the evidence in this case? Some evidence, I don't think all of it.
Did you hear during this trial Stormer Feiler testify? Yes I did.
And did you hear that his Mini-14 .223 was stolen? Yes.
And did you hear your nephew Winterhawk Lincoln testify?
Did you ever tell Winterhawk that the gun was stolen? No, I didn't.
Did Winterhawk ever tell you that the gun was stolen? Not that I remember.
Did Joseph Lincoln ever tell you that the gun was stolen? He told me that he had bought the rifle.
He bought it from who? He didn't say, and I didn't ask.
And he told you he wanted to make sure it wasn't stolen? Yes.
And that's why he left it with you? Yes.
Did he say why he was scared that it might be stolen? No, he just didn't want anybody to steal it from him.
And so he left all his rifles with you? He left three of them with me.
How many rifles did he have? I don't know.
Did he have more than those three? I think so.
And apparently, three of all the rifles he had he decided to leave with you because he was afraid they might be stolen? Yes.
Did Joseph Lincoln in fact tell you that this rifle, the .223, was stolen from Stormer Feiler? No, he didn't.
With regard to Winterhawk, you say you don't remember whether or not Winterhawk told you if it was stolen? No, not that I can recall.
Is it possible that Winterhawk told you that it was stolen and you just don't recall?
Serra: Objection, calls for speculation.
Is that something you might forget if somebody told you your rifle was stolen?
Serra: Objection, that's argumentative. (Lincoln also testified it was not his rifle.)
How many times had you shot this rifle prior to April 14? Three or four times.
Now were you always with Leonard Peters when you shot it? No.
Where did you shoot it? In Little Valley.
How long had you had the rifle for? Since November or December of '94.
That's when Joseph Lincoln gave it to you? Around then.
And in those intervening four or five months you shot it three or four times? About that, yes.
Was that always target practice? Yes.
And how many rounds total did you shoot during those three or four times? I didn't count them.
Prior to the shootout, how many rounds did you shoot on April 14 with that gun? Maybe 15-20.
And then after those 15 or 20 is that when you went out and bought the clip? Yes.
And then you reloaded the rest of the ammunition when you got home? Yes.
And you didn't buy any more ammunition when you went to town that day? No.
You simply bought a clip? Leonard Peters bought the clip.
Did you ever ask anybody to go back and try to find the rifle? No.
Do you know if it was your bullet that struck Bob Davis? No, I don't.
Do you know...do you think...you testified I believe on direct that at one point you knew you had not been the person who shot Bob Davis, correct? I don't believe it was my bullet that killed Officer Davis.
Now, why don't you believe your bullet killed Officer Davis? Well, because I never did see him, and it seems like it's impossible.
Were you curious at all why the rifling in your .223 matched up with the fragments found in Bob Davis' head?
Serra: Objection, argumentative.
Did you ever see any reason for asking someone to go look for the rifle you threw away?
Serra: Objection, that asks for speculation, opinion, conclusion.
The fact is, you never made an attempt to go get this rifle that you tell us you threw away, correct? No, I didn't.
And you never told anyone that you threw that rifle away, did you? No.
You didn't tell Winterhawk you threw the rifle away. I might have, I'm not sure.
Previously, just one answer earlier you said no. Now you're saying you might have? Did you tell anyone? No, I don't think I did.
Now because of that, there's no way to match up the land marks in your rifle with the fragments found are there?
Serra: Objection, argumentative.
Was this a semi-automatic weapon? Yes.
And what was the ejection pattern for it? It just threw them out the side.
Which side? Right.
Forward, rear at all? I'm not sure.
How long were you on the run for before you turned yourself in? Around three months.
How long were you in Covelo after April 14? A few hours, I guess. I don't know.
And how did you get out of the valley?
Serra: Objection, relevance.
Williams: Evidence of flight, your honor.
Judge: How he fled is not relevant.
Did you flee out of the valley? Yes.
Did you drive?
Serra: Objection, relevance.
Where did you go?
Serra: Objection, relevance.
Judge: The objection is overruled, answer the question please.
Lincoln: Uh, I don't remember.
Williams (with an unbelieving laugh): You don't remember where you went!
Judge: Mr. Williams, I would appreciate it if you would conduct your examination without that type of manifestation.
Have you ever tried to remember where you went after you left Covelo? Yes.
And you just can't remember? No.
You don't remember who you went and saw? No, I can't.
What's the first thing you remember after leaving Covelo?
Serra: Objection, relevance.
Judge: What's the relevance of the first thing he remembers?
Williams: Your honor, the witness' memory and credibility are in question. I just want to test that.
Judge: The objection is overruled, please answer the question.
Lincoln: I remember being in the woods.
For how long? I don't know...approximately a month.
How many days later after April 14 was it that you first remember being in the woods? I don't remember the exact date or anything. I imagine it was weeks; a month.
A week or a month after April 14 that you first remember being in the woods? Yes.
So that from April 21 to May 14, somewhere in there, you can't tell us where you where? No, I can't.
What woods were you in? I don't know; I had never been there before. I just know it was in Mendocino County.
How did you know it was Mendocino County? Well, because I had gotten on the freeway once I headed for San Francisco.
Why did you wait four months to turn yourself in? I wanted things to cool down, and wanted an Indian lawyer to represent me.
Now what did you mean by things to cool down? I wanted to feel safe.
Now what was it that made you eventually feel safe enough to turn yourself in? Well I just felt that things had cooled down a bit, and it was safer to come in.
Were you in contact with anyone that was telling you things had cooled down, now it was okay to come in? Yes I was.
Who was that? It was a friend that helped me where I stayed in the woods.
And who was that? Her name was Pine Needles.
Now where had you met Pine Needles? In the woods where I was camped.
That's the first time you had met her? Yes.
And I take it you haven't seen her since? No, I haven't.
You wouldn't know how to get hold of her? No.
Was Pine Needle a lady or a guy? A lady.
And this Pine Needle, did she tell you whether or not you had successfully retained an attorney while you were in the woods? Yes.
So she was in contact with your attorneys? She didn't say if she was or not.
Were you aware that as of the first week of May, attorneys had agreed to represent you? No I wasn't.
When did you first become aware that attorneys had agreed to represent you? I think it was around August.
And is that when you turned yourself in? Yes.
How often did Pine Needles report to you on what was going on; whether the situation had cooled down? Twice a week, sometimes.
And would she report to you twice a week whether she had successfully retained an attorney at that point? Yes.
And she never told you until August that attorneys had agreed to represent you? Yes.
And that's when you turned yourself in? Yes.
Were you concerned at all with getting your own story out there prior to turning yourself in? Yes, I was.
You felt, in fact, that you were getting pretty bad press, correct?
Serra: Objection, relevance.
Judge: Overruled, answer the question please.
Lincoln: I didn't have any idea what kind of press was coming out.
Let me show you what's been marked Exhibit 124; do you recognize that? Yes.
Can you tell us what Exhibit 124 is? It's an essay that I had written from jail.
Is it in fact a declaration you made under penalty of perjury? Yes.
When did you sign and date that declaration under penalty of perjury? The 22nd day of August.
What year? '97.
And in Exhibit 124 don't you state that the local media has attacked my character repeatedly since April 14, 1995?
Judge: Are you referring to a document not in evidence before the jury?
Williams: I'm sorry. I would move it into evidence.
Judge: Exhibit 124 is received in evidence.
And in Exhibit 124 don't you state that the local media has attacked my character repeatedly since April 14, 1995, and had declared to the public that I am guilty of all charges? Yes.
And because of this did you feel the need to put out your side of the story? Yes.
Did you do that through Pine Needle? No, I didn't.
How did you do that? Writing essays from the jail.
And who did you write the essays to? Bruce Anderson of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, and other newspapers.
And let me show you Exhibit 116; do you recognize that? Yes.
And is that a letter you wrote to the Anderson Valley Advertiser? Yes.
And did that appear on approximately January 17, 1996? Yeah, somewhere around there, I guess.
Your honor I move Exhibit 116 be moved into evidence.
Judge: Exhibit 116 is received in evidence.
Now prior to the January 17, 1996 letter to the Anderson Valley Advertiser, is it your testimony that you wrote previous letters to the AVA? I think I wrote a couple before that.
And do you know if they were ever published? I think they were, yes.
And would you send these through Pine Needle; would she post them for you? I sent them through the mail.
Would you then go into town to send them through the mail? No, I was in jail when I mailed those.
Did you ever write letters to the paper while you were in the woods? No.
So, I take it, you never got your word out to the media while you were out in the woods? No.
Were you ever getting your story out to the media prior to turning yourself in? No.
So by the time you turned yourself in is it fair to say that the media had only had the prosecution's version of events that evening?
Serra: Objection to the whole line of questioning; it's irrelevant.
Judge: Next question please.
Williams: Pursuant to that why did you believe the situation had cooled down so that you could turn yourself in? Well after a few months had gone by it just seemed only logical that things would have cooled down.
Did you think that after a couple of months the police would be less angry with you?
Serra: Objection, calls for speculation.
Judge: Overruled, answer the question please.
And didn't you know that once you turned yourself in you'd come back to Mendocino County? I assumed I would.
To stand trial? Yes.
And did you think that these same police that were going to kill you April 14, as of August of 1995 they were no longer going to kill you? I thought the possibility was still there.
So you chose to turn yourself in in any event? Yes.
How familiar with guns are you? I guess average knowledge.
You enjoy target shooting, correct? Yes.
In fact, you enjoy guns so much that you currently subscribe to Guns and Ammo, don't you? Yes.
It's your testimony though, with this interest in guns so that you subscribe to the magazine, as of April 1995 you owned absolutely no guns? Off and on.
As of April 14, 1995 though did you own any guns? No, I didn't.
On April 14, 1995, when Leonard Peters came over to your house, did he have the .30-.30 with him? Yes.
When you went to town later that day did he bring it with him? I think he did.
And did you switch cars later at his house? Yes.
Did he switch the .30-.30 to the new car? Yes.
Did you see him switch it? No.
Why do you think he switched it? He had it with him later.
Where was it? I think in the back seat.
What kind of car was this? I think a Chevy Corsica, something like that.
Was that your girlfriend's car? Yes.
That's Gladriel Mounce? Yes.
So when you got to the Chevron station then, you guys had the .30-.30 with you, correct? I'm not sure if it was in there or not.
Well you had it when you left your house that morning, correct? Yes.
And then Leonard transferred it into Gladriel's car, correct? Yes.
And then you showed up at the Chevron station, correct? Yes, after we went back and forth to the horse pasture.
Do you think Leonard might have left the .30-.30 off at the horse pasture? He might of; he pretty much took it everywhere he went, so....
Are there any -- why did Leonard take it everywhere he went?
Serra: Objection, relevance.
You've been with Leonard Peters a number of times in your lifetime; you've known him while you were growing up? Yes.
And how long has he had that rifle for? I think just a couple of years.
And in those past couple of years preceding 1995, is it your testimony that Leonard carried it with him almost everywhere he went?
Serra: Objection relevance
Are there any buildings, outbuildings where the corrals are? There is like a stable; it's just a roof for shelter.
Where the horses can go in? Yes.
Can you use it as a tack room as well? Just mainly for shelter.
Did you keep any tack there? No saddles, just mainly rope and a couple of halters.
And is the reason you don't leave any saddles there because it's a kind of public field where they might get stolen? Yes.
And accordingly, did Leonard leave the rifle there once you went out to the horse pasture? Probably not, he never usually does; once in a while he does, sometimes he doesn't.
So then, when you got to the Chevron station, is it fair to say that you guys, or specifically Leonard, had a loaded .30-30 with him? He might have.
And at that time Leonard got in a confrontation with Neil Britton? Yes.
You said that Neil Britton stood about a foot taller than Leonard Peters? Approximately, yeah
How tall was Leonard? About 5'3" or 5'4".
How tall are you? About 5'8".
So is it fair to say that Neil Britton is about 6 ft. tall? Pretty close, yeah.
And he's maybe eight or nine inches taller than Leonard Peters was? That's close.
And maybe four inches taller than you? Yeah.
Do you outweigh Neil Britton? I don't know, we might be the same weight.
And you testified that you never saw Neil Britton hit Leonard? No, I was standing in the door of the restroom.
Prior to getting out of the car, did you see Neil there? Yes.
Did you see his sister? Not at first.
Did you know Stephanie? Yeah.
There's no bad blood between you? No.
She's got no axe to grind against you? I don't know, you'd have to ask her that.
But there's never been anything bad between you two, has there? We've never had a conversation.
Then you told us you could tell Neil was taunting Leonard? Yes.
And the reason you could tell was because it looked like he was laughing at him? Yes.
But you didn't hear any words, did you? I'd seen his mouth moving but I couldn't hear what he said.
You could tell he was talking? Yes.
And he was laughing? Yes.
And from that you concluded he was taunting Leonard? Yes.
Did you ever hear any conversation about Leonard not wanting Neil to testify against Byron Peters, Leonard's son? No, I didn't.
Were you aware that there was a case going on against Byron at that time?
Serra: Objection, relevance.
Judge: What is the relevance of the question?
Williams: I want to know if he knew what the conversation was over.
Judge: How is that relevant?
Williams: I'll withdraw it.
You later drove by the high school, correct? Yes.
And there were about 50 people there? Approximately.
And did you laugh at Claudette Britton? No, I didn't.
You didn't laugh in a taunting manner at Claudette Britton? No.
Is there any bad blood between you and Claudette? No.
You're not the one who killed her husband are you? No, I'm not.
When you confronted Neil, you stated on direct that you wanted Neil to hit you so you could defend yourself? Yes.
In other words you wanted someone to throw the first punch so you could fight? Yes.
Why did you want him to throw the first punch? Because he had just hit Leonard and gave him a bloody mouth, and that made me angry.
Why didn't you just hit Neil? Well I believed I would have went to jail for it?
Because? Because if I had hit him first.
Did you contact the police and tell them that Neil had hit Leonard first? No. (Said in a tone that indicated it was a silly suggestion.)
And in fact when you were driving back to Little Valley that night you went with Bunny Hoagland, correct? Yes.
And the reason you went with Bunny Hoagland instead of taking the blue car was what? Well, I told Leonard that if we took the car we would probably be stopped, with all the police flooding the valley.
Why did you think you'd be stopped? Well, because Leonard was Arylis' brother, and he was a suspect.
Leonard was in Bunny Hoaglen's car, correct? When we left he was, yeah.
And the blue car was not Leonard's car, is it? No.
It's Gladriel Mounce's car? Yes.
Your girlfriend? Yes.
So if you didn't want to be stopped, and the reason you were going to be stopped was that Leonard was Arylis' brother, why was it better for you to take Bunny Hoaglen's car instead of Gladriel Mounce's car? Well, because Leonard wouldn't have been driving, for one thing. I felt if we got stopped they would have taken him in for drunk driving.
Was he pretty drunk at that time? I didn't think he was too drunk to drive, but he would have been arrested for drunk driving.
You said, on direct I believe, he was high? Yes.
He was high, in fact, as earlier as when you were out at the horse stables, correct? Yes.
And then did he get higher afterwards? A little bit.
How many wine coolers did he buy that whole day? I think he was on his third four-pack, they come in four-packs.
So about twelve wine coolers? Something like that.
And then he got some more beer after that? Yeah.
And he drank all the wine coolers before you went to Little Valley for the last time, correct? Yes.
And then once you got to Little Valley, he had more beer? Yes.
How long were you at Little Valley before you started walking up the road? Hour, hour and a half.
What did you do during that time? I gathered wood; built a fire. We talked about the shooting that happened earlier.
You already knew that Arylis was a suspect in Gene Britton's murder? We had heard that.
You heard that in town before you even went to Little Valley, correct? We heard that at the Peters' trailer.
Is that Arylis Peters' trailer? Yes.
Did you look anywhere else for Arylis Peters after going to his trailer? No, we didn't
Did you look for him at Bunny Hoaglen's house? No.
Did you look for him at Catherine and Jenai Lincoln's house? No, we didn't.
And then about ten o'clock that evening did you decide to walk out and look for Arylis? Yes.
Why did you decide to walk instead of driving out? Well we didn't have anything to drive, for one reason.
Did your mom have a vehicle there? Yes she owns a truck.
Would she let you borrow it? She probably would.
Was there any other reason, besides then not having a vehicle, that you chose to walk out? Neither one of us wanted to drive for one thing?
Why didn't you want to drive? I didn't have a license.
And that's the only reason? Yes.
And why didn't Leonard want to drive? I don't know, we didn't even talk about driving.
You just decided you'd walk out? Yes.
Prior to walking out did you ever go to your mom's house? No.
You just stayed at your cabin? Yes.
When you walked out, how soon was it after leaving your cabin that Leonard got in front of you? After we got past the gate.
And he got how far in front of you? Just a few feet.
And then, from the time you got past the gate to the time you got up to the crest of the hill, you maintained that distance of a few feet between you? Until we started going uphill.
And then Leonard got farther in front of you? Yes.
You're a taller man than Leonard, correct? Yes.
And Leonard just kept on putting distance between himself and yourself? Yes.
And how long did that continue for? Until we got to the top.
He kept on getting slightly farther and farther ahead of you? Yes.
What was the weather like as you were walking up the hill? It was cloudy.
Was it raining? No.
And how were you wearing your hat at the time? I had it on the back of my head, it wasn't on top, it was on the back like I described earlier.
And where was that leather strap that you described earlier? It was hanging right here (indicates around his neck).
And when you got near the top of the hill, or when you were walking up the hill, how dark out was it? It was...pretty dark.
Can you describe the phase of the moon for us? I didn't see the moon.
Was it obscured by clouds? Yes.
So had the moon risen? I don't know.
Well, was it obscured by clouds, or not? I imagine it was, I'm not sure.
How far could you see, total? About from here to the door, I guess.
Could you estimate that for us in feet or yards? I don't know.
In Exhibit 116, the letter you wrote to the AVA -- I'll show it to you here in this paragraph -- you say you couldn't even see 20 ft. in front of you. Is that an accurate statement? Yes.
Did you have a flashlight with you? No, I didn't.
Why not? I'm not sure if I had one at that time.
Did Leonard have a flashlight with him? No.
You don't have electricity at your house, correct? No, I don't.
You simply light up the inside of your house with kerosene lamps? Or a generator.
And, accordingly, don't you own a flashlight at your house? Yeah there's flashlights around, but the but the batteries come and go, we use it so much, you go through a lot of batteries.
So were the batteries dead on that evening? I don't remember.
Well did you go and look for a flashlight before you headed up the hill because it was so dark out? No, I didn't.
Why not? I didn't think of it.
Did you notice how dark it was? Yes.
But you didn't think of getting a light to maybe illuminate your way? No.
You could hear dogs barking as you walked up the hill? When we got to the gate we could hear dogs barking.
And that's not uncommon? No.
Now, when you got near the top of the hill, did you hear anybody say "sheriff's dept.?" No, there was nothing like that.
Did you hear radio dispatches as you walked up the hill? No.
Did you hear a voice say about 10 seconds before the first shots rang out, "Three Charles seventy-five, Ukiah"? No.
Did you hear somebody respond, "Five here"? No.
Did you hear a voice then say, "Three Charles seventy-five, tow truck will be enroute, I have a subject in the area that you are in reported"? No, I didn't.
After the first firefight, did you hear someone yelling 11-99? I thought I heard 10-99 later, later on.
How about after the first firefight? No.
Did you hear anybody yell, "Ukiah, 11-99, 11-99 on the hill"? I didn't hear anybody say Ukiah, just 10-99.
And that was after the second firefight? Yeah.
Preceding the first firefight you did hear Leonard say "Oh fuck!"? Yes.
How loud did he say that? He didn't yell, he just swore it, he said it.
And you were close enough to Leonard at that point that you could hear somebody talking in a regular tone of voice, correct? Yes.
But you couldn't hear radio transmissions, people yelling 11-99, could you? I didn't hear anything else.
And you couldn't hear people identifying themselves as the sheriff's department? No.
How much ambient background noise was there immediately prior to the first firefight occurring? I didn't hear anything.
It was a very quiet night, wasn't it? Yes
You were out in the middle of the woods; there was no traffic going by there? No
There's just the quiet sounds of nature out there, correct? Yes.
There's nothing out there to interfere with your ability to hear, was there? No.
And then the first thing that you saw, or the first thing you heard was gunfire? After he said, "oh fuck!" I just heard gunfire.
Where did the gunfire seem to come from? I assumed it came from the intersection.
The intersection right in front of you? Right in front of Leonard Peters.
And why did you assume it came from the intersection? I didn't know where else it could come from.
Did it sound like it was coming from the intersection? It sounded real close, wherever it was coming from.
Did you see any muzzle flashes from the intersection? No, I didn't.
And when you say it sounded real close, wherever it was coming from, could you ascertain where it was coming from? No, I couldn't.
Could you tell if it was coming from behind you? Well, I was pretty positive of that.
That it was not? Right.
Could you tell if it was coming from your right hand side? Well, yeah I could tell that.
That it was not? Yeah.
And could you tell if it was coming from your left hand side? Yes.
Was it or not coming from your left hand side? It wasn't.
So did it appear to be coming from pretty much in front of you? Down the road, yeah.
Now when you say down the road, you're referring to...when you mean going towards Covelo, you refer to down the road, correct? Yes.
Did you ever see any muzzle flashes during all this gunfire? No.
How much gunfire did you hear? Just a lot of gunfire, I couldn't tell.
Do you have any estimate of all of how many shots? Just a barrage of gunfire.
You couldn't estimate the number of shots? No.
How long did that barrage continue for? I don't know, a while.
And a while is how long? I don't know.
Was it continuing as you ran forward? Yes
And prior to running forward did you in fact see your friend Leonard Peters drop? Yes, he dropped right away.
At the first initial burst of gunfire he dropped? Yes.
What did you then do? I put a chamber in the round and returned fire.
Did you knock your hat off? Yes.
Did you do that on purpose? Yes.
Why? It was in the way.
The leather string? Yes.
And what was it in the way of? Uh, it was sliding up on my neck, and I just pulled it off.
And did you do that prior to running forward? Yes.
Did you do that prior to chambering a round? I don't know.
When the gunfire first erupted how were you carrying your rifle? I had it at my side.
In one hand or two hands? In one hand.
Which side? On my right side.
Were you carrying it with the barrel pointed slightly at the ground? That's the way I usually carried it, yeah.
And when you heard the gunfire, did you bring it, did you start holding it in two hands? Yes.
And can you tell us how you got your hat off at that point? Just reached up, grabbed the leather string and pushed it off.
Was that before or after you grabbed your rifle with both hands? I don't know.
Isn't it true...let me direct your attention to Exhibit 25 here...that your hat, with that black spot being your hat, that it was right at the bottom of a little skid trail that leads to this area right above and to the right of the sheriff's patrol vehicle? I don't know where any skid trail was.
You can't tell us one way or the other; I'm talking about a little deer trail, not a big truck skid trail, a little deer trail about a foot wide? There's a lot of deer trails on the hill.
And you don't know whether that hat just happened to wind up at the bottom of one of those deer trails that leads up behind the deputies vehicle? I don't know how it got there.
Well, didn't you just tell us that it got there because that's where you took it off your head? Well, I was in the middle of the road when I took it off.
Okay, so you were in the middle of the road when you first heard gunfire? Yes.
So you weren't standing to the left side of the road, were you? No.
And from the middle of the road you couldn't see any muzzle flashes? No.
What was your plan as you ran forward? To jump off the side of the road.
Why would you jump off the side of the road? I didn't want to get shot.
So, you thought the gunfire was coming from in front of you? Somewhere in the front, yeah.
But you weren't exactly sure, were you? No.
Can you point out on Exhibit 25 where you ran off? I don't know, somewhere around here, I guess (indicating a general area).
And you're pointing to roughly about where the front of where that red truck is parked? Somewhere around there.
And you went off the side of the road because you didn't want to get shot? Yes.
If your plan was not to get shot, why didn't you run back down the hill? Well I would have still been in the open if I ran down the road, if that's what you mean.
Because you had been in the middle of the road? Yes.
And to you, I take it, it didn't make sense, after or during a gunfight, to run down the middle of the road, does it? No.
Why didn't you just run directly across the road and jump off at the closest point you could? That's pretty much what I did.
Well, why didn't you just run from where your had is at a right angle across the road, instead of running up the road maybe 15 to 20 feet? I don't figure I ran up the road that far.
How far up the road did you run? Just a few feet, I guess.
And why did you run up the road if you were afraid of being shot? I was moving toward the edge.
Where were you shooting? Towards the intersection.
And were you using a sight picture with your rifle? No.
Were you shooting from the hip? Pretty much, yeah.
How many times did you shoot? I don't know.
And what direction were you shooting? I guess it would have been south.
Which direction was Leonard Peters facing before he dropped to the ground; what direction was he facing when he said "oh fuck!"? I think west...no, east.
And would east be roughly to the top of Exhibit 25? Yeah.
Hypothetically, if Leonard Peters was standing where the orange outline is seen in Exhibit 25, would east be more or less in the direction of the sheriff's patrol vehicle that I've identified for you at the top of Exhibit 25? More towards the intersection, I guess.
So wasn't he facing more or less towards the patrol vehicle, or was he facing the intersection? He was facing east, so more towards the intersection, I guess.
So he wasn't facing where that patrol vehicle was? I don't know; its hard to tell.
You told us you could see Leonard Peters when he said "oh fuck!" and was shot down, correct? Yes.
Why was it so hard to tell what direction he was facing? Well, it was dark for one thing.
You've told us he was facing roughly east, correct? Yes.
Was his back to you when he said "oh fuck"? Yes.
Could you see a silhouette of him at all, maybe he was sideways to you? No, I don't think he was sideways.
So your best testimony, your best recollection is that he was facing the intersection when he was shot down? Roughly, yes.
Was there any warning prior to the gunfight erupting from the intersection? No, there wasn't.
Could you tell what kind of weapons were being fired at Leonard and/or you? No.
You've told us, on direct, that there were M-16s firing at you during the second firefight, correct? Yes.
Were there M-16s firing at you during the first firefight? It could have been, I guess; I'm not sure.
How could you tell it was an M-16 firing later? Well, it was automatic weapons fire.
How could you narrow it down from just automatic weapons to actually an M-16? Well, they sound different.
Different automatic weapons sound different? They sound different than semi-automatic.
Okay, and I'm asking you how you could tell that the automatic weapons fired at you during the second firefight were M-16s as opposed to any other automatic weapons? It would have been the same.
So do you know that in fact there were M-16s being fired at you during the second firefight? I assumed there was.
And what did you base that assumption on? It was automatic fire.
Now why did you assume that because it was automatic fire therefore it must be M-16s firing at you? It was just a guess.
How many M-16s were being fired at you in the second firefight? I don't know.
Could you give us an estimate? I couldn't tell.
In this letter you wrote to the newspaper, Exhibit 116, don't you state 'there was definitely more than one M-16?" Yes.
And was there more than one M-16 being fired at you during the second firefight? I don't know; there was a lot of gunfire going off; it could have been more than one.
And could it have also been one? It could have been.
Can you tell us why, then, in your letter, Exhibit 116, you say that it was definitely more than one M-16? Well, it could have been more than one.
It could have been? There was no way for me to count really. There was a lot of gunfire going off, and I didn't think it could be just one person, that much gunfire.
Was there definitely more than one M-16 going off during the second firefight? I would only be guessing. I think there was.
When you went over the edge after the first firefight, over the berm, was there still gunfire coming from the intersection? Yes.
Did you look in the direction of the intersection? No, I didn't; only when I was going towards the edge of the road. I tried to see what I was firing.
And did you see any muzzle blasts coming from the intersection? No, I didn't.
Was there gunfire going on at that point? Yes.
And could you see where it was coming from at that point? No.
But could you at that point ascertain that it was certainly not coming from the intersection? They weren't in the open; I knew that.
Did you tell people at Sylvia Duncan's that they jumped out of a bush and ambushed you? I just said they ambushed us; I didn't say they jumped out of the bushes.
Right before going off the berm, could you tell the gunfire was coming from the intersection, or did it appear to be coming for further up the summit road? I couldn't tell, I just knew that they were well hidden.
Well hidden because you could never see the muzzle flashes, could you? No, I couldn't.
Did you see anything that looked like large orange flames through the trees, that looked like a muzzle flash at night? No, I didn't.
And when you jumped of the berm, was there still gunfire going on? It stopped, I guess, a couple of seconds after I jumped over the side.
Did you see a police vehicle at all up there during the first firefight? No.
Did you see a big sheriff's star on the door of any vehicle that was parked up there? No.
Did you see one of those big red, white and blue light bars on top of a sheriff's vehicle while you were up there during the first firefight? No.
And after you jumped off the berm, you stated that the gunfire continued for a couple of seconds? Something like that, yeah.
Then did it all go quiet? Yes.
Was there ever any more gunfire after that, prior to the second firefight erupting? No, everything went quiet.
In the first firefight how many times did you fire? I don't know, I didn't count.
Could it have been as many as 12 times? I don't think it could have been that many.
And what's your best estimate? I don't know.
Can you give us an estimate of how many times you fired? No, I can't.
So, is it fair to say that every time you fired you were standing on the road? Yes.
And every time you fired it would have had to be in semi-automatic mode, correct? Yes.
What direction did you fire in? Towards the intersection.
Did you have any targets to fire at? No, I didn't.
Was Leonard Peters' body laying in the road in front of you when you fired? Yes.
Were you trying to fire over him? Well, I was firing over him.
How far over him were you firing? I don't know.
But in fact you were firing from your hip, weren't you? Yes.
And firing from your hip during the first firefight, firing over Leonard Peters, you could be sure that you weren't going to hit your friend? Well, I wasn't aiming at him.
Well you were aiming up the road toward the intersection, and Leonard Peters was between you and the intersection? Yes.
So is it fair to say you were hopefully aiming over him at that point? Yes.
Once you got off the berm, did you run down to the creek? Yes.
And did you run as fast you could? Well, it was steep, and I kind of slipped a little bit.
Were you making noise when you went over the berm? Yes.
And were you making noise all the way to the creek? Yes.
So it wasn't foremost in your mind to try to quietly get away was it? No, it was pretty brushy, and was kind of impossible to keep quiet.
And with you making all this noise, were there more shots going past you at this time? I don't know, there could have been. I was just concentrating on getting cover.
Well haven't you testified there were shots for maybe a couple of seconds after you dropped off the berm?
Now are you saying that maybe there were more shots after a couple of seconds? No, I'm just saying that I was focusing on getting away.
And I believe you've told us that the creek was about 50 yards from the road? Something like that, yeah.
How long did it take you to reach the creek? A few seconds.
How many seconds? A few.
Less than a minute? Yeah.
Could you see where you were going? Not real well.
Were there trees in your way? There was trees and brush.
And you just kind of ran through them because it was so dark? Yeah.
And at that point, as you were running away, did you hear any gunfire directed at you? Not after I got to the creek, everything was quiet.
Did it get quiet before you got to the creek? Yeah, I guess so; I was making a lot of noise.
And you were the only person out there making noise, correct? That I could tell, yeah.
Now you weren't yelling were you? No, just going through the brush.
So the only noise was your footfalls and maybe your clothing scraping against brush? Yeah.
Did you hear any gunfire from the creek? No.
Did you hear any yelling "11-99, 11-99 on the hill" at that point? No.
Was there any gunfire prior to you getting back to the hill for the second firefight? No.
How long did you stay at the creek? I don't know.
Can you give us an estimate? No, I can't.
And why did you decide to go back to the top of the hill? Well, I wanted to check on Leonard Peters; to check his condition, I didn't know if he was alive or dead.
And is that the only reason you went back to the top of the hill? Yes.
You didn't go back, for example, to continue the firefight? No.
And, the only reason was to check if your friend was alive or dead? Yes.
Is there a reason that you wrote in your letter to the editor, quote "I believe that he was dead before he hit the ground?" Yes, when he dropped that's the way it looked.
So he looked to you like he was dead before he hit the ground? Yes.
But the reason you went back up was to check if he was alive or dead? Yes.
At that point you thought the Brittons were over on top of the hill, correct? Yes.
You wrote this letter prior.... Were you afraid the Brittons might shoot at you if you went back on top of the hill? If they were there, yes.
Had they ever come over the hill into Little Valley before to try and get you? No.
Did you have any reason to believe that the Brittons had left in those few minutes you were down the hill? Yes, it got pretty quiet, so I thought they had left.
Could you hear Leonard say anything in those few minutes? No.
Could you hear anybody say anything? No.
And your testimony is, I take it, that in those few minutes you did not circle around behind he deputies? No, I didn't.
You in fact ran down the hill, is that correct? Yes.
And then you came back up the hill to check on your friend who you thought was dead? Yes.
When you came back up the hill were you making a lot of noise? No, I wasn't.
Were you trying to be stealthy at that point and not make noise? I was trying to be quiet.
And what was the reason for that? Because I didn't want to get shot.
Because there was at least the possibility still that someone was still up on the hill that would try to shoot you? Yes.
How long did it take to quietly walk from the creek back up to the road? I don't know
I take it it was still dark out at this point? Yes.
And so you had to make sure you didn't make any crackling noises as you moved through the brush? Yes.
And can you estimate how long it took to cover that 50-60 yards? No, I can't.
Did you testify earlier that you could see Acorn was 40 to 50 yards away? Something like that, yeah.
And would that put your position off to the left out of Exhibit 25? Yes.
Did you hear or see anything prior to the second firefight? No.
Could you see where Acorn's rifle was? No.
Did you see him drop his rifle prior to the first firefight? No.
Did you trust Leonard Peters with a gun in his condition? Yes, I did.
He was high, but you thought it was okay to let him handle firearms? If I didn't I wouldn't have let him take it.
While you were down at the creek, did you hear someone running up and down the road? No, I didn't.
Why didn't you, instead of going back to the scene, run down to your family to get somebody to help you out? Help me out?
Yes sir. There was nobody there to help me out.
Didn't you have two brothers there? Yeah, I think they were there.
Didn't you have more firearms there? Just my dad's rifle.
And two .22s there in your cabin as well, correct? You mean the rounds?
The rifles. Oh, yeah.
And you had .22 ammunition at your cabin? I think there was, yeah.
And you had .223 ammunition at your cabin, correct? I suppose there was...I'm not really sure.
Why didn't you go to your cabin then and rearm yourself? Well, I just thought it was important that I go and warm my mom and everybody that was at her house.
I'm talking about previous to the second firefight, right after the first firefight why didn't you run home and warn them then? Well, I was too concerned about Leonard Peters; it was really hard for me to just leave him there, and everything went quiet so....
Why didn't you run home and get more ammunition then? Well I thought I had some left.
Well, didn't you tell us that when you were walking up the hill you knew you had less than half a clip? Yes.
And the clip Leonard had bought for you was 30 rounds? Yes.
So you knew you had 14 or less when you started up the hill, correct? Something like that.
And did you know that you could have fired as many as a dozen rounds during the first firefight? I could have, I wasn't counting.
So did you know when you started up the hill before the second firefight you could have had as many as one or two or no bullets left? No, I didn't think anything like that.
How many people did it sound like were shooting at you during the first firefight? Well it sounded like several weapons going off, all at the same time.
You didn't know how many Brittons might be on the hill when you went back up? No.
Why didn't you go get your brother Eric and get more armament and go back up if you thought you might be walking into the Brittons again, heavily armed? Well, I didn't think of that for one thing, and even if I did it wouldn't have been a good idea.
Because? Well it just seemed a dangerous situation; a man just got killed for no reason, and I wouldn't go and get my brother and take him up in the same situation.
Even to help get Leonard Peters out of there? Well, I went back up to check on his condition and see if I could get him out of there.
Now when you went back up there, you didn't hear anything prior to gunfire erupting, did you? No, there was no sound at all.
You were being quiet, correct? Yes.
There was no background noise at all, was there? There was no noise at all.
Did you hear anybody say anything to the effect of "Be careful, I just want to be sure he doesn't jam us?" No.
Did you hear anybody say "Go zig?" No.
Was there anything interfering with your ability to hear at that point? No.
When you approached the road prior to the second firefight, were you walking at that point, or were you crawling up to the road? I was walking.
When you got to the road, did you peer over or did you just walk onto the road? I looked.
And did you see any police at that point? No
And did you see your buddy laying there in the road? Yeah, just barely.
And at that point did you walk onto the road? Yes.
Did you hear any sirens at that point? No, I didn't.
Did you hear anything prior to hearing gunfire at that second gunfight? No.
Was the first thing that made you aware of people in the vicinity the gunfire? Yes.
Did you hear that gunfire? Yes.
Did you see that gunfire? I saw a big flashing of fire, it looked like it was in the middle of the road.
How many different weapons did you see being fired at you? I just saw a large explosion of fire.
Could you tell if it was one or more? No, I couldn't.
You said you could see your friend laying in the road, but could you see a police officer standing over him? No.
Did you see police officers standing in the road even closer to you than Leonard Peters was? No, I didn't.
Was the gunfire from in front of Leonard Peters or behind him? I couldn't tell.
How many guns did it appear to you were shooting at you? It sounded like more than one, but I could see a large explosion of fire.
Was it semi or full auto? Sounded like both to me.
Did it sound like less guns or more than during the first firefight? It sounded like the same amount.
Did you write the editor that during the first firefight it sounded like five or six M-16s being fired? I think I said five or six weapons.
Did it sound like five or six weapons then during the second firefight? Yes, it did; it sounded the same as the first.
And could you see five or six weapons being fired at you? I couldn't see any weapons.
You saw one muzzle blast of orange flame? Yes.
And you couldn't tell if it came from more than one weapon? No.
How long did you stand there before you fired back? I fired back right away.
And how many times did you fire? Well, only one round went off, but I pulled the trigger several times.
What direction did you fire? Towards the intersection in the road.
Did you fire toward the muzzle blast you had seen? I fired in that direction.
Were you firing from the hip or did you have a sight picture? I shot from the hip.
You shot up the road? Yes.
Do you know if you hit anyone? No.
Were you trying to hit someone? No, I wasn't.
Why did you fire at them then? To try to protect myself.
And were you trying to protect yourself by not hitting the people that were firing at you? Well, I didn't have a target to fire at, so I can't say I was trying to hit anything.
Didn't you say you saw a muzzle blast? Yes.
Wasn't that a target to fire at? I wouldn't call it a target.
Didn't you figure there was someone standing behind that muzzle blast? Yeah, somewhere around there.
And isn't that a target to fire at if they're firing on you? The muzzle flash covered almost the whole road.
How many shots were fired at you before you dove back off the road? I don't know; it was a lot.
Can you give us an estimate? No, I can't.
Did you hear anybody yell "get down" from up the road? No, I didn't.
Did you jump off the road, or did you fall off the road, or how did you get off the road? I jumped off.
And did you run away at that point? No, I laid there for a little while.
Why didn't you run at that point? I wanted to get as low to the ground as I could, to keep from being shot.
The first time you jumped off the road you decided to run, correct? Yes.
And after the second firefight, you decided just to get low to the ground? Yes.
Why, if you were trying not to get killed after the second firefight, didn't you run again? Well, there was sticker brush, and I felt it was safer just to hit the ground.
How long did you stay there? I don't know, not long.
Did you feel the Brittons knew you where you were? Yes.
They had seen you fire at them, correct? I assume they saw me on the road, otherwise they wouldn't have fired at me.
So it was light enough for them to see you on the road? I guess so, they started shooting.
And you jumped back off the road, and just lay there? Yes.
And it was only at that point you realized that it was the police that you were shooting at? After I heard them say 10-99.
So how long did you lay there before you heard them say 10-99? A few seconds.
And how loud was that; was that yelled out? Yes.
And could you hear it clearly? Yes; there was no mistaking it.
At that point you realized that it was the police? I thought it was; I heard them calling out numbers, and I didn't think the Brittons would do anything like that.
Did you then surrender? No, I didn't.
Where did you go? I went to my mother's house.
Did you realize at that point that you couldn't do anything more for Leonard? Yes
Did you testify on direct that you thought the Brittons might still be on top of the hill at that point, even after you realized it might be the police up there, as well? There was a point where I thought they might be up there together.
And what point was that? After the 10-99 call.
And at that point you thought maybe the Brittons had teamed up with the police to fire on you? It entered my mind.
You had armed yourself because you were in fear of the Brittons? Yes.
The Brittons had not shot at you at all that day had they? No.
The Brittons hadn't shot at anybody that day, had they? Not that I knew of.
In fact it was your buddy Arylis that had shot and killed Gene Britton, correct?
Serra: Objection, there's no foundation for that question.
Judge: You're asking him what was fact?
Williams: I'm asking him what his understanding was?
Judge: If you ask that question the objection will be overruled.
Was it your understanding that Arylis Peters had shot and killed Gene Britton? We had heard that.
But even though no Brittons had ever fired at Arylis or you, you felt you needed to arm yourself and walk into Covelo? Yes.
And that was because of the potential danger to you? Yes.
Wasn't there a potential danger to your family as well? Not while they were at home.
Even though the Brittons were on top of the hill you thought? Well, at that time, yeah.
Why didn't you just stay home and make sure your family was safe? Because Leonard wanted to make sure his brother was safe.
What time did you and Leonard hear that Arylis had killed Gene Britton? After he was shot, maybe 1/2 hour or so.
Maybe 6:30 or 7 o'clock? Yes.
And it's not until nearly 10 o'clock that you and Leonard decide to arm yourselves and walk over to Covelo? Yes.
When you ran down the hill after the second firefight, who's the first person you saw? My mother in her truck.
Did you ever see Debra Basurto that evening? She was, I think, in the house.
Did you ever see her? Yes.
Where? When I went into the house.
And is that after you saw your mom in the truck? Yes, I think so.
And did you see Sharlisa that night? Yes, she was in the house too.
And were their babies with them in the house? I think some of them were in the truck.
Who all was at the truck when you first saw your mom? I think my mother, my brother, and maybe one of the kids.
And your brother is Eric or Carlos? Eric.
You have two brothers? Yes.
Was Carlos there? I don't remember seeing him.
Did you ever see Carlos that evening before you took off out of Little Valley? No, not that I can recall.
Did you tell Sharlisa what had happened on top of the hill? Not directly, I was just talking to everybody.
And everybody was Sharlisa, Debra, and maybe a couple of her babies? I think so yeah.
Because your mom and Eric were outside, correct? Yes.
And you didn't see Carlos? Right.
So the only adults in the house were Sharlisa and Debra? That I can remember, yeah.
So when you say you were telling everybody what happened on the hill, you mean you were telling Sharlisa and Debra? Yes.
Did you tell them there were two firefights? No, I didn't say that.
Did you tell them after the first firefight you had run down to the creek, and then gone back up after five minutes to check on Leonard? No, I didn't.
Did you tell your mom that? No.
Did you tell your mom that the police had fired on you? I may have.
Do you recall if you did or not? No, I don't.
Did you tell your mom, you can't drive out on the road? Yes.
Did you tell her why? I told her that Acorn was laying on the ridge in the road
Did you tell her who had killed him? I said that he was ambushed and killed and it was either the Brittons or the police...I forget; I was talking to different people at different times so....
So by the time you got to your mom's house you still thought it might be the Brittons and the police teamed up? Yes.
What direction did you take to get there? I ran up the driveway.
I'm sorry, before you got to the driveway what direction did you take? The same way, what I call the driveway.
You ran down the middle of the road? Yes.
After the first firefight you said you didn't run down the middle of the road because it would be easy for them to shoot you, correct? Well, I don't mean that road, I'm talking about the road at the valley floor. After I got to that I ran down the road to my mom's house.
How did you get to the valley floor? I just ran down the hill, and there was the creek bed, and there was the valley floor.
Was gunfire still going on at that point? Yes.
For how long did the gunfire go on? I don't know.
Was it still going on when you got to your mom's house? I couldn't tell.
Why couldn't you tell? I was just concentrating on telling them to get up and get out of there.
When you got to the gate prior to that was there still gunfire going on? I don't know, there could have been.
Did you run through the brush to get to your driveway? Yes.
How long did that take you? Not long, it's only a few yards.
Did you hear any gunfire while you were running through the brush? Yes.
You're stating it's only few yards from the top of the hill here to where your driveway begins? No, to the valley floor.
And how far is it from there to your mom's house? About half a mile.
How long did it take you to run that half a mile? I don't know, a few minutes I guess.
Did you tell anyone...did your mom ask who was shooting at you on top of the hill? I don't think she did, no.
And you didn't volunteer it? I'm pretty sure the police or the Brittons, I don't know.
Did you tell your mom that's why she couldn't drive out on the road? Yes.
Did you see that there were babies in the truck? Yes.
And did you tell them that somebody was there that had ambushed you on top of the road? Yes, I told her we were ambushed and Leonard was killed.
Did you see her drive out? No.
Did she tell you she was going to drive out anyway? No, she didn't.
When you walked back out of the house was truck still there? Yes.
And what did you do? I went back down the road.
Down the road in which direction? Towards where Leonard was.
Okay, so back towards your cabin? Yes.
How long were you there for? Just a few seconds, I guess.
Where did you go then? To Round Valley.
Which direction did you go? I went out the south end of Little Valley.
And would that be going back toward the top of the hill again? No I stayed along the valley floor of Little Valley.
You had told your mom she needed to walk out, correct? Yes.
And you knew that she was crippled up, correct? No, I think that she's got a bad hip and arthritis.
You didn't stay to make sure your mom could walk out safely? No.
Your idea was that they would not be driving out, correct? That's what I had hoped.
And you knew that they had to transport four babies out of the valley as well, correct? Yeah.
Did you stay and help them carry the babies out of the valley? No, I didn't.
Why not? I figured there were enough people, enough adults...I knew my mom would have trouble walking uphill, but I figured there were enough people there to help her along the way, and so...they could have helped the babies too.
Well, your mom had a bad hip, correct? Yes.
Of your two brothers and you, you are the biggest, strongest one, correct? Yes.
And the others there were young women in their early twenties, correct? Yes.
And you figured they'll just handle it, you didn't need to stay there and help them take the babies out of the valley? Yes.
And you didn't feel, even though the cops and the Brittons had been shooting at you minutes earlier, that you needed to stay and help protect them? Not if they went out the back way the way I told them to go.
And at that point you felt your life was still in danger, and that's why you took your .303 rifle? Yes.
Was there any weapon available to your mom at that point? Not that I know of.
You didn't feel they were in danger at that point? Not if they had walked out the back way; I figured they'd be safe.
Well you walked out the back way didn't you? Not the way I told them to go.
So you figured even though the police and Brittons might be shooting at you because you're Lincolns, you didn't feel the need to stay behind and help protect them with the only available firearm did you? No, I didn't.
Did you ever tell anyone at your mom's house that you would stay there and hold the deputies off? No
You didn't tell Sharlisa that? No.
You didn't tell your mom that? No.
Tell either one of your brothers? No.
And you didn't tell Debra that? No.
How long did it take you to get to Sylvia Duncan's house? I don't know, I couldn't tell.
Did you walk by the top of the hill where the shooting had taken place again? Yes.
Why did you do that? I wanted to check on the situation there.
Were you trying to get another shot at the police? No. I was confused and just wanted to get another look to find out what was going on.
Well you knew Leonard was dead at that point, right? I assumed that he was dead.
And you knew that it was the police up there, correct ? Yeah, after I heard the call I assumed that they were there.
And what did you hope to find out by sneaking up on the scene again? Just to check on the situation and find out what was going on.
And what did you hope to discover? Just to get a better idea of what was going on.
You wanted to see who was there? Yes.
Did you see who was there? No, I didn't.
Well, when you got to the top of the hill were those three patrol cars depicted in Exhibit 25, were they there? I didn't go back to the top of the hill.
Where did you go? I stayed on the Little Valley floor.
>From the valley floor can you see the top of the hill? No, you can't see the top.
Well, when you say you went back to try to see what was going on, did you go back to the top of the hill? No.
You just walked around on the valley floor? Yes.
And you couldn't see the top of the hill at all? No.
From the valley floor did you walk over to Sylvia Duncan's house? Yes.
And before that you went to Bunny Hoaglen's house? Yes.
Was Bunny home? Yes.
Why did you go there? To see if Arylis Peters was there.
Was Arylis there? No, he wasn't.
Did Bunny know where he was? No.
Did you hear shooting while you were at Bunny's house? Yes.
How much shooting did your hear? Just shots going off; three or four, pause, and then some more.
Was that coming from top of hill? Yes.
Had that random firing been going on the whole time you had been walking over to Bunny's? Yes.
And how long did it take you to get from Little Valley to Bunny's? An hour, two hours, I don't know
And was that because you took such a circuitous route? Well, I took a few breaks too, and rested.
And during that whole time the firing was going on? No, just off and on.
And then when you went to Sylvia's was there still firing going on? Yes.
Who all were the adults at Sylvia's house when you got there? Sylvia, my mother, my niece, and I think that was it.
Did you sit around and tell everyone at that point what had happened? No, we didn't sit around, we were moving around, in and out of the house.
Where were you? I was in the front yard, then I went in the house for a while; just kept moving around.
You were pretty excited at that point? Everybody was.
And who were you talking to while you were there? Everyone who was there, whoever was in hearing distance.
And that would include Winterhawk? Yes.
And your Sylvia, your aunt? Yes.
And your mom, Lucille? Yes.
Any other adults? There was my niece Debra, and some people laying on the floor; I couldn't tell.
And did you tell anyone at that point that there had been two firefights? No.
How long did you stay at Sylvia Duncan's house? I don't know; a couple of hours, I guess.
In all that time you never told anyone you had gone down to the creek and then went back up to check on Leonard? No.
And you obviously didn't tell anyone that you had circled around behind the police vehicle did you? No, I didn't tell anybody that.
You wrote a letter to your girlfriend while you were there, is that correct, Gladriel Mounce? Yes.
In that letter you stated you were ambushed, correct? Yes.
And you also stated, "They would have killed me too but they didn't see me," correct? Yes.
Which firefight were you referring to at that point? Both of them.
So is it your testimony then, that the police did NOT see you during the second firefight? Well they must have seen me on the second one, that's why they started firing.
Okay, then which firefight were you referring to when you stated that they never saw me? Well, it was referring to the whole gist of it; it was all one firefight to me; I didn't break it up into two firefights.
And your opinion as of the evening of the 14th or the early morning of the 15th was that the police never saw you during either firefight? No, I'm talking about, I guess, the first one.
Okay, then during the first firefight you were running across and up the road firing in the general direction of where you thought the firing was coming from, correct? Yes.
And you thought at that point that they didn't see you running across the road? Well since I couldn't see them, maybe they couldn't see me.
Were you, as you ran across the road, facing the direction of the patrol vehicle at the top of Exhibit 25? No.
And so you can't tell us whether or not the police saw you during the first firefight either can you? I just assumed that they didn't in the first one, not right away anyway?
And you didn't mention two firefights in your letter to your girlfriend either did you? No, I didn't.
Did you intend to kill the police when you fired at them during the second firefight? No, I didn't.
Did you intend to kill Bob Davis? No.
Did you know Davis at the time? I knew who he was.
So you recognized him on sight? Yes.
Did you bear ill will towards the sheriff's department? No.
Is there a reason why in Exhibit 110, you referred to "that's why the pigs started heading up that way"; is there a reason you referred to them as "the pigs"? It's a common slang word for police officers.
So to you, does that slang word connote any ill will towards the police? No, it doesn't.
It's just a common slang word for cops or police? Yeah.
In that same letter, you were critical -- do you know Les Lincoln? Yes.
Who's Les Lincoln? He's one of my cousins.
And do you know Jenai Lincoln? Yes.
Who's Jenai Lincoln? His wife.
In that letter, weren't you critical of Les and Jenai as well? Yes I was.
And in fact, you said, in Exhibit 110, "They did a tape recorded interview with Les and Jenai as soon as they were picked up. They spilled their guts and told the police that Arylis shot Gene Britton and they dropped him off in Little Valley." Is that what you wrote about Les and Jenai? Yes.
Do you have a problem with.... You were angry with Les and Jenai about that weren't you?
Serra: I'm going to object to this area on the grounds of relevance.
Williams: Let me approach it another way, your honor; I'll withdraw that last question.
Are you here today to tell us the truth of what happened? Yes, I am.
Why do you want to tell us the truth here? Well, because Leonard Peters was murdered by the sheriff's department in an ambush, and Leonard Peters and myself are being accused of ambushing the police, and it didn't happen like that.
And you want to make sure that his crime is cleared up, correct? Yes.
Why were you angry with Les and Jenai for telling the truth about who shot Gene Britton? Well because I thought they had a part in Leonard Peters being killed.
So in that case...you didn't want that crime to be solved did you?
Serra: I'm going to object to the relevance of that question.
Judge: The objection is sustained.
You were angry at Les and Jenai for "spilling their guts" about what happened between Arylis and Gene, correct? Yes.
But you're here today, stating that in the crime you're charged with, you want to tell us the truth; you don't want the truth to be covered up? No, I don't.
At this point Williams told the judge he wanted to take up a new document not yet presented to the court. The judge took a look at it and had it marked Exhibit 120 for identification. After reading it Serra objected to admitting the document into evidence. Williams said he had no other matters to question Lincoln on, and that he had saved the questioned document for last. Judge Golden sent the jury home for the weekend, telling them to return at 1:30 on Monday, January 8, and leaving the morning for a hearing on the defense challenge to admission of Lincoln's intercepted personal letters from jail.
The objection Serra raised is that the Exhibit 120 letter was posted to the U.S. Mail and was intercepted and photocopied in a way that violated the 4th amendment expectation of privacy of Bear Lincoln. Further, he says, there's no foundation for the use of it at all; it's hearsay, it's meandering, and it's irrelevant.
Williams: It's an admission of something.
Judge: What does it admit? Direct my attention to the part of the writing in which the admission occurs.
Williams: it starts on the ninth line from bottom and runs three lines.
Judge: I am inclined to sustain the objection on grounds of hearsay.
Williams: It contains the defendant's own statement about a relevant matter.
Serra: He's pondering whether to take the stand, as every defendant in the U.S. does.
Judge: I'm not sure it's worth all the time it will take to consider the 4th amendment issue.
Tony Serra: It can be dealt with on hearsay grounds.
Williams: A person in jail has no expectation of privacy, so there's no 4th amendment issue.
Judge: Won't we need an evidentiary hearing about the facts of who wrote it, where, how it was handled and obtained? Williams says no, and Serra says yes.
Judge: We'll take it up at nine Monday morning.
Court adjourned a little past four.
After the defense motion was argued September 8, Judge Golden promptly granted the defense motion barring Lincoln's personal letters from being admitted in evidence or used in cross-examination.