Thursday, April 30, 2015

Days 1 & 2 of the Defense Case in California v. Brown

There is regret, almost remorse,
For Time long past.
'Tis like a child's belovèd course
A father watches, till at last
Beauty is like remembrance, cast
From Time long past.   

          ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

In the trial of California v. Brown, the defense has begun its case by calling witnesses that are friends of Cameron Brown from his college days and his job with American Airlines. The years have not been kind to these witnesses' memories. Craig Hum has had to remind them of their previous testimonies, letters of support they sent to Kaldis, and reports of their interviews with detectives.

Hum has essentially impeached these witnesses, because revisionist history is not fact. One witness, Jack Dietzler, recalled spending Christmas 1999 with Lauren, and possibly ten other times he saw her with her dad, and it turns out that Brown didn't have unsupervised visitation until February 2000. Of course, Lauren wasn't around for Christmas 2000. I think the event he recalls was a birthday party, because we've seen the pictures on Kaldis' website and there's a cake with candles. Hum gives Dietzler a pretty hard time about his inconsistencies, and his observation of Brown's relationship with his daughter. It seems Dietzler is exaggerating the number of times he spent with Lauren and Brown, and his pastel Disneyesque fantasy about how great a dad Brown was. The cross seemed pretty effective.

Another witness, Mark Thompson, testified that Brown (covering his tracks) told him that IP was a favorite hiking spot for Lauren and he. Brown also made up a story that conflicts with the facts, and the stories he told police, that Lauren was in a different spot, that he tried to pull her out of the water, that he ran into the road and flagged down a van to call 911. It was quite a tale. Even with support from previous testimony, Thompson has a difficult time remembering events or what he said.

Aaron Carter was a witness that saw Lauren "a few steps ahead" of her father on the road that day. This was not on the trail itself. She wasn't running, and it was on pavement. It's not much. Another witness, Terry Hope, saw Brown and Lauren on the trail up to IP, saw her throwing rocks, running around on a flat area (not at the top), and in front of Brown, walking. Later, he sees Lauren crawling on the steeper, narrower trail to the top of IP with Brown behind her. (Apparently, he's keeping up with her just fine.) His original observations (from 11 or 12 years ago?) indicated he thought that Brown and Lauren were not dressed for hiking and that Lauren looked like she was going to church. He noticed it was odd, and that Brown spoke to Lauren as though she were a dog, encouraging her to keep going...."Good girl!"

Ian Brown, the defendant's brother, could not attend trial because he's in Afghanistan, so they read his 2009 trial testimony in lieu of his appearance. He had lawyered up right away, and his mother was a wreck. 

Time is on nobody's side in this trial.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand how you would know if Cameron was a good dad or not. You didn't know him. You never saw them together. The people who did, knew he cared and knew he would have not done this this Lauren.

CountryGirl said...

Good dads don't take their little girls up on 120 foot cliffs and push them off. Good dads tell their parents when they have a daughter. Good dads don't put their child's suitcase in the middle of the road and drive off. He's a piece of crap and will rot in prison where he belongs.