Trial: Fifth Day
"Day 5: Devil in the Blue DressI don't get the impression that Dennis actually described what he and Melissa were doing in that hot tub other than standing in the water naked. Was that detail not permitted in testimony? Of course, the security video from that time would clarify some of this, but the video is apparently excluded from evidence.
"The first person to take the stand was Dennis Baker. In my opinion Dennis was a great help to Kevin’s case today. As you remember, last week when Melissa took the stand, she was adamant that she got in the hot tub with both her bra & panties, and later stated that she put on Dennis’s sweatshirt when she got out in order to avoid getting her clothes wet. She also said that after going inside to check on everyone she “snuck” back into the hot tub by herself. Dennis informed the jury of a few details of the evening which our Deschutes County sweetheart left out. As suspected, they were both naked in the hot tub. This explains why later when Melissa realized everyone had left, she had to take her bra & panties off because her bra was frozen from being outside. I’ve been wondering how it was that her bra was frozen if she had been wearing it and a sweatshirt. So thank you Dennis, for clearing that up.
The other interesting tidbit of information Dennis was kind enough to share was that after they got out of the hot tub, Dennis handed Melissa her clothes—and she refused to put them on. She said repeatedly they weren’t her pants! Everyone else was dressed, but she was unable to recognize her own pants. Dennis finally got her to put the blue hooded sweatshirt on, which Melissa wore the rest of the night.
Dennis also talked about how shortly after exiting the hot tub, he noticed Melissa had gone missing. He didn’t think much of it at first, but after awhile he went outside to have a smoke and look around… Melissa was not outside (in the hot tub where she claims to have been), and Dennis says he and Kevin walked through the house, opening up doors and checking all the rooms for Melissa, but could not find her. After an unsuccessful search and lack of desire to find her (she wasn’t his responsibility) he caught a ride home with a few others who were leaving as well.
Dennis also said with confidence and certainty that Melissa had told him several times that night, she had a boyfriend. This is a direct contradiction to what Melissa continues to say on the stand. Between Dennis’s statements and the 2nd police report, that Melissa doesn’t much like to tell the truth!
Jody’s cross-examination of Dennis was absurd. She just continued asking him the same questions over and over and over: How do you remember this? Why didn’t you talk to the police? What was so special about this night that you remember anything? How many times have you talked to the Defense Attorney about this case? Why do you remember that? Dennis never once wavered. He was polite and concise, and in my opinion came across genuine and sincere. OOH yeah… and HE SAW & ASKED MELISSA ABOUT THE BRUISES EARLIER THAT NIGHT IN THE HOT TUB… Melissa just laughed and looked away.
"Crystal Scott was up next. Crystal was the only other female at the house that night. She backed up Dennis’s story that Melissa was not wearing any clothes in the hot tub, and that she refused to put her clothes back on after exiting. She states that she was in the kitchen the entire time she was at Kevin’s house with the exception of going out to smoke. She remembers at one point Melissa passing her from the kitchen into the living room, but didn’t pay attention to where she went because she had no reason to care. Crystal also stated that she went out on the back deck frequently and never saw Melissa in the hot tub [again]. In fact, she never saw Melissa again for the rest of the night.
Jody asked her the same questions, how she remembered the night… it was so long ago. Who was at the party, did she know them, what cars did she ride in, why didn’t she go looking for Melissa if she knew she was missing from the party. Crystal didn’t really know Melissa, and didn’t have any reason to care let alone worry that she had disappeared. Jody also made much of the fact that Crystal had gone to the bars alone earlier that night, almost making fun of her for this. It was pretty rude. Crystal didn’t fall for Jody's antagonizing tactics and took the high road, sticking to the facts she knew.
"Cody Wood then came to the stand. He clearly remembered Melissa and Dennis in the hot tub, and Melissa refusing to put her clothes on. He also knew that at some point she went traipsing through the house in nothing but a sweatshirt and also didn’t know or care where she went. Cody also acknowledged that he along with 2-3 other unknown males were the last to leave the house that night. He hadn’t seen Kevin for awhile and left out the front door, assuming Kevin had gone to bed.
The MVP of the day definitely went to Dr. Terri Haddix, a forensic pathologist. I’d list her resume, but it is several pages long, so you will just have to take my word that she is an expert (to say the least) in her field. Of the approximately 20+ pictures Dr. Haddix reviewed, she was only able to comment on a handful, due to the poor quality of the pictures taken not only by the SANE nurse at the hospital, but by Redmond PD’s own Sgt. Chase. There was one in particular where she said she wasn’t sure the object in the picture was even a wound. On the handful she was able to analyze, she was able to say with medical certainty that the bruises were at least 24 hours old at the time the photographs were taken. [Editor's note: according to Melissa's timeline, the bruises would have been 10 hours old at the time the photos were taken. ] Dr. Haddix was able to tell this because of the yellowing of the bruises which indicates the bruise is in a healing stage.
As for the “bite” mark, Dr. Haddix stated with medical certainty that she does not believe the bruise on Melissa’s chest is a bite at all, however, she does not know what it is from. She said that due to the placement of the mark, it would be difficult if not impossible to create a bite mark with only the upper jaw and no marks from the lower jaw. Also, the position Melissa states they were in when the “bite” was made is also nearly impossible. Melissa said that Kevin was on top of her (he is over a foot taller than she is, mind you) and that they were face to face and he bit her. His head would have been angled 90 deg. right and also bent down for this to be possible. It is preposterous.
Jody’s defense will come tomorrow when she calls her family practice doctor to dispute the expert testimony Dr. Haddix gave today. Jody did try to call her training into question, but was quickly shut down when Dr. Haddix went into a lengthy history of her contracted employment for the prosecution in California. Jody moved on to say that her experience is with dead people, and again she was shut down because Dr. Haddix has has worked literally thousands of cases with “living” patients as well.
Jody also tried to use a pediatric bruise analysis report to disprove her ability to put a timeline on bruises. Dr. Haddix acknowledged that “pediatric” studies are generally to 18 years old, and Jody asked if there was much difference between the healing time of an 18-year-old to a 30-year-old. Dr. Haddix said no, but said the study was done on 16 ½ month-olds to 14-year-olds, and Jody asked the question again: is there a big difference between a 14 year old and a 30 year old? Dr. Haddix was polite, and suggested there was quite a difference between a 16 ½ month-old and a 30-year-old, and everything in between, since the skin of a toddler or young child is thinner than that of an adult. Jody was grasping at straws especially when she started talking about a chart used to determine the age of bruises. NO one knew what she was talking about. I feel very confident about it.
I think it’s also worth noting, Jody wore a blue dress/suit thing today, and she was particularly rude and irritating. Detective Wick wore the same exact blue suit he has worn every single day of the trial, and Melissa wore 5” stiletto heels. She was dressed like a nun from her neck to her ankles, but added some spice with a pair of FREAKING HOOKER HEELS! I cannot get enough of this train wreck! Thanks for listening and I’ll keep this going. Hopefully only 2 more days!
Furthermore, Melissa in her second police report stated that she DID have sex that night—presumably with Dennis in the hot tub. Yet she was "adamant" that she was wearing undergarments during the same timeframe, which sounds. . . a bit encumbering.
But maybe her statement in the second police report was also not admitted into evidence?