web page consultants:
[ PREVIOUS STORIES
|10-16-02: Anderson case goes to the
|By SHELLEY GRIESHOP
The Daily Standard
DEFIANCE - The decision of whether to send Kimberly Anderson to prison
or to acquit her of the murder of her husband is headed to the jury.
After three hours of closing arguments this morning by Auglaize County
Prosecuting Attorney Ed Pierce and defense attorney Alan Konop of Toledo, jurors were
given instructions and were to begin deliberating Kimberly Anderson's fate early this
Pierce made it clear to the jury that Kimberly Anderson, not Brent
Anderson, is the one on trial. He asked jurors to be careful how they consider the sexual
abuse allegations that were raised against Brent Anderson during trial testimony.
"In the search for the truth ... consider this: Brent Anderson
never got a chance to express his rights," Pierce said, although Kimberly Anderson
was given every option of her rights.
Kimberly Anderson acted as judge, jury and executioner in taking Brent
Anderson's life, Pierce said.
Konop started the closing argument by thanking jurors for their
"We are not here, none of us in this courtroom, to celebrate the
death of Brent Anderson. It's been a loss for everyone," Konop told jurors.
Konop reminded jurors of previous testimony from witnesses who
described Kimberly Anderson as crying and upset the day of the shooting.
"Is she an actress or is this only a woman who was threatened and
nothing else to do? If shešs going to make up a story, she's going to say he kicked her
around ... that would be her story," Konop said.
The defense attorney downplayed the forensic evidence in the case and
suggested a lack of a thorough law enforcement investigation.
Jurors, who have sat through about 30 hours of testimony in six days, are to
take as long as necessary to decide if Anderson, 38, is guilty or not
guilty of aggravated murder, murder and voluntary manslaughter in the multiple shooting
death of her estranged husband, Celina attorney Brent Anderson, 37.
She claims she shot her husband in self-defense as he came after her
during an argument in her rural Wapakoneta home, Sept. 2, 2001.
The Defiance County Common Pleas courtroom, where the trial was moved
due to pretrial publicity, was filled to its 38-seat capacity this morning as family and
friends of both Kimberly and Brent Anderson arrived early to hear closing arguments.
Reserved seating was set aside for family members of both the defendant and the victim, as
well as a small section for media representatives. All others participated in a
"random lottery system" for the few seats that remained.
After Konop concluded the defense's case at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Pierce
promptly announced that he, too, rested his case and would not call any rebuttal witnesses
to the stand.
A short time later, the jury was dismissed and Konop again asked the
court for an acquittal on all three indictment counts against Kimberly Anderson - an
action he also sought and was denied last week after three
days of testimony by the prosecution.
A motion for acquittal by a defense attorney is a fairly standard
action taken during a trial, following the conclusion of testimony for both sides.
Auglaize County Judge Frederick Pepple immediately denied acquittal for
murder and voluntary manslaughter, then took a two-hour deliberation before denying the
motion for acquittal of aggravated murder, the most serious charge Kimberly Anderson
"After consideration of the evidence and testimony, I find that a
reasonable jury could conclude that it would tend to show planning and conscientious
choices (were exhibited), including the loading of the gun with the extra clip,"
The semi-automatic handgun used by Kimberly Anderson to kill Brent
Anderson was loaded to its maximum capacity of 11 bullets.
Pepple also said prior calculation was shown when Kimberly Anderson
stated she chose to go upstairs to find a telephone and grabbed the loaded gun instead. He
also noted that a working telephone was available in the downstairs study not far from
where the argument began, according to earlier testimony.
Before ruling on the acquittal in its entirety, Pepple asked both
Pierce and Konop to again prove or disprove prior calculation by Kimberly Anderson.
Pierce cited the loaded gun and noted that a doctor and respected
friend of Kimberly Anderson's told her not to confront her husband, but she ignored the
warning. Pierce said the downward angle and position of the gunshot wounds to Brent
Anderson, as well as Kimberly Andersonšs choices the day of the shooting, showed her
"When the defendant went to the nightstand to retrieve the phone,
she retrieved the gun instead," Pierce said. "She had a choice to pick up the
phone or the gun. It's at that point she made a choice ... her choice was the gun."
In support of the acquittal motion for aggravated murder, Konop said
none of Kimberly Anderson's actions constituted a mental plan or studied consideration.
The shooting incident took place in a short period of time under "rapid fire"
and was not planned, he added.
Tuesday morning, forensic pathologist, L.J. Dragovich of Michigan, told
jurors under direct questioning by Konop that there was no way of knowing in which
sequence the wounds were made on Brent Anderson. He also said, in his opinion, the
injuries were sustained quickly, in rapid fire, "virtually as fast as one could
squeeze the trigger."
Ted Manasian, a forensic scientist with the Ohio BCI&I, testified
Tuesday about a pubic hair found in the diaper of Brent and Kimberly Anderson's son, Ryan,
then 1. The diaper was reportedly worn by Ryan the day of the shooting when Brent Anderson
returned his son to Kimberly Anderson the day of the shooting.
The defense claims the hair, which matched DNA of Brent Anderson,
supports Kimberly Anderson's suspicions that her husband was molesting the couple's two
young boys. Under cross-examination by Pierce, Manasian stated the hair easily could have
been placed in the diaper through a type of transference such as shared use of a bath
towel by father and son.
Bridget Foster, also a forensic scientist with Ohio BCI&I,
testified for the defense about a semen stain found in a full-size sheet lying across a
crib in Brent Anderson's home. The sheet was retrieved from the home 24 days after the
shooting and the stain matched that of DNA taken from Brent Anderson, Foster testified.
Under cross-examination by Fox, Foster said semen stains could remain
detectable for DNA study for a long time - BCI&I tests have shown as long as 22 years
- even after washing.
Meghan Clement, a DNA expert in body fluids from Laboratory Corporation
of America of North Carolina, disputed Foster's claim and said semen stains would no
longer be suitable for DNA testing after washing.
During cross-examination, Clement explained to Pierce that the lab used
mitochondria testing on the pubic hair found in the diaper. Brent Anderson's siblings, she
said, would all have the same mitochondria sequencing in their DNA as Brent Anderson,
because that particular DNA is maternally-related, meaning passed on by a female to her
Clement also admitted during testimony that there was another DNA match
of the pubic hair in the 4,839 individuals that made up the test database, and the match
was not that of Brent Anderson.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE DAILY STANDARD
(419)586-2371, Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2002
The Standard Printing
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH