It was another full day of testimony by witnesses for the prosecution in the third day of the State v. Bill Warren criminal confinement and sexual assault case.
Today, Kosciusko County Prosecutor Dan Hampton entered into evidence the video recorded police interviews of both the alleged victim, K.W., and the defendant, Bill Warren.
Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department Detective Josh Spangle occupied the witness stand for most of the 8 hours. During that time, he offered photographs of the scenes where K.W. said she was attacked. Spangle was the lead detective on the case and responsible for collecting all of the evidence, which included items such as rubber gloves, a burned sweatshirt and a box cutter.
Spangle was also the detective who interviewed Warren shortly after his arrest on Aug. 30, 2010. The officer told the jury that he was at the scene of the alleged sexual assault at a remote location in Wabash County when K.W. recognized Warren’s vehicle driving past them.
In his unmarked police vehicle, Spangle said he followed Warren until the defendant drove into a nature preserve in southern Kosciusko County. “I followed to get confirmation on the vehicle plate number,” the officer explained, noting he was also locating a photograph of Warren from the Internet to make a visual identification when Warren drove out of the nature preserve and past Spangle’s vehicle.
Spangle said a high speed pursuit entailed when the officer activated the police vehicle’s emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop. “We were going somewhere between 98 and 100 mph. At (SR) 114 and (CR) 500 he ramped his car, going airborne.” Spangled noted Warren’s vehicle sustained damage when it came back in contact with the road and the pursuit slowed considerably, but did not end. “I had a feeling he was going to bail.”
In fact, Spangle said Warren did pull his car over on a county road, exited his vehicle at the edge of a cornfield and ran. Warren was apprehended approximately 1 hour later with the help of other officers and police K9s that had set up a perimeter around the field.
In his video recorded interview, Warren was dressed in a black and white striped jumpsuit and sat with his arms crossed. He told the officer he fled because he thought he was in trouble but never gave a clear reason why.
When Spangle asked Warren why he thought the officer was at the remote location when Warren drove by the defendant said, “I didn’t have no (explicit) sex. I didn’t touch her.”
Warren indicated drugs may have been involved saying, “See here’s the thing, because I ain’t no stool pigeon. It was a f—ed up night but I can’t tell you everything.” He told the detective to go search the area again and look for evidence of what he suggested may have been a methamphetamine lab. “She keeps talking about all this f—ing bull—- and we got into it. I was tired of hearing that f—ing bull–!”
Warren insisted throughout the interview that he never touched K.W., she never touched him and he never restrained her, but he did admit she “set me off” when she made a comment about his son. “So I told her to drive … I didn’t have no gun, no stick, no knife, no tool.” He admitted to owning box cutters but said he did not have one with him.
The defendant remained adamant that he never touched the woman but did say the little girl was in the trunk of the car, although he said K.W. put the girl there. He also admitted that K.W. was naked on two occasions during the early morning hours of Aug. 30, 2010.
His two missteps may have been when, under initial questioning, Warren seemed to admit he told K.W. to get undressed when Spangle asked, “Did you tell her to take her clothes off?” and Warren replied, “She didn’t have to do it; I didn’t make her do it.”
Later, Warren told the detective “I stopped” when she said she didn’t want to have sex.
Warren told Spangle, “Our stories ain’t matching up because there’s an omission. Look at that place a little deeper … if I was a low life piece of slimy snitching s–t then you could get your story.”
Today’s testimony also involved cell phone records and text messages that the alleged victim said Warren sent from her phone while she was being held against her will. Defense attorney Alan J. Zimmerman objected to the evidence, however, saying the messages were only from Aug. 29-30, 2010, and should include relevant messages and phone records prior to and after the dates of the alleged incident. However, he noted the records were just provided to him and he requested to ask for a more formal motion on Friday.
Under cross examination of other evidence entered by the prosecution today, specifically photographs of scrapes on K.W.‘s body, Zimmerman asked Spangle if there was any evidence to suggest her wounds were caused by chemical burns from methamphetamine manufacturing. Spangle said he found no evidence of chemical burns or other caustic chemicals. He further noted there was no evidence at the secluded area of the alleged assault to indicate a methamphetamine lab.
Other evidence also submitted today included items located in Warren’s car. Those were notes handwritten by Warren and a photograph of K.W. that was taken of her while she slept. The photograph was found by Spangle in the glove compartment of Warren’s vehicle.
K.W. was brought back into the courtroom shortly before 6 p.m. to answer more questions posed by the prosecution. She was shown the photograph and said, “this freaks me out,” noting she had no idea Warren had the photo, nor had she ever seen it. She said, however, it appeared to have been taken while she slept in Warren’s bed.
Zimmerman said, “So you’re freaked out by that picture but you posed in rather suggestive clothing and had him take pictures of you before, is that correct?” K.W. replied, “That’s correct.”
The prosecution also showed a second video recorded interview detectives had conducted with K.W. Under cross examination Zimmerman asked Spangle, “Did she look high to you? She was laughing at inopportune times.” Although Spangle said he did not believe she was high, he did admit that she said she recently did methamphetamine, used marijuana and also admitted to use of illegal pills.
Zimmerman noted methamphetamine is a stimulant “and can cause people to stay up for days and increases a person’s sexual urges.”
Questions from the jury were also provided to the judge and asked of Spangle. Jurors wanted to know if the handcuffs or rubbing alcohol that K.W. said were used in the alleged assault were ever located. Neither of those items were, but Spangle noted he learned only Tuesday of this week that he should have searched the Collamer Dam near South Whitley for at least the handcuffs.
The trial was initially scheduled to conclude today, but the prosecution has not yet rested its case, meaning no witnesses for the defense have even been called to testify yet.
Judge Duane Huffer called for court to reconvene at 8:30 a.m. Friday.