See also: DeWayne Brasfield CFPD Report
See also:
DeWayne Brasfield Civil Trial Deposition

DEWAYNE BRASFIELD
CRIMINAL TRIAL


(Pages 62-79)

6 COURT: Mr. Wadding?

 

7 MR. WADDING: The state would call DeWayne

8 Brasfield, Your Honor.

 

9 DEWAYNE OLIVER BRASFIELD,

 

10 called as a witness on behalf of the state, being first

11 duly sworn by the court, was examined and testified as

12 follows:

 

13 COURT: Would you please state your full

14 name.

 

15 WITNESS: DeWayne Oliver Brasfield.

 

16 COURT: Mr. Wadding?

 

17 MR. WADDING: Thank you.

 

18 DIRECT EXAMINATION

 

19 BY MR. WADDING:

 

20 Q. Mr. Brasfield, could I ask your occupation,

21 sir?

 

22 A. I'm a student at UNI, and I work part-time

23 at -- well, I just graduated, and I work part-time at

24 K-Mart security.

 

25 Q. And you say you just graduated from UNI?

63

 

1 A. Saturday.

 

2 Q. What did you graduate in?

 

3 A. Business administration and political

4 science.

 

5 Q. If I could ask you, sir, speak up just a

6 little louder.

 

7 A. Business administration and political

8 science.

 

9 Q. Thank you. And you indicated that you also

10 worked at K-Mart; is that correct?

 

11 A. That's correct.

 

12 Q. What did you do with K-Mart?

 

13 A. I was loss control, security there.

 

14 Q. And how long did you do that?

 

15 A. For about a year and a half.

 

16 Q. And are you still currently doing that?

 

17 A. Yes, until I leave.

 

18 Q. Until you what?

 

19 A. Until I leave, yes.

 

20 Q. And do you have some plans about leaving, or

 

21 what are your plans now?

 

22 A. I start law school in August.

 

23 Q. And where do you plan on attending law school

24 at?

 

25 A. William Mitchell, which is in St. Paul,

64

 

1 Minnesota.

 

2 Q. And how old a man are you, sir?

 

3 A. I'm 28 -- well, I just turned 29 Sunday.

 

4 Q. And are you married to Emily Brasfield?

 

5 A. Yes, I am.

 

6 Q. And were you with Ms. Brasfield, then Rizner,

7 on October 4th, 1996?

 

8 A. Yes, I was.

 

9 Q. And could you just describe generally what --

10 what you were doing approximately 11 o'clock p.m. that

11 night?

 

12 A. We were coming back from a movie, I believe,

13 or our parents' house. I think it was a movie. And we

14 were heading home on Highway 58.

 

15 Q. Do you recall what direction you were

16 traveling?

 

17 A. I believe it was north, because we were

18 coming from the highway going toward the university.

 

19 Q. And do you recall who was operating the

20 vehicle?

 

21 A. My wife was -- well, at the time my fiancee

22 was driving.

 

23 Q. And where were you at?

 

24 A. I was sitting in the passenger side.

 

25 Q. In the front seat?

 

65

 

1 A. Front seat, yes.

 

2 Q. And do you recall, or did you -- did you make

3 any observation about the intersection at Greenhill Road

4 and Highway 58?

 

5 A. Could you rephrase that? I don't understand.

 

6 Q. Did you make any observation of the traffic

7 control devices at that intersection prior to any --

8 prior to the accident in this case?

 

9 A. Other than the fact that the lights were

10 blinking, there was not -- I didn't see anything else.

 

11 Q. Okay. And you did observe that the lights

12 were blinking though?

 

13 A. Yes, sir.

 

14 Q. And do you recall what color they were

15 blinking?

 

16 A. Yellow.

 

17 Q. Would that have been for your lane of travel?

 

18 A. For our lane of travel, yes.

 

19 Q. And do you recall approaching that

20 intersection with your wife?

 

21 A. Yes.

 

22 Q. Do you recall -- can you describe how you

23 approached that intersection?

 

24 A. We were heading -- we were in the right

25 lane -- left lane, and we were coming down Highway 58

66

 

1 toward what I assume is Greenhill Road, and then we were

2 trying to determine whether or not we were going to go

3 directly to a friend's house or directly to the

4 university toward our house, and we had decided to switch

5 lanes, and at the time we switched lanes to turn right,

6 that's when I saw the headlight coming toward the car.

 

7 Q. And is that -- is that your first observation

8 of this accident?

 

9 A. The first observation was when we got close,

10 I don't know how many feet we were from the intersection,

11 is when we saw the car -- or the truck go past our

12 headlight, the front of our car. As we were about to

13 turn, it went through the intersection, but I had the

14 music loud, that I didn't hear anything, and that's when

15 I looked and saw the headlight coming which turned my

16 head to that direction, and I saw the accident and both

17 the cars going up on the embankment.

 

18 Q. And so you observed both the cars after the

19 impact?

 

20 A. That's correct.

 

21 Q. And you said that you observed a car -- or a

22 vehicle go in front of your headlights?

 

23 A. That's correct.

 

24 Q. And did you make any note of that or --

 

25 A. Well, I just -- I was -- it made me determine

 

67

 

1 whether or not all the lights were yellow, because it

2 didn't -- it just zoomed straight through right in front

3 of us, and I knew we had the right-of-way, and that's

4 what I noticed because the car was going fast, and it

5 went right past it, and then it hit the car on the other

6 side.

 

7 Q. Now --

8 MR. WADDING: May I approach, Your Honor?

 

9 COURT: You may.

 

10 Q. I think that you had an opportunity to

11 observe State's Exhibit "A" prior to getting up here

12 today; is that correct?

 

13 A. Yes.

 

14 Q. And I believe that Ms. Rizner has

15 indicated -- excuse me, Ms. Brasfield has indicated the

16 location of the vehicle at the time of -- your location

17 of the vehicle at the time -- right around the time of

18 the accident?

 

19 A. That's correct.

 

20 Q. Does that look appropriate to you?

 

21 A. Yes. That's exactly where we were at that

22 time.

 

23 Q. Okay. Now, when you observed the vehicles

24 after the impact, what are they doing?

 

25 A. We were coming this way, and we were about to

 

68

 

1 turn, like I said, and we were going to go forward, and

2 he was coming this way, but we decided to turn, and as we

3 got about here, that's when we saw them hit about right

4 in this area, and he knocked both of them into this

5 grass.

 

6 Q. Okay. Now, you see that -- the marks

7 indicated in the grassy area where you were pointing?

 

8 A. Yes.

 

9 Q. And does that look where the cars -- vehicles

10 that were involved in the impact rested?

 

11 A. Yeah, that's about right. They were farther

12 down, and his car was sitting about five feet down from

13 the curb with his headlights facing toward the street.

 

14 Q. Would that be the silver vehicle?

 

15 A. Silver vehicle.

 

16 Q. And the blue vehicle, is that approximately

17 correct?

 

18 A. They were actually the other way, but that is

19 correct, yes.

 

20 Q. What do you mean the other way?

 

21 A. The car was pointed more toward the back of

22 his car, because when I came around the front, the

23 driver -- the first car -- the first door that I came to

24 was the passenger side, so the driver's door was on the

25 opposite side of this on this side.

 

69

 

1 Q. So you would place the blue vehicle, just

2 switches position a little bit?

 

3 A. Just a little, yeah.

 

4 Q. Okay. But you don't have any disagreement

5 with where they end up in the --

 

6 A. No. No.

 

7 Q. -- in general?

 

8 A. No.

 

9 Q. Okay. And can you describe what you saw when

10 you -- when you see this -- these two cars after the

11 impact, can you describe what they're doing?

 

12 A. We were driving. We were about to turn. We

13 slowed down the car. He went through, he hit the car,

14 and they were going onto the embankment. Because I

15 didn't hear the crash, I just happened to see this

16 headlight, which I thought was a bird, and it smashed in

17 front of us which made me look. That's when I turned.

18 They were already like this, and the cars were going up

19 the embankment at that time, and they were separating,

20 and the blue car was spinning, and his car turned around

21 in the position that I stated, and then that's where they

22 stayed until we stopped.

 

23 Q. And what kind of impression did you get of

24 the type of impact, or did you think it was a serious

25 impact or --

 

70

 

1 A. Well, I wasn't sure at first what had

2 happened because a lot of times people who fish in that

3 area park their cars up on the embankment. So when I saw

4 him hit the car, I wasn't positive he hit it, or I

5 assumed he didn't until I saw the fact that the

6 headlights and the tires and everything was flying, and

7 we pulled over at that point.

 

8 Q. And what did you do then?

 

9 A. I had -- I instructed my wife, Emily, to make

10 a U-turn to the side of the road that they were at, and

11 in the middle of the intersection I jumped out and

12 instructed her to get out in the street, and I started

13 running toward the area where they were -- toward his

14 truck actually and --

 

15 Q. And when you're pointing, who are you

16 pointing to when you say his truck?

 

17 A. The defendant.

 

18 Q. Is that the gentleman in the olive-gray suit?

 

19 A. Yes, that's correct.

 

20 Q. And the -- when did you first observe him?

 

21 A. He was getting out -- him and his wife were

22 getting out opposite sides of the truck, and I ran over,

23 asked him was he okay.

 

24 Q. And what observations did you make of the

25 defendant and the female that was with him?

 

71

 

1 A. As I stated, they were staggering out the

2 car, but I just assumed it was from the shakeup from the

3 accident, so I went to help them get out of the street

4 because there were other cars coming. He was kind of

5 standing in the middle of the street, and at that point

6 he had instructed me to go help them, that he was fine.

 

7 Q. Did you make any other observations other

8 than that they were staggering at that time?

 

9 A. When I got up to them and I was trying to

10 help them to the side, and when he said, go help them,

11 then that's when I smelled the alcohol on his breath.

12 And at that point I instructed the other woman that was

13 driving, I think the GEO or the green car, I says to them

14 that I thought they were drinking, and I said, watch

15 them, I'm going to go check on the girls or the people in

16 the other car. And then I ran to their car, and then I

17 haven't -- I haven't went back.

 

18 Q. I'm sorry?

 

19 A. I didn't go back after that.

 

20 Q. Did you make any other observations about

21 their gait or their walk or anything like that?

 

22 A. I -- I remember the wife trying to -- they

23 were trying to hold each other up. I remember I smelled

24 alcohol on her breath as well, and they were trying to

25 hold each other up, and she kept telling him to shut up,

72

 

1 and he kept talking, and he made the statement that he

2 might have had a few drinks. And at this point they went

3 and sat on the curb, and that's when the other witness

4 started to talk to them, and I went over to the other

5 side of the road.

 

6 Q. Okay. And where did you go over to the other

7 side of the road?

 

8 A. Where?

 

9 Q. Yes.

 

10 A. I went to where the girls were in the car.

 

11 Q. Okay. And what observations did you make of

12 the girls in the car?

 

13 A. When I came up to the car, the girl in the

14 passenger side seemed delirious. She kept repeating the

15 same things over, asking was it their fault and what did

16 they do and what happened. She kept repeating that over

17 and over again. Then I looked over to the driver, but

18 she was on the opposite side of the car, and she seemed

19 to be going through like a seizure-like movement with her

20 head and her body. Her head kept as though when you're

21 about to fall asleep and you keep dropping your head back

22 and forth. That's kind of what she was doing. I mean,

23 there was just blood everywhere.

 

24 Q. And did you make any attempt to move the

25 driver of the vehicle at all?

 

73

 

1 A. I couldn't get the driver's side door open

2 and --

 

3 Q. Why was that?

 

4 A. Because it looked like it was dented in shut,

5 and it looked like it was pinning her to the seat, and I

6 went to the passenger side, and she kept trying to get

7 out of the car, and I kept having her sit down. And then

8 she started asking about my friends, and I stated that --

9 what friends, and that's when I thought somebody might

10 have been thrown from the car, so I started looking in

11 the grass, and I didn't see anyone. I came back to the

12 car and asked what about her friends, and then I saw an

13 arm move in the back seat, and I helped her up and

14 noticed that she wasn't in good condition either.

 

15 Q. Okay. What was -- was she responsive to you,

16 the person in the back seat?

 

17 A. No, she wasn't. She was nodding as well, and

18 she had blood all in her seat and all in her face, around

19 in this area and right up in this area. She was bleeding

20 a lot, and I was trying to -- I was trying to determine

21 if I should take them out or not, and I decided since the

22 woman on the street had a cell phone, I decided just to

23 leave them until the ambulance came.

 

24 Q. Okay. And did you ever get any kind of a

25 response from the driver of the vehicle with the girls in

 

74

 

1 it and the back seat passenger?

2 A. The driver -- oh, I'm sorry. The driver

3 never opened her eyes. She just continued with that

4 seizure-like movement, and the woman in the back never

5 woke up either. She was just kind of back there just

6 moving her head around. The only one that was even

7 speaking was the passenger.

 

8 Q. Okay. And did they appear to be young? Old?

9 How would you describe their age?

 

10 A. About teenage. Probably I would assume 16 to

11 17 years of age.

 

12 Q. Did you know any of them?

 

13 A. No, I didn't.

 

14 Q. Did you know the defendant in -- and his

15 female passenger?

 

16 A. No. No, I didn't.

 

17 Q. Did you remain there at the -- at that

18 vehicle with the younger females in it then?

 

19 A. Yes. I was trying to calm the passenger down

20 because she kept trying to get out of the car, and she

21 was bleeding a little, so I didn't really know what was

22 going on, so I just told her to sit tight and someone was

23 coming.

 

24 Q. And did you remain there until the police and

25 ambulance personnel arrived?

 

75

 

1 A. Well, I held her hand because she started

2 crying, and I just told her it would be okay. She kept

3 asking about her friends, and I said, I don't know, we'd

4 just have to wait and see, and I kept trying to hold the

5 girl in the back seat up because she kept sliding back

6 down again. Every time she moved her head enough that

7 she would start to slide, so I was trying to hold them

8 up, and at that time the other girl came over to help

9 out.

 

10 Q. And did you have any further contact with the

11 defendant then?

 

12 A. No.

 

13 Q. And how long do you think it was before the

14 police -- or ambulance personnel arrived?

 

15 A. It seemed like forever, but I'm assuming it

16 was probably 15 minutes maybe.

 

17 MR. WADDING: That's all the questions I

18 have. Thanks.

 

19 COURT: Mr. Correll.

 

20 CROSS-EXAMINATION

 

21 BY MR. CORRELL:

 

22 Q. Mr. Brasfield, I have just a few questions.

23 When you approached Mr. Rokes, the man you've identified

24 here as Mr. Rokes, isn't it a fact that you asked him if

25 he needed any help?

 

76

 

1 A. That's correct.

 

2 Q. And isn't it a fact that he told you that you

3 should go -- that he was okay and you should go help the

4 people in the blue car?

 

5 A. That's correct.

 

6 Q. And when he said that, did he seem

7 legitimate -- or sincerely concerned about the people in

8 the blue car?

 

9 MR. WADDING: I'm going to object, Your

10 Honor. I think that calls for speculation.

 

11 COURT: Overruled. You may answer.

 

12 A. Could you say that again, please.

 

13 Q. Did Mr. Rokes seem sincerely concerned about

14 the people in the blue car when he said that to you?

 

15 A. I have no way of knowing that. He just made

16 a statement, help them.

 

17 Q. Okay. With regard to the situation when you

18 saw Mr. Rokes, did you not believe that he was concerned?

19 A. Again, other than the fact that he did damage

20 a great deal of damage to their car, I can see the

21 concern there, but as far as emotional concern, I have no

22 way of identifying that.

 

23 Q. Didn't he tell you he was concerned?

 

24 A. He said help them.

 

25 Q. Okay. And was he not polite when he spoke

 

77

 

1 with you?

 

2 A. Yes.

 

3 Q. With regard to the girls, did you -- did he

4 ever ask you, are the girls okay?

 

5 A. No.

 

6 Q. Did you -- you never went back and had any

7 other conversation with him after that first

8 conversation; is that correct?

 

9 A. That's correct.

 

10 Q. And so the balance of the time you would have

11 been basically with the girls in the blue car waiting for

12 the medical people to come and attend?

 

13 A. The time limit?

 

14 Q. Yeah. I mean, while you -- after you got out

15 of your car, first you went to Mr. Rokes, correct?

 

16 A. Correct.

 

17 Q. And you had that conversation that you just

18 described there?

 

19 A. Correct.

 

20 Q. And basically the only things he told -- or

21 spoke directly to you were, help them, correct?

 

22 A. He said that twice.

 

23 Q. And then you went over to the blue car to

24 help them?

 

25 A. Correct.

78

 

1 Q. And you stayed over at the blue car until the

2 medical people arrived?

 

3 A. That's correct.

 

4 Q. And you went and gave a statement the next

5 day; is that correct?

 

6 A. I believe so. I'm not sure.

 

7 Q. And did -- did you see him, Mr. Rokes,

8 stumble in any fashion?

 

9 A. Yes.

 

10 Q. Did he -- was he attempting to hold his wife,

11 support his wife?

 

12 A. They were attempting to hold -- support each

13 other. At that point when I left him, when he said, help

14 them, help them, she took over -- I had them a little,

15 and she was coming toward me, and at that point he said,

16 help them, help them, she took over, and they kind of

17 held each other as they walked to the curb.

 

18 Q. And they waited there until the ambulance and

19 the people came; is that a fair statement?

 

20 A. That's fair, yes.

 

21 Q. And at no point was he belligerent or

22 obnoxious; is that a fair statement?

 

23 A. No. He -- I could see from where I was

24 standing that he was concerned and upset, and him and his

25 wife was kind of saying stuff amongst themselves, and she

 

79

 

1 was trying to get him to be quiet and sit down, and he

2 seemed kind of worried, you know, that this had happened

3 and kind of saddened by it, and I could see her holding

4 him, and then he sat down.

 

5 Q. And he wasn't belligerent out there, was he?

 

6 A. No.

 

7 MR. CORRELL: That's all. Thank you, sir.

 

8 COURT: Mr. Wadding?

 

9 REDIRECT EXAMINATION

 

10 BY MR. WADDING:

 

11 Q. Just one question. Do you remember -- you

12 said that they went to the curb. Do you remember where

13 they were sitting?

 

14 A. Opposite -- they were sitting here.

 

15 Q. In the median?

 

16 A. No. On this curb far on the other side of

17 the street, right in front of where the sidewalk is.

 

18 Q. Now --

 

19 A. Actually right in front of her bumper kind of

20 like right there.

 

21 MR. WADDING: Nothing further. Thank you.

 

22 COURT: Mr. Correll, anything further?

 

23 MR. CORRELL: Nothing.

 

24 COURT: Thank you. Mr. Wadding?

 

25 MR. WADDING: Thank you. Call Ms. Girsch to

 

 

updated 12/15/16