See also: DeWayne
Brasfield CFPD Report
See also: DeWayne Brasfield Civil Trial Deposition
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
13 COURT: Would you please state your full
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,
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?
1 A. Saturday.
2 Q. What did you graduate in?
3 A. Business administration and political
5 Q. If I could ask you, sir, speak up just a
6 little louder.
7 A. Business administration and political
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
25 A. William Mitchell, which is in St. Paul,
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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 --
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?
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,
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?
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
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
24 Q. And did you remain there until the police and
25 ambulance personnel arrived?
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
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.
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?
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
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.
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
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