JENNIFER STIEHL
Criminal Trial Testimony


(Pages 666-673)

 

4 COURT: That's fine. She can remain here.

 

5 MR. CORRELL: Please stand by that blue chair

 

6 up there, and Judge Geer will swear you in.

 

7 JENNIFER LYNN STEIL,

 

8 called as a witness on behalf of the defendant, being

 

9 first duly sworn by the court, was examined and testified

 

10 as follows:

 

11 COURT: State your full name, please.

 

12 WITNESS: Jennifer Lynn Steil.

 

13 COURT: How do you spell your last name?

 

14 WITNESS: S-T-E-I-L.

 

15 COURT: Mr. Correll?

 

16 DIRECT EXAMINATION

 

17 BY MR. CORRELL:

 

18 Q. Again, for the record, will you state your

 

19 name, please.

 

20 A. Jennifer Lynn Steil.

 

21 Q. And what is your address, please?

 

22 A. 2705 Ryan Drive.

 

23 Q. And will you spell Ryan for the record?

 

24 A. R-Y-A-N.

 

25 Q. What is your age?

667

 

1 A. I'm 17.

 

2 Q. And are you in school?

 

3 A. Yes.

 

4 Q. What school and what grade?

 

5 A. Cedar Falls High School, junior.

 

6 Q. Where do you live in relationship to Tracy

 

7 and Delonna Rokes?

 

8 A. I live across the street and down two houses

 

9 to the left.

 

10 Q. Do you know their family?

 

11 A. Yes.

 

12 Q. Have you ever been employed by Tracy and

 

13 Delonna Rokes to do babysitting for their children?

 

14 A. Yes, I have.

 

15 Q. And do they, in fact, have two young

 

16 children?

 

17 A. Yes.

 

18 Q. For approximately how long a period of time

 

19 have you done babysitting for them?

 

20 A. I have babysat for them about two years.

 

21 Q. Okay. Have you -- or did you babysit for

 

22 them on the evening of Friday, October 4, 1996?

 

23 A. Yes, I did.

 

24 Q. Do you recall specifically what time it was

 

25 that you were called over there for babysitting?

 

668

 

1 A. I would say around 6:30 to 7:30.

 

2 Q. By that answer, does that mean you don't know

 

3 the exact time?

 

4 A. I do not know the exact time, no.

 

5 Q. Would it have been some time between that

 

6 time that you went over there?

 

7 A. Yes.

 

8 Q. After you got there, did Mr. and Mrs. Rokes

 

9 stay in the home for some period of time finishing

 

10 getting ready or doing anything before they left?

 

11 A. Yeah. I'd figure around ten minutes or so.

 

12 Q. Did they tell you on that occasion where they

 

13 were going to go for the evening?

 

14 A. Yes, they did.

 

15 Q. Did they make a habit of telling you that?

 

16 A. Yes.

 

17 Q. Did they, as part of that, indicate to you at

 

18 what time or approximately what time it would be that

 

19 they would be returning to the home?

 

20 A. Yes, they did tell me what time they were

 

21 returning home.

 

22 Q. Do you specifically remember what time it was

 

23 that they told you?

 

24 A. No, not specifically.

 

25 Q. Were they typically back to the home at about

 

669

 

1 the time they had indicated to you?

 

2 MR. WADDING: Your Honor, I -- I'm going to

 

3 object to the -- that question as being leading. I

 

4 believe that the questions are leading to this witness

 

5 and ask he proceed in not a leading nature.

 

6 COURT: Overruled. You may answer the

 

7 question.

 

8 A. About that night or --

 

9 Q. Generally.

 

10 A. -- generally?

 

11 Q. Yes.

 

12 A. Yes. They are home when they say they're

 

13 going to be home.

 

14 Q. Prior to them leaving, did you see any

 

15 indication of Tracy Rokes consuming any alcoholic

 

16 beverage in any way prior to his leaving the home that

 

17 night?

 

18 A. No, I did not.

 

19 Q. Would you indicate if, while you were

 

20 babysitting, did you receive any call from the hospital

 

21 regarding a report that Mr. and Mrs. Rokes had been in an

 

22 accident?

 

23 A. Yes, I did.

 

24 Q. And did you pay -- or do you know exactly

 

25 what time that call was received by you?

 

670

 

1 A. I would say around a half an hour after they

 

2 said they were going to be home.

 

3 Q. Okay. And who was that call from?

 

4 A. It was from the head nurse at Sartori

 

5 Hospital.

 

6 Q. And did she basically indicate to you that

 

7 they were in an accident?

 

8 A. Yes, she did. She did not say how serious it

 

9 was though.

 

10 Q. Did she -- did she indicate about how long it

 

11 would be before they would be coming home then?

 

12 A. No, she did not. She just said that --

 

13 MR. WADDING: I would object, Your Honor. It

 

14 calls for hearsay.

 

15 COURT: Sustained.

 

16 Q. After you got that call from the nurse, did

 

17 you remain in the home --

 

18 A. Yes.

 

19 Q. -- in the Rokes home? And did anybody then

 

20 come to the home after you got that call from the nurse

 

21 to relieve you from babysitting?

 

22 A. Yes. The next door neighbor, Mark

 

23 Schleisman, came over later that night and told me that I

 

24 could go home and that they would pay me later.

 

25 Q. And could you spell his last name, please.

 

671

 

1 A. Oh, S-C-H -- I'm not quite sure.

 

2 E-I-S-M-A-N.

 

3 Q. And does he live on Ryan Drive?

 

4 A. Yes.

 

5 Q. Did he, in fact, come and relieve you, and

 

6 did you go home?

 

7 A. Yes.

 

8 Q. Okay. And you would have left prior to the

 

9 Rokeses getting home; is that correct?

 

10 A. Yes.

 

11 Q. Do you know at what time it was that he came

 

12 and relieved you?

 

13 A. No, I do not.

 

14 MR. CORRELL: That's all the questions I

 

15 have, Your Honor.

 

16 COURT: Mr. Wadding?

 

17 CROSS-EXAMINATION

 

18 BY MR. WADDING:

 

19 Q. What was your understanding of where the

 

20 Rokeses would be?

 

21 A. I -- they did tell me where they were going

 

22 to be, but I cannot --

 

23 Q. They did not? They did not tell you where

 

24 they were going --

 

25 A. Yes, they did tell me where they were going

 

672

 

1 to go, but I don't remember where they said they were

 

2 going to go.

 

3 Q. Are you familiar with the tavern or bar

 

4 called Brooster's?

 

5 A. Yes.

 

6 Q. Do you know that name?

 

7 A. Yes.

 

8 Q. Had you ever heard that before?

 

9 A. Yeah.

 

10 Q. Is that a place that was unfamiliar as far as

 

11 when you babysat for the Rokeses that they would go?

 

12 A. No.

 

13 Q. So they would go to Brooster's sometimes?

 

14 A. Uh-huh.

 

15 Q. And you still do some babysitting for them;

 

16 is that correct?

 

17 A. Yes, I do.

 

18 Q. And you indicated that prior to leaving on

 

19 this instance that you observed no alcohol consumption?

 

20 A. No, I did not.

 

21 Q. And had you observed alcohol consumption

 

22 before?

 

23 MR. CORRELL: Excuse me, Your Honor. I'm

 

24 going to object to that as vague and irrelevant.

 

25 COURT: Sustained.

 

673

 

1 MR. WADDING: May I --

 

2 COURT: You mean before this evening?

 

3 MR. WADDING: Yes.

 

4 COURT: Sustained.

 

5 MR. WADDING: May I be heard?

 

6 COURT: Go ahead.

 

7 MR. WADDING: I believe that Ms. Steils -- am

 

8 I pronouncing that correctly?

 

9 WITNESS: Yes.

 

10 MR. WADDING: Has indicated a lack of memory

 

11 on a number of points, Your Honor, including the time

 

12 that Mr. Rokes left that day, what time that she received

 

13 any kind of phone calls, and I guess my exploration, I

 

14 think I -- my question has -- goes to why she would

 

15 remember that they didn't consume any as opposed to in --

 

16 in determine -- in comparison to those times that she

 

17 had.

 

18 COURT: The objection is sustained.

 

19 MR. WADDING: I don't have anything further.

 

20 Thank you.

 

21 COURT: Mr. Correll?

 

22 MR. CORRELL: I have nothing further.

 

23 COURT: Thank you.

 

24

 

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updated 12/19/16