See also: Kristina Hill CFPD Report

KRISTINA HILL
CRIMINAL TRIAL


(Pages 523-544)

19 THE COURT: Please proceed. Call your next witness.

 

20 (Witness duly sworn.)

 

21 THE COURT: Please state your name if you will.

 

22 THE WITNESS: Kristina Hill.

 

23 THE COURT: And how do you spell your name?

 

24 THE WITNESS: K-R-I-S-T-I-N-A, H-I-L-L.

 

25 THE COURT: Thank you. Mr. Wadding.

 

523

1 Kristina Hill,

2 called as a witness by and on behalf of the plaintiff,

3 having been first duly sworn by the Court, was examined

4 and testified as follows:

 

5 DIRECT EXAMINATION

 

6 BY MR. WADDING:

 

7 Q. Miss Hill, where do you go to school?

 

8 A. Hudson.

 

9 Q. And how old are you?

 

10 A. 17.

 

11 Q. How long have you gone to school at Hudson?

 

12 A. Since seventh grade.

 

13 Q. And what grade are you in right now?

 

14 A. I'm a junior.

 

15 Q. Miss Hill, I direct your attention to the date of

16 October 4th, 1996. Were you with Juli Farrell that day?

 

17 A. Yes, I was.

 

18 Q. And how did you know Juli Farrell?

 

19 A. She was my best friend.

 

20 Q. And how long have you and Juli Farrell been best

21 friends?

 

22 A. Since seventh grade.

 

23 Q. And why did you get together on October 4th,

 

24 1996?

 

25 A. Well, she just got done being sick and it was a

 

524

1 Friday night so we decided to go out.

 

2 Q. And do you remember what you had planned to do

3 that night?

 

4 A. Well, she came over and then Tami called and came

5 over and we just went over to a friend's house and watched

6 a movie.

 

7 Q. Do you remember whose house you went over to?

 

8 A. Yeah, Wendy Heathershaw's boyfriend.

 

9 Q. And how did you get over there?

 

10 A. We drove in Juli's car.

 

11 Q. And was it unusual for Juli to drive?

 

12 A. No, she drove a lot.

 

13 Q. And did you -- who all went over to --

 

14 A. Juli, me and Tami.

 

15 Q. And where did you go exactly?

 

16 A. Wendy Heathershaw's boyfriend, and Wendy was

17 there and so it was Elaina and maybe somebody else. I

18 can't --

 

19 Q. Okay. Was there anybody by the name of Jeremy

20 there?

 

21 A. No, he wasn't there.

 

22 Q. Okay. What did you do over at Wendy's house?

 

23 A. Watched a movie and just ate popcorn and drank

24 pop and stuff.

 

25 Q. And do you recall what kind of movie you were

 

525

1 watching?

 

2 A. Can't remember, sorry.

 

3 Q. And you said you were eating?

 

4 A. Yeah, just eating popcorn and drinking pop.

 

5 Q. Do you remember what kind of pop you were

6 drinking?

 

7 A. Cherry Coke.

 

8 Q. And was anybody also drinking Cherry Coke?

 

9 A. Yeah, everybody, we had a twelve-pack.

 

10 Q. And do you remember about what time you got over

11 there?

 

12 A. Around 8:00, 9:00.

 

13 Q. And how long did you stay?

 

14 A. Until about 10:00, 10:15, somewhere in there.

 

15 Q. What did you do once you left there?

 

16 A. Well, we decided to go out and up University once

17 before we went on our way home, because we had to get home

18 by 11:00 and we were on our way home from University when

19 we got in the accident.

 

20 Q. Now, why did you go down University once?

 

21 A. Well, because a lot of our friends are out there.

22 So we just went to see, you know, if we knew anybody out

23 there.

 

24 Q. Tami described it as being -- as cruising; is

 

25 that it?

 

526

1 A. Yeah.

 

2 Q. Okay, and why would you do that?

 

3 A. Just to see our friends basically and just hang

4 out.

 

5 Q. And did you know people in the Cedar Falls area?

 

6 A. Yeah, we have a lot of friends there.

 

7 Q. And do you remember if you saw anybody that

8 night?

 

9 A. Just Wendy and Elaina, but that was about it, you

10 know. We went home.

 

11 Q. Nobody really out on University that night?

 

12 A. No, not really.

 

13 Q. Is that something pretty common for high school

14 kids to do?

 

15 A. Yeah, a lot of them do that, maybe not now but

16 they did before.

 

17 Q. And do you remember starting out for Hudson then?

 

18 A. Well, I live on Ridgeway. So we were going on 58

19 and coming towards my house first, and we were just on our

20 way home.

 

21 Q. Do you remember getting up on Highway 58?

 

22 A. Yeah.

 

23 Q. And do you remember where you got on Highway 58

24 at?

 

25 A. Off the intersection by McDonald's, and then

 

527

1 there's a ramp to get on the --

 

2 Q. It would be at -- off University Avenue?

 

3 A. Yeah, off University.

 

4 Q. And do you remember where everybody was in the

5 vehicle at that time?

 

6 A. Yes, I was in front and Tami was in back and Juli

7 was driving.

 

8 Q. And what were you doing while you were traveling

9 down the road?

 

10 A. Well, we were listening to music and talking, and

11 then at the time of the accident we weren't saying

12 nothing.

 

13 Q. Do you remember what -- do you remember

14 approaching that intersection at all?

 

15 A. Yeah, I remember seeing the flashing yellow

16 lights, and then I just remember visions, and then I don't

17 remember the impact.

 

18 Q. What do you remember that you were doing prior to

19 impact or prior to you getting into the intersection?

 

20 A. Just listening to the radio. We just had got

21 done with a conversation and so we just weren't talking.

 

22 Q. Do you remember what you were talking about prior

23 to that?

 

24 A. No, I don't remember.

 

25 Q. Do you remember -- what's the next thing you

 

528

1 remember then?

 

2 A. Having a vision that it was like a dream, you

3 know, it was going through my head, and I remember

4 screams. And then I remember waking up and looking back

5 at Tami and looking at Juli.

 

6 Q. Do you remember being out at the scene then?

 

7 A. Well, I looked out the car, or I opened my eyes

8 and then I saw the windshield caved in. And then I looked

9 at Tami and Juli.

 

10 Q. And what did you see?

 

11 A. Well, Tami was laid down like this (indicating)

12 on the -- on the seat, and Juli was kind of laying

13 sideways.

 

14 Q. And where was she laying sideways at?

 

15 A. Kind of in her chair. She was kind of laying

16 like this (indicating).

 

17 Q. And was she saying anything to you or anything?

 

18 A. No, they were unconscious at that time.

 

19 Q. Okay, and do you remember anybody else at the

20 scene at all?

 

21 A. And then I was trying to get out of the car, and

22 I remember looking at my chin, and then the witnesses came

23 over. There were a couple people. I don't know, a woman

24 and a guy came over and tried to -- told me not to move

25 and tried to calm me down.

 

529

 

1 Q. And do you remember did you calm down?

 

2 A. Yeah, I asked if it was our fault and they said,

3 no, that somebody hit us.

 

4 Q. Did you ever see Juli ever become conscious?

 

5 A. Yeah, she became conscious and she wanted to move

6 her leg because she said she had a cramp. And that's when

7 the ambulance guys started coming and they wouldn't let

8 her move because they thought maybe she could have broken

9 something. And she was getting very scared. She didn't

10 know -- you know, she started crying because she didn't

11 want to let people talk to her, you know. She got very

12 emotional I guess and so she just kind of wanted -- she

13 was just crying and didn't know what was going on.

 

14 Q. Did she seem to disoriented to you?

 

15 A. Yes.

 

16 Q. What about Tami? What was she -- did she ever

17 regain consciousness?

 

18 A. She was unconscious the whole time.

 

19 Q. Did you make any other observations about Tami?

 

20 A. No, just that she was kind of held down like that

21 (indicating), and she was unconscious the whole time. And

22 I remember the ambulance people saying they really needed

23 to get her out because she was unconscious.

 

24 Q. And did you talk to Juli at all?

 

25 A. Yeah, I told her -- I took her hand and told her

 

530

1 to try to calm down, you know, and to listen to the

2 ambulance people and they would take care of us. And I

3 remember she kept complaining of breathing because she

4 said she couldn't breathe, and I told her to just try to

5 take -- you know, just to calm down and the doctors would

6 take care of us and they would see her at the hospital.

 

7 Q. And prior to the impact did you -- did you se

8 any other vehicle?

 

9 A. No, I don't remember seeing any vehicles.

 

10 Q. Did -- do you remember did you see the ambulance

11 personnel take Juli out of the vehicle?

 

12 A. No, they were just -- when they were taking me

13 out they were just going to try to open the door, and just

14 try and open the door, but that's all I saw before I was

15 leaving.

 

16 Q. Did it look like -- can you describe how Juli was

17 positioned in the vehicle?

 

18 A. Her door was smashed in and it was really hard to

19 try to get her door open, and her seat was tilted I guess

20 more to the left, and the steering wheel was all messed

21 up.

 

22 MR. WADDING: May I approach?

 

23 THE COURT: You may.

 

24

 

25

531

1 BY MR. WADDING:

 

2 Q. I hand you what has been the marked at State's

3 Exhibit K, marked for identification. Do you recognize

4 what's in that picture?

 

5 A. What's in that picture?

 

6 Q. Yeah.

 

7 A. Yeah, that was her car, and that was the one that

8 was all smashed up, and more her side of the car.

 

9 Q. Okay. Does that appear to be an accurate

10 depiction --

 

11 A. Yeah.

 

12 Q. -- of the damage?

 

13 A. Um-hum. (Nods head affirmatively.)

 

14 MR. WADDING: I ask that State's Exhibit K be entered

15 into evidence, your Honor.

 

16 MR. CORRELL: No objection.

 

17 THE COURT: K is admitted.

 

18 BY MR. WADDING:

 

19 Q. And is that how you remember the interior of that

20 as being kind of twisted in Juli's area?

 

21 A. Yeah, it was twisted and even in the dash where I

22 got hit it was pulled out, and the steering wheel -- or

23 the windshield was caved in too.

 

24 Q. And were you injured?

 

25 A. I just got 20 stitches and just bruises.

 

532

1 Q. Okay. Did you have a difficult time

2 understanding what happened to you after the incident?

 

3 A. Yeah, for about a week I didn't really know what

4 was going on. I mean, I did but I didn't comprehend it.

 

5 MR. WADDING: Thank you, I don't have any other

6 questions.

 

7 THE COURT: Mr. Correll.

 

8 CROSS-EXAMINATION

 

9 BY MR. CORRELL:

 

10 Q. Miss Hill, what time were you supposed to get

11 home that evening?

 

12 A. Around 11:00.

 

13 Q. Okay, and is it your understanding that Juli

14 Farrell was supposed to be home at 11:00 at that time too?

 

15 A. Yes.

 

16 Q. And when you went down -- that last cruise down

17 University, did that mean that you basically were not

18 going to get home by 11:00?

 

19 A. No, we were -- we left around 10:15 so we would

20 have had enough time to go and then get home, take one

21 lap. It only takes about five, ten minutes for one lap.

 

22 Q. What time do you think the accident was?

 

23 A. Around -- I figure it was around 11:00.

 

24 Q. Okay. So she wasn't going to get back to Hudson

 

25 by 11:00, was she?

 

533

1 A. No, but I don't think I was either.

 

2 Q. You were going --

 

3 A. So we would have both gotten in trouble.

 

4 Q. You would have both been late. Was she going the

5 speed limit or going faster than the speed limit, if you

6 know?

 

7 A. I would assume the speed limit, because I rode

8 with her so many times, because we usually go between the

9 speed limit.

 

10 Q. Did you see the lights of the other vehicle?

 

11 A. No, I just saw the flashing yellow lights.

 

12 Q. Okay, and you didn't see the lights of the

13 vehicle that hit you?

 

14 A. No.

 

15 Q. And there was not any conversation in your

16 vehicle immediately prior to the collision, was there?

 

17 A. No, not that I can remember.

 

18 Q. And there was no application of the brakes

19 immediately prior to the collision that you remember

20 either, isn't that a fact?

 

21 A. Yeah, I don't recall anything after.

 

22 Q. There was no swerve to the right --

 

23 A. No.

 

24 Q. -- prior to the --

 

25 A. I remember screams.

 

534

1 Q. After the collision?

 

2 A. After -- I can't remember. I don't remember the

3 impact.

 

4 Q. Was there a swerve to the right immediately prior

5 to the collision, do you recall?

 

6 A. I'm not sure.

 

7 Q. You don't remember one?

 

8 A. I don't remember.

 

9 Q. And Juli Farrell was talking to you in that

10 vehicle after the collision, is that correct?

 

11 A. Yeah, basically I was talking to her, but she was

12 so terrified she really didn't know what was going on?

 

13 Q. She was talking about the cramp in her leg?

 

14 A. Yeah.

 

15 MR. CORRELL: That's all.

 

16 THE COURT: Mr. Wadding.

 

17 MR. WADDING: No further questions.

 

18 THE COURT: Thank you.

 

19 THE COURT: That's all the witness you have for today,

 

20 Mr. Wadding?

 

21 MR. WADDING: Yes.

 

22 THE COURT: Okay, and as we talked earlier today,

23 because of witness scheduling matters we'll pick up the

24 evidence again on Tuesday morning at 9:00 o'clock. All

25 right. Okay with you, Mr. Wadding?

 

535

1 MR. WADDING: Yes.

 

2 THE COURT: And, Mr. Correll?

 

3 MR. CORRELL: Yes.

 

4 THE COURT: Tuesday morning at 9:00 o'clock.

 

5 MR. CORRELL: Could we take up one matter in chambers

6 before we leave here?

 

7 THE COURT: Yes, thank you.

 

8 (Thereupon, at 12:07 p.m. a brief recess was

9 taken until 12:10 p.m.)

 

10 MR. CORRELL: Judge, I guess one thing, I would like

11 to get a copy of that yellow sheet that Mr. Rehberg

12 signed.

 

13 THE COURT: Do you want this on the record?

 

14 MR. CORRELL: No, not that, but I do have some other

15 matters that I would like on the record.

 

16 MR. WADDING: It's not in evidence. He can have it

17 back. It was never admitted.

 

18 THE COURT: What were you just referring to?

 

19 MR. CORRELL: The yellow -- the yellow sheet.

20 (Paper handed to Mr. Correll.)

 

21 Okay. At this time I would offer what has been marked

22 as Exhibit 2.

 

23 THE COURT: Any objection, Mr. Wadding?

 

24 MR. WADDING: No.

 

25 THE COURT: 2 is admitted.

 

536

1 MR. CORRELL: I'd like to then get a copy of that, but

2 I would like to go on the record just a minute if I could?

 

3 THE COURT: Sure.

 

4 MR. CORRELL: Your Honor, I'll of course stand

5 corrected by any record that the Court would want to make.

6 But after today's demeanor in the courtroom, I find that

7 disturbing and I don't think it's fair to a defendant. I

8 think that we have a situation where the County Attorney's

9 Office through this victim's assistance person is bringing

10 increasingly large numbers of people to the courtroom. I

11 don't have a problem with that. I understand that this is

12 a public trial.

 

13 But I think that is being done with a specific

14 purpose. I think the specific purpose is to influence the

15 outcome of this case. And I guess that's subjective. But

16 I think that these people are here, and when they come and

17 it gets to the point where they are disruptive -- because

18 I think it was clearly audible. Their demeanor was

19 audible and discernible today. It was to me. And if it

20 wasn't to the Court then that is obviously the court's

21 decision.

 

22 But I don't think that the courtroom should continue

23 to be in a situation where the prosecution is basically

24 permitted, in an effort to overwhelm, to basically take

25 over the courtroom. And I think that is the position that

 

537

1 they're attempting to take. And I think if people are

2 going to come in they at least at a minimum owe the

3 respect to -- certainly not myself and maybe not even to

4 Mr. Rokes, but to the decorum of these proceedings.

5 This is not at basketball game or a wrestling meet.

6 And I would ask that this -- that this Court direct the

7 County Attorney to take the steps necessary to assure that

8 proper decorum is displayed in this courtroom by the

9 spectators throughout to the conclusion of this trial.

 

10 THE COURT: Mr. Wadding.

 

11 MR. WADDING: Thank you, your Honor. First of all,

12 let me just make it clear that I resent the implication

13 that Mr. Correll is trying to make. And while Ms.

14 Farrell, Wanda Farrell, certainly has an in interest in

15 the outcome, Miss Juli Farrell had a lot of friends. It

16 is obvious that this is an open court. It's also obvious

17 I think that this matter about me trying to influence the

18 Court, the implication that I am trying to influence the

19 Court by the number of people that have been coming into

20 court, is actually an effort by Mr. Correll to influence

21 the Court by bringing that up, bringing that up at all.

22 I think that there is nothing out there that occurred

23 today that hasn't occurred in any other trial that has

24 ever occurred in Black Hawk County. As a matter of fact,

25 this gallery was very well-behaved considering the large

 

538

1 numbers that were in it. And I don't think that they were

2 prompted by anybody. They did act, as I suppose, there

3 was some audible responses to some of the remarks made by

4 Mr. Rehberg. However, they were short lived and I didn't

5 view them as disruptive and not -- it wasn't anything that

6 hasn't occurred in the Black Hawk County Courthouse before

7 and they were, as I indicated, very short lived.

8 Mr. Correll certainly can make allegations apparently

9 believing those to be enough to establish that somehow the

10 County Attorney's Office is acting improperly. This is an

11 open court and in fact those people are welcome to be

12 here. And if the Court views their behavior to be

13 disruptive of the courtroom proceedings, I'm sure that the

14 Court will take the necessary measures to assure that they

15 no longer continue in that vein.

16 And I believe that Mr. Correll is aware that the Court

17 is the ultimate control of the courtroom and that if the

18 Court deems that to be necessary it will certainly act on

19 that. And I would ask, you know, if that be the case, if

20 the Court does believe that these people are disruptive

21 that the Court simply instruct the gallery as any

22 reasonable Court would.

23 And I don't believe that they were disruptive to a

24 point of distraction today at all. And I think that Mr.

25 Correll's allegations -- that are basically based on

 

539

1 conjecture -- are an attempt to influence this Court in

2 making its decision with regard to Mr. Rokes and not about

3 vice versa. Thank you.

 

4 THE COURT: Well, the record should reflect that we

5 have had several spectators throughout the course of the

6 proceeding. The only occasions during the course of the

7 proceeding that I have sensed that the spectators were out

8 of hand at all were first during Mr. Correll's opening

9 statement. There were a few reactions to some comments

10 made by Mr. Correll as to what he expected the evidence

11 would demonstrate.

12 I didn't view those as major. It didn't appear to

13 disrupt Mr. Correll because he went on and proceeded well

14 with his opening statement, and it certainly didn't

15 influence me.

16 Today there were a couple of reactions to witnesses'

17 testimony, not significant in my view. However, I did --

18 I did consider talking to the spectators after they

19 reacted to one of Mr. Correll's questions of Mr. Rehberg

20 today. If that sort of reaction were to continue I would

21 certainly talk to the spectators about it and make sure

22 that they understand they cannot be disruptive of any

23 portion of these proceedings, any portion of this trial.

24 Their presence here certainly isn't going to influence

25 my decision. I know what my role is here. I know that

 

540

1 this is a very difficult and very important case and I

2 take my responsibility seriously. My responsibilities are

3 not going to be influenced by emotion or anything other

4 than the facts that are being presented and the law that

5 applies to this case.

6 And if the spectators get out of hand at all and if I

7 feel that they're interfering with the course of business

8 in this courtroom, I'll talk to them about that. Again,

9 there have only been two occasions when I considered

10 saying anything at all. Those were short lived, but if it

11 continues I'll talk to the spectators.

 

12 MR. CORRELL: That's fine. I appreciate that. My

13 concern is really not for myself nor the Court, but I

14 think it can have an intimidating chilling effect if the

15 spectators basically become fans and rooters. And I don't

16 think when people testify they should have -- regardless

17 of who the witnesses are -- their testimony, the value,

18 weighted by noise from the spectators gallery. I think it

19 can have a chilling intimidating effect on the witnesses.

 

20 THE COURT: Do you think you've observed that

21 happening thus far in this case, Mr. Correll?

 

22 MR. CORRELL: I -- no. I think the only thing with

23 Mr. Rehberg, I think it caused him in my opinion -- as I

24 believe happens when we have televised trials, to make

25 witnesses sometimes play to an audience. And I think --

 

541

1 MR. WADDING: Well, you know, I'm going to object to

2 him making any further statement about that --

 

3 MR. CORRELL: Okay.

 

4 MR. WADDING: -- because now he's just, you know,

5 trying to influence the credibility of the witness to the

6 Court. And I think that's just -- that's just completely

7 improper.

 

8 THE COURT: All right. If and when we still have a

9 number of spectators when the defense portion of the case

10 begins, I can understand how that may have a chilling

11 effect if the spectators are reacting to comments, or if I

12 sense that any spectators are attempting to intimidate any

13 of the witnesses that the defense is calling, and I will

14 definitely talk to the spectators about that. And, Mr.

15 Correll, if you sense that that's going on please bring it

16 to my attention and we can have further discussion about

17 it.

 

18 MR. CORRELL: Thank you.

 

19 THE COURT: Anything further, Mr. Correll?

 

20 MR. CORRELL: No, if I could just get a copy of

21 Exhibit 2, please?

 

22 THE COURT: Yes. Anything further, Mr. Wadding?

 

23 MR. WADDING: I would ask for a copy of Defendant's

24 Exhibit 2 as well, your Honor. I believe that I do -- I

25 do have one further comment. My concern is that, you

 

542

1 know, from the standpoint of the State and a fair trial

2 for Juli Farrell and Tami Kleinheksel, whether or not

3 because they have friends that appear to want to

4 participate that weren't here yesterday or the day before,

5 I don't know that they're here today and I don't know that

6 they're going to be here on Tuesday, but that you know the

7 attention that is now drawn to that issue becomes more

8 important than it really is.

9 And that's going to be -- that's obviously the State's

10 concern. Because the issue has obviously been raised here

11 and I don't know that I can -- we can control the -- I

12 mean, the fact that it's raised at all, you know, is the

13 concern that the State has. And I don't know if I am

14 making myself clear about what my concern is that, you

15 know, I guess in any situation like that the fact finder,

16 you know, might be bending over backwards because of some,

17 you know, allegation of improper influence. And I think

18 that has been made and I think the State has a right to

19 have concerns about that.

 

20 THE COURT: I'm not reaching any conclusion about you,

21 Mr. Wadding, that you or your office is going out and

22 rounding up people to come here and voice their views and

23 react to testimony. That's not what I am finding at all.

24 But I have noted that there have been a couple of

25 occasions during the course of the trial that spectators

 

543

1 have reacted to testimony or comments made by counsel.

2 And if that becomes disruptive or intimidating to people

3 involved I'm going to talk to the spectators about it.

4 That's my ruling and that's what I am finding. I'm not

5 finding that you're going out and instructing people to do

6 that.

 

7 MR. WADDING: And that's not my -- that's not my

8 concern, your Honor.

 

9 THE COURT: What is your concern?

 

10 MR. WADDING: Because I don't think that -- I think

11 it's pretty obvious that, you know, even though Mr.

12 Correll can make that allegation that is not what is goin

13 on,

 

14 THE COURT: What is your concern?

 

15 MR. WADDING: My concern is that even raising the

16 issue, even raising the issue of improper influence now

17 begs the question as to whether improper influence is

18 going to exist either for the State or either against the

19 State or against the defendant. And that's my problem.

20 If you say -- if you say that, if you say, Judge, we'll

21 worry about how impartial you can be considering, you

22 know, these people sitting out here, then that puts the

23 fact finder in a position of second guessing himself as to

24 whether he's being fair and impartial, just raising the

25 issue itself.

 

544

1 And that's the concern that the State has. And I

2 think -- I don't think I could be anymore clear than that.

3 And I don't mean to be insulting to the Court, you know,

4 but do you understand the State's concern about that?

 

5 THE COURT: No, give me a little more credit. I

6 understand what's going on in the courtroom and I

7 understand the defense's concern about that. That's what

8 I am going to do about it. Because the defense has raised

9 that concern it is not going to prejudice any party at

10 all. I think the concern is properly raised and it's not

11 going to influence my decision in this case.

 

12 MR. WADDING: Thank you, your Honor.

 

13 THE COURT: Anything further?

 

14 MR. CORRELL: No, thank you.

 

15 THE COURT: All right. Thank you.

 

16 MR. CORRELL: Thank you, your Honor.

 

17 (Thereupon, at 12:35 p.m. a recess was taken.)

 

18

 

19

updated 12/19/16