See also: Kristina Hill CFPD Report
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.
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
22 A. Since seventh grade.
23 Q. And why did you get together on October 4th,
25 A. Well, she just got done being sick and it was a
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
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
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
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
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
24 Q. Tami described it as being -- as cruising; is
25 that it?
1 A. Yeah.
2 Q. Okay, and why would you do that?
3 A. Just to see our friends basically and just hang
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
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
25 A. Off the intersection by McDonald's, and then
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
22 MR. WADDING: May I approach?
23 THE COURT: You may.
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.
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
7 THE COURT: Mr. Correll.
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?
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
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.
1 Q. After the collision?
2 A. After -- I can't remember. I don't remember the
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?
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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 --
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.)