See also: Scott
Braun CFPD Report
See also: Scott Braun CiviTrial Deposition
1 SCOTT EDWARD BRAUN,
2 called as a witness on behalf of the defendant, being
3 first duly sworn by the court, was examined and testified
4 as follows:
5 COURT: Mr. Correll?
6 DIRECT EXAMINATION
7 BY MR. CORRELL:
8 Q. Will you state your name, please.
9 A. Scott Edward Braun.
10 Q. And will you spell your last name.
11 A. B-R-A-U-N.
12 Q. What's your age, sir?
13 A. Thirty-nine.
14 Q. Are you employed?
15 A. Yes, I am.
16 Q. And what is that business?
17 A. Performance Bodies.
18 Q. And what is your position with Performance
20 A. President.
21 Q. What kind of business is that?
22 A. We manufacture aluminum stock car bodies.
23 Q. And for how long have you been in that
25 A. About 15 years.
1 Q. Do you know my client, Tracy Braun -- excuse
2 me, Tracy Rokes?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And how long have you known Tracy Rokes?
5 A. About seven or eight years.
6 Q. And, in fact, you're married, and your wife
7 is named Tracey; is that correct?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. Did you meet Mr. Rokes through your wife, or
10 did you come to meet him yourself?
11 A. Through my wife.
12 Q. During the period of time that you have known
13 Mr. Rokes, have you had occasions where you would go over
14 to his house or go out with him?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Calling your attention to the day of
17 October 4, Friday, October 4, 1996, did you ever have an
18 occasion to go over to the Rokeses' home?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. About how far from your house is the Rokeses'
22 A. A couple blocks.
23 Q. What time would it have been approximately
24 when you arrived over at the Rokes home on Friday
25 October 4, 1996?
1 A. About 6 -- 5:30, 6 o'clock.
2 Q. And would have you gone over to that home
3 shortly after you got done with your business or your
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. What caused you to go over there on that day?
7 A. One of my neighbors told me that my wife was
8 over there with Tracy's wife.
9 Q. And was he right, did you find your wife
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When you got there, was Tracy Rokes there?
13 A. Yes, he was.
14 Q. Did you and he have any conversation?
15 A. Yeah. We -- we were sitting on the couch
16 having a conversation.
17 Q. Okay. While you were there, did you have any
18 beer or any alcoholic beverage at the Rokeses' home?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. And what did you have?
21 A. I had a beer.
22 Q. And did Mr. Rokes have any kind of beverage
23 when you were at that home?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And what kind of beverage was it that he had?
1 A. He was drinking a -- a Pepsi or a Diet Pepsi
2 or something.
3 Q. Was it a pop?
4 A. It was a pop, correct.
5 Q. Any doubt in your mind about that?
6 A. No, there's no doubt about it.
7 Q. About how long was it that you stayed in the
8 Rokeses' home?
9 A. I had one beer and -- we had a babysitter for
10 6:30, so I must have got there about quarter to and left
11 about quarter after 6. I suppose about a half an hour.
12 Q. And when you went home, you walked home as
13 opposed to drive home, or do you recall?
14 A. No. I drove home. I drove my car over
16 Q. And when you got back to your home, what did
17 you guys do? What did you and your wife do?
18 A. The babysitter came, and me and my wife went
19 to Rudy's Tacos. We were there quite awhile, and --
20 Q. Let me back up.
21 A. Okay.
22 Q. When you left your house, about what time do
23 you think it would have been that you left your house?
24 A. The babysitter came about 6:30, so I suppose
25 10 or 15 minutes after briefing the babysitter we left.
1 Q. And do you have -- at that time did you have
2 one child?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And how old is that child?
5 A. He'll be two in a week.
6 Q. After you got the babysitter there and the
7 instructions, where did you and your wife then go?
8 A. Then we drove to Rudy's Tacos.
9 Q. And where is Rudy's Tacos?
10 A. On Ansborough and Falls Avenue in Waterloo.
11 Q. And is that a place that is -- has a sit-down
13 A. Yeah.
14 Q. When you got there, did you go in -- or about
15 what time do you think it would have been from the time
16 you left your house until you got to Rudy's Tacos?
17 A. It's about a 15-minute drive. We would have
18 got there right about 7 o'clock.
19 Q. And did you go in and order a meal at the
21 A. Yes, we did.
22 Q. Do you know about what time it would have
23 been that you got done with that meal?
24 A. Yeah. I know it was -- it took a long time
25 that night, and I was watching my watch just because I'm
1 impatient, and it was about 8 o'clock when we left. It
2 took almost an hour.
3 Q. And when you left, where did you go?
4 A. Went to Brooster's.
5 Q. And about how long a ride or drive is it in
6 the car from Rudy's to Brooster's?
7 A. Five minutes.
8 Q. And was it by previous agreement that you
9 guys were going to meet a number of couples at
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When you got to Brooster's, who was there
13 from the people that you were looking for?
14 A. Rokeses were there. Youngs were there.
15 Bradfords were there.
16 Q. Did you -- did the eight of you congregate in
17 a -- in a specific place in Brooster's?
18 A. The guys were standing around, and then the
19 girls were sitting around a table.
20 Q. And what did you do? As far as the four
21 guys, what did you talk about and what did you do?
22 A. They were talking about the World Series.
23 Tracy was explaining to me about he had been working in
24 Mason City. He was talking about work, and just
25 nothing -- nothing special, just --
1 Q. Did you order a beer when you are on the
2 Brooster's side?
3 A. Sure.
4 Q. And did Mr. Rokes have a beer?
5 A. I saw him drinking a beer, yes.
6 Q. Did the other people, did they consume some
7 kind of beverage, the other two men, if you know,
8 alcoholic beverage?
9 A. Uh-huh. Craig was drinking a beer. I think
10 Bill Bradford drinks some sort of a mixed drink.
11 Q. Okay. During the period of time that you
12 were over in the Brooster's side, from -- which would
13 have been some time shortly after 8 o'clock, until you
14 went over to the Celebrations side, did you engage Mr.
15 Rokes in conversation?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. During the period of time that you were -- up
18 until the time you left the Brooster's side and went over
19 to the Celebrations side, was there anything that you
20 observed about him during that period of time that led
21 you to believe he was in any way intoxicated?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Was there anything that led you to believe
24 that he was in any way impaired or under the influence of
1 A. No.
2 Q. And I'm talking about the way he looked, the
3 way he talked, the way he stood, anything, sir?
4 A. No.
5 Q. When you went to the Celebrations side, it's
6 my understanding that you can go through a door, you
7 don't have to -- it's not in a separate building, it's
8 just part of the same building?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. What caused the -- as far as you know, what
11 caused you and the group to go over from the Brooster's
12 side to the Celebrations side?
13 A. I saw there was a band being set up next
14 door, and I was suggesting to everybody that we go next
15 door and listen to the band.
16 Q. Okay. And did -- did the people follow that
18 A. Yeah. Once the band started, we went next
20 Q. Okay. And when you went next door, did you
21 pay any specific attention as to what time it was that
22 you went next door?
23 A. I think the band started between 9 and 9:30.
24 Q. Okay. And it would have been sometime after
25 the band started that you went over there?
1 A. Yeah.
2 Q. When you went over there, what did you do?
3 A. We were dancing. We were sitting around
4 talking, and, you know, I had another beer.
5 Q. Okay. Did Mr. Rokes have a beer over at the
6 Celebrations side?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you have conversations with Mr. Rokes
9 over at the Celebrations side?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Is there anything during any point of the
12 time when you're on the Celebrations side that you
13 reached an opinion that Mr. Rokes was under the influence
14 of alcohol in any way?
15 A. Not at all.
16 Q. Anything about his talk, demeanor, contents
17 of what he had to say, anything that indicated alcohol
18 having an effect upon him?
19 A. No.
20 Q. When you were over on the Celebrations side,
21 did you ever observe anything that indicated to you that
22 his wife, Delonna, was upset in any way?
23 A. Well, when we were getting ready to leave, I
24 noticed she was very upset.
25 Q. And what -- what time was it that you would
1 have left?
2 A. We had a babysitter that we told we would be
3 home at 11 o'clock, and about 20 until 11 is when my wife
4 told me that, you know, we should think about leaving, so
5 we left about five minutes after that, about a quarter
6 till -- about a quarter to 11.
7 Q. Is it about a 15-minute ride from your --
8 from Brooster's to your house?
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. When you say you saw this about Delonna
11 shortly before you left, would it -- say if you left at
12 10:45, how much before that was it when you noticed that
13 Delonna was upset?
14 A. Right -- I saw Delonna upset, and we left
15 immediately after that.
16 Q. Okay. And tell us what it was that you saw
17 her doing that indicated to you that she was upset?
18 A. I saw the group of girls, and Delonna
19 appeared to be crying, and my wife went up and said
20 something to her, and my wife came back, and I asked her
21 what was wrong with Delonna, and she said she was upset
22 about her mother.
23 Q. Okay. When you went home, what route did you
24 go home, sir?
25 A. I took University Avenue.
1 Q. And is -- are there more than one way that
2 you can go home to -- or from Brooster's to your home in
3 Cedar Falls?
4 A. Sure. You can take University, or you can
5 take Greenhill.
6 Q. And which is the more trafficked way?
7 A. University Avenue.
8 Q. Okay. And when you went down University
9 Avenue, why did you take that way?
10 A. I just -- for the scenery, just to drive down
11 University Avenue.
12 Q. And when you were driving down University
13 Avenue, did you ever see the Youngs?
14 A. No, I did not.
15 Q. Did -- did you -- was there ever any
16 discussion in that bar that the -- the four couples were
17 ever going to meet at any other kind of establishment?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Did you and your wife stop at anyplace to
21 A. No. We went straight home.
22 Q. What time would it have been that you would
23 have arrived home?
24 A. 11 o'clock.
25 Q. Okay. Did the police ask you to give a
1 statement, sir, about if you were with Mr. Rokes and
3 A. Yes, they did.
4 Q. And did they ask you to come down to the
5 police department to do that?
6 A. Yes, they did.
7 Q. And did -- did you go down there and talk to
8 them and explain to them what you had observed?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 MR. CORRELL: That's all I have. Thank you.
11 COURT: Mr. Wadding?
12 MR. WADDING: Thank you.
14 BY MR. WADDING:
15 Q. I may have missed part of this. It's Mr.
16 Braun, right?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. And you stated, how long have you been
19 friends with the defendant?
20 A. Seven or eight years.
21 Q. And you met the defendant through your wife?
22 A. My wife and his wife are friends, correct.
23 Q. And I take it most of the people that were
24 out that night live in a pretty close proximity to each
1 A. The three couples do.
2 Q. Okay. The route that was described in this
3 accident, the Greenhill Road down to the highway where
4 the accident took place at, is that an unusual route in
5 your mind?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Is that a route that you take yourself to
8 Brooster's or back from Brooster's?
9 A. Either way. I mean, it's less congested to
10 take Greenhill Road.
11 Q. Okay. It's not unusual certainly?
12 A. No, it's not unusual.
13 Q. Okay. And you indicated that you had a beer
14 at the Rokeses' earlier, but Mr. Rokes had a soda; is
15 that correct?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. That later on -- did you -- you ate at Rudy's
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And did you have any alcoholic beverage
22 A. I had a beer there with my meal also.
23 Q. Okay. And then after that you went to the
24 Brooster's; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. And you were drinking beer there as well?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. And you said most people drank beer except
4 for one guy, Mr. Bradford drinks mixed drinks?
5 A. Yeah. I think Bill Bradford was drinking
6 mixed drinks.
7 Q. And why do you drink beer?
8 A. Why do I drink beer?
9 Q. Yeah.
10 A. I don't know. I -- same reason I drink pop
11 or I drink water, I guess. Quench my thirst.
12 Q. Quench your thirst. So you don't give any
13 consideration to the alcohol content in the beverage?
14 A. Well, yeah, I -- I mean, I know it's got
15 alcohol content in there, correct.
16 Q. You don't drink it for that reason though?
17 A. No.
18 Q. But you weren't drinking pop at Brooster's?
19 A. No.
20 Q. They serve pop there; is that correct?
21 A. Uh-huh.
22 Q. So you don't drink beer for any kind of
24 A. No.
25 Q. Okay. Doesn't help you relax any more than
1 pop would?
2 A. Beer would help me relax, yes.
3 Q. Doesn't change your mood any more than pop
5 A. Well, if I drink too much it does.
6 Q. But you don't drink it for that purpose?
7 A. No.
8 Q. You indicated that you gave a statement to
9 the Cedar Falls Police Department; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Said that you didn't notice anything unusual
12 about the defendant's drinking; is that correct?
13 A. No.
14 Q. That's not correct?
15 A. That is correct. I didn't notice anything
17 Q. Okay. And didn't notice that he -- if he was
18 drinking fast or anything?
19 A. He didn't appear to be drinking fast to me.
20 Q. Okay. And it's also true that he -- you --
21 you indicated that you weren't watching him or keeping
22 track of him; is that correct?
23 A. No. I was not monitoring how many beers he
25 Q. And you would agree that this -- that you
1 guys were in a kind of a party atmosphere, or at least
2 at --
3 A. I would say a social atmosphere.
4 Q. Social atmosphere. Okay. And you didn't
5 make any determination as to whether Delonna Rokes was
7 A. She may have been.
8 Q. And you indicated that she seemed all right
9 to you though; is that correct?
10 A. Well, she wasn't dropping anything or
11 stumbling or anything like that, but she was -- she may
12 have been intoxicated. I don't know. I wasn't -- I
13 wasn't around her that much.
14 Q. Okay. Do you recall making the statement to
15 the Cedar Falls Police Department that says, "I don't
16 have any idea how much Delonna had to drink, but when we
17 were dancing she seemed to be all right?"
18 A. Yeah, that's correct.
19 Q. Okay. When you say that she seemed to be all
20 right, what did that mean to you?
21 A. We were dancing on the dance floor and seemed
22 nothing unusual to me.
23 Q. So she didn't appear to be intoxicated to
25 A. Not -- not -- I mean, I can't be sure because
1 I was not around Delonna. I don't know what she was
2 drinking. I joke with Delonna, and we were dancing and
3 kidding and having a nice time. It wasn't -- I don't --
4 you know. I don't know how to answer that, I guess.
5 Q. And had you seen the defendant intoxicated
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. CORRELL: Excuse me, Your Honor. I'm
9 going to object to that. That's irrelevant to any issue
11 COURT: He's testified as to his opinion
12 regarding the defendant's sobriety on the evening in
13 question. I consider it relevant only for -- to test the
14 basis for that opinion. I'll consider it only for that
15 purpose, but you can answer the question.
16 A. I would say so.
17 Q. Okay. What behavior did you observe then?
18 A. Smiling, laughing, joking, just, you know,
19 acting intoxicated. We've had parties in our
20 neighborhood. We had several parties in the neighborhood
21 in the summertime where we get together in the driveways
22 and -- that's, you know --
23 Q. Smiling, laughing, joking?
24 A. Yeah, in a party atmosphere.
25 Q. Those are the kind of things that you would
1 observe if the defendant was intoxicated?
2 A. If it was a party atmosphere and we were
3 intoxicated, yes.
4 Q. Okay.
5 MR. WADDING: I don't have any other
6 questions --
7 WITNESS: There's a --
8 MR. WADDING: I don't have any other
9 questions. Thanks.
10 WITNESS: Okay. Thanks. Fine.
11 COURT: Mr. Correll?
12 MR. CORRELL: I have nothing further. Thank
14 COURT: Mr. Correll?
15 MR. CORRELL: If you would, go up to that
16 chair there, and Judge Geer will swear you in.