See also: Tracey Braun CFPD Report
See also:
Tracey Braun Civil Trial Deposition

TRACEY BRAUN
CRIMINAL TRIAL


(Pages 734-756)

734

 

1 TRACEY 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 MR. CORRELL: Thank you.

 

7 DIRECT EXAMINATION

 

8 BY MR. CORRELL:

 

9 Q. Will you state your name, please.

 

10 A. Tracey Braun.

 

11 Q. And are you the wife of Scott Braun?

 

12 A. Yes.

 

13 Q. And what is your address?

 

14 A. 721 Fireside Drive, Cedar Falls.

 

15 Q. And are you employed outside the home?

 

16 A. No.

 

17 Q. Do you have any children?

 

18 A. Yes. One.

 

19 Q. And what's that child's name, and how old is

 

20 that child?

 

21 A. Alec Braun, and he's -- he'll be two next

 

22 week.

 

23 Q. Do you know Tracy Rokes and his wife,

 

24 Delonna?

 

25 A. Yes.

 

735

 

1 Q. How did you come to meet them?

 

2 A. Through a mutual friend.

 

3 Q. Okay. And which of those two people did you

 

4 meet first?

 

5 A. Tracy.

 

6 Q. And have you become friends of Delonna over

 

7 the course of the years?

 

8 A. Yes.

 

9 Q. I'm going to turn your attention to Friday,

 

10 October 4, 1996, and I would ask you if you had an

 

11 occasion to be in the Rokeses' home on Friday, October 4,

 

12 in the late afternoon, early evening hours?

 

13 A. Yes.

 

14 Q. Who was -- else was in that home besides you?

 

15 A. Connie Young and Delonna and myself. Later

 

16 on Tracy came home.

 

17 Q. Okay. And did your husband, Scott, also come

 

18 to the home?

 

19 A. Yes, after Tracy came.

 

20 Q. With regard to observing Tracy Rokes in the

 

21 home, first of all, about what time do you think it would

 

22 have been that he got there?

 

23 A. I would say maybe around 6 o'clock or so.

 

24 Q. And when he was there, did you observe him

 

25 come into the home?

 

736

 

1 A. Yes, I did.

 

2 Q. What, if anything, did you observe him do

 

3 once he got into the home?

 

4 A. He came in and came around the kitchen bar

 

5 area where we were sitting and came around and talked to

 

6 Delonna about her mother. He had come from Mason City

 

7 working, I believe, and talked to her for a little bit

 

8 about her mom. And then I remember he went in, opened up

 

9 the fridge, got a pop and went and sat on the couch.

 

10 Q. And did your husband, Scott, come home -- or

 

11 come over to the Rokeses' home at some time while you

 

12 were still there then?

 

13 A. Yes, he did.

 

14 Q. And about how long did Scott stay, would you

 

15 estimate?

 

16 A. Maybe a half hour or so.

 

17 Q. And at any point in time while you were there

 

18 did you ever observe Tracy Rokes consume any type of

 

19 alcoholic beverage in that home?

 

20 A. No.

 

21 Q. Would you have had an opportunity to see that

 

22 had he done so?

 

23 A. Yes.

 

24 Q. During the time -- or prior to the time that

 

25 he got there, had there been any conversations between

 

737

 

1 yourself and Delonna about going out that evening?

 

2 A. Yes.

 

3 Q. And will you tell the court what those

 

4 discussions were?

 

5 A. We just -- we just decided that we wanted to

 

6 go out. Our husbands didn't know that we wanted to go

 

7 out for the evening, so when my husband got there, we

 

8 just basically asked them if they wanted to go out.

 

9 Q. And did they agree to go out that evening?

 

10 A. Yes.

 

11 Q. When you left from the Rokeses' home, did you

 

12 leave with Scott?

 

13 A. Yes.

 

14 Q. And would you -- when you left the Rokeses'

 

15 home, where did you go?

 

16 A. We went home.

 

17 Q. And did you and Scott then make arrangements

 

18 or decide to go out to eat yourselves?

 

19 A. Yes. We -- I called from the Rokeses' to get

 

20 a babysitter for our son, and then we decided to go out

 

21 to eat after --

 

22 Q. About what time would it have been that you

 

23 guys left your house to go out to eat?

 

24 A. We arranged for a babysitter around 7, so I

 

25 would say a little after that.

 

738

 

1 Q. And when you -- do you recall where you went

 

2 to eat at this point in time?

 

3 A. We went to Rudy's Tacos.

 

4 Q. And is that a Mexican restaurant in Waterloo?

 

5 A. Yes.

 

6 Q. Did you go there and have a meal?

 

7 A. Uh-huh, yes.

 

8 Q. About what time would it have been that you

 

9 left Rudy's?

 

10 A. I would say around 8 o'clock.

 

11 Q. Did anybody go to Rudy's Tacos in addition to

 

12 you and your husband, Scott?

 

13 A. Nobody that we were with later on in the

 

14 evening.

 

15 Q. When you finished your meal at the

 

16 restaurant, where did you then go?

 

17 A. To Brooster's.

 

18 Q. And were -- was that for the purpose of

 

19 meeting the people that you previously told us about?

 

20 A. Yes.

 

21 Q. When -- when you got there, were the Rokeses

 

22 there, the Bradfords there, and the Youngs there?

 

23 A. Yes.

 

24 Q. Tell us what you did once you -- once you got

 

25 there.

 

739

 

1 A. We walked in and noticed that at the end of

 

2 the bar, the far end, were the people that we were going

 

3 to meet, so we walked through the bar. All the guys were

 

4 standing up by the bar. The girls were sitting down, so

 

5 I went and sat with the girls, and Scott went and stood

 

6 and talked to the guys.

 

7 Q. When you were talking to the girls, I'm

 

8 assuming that that included Delonna; is that correct?

 

9 A. Yes.

 

10 Q. And did you see her consume any beer or

 

11 alcoholic beverages in there?

 

12 A. Yes.

 

13 Q. When you were in the Brooster's side, did you

 

14 see Tracy Rokes consume any type of alcoholic beverage?

 

15 A. Yes.

 

16 Q. And what did you see him consume?

 

17 A. Beer.

 

18 Q. Do you know -- did you keep track, or did you

 

19 know how many beers --

 

20 A. No.

 

21 Q. -- he was consuming?

 

22 A. No.

 

23 Q. When you were in the Brooster's side of that

 

24 building, did you ever observe anything about Tracy Rokes

 

25 that indicated to you that he had become under the

 

740

 

1 influence of alcohol or in any fashion intoxicated?

 

2 A. No.

 

3 Q. With regard to Delonna, was there ever

 

4 anything that you observed about her on the Brooster's

 

5 side that indicated to you that she was upset about

 

6 anything?

 

7 A. Not at that time.

 

8 Q. Did you then at some later point in time go

 

9 over to the Celebrations side of that building?

 

10 A. Yes. I'm not sure exactly what time we went

 

11 over to the Celebrations side, but there was a band about

 

12 to start, so we decided to all move over to the other

 

13 side to listen to the band.

 

14 Q. And when you got over there, did you, in

 

15 fact, stand and -- or sit and listen to the band?

 

16 A. I believe the girls stood by the bar, and the

 

17 guys were standing by a railing talking.

 

18 Q. Okay. Did you ever have any conversation

 

19 with Tracy Rokes when he and you were over on the

 

20 Celebrations side?

 

21 A. Very little.

 

22 Q. Was there anything about the conversation

 

23 that you had with Tracy Rokes that indicated to you to

 

24 any -- any extent that he was intoxicated or under the

 

25 influence of alcohol?

 

741

 

1 A. No.

 

2 Q. When you were over on the Celebrations side,

 

3 did you ever have any conversations with Delonna about

 

4 her mother?

 

5 A. No conversations on the Celebrations side.

 

6 Q. Was there ever any point in time on the

 

7 Celebrations side that you came -- became aware or came

 

8 to form an opinion that she was upset?

 

9 A. Just before we were getting ready to leave

 

10 she was.

 

11 Q. And what -- what was it that you observed

 

12 about her that caused you to know that she was upset?

 

13 A. She had her hands up on her -- on her face or

 

14 on her head and was just leaning over the bar a slight

 

15 bit. It looked like she might have been crying. I

 

16 didn't get down and get in her face. I couldn't tell

 

17 exactly, but she was upset, and Tracy was standing beside

 

18 her with his hand on her back trying to -- to comfort her

 

19 at that time.

 

20 Q. And what did you do, if anything, right

 

21 before you left and had seen her situation?

 

22 A. I just -- I gave her a pat on the back and

 

23 just told her to hang in there and that her mom would be

 

24 okay and asked Tracy if there was anything we could do,

 

25 and he just said no and that they were getting ready to

 

742

 

1 leave themselves, and we just told them that we were

 

2 getting ready to leave because we had to go home and get

 

3 our sitter home.

 

4 Q. And your sitter, what was -- you were

 

5 supposed to get home at what time for your sitter?

 

6 A. 11.

 

7 Q. When you left, did you leave at some short

 

8 period of time before the Rokeses?

 

9 A. I remembered looking at my watch, and it said

 

10 that it was about 20 till 11 that evening, and we

 

11 probably left maybe five minutes after -- after that.

 

12 Q. Okay. You didn't walk out the door with

 

13 Tracy and Delonna Rokes though; is that correct?

 

14 A. No, we did not.

 

15 Q. When you left that evening at somewhat very

 

16 close to 10:45, would that be correct?

 

17 A. Yes.

 

18 Q. Did you have any reason to believe that Tracy

 

19 Rokes was under the influence of alcohol or intoxicated

 

20 to any degree whatsoever?

 

21 A. No. If we felt he was intoxicated, we would

 

22 have given him a ride home. We thought he was fine.

 

23 Q. Okay. When you left, do you recall which

 

24 way -- which roadway path you took home?

 

25 A. We took University Avenue.

 

743

 

1 Q. Okay. And do you recall approximately what

 

2 time it was that you would have arrived at your home?

 

3 A. We arrived just about right on time at 11.

 

4 Q. Thank you.

 

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

 

6 have.

 

7 COURT: Mr. Wadding?

 

8 MR. WADDING: Thank you.

 

9 CROSS-EXAMINATION

 

10 BY MR. WADDING:

 

11 Q. The -- what time was it when -- when you

 

12 first saw the defendant on the 4th? Do you remember?

 

13 A. In the afternoon?

 

14 Q. Yes.

 

15 A. I would say around 6:15 or 6:30 or so.

 

16 Q. Okay.

 

17 A. I'm not exactly sure on the time.

 

18 Q. And you had spoken with Delonna Rokes prior

 

19 to that about -- about going out that evening?

 

20 A. Yes.

 

21 Q. And what -- about what time was that?

 

22 A. I'm not exactly sure what time.

 

23 Q. A couple hours earlier than the defendant,

 

24 than when the defendant got home or --

 

25 A. Maybe.

 

744

 

1 Q. And who -- at the time that you and Mrs.

 

2 Rokes discussed plans to go out, who was all involved in

 

3 those plans?

 

4 A. Delonna, myself and Connie.

 

5 Q. And who?

 

6 A. Connie Young.

 

7 Q. Okay. So you all three had talked about

 

8 going out, and this is kind of an impromptu thing?

 

9 A. Yes.

 

10 Q. And was that uncommon to just to get together

 

11 and go out and do something?

 

12 A. No.

 

13 Q. And this was not a special occasion; is that

 

14 correct?

 

15 A. Correct.

 

16 Q. And when the defendant came home, you said

 

17 that he spoke with Delonna Rokes about her mother; is

 

18 that correct?

 

19 A. Yes.

 

20 Q. And were you -- you were present at that

 

21 time?

 

22 A. Yes.

 

23 Q. Okay. And did you get an impression as to

 

24 how serious Delonna Rokes' mother's condition was?

 

25 A. Serious -- serious enough to upset her.

 

745

 

1 Q. So you got the impression that it was a

 

2 serious matter?

 

3 A. Yes.

 

4 Q. And had you had anything to drink at the

 

5 Rokeses'?

 

6 A. Yes.

 

7 Q. Of alcohol?

 

8 A. Yes.

 

9 Q. Okay. What that was?

 

10 A. Beer.

 

11 Q. And did you just have one, or how many?

 

12 A. I'm not sure.

 

13 Q. Could have been more than one?

 

14 A. Yes.

 

15 Q. And over a -- could have been more than two?

 

16 A. I doubt it. I -- I'm not sure though.

 

17 Q. You don't know?

 

18 A. No, huh-uh.

 

19 Q. Then you and your husband went to Rudy's

 

20 Tacos?

 

21 A. Yes.

 

22 Q. And did -- did you have a -- a beer along

 

23 with your husband at Rudy's?

 

24 A. No, I did not.

 

25 Q. And after Rudy's you guys went to Brooster's;

 

746

 

1 is that correct?

 

2 A. Yes.

 

3 Q. Were you drinking beer there as well?

 

4 A. Yes.

 

5 Q. Okay. And is that your beverage of choice?

 

6 A. Yes.

 

7 Q. And you didn't make any -- any determination

 

8 as to whether or not Ms. Rokes was intoxicated that

 

9 night, did you?

 

10 A. I don't understand what you mean.

 

11 Q. Did you have an opinion as to whether Delonna

 

12 Rokes was intoxicated that night at Brooster's before you

 

13 left?

 

14 A. Did I think she was drunk?

 

15 Q. Yes.

 

16 A. Yes.

 

17 Q. Okay. You did think she was drunk?

 

18 A. Yes.

 

19 Q. Okay. And you indicated that -- didn't you

 

20 also indicate to the Cedar Falls Police Department that

 

21 you thought that Mrs. Rokes had more -- a couple more to

 

22 drink than Tracy? Is that correct?

 

23 A. I believe so.

 

24 Q. But you weren't sure, it's hard to say, she's

 

25 so skinny and that affects her different?

 

747

 

1 A. Yes.

 

2 Q. Isn't that how you described --

 

3 A. Yes.

 

4 Q. -- the difference between the two?

 

5 A. (Nodding.)

 

6 Q. And he -- the defendant, he wasn't displaying

 

7 signs to you like Delonna Rokes; is that correct? He

 

8 wasn't crying or upset or anything like that?

 

9 A. No.

 

10 Q. And you wouldn't expect that from him either,

 

11 would you?

 

12 A. No.

 

13 Q. Had you ever seen him intoxicated before?

 

14 A. Yes.

 

15 Q. And what observations did you make then?

 

16 A. What do you mean?

 

17 Q. Well, what made you believe he was

 

18 intoxicated then?

 

19 A. Well, slurring his words. He was staggering,

 

20 talking maybe a little more than usual.

 

21 Q. Okay. Did you -- you talked to him a little

 

22 bit about the accident after it happened; is that right?

 

23 A. Yes.

 

24 Q. And that was the next day; is that correct?

 

25 A. Yes.

 

748

 

1 Q. And at that time the defendant told you that

 

2 he swore he had a green light?

 

3 A. Yes.

 

4 Q. And you subsequently found out that -- that

 

5 was actually a flashing red light; is that correct?

 

6 A. Yes.

 

7 Q. And did that surprise you?

 

8 A. Yes.

 

9 Q. Okay. Surprise you that the defendant would

 

10 go through a flashing red light?

 

11 A. Yes.

 

12 Q. And is that a way that you've taken home

 

13 before?

 

14 A. Yes.

 

15 Q. That Greenhill --

 

16 A. Yes.

 

17 Q. -- Road? Is that why it would surprise you

 

18 that the defendant would go through a flashing red light?

 

19 A. I don't understand what you're asking me

 

20 here.

 

21 Q. On your experience, have you experienced that

 

22 flashing red light at that intersection?

 

23 A. Not at that time of the evening if that's

 

24 what you're asking me.

 

25 MR. WADDING: I don't have any other

 

749

 

1 questions. Thank you.

 

2 COURT: Mr. Correll?

 

3 MR. CORRELL: I have nothing further.

 

4 COURT: Thank you.

 

5 MR. CORRELL: I have a couple more witnesses.

 

6 WILLIAM JAMES BRADFORD,

 

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

 

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

 

9 as follows:

 

10 COURT: Mr. Correll?

 

11 DIRECT EXAMINATION

 

12 BY MR. CORRELL:

 

13 Q. Will you state your name, please.

 

14 A. William James Bradford.

 

15 Q. And what is your address, sir?

 

16 A. 515 Cornwall Avenue in Waterloo.

 

17 Q. And are you married?

 

18 A. Yes.

 

19 Q. And what's your wife's name?

 

20 A. Lisa Ann.

 

21 Q. And where is your employment?

 

22 A. United States Cellular.

 

23 Q. Okay. I'm going to ask you if you know my

 

24 client, the man seated to my left, Tracy Rokes?

 

25 A. Yes, I do.

 

750

 

1 Q. And for how long a period of time have you

 

2 known him?

 

3 A. I would say probably eight to ten years.

 

4 Q. And during that period of time, have -- or

 

5 did you come to know him through his -- your wife knowing

 

6 his wife; is that right?

 

7 A. Correct.

 

8 Q. Turning your attention to October 4, 1996,

 

9 did you and your wife have any children at that point in

 

10 time?

 

11 A. Yes. One.

 

12 Q. And how old was that child then?

 

13 A. Three months.

 

14 Q. Okay. Was there ever any occasion on the 4th

 

15 of October when you came to realize that your wife had

 

16 made arrangements for you guys to go out that night, out

 

17 on Friday, October 4th?

 

18 A. Say that again now.

 

19 Q. Did you come to know that your wife had made

 

20 an arrangement to go out?

 

21 A. Uh-huh.

 

22 Q. And do you recall where it was you went on

 

23 that date?

 

24 A. To Brooster's and Celebrations.

 

25 Q. Did you go with anybody, or did you and your

 

751

 

1 wife just ride by yourself?

 

2 A. We went by ourselves, and then we met

 

3 everybody else there.

 

4 Q. When you went there, do you recall who was

 

5 there first when you got there, or who was there, if

 

6 anybody, when you arrived?

 

7 A. I think Connie and Craig Young were there

 

8 first, and then I think it was us, and then Scott and

 

9 Tracey Braun, and Delonna and Tracy, I believe, followed

 

10 us. But I think we were the second couple there.

 

11 Q. Okay. With regard to when you were there,

 

12 did you have any alcohol or beer to drink? Yourself?

 

13 A. While I was there?

 

14 Q. Yes.

 

15 A. Yes.

 

16 Q. And when Mr. Rokes and his wife came in,

 

17 where did they stand in relationship to where you and

 

18 your wife were?

 

19 A. In the same area. We were on the Brooster's

 

20 side close to the dance floor, and that's where the guys

 

21 congregated, and then the women congregated to a table

 

22 basically in the same area that we were.

 

23 Q. When you're at that area on the Brooster's

 

24 side, did you have any conversations with Tracy Rokes?

 

25 A. Yes, I did.

 

752

 

1 Q. And when you're over -- in the -- the

 

2 Brooster's side, did you observe anything about the way

 

3 he looked that indicated to you that he might be under

 

4 the influence of alcohol?

 

5 A. No.

 

6 Q. Was there anything about his posture, his

 

7 walk, his gait, that indicated to you he was under the

 

8 influence of alcohol?

 

9 A. No.

 

10 Q. Anything about the delivery of his speech or

 

11 the contents of his speech that would indicate to you he

 

12 was under the influence of alcohol?

 

13 A. No.

 

14 Q. What generally was it that you fellas talked

 

15 about, if you can recall?

 

16 A. The World Series was on, so we were watching

 

17 that. We start talking about vehicles for some reason

 

18 because I had just ordered a new utility -- sport utility

 

19 vehicle, so we started talking about those. Just

 

20 basically small talk. It wasn't anything of importance.

 

21 Q. When -- while you were over at the Brooster's

 

22 side, did anybody suggest that you go over to

 

23 Celebrations?

 

24 A. I think somebody did suggest it, yeah.

 

25 Q. And was that you that suggested that?

 

753

 

1 A. No. I don't know who it was. We -- whoever

 

2 it was led, and then the rest of us followed over there.

 

3 Q. And it's really one establishment, and

 

4 there's a Celebrations where there's --

 

5 A. Right. They're just adjoining.

 

6 Q. Okay. So when you went over there, did --

 

7 did you go to basically listen to the band or dance --

 

8 A. Right.

 

9 Q. -- and watch people dance?

 

10 A. Yeah.

 

11 Q. When you're over there, did you, on the

 

12 Celebrations side, did you continue to have some

 

13 communication or conversation with Mr. Rokes?

 

14 A. Yeah, because I was -- him and I were -- I

 

15 don't remember if we were standing or sitting next to

 

16 each other up by the bar.

 

17 Q. Okay. Did you have conversation with him

 

18 over at Celebrations?

 

19 A. Yes.

 

20 Q. Was there -- when -- when you left, what time

 

21 was that?

 

22 A. I would say shortly after 10 or 10:15 at the

 

23 latest, because we were home by 10:30, because I remember

 

24 we got home when the news was just finishing up. The

 

25 10 o'clock news was just finishing up.

 

754

 

1 Q. And could you make it home from Celebrations

 

2 to your house within 15 minutes?

 

3 A. Fifteen to 20 minutes, yeah, easily.

 

4 Q. At the time you left, was there ever anything

 

5 that you saw, heard or observed that led you to an

 

6 opinion that Tracy Rokes was in any way under the

 

7 influence of alcohol on Friday, October 4, 1996?

 

8 A. No.

 

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

 

10 have, Your Honor.

 

11 COURT: Mr. Wadding?

 

12 MR. WADDING: Thank you.

 

13 CROSS-EXAMINATION

 

14 BY MR. WADDING:

 

15 Q. This Celebrations side of Brooster's, is

 

16 that -- well, can you describe what was going on over

 

17 there?

 

18 A. At Celebrations?

 

19 Q. Yes.

 

20 A. There was a band. I don't remember if there

 

21 were a lot of people over there or not, but there were

 

22 some people dancing. And a couple, myself not included,

 

23 but a couple people did go out on the dance floor and

 

24 danced. Mostly we just continued with conversation.

 

25 Q. So this is a live band?

 

755

 

1 A. Yeah.

 

2 Q. Okay. And what kind of -- do you know --

 

3 remember what kind of music it was?

 

4 A. I don't even remember who it was in all

 

5 honesty.

 

6 Q. You characterized the night as -- the guys

 

7 being in one group and the girls being in another group;

 

8 is that fair to say?

 

9 A. Yeah.

 

10 Q. Is that just over on the Brooster's side, or

 

11 is that on the Celebrations side too?

 

12 A. No. At Brooster's we were somewhat

 

13 segregated, but then on the Celebrations side we started

 

14 commingling.

 

15 Q. Now, as -- when you're talking -- when you're

 

16 talking over at the Brooster's side, is it just general

 

17 talk amongst the four of you?

 

18 A. Uh-huh.

 

19 Q. About baseball and cars and stuff like that?

 

20 A. Just -- yeah, just general conversation.

 

21 Q. And you said you talked about a car; is that

 

22 right?

 

23 A. We started talking about utility vehicles

 

24 because I had just ordered one, and I was waiting to get

 

25 it in, and one of the other guys in the group, Scott

 

756

 

1 Braun has the same kind of vehicle that I had just

 

2 ordered, and we were talking about it. And Tracy and

 

3 Delonna had just gotten their new vehicle as well, and we

 

4 were just basically comparing the vehicles is basically

 

5 it.

 

6 Q. And how much contact did you have with

 

7 Delonna Rokes?

 

8 A. I talked to her briefly on the Brooster's

 

9 side and not much on the Celebrations side.

 

10 Q. And you didn't make any determination as to

 

11 whether she was intoxicated; is that correct?

 

12 A. No. I mean, I -- no.

 

13 Q. As a matter of fact, you didn't think she was

 

14 intoxicated?

 

15 A. Delonna?

 

16 Q. Right.

 

17 A. No.

 

18 Q. And you were drinking beer; is that correct?

 

19 A. No. Mixed drinks.

 

20 Q. I'm sorry. You're the mixed drink --

 

21 A. Right.

 

22 Q. What were you drinking?

 

23 A. Jack Daniels.

 

24 Q. Is that it?

 

25 A. No. Jack Daniels-Pepsi mixed drink.

 

757

 

1 MR. WADDING: That's all the questions I

 

2 have. Thank you.

 

3 COURT: Mr. Correll?

 

4 MR. CORRELL: I have nothing further.

 

updated 12/26/16