.See also: Tracey Braun CFPD Report
See also:
Tracey Braun Criminal Trial Testimony

TRACEY BRAUN
CIVIL TRIAL DEPOSITION


Deposition of Tracey Braun

 

1 Tracey Braun,

2 being produced, sworn as heinafter certified and

3 examined on behalf of the Plaintiffs Farrell,

4 Kleinheksel and hill and Defendants Farrell,

5 testified as follows:

6 Direct Examination

7 by Mr. Liabo:

8 Q. Would tell us your name, address and

9 Social Security number?

10 A. Tracey Elaine Braun, 3412 Pheasant Drive

11 in Cedar Falls. Its xxx xx xxxx.

12 Q. What is your date of birth?

13 A. 2-7-66

14 Q. You are married?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And you're married to Scott Braun?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. When were you married?

19 A. October of '91.

20 Q. Do you have children?

21 A. Uh-huh. Excuse me. Yes. Two of them.

22 Q. How old are your children?

23 A. Three and one.

24 Q. Are you employed outside the home?

25 A. No.

 

Page 4

1 Q. Have you ever been employed?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Where have you worked?

4 A. Do you want all of them?

5 Q. Let me ask you this: Let's start with

6 your education and then we can work forward.

7 A. Okay.

8 Q. What is your education background?

9 A. I completed two years of college.

10 Did not graduate from UNI, but went two years.

11 Q. At UNI?

12 A. Uh-huh, yes.

13 Q. When did you finish those two years?

14 A. '87, I believe.

15 Q. And since completing your two years of

16 college at UNI, tell me a little bit about your

17 employment. Just summarize it for me.

18 A. I worked a few retail jobs. I had a

19 position at Community Motors for about seven -- I

20 suppose seven years, and then from there worked

21 part-time at a place called Parts Company of

22 America. And that was I suppose for a year and a

23 half. I've not worked since.

24 Q. How do you characterize your job? What

25 kind of things were you doing?

Page 6

1 A. Customer service type jobs.

2 Q. Behind the counter sort of things?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Okay. You know Tracy and Delonna Rokes?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. How long have you know the Rokeses?

7 A. For about 11 years, I would say.

8 Q. Did you know Delonna before she married

9 Tracy?

10 A. Yes, I knew them both before they were

11 married.

12 Q. All right. How did you happen to make

13 their acquaintance?

14 A. I me Tracy first through a mutual

15 friend, and he was dating Delonna. I met her

16 after, after him.

17 Q. Tracy was --

18 A. I met Tracy first.

19 Q. You met Tracy first.

20 A. Right. And then he introduced me to

21 Delonna. He was dating her then.

22 Q. So Tracy and Delonna were dating

23 you knew Tracy, and met Delonna in that way/

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. All right. And then do you and your

 

Page 7

1 husband do things socially with the Rokeses as

2 couples?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. How frequently do you get together with

5 the Rokeses?

6 A. Oh, it varies. I would say three of

7 four times a month.

8 Q. Do you and Delonna get together

9 separately and do things individually?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. How often do you and Delonna get

12 together?

13 A. Oh, once every couple of weeks.

14 Q. Do you also get together with the Youngs

15 and the Bradfords?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. I mean, it's just sort of a group that

18 does things together?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Do you consider the Rokeses as among

21 your better friends?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. What does your husband do?

24 A. He manufactures aluminum stock car

25 bodies. He has his own company. It's a race car

 

Page 8

1 parts company.

2 Q. Do either you or your husband have any

3 business dealings with Tracy Rokes?

4 A. No.

5 Q. I understand from talking to others in

6 your group that from time to time when you all are

7 together as couples you drink socially?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Have you ever seen Tracy Rokes

10 intoxicated?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. How frequently have you seen him

13 intoxicated?

14 A. I don't know. I mean -- I don't know.

15 I can't give you a specific number, if that's what

16 you're wanting. I don't keep track of that.

17 Q. Okay. Well, of those times when you go

18 gout, if you go out with them, what, three or four

19 times a month, you say?

20 A. Uh-huh,

21 Q. Yes?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. How many times out of those three or

24 four would Tracy become intoxicated, Tracy Rokes?

25 A. I can't -- I don't know. I mean, I

 

Page 9

1 can't answer that. I've seen him drunk on an

2 occasions, but just to put it to a specific number,

3 I can't -- I can't say. I don't know. I mean,

4 It's not like he's drunk one out of every four

5 times, I don't believe that. Maybe one out of then

6 times. I don't know.

7 Q. Okay.

8 A. You know, I'm sorry, I -- I can't tell

9 you a specific.

10 Q. All right. So it it's one out of then

11 times or whatever the number is, several times?

12 A. If that's what you're calling several,

13 several to me may be three times a year. I

14 don't know.

15 Q. Okay. When you've seen him drunk, what

16 is his appearance? How does he appear to you that

17 give you the impression that he's intoxicated?

18 A. He staggers, maybe talks a little bit

19 more than usual. I don't know if there's too many

20 more specifics that I can put with it.

21 Q. Slurred speech?

22 A. Yeah. Yes.

23 Q. Mood changes?

24 A. He might be a little happier.

25 Q. Does he -- and he talk more, you said?

 

Page 10

1 A. To me.

2 Q. Okay. On these occasions when you've

3 seen him intoxicated, did you feel that he was

4 under the influence to the point where it might

5 affect his ability to drive a car?

6 A. Sure.

7 Q. Did you ever offer him a ride home or

8 take him home?

9 A. Sure. We've done that before.

10 Q. When he's been intoxicated?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Has he ever asked for a ride home?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. How many times?

15 A. I don't know. That I can think of,

16 maybe twice.

17 Q. On those times when you have -- your

18 testimony is that you have taken him home twice?

19 A. That I can think of, yeah.

20 Q. Okay. And on those occasions when you

21 took him home, had he asked to be taken home?

22 A. He might have one of the times, and the

23 other time we just offered.

24 Q. Where were you when those incidents took

25 place?

 

Page 11

1 A. I don't remember. We could have been at

2 a bar, restaurant or even a friend's house. I'm

3 not sure.

4 Q. Have there been times when Tracy Rokes

5 has been intoxicated to the point where you were

6 concerned that he might not be able to operate a

7 vehicle safely and you did not take him home?

8 A. Not that I can remember where he was

9 going to be the driver.

10 Q. It's your testimony that on no occasion,

11 never when you saw him intoxicated he drove home

12 under circumstances where you were concerned that

13 he might not be able to operate a vehicle safely?

14 A. No, not -- like I said, not when he was

15 the driver.

16 Q. Who was driving?

17 A. His wife?

18 Q. Was he on those occasions sober, in

19 your opinion?

20 A. Yes. She was pregnant.

21 Q. All right. So the specific -- the

22 incidents you're referring to occurred when Delonna

23 was pregnant and not drinking?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Tracy got drunk, she didn't because she

 

Page 12

1 was pregnant, and she drove home?

2 A. Exactly.

3 Q. Do you recall timewise how long ago it

4 was that you gave Tracy a ride home because you

5 thought he was too intoxicated?

6 A. I don't remember.

7 Q. Was it before or after October of 1996?

8 A. Before.

9 Q. Both times?

10 A. I believe so.

11 Q. Prior to October of 1996 you had seen

12 him intoxicated more than twice; correct?

13 A. I'm sure I had.

14 Q. All right. And prior to October of 1996

15 you had seen him intoxicated to the point where you

16 thought he might have trouble operating a motor

17 vehicle more than twice; correct?

18 A. Can you repeat what you're saying?

19 Q. Prior to October of 1996 you saw Tracy

20 Rokes intoxicated to the point where you were

21 concerned that he might not be able to operate a

22 motor vehicle on more than two occasions; correct?

23 A. That's probably true.

24 Q. Prior to October of 1996 Tracy Rokes was

25 intoxicated to the point where you were concerned

 

Page 13

1 that he might have problems operating a motor

2 vehicle and he drove home by himself, isn't that

3 true?

4 A. Not that I'm aware of that he drove home

5 by himself. I mean, you're asking me the same

6 question over and over. I suppose that, yes, I

7 have seen Tracy Rokes intoxicated to the point that

8 I felt he shouldn't be driving a car, but in those

9 instances either somebody game him a ride home or

10 his wife took him home and wasn't drinking or we

11 game him a ride home. I mean, I can't recall a

12 time where he went home by himself and was

13 intoxicated. I mean, that's the truth.

14 Q. So your testimony is that as far as you

15 know, Tracy Rokes never operated--

16 A. I'm no expert on somebody being

17 intoxicated, but as far as I have seen and been

18 around him, I have never seen him drive home

19 intoxicated by himself, no.

20 Q. By Himself or with somebody else in the

21 car?

22 A. Exactly.

23 Q. All right.

24 A. I have always felt that he was able to

25 drive. If we did not, we would make sure that --

 

Page 14

1 that's just the kind of group we hang out with. If

2 somebody -- if we feel that somebody is not able to

3 drive, somebody that is sober will drive them home.

4 Q. You recognize that a per son can be under

5 the influence to the point where his or her

6 judgment is impaired, his or her ability to

7 exercise sound judgment, but not be staggering

8 drunk?

9 A. Sure.

10 Q. And that short of being overtly

11 intoxicated and staggering drunk, a person can be

12 under the influence of alcohol?

13 A. Sure.

14 Q. And you recognize that somebody can be

15 under the influence of alcohol to the extent that

16 it might affect their ability to operate a motor

17 vehicle and make the kinds of decisions that a

18 driver of a vehicle must make, but yet not be

19 staggering drunk?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Do you recognize that in a social

22 situation where everybody is having conversation

23 and maybe everybody is having something to drink,

24 it is difficult to tell whether another person is

25 under the influence to the extent that it might

 

Page 15

1 affect their ability to operate a motor vehicle,

2 but yet not so drunk that they're staggering and

3 having a slurred speech and that sort of thing?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Do you remember October 4, 1996?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. What had you done that day?

8 A. Do you want the whole day?

9 Q. Just summarize it.

10 A. Okay. Met some friends -- myself, I met

11 some friends for lunch. Delonna was one of them.

12 Went over to her house later on in the afternoon.

13 We hung out there for a little while and we all

14 decided to go out for the evening.

15 Q. Who did you go to lunch with?

16 A. I believe just Delonna. I can't

17 remember if there was -- I can't remember if there

18 was somebody else. There might have been somebody

19 else there. But I wasn't who we were out with

20 that night.

21 Q. You went back to Delonna's house?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. After lunch? Did you have lunch there

24 or did you go out to eat?

25 A. No, we went to Chi-Chi's for lunch, and

 

Page 16

1 I don't remember, I think I had something in

2 between, and then ended up going to Delonna's

3 later.

4 Q. Do you like Mexican food?

5 A. Yeah.

6 Q. You had it for lunch and dinner that

7 night?

8 A. Yeah.

9 Q. Okay. So somewhere in the afternoon you

10 wound up back at Delonna's?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. All right. Did you have any alcohol to

13 drink, any alcoholic beverages while you were at

14 Chi-Chi's?

15 A. I had a Margarita.

16 Q. How about Delonna, did she have anything

17 to drink, do you know?

18 A. She might have had a Margarita. I can't

19 remember.

20 Q. Just one Margarita?

21 A. Yeah. We didn't stay very long.

22 Q. All right. And then you go someplace,

23 you can't recall where you went right after

24 Chi-Chi's?

25 A. I can't remember if I had something to

 

Page 17

1 do with -- I know I did not go directly to

2 Delonna's afterwards.

3 Q. So you wind up at Delonna's at some

4 point of time and what goes on at Delonna's?

5 A. Oh, we just -- they've got -- in their

6 kitchen they have got it's like a bar that comes

7 around and I remember Connie and I were sitting at

8 the bard and Delonna was standing on the other side

9 and just --

10 Q. Talking?

11 A. Chatting, yes.

12 Q. Connie Young?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. All right. Anybody else besides Connie

15 Young, Delonna there at that time?

16 A. Not that I can remember.

17 Q. And about what time was this?

18 A. I would say maybe around 6 o'clock

19 6:30; 6 or so.

20 Q. Okay. did either one of you have

21 anything alcoholic to drink?

22 A. Yes. I believe we were drinking. We

23 each had a beer.

24 Q. Connie, yourself and Delonna?

25 A. Yes.

 

Page 18

1 Q. did anyone else arrive while you were

2 there?

3 A. Tracy came home while we were there.

4 Q. Do you recall about what time he

5 arrived?

6 A. I would have to say maybe around 6 or

7 6:30. I think I was there for about a half-hour

8 before he came home.

9 Q. Okay. What did Tracy do when he

10 arrived, if you can recall?

11 A. He came into the house, said hi to

12 everybody, walked around to the side that Delonna

13 was at. I just remember that he talked to her

14 about her mother, because he had been working up in

15 Mason City, and I believe her mother was in the

16 hospital up there ad he stopped and saw her in the

17 hospital. I mean, they were sort of just talking

18 amongst themselves and I didn't pay a whole lot of

19 attention. And then he walked over to the

20 refrigerator and got a pop out of the refrigerator

21 and went and sat on the couch.

22 Q. You say he got a pop out of the

23 refrigerator. Was it a can or a bottle/

24 A. It was a can. I just remember him

25 getting a pop because I thought it was kind of

 

Page 19

1 weird hat we were all drinking beer and he went

2 and got a pop.

3 Q. Okay. So you have a specific

4 recollection that was a pop?

5 A. Yeah, uh-huh.

6 Q. Do you know what kind it was?

7 A. I don't remember what kind.

8 Q. Then what happened after Tracy got home

9 and got this pop out of the refrigerator?

10 A. He was on the couch watching some

11 sports -- some sports thing on TV and we were all

12 three still up at the bar talking. I think by that

13 time we had already decided that we wanted to go

14 out an do something that evening.

15 So I called t see if I could get a

16 baby-sitter. At that time we just had one child,

17 our son. And I was able to get a baby-sitter and

18 everybody else was too, so I think at that time we

19 asked Tracy if he wanted to go out, and my husband

20 had called, and then he ended up coming over too.

21 Q. Scott came over?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Okay.

24 A. And then we had all decided to go out.

25 And I think it was shortly after, because I had a

 

Page 20

1 baby-sitter I remember at 7, came over to our house

2 at 7. We only live a couple blocks away from where

3 they lived at that time.

4 Q. Did either of the Bradfords show up at

5 the Rokeses' house?

6 A. I don't remember them being there.

7 Q. Okay. What time did you and Scott leave

8 the Rokeses'?

9 A. I would say probably a quarter to 7.

10 Q. And when you left, had you more than

11 one beer or just one beer at the Rokeses'?

12 A. I might have had more than one. I can't

13 remember.

14 Q. More than two?

15 A. I don't think I could drink two in that

16 because I don't think I could drink two in that

17 amount of time.

18 Q. How about Scott, how much had he had to

19 drink alcoholwise?

20 A. He might have had a beer, but I don't

21 remember if he got one when he came in or not.

23 Q. Okay. Where did you and Scott go after

23 you left the Rokeses'?

24 A. We went home, because our sitter was to

25 be over at 7.

 

Page 21

1 Q. Okay. Did you sitter arrive at the

2 appointed hour?

3 A. Yeah. She just was our next-door

4 neighbor?

5 Q. Did you have anything to drink at home?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Then what did you do?

8 A. Then we went to Rudy's Tacos and had

9 supper.

10 Q. All right. And did you have any

11 alcoholic beverages at Rudy's Tacos?

12 A. I didn't.

13 Q. How about your husband?

14 A. I believe he had a beer?

15 Q. One beer or more than one beer or can

16 you recall?

17 A. I don't want to say for sure. Maybe

18 one, but I'm not for sure.

19 Q. What time did you leave Rudy's Tacos?

20 A. I think it was around 8 o'clock. It

21 usually doesn't take us that long. I think we were

22 discussing at that time how come it had taken so

23 long that night. I believe it was around

24 8 o'clock, so it was an hour.

25 Q. Did you go from Rudy's Tacos to

 

Page 22

1 Brooster's?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Where is Rudy's Tacos in relation to

4 Brooster's?

5 A. Oh, I would say maybe half a mile

6 away, a mile away.

7 Q. Brooster's was a familiar place to you?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And your group as well?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. In other words, it was a place where you

12 would occasionally gather?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. What time did you arrive at Brooster's?

15 A. Probably 8:05, if we left at 8. I'm

16 sure it doesn't take much more than five minutes to

17 get there.

18 Q. Okay. Who was there at Brooster's when

19 you arrived?

20 A. When we got there we saw Bradfords and

21 Youngs and Rokeses.

22 Q. So everybody was already there? You

23 were the last to arrive?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. All right. Where was everybody

 

Page 23

1 gathered?

2 A. At the end of the bar on the Brooster's

3 side.

4 Q. What were the guys doing and what were

5 the galls doing?

6 A. the girls were all sitting at a table.

7 The guys were standing up by the bar.

8 Q. What did you do?

9 A. Went and sat at the table.

10 Q. Okay. And did Scott go over with the

11 guys?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Okay. Was everybody drinking some sort

14 of alcoholic beverage, from what you could observe?

15 A. I believe so.

16 Q. All right. Do you recall what people

17 were drinking? Start with the gals.

18 A. I believe all the girls had beer, but

19 I'm not positive on that.

20 Q. All right. And that would have been

21 Delonna, Lisa Bradford, Connie Young?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And then yourself?

24 A. Sure

25 Q. Okay. did you have a beer?

 

Page 24

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Were these individual drinks that you

3 were drinking or was there a pitcher?

4 A. Individual.

5 Q. What about the guys, did you pay any

6 attention to what they were doing?

7 A. No.

8 Q. All right. do you know whether Tracy

9 Rokes was drinking any alcoholic beverage?

10 A. I believe he was drinking something.

11 Beer, maybe. I don't know.

12 Q. Is that what he usually has, based upon

13 what you've observed in the past?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Beer would be his preference?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. All right. Did you keep track of how

18 much Tracy Rokes was drinking while you were on the

19 Brooster's side?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Did you keep track of how much your

22 husband was drinking while on the Brooster's side?

23 A. Not at that time. Not on that side.

24 Q. Okay. At some point in time did you

25 kind of keep track of him?

 

Page 25

1 A. I usually try to, yes.

2 Q. Okay. How long were you on the

3 Brooster's side?

4 A. Maybe for an hour.

5 Q. Then I understand a band started on the

6 Celebration's side and everybody went over there?

7 A. Yes. The we all left and went to the

8 other side.

9 Q. At the time that everybody went from

10 Brooster's over to the Celebration's side, can you

11 tell me how much Tracy Rokes had had to drink?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Can you tell me how much your husband

14 had had to drink?.

15 A. No.

16 Q. What was Delonna's condition by the time

17 the group moved over to the Celebration's side?

18 A. At that time I didn't notice any sort of

19 a change in her, on the Brooster's side.

20 Q. Do you know how much she had to

21 drink by the time the group moved over to the

22 Celebration's side?

23 A. No. I wasn't keeping track over there.

24 Q. Okay. What happened over on the

25 Celebration's side? What did the group do?

 

Page 26

1 A. The girls were standing up at the bar, I

2 remember, and the guys, there's a sort of a railing

3 that separates an eating area, the tables and the

4 bar, and they were all standing by the railing, the

5 guys were, talking.

6 Q. Okay. Did you have more to drink --

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. -- on the Celebration's side?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. By the time you got over to the

11 Celebration's side, how much had you had to drink?

12 A. I probably I would say got a third beer

13 on the Celebration's side. So I probably had -- I

14 mean ordered a third beer over there.

15 Q. Did you complete drinking that third

16 beer?

17 A. I would say so.

18 Q. Did you order a fourth beer?

19 A. Not that I can remember, but it's

20 possible.

21 Q. By the way, when you finally left

22 Celebration's, were you feeling the effects of the

23 beer you had been drinking?

24 A. I wouldn't drive, myself, if that's --

25 Q. I guess that was ultimately my

 

Page 27

1 question. Did you feel it would have been prudent

2 for you to get behind the wheel of a car?

3 A. No, I wouldn't.

4 Q. What about your husband, Scott? You

5 said you kind of started keeping track of him while

6 you were on the Celebration's side?

7 A. Yeah. He was my ride home, so --

8 Q. He was your ride home?

9 A. Yeah.

10 Q. Okay. How much did he have to drink on

11 the Celebration's side?

12 A. I think, that I can remember, maybe a

13 couple beers.

14 Q. Okay. And you don't know how many he

15 had had to drink on the Brooster's side?

16 A. No. Honestly, I didn't pay attention on

17 that side.

18 Q. Okay. Were you watching him to see if

19 he was showing the effects of what he has has to

20 drink?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. All right. Were you concerned that it

23 might not be prudent for him to drive?

24 A. At that time I didn't believe so. We

25 ate a meal before we went to Brooster's and I felt

 

Page 28

1 he was okay to drive, drive us home.

2 Q. Maybe in better shape than you were to

3 drive?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. I mean, everything is relative.

6 A. Yeah.

7 Q. Had you not been drinking at all, let's

8 just assume that you had not had a thing of an

9 alcoholic nature to drink and were not feeling any

10 of the effects of the alcohol, who would have --

11 what would prudence dictate as to who should have

12 driven home that night?

13 A. Well, if I didn't have anything to

14 drink, I would have driven.

15 Q. Okay. As compared to somebody who had

16 not been drinking at all -- let me rephrase that.

17 In terms of who would have been the safer driver,

18 somebody who had not been drinking at all would

19 have been there safer drive than Scott, but as

20 between you and Scott, he was the safer driver?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. What about Tracy Rokes, did you observe

23 him drinking on the Celebration's side?

24 A. Yes. I saw him have one beer over

25 there. Whether or not it was more than that, I'm

 

Page 29

1 not sure.

2 Q. You just weren't in a position to tell?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Did you have any conversations with

5 Tracy Rokes while you were on the Celebration's

6 side?

7 A. A little. Maybe I stood there and

8 talked to him for ten minutes or so with my

9 husband.

10 Q. Were you able to or did you form an

11 impression one way or the other as to whether or

12 not Tracy was feeling the effects of the alcohol?

13 that he had consumed/

14 A. No.

15 Q. You just didn't know one way or the

16 other?

17 A. No.

18 Q. How about Delonna?

19 A. Right -- well, she seemed to be

20 intoxicated to me. But that was maybe more towards

21 the time that we were leaving that I could tell

22 that.

23 Q. What time did you leave?

24 A. We had to be home for our sitter at 11,

25 so I remembered looking at my watch at about 20 to

 

Page 30

1 11 and telling Scott that we needed to get going so

2 that we were home on time. And I think we left

3 maybe five minutes after that, probably a quarter

4 'til.

5 Q. Were the Rokeses still there?

6 A. They were still there when we left.

7 Q. All right. And you felt that time

8 that Delonna was intoxicated?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And by the time you left the

11 Celebration's side, were you able to form an

12 opinion one way or the other as to whether or not

13 Tracy was under the influence?

14 A. I didn't believe he was.

15 Q. And when you say you didn't believe he

16 was , is that based upon what you observed?

17 A. Just from us being around him, like in

18 our causal social situations, I did not believe

19 that he was intoxicated.

20 Q. Did you have any concerns that if he

21 wasn't staggering drunk that he might be under the

22 influence to the point, at least, where it might

23 impair his ability or affect his ability to operate

24 a motor vehicle?

25 A. No. No.

 

Page 31

1 Q. As between Tracy and somebody who had

2 not been drinking at all, who would have been the

3 safer driver?

4 A. The person not drinking.

5 Q. Okay. How did you learn about the

6 collision?

7 A. The morning after, Tracy had called our

8 house to tell us about the accident.

9 Q. Okay. And what did Tracy tell you in

10 that conversation?

11 A. That he had hit a car at the

12 intersection of Greenhill Road. I'm just trying to

13 think back to what he said. He just said that

14 there were -- I think at that time he said there

15 were three girls in the car and at that time, as

16 far as he knew, they were going to be okay.

17 He said that -- he did tell me that I

18 think Delonna was crying and she was bent over in

19 the truck and he was trying to calm her down. She

20 was upset about her mom. And that he looked up, I

21 think he said he thought the light was flashing

22 yellow, and he said that's when he hit the car.

23 Q. Okay. By the way, when you left the

24 bar, Scott drove home, is that correct?

25 A. Yes.

 

Page 32

1 Q. Would you have been at all concerned

2 about Scott driving somebody else home, in other

3 words, somebody else in the car with him?

4 A. No.

5 Q. You felt that it was safe for you to

6 ride with him and would have been safe for somebody

7 else to ride with him?

8 A. Yes.

9 (Deposition Exhibit 42 marked for

10 identification, as requested.)

11 Q. I'd like you to take a look at

12 Exhibit 42. Do you recognize that document?

13 A. This looks like a statement I gave to

14 the police.

15 Q. It's dated October 7th of 1996?

16 A. Uh-huh. Yes.

17 Q. is that correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. At 1800 hours, is that correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Do you recall giving a statement to the

22 police, Cedar Falls Police Department, in the early

23 evening of October 7th, 1996?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. I have a few questions about the

 

Page 33

1 statement that you gave. Starting with the bottom

2 of the first page you say, "While in the bar I

3 remember Tracy as being his normal self. We have

4 been to bars with Tracy before and he is not a big

5 drinker."

6 You didn't tell the police in that

7 statement that you had seen him drunk, though, in

8 the past, did you?

9 A. No. They didn't ask.

10 Q. And you didn't volunteer it?

11 A. No.

12 Q. "While we were there, I believe Tracy

13 might have had three or four beers, but I wasn't

14 watching him and do no not know for sure. I know that

15 he was drinking beer and didn't seem him have any

16 other kind of drink."

17 That was in your statement?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. You've only told me about one or two

20 beers for sure that you saw. When did he have the

21 other beers?

22 A. He probably had the other beers on the

23 Brooster's side.

24 Q. Okay. Is your memory refreshed now,

25 having seen your statement, that you recall seeing

 

Page 34

1 Tracy have more than one beer on the Brooster's

2 side?

3 A. Three or four beers is what I said in

4 here. I also said that I did not know for sure,

5 so, you know, when I'm saying one or two on the

6 Celebrations's side, I still don't know for sure.

7 Q. Where did the three or four come from

8 that you told the Police Department about?

9 A. Totally, on both sides.

10 Q. So based upon your observations, he had

11 one or two beers on the Celebration's side? Yes?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And one or two beers on the Brooster's

14 side?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Adding up to three or four?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And that is based upon what you observed

19 to the extent that you were able to observe him

20 drinking?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Do you rule out the possibility that he

23 had more than three or four beers?

24 A. No.

25 Q. You go on to state in the second

 

Page 35

1 paragraph on page 2 of the statement, "I think

2 Delonna had a couple more to drink than Tracy, but

3 I'm not sure, and it's hard to say because she is

4 so skinny and that affects her different. Delonna

5 didn't seem to be her normal self and was pretty

6 upset about her mom."

7 Do you see that statement?

8 A. Uh-huh.

9 Q. Your testimony is that Delonna appeared

10 to be showing the effects of the alcohol more than

11 Tracy?

12 A. Yes, quite a bit more.

13 Q. Do you think she had more to drink than

14 Tracy did, but you're not sure?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Do you think Tracy might be able to

17 handle his beer better than Delonna?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Okay. Skip down to the paragraph that

20 begins, "Tracy called me -- Saturday morning around

21 9:30 to 10 a.m. and told me that he was in an

22 accident."

23 Do you see that paragraph?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. You state, "I asked Tracy if he was okay

 

Page 36

1 and he said that they were. Tracy told me that

2 there were four other girls in the car and that two

3 had walked away, and one had been airlifted to

4 Iowa City." Do you see that?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Do you recall him telling you that there

7 were four other girls in the car?

8 A. He must have, if that's what I said at

9 that time.

10 Q. He said that two had walked away and one

11 had been airlifted to Iowa City.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Do you know what happened to the fourth

14 one?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Would it surprise you to learn that none

17 of the girls in the car walked away?

18 A. Yes, it would.

19 Q. Do you know now what happened to the

20 girls in the other car?

21 A. I know what happened to tow of them for

22 sure, and the other two I'm not sure.

23 Q. You know now that one of them died?

24 A. Yeah. Yes.

25 Q. In your next paragraph you state, "Tracy

 

Page 37

1 said that they were taking Greenhill home and that

2 Delonna was crying and he was trying to get her to

3 stop." And then you state, "Tracy swore the light

4 was green and when he looked up he saw a vehicle in

5 the intersection and that he hit it."

6 Does that statement, particularly the

7 last sentence, accurately reflect what Tracy Rokes

8 told you in your conversation on the morning of

9 Saturday, October 7th?

10 A. I believe that --

11 Q. I'm sorry, October 5th.

12 A. I believe that he was truly sincere when

13 he said that he thought that the light was green.

14 I don't believe that he had any reason to tell me

15 otherwise if that's what he felt.

16 Q. This sentence that appears in your

17 statement accurately reflects what he told you that

18 morning --

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. -- in your phone conversation?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Earlier in your deposition today you

23 indicated that he had told you that the lights were

24 flashing yellow. Do you recall telling me that?

25 A. Yes, I remember saying that.

 

Page 38

1 Q. How is t that you came to give that

2 testimony, Mr. Braun?

3 A. I could be thinking of when he was --

4 I'd also talked to him when he had told me that

5 there's a light previous to that light, and that

6 one was flashing. Maybe that's what I was thinking

7 of.

8 Q. Did you get the impression form

9 something that Tracy told you that the light for

10 traffic traveling in his direction was flashing

11 yellow at the time of the collision?

12 A. Can you repeat that?

13 Q. Mr. Liabo: sure. Why don't your read it

14 back, Dwight?

15 (The reporter read the last question.)

16 A. That's what I understood for him to tell

17 me, that it was maybe flashing or it was -- from

18 what I remember is it was a light that he could go

19 through. I mean, it wasn't something that he was

20 supposed to stop at.

21 Q. All right.

22 A. I mean, that was the impression that I

23 got from him.

24 Q. Let me --

25 A. I mean, it's been two years ago, you

 

Page 39

1 know.

2 Q. I understand. In your statement --

3 A. You're asking me stuff today about two

4 years ago and I didn't -- you, this, to me, it

5 more accurate than what I'm telling you now. I

6 believe what I said back to the police, you know,

7 to be more true than what I said today as far as

8 that statement of it flashing. That's just from

9 what I remember now. It's been two years ago. I

10 don't think of this every day. I'm not trying to

11 lie or say something inaccurate.

12 Q. Have you had more than one conversation

13 with Tracy Rokes about that light at Greenhill Road

14 where the collision occurred?

15 A. Not since that one guy, other than maybe

16 asking him about how the girls were, you know, a

17 day or two later.

18 Q. But since you gave this statement, since

19 you talked to the police and gave this statement on

20 October 7th of 1996, have you had any conversations

21 with Tracy Rokes about the light at that

22 intersection where this collision occurred?

23 A. I'm sure I had right after. But the

24 conversation in detail I can't remember.

25 Q. Right after you gave the statement?

 

Page 40

1 A. What do you mean, right after?

2 Q. What I'm asking you is if you had any

3 conversation after October 7th of 1996, after you

4 gave this statement to the police?

5 A. Oh, I'm sure I've talked to Tracy about

6 it, but what it exactly detailed, I don't remember.

7 Q. Do you recall, and I'm just asking you

8 what you recall, because you told the police that

9 he told you that the light was green, and I'm

10 asking you whether or not in any subsequent

11 conversation Tracy Rokes ever told you that he

12 thought that the light was flashing yellow for

13 traffic in his direction?

14 A. After I gave this conversation, I may

15 have had a conversation with Tracy about how he

16 thought -- how he had said that maybe the light was

17 flashing and he didn't know it.

18 Q. Okay. Did it remain your impression

19 from the conversations that you had with Tracy

20 Rokes that if the light was flashing, it was

21 flashing yellow so that he had the directional

22 right-of-way?

23 A. I would say so.

24 Q. Has he ever just come forward and

25 admitted to you that he had a red light, that it

 

Page 41

1 was a flashing red light for traffic in his

2 direction?

3 A. No, he didn't.

4 Q. Did you know that before just now?

5 A. I knew that after. It was sometime

6 after, after the accident.

7 Q. How did you learn that he has a

8 flashing red light?

9 A. I don't remember how I found that out.

10 Q. Did it surprise you when you learned

11 that it was a flashing red light?

12 A. Yes, it did.

13 Q. Because that was completely contrary to

14 the impression you were getting from you

15 conversations with Tracy?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Has he ever offered you an explanation

18 for why he told you that he had a green light or a

19 flashing yellow light?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Does the fact that you know now that

22 Tracy had a flashing red light and it wasn't green

23 and it wasn't flashing yellow and he didn't have

24 the directional right-or-way alter your opinion

25 with respect to the effect that the alcohol had on

 

Page 42

1 Tracy when he got in that car?

2 A. No.

3 Mr. Liabo: Okay. That's all I have.

4 DIRECT EXAMINATION

5 BY MR. GALLAGHER:

6 Q. Hi. I represent one of the young ladies

7 that was in the -- or the young lady that was in

8 the back seat. My name is Ed Gallagher and we've

9 been introduced; right?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Okay. Just to get me straight, this

12 Rudy's you go to, is that on Falls Avenue?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. How far is that from you house?

15 A. We live in Cedar Falls and it's in

16 Waterloo.

17 Q. Okay. And you live just three blocks

18 from the Rokeses, or did at that time?

19 A. Did at that time, yes.

20 Q. Would you have taken the

21 University/Greenhill Road way home that night?

22 A. No, we did not.

23 Q. What route did you take to go home?

24 A. university Avenue.

25 Q. Was Tracy dancing that night?

 

Page 43

1 A. Yes, I believe he was.

2 Q. I believe one of the witnesses told us

3 that he doesn't usually dance unless he's been

4 drinking. Would you agree with that?

5 A. Yes, I would say he does that after he

6 has some alcohol?

7 Q. You've made that observation too then;

8 correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Okay. Does Tracy usually drink more

11 than Delonna?

12 A. I can't say that, no.

13 Q. Is it you don't know or --

14 A. No. I just don't believe that he always

15 drinks more than her, no.

16 Q. Sometimes he does?

17 A. Sometimes.

18 Q. The reason I ask is that you told

19 Mr. Liabo that he's been intoxicated and you've

20 given him a ride home.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And I assume Delonna was not intoxicated

23 at those times, is that right?

24 A. Right, Delonna was not.

25 Q. Okay. So at least at those times he

 

Page 44

1 must have drank more than Delonna, isn't that fair?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. I'm a little bit unclear, did you

4 discuss with Tracy about the flashing red light

5 when it all came up, did it all come up in a

6 conversation at sometime?

7 A. I'm sure it did. The details of the

8 conversation right now I can't remember, but--

9 Q. At that time did he say, "It looks like

10 I'm at fault"?

11 A. No.

12 Q. You believe he's at fault if he ran a

13 flashing red light, don't you?

14 A. Yes.

15 Mr. Bevel: Objection. I object and ask

16 that my objection precede the answer. It calls for

17 a legal opinion.

18 Q. You talked about under the influence

19 You understand, don't you. Ms. Braun, that you can

20 be under the influence and not staggering or have

21 slurred speech, but your judgment can be affected

22 by alcohol, even though you're not, you know,

23 drunk?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And you can't sit here today and say

 

Page 45

1 that he was not under the influence and his

2 judgment could easily have been impaired, you can't

3 state that, can you?

4 A. No, I can't state that.

5 MR. GALLAGHER: That's all the questions

6 I have.

7 MR. HELLMAN: I don't have any

8 questions. Thank you.

9 MR. BEVEL: don't have any questions.

10 MR. LIABO: Thank you.

11 MR. GALLAGHER: Thank you, Ms. Braun.

12 (Deposition concluded at 10:11 a.m.)

 

updated 12/26/16