PORT ANGELES — Dennis Marvin Bauer, on trial for triple murder, maintained his innocence Monday, saying he did not participate in the 2018 shootings.
“I don’t shoot people,” Bauer said from the witness stand.
“I’m not going to just shoot somebody.”
Bauer, 53, said he did not stop the murders at a Port Angeles-area home because he feared for his safety.
He is charged for the shooting deaths of trucking company owner Darrell Iverson, 57; his son Jordan, 27; and Jordan’s girlfriend Tiffany May, 26.
“I had no idea how to neutralize the situation at all,” Bauer told defense attorney Karen Unger on re-direct examination.
“I didn’t take any measures because I thought it would put myself in danger.”
Bauer’s co-defendants, Ryan Warren Ward and Kallie Ann LeTellier, have pleaded guilty for their roles in the murders at 52 Bear Meadow Road.
Investigators have said Bauer, Ward and LeTellier shot and killed the victims at Darrell Iverson’s residence in the early morning hours of Dec. 26, 2018, and robbed them of guns, tools and other personal effects.
Ward, 40, is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to three counts of first-degree aggravated murder and 16 weapons violations.
LeTellier is serving a 35-year prison sentence after pleading guilty for May’s murder and agreeing to testify against Bauer.
Bauer is charged with three counts of first-degree aggravated murder, eight counts of illegally possessing firearms and six counts of possessing stolen weapons.
Testimony in Bauer’s trial began Nov. 15 and was expected to conclude this week.
Bauer said he had made no plans with his co-defendants to shoot the Iversons or May.
Unger has argued that Bauer was a bystander to the killings, purportedly motivated by drug sales and the Iversons’ alleged rape of LeTellier.
LeTellier had previously testified that she used methamphetamine with Bauer, Ward, the Iversons and May.
According to her testimony, Bauer ordered LeTellier to “take care” of May — meaning shoot her — after Ward had backed out of the murder plot.
“Did you ever tell Kallie that Ryan had backed out and that she needed to ‘take care’ of Tiffany?” Unger asked Bauer on Monday.
“No ma’am,” Bauer said.
After Bauer’s testimony, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jesse Espinoza said he planned to call two more witnesses to rebut Bauer’s claim that he does not shoot people.
Espinoza said the rebuttal witnesses would describe separate incidents in which Bauer allegedly shot at a man in a van and pointed a fully loaded revolver at another man’s head prior to the murders.
Bauer has not been charged for either of those alleged incidents.
“Considering how relevant it is, and how important to the case that such a statement is, the relevance is very, very high,” Espinoza said, referring to Bauer’s statement that he does not shoot people.
“There’s no unfair prejudice, because the defendant opened the door himself with that statement.”
Bauer said he does not shoot people during his cross-examination Dec. 22 and again on Monday.
Unger objected, saying the state was “trying to completely make a mess of this and confuse the jury with things that are not relevant.”
“My client is saying he doesn’t shoot people because he doesn’t shoot people,” Unger said.
“The state elicited that response from him.”
Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson said she would make a ruling on the rebuttal witnesses later Monday.
Absent her own rebuttal witnesses, Unger said the defense was prepared for closing arguments.
“We’re resting,” Unger said.
Rob Ollikainen is a freelance reporter.