Defense questions witness testimony

Bauer’s attorney cross-examination expected to resume Monday

PORT ANGELES — Defense attorney Karen Unger last week continued to attack the credibility of the only eyewitness to testify about murders that Dennis Marvin Bauer is accused of committing.

Unger’s cross-examination in the triple-murder trial is expected to be completed today in Clallam County Superior Court as the jury continues hearing testimony from Thursday.

Bauer, 53, is charged with three counts of first-degree aggravated murder in the Dec. 26, 2018, shotgun slayings of Darrell Iverson, Jordan Iverson and Tiffany May; eight counts of illegally possessing firearms; and six counts of possessing guns he allegedly stole from the Iverson residence.

LeTellier, 37, is serving 35 years after pleading guilty to the second-degree murder of May in a plea deal, agreeing to testify against Bauer, and the third shooter, Ryan Warren Ward, 40. The sentence includes 22 months on a charge of identity theft for a total of 420 months.

Ward, Bauer’s nephew, is serving three life sentences without parole for the murders at Darrell Iverson’s residence on a dirt road off Deer Park Road. Ward refused to testify on Wednesday.

Unger has argued Ward killed the Iversons and that Bauer was unaware of the plot that led to murders.

LeTellier said the shootings were instigated by retribution Bauer and Ward wanted to inflict on the Iversons for allegedly raping LeTellier.

On Tuesday, LeTellier testified that Bauer had pointed a gun at her and told her to shoot May.

Unger questioned LeTellier about her statements.

“Did you at any point in here tell them (investigators) that Dennis had been pointing a gun at you?” Unger asked.

LeTellier said no.

LeTellier agreed Thursday with her plea agreement that she alone took responsibility for shooting May, telling police she shot her “to put her out of her misery and wanted to get it over with quickly,” Unger recounted.

The jury was excused from the courtroom on several occasions on the last day of court last week to allow attorneys to discuss with Judge Lauren Erickson issues raised by Unger.

Unger requested she be allowed to read into the record a letter LeTellier had written explaining her reasoning behind changing her plea.

Michele Devlin, Clallam County chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney, called the contents of the letter hearsay, which made it inadmissible as evidence.

Erickson denied admitting the letter into the record despite Unger’s request for reconsideration.

“Your honor, I believe that this letter from Ms. LeTellier contradicts some of which she has testified to,” Unger said.

The jury was brought back into the courtroom only to be excused again when Unger began asking if LeTellier had interacted with the prosecutor’s office prior to meeting with the defense and prior to the trial.

Devlin asked for the relevance of the question.

“I’m trying to find out when it was, the first time was, that Ms. LeTellier suddenly remembered, that she wasn’t the one who shot Ms. May and that not only had my client shot Ms. May, four times, but he had pointed a gun at her and told her to shoot or else,” Unger said.

“I want to ask her (LeTellier) if she had reached out to the prosecutor and said, ‘Oh, wait a minute, I have something more to tell you’ … it’s not very complicated,” Unger argued.

Devlin said it was complicated because it made the prosecution appear as if it had withheld evidence from the defense.

“She (Unger) is trying to impugn the integrity of the prosecution … to allow this to go on, we will need to have a hearing that will take forever,” Devlin said.

Devlin recommended that the jury be dismissed for the remainder of the day and that a new hearing be scheduled to address the allegations from Unger.

Erickson said if that was needed, it would happen after the Bauer trial.

“If there is some implication that the prosecutor did something wrong, we will take that outside of the room, and it will be done after this trial,” Erickson said.

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Reporter Ken Park can be reached at kpark@peninsuladailynews.com.

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