Jury set to decide accused killer’s fate

Closing arguments this morning

Judge Lauren Erickson addresses the jury during the final day of testimony Tuesday in Dennis Marvin Bauer's triple-murder trial. (Paul Gottlieb/Peninsula Daily News)

PORT ANGELES — Dennis Bauer’s two-month triple-murder trial is expected to go to the jury today after the prosecution finished presenting its Clallam County Superior Court case Tuesday that Bauer does, indeed, shoot people.

Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson read lengthy jury instructions to the eight-woman, six-man panel — including two alternates — Tuesday afternoon.

Closing arguments likely will begin this morning.

The 53-year-old Lower Elwha Road resident has admitted he was at 52 Bear Meadow Road east of Port Angeles on Dec. 26, 2018, where the bullet-riddled bodies of Darrel Iverson, Iverson’s son Jordan, and Jordan’s girlfriend Tiffany May were found five days later, the afternoon of New Year’s Eve.

Bauer, 53, testified on Dec. 22: “I don’t shoot people.”

He repeated the assertion during testimony Monday and Tuesday.

The commercial floor cleaner contradicted former girlfriend Alexandria Earley’s testimony Monday afternoon that Bauer shot at a man in December, before the killings.

Early said that, at Darrell Iverson’s direction, the man was being picked up at the Deer Park rest stop east of Port Angeles before he was to be taken to Darrell Iverson’s residence.

According to Bauer’s probable cause statement, the man had “ripped off” the Iversons in late January for $4,500.

Darrell Iverson allegedly financed methamphetamine deals, according to trial testimony.

Earley said she was driving Bauer’s van with Bauer and convicted murderer Ryan Ward — who has been sentenced for the triple murders — hiding behind the driver’s and front passenger’s seats, covered by a blanket, when the man got in the front passenger seat. She said he looked toward the back of the van and saw Bauer and Ward.

It was about a month before the Bear Meadow Road shootings, she said in Bauer’s probable cause statement.

She testified Ward had a shotgun and Bauer a handgun.

“Dennis shot at him,” Earley said. “[The man] was still in the van, and was in the process of tumbling out.”

Earley said the bullet ricocheted off a metal pillar on the front passenger door area of the vehicle. She used a pointer to identify the crater on a photo projected on a screen.

She said the man ran out of the van, and Ward and Bauer chased him without success.

Later that night, at Iverson’s residence, Earley said she overheard Bauer and Ward talking about the incident.

She said that “Ryan said, ‘Hey man, you really should have [expletive] warned me, you almost shot me.’ Dennis said, ‘Sorry, I was trying to get the [expletive] before he got out.’”

She said there was a ricochet mark on Ward’s shotgun that Ward and Bauer were talking about and examining at Iverson’s residence later.

Bauer said Wednesday he was not present in the van, which was his vehicle, and found out about it after it occurred.

Ward is serving three consecutive life sentences for aggravated first-degree murder and multiple weapons violations in the three shooting deaths.

Bauer is charged with the same murder counts and multiple weapons violations.

Kallie Ann Letellier, who is serving 35 years for second-degree murder in May’s death, testified Tuesday.

LeTellier has told the jury Bauer pointed a gun at her and ordered her to shoot May, changing an earlier version in which she said she alone shot May.

On Tuesday, she contradicted Bauer’s testimony that she and Ward woke him at around midnight on the night of the murders to go to Iverson’s residence.

She said Bauer did not say he did not want Ward to drive his car so that Bauer would drive. Bauer had testified he did not want Ward to drive his car, which Ward was driving when he was arrested for the murders.

LeTellier said Bauer told her that before the Deer Park rest stop incident, Ward and Bauer were going to meet the man Earley referred to in her testimony.

LeTellier said that after the incident, Bauer told her he fired a shot at the man.

“He said that it ricocheted off of Ryan’s shotgun, that it hit the pillar or somewhere around there,” she testified.

“It was just a perfect bullet mark.”

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jesse Espinoza presented as evidence a Facebook message Bauer sent Oct. 6, 2018, to a friend in which Bauer is talking about money and says, “I don’t know, I can shoot everybody and just say [expletive] or not,” Espinoza said.

“Again, it goes to his claim that he would never shoot anybody,” he told Erickson without the jury present in arguing to Erickson that he should be allowed to question the recipient about it before the jury.

Bauer said he did not allow Ward to drive his van after the Deer Park rest stop incident, disabling it but continuing to let him drive his car.

“I don’t know, I really didn’t know how to tell him no,” Bauer explained.

Bauer said he sent the October 2018 Facebook message in which he suggested he could “shoot everybody.”

“I was just tough talking,” he said.

“Someone had broken into my cabin.”

Bauer had testified he did not go to the authorities about the killings because Ward had threatened him and his family, and he was fearful a friend of Ward’s also would do him harm at Ward’s bidding, even though Ward was in prison by then.

Witnesses for the prosecution who were friends of Bauer’s have testified they never heard Ward threaten Bauer.

Bauer said no one was around when Ward made the threats.

“It was just me and Ryan,” Bauer said.

He said he never had a conversation with anyone about being involved in the incident at the Deer Park rest stop, including LeTellier.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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