PORT ANGELES – Dennis Marvin Bauer’s attorney continued Thursday to grill the only eyewitness to testify in her client’s triple-murder trial, challenging Kallie Ann LeTellier’s recorded recollection of events surrounding the Dec. 26, 2018 shotgun slayings.
The 2002 Sequim High School graduate, who has attended college, is serving 35 years after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in a plea deal, agreeing to testify against Bauer, 53, 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, in shackles Wednesday in Clallam County Superior Court after threatening to disrupt the proceedings, refused to testify after being transported from Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen,
Ward is serving three life sentences without parole in the deaths of Darrell Iverson, Jordan Iverson and Tiffany May, the 26-year-old woman LeTellier said she shot outside Darrell Iverson’s sprawling, cluttered residence on a dirt road off Deer Park Road.
Bauer, 53, is charged with three counts of first-degree aggravated murder, eight counts of illegally possessing firearms and six counts of possessing guns he allegedly stole from the Iverson residence.
The trial is being held Monday through Thursday for an estimated four more weeks. Unger is expected to complete her cross-examination of LeTellier on Monday.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Unger peppered LeTellier, 37, with “do you remember saying” questions over her recorded responses to authorities. The interviews with law enforcement led to her guilty plea to second-degree murder for killing May, shot in the back as she fled the mayhem at Iverson’s residents.
The Iversons’s bodies were found wrapped in partially concealed tarps in Iverson’s driveway. May’s body was found in a locked shed.
To many of Unger’s questions, LeTellier responded, “I don’t recall.”
After questioning Wednesday afternoon, LeTellier agreed Thursday morning that she signed all transcripts for accuracy of her recorded statements.
“That doesn’t mean that you agree that everything in here is truthful but that it reflects what is recorded,” Unger said, with LeTellier agreeing.
Bauer, a commercial floor cleaner, is charged with three counts of first-degree aggravated murder, eight counts of illegally possessing firearms and six counts of possessing guns he stole from the Iverson residence.
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 becuse they wanted to inflict on the Iversons for allegedly raping LeTellier.
Unger repeatedly asked her if she was on drugs during the interviews. LeTellier, Ward, the Iversons, May and Bauer were involved in selling or using methamphetamine, with Iverson a financier, Ward and Bauer enforcers and LeTellier selling it to individuals in Port Angeles, according to court records. LeTellier said she spent $300-$400 a week on drugs, according to her presentence report.
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.
LeTellier said she did not recall parts of her interviews with Sheriff’s Office Detective Jeff Waterhouse, the lead officer on the case, and Detective Sgt. Eric Munger.
“You told them that Dennis Bauer and Ryan Ward had shot all three people, isn’t that correct,” Unger said.
“I don’t recall that,” LeTellier responded, still agreeing she had given a detailed description of how Bauer had shot May, “that she steps down, Dennis does, just shoots her, and she drops there.”
She agreed that she said Bauer and Ward did the shootings “but I didn’t know who did what,” LeTellier said Thursday.
Asked if she told Munger and Waterhouse if she was on drugs or confused during the interview, LeTellier responded, “I don’t recall.”
The officers suggested LeTellier “must have been terrified” of Bauer and Ward, saying they had physical evidence that she shot May, Unger told LeTellier, which LeTellier said she did not recall.
“You don’t recall that, hunh?” Unger said.
“I don’t remember,” LeTellier said. “There was hundreds of questions.”
LeTellier agreed that during the interview she confessed to killing May.
LeTellier said she was sitting in Iverson’s kitchen, coloring, when Bauer told her, “as soon you start hearing it go, and it happens … you take care of them.”
“And then you said, ‘he goes, we’re taking care of them for what they did to you,’” Unger told LeTellier.
LeTellier agreed she said that.
“And then you said, ‘I don’t want that. I don’t want that, Dennis. That’s not what needs to happen.’”
“That’s what I told him, yes,” LeTellier told Unger on Thursday.
“And did you tell law enforcement that Dennis said, ‘If you don’t do this, then there’s gonna be a big problem.’”
“I don’t recall that,” LeTellier responded.
“Do you remember telling law enforcement that Dennis said, ‘if we do anything and you don’t help, he said, you’re going to go, too,” Unger asked her.
“I don’t recall that,” LeTellier said.
“Do you remember Dennis threatening you that if you didn’t go along with it, that you would be killed as well?”
“I don’t recall that,” LeTellier said.
“And isn’t it true, that then you said, the next thing you know, I heard gunshots go off and Tiffany running through the house screaming,” Unger said.
“Yes,” LeTellier responded.
“You knew they were going to kill these people for what they did to you, correct?”
“For a second,” LeTellier responded.
“Dennis said to you, we’re going to take care of these people for what they did to you, is that right?”
“I don’t remember him saying that,” LeTellier said.
“So you don’t remember anybody saying to you that night, we did this because of what they did to you?”
“You don’t remember.”
“I don’t remember.”
“Asked and answered,” said Michele Devlin, Clallam County chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney.
On Wednesday, Devlin repeatedly objected as Unger asked LeTellier if she recalled making statements to law enforcement about statements that Ward had made.
“She (Unger) is trying to get in what Ryan Ward said over and over and over again,” Devlin told Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson.
Unger said her line of questioning was not being offered for the truth.
“It’s being offered for statements that this witness made to law enforcement that I believe are later on contradicted in this testimony,” Unger said.
Erickson overruled Devlin’s objections and allowed Unger to continue her cross-examination.
The trial was paused Wednesday when Bauer noticed a juror who appeared to be falling asleep.
“I only noticed because she almost dropped the note pad,” Bauer told Erickson after the jury had left the courtroom.
The juror told Erickson she heard all the testimony.
Devlin asked before proceedings began Thursday for the heat to be turned down in the courtroom to help keep the jury awake.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].
Rob Ollikainen is a freelance writer and former Peninsula Daily News reporter.