PORT ANGELES — A neighbor, cellmate and two law enforcement officers took the stand early Monday to begin the fifth week of witness testimony in Dennis Marvin Bauer’s triple-murder trial.
Bauer, 53, is on trial for the shooting deaths of Darrell Iverson, 57, Jordan Iverson, 27, and Tiffany May, 26.
Bauer and two accomplices allegedly shot and robbed the victims of guns, drugs, tools and other items in the early morning hours of Dec. 26, 2018.
The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said Bauer, Ryan Warren Ward, 40, and Kallie Ann LeTellier, 37, committed the murders at Darrell Iverson’s residence at 52 Bear Meadow Road and took the stolen property to Bauer’s ranch at 2591 Lower Elwha Road.
Christopher “Cody” Sutton said he, Ward and LeTellier were living in separate trailers adjacent to Bauer’s cabin on Lower Elwha Road at the time of the shootings.
Sutton said he questioned the trio when they returned from the Iverson home around dawn and Ward pulled a camouflage duffel bag out of the trunk of Bauer’s Ford Taurus.
“I asked them what’s going on, and Ryan replied to me to mind my own f—-ing business,” Sutton said.
“I said, ‘Well, f—- you, too,’ and then turned around and went back inside.”
Sutton said he had installed a security system at Bauer’s residence and kept a burn barrel outside his trailer.
Defense attorney Karen Unger moved for a mistrial during Sutton’s testimony, saying prosecutors had not provided her with information relevant to the deposition.
“I’m being blindsided here by this testimony,” Unger said.
Clallam County Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson denied the motion for a mistrial but prohibited the state from allowing Sutton to identify persons seen in video surveillance from the Port Angeles Walmart.
There was an outburst later Monday when Unger and deputy prosecuting attorney Jesse Espinoza were debating the relevance of camouflage clothing and military-grade ammunition and equipment found on Bauer’s property. Bauer did not serve in the military.
Michele Devlin, Clallam County chief criminal deputy prosecuting Attorney, exclaimed that Espinoza, who is hearing impaired, was “having a difficult time hearing me” as Unger made another objection outside the presence of the jury.
Unger objected to the state’s response to her objections.
“I don’t believe that I deserve to be yelled at,” Unger said.
Erickson said the outburst was “inappropriate” and sustained Unger’s objection on relevance.
Later Monday, Richard Brooks of Clallam County testified to alleged statements that Bauer had made in a jail cell about the murders.
Bauer allegedly told Brooks that he, Ward and LeTellier had gone to the Iverson residence on the morning after Christmas 2018 to purchase heroin for LeTellier, who was suffering from opioid withdrawal.
“He (Bauer) said he was outside the house smoking a cigarette,” Brooks said of the shootings.
“The son (Jordan Iverson) came out of the door first. Ryan shot him.
“I don’t know who came out second,” Brooks continued.
“They were also shot, and then Kallie shot Tiffany.”
Bauer told his cellmate that all three victims were on the ground when Ward retrieved another weapon from Bauer’s car and shot each of them in the head, according to Monday’s testimony.
Ward was sentenced last November to life in prison with no possibility of parole after pleading guilty to three counts of first-degree aggravated murder and 16 weapons violations.
LeTellier pleaded guilty last November to second-degree murder for May’s death and agreed testified against Bauer. She is serving a 35-year prison term.
Unger has argued that Bauer was a bystander to the murders.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Detective Derek Allen testified Monday to his search of Bauer’s residence in late January 2019. Multiple state, federal and local law enforcement agencies were involved.
Allen said he collected a computer hard drive taken from the Iverson residence and a package with Jordan Iverson’s name affixed to it.
He displayed for the jury a burnt cell phone, burnt hard drive and other items found in a metal drum used to burn items on Bauer’s property.
Port Townsend Police Detective Jon Stuart displayed for the jury four rifles found at the Bauer residence.
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 will resume at 9 a.m. today.
Rob Ollikainen is a freelance reporter.