The jury was shown an ammunition clip during testimony last week in the Dennis Bauer murder trial. (Paul Gottlieb/Peninsual Daily News)

The jury was shown an ammunition clip during testimony last week in the Dennis Bauer murder trial. (Paul Gottlieb/Peninsual Daily News)

Triple-murder trial resumes Monday

Dropped gun clip possible link

PORT ANGELES — Sprinkled during court proceedings last week in the triple murder trial of Dennis Marvin Bauer was testimony about a loaded 25-round, .22 caliber ammunition magazine found next to homicide victim Darrell Iverson.

The rifle part was stuck inside a tarp wrapped around the trucking company owner’s body, a possible link in the mayhem of gunfire that led to the deaths of Iverson, 57; his son Jordan, 27; and Jordan’s girlfriend Tiffany May, 26, killed the day after Christmas, 2018, on Iverson’s property east of Port Angeles.

The Iversons were shot multiple times with a .22 caliber rifle, authorities said. The bodies of all three were found New Year’s Eve day by Iverson’s sister and investigators after Iverson’s ex-wife, expressing alarm, told the sister she was unable to reach him.

Prosecution witnesses resume testimony at 1 p.m. Monday in a Clallam County Superior Court trial expected to last four more weeks.

Six days of questioning by Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michele Devlin and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jesse Espinoza ended Tuesday. Devlin has issued 92 witness subpoenas.

County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols is not releasing witnesses’ names before their appearances, citing security concerns.

Bauer, 53, a reputed drug-deal enforcer and convicted felon, is charged with three counts of first-degree aggravated murder and 14 firearms-related counts.

His attorney Karen Unger of Port Angeles has said the commercial floor cleaner was a bystander during the murders. She has not said if Bauer will testify.

Ryan Warren Ward, 40, a drug-deal enforcer and an associate of Bauer’s, appeared in court Wednesday in shackles after threatening violence.

The witness for the prosecution refused to answer questions or acknowledge pleading guilty to first-degree aggravated murder and 16 firearms-related counts in connection with the deaths. He is serving three consecutive life terms without parole.

Kallie Ann LeTellier, 37, is serving more than 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder for killing May and agreeing to testify against Ward and Bauer, saying they committed the murders as retribution for the Iversons raping her.

She said she, Ward and Bauer were involved in dealing methamphetamine, that Bauer, Ward and the Iversons routinely wore guns and even carried them to the bathroom, LeTellier has testified.

Ward repaired firearms, according to a probable cause statement.

Ward talked about the magazine during two recorded interviews with sheriff’s Detective Jeff Waterhouse, the lead investigator, and State Patrol Detective Mike Grall, both of whom testified.

During the interviews, which comprise 11½ pages of Bauer’s 39-page probable cause statement, Ward said he overheard Bauer tell LeTellier the day after the murders that Bauer had lost a black “clip” for Bauer’s .22 caliber rifle at the murder scene.

Ward said Bauer threatened him over the missing magazine.

Bauer told him if he “wanted to save his ass” he should go back to Iverson’s Bear Meadow Road residence off Deer Park Road “to find the clip that Dennis dropped,” according to the interview.

“Dennis explained that he hit one of the men with the butt of a rifle and dropped the clip in front of the house by the semi-truck,” according to Bauer’s probable cause statement.

“Ryan said he would go find it, but he never did.

“Dennis later asked Ryan what he did with the clip. Ryan lied and said that he snuck up there and got rid of it.”

State Patrol Forensic Analyst Johan Schoeman, who gave laborious testimony about spent and unspent .22 caliber bullets from the murder scene, and LeTellier, the only eyewitness to testify, answered seveal hours of questions during last week’s proceedings.

LeTellier said she saw Bauer carrying a .22 rifle Dec. 26 at Iverson’s 52 Bear Meadow Road residence as they arrived by car the day after Christmas.

Attached to the weapon, she said, was a magazine that “was really long, and it was slightly curved,” describing the shape of the Ruger BX-25 magazine, also known as a banana clip, that would be shown to the jury.

When LeTellier, Ward and Bauer arrived at Iverson’s home east of Port Angeles, Bauer, who was driving, told LeTellier not to question him over what was about to happen, “to act like Ryan and I are in a fight, and to keep my head down and my mouth shut,” LeTellier said.

“I learned that if he said to do something, you better do it,” she said.

The three were at the residence for five hours, she said.

Unger hammered at LeTellier’s credibility during cross examination. In her plea agreement, the Sequim High School graduate, who was in the cheerleading program, said she alone shot May. She told Waterhouse in an interview that Ward and Bauer had killed all three people.

Unger claims Ward killed the Iversons.

Schoeman identified bullets and the magazine, one item at a time and authenticating each before before the photos were pictured on a large screen to the jury.

A bailiff then displayed each bullet and the clip to each of the 16 jurors, including four alternates, and for each one cradled the magazine.

Schoeman said the magazine was found close to Iverson’s stomach, discovered when investigators unwrapped his tarp-covered body.

Schoeman was unaware that any other gun other than a Ruger bolt-action rifle and Ruger pistol could take the magazine.

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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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