PORT ANGELES — Dennis Marvin Bauer robbed his murder victims of numerous weapons after he shot them nearly three years ago, a prosecution witness testified Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a Clallam County Superior Court judge dismissed Wednesday a motion for a mistrial in the triple-murder trial made by Bauer’s attorney, Karen Unger of Port Angeles.
Noreen “Reenie” Iverson identified for a jury more than a dozen items found at Bauer’s residence after her ex-husband, son and son’s girlfriend were killed on Dec. 26, 2018.
She pointed to objects that belonged to Darrell and Jordan Iverson from photographs taken at Bauer’s home after the Iversons were gunned down along with 26-year-old Tiffany May.
“There’s a sword right there,” Reenie Iverson said during her testimony.
“My sister had a collection of swords, and there was one that stood in a bookcase next to (Darrell Iverson’s) bed, and that was it.”
Bauer, 53, is on trial for the murders of Darrell Iverson, 57, Jordan Iverson, 27, and May. He also is charged with 14 felony counts related to the theft, sale or illegal possession of firearms.
The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office alleged that Bauer and two accomplices — Ryan Warren Ward and Kallie Ann LeTellier — shot the trio at Darrell Iverson’s residence at 52 Bear Meadow Road east of Port Angeles and robbed them.
They took numerous guns, drugs, tools, jewelry and other personal effects to Bauer’s home west of Port Angeles after the killings, investigators said.
Reenie Iverson identified a gun that Darrell Iverson kept under the seat of his SUV, a .44-caliber pistol that he kept in his nightstand, a survival knife with a handle that Jordan Iverson had wrapped in black electrical tape, a camouflage shirt from the Iraq War, a torch and a safe that Darrell Iverson kept in his closet.
Clallam County Sheriff’s Detective Jeff Waterhouse testified that he found the registration for Darrell Iverson’s 1997 Ford Explorer on Bauer’s property.
“The registration for this vehicle was found at 2591 Lower Elwha Road,” Waterhouse said, referring to Bauer’s “ranch” where Ward, LeTellier and others lived in RVs.
“It is the same VIN (vehicle identification number).”
Reenie Iverson told the jury of the day she learned about the murders.
She had phoned Darrell Iverson’s sister, Wendy Peterson, on New Year’s Eve 2018, saying she was worried that she had not heard from Darrell or Jordan Iverson since Christmas.
Peterson and her husband drove to the property and found the bodies of the Iversons under tarps in the front driveway. May’s body was found in a shed on the property.
“(Peterson’s) husband called me back and told me what they had found,” Reenie Iverson recalled.
Investigators said all parties had been using methamphetamine before the murders. The victims owed money to Darrell Iverson, and Ward and Bauer were upset about the Iversons’ alleged rape of LeTellier, attorneys have said.
Unger objected when Michele Devlin, Clallam County chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney, asked Waterhouse to comment on the accuracy of field tests for methamphetamine.
The question came in the context of a bag of suspected methamphetamine found during the investigation.
“It spoke directly to the motive, your honor,” Devlin told Clallam County Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson.
Unger asked to be heard outside the presence of the jury, saying Devlin’s response to her objection was “improper.”
“The state could have asked to have the jury removed and said: ‘It goes to motive,’” Unger said.
“That is not an appropriate response to an objection based on relevance.”
Unger then made a motion for a mistrial. It was her second motion for a mistrial since mid-November.
“The state has consistently been somewhat sarcastic and disrespectful when addressing me,” Unger told the judge.
“It interferes with my client’s ability to have effective representation.”
Erickson denied Unger’s motion for a mistrial.
“In terms of being disrespectful, we do need to watch it on both sides,” Erickson told the attorneys.
“We’ve been here for over a month.”
The Bauer trial began with jury selection Nov. 8 and opening arguments Nov. 15. The trial is expected to continue through the end of this year.
Unger has said her client was a bystander to the killings.
Ward, 40, 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, 37, pleaded guilty last November to second-degree murder for May’s death and agreed to testified against Bauer. She is serving a 35-year prison term.
Bauer is charged with three counts of first-degree aggravated murder, eight counts of illegally possessing firearms and six counts of possessing stolen weapons.
Rob Ollikainen is a freelance reporter.