Victim back on stand in second day of kidnapping trial - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Victim back on stand in second day of kidnapping trial


By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Day two of the aggravated kidnapping trial began with the alleged victim back on the stand.

Defense attorney Al Charanza asked her if Stephen Wallace, her boyfriend at the time, were to order the defendant, Christopher Guffey, to do something would he have to do it. She said it was her understanding that Guffey does what Wallace asks. She explained that prior to that night her and Guffey had "for the most part" a good relationship.

KTRE has chosen not to reveal the victim's name in order to protect her identity.

Wallace, Guffey, Stephanie Powell, Gary Allen, Rachel Tutt and Ashely McLemore are charged in the June kidnapping of a woman. They were arrested following a high-speed chase throughout Angelina County.

The victim said she didn't want to testify against anybody. Charanza pointed out that in an earlier statement she had claimed she hadn't said she was kidnapped. The state asked the victim about her injuries and she explained "the back tooth was knocked out." She also said "my left eardrum was busted."

She explained how she was afraid when she was allegedly forced in the trunk. She did admit, "yeah I still love him," referring to Wallace. 

She says now she's working to become a better mother and to get off drugs. The defense asked if Guffey would do anything to her children. She responded, "I don't think so, but I didn't think he'd put me in the trunk either."

Virginia Henson, the dispatcher who originally talked to witness Jennifer Holliday, took the stand and explained how Holliday had claimed her friend had been kidnapped.

Henson said Holliday "told me she knew one of the actors and his name was 'Kidd.'" "Kidd" is the nickname of Guffey.

Then sheriff's deputy Robert Willman took the stand. He spoke with Holliday about the incident and recalls, "she was pretty much scared to death."

Gang Officer Donna Clayton also took the stand.  She explained how the Aryan Brotherhood, the gang which authorities say Guffey is a member of, operates to her knowledge and said Guffey did have some tattoos that are common among members like, a Swastika. She said she didn't have proof, but did hear a rumor that Guffey was supposed to be an enforcer in the gang. She said she believes Wallace is a captain in the gang and Guffey was a lieutenant under Wallace, she believes.

Clayton also recalled speaking with the victim after trying to reach her by cell phone. The victim was not able to speak freely but Clayton asked her yes-and-no questions because she was concerned for her safety. The victim told Clayton she had been hit physically. Clayton explained it was her understanding women in the Brotherhood are used for drugs and sex.

Clayton said deputies had been looking for the Crown Victoria, one of the cars used in the kidnapping. Once the chase began, and they located the victim, they took her back to the sheriff's officer and described the victim as terrified and said there was "visible abuse" on her.

Clayton said the pictures of the victim's injuries published to the jury "didn't do it justice," compared to what she looked like in person.

The defense asked Clayton several questions about her training to be a gang officer, and if Wallace were to give Guffey an order would he have to follow it.  She explained if it was an Aryan Brotherhood sanctioned order, he would. 

The defense pointed out that symbolic tattoos alone do not necessarily make you a member of a gang. He also questioned Clayton about the phone calls to the victim and she said she believed Guffey was the one that took the phone to the victim.

Clayton said Guffey had been confirmed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as being a member of the Aryan Brotherhood.

Later, sheriff's office investigator Bonnie Grimes took the stand. She explained how she arrived to the scene of the chase and was responsible for transporting Stephanie Powell (another suspect in the kidnapping) back to the jail.  She also said the sheriff's office took the video surveillance equipment from the Shell station the group was allegedly at, but she said law enforcement was not able to recover anything because the cameras were not on at the time the group allegedly stopped at the service station. 

Captain James Galloway with ACSO also took the stand Tuesday afternoon and explained how he was responsible for transporting the evidence they had recovered to the crime lab in Houston.

Angelina County Sheriff's Investigator Tom Matthews testified how he spotted the Crown Victoria and the small red car that were the cars the possible suspects could be traveling in.   He says he was able to identify one of the people in the red car as Guffey.  He said they made eye contact.  Matthews said he was in an unmarked car, but he did turn his lights and sirens on and he began pursuing the Crown Victoria.   Matthews said the Crown Victoria slammed on its brakes, he thinks in an attempt to get his vehicle to wreck into the back of them.  Matthews remembered he pursued the vehicle going about 60 or 70 miles per hour where they ended up on Old Homer Alto Road.  He said when the vehicle stopped and occupants got out, he saw the alleged victim and told her to stay by the Crown Victoria.  Matthews said it didn't appear the vehicle was headed to the sheriff's office.  In a picture of the Crown Victoria, Matthews pointed out there was a hole in the trunk where the keyhole was. Monday, the victim explained how she was able to see out of the hole where the keyhole was when she was put in the trunk of the Crown Victoria.

DPS crime lab employee Andrew McWhorter testified that blood from the headrest of one of the vehicles was from an unknown male and not that of the victim.  However, DNA testing revealed the victim's hair was in the vehicle, but the defense pointed out the victim's hair could've got in the vehicle at any point in a year's time.

Lt. Bryan Holley later took the stand to testify about the hot summer day when he was called out to assist in the investigation by looking for the vehicles in question.  Once he heard Matthews was in pursuit of a Crown Victoria, he said, "I was just trying to get to him [Matthews] in hopes that these people could be stopped without any problems."

He said when he saw the victim, "I could tell that she was horrified and she said 'I was kidnapped.'"  He claims the victim asked to be handcuffed and to be taken somewhere where she could be safe.

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