Day 2 of kidnapping trial begins with alleged victim testimony

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Day two of the aggravated kidnapping trial of a Lufkin man, who authorities say is a high-ranking official in the Aryan Brotherhood, began with testimony from the alleged victim.

The woman, whose name KTRE has chosen not to reveal in order to protect her identity, testified about the night in which she says her boyfriend at the time, Stephen Wallace, 32, kidnapped her and beat her while they were driving around Angelina County.

The woman explained that an unmarked sheriff's office vehicle began pursuing the car she was in. Through questioning she revealed how the car eventually came to a stop on Old Homer Alto Road and the passengers in the car got out and ran away from law enforcement.

She explained that she "didn't want to run," because she had done nothing wrong.

When more law enforcement arrived, the woman testified she told Deputy Lt. Bryan Holley, "…Get me in handcuffs, and get me in the back of that car quick please."

She said she was later taken to the sheriff's office to talk to investigators, but she said she didn't immediately tell them what happened because, "I was worried about Stevie."

She went on to say that testifying is very difficult because she still has feelings for Wallace. As she wiped the tears from her eyes, she told the jury law enforcement had taken pictures of her injuries from the alleged incident and said they had recovered her tooth from her mouth. She walked the jury through her injuries by explaining a series of photos.

"That's where my tooth was knocked out," the woman said.

On another photo she said, "It's from road rash where I slid across the road."

She said the injury happened when she slid out of the trunk.

Later the victim admitted she started going to the jail to see Wallace, "because I love Stevie."

She said she still felt love for him, "very much so."

She said she wrote Wallace letters and disguised herself to visit him in jail despite law enforcement forbidding her to see him. She said she believed Wallace was under the influence of methamphetamine that night and admitted, "I used to use a lot of meth," but she says she was not using the night of the alleged incident.

The woman admitted the Crown Victoria had some of her belongings in it, including drug paraphernalia like two syringes with her blood in them.  She said she is now working to break away from that lifestyle.

"I'm not going to say that I'm perfect, but I'd say I've done a pretty [darn] good job," she said.

Defense attorney J.R. Smith began questioning the woman, pointing out that she came to his office to solicit his representation for Wallace. Through questioning she revealed that at the time, she was mad at law enforcement for keeping her from seeing Wallace. The defense questioned her extensively about her drug use and the status of her two children.

The woman admitted she had visited Wallace about 10 or 15 times since his incarceration and she said she continued to see him despite law enforcement enacting a restraining order to prevent her from seeing him.  She admitted to using the alias "Princess Ann" to write Wallace in his cell and talking to him over the phone through a third party at times.  Wallace's attorney asked her when she had re-established her relationship with Wallace.

"I had never un-established the relationship, sir," she said.

She also said she had sent money to Wallace twice.

The 33-year-old woman was also questioned about her current boyfriend and her employment status.  Later, Smith went back to asking her about the night in question.  The woman revealed that Rachel Tutt, also charged with aggravated kidnapping, was Wallace's best friend.  She went on to explain how on the night of the alleged incident, Ricki Steel, a friend of the victim, had picked her up to meet Robin Franklin, who testified Monday.  Smith had her talk about the night as he worked to establish a timeline of events.  The woman admitted, once at Jennifer Holliday's house, she got out of the vehicle voluntarily and left the house with Christopher Guffey voluntarily. She said no one had forced her into the car and no one was threatening her at that point in the night.

Smith then began questioning her about a time prior to the alleged incident when she attempted suicide.

"I was tired of running, tired of fighting a losing battle….trying to protect Stevie when he wasn't willing to protect himself," she said.

Smith worked to reveal the inconsistencies in the her story between her testimony and what she had told him when she came to his office shortly after the alleged incident.

"When I came by to see you, my main goal was to protect Stevie…I was leaving Stevie, but leaving Stevie and protecting Stevie weren't the same thing," she said.

The woman also testified that although she had never slapped Stevie, he had slapped her before.

Later, Smith asked her about Tutt and tried to establish if it was Tutt or Wallace ordering her to get in the trunk.  The woman said she wasn't afraid of Tutt, but said she is "evil," and she had been in a physical altercation with Tutt in the past.

Smith brought to the woman's attention a statement she had signed for Guffey's attorney, Al Charanza, where she claimed she was never kidnapped.  Prosecuting attorney Art Bauereiss objected during this portion of the questioning citing improper impeachment.  The judge sustained the objection.  The victim went on to say in questioning that she never told anyone that night that she didn't want to be where she was at, but she admits, "was I scared, yeah."  Smith asked her what she was scared of.

"Getting my head bashed in," she said.

Smith continued questioning the victim at length trying to get her to recall the events of that June 2009 night and the next day when Angelina County Sheriff's Deputies contacted her by phone to see if she was okay.

The alleged victim said she originally refused to go to the hospital because she wanted to protect Wallace.  However, she said when a friend took her, days later, hospital staff ran tests and found she had blood on her brain and a busted eardrum.  She testified she never saw a specialist or got her prescription filled because she didn't have the money or insurance.  She said she still has headaches and problems with her vision because of that night.

The prosecuting attorney asked her about her drug usage.  She explained that she had been doing drugs, but she needed help because her veins were "non-existent."  She said Wallace helped her shoot up most of the time.

After Smith questioned her, the woman told the state, "I didn't necessarily care for the way he posed those questions."  The prosecuting attorney gave her the chance to clear up some of the questions that she believed could have been misleading.  She said she told Wallace's lawyer, "Stevie hit me."

If Wallace is convicted, the jury will be responsible for sentencing him.

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