Testimony ends in kidnapping trial

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

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A district judge recessed an aggravated kidnapping trial around 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, after the defense rested, ending the testimony phase.

The trial will continue Thursday at 9 a.m. as District Judge Barry Bryan will read the charge to the jury and both sides will have the chance to provide closing arguments.

The third day of the Angelina County aggravated kidnapping trial began with an SFA professor answering questions about hypothetical domestic violence situations.

Stephen Wallace's attorney, J.R. Smith, used a hypothetical love triangle situation to get the professional opinion of David Lawson, Ph. D., regarding his knowledge of domestic violence.

Wallace is accused of beating and kidnapping his ex-girlfriend. Authorities say he is a high-ranking member of the Aryan Brotherhood.

Prosecuting attorney Art Bauereiss then asked Lawson to assume a situation much like the aggravated kidnapping case being tried, including a hypothetical cemetery beating and high-speed chase. He asked him to assume the victim was made to get in the trunk of a car on a hot summer evening and she, "then is taken to a cemetery…that the boyfriend removes her from the car…and begins beating her."

He had Lawson assume further that the hypothetical victim had physical injuries in the form of contusions on her body. Bauereiss asked the witness if the hypothetical victim would more likely be terrorized by the defense or prosecution's hypothetical situation and Lawson responded, "Certainly the one of your [Bauereiss's] description."

The state asked if it is possible for a victim to still be in love with a person that has orchestrated a situation such as the hypothetical and he responded "yes."

Jennifer Holliday was called back up to the stand to discuss her original report with the Sheriff's Office that the men who came to her house looking for the alleged victim had a gun.  She said she thought they had a firearm because, "One of the guys when they were in the living room kept tugging at the back of his pants…"  Smith asked Holliday if she is familiar with firearms and when she answered "no," he pointed out that she not only told law enforcement that they had a gun, but that it was a 9 millimeter gun.

The alleged victim was recalled to the stand Wednesday morning.  The defense again questioned her inconsistencies in the statements she gave Wallace's attorney, Christopher Guffey's attorney and her court testimony.  However, she told the state when she shared with other people about what she went through, she told the truth.  The defense told her, "This is your story and you're sticking to it?"  Smith then asked her if she had read her statement from the Guffey trial and she responded, "No sir.  I was present at the Guffey trial, I know what I said."

The state had her again discuss her injuries and she explained, "The back tooth on the right side, the top was knocked out, the one directly beside it broke in half."  She said she believed part of her tooth was in evidence because she said, "After getting back to the sheriff's department…they were talking to me and when I started to answer, my tooth fell out and started bleeding."

Angelina County Sheriff's Deputy Bonnie Grimes discussed the evidence she recovered from the vehicle the defendant was suspected to have been in the night of the alleged incident.  She said she put a hair strand, blood stain, and a passenger-side headrest into evidence.  Grimes also obtained buccal swabs from the defendant.

Andrew McWhorter, DNA section supervisor for the DPS crime lab in Houston, explained how the hair strand found in the vehicle is most likely the alleged victims.  He also said the stains in the backseat and on the headrest are consistent with the buccal swab from Wallace, meaning it's probable the stains are from the defendant's body.

Lisa Vincent testified that Wallace and several others came to her house shortly after the alleged incident, and that her husband "was mad because they kicked in our door and our kids were there and everything."  She said her husband, "...shot up in the air and told them to get out of here."

Jennifer Fondren McMullen was the final witness to testify for the defense.  She said she used to date Wallace and she still loved him.  She testified she would do what she could to help him out. She admitted to sneaking the alleged victim in to visit Wallace while he was incarcerated about 15 times.

The prosecuting attorney pointed out that McMullen called Wallace in jail and talked to him in detail about the trial of Christopher Guffey, convicted last month for the same crime.  Reminded that she was under oath, McMullen admitted, "I may have mentioned it."

She is a recovering methamphetamine addict and said the alleged victim did drugs with her the day of the incident. McMullen said if anything, Wallace would be breaking up with the 33-year-old alleged victim. The state asked the witness does Wallace "break up with women by beating them at cemeteries?" followed by an objection by Wallace's attorney.

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

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