Skip to comments.Woman testifies that Carrs killed her friends in a soccer field [Wichita Massacre Day 3]
Posted on 10/10/2002 4:06:34 AM PDT by KS Flyover
Woman testifies that Carrs killed her friends in a soccer fieldAn inexpensive hair clip may have deflected the bullet that was intended to kill her.
Thu, Oct. 10, 2002 - BY RON SYLVESTER - The Wichita Eagle
A 25-cent plastic hair clip may be responsible for pulling together the capital murder case against Jonathan and Reginald Carr.
The hair clip helped save the life of a woman who on Wednesday identified the Carr brothers as the men who raped and robbed her and four friends before shooting them and leaving them for dead in a snowy soccer field.
Investigators think the hair clip deflected a bullet and prevented it from entering her skull. She then ran naked a mile across a field, climbing two barbed wire fences and two chain link fences before reaching a house to summon help.
Her descriptions of her attackers and a stolen truck helped lead to the arrest of the Carrs by noon that day.
Then on Wednesday, in front of a jury, she pointed to both the brothers as the culprits for the first time.
The woman -- who is not being named because The Eagle does not identify victims of sexual assaults -- had not recognized Reginald Carr during a preliminary hearing 18 months ago.
But Wednesday, District Attorney Nola Foulston used skillful questioning to lead her star witness to a positive identification.
During 30 minutes of cross-examination, Val Wachtel, Reginald Carr's lawyer, pointed out inconsistencies in the woman's previous statements.
But Foulston closed out the woman's testimony -- which lasted more than six hours over two days -- with the question:"Are you making your identification of Jonathan and Reginald Carr based on your knowledge of their presence in your home, or rather your friend's home, on the night of Dec 14 and 15, 2000?"The woman had jurors' undivided attention throughout her tale of how two intruders burst into the home of her boyfriend, Jason Befort, in a triplex at 12727 E. Birchwood Drive and began terrorizing the five friends. Nearly three hours of repeated rapes and beatings began after 11 p.m. Dec 14, 2000.
"Yes," the witness said.
One attacker stayed behind while the other took three of the friends, one by one, to ATMs and forced them at gunpoint to withdraw about $2,000.
The woman said Befort, Aaron Sander and Brad Heyka, each around 6 feet tall, were crammed into the trunk of Sander's Honda Civic. Heather Muller rode in the front of the Honda with the man the woman identified as Jonathan Carr.
The woman rode in Befort's Dodge Dakota with the man she later named under oath as Reginald Carr, whose eyes she said she looked into as he sexually assaulted her.
As they pulled into a soccer complex under construction at 29th Street North and Greenwich Road, the woman said she noticed that the clock in the truck read 2:07 a.m. It was Dec 15, 2000.
The men were placed kneeling in front of the Honda. The woman looked at Muller.
"Oh my God, they're going to shoot us," she remembered saying.
Muller got out of the car and knelt by Sander, whom she had dated before he announced his intentions to enter the seminary and become a priest. The woman knelt by Befort, who had bought her an engagement ring as a Christmas present. One of the men stole the ring while ransacking the triplex.
She wore only a sweat shirt, the sides of her nearly shoulder-length brunette hair pulled back in the center of her head, held by plastic clips of red, silver, navy and white.
She heard a gunshot.
"We were all screaming," the woman said.
She heard Sanders pleading, "Please, no."
"He said the word 'sir.' "
She heard four more shots and then saw gray. Then a kick to her back knocked her on the ground.
"I was seeing stars, like what they illustrate in a cartoon when someone gets bonked on the head and they see stars, or what you see when you close your eyes real fast," she said.
She felt like a truck ran over her. It had. Crime scene investigator Kevin Brasser later tracked the wheels of the Dodge Dakota over Befort -- the truck's owner -- and where the woman lay.
Not moving until she heard the truck wheels drive away on 29th North, the woman rolled over and checked her friends.
For the only time during her calm testimony, the woman neared tears as she spoke of seeing Befort, bleeding from one eye. She paused and started to reach for a tissue box sitting on the witness stand. Then she pulled back and continued her testimony, as Jonathan Carr sat motionless in his chair.
"I took off my sweater and tied it around as a tourniquet to try and stop it," she said.
"I rummaged around the car for keys and a cell phone, but I couldn't find anything.
"I saw lights off to the west that looked like an airport," she said, referring to Jabara Airport in the distance. She didn't think anyone would be there that late. But to the southwest, white Christmas lights illuminated the night.
"I decided I was going to go that way," she said.
"I started running faster, thinking they were coming back."
She saw lights of a vehicle.
"I hit the deck, getting down as far as I could in the snow so I wouldn't be seen."
At one point, she said, she felt as if she couldn't go on. She stopped.
"I gave myself a little pep talk... and kept running," she said.
With the Christmas lights still a block away, she saw a closer house from the back. She ran to the front, rang the doorbell and knocked on the door.
Steve and Kim Johnson answered, took the woman inside, called 911 and wrapped her in blankets.
When police arrived, she began telling them the story, about the stolen Dodge Dakota, which within hours would lead to the Carrs' arrest.
And she told the story again Wednesday, until she had some jurors near tears.
Then she named the Carrs.
Back on Dec 15, 2000, police collected snow from around the four bodies in the soccer field and placed it in large containers. After the snow melted days later, detectives collected trace evidence, including several pieces of white plastic.
It was the shattered hair clip.
Reach Ron Sylvester at 268-6514 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For detais about the murders see:
Wichita to revisit brutal slayings as testimony begins - 10/07/2002
Deputy recalls moment of discovering bodies [Wichita Murders] Day 1 - 10/07/2002
WICHITA MASSACRE TRIAL UNDERWAY Day 1 - 10/08/2002
Legal wrangling opens Carr trial [Wichita Murders] Day 1 - 10/08/2002
Carr trial: Survivor describes sexual attacks by armed intruders [Wichita Massacre] Day 2 - 10/09/2002
Please let me know if you want on (or off) this list.
Am I correct that the cops found an ATM card from one vic. in one of the brother's pockets and another vic.'s Ring in the other brother's? That's enough proof for me.
Family members of the victims listen to testimony by the only survivor of a quadruple homicide that brothers Jonathan and Reginald Carr are standing
trial for in Sedgwick County. If convicted, the Carrs could be sentenced to death. The Associated Press
God help this girl and the surviving family members.
". . .The New York Times carries 102 staff stories regarding the Texas crime [the murder of James Byrd, a black man dragged to death by whies] and zero regarding Reginald and Jonathan Carr's Kansas murder spree. . .
"Court TV will not carry the Kansas trial beause of conflict with another trial in New Jersey. How could I have missed whatever it was that happened in New Jersey that was so terrible? What's wrong with this picture?"
I figured out what's wrong with Court TV's picture.
They are owned by AOL/Time Warner. The same company that owns CNN.
Lethal injection is too easy for these two. Slowly feed them into a chipper shredder.
Please ping me.
Laying the groundwork for 11-1 or 10-2 jury nullification?
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