The Springfield News-Leader from Springfield, Missouri on June 29, 1989 · Page 7
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The Springfield News-Leader from Springfield, Missouri · Page 7

Springfield, Missouri
Issue Date:
Thursday, June 29, 1989
Page 7
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The News-Leader NEWS FOCUS Thursday, June 29, 1989 7 A WilsonRetarded FROM PAGE 1A arguments in the hearing,- which ended about 9:45 p.m. But both were confident. Wampler was pleased: "Yes, extremely. We've received a fair trial. I'm encouraged." More quietly satisfied was Siffer-man. "Our approach was not to litigate guilt or innocence. It was limited to the issues (Wampler) raised in his motion and we are satisfied." Wilson, 23, confessed to killing Pauline Martz in an arson fire at her home on April 13, 1986. Wilson was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty in April 1987. He has since recanted his confession, claiming he didn't understand his rights or his guilty plea. He also says he's innocent. Complicating the case is the confession of Chris Brownfield, 32, a Kansas prisoner who claims he and another man killed Martz. Brown-field refused to testify this week, saying he would only take the stand if granted immunity something Sifferman can't legally do. But Brownfield's name was invoked dozens of times during the hearing. Wampler painted him as a career criminal guilty of killing Martz; Sifferman called Brownfield a liar who used Martz's death to plot a prison escape.. Objections flew both days. Wampler made 54; Sifferman, 72. Wampler won one strategic battle late Wednesday, when he argued successfully to halt testimony on a Missouri attorney general's report on Brownfield's confession. Sifferman has had the 500-page report since January. But Wampler said Sifferman gave it to him for only two hours on April 25 and told him it was irrelevant. When it appeared as evidence Wednesday, Wampler said Sifferman was trying to "conduct a trial by ambush." . Sifferman argued Wampler had the chance to interview attorney general's investigator Jack Ruffel but passed it up. Darnold sustained Wampler's objection and bail bondsman Warren Orsmby testifed, last of 26 witnesses. Ormsby heads the pro-Wilson group and is a Brownfield acquaintance. He testified he'd talked with Brownfield on the telephone about 200 times in the past 14 months and visited him at a Lansing, Kan., prison as late as last Sunday. He's also sent up to 28 money orders in that time, of amounts up to $50. But he denied any ulterior motive and snapped at Sifferman when asked about "the payments." "There's no payments to it, bud KSPROprah off FROM PAGE 1A Wednesday the decision to drop "The Oprah Winfrey Show" was made because of declining ratings and offensive content. Ironically, Winfrey was once an honored guest at KSPR. She visited Springfield in 1987 for a personal appearance at the station's kickoff when Channel 33 moved to new facilities near downtown Springfield and began a heavily promoted affiliation with the ABC network. "One of the problems is her ratings were going down all over the country. So she really psyched up her show F-words and four-letter words," Goldfarb said. In the Springfield market, Winfrey's ratings had been "trending down for the last year," she said. Mike Hughes, a television writer for the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal, said A.C. Nielsen Co. ratings released earlier this month showed Winfrey's program had dropped in the last year. However, the program is still the No. 1 daytime talk show ahead of "Donahue," "Geraldo" and "Sally Jessy Raphael." "It's third only to 'Wheel of Fortune' and 'Jeopardy' in terms of syndication," Hughes added. KSPR has aired the show since September 1987. The hour-long program overlaps two soap operas ("Santa Barbara" and "Genera Due to a massive overstock situation, this White Sewing Machine-dealer is offering for sale to the public a limited number of new special 1989 HEAVY DUTY Zlg Zag sewing machines that are made of METAL and sew on all fabrics. Levi's canvas, upholstery, nylon stretch, vinyl, silk, EVEN SEWS Oil LEATHER! No attachments needed for button holes (any size), monograms, hems, sews on buttons, satin stitches, overcasts, darns, appliques and more. Just set dials and see magic happen without old fashioned cams or programmers. These WHITE HEAVY DUTY MACHINES are suitable for home, professional or school room sewing. 10 Year Warranty. YOUR PRICE WITH AD $99.00 WITHOUT THIS AD $329.00. Check, cash welcome, VISA, MasterCard, Discover accepted. Brand new in factory sealed cartons. PLACE: Sewing machines, etc. 2642 S. Glenstone Springfield, MO. 65804 HOURS: Mon.-Sat. 9-6 DATES: 3 DAYS ONLY PHONE 883-3462 man says guilty plea i 1 m g : Prosecutor Scott Sifferman heads hearing for Johnny Lee Wilson. I just give them to him," he said. He told Wampler under cross-examination that he believes Wilson is innocent and knows Brownfield was in the Martz home when she died. Wilson testified for two hours and said he pleaded guilty to killing Pauline Martz because he thought he would otherwise be convicted, sentenced to death and executed "the day after I got to the pen." Composed throughout his testimony, Wilson denied killing Martz and said he didn't understand what was going on in the courtroom BrotherTeen-age girl gains 'real brother' through letters exchanged with imprisoned Johnny Lee Wilson FROM PAGE 1A Johnny writes from his cell at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City; Lawonna from her home near Purdy. She calls him Bubba. He calls her Shorty. If there's a bright side to Johnny's imprisonment, perhaps this is it, said Lawonna's mother, Donna Wilson. "I think it's great for him to be able to write to someone close to his age," she said. "I imagine it helps him keep his hopes up." Ozarksjor summer tions") on NBC affiliate KYTV, Channel 3, TeleCable 12, and appears opposite "Family Ties" on CBS affiliate KOLR, Channel 10. Goldfarb said KSPR censored offensive language in one show that ran June 22. "I could hear that language on the streets of New York," Goldfarb said. "But I don't want it on this air. Who knows what's coming next?" She described a show on the gun issue that aired Tuesday as one that "did not cover both sides." Goldfarb said KSPR wanted to move "Oprah Winfrey" to another time slot. That change was rejected by the show's syndicate, King World Distributors, Goldfarb said. "The distributors did not want her to run in the morning. They get higher fees for her in the afternoon," Goldfarb said. Goldfarb said the other daytime talk shows on KSPR don't present problems. "The others may touch on sensitive subjects," she said. "They're always well-produced. There are no language problems." Goldfarb said the fact that Winfrey is black didn't hurt the show in southwest Missouri. "I don't think that has anything to do with it," Goldfarb said. "It's the content." to avoid execution, didn't understand rights Bob LinderThe News-Leader for court Wednesday during the when he pleaded guilty in 1987. "What do you remember (about the guilty plea)?" Wampler asked. "Nothing, really," Wilson replied, rubbing his hand over his upper lip and glancing down with a slight frown on his face. Wilson repeatedly said he didn't understand his rights. , He denied sneaking out of the family home the night Martz died: "I don't go anywhere without telling my family where I'm going ... That's the way my family brought me up. That's the way I am." The two half-siblings have corresponded for only the past two months, Lawonna said. You'd never guess that from reading Johnny's letters: "I am just sitting hear (sic) listening to my radio and thanking (sic) of you," he wrote on June 12. "Well i know when i get out me and my lovely sister's are going to spend alot of time together you better believe it. I am going to take you both swimming." He was referring to Lawonna and WE'RE THE FIRST! INTERNATIONAL TICKET WHOLESALER When you want discounted air fares without discounted service on major scheduled airlines to Europe, the Orient, or Hawaii-Call your local UNIVERSITY WORLD TRAVEL mm Your Dream Vacation Beg"-I Fine Men's Wear Hick?? fmm Hart $cha ft Alterations Extra Select mm Suits & S , Select Cro9 ' I SLACKS h I DRESS SHIRTS Pleated 1 1 Burbsiry, ' I SHOES I SPORT SHIRTS b aS, ! I Vam NECKWEAR I SHORTS & SWIHWEAR Countass Mora 1 AtT I Entire " 1L Arc I Wilson said he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder to escape the death penalty. He said he thought he'd be sentenced to death if convicted of Martz's death. "Did you ever believe you would be executed soon if you got the death penalty?" Wampler asked. "At that time, I did ... I thought they'd do it the day after I got to the pen," Wilson said. A trial could result in the death penalty for Wilson, Wampler reminded his client. Wilson said he knew that but still wants to be judged by a jury. "I just want to prove to everybody that I didn't do this," said Wilson, wearing blue pleated slacks, a blue-and-white striped shirt and blacks shoes for a second day. "I know I didn't (kill Martz) and I just want to make it known." Springfield private investigator Bill Lloyd said he found inconsistencies in the alibi offered by Wilson's mother and grandmother. Lloyd was hired by Wilson's mother, Susan Wilson, and grandmother, Nellie Maples. He said his investigation which included interviews with 30 to 50 people showed Johnny Wilson may have been able to slip out of the house between 5:45 and 8 p.m. The basis for his statement: A movie Maples said Johnny Wilson watched from start to finish. The movie was two hours long, not one hour as Maples claims. Based on that discrepancy, Lloyd said "it would appear the time period indicates" Johnny Wilson was unaccounted for from approximately 5:45 to 8 p.m. about the same time Martz died, evidence shows. . "Did you find anyone who could provide an alibi for Johnny Lee Wilson?" Sifferman asked. "Two people his mother and his grandmother," Lloyd replied. her younger sister, Jerri, 7. "We've never really thought of him as a stepbrother," Lawonna said. No steps or halfs. He's a whole. "A real brother, 100 percent," she said. And when he comes home Lawonna speaks of Johnny's release almost as a certainty there will be a celebration. "Oh yeah, there'll be a party," she said.'T don't know what all we'll do, but I can promise you there'll be a travel professionals or come Dy University World Travel 831-4004 HAMMONS TOWER LOBBY SPRINGFIELD'S LARGEST & FINEST SELECTION OF MENSWEAR port Coats Groups Closed July 4th a 1 ffcrir l JOPLIN Here are excerpts from Johnny Lee Wilson's two hours of testimony Wednesday. A "DW" stands for Dee Wampler, Wilson's attorney. "SS" is Lawrence County Prosecutor Scott Sifferman. Wilson is "JW." DW: Why are you (in prison)? JW: I don't know. DW: Do you want to be in protective custody? JW: Yes ... it's hell up there. DW: Do you love your mother ... your grandmother? JW: Yes, I do, very much. DW: Would you ever do anything to hurt them? JW: No. DW: Did you know Pauline Martz? What did you think of her? JW: She was a wonderful lady. I cared deeply for her. DW: Do you know what you're doing here today? JW: (Pauses and smiles) Not really, no. DW: Ever raped anybody before? JW: No. DW: Ever had sex with anybody before? JW:No. DW: Ever have the urge or fantasy to molest someone or rape them against their will? JW: No. DW: Do you know what duct tape is? JW: No, not really. DW: Did you hear they accused you of putting duct tape over Pauline Martz's mouth? JW: I heard that. DW: Did you kill Pauline Martz? JW: No, I did not. DW: Do you go to church a lot? JW: Yes, I do. DW: Do you pray when you're in church? JW: Yes, I do. DW: Do you mean it when you pray? JW: You bet. party." Throughout Wednesday's hearing, Johnny and Lawonna made faces at each other from across the courtroom bar. From her seat on a crowded bench, Lawonna mouthed the words "I love you." From his seat at the teardrop-shaped defense table 15 feet away, Johnny mouthed back, "I love you, too." And he smiled. It was one of the few times his face had been without ?i6 Art DW: Have you ever committed any type of crime that you know of in your life? JW: No, I have not. DW: Ever thought about getting publicity, being well known? JW: Never thought about it, really. DW: Not this kind of publicity, huh? JW: No. DW: Do you understand what the judge can do today? JW: No I don't. I can't say that I do. DW: Do you understand that if you go to trial, and are found guilty, you could receive the death penalty? JW: Yes. DW: Does that worry you? JW: Yes it does. DW: Do you want a trial? JW: Yes, I do. DW: Will you testify at the trial? JW: Yes. Sifferman begins his cross-examination. SS: Do you think you're crazy? JW: No. SS: You didn't tell (the judge) you were crazy when you entered your guilty plea (in 1987). JW: No. SS: Do you think you have the mind of a child? JW: I don't know ... I'm normal. SS: Did you have some problems with the neighbor girl (who rented a room) upstairs? JW: I can't say I have ... ' Sifferman then relates an incident in which Wilson allegedly flashed the woman. JW: It was on one occasion that it happened, but I didn't expose myself directly to her. SS: Do you know the difference between right and wrong? JW: Yeah. SS: Between the truth and a lie? JW: Yeah. a frown since testimony began' Tuesday. Later, as Johnny took the stand ! on his own behalf, the silent conversation went on. When an objection sent attorneys for both sides into a conference at the judge's bench,: Johnny winked at Lawonna. Lawonna winked back. "I'm just trying to tell him we're all behind him, all the way," she said. "Right now, he needs everything we can do to build his confidence."

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