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The Daily Sentinel from Grand Junction, Colorado • Page 10
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The Daily Sentinel from Grand Junction, Colorado • Page 10

Grand Junction, Colorado
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Paga 10 The Dally Santinal, Gran Junction, Colorado Sunday. Dacambar 19, 1976 Eotheim gun vfoe key in eo tfmgled murder skein 1 Continued from Page One story on Sept. 30 to Burt Hayes about his .22 western-style revolver? Thats the person who knows the kids are going eventually to be found and found shot. Lee Foreman, the defenses chief lawyer, argued that Botham had been asked to surrender all of his guns to law officers after the bodies were found. His contention was that Botham knew the western-style revolver was a stolen gun when he purchased it, and that that was the reason he had hidden it.

Foreman also contended that the western-style revolver was not specifically identified as the murder weapon, but that evidence had shown only that a 22-caliber weapon had been used to shoot the two youngsters in the head. 5 Picked up by police Foreman told the jury that a second gun which Botham admitted was hot had been picked up by police a year before and had been returned by them without comment. It was Foremans contention that Botham had not hidden that second gun because there was not too much to worry about when the police had apparently looked it over once and not claimed it as a stolen weapon. Botham, in daylong testimony on Dec. 9, had said essentially the same things about the guns.

He first admitted he had lied to police about the western-style revolver and that he had hidden it under the house. He claimed it was because I knew it was stolen. Botham said he had not worried about the other gun he admitted was stolen, because he felt the police had checked it out a year before. What were some of the other areas of evidence which the prosecutor brought up? One was the wire used to attach the railroad irons to the bodies. The prosecution had evidence to show that three of the eight ends of the four wires had been cut by a pair of wire-cutters found in Bothams car.

Ownership admitted Botham admitted he owned the wirecutters and said on the witness stand that the wire was probably some coaxial cable he had brought from California. But he claimed it had been first used to tie up his sunflowers, had been taken off the sun- Miracle youngsters had eaten once and apparently had a "snack of spaghetti about 9 p.m. Both pathologists testified that fear, stress or some other factors could have kept the stomachs from emptying as soon as they otherwise would have. No motive established No motive was established, although Farina offered his belief that Botham wished to get rid of his wife so that he could marry another woman, Marie Griffin, with whom he had had an affair, according to testimony. Farina theorized that Mrs.

Botham had first been killed, that Mrs. Miracle may have turned on her bedroom lights and that Botham then killed her and the youngsters because he felt they might identify him. Farina also queried Mrs. Bothams personal physician, who said he had observed black-and-blue spots six or eight times and had told her to divorce her husband. Foreman theorized that the murder chain did not begin at the Botham home but at the Miracle home and that, somehow, Mrs.

Botham got entangled in something in which she was not involved. However, a motive is not necessary for a guilty verdict in either first- or second-degree murder charges, Dist. Judge William M. Ela told the jury. No confession Botham has never indicated that he is, in any way, involved with the deaths.

Following a suicide attempt last Monday in which he was hospitalized after cutting a wrist with a razor he was interviewed by two psychiatrists. Both said he had maintained stoutly that he is innocent of all the charges. The jury found the defendant guilty solely on circumstantial evidence, which Ela instructed them was to have the same weight as direct evidence. Direct evidence means testimony by an eyewitness or a confession by the accused person. Since 1974, when the Colorado Legislature passed the current death penalty statute, there have been four other persons given the death penalty, according to the states chief public defender, Rollie Rogers of Denver.

Rogers said he knows that three of those four were convicted on direct evidence and that he believes the fourth was also convicted on direct evidence. Those persons are: Dean Wildermuth of Adams County, whose penalty has since been reversed by the Colorado Supreme Court; Michael Corbett of Colorado Springs, Fred Glenn of Colorado Springs and Ronald Farrell of Colorado Springs. Corbett, Glenn and Farrell are now on death row in the penitentiary in Canon City. PAT BOTHAM job with the Fruita Police Department, arriving at midnight. He said he had been on patrol with a fellow officer until 4 a.m.

At 5:30 a.m., he had been at the Fruita station when the day shift came on. Haley also was exonerated by Vincent Jones, investigator for the district attorneys office, who said his alibi had checked out. Farina made an additional point, outside the presence of the jury, that Haley had taken and passed two lie detector tests. Time critical The matter of the time of death played an important role. Foreman sought to establish, with a pathologist from Denver, that the deaths had occurred before midnight.

Farina sought, with testimony from Dr. Thomas Canfield, Montrose pathologist, to establish that deaths had not occurred until after 1 a.m. Both pathologists testified that the condition of food remains in the Stomachs of Mrs. Botham and Troy and Chad Miracle indicated they had been killed from two to four hours after eating. They also indicated that, unless they had precise knowledge of when the last meals had been eaten, they could not closely set the time of death.

There was no evidence to indicate when Mrs. Botham had eaten a meal which appeared to have included corn, beans and meat. There was some evidence from Wilhelm that the Pattyrenounces SLA, discusses experience lU t'- --5 I Couroc-Bowls Travst AUTHENTIC INDIAN JEWELRY a specialty, Not a Sideline at BENNETT JEWELRY 132 So. 5th TROY AND CHAD MIRACLE LINDA MIRACLE FENCES. Chain Link: weave, industrial, etc.

Wood: Cedar, Grape stake Walter Cronkite noted that Miss Hearst had told her story in court but had never spoken on her captivity directlv to the Dublic Miss Hearst, kidnaped by the SLA on Feb. 4, 1974, was convicted of helping the group rob a San Francisco bank in April of that year. She was arrested in San Francisco in September 1975 while living with fugitive radical Wendy Yoshimura, who is now on trial on charges of possessing weapons and explosives. i FENCE CONTRACTORS 2886 Freeway East 243-2723 Everything in Fencing. 50 The Perfect Gift From Bannisters netxLe CReek Custom Made Bedspreads, Draperies and Boudoir Furniture NEW YORK (AP) -'Patricia Hearst says shes still trying to figure out how she got so twisted around in my own head that she never tried to escape from the Symbionese Liberation Army.

Its crazy. It doesnt make any sense at all, and its something that Im still working on myself, the convict-heiress said in a nationally televised interview on CBS Thursday night. Interview at castle The interview was conducted at the Hearst family castle at San Simeon, Calif. Miss Hearst, seated on a sofa, wore a long blue dress, with a printed scarf knotted fashionably around the neck. The 22-year-old daughter of newspaper executive Randolph Hearst told interviewer Harold Dow much the same story of her life with the underground terrorists that was rejected by the jury in her bank robbery trial earlier this year.

But she issued her strongest denunciation yet of the six SLA members who were killed in a Los Angeles house on May 17, 1974: I feel that they got exactly what they deserved in Los Angeles, exactly what theyd asked for. And I dont feel sorry for them at all She said she was forced to tape the eulogy in which she mourned the deaths. I guess people thought that I really liked them, she said. Of her personal plans, Miss Hearst, who is free on $1.25 million bail while appealing her conviction, said she would like to travel and start working soon. As for marriage, she said, Thats going to have to wait for awhile.

First Christmas She also said the family had just gotten its Christmas tree and said she expected her first Christmas at home in three years would be fantastic. Miss Hearst, who denied during her trial ever being a sincere member of the SLA, said she felt she owed her life to her ability to persuade her captors that she was. Oh yes, definitely, she said. If no one believed it, I wouldnt be sitting here right now. She also said the SLA succeeded in making her believe her family didnt want her anymore, and that, of course, isnt true.

Looking back, and of course it was really stupid, but at the time I felt that I had nowhere to go. Brief segments of the interview were first shown on the CBS Evening News. Leading into the abbreviated portions, anchorman flowers about a week before the Aug. 23, 1975, deaths of the four people, and put on his fence and in his shed. He could not find it when law officers went to his home with him, and the implication was that someone had taken it from those places.

Law officials contended that it had been kept secret that the wire had been used to bind the victims until after Bothams arrest. Several witnesses testified they had been interrogated about such wire and had surmised its connection with the case. At least one witness testified there had been discussions about the wire in connection with the deaths at Tri Star where the 28-year-old Botham was a vice president. Botham attempted to establish an alibi that he had been in Ouray overnight Aug. 22 and until the afternoon of Aug.

23, 1975. He was placed at a motel in the Ouray area by witnesses as late as 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 22, and there was some evidence that he had probably talked to a man near the Long Branch Bar, possibly as late as 11 p.m. that Friday.

Stopped in Montrose But the defense was unable to find anybody who could testify to having seen him the next day until midafternoon, when Botham stopped at a Montrose gas station. In addition, two witnesses testified to having seen a ve- hide resembling Bothams Land Cruiser near the Miracle home after lam. Aug. 23, when the prosecution contended the murders had taken place. Further prosecution evidence set the time of the murders after 1 a.m.

came from two neighbors who testified they had heard screams at that time. A next-door neighbor of the Bothams said the screams he heard had come from the Botham home. Several spots of 0 type blood, one of A type and some which couldnt be identified were found in Bothams vehicle. Botham and both of his sons have 0 type blood, and Botham explained that he has frequent nosebleeds and also had cut a knuckle on a hinge at the back of the car. Blood unexplained Botham said he could not explain the A type blood found on a mat in the back of the car.

Mrs. Botham and Mrs. Miracle, who were smothered and would not have bled, and one of the Miracle children, both of 1 whom were shot and would have bled, had A type blood. A forensic serologist from Denver had testified that the type blood was not over two to three months old, based on the condition in which it was found. Two other men who testified were the subjects of intensive scrutiny, particularly by the defense.

Both said they had af-fairs with Mrs. Miracle. 1 1 Norm Wilhelm, now of the Denver area, testified that he had been at Mrs. Miracles home for dinner the night she was killed and that he had left at 11.30 p.m. He testified that Mrs.

Miracle had had an abortion only a few days before the murder and that he had paid for it, because he felt it was his child. Never called to testify Wilhelm, who was exonerated by law officers, testified that his roommate, Jim Cunningham, had come home about 2 a.m. Cunningham was never called on the witness stand. Truman Haley, of Grand Junction, who admitted he had taken a diary in which his name appeared from Mrs. Miracles home in late June or early July, said he had not seen Mrs.

Miracle for several weeks. He said he had been at home j) until 11:30 p.m. Aug. 22, 1975, had gone to a moonlighting lms Court' Why not start the new year with a fashionable bedspread trom Bannisters comprehensive Nettle Creek collection Make your choice trom large swatches and order a beautifully tailored, exact fitting, luxuriously quilted bedspread Coordinate your room with slipcovered headboards, boudoir furniture, custom made draperies, roman shades, roll shades valances, table covers, and laminated wall coverings Wake up any room and especially any bedroom with exquisite, coordinated Nettle Creek fabrics from Bannister's OWE STOP has pillow furniture 523 M'lin Custom Killing And Processing. if ft Z4 1 'ZlfrLZtil Inn hiiinc lumi'hmN mhu I 14" 4 tii iim Mn ft I hiiAfilciwn turn tnn It li phi mi .42 4 84 $tinpH til id Mnncl through Sjturti CN 242-0712 MANAGEMENT Accauntlng A Tax Service 200 N.

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