Gerlach Trial Day 5: Prosecution Rests Case - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gerlach Trial Day 5: Prosecution Rests Case

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SPOKANE, Wash. - After the court was in recess on Friday, April 4th, Monday began the 5th day of the Gail Gerlach trial. The prosecution continued by calling multiple witnesses to the stand. KHQ's Kelsey Watts who has been covering this case from the start, was once again LIVE in court tweeting the events as they unfolded. Here is what she tweeted in real time and don't forget that you can follow her on Twitter as well at @GerlachTrial.

LIVE Tweets From Kelsey Watts @GerlachTrial:

(Tweets are listed with the most recent tweet first)

2:45pm: BREAKING: the state rests it's case in the #GerlachTrial, defense expected to start calling witnesses in the AM. @khqlocalnews

2:42pm: Estes being cross-examined by defense, said Gerlach did not want to talk further about "the incident" and asked for a lawyer.

2:41pm: Estes then interviewed Sharon Gerlach for about an hour after interviewing Gail Gerlach for almost an hour & a half.

2:39pm: Estes: Gerlach didn't know if his wife made it out to the driveway when SUV was backing out, didn't say anything about need to protect her.

2:36pm: Estes: Gerlach did not talk about an arm pointing back at him from the SUV or believing that he saw a weapon.

2:35pm: Estes: Gerlach said "the guy stole my car and I felt threatened" in interview.

2:31pm: Estes: Gerlach said he couldn't get a good look at the person, thought it was a man, the person looked at him but he didn't make eye contact

2:29pm: Estes: Gerlach couldn't see SUV from inside the home, he came out to driveway, assumed wife was following him, saw someone in drivers seat

2:28pm: Estes: Gerlach started to scrape windows but didn't finish, went back inside to get wife, got on computer, left doors unlocked, windows up.

2:26pm: Estes: Gerlach routinely wears handgun on holster, was going to drive his wife to work that morning and left SUV warming up in driveway.

2:20pm: Estes: Gerlach was advised anything he said could be used against him in court. #GerlachTrial via @khqkelsey

2:18pm: Estes: Gerlach was not confused about his Miranda rights, told Gerlach he had the right to a lawyer and did not have to talk to him.

2:16pm: Estes was asked to interview Gail & Sharon Gerlach at the detectives office, describes Gerlach's behavior as normal, a little nervous.

2:08pm: Gerlach Trial: Honaker excused, state now calling its final witness, Det. Ben Estes.

2:05pm: Gerlach Trial: Honaker: Gerlach gave him permission to seize Sharon Gerlach's .38 revolver inside the home as part of the investigation, was not locked up.

2:02pm: Gerlach Trial: Honaker: "Gerlach was very forthcoming and offered the position where he believed he fired from."

2:01pm: Gerlach Trial: Honaker: "Gerlach was calm given the situation firing his weapon and was answering questions," says Gerlach was not confused

1:58pm: Gerlach Trial: State now calling SPD Officer Kristopher Honaker as a witness.

1:56pm: Gerlach Trial: Gallion excused from witness stand.

1:54pm: Gerlach Trial: Gallion using headrest to show jurors where the bullet went in the headrest and where it came out, says exit is a slight deviation to left.

1:49pm: Gerlach Trial: Det. Gallion now opening evidence bag containing drivers side headrest that had to be cut out of SUV.

1:48pm: Gerlach Trial: State now doing second redirect of testimony from Det. Gallion, asking where he thinks Gerlach was standing when he fired.

1:44pm: Gerlach Trial: Defense asking Gallion if bullet could have deviated direction going through window, car seat or head rest.

1:42pm: Gerlach Trial: Det. Gallion believes Gerlach was standing directly behind the SUV when he fired based on the straight track of the bullet in the Suburban.

1:32pm: Gerlach Trial: Det. Gallion using blow up diagram of scene, recalling vehicle could have been as close as 19 feet according to another Sgt's testimony

11:58am: Gerlach Trial: Court breaking for lunch

11:58am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Gallion: defense lawyers and experts had plenty of time to examine SUV and take photos, "I gave them full access to the vehicle."

11:55am: Gerlach Trial: A "large amount of material" was removed from Suburban in PD property room for Gerlach's work purpose (I.e. plumbing materials, equipment)

11:54am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Gallion asked to have gun, bullets, spend round, bullet recovered at autopsy & live round from street tested to determine gun used.

11:51am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Gallion: two sets of shaved keys were found in the Suburban, plus third set found at autopsy.

11:44am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Gallion: tests were not done on blood found inside SUV because "I saw Kaluza-Graham on the stretcher bleeding from the head."

11:42am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Gallion: someone would have to physically slide a round into the chamber in order for a gun to eject a live round. 1 was found at scene

11:38am: Gerlach Trial: Prosecutor asks Gallion, "Is it fair to say you still don't know what happened?" Answers, "Yes."

11:29am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Gallion: never found a weapon discarded along street or crash site.

11:28am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Gallion: measurements show first piece of glass from SUV was found 69 feet from the shell casing. #GerlachTrial

11:22am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Gallion: found two kinds of shattered glass at the scene, clear and dark. Looking for any possible weapons along street, crash area.

11:15am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Gallion: the garage looked like it may collapse if the SUV was removed, a piece of pipe was stuck thru windshield, came out driver door

11:11am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Gallion: Sharon Gerlach was quiet but upset, it appeared she'd been crying.

11:10am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Gallion: decided to process south end of scene at crash site first because Kaluza-Graham's body was on stretcher in middle of street.

11:07am: Gerlach Trial: Gallion was lead detective/case manager at the scene. #GerlachTrial

11:03am: Gerlach Trial: State calling expert witness, major crimes Detective Neil Gallion. Gallion has been sitting next to prosecutor for duration of case.

10:36am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik: "I can't tell you how far away the SUV was when Gerlach fired." No further questions, is excused.

10:30am: Gerlach Trial: Defense arguing that the sunlight on the morning of the shooting would make what could be seen through SUV windows diff than in PD prop room

10:25am: Gerlach Trial: Defense asking Det. Cestnik if there was a test available to prove the defect in the car seat came from the bullet, "not to my knowledge."

10:18am: Gerlach Trial: State done questioning Cestnik after nearly an hour and a half. Defense now cross-examining.

10:17am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik found a ring of 3 car keys on the floor of the Suburban, and a second ring of 3 keys was found near console, keys were "shaved"

10:16am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik: the car seat has been almost directly behind the driver's head rest, believes bullet passed through car seat first.

10:13am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik: saw damage to the back plastic of the car seat, prosecutor now bringing the car seat into the courtroom as evidence.

10:07am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik is talking about a car seat found in the back of the Suburban that was about the same height as the driver's head rest.

10:05am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik now talking about examining the SUV, says it was hard to see inside the car because of tinted windows & many objects inside.

10:03am: Gerlach Trial: Another full day in the courtroom: 17 people are here watching aside from media, including several family members on each side.

10:00am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik: warrant was obtained to search Gerlach's SUV, initially looked for any weapon that may have been dropped by Kaluza-Graham.

9:54am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik attended the autopsy to observe and collect any items of evidence recovered, samples like fingernails, hairs. Collected bullet.

9:52am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik: did not find a weapon in the yard where the SUV crashed. Describes Gail & Sharon Gerlach as cooperative & quiet.

9:48am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik: a lot of items inside the Suburban, some had been tossed around in the collision, saw foam from headrest, blood inside.

9:46am: Gerlach Trial: Prosecutor is showing Det. Cestnik photos of the scene, says he saw a ring of keys and a silver camera inside the SUV.

9:38am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik: garbage cans were outside that morning, none had been hit by SUV, helped them determine the path it took down the street.

9:33am: Kelsey Watts: Our view right now: the large poster is a map of the neighborhood and the TV on the left is a monitor for jurors. (See photos)


9:34am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik was told Kaluza-Graham may have had a weapon, walked the scene to collect any evidence.

9:30am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik: surveillance video showed someone walking down the street for about 2 seconds, "I could not see anything in his hands."

9:27am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik was not able to burn a copy of the video because homeowner only knew how to play it. Forensic tech recorded video off screen.

9:25am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik spoke with a couple of neighbors who were outside watching, as well as homeowner who had surveillance video camera.

9:23am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik determined no other family members besides potentially Sharon Gerlach were eyewitnesses.

9:21am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik knew there was a second handgun in the home and it was seized w Gerlach's consent to ensure police recovered the right weapon.

9:19am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik went inside to speak with Gerlach, describes him as quiet, deep in thought.

9:14am: Gerlach Trial: Det. Cestnik pulled the CAD report, assisted the lead investigator at the scene, "Gerlach was never arrested the day of the shooting."

9:09am: Gerlach Trial: State begins the morning with calling SPD Det. Bryan Cestnik. #GerlachTrial

9:02am: Gerlach Trial: Here is Gerlach pictured on the right with his defense team. We're about to begin with more prosecution witnesses here. (See photos)


8:58am: Kelsey Watts: Good morning folks, I'm back in the courtroom for #GerlachTrial today. Follow live updates @GerlachTrial

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