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By: 140. Diane McGarry | Date: Mar 30, 2010 |
This is a tough day for all of us, Mike. Miss you Bro, but I'm sure you know we are looking out for Roberta, William, and Julia.

Yankees open with the Sox on Sunday! Somehow I know you'll be watching.

Love, Di

By: 139. Pam Rowland Van Cleave | Date: Mar 30, 2010 |
This site was forwarded by a friend (Jill Farr) I knew Mike from Glendora days but have not crossed paths since 1975. What an extraordinary life he led. This site is a beautiful tribute. My heart goes out to his family, may he rest in peace.

By: 138. Katherine Andreatta | Date: Mar 27, 2010 | The artist, the music...., The music, the artist, the man
Thank you for this site. It's just lovly to see his face, hear his music, and know that all who knew him or his family are comforted by this site.

May KARMA take care of those who have taken him from us, and may we always smile when our thoughts fall upon him.

By: 137. court proceedings | Date: Mar 25, 2010 |
Thursday March 25, 2010 The Prosecution rested its case against Aaron Dunn today at 11.25am - four years to the day of the tragic murder of our brother (husband, father, son, and friend) Mike Daly, and for the murder of Jon Johnson that same night. We started the day with testimony from Homicide Detective Ed Newton who was the lead detective on the case four years ago, now retired. His expert investigative skills helped him provide confirmation on literally every piece of evidence at the Mandango's crime scene as well as evidence he discovered in the defendant's car. He provided the jury a tally of all the ammunition used in the shooting that night, including spent and unspent shells from the shotgun and the police weapons. The evidence in the defendant's car included spent and unspent shotgun shells, a large pocket knife, cell phones, receipts for prepaid phone cards, heavy metal music cassettes, and a copy of the Satanic Bible. He was also the detective who discovered the "flake" on the defendant's passenger side mirror which was positively identified in yesterday's testimony as "Mike". He had done such a good job of describing the evidence that there was very little for the defense to cross-examine. Finally...after ten days of testimony and almost 300 pieces of evidence shown to the jury, witness #63 Officer Jeff McHenry took the stand. Officer McHenry had been assigned to "sit on" the defendant (i.e. to guard him) two days after the shooting while he was in a hospital bed at UC Davis Medical Center recovering from wounds received in his gun battle with the police. When a nurse walked in to change the dressing on the defendant's wounds, the Officer casually asked the nurse if the defendant had been under the influence of alcohol or drugs when he was brought in on Saturday night. The nurse didn't respond, but the defendant did. Entered into evidence were three statements volunteered by the defendant: "I was on methamphetamines.” …”I knew what I was doing that night.” And, “ I just don't want to live." There you have it. This is the last testimony heard by the jury before Scott Triplett rested the case. The jury is excused until Monday April 5th when the defense presents their case. Two days of defense testimony is expected, then jury instructions, and finally the jury receiving the case for verdict, probably by the end of that week.

By: 136. court proceedings | Date: Mar 24, 2010 |
Wednesday March 24, 2010 an explosive day in court today. On the stand today we heard from Elaine Stoops, the detective from the DA's office, followed by Kevin Rhoades, the man whose shotgun was (allegedly) stolen the day of the shooting by the defendant. Elaine confirmed for the jury much of the information that the defendant's wife and sister had not "remembered". Here is the sequence of calls. The defendant had called his wife early on Saturday morning 3/25/06 to see if she had paid the fee for their storage locker. She said she had not. He called her later in the day to talk to his daughter. She would not let him. She said he sounded like he was on drugs. He called her again to let her know that he had a fight with some bad guys, some drug guys. He told her he killed three people in Marysville. She asked to meet him so she could go with him to turn himself in. He says "it's too late for that" (this call was about a half hour before he killed Mike.) Then he called her a couple times, leaving messages, to let her know to watch the news that night. She did not pick up. And finally, he called her and left the phone on as he crashed his car. This was the voicemail we heard with the music and the shotgun fire. The time stamp on the phone was 7:48pm. Next on the stand was Kevin Rhoades who lives near Yuba City. Earlier in the trial, we had heard that the defendant had stolen a shotgun from Kevin's house that he used in the shootings. And the manager from Big 5 had given testimony earlier that this Kevin Rhoades had purchased this very shotgun. Uncle Ernie, the defendant's uncle lived on Kevin's property in an RV. About a week before the shooting, the defendant had moved in to his uncle's RV. He had lost his job, his wife, his house, and turned to his uncle for support. In the first few minutes of Kevin's testimony, we learn that in the two interviews in 2006 he gave to the DA investigators he had flat-out lied. He was a meth user at the time and most of his testimony was just a lie. We also discovered - at the same time as the DA -that he had given another interview to the Defense investigators a couple years after the shooting that differed entirely from his other interviews. He claimed today that he wanted to do the right thing, that he was clean now, and wanted to set the record straight. He cleared up some of the lies, and after taking a break so the DA could read the interview transcript we reconvene with Kevin who attempts to tell the true story. According to him... Kevin and the defendant did drugs the whole week he was living with his uncle. They would play cards, drink and do drugs. Uncle Ernie had supplied the meth. On that Saturday, at some point in the afternoon, Kevin came home to find that the defendant had just had a fight with Ernie and a friend. Ernie and the friend took off. Kevin walked into the RV to find the defendant holding his shotgun and shooting meth. (We learned that Kevin had loaned the shotgun to Ernie as protection). We also learned from the interview transcript that the defendant had a shotgun of his own which he kept in the aforementioned storage locker. The defendant demanded Kevin's cell phone and forced him to follow in his car to the gas station and pump a full tank of gas for him. Kevin did it, scared of the consequences, and was under the impression that he would get his cell phone back once they returned to the house. He knew he wasn't getting the shotgun back. The defendant had given him $60 for the gas,$100 for the meth, and the keys to the storage locker, telling him he could have the shotgun he had stored there as a trade. The defendant then drove off with the shotgun and the cell phone heading for Elk Grove. Kevin told the jury he thought the defendant was suicidal and was just going to ride around for a while. The defendant would be back after cooling down; the uncle later assured Kevin. We know now what happened. And Kevin saw the news report that night, and immediately made the connection. He called the sheriff's office the next morning and reported his shotgun stolen. And then, when interviewed following the tragic events, he lied about most everything. The prosecution called Mike Sullivan, an investigator with the DA's office, to confirm testimony from the defendant's sister and wife. He also was one of the investigators who had been lied to when he originally interviewed Kevin Rhoades. Mike Sullivan provided details on the complicated route the defendant had to drive from Yuba City to Elk Grove that night - 53 miles - showing the jury that he would have had to navigate twists and turns, several freeways, and at least a dozen traffic lights to get to his destination. Finally, the witness of the day was Joy Viray, a criminologist who analyzes DNA evidence. She was a good witness, amazingly cool, calm, and collected. She described DNA for the jury – in excruciating detail - what it is, where it comes from, and how to analyze it. She was the one who analyzed the flake from the defendant's passenger side mirror (#PV27) collected by Patricia Vaca the week after the shooting. Joy positively confirmed that this flake was the "piece of Mike" that the DA had told the jury about in his opening statements. And after extensive cross-examination by a very irritating and annoying DNA expert for the defense, she confirmed for all of us, without a shadow of a doubt, that this was indeed Mike. So this was the key piece of evidence that tied Mike's murder to the defendant, because no one had actually seen it happen. Scott Triplett, the prosecutor, believes he will rest his case tomorrow - March 25th, 2010 - four years to the day of the tragic shooting, which has changed so many lives forever. A few more witnesses will be called in the morning, including Officer Jeff McHenry, who was cleared to testify by the judge after a very difficult defense vs. prosecution argument today. We are looking forward to hearing this testimony.

By: 135.court proceedings | Date: Mar 23, 2010 |
Tuesday March 23, 2010. The "best friend" of the defendant testified today. It's interesting that he is on the prosecution's witness list. And the reason he was called is because he had had conversations - both in person and on the phone - with the defendant in the days leading up to the shooting, including in the hour just preceding Mike's murder. He had been interviewed by the investigators (both the prosecution and the defense) just after the shooting, so his interview becomes part of the evidence for the jury to consider. He also provided details of the defendant's demeanor in the weeks leading up to the day of the shooting. He was aware of the defendant's life "spiraling downward" over the six months before the shooting. He knew of the broken marriage, the firing from his job, the increasing meth use and his state of depression. He told us he saw the defendant the day before the shooting and that even though he was on "crank" (meth), he seemed fine. The night of the shooting (just forty minutes before) the defendant called him to tell him he was leaving town, wanted to say "goodbye"..."thanks for being my friend"... and "watch the news tonight". The friend told the jury he thought it was a little weird, he could tell he was driving somewhere; he could tell he wasn't drunk, and he seemed fine. The next witness was a Criminologist and a Firearms Expert with 30years of experience. He described for the jury his assessment of the shotgun and the shotgun shells he had inspected from the crime scene. After 40 minutes of incredibly detailed descriptions of shotgun shells, with diagrams and pictures to emphasize his points, the DA asked for the bailiff to bring in the shotgun. It was much bigger and much blacker than imagined, even though we had already seen it in an evidence box earlier in the trial. And he demonstrated for the jury how to load it, "pump" it, and shoot it. He loaded three blank shells and "racked" the shotgun each time to demonstrate how the shell is loaded into the chamber, and then he pulled the trigger and showed the jury how each spent shell is ejected from the shotgun about 5 or 6 feet to the right of the chamber. Of course we did not hear the "loudest sound ever heard" because these were not live shells, but the sound and action of pumping the shotgun was loud enough for the jury to imagine the sound. We also learned that the shotgun can hold eight shells when fully loaded. Four additional police officers and crime scene investigators were called, concluding with Elaine Stoops, the Homicide Detective who took statements from the defendant's wife and her boyfriend the night of the shooting. Earlier in the trial we had learned that the defendant called her to tell her to watch the news that night, and had left a very long voicemail with music and the sounds of gunshots and gunfire in the background. Neither the wife nor the boyfriend had "remembered" much of what they had told the detective when they testified, so the detective is providing the actual statements so the jury can have the real story. The Detective was not able to complete her testimony today, so we start with her again on Wednesday morning. Some other observations: So far we have seen 57 witnesses in the eight days of court proceedings. We have heard the date - March 25th, 2006, hundreds of times in the last eight days. Scott Triplett, the prosecutor is thorough and professional. My sister says "he seems to be getting taller every day". I think that's a good descriptor. He is patient, methodical, and respectful (no matter how ridiculous some of the reluctant witnesses have been), and it appears the jury is equally impressed with him. He and his staff have repeatedly calmed us with their assessment that the evidence in this case is overwhelming, and that we will get to the penalty phase.

By: 134. Sharon Jones | Date: Mar 23, 2010 |
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family during this difficult time as you all go through the trial.
May God's peace enfold you and justice be upheld!

By: 133. court proceedings | Date: Mar 22, 2010 |
Monday March 22, 2010. Today was a difficult day in court. The witnesses testifying today were the defendant's sister Sarah, the defendant's wife Sara, her two former boyfriends, and the best friend of the defendant. Sarah the sister was a reluctant witness to say the least but she was on the stand for less than twenty minutes. She was probably called as a witness to enter into evidence the phone message she received from her brother, the defendant, the evening of the shooting. She received this message about 40 minutes before the first shooting. It was a short, coherent "goodbye" message telling her he loved her and the kids and that he'd been lied to by everybody lately. Sarah willingly gave this phone message to a detective the day after the shooting, but in court today she didn't remember any of this. Sara the wife (still married to the defendant!) was even worse. She was argumentative, defensive, pathetic, and manipulating, She didn't remember much about her testimony given to the detective the night of the shooting. In fact, she may have said "I don't remember" almost150 times during her testimony which lasted more than two hours. We're pretty sure she was called as a witness so that a five minute voicemail during the shooting, and a recorded meeting between Sara and her husband in jail could be entered into evidence. The five minute voicemail was played for us for the second time. This was recorded at 7.48 the night of the shooting. He had just shot Mike, and as he drove he was listening to Lynnerd Skinnerd on his car sound system, and was yelling "woohoo" as we hear him shoot again (probably at the police car) just before a loud crash, then many more gunshots until it ends. Very, very eerie! We also heard their recorded jail conversation where the defendant says "I could've got two more but I didn't...’cause they were women". And he also says "I may have been a little over the edge...but not totally." The two ex-boyfriends offered very little, but were called to testify as to threats received from the defendant, while dating the wife. The first witness, at least tried to do the right thing the night of the shooting by driving with Sara to the scene that night to let the police know about the phone messages she had received. It was like watching really bad television, but for us it was too real. This really happened. And these are real people. The "best friend" continues testimony tomorrow. Throughout the day, in fact throughout the trial so far, the defendant has shown no remorse, and no reaction to anyone or anything.

By: 132. court proceedings | Date: Mar 19, 2010 |
Trial Update March 18th, 2010 – Sacramento Court was in session this week Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. A total of 26 witnesses were called these three days for a total of 47 so far in the trial (17 civilians; 30 police officers, firefighters, doctors, detectives, CSI personnel, technicians, and a forensic pathologist). We’ve seen almost 300 pieces of evidence so far. Thursday’s testimony started with Deputy Janell Bestpitch, the police officer who was partnered with Tisha Smith the night of March 25, 2006 when their rear passenger window was shattered by a shotgun with “the loudest sound she ever heard”. She was emotional before the first question was asked. This was obviously a traumatic event for her even after four years had passed. She was a very credible witness, positively identifying the defendant for the jury. She cries and sighs during her entire testimony, but especially as the radio call is replayed. She tells the jury how she fires a round at the defendant when she first sees him 40 feet away in the street with his shotgun raised at her, and then he chases her around the police car a couple of times before they face each other over the trunk of the car and she shoots him in the chest from about six feet away. He finally goes down, she clears out of the way and Officer Smith shoots him in the chest a final time before he is handcuffed and taken away to the hospital to recover from his wounds. Eleven other firefighters, doctors, police officers, and a pathologist are called to testify on Thursday. Deputy Patricia Vaca, who is an ID Technician for the sheriff’s department, collected evidence from the defendant’s car on March 30th. She collected a lot of evidence which should positively tie the car to the defendant (registration, driver’s license, cell phone, etc.), and she also collected a swab (#PV27) from the side passenger mirror which she classified as “an unknown substance”. At some later time in the trial we believe this substance will prove to be “a piece of Mike”. The DA outlined this in his opening statement. The last testimony of the week came from Deputy Michael Nedderve, a CSI (Crime Scene Investigator) from Sacramento County, who collected more than 200 pieces of evidence from the second crime scene that night including shotgun shells, bullets, cell phones, clothing, items from the cars, and the shotgun which was shown to the jury. All of these are tagged / labeled with yellow “evidence stands”, and then each is photographed to place into evidence files. Everything is amazingly organized, and Scott Triplett reviewed almost a hundred of these in the final hour today with the Deputy for the jury. There is no court on Friday, so we resume on Monday March 22nd . The DA feels that he could finalize the prosecution’s case by Wednesday or Thursday of next week, which would be four years to the day of the tragedy. Then the court will take ten days off and the Defense will present their case starting on Monday April 5th. The Defense told the judge today they believe they will take two days to present their case. Their previous estimates have been six weeks to two months. So it looks like the case could go to the jury the first or second week of April.

By: 131. Sacramento Bee | Date: Mar 19, 2010 |
Elk Grove cop testifies how she and partner stopped deadly rampage

By Andy Furillo
Published: Wednesday, Mar. 17, 2010 - 12:00 am

Elk Grove police officer Tisha Smith told a jury Tuesday how she finally shot down a gunman who had already killed two people and was going for more during a methamphetamine-fueled rampage almost four years ago.

Smith testified that she and her partner, Janell Bestpitch, were driving down Laguna Boulevard coming off their dinner break when they were stunned by "probably the loudest thing I've ever heard."

The noise came from a blast fired by murder defendant Aaron Norman Dunn, 33, when he shot out the rear passenger window of their car during his March 25, 2006, shooting spree on Laguna Boulevard.

Defense attorneys Amy Rogers and Hayes Gable III have conceded that Dunn shot and killed Jon Johnson, 46, and Michael John Daly, 45, and that he tried to kill the officers and several other people the night of his spree. But they said that the killings resulted from methamphetamine psychosis and that Dunn did not have the ability to form the intent needed for a first-degree murder conviction. They say he is guilty only of second-degree murder.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

In her Sacramento Superior Court testimony, Smith said that she and Bestpitch sped to safety after the shotgun blast took out their window and then circled back to the scene of the Laguna Boulevard attack.

When she got out of the car, Smith said, people started yelling at her that a man holding a shotgun at his hip was coming up behind her.

Smith said she turned, told him to drop the weapon and then fired twice when he didn't. She testified she thinks she hit Dunn, but the defendant kept moving toward the patrol car and chased Bestpitch around it twice.

Those two ultimately faced off across the trunk area of the car. Smith testified Bestpitch fired twice and that Dunn crouched. Then Dunn lay on his stomach, Smith told the jury.

"I asked him to show me his hands," she said. "He raised the shotgun toward my direction."

Smith testified she told Bestpitch over the radio to get out of the way. Then, "I fired two more shots in his direction."

Dunn "finally put the gun toward the ground and slumped over," Smith said. Several other officers who had just arrived at the shooting site handcuffed Dunn.

According to Deputy District Attorney Scott Triplett's timeline, Dunn had shot and killed Johnson and Daly by the time Smith and Bestpitch stopped him. Dunn was hit six times and critically wounded.

The two officers, who were employees of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department at the time, were awarded with the Medal of Valor for bringing the rampage to an end.

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