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By: 144. court proceedings | Date: Apr 6, 2010 |
MONDAY APRIL 5, 2010
The defense began presenting their case today with a "throw-away" witness. She was an optometrist who testified for 20 minutes about myopia. The main point was the fact that, without his glasses, the defendant couldn't possibly see anything after the crash. He picked up the shotgun, but not his glasses that fell when he crashed, and apparently couldn't see what or who he was shooting at, even though he clearly made a choice not to shoot at Stephanie Cartwright, choosing instead to shoot at her boyfriend in the passenger seat of the car. And then he chose not to shoot at another woman who was in the car with her family. And how close did he really need to be to see the face of Jon Johnson when he shot him point-blank from a foot away? The DA made the point on cross-examination by standing a car-width away and asking the doctor if the defendant would have any trouble seeing someone across the trunk, or chasing someone around a car. "No trouble at all" according to the expert. He also was wearing his glasses before the crash at the time he shot Mike.

The major testimony of the day came from Dr. Tucker, an established expert in the area of "addiction and forensic psychiatry". The first hour was spent presenting his credentials to the jury. He claimed he has been able to form an opinion about the defendant's state of mind on the day of the shootings. He has spent 130 hours (at $450 per hour) mostly reading testimony of previous witnesses to establish his opinion. He has literally spent less than 10 percent of his time interviewing the defendant (about 12 total hours in 5 separate interviews). And his last interview was less than a week ago. So after an initial expense to the state of $60,000 he told the jury, that in his expert opinion, the defendant was in a "meth-induced psychosis" when he committed his crimes. When the defense attorneys finished with their questions there was a flurry of activity regarding the failure of the defense attorneys to turn over the doctor's notes and interview transcripts to the prosecution. So the judge dismissed the jury until Tuesday at 1.30pm and spent the afternoon deciding what transcripts could be "discovered" by the DA. So we begin Tuesday with the DA's cross-examination of Dr. Tucker. There may be another witness or two before the defense rests their case. It doesn't seem likely we will hear closing arguments until Monday of next week. We are so close to having the judge give the case to the jury, but the DA does not want to miss any opportunities to expose the pitiful defense to them before he does. One item of interest this morning happened before the jury was seated. Apparently the defendant wrote a letter to his brother on March 27th (just last week), two days after the prosecution rested, and one day before the judge left on a personal vacation. In the letter the defendant "hoped the judge drowned" while gone (he didn't use those exact words). The jury may not get to hear about this letter, but it is just another indication of the defendant's total lack of remorse or concern for anything.
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By: 143. Perminder Bindra | Date: Apr 3, 2010 |
What an interesting life Mike led and what a tragedy he was cut down like that. reminds me of John Lennon.
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By: 142. ginger daily | Date: Mar 31, 2010 |
Just checking in on the Dalys....thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
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By: 141. Linda (Cardona) Alfonso | Date: Mar 30, 2010 |
The website was forwarded to me by a friend from GHS. What a beautiful website. It was a great way to start my day. I plugged in my earphones and listened to Mikes music all day at work! Thanks Mike, Love ya, Miss you.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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