Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Emma Leigh Barker RIP

A Lancaster CA jury convicted Stacey Barker today on 3 counts:



Sentencing for Barker will take place on June 17, 2011
Here is a list from the California penal code:
California - First-degree Murder
Title 8, Ch. 1, Sec. 187; 188-190

SECTION 187-199

187.  (a) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a
fetus, with malice aforethought.
   (b) This section shall not apply to any person who commits an act
that results in the death of a fetus if any of the following apply:
   (1) The act complied with the Therapeutic Abortion Act, Article 2
(commencing with Section 123400) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division
106 of the Health and Safety Code.
   (2) The act was committed by a holder of a physician's and surgeon'
s certificate, as defined in the Business and Professions Code, in a
case where, to a medical certainty, the result of childbirth would be
death of the mother of the fetus or where her death from childbirth,
although not medically certain, would be substantially certain or
more likely than not.
   (3) The act was solicited, aided, abetted, or consented to by the
mother of the fetus.
   (c) Subdivision (b) shall not be construed to prohibit the
prosecution of any person under any other provision of law.

188.  Such malice may be express or implied.  It is express when
there is manifested a deliberate intention unlawfully to take away
the life of a fellow creature.  It is implied, when no considerable
provocation appears, or when the circumstances attending the killing
show an abandoned and malignant heart.
   When it is shown that the killing resulted from the intentional
doing of an act with express or implied malice as defined above, no
other mental state need be shown to establish the mental state of
malice aforethought.  Neither an awareness of the obligation to act
within the general body of laws regulating society nor acting despite
such awareness is included within the definition of malice.

189.  All murder which is perpetrated by means of a destructive
device or explosive, a weapon of mass destruction, knowing use of
ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor, poison,
lying in wait, torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate,
and premeditated killing, or which is committed in the perpetration
of, or attempt to perpetrate, arson, rape, carjacking, robbery,
burglary, mayhem, kidnapping, train wrecking, or any act punishable
under Section 206, 286, 288, 288a, or 289, or any murder which is
perpetrated by means of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle,
intentionally at another person outside of the vehicle with the
intent to inflict death, is murder of the first degree.  All other
kinds of murders are of the second degree.
   As used in this section, "destructive device" means any
destructive device as defined in Section 12301, and "explosive" means
any explosive as defined in Section 12000 of the Health and Safety
   As used in this section, "weapon of mass destruction" means any
item defined in Section 11417.
   To prove the killing was "deliberate and premeditated," it shall
not be necessary to prove the defendant maturely and meaningfully
reflected upon the gravity of his or her act.

189.5.  (a) Upon a trial for murder, the commission of the homicide
by the defendant being proved, the burden of proving circumstances of
mitigation, or that justify or excuse it, devolves upon the
defendant, unless the proof on the part of the prosecution tends to
show that the crime committed only amounts to manslaughter, or that
the defendant was justifiable or excusable.
   (b) Nothing in this section shall apply to or affect any
proceeding under Section 190.3 or 190.4.

190.  (a) Every person guilty of murder in the first degree shall be
punished by death, imprisonment in the state prison for life without
the possibility of parole, or imprisonment in the state prison for a
term of 25 years to life.

 Assault on a Child Causing Death

273ab.  Any person who, having the care or custody
of a child who is under eight years of age,
assaults the child by means of force that
to a reasonable person would be likely
to produce great bodily injury,
resulting in the child's death, shall be
punished by imprisonment in the state
prison for 25 years to life.
Nothing in this section shall be
construed as affecting the applicability
of subdivision (a) of Section 187
or Section 189. 

Child Abuse

273a.(a) Any person who, under circumstances or 
conditions likely to produce great 
bodily harm or death, willfully causes
or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts 
thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental 
suffering, or having the care or custody of any child,
willfully causes or permits the person or health
of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or 
permits that child to be placed in a situation 
where his or her person or health is endangered. 
A child abuse charge in CA is considered a "wobbler"
(can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony
 depending on the facts in the case) if prosecuted
as a misdemeanor shall be punished by 
imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding 
one year and a $6000 fine, if prosecuted
as a felony and there is a conviction the
penalty is  in the state prison for
two, four, or six years.
Last but not least, another great big thanks to 
Tori, Ange, Gabe,
 Tiff, Anurse, and LCM for 
taking time from your busy lives to attend 
these hearings the last 2 years and this 3 week trial! 
You are Emma's Angels!
Thanks to LCM for this sweet picture of Emma!
Sphere: Related Content

Stacey Barker Murder Case - The Jury Has the Case!

The murder case of Stacey Marie Barker,26, of Lancaster, CA was given to the jury today, Monday, May 23rd.  Deputy District Attorney Kelly Cromer  presented her first closing argument on Friday, May 20th. Today, Stacey Barker's Public Defender Roberto Dager presented his closing argument before Kelly Cromer wrapped up the trial with her second closing.

The jury only had the case for 2 hours today so there isn't a verdict yet...maybe tomorrow will be the day we learn the fate of Stacey Barker? Will she be spending the rest of her life as an inmate of CA Department of Corrections or will she get the minimum 25 years if she's convicted of the top charges? To keep it real, there is also the possibility she will be acquitted. Many think Stacey hurt her chances for that acquittal by taking the stand on her own behalf, against her lawyer's advice no less. Personally, I would be satisfied with either of the first 2 options, I think it would be Justice for Emma if Stacey Barker never has the chance to procreate again...she blew her chance to be a good parent for her beautiful little girl. I have felt for sometime that Stacey killed her daughter Emma and the things that have come out during this trial have only confirmed my opinion.

Wednesday will be exactly the 3rd week of this trial. I can say without any reservation if they want to cut the trial to 1 day short of 3 weeks that wouldn't bother me one bit. The jury will decide what is Justice for Emma Leigh Barker.

Hopefully, today, the jurors were able to select a jury foreman and review the instructions given to them by Judge Hayden Zackey so they can come in tomorrow and start reviewing the evidence. They must understand the elements of each charge before they can decide what has been proven beyond a reaonable doubt, if anything. Roberto Dager reminded the jury today that the law says, if they find there are 2 plausible theories, they must select the theory most favorable to the defendant. What he said is true but 2 things come to mind...to be plausible there must be no "reasonable" doubt and it is possible there could be no theories that benefit the defendant.

If you have been trying to follow the case here, you know that things didn't go as planned with our coverage. LeftCoastMom aka LCM had planned on going to Lancaster for at least a part of the trial and we were going to share our coverage. Unfortunately, things didn't work out for LCM going to CA.
There are some things in life more important than being a trial junkie............
(hehe, there...I said it....we are trial junkies and if you are reading this and following any other
case(s) you are possibly a trial junkie too ٩(͡๏̮͡๏)۶ whoot! ).
I'm glad LCM made the decision to take care of her own needs first. LCM has been able to get out and about to some of the boards, such as Reality Chatter, with some of the details she gathered from Tori. That's great, and I'm sure very much appreciated!

Tori was giving me extensive notes through the 7th or 8th day of trial via a 3 hour phone conversation each night. After the I realized (finally accepted the fact) there was no way I could catch up with the Q&A, play by play coverage that Tori was providing, I quit taking extensive notes and we just chatted...but it was still a 2-3 hour conversation.  I just love that girl, she has a sharp wit, a kind heart, and a near total recall memory .... a perfect combination.for blogging, but for one thing...she doesn't like to write. LOL! In Tori's own words, "Girl, I'm  not a writer, I'm a storyteller!" I on the other hand love to do both, but time has been my enemy ๏̯͡๏.

The mainstream media has been pretty much non existent beyond the first month or so after Emma's death, that is except for Craig Currier of the Antelope Valley Press, he has attended most of the pretrial hearings over the last 2 years. Tori said the court allowed Craig to take still photos in the courtroom today and the media will be able to bring television cameras into the courtroom so that they can record when the verdict is read.

Thankfully, Tori has been kind enough to come in each day and  leave a summary of the day in court in the comments section. I hope you have read her updates. Here are links to the posts she commented on.

We will provide coverage of Stacey barker murder trial

Day one, Wednesday, April 27 - Opening Statements
                                                 Sue Barker's testimony

Day two, Thursday, April 28 -  Day two of testimony Sphere: Related Content

Friday, May 6, 2011

Stacey Barker Murder Trial - Day Two

RIP Emma Leigh Barker 9/2007 - 3/2009
Day two (Thursday, April 28 ) of the Stacey Barker murder trial was a frustrating day pretty much all around. Sue Barker, the defendant's mother,  was back on the stand for more direct questioning by Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Kelly Cromer. The day was frustrating for DDA Kelly Cromer  because Sue Barker seemed to have developed a serious case of the "I don't recall" syndrome....the state had requested  the court to declare her a hostile witness yesterday.....and the court agreed. (Sorry missed reporting this yesterday)

The day was also frustrating  for our friends, here is what Tori had to say about Sue's testimony, " I felt so sorry for her I could feel her pain and she looked like she was in a daze...this has taken a toll on her, Ange commented that she felt like she just wanted to hug her and tell her it was NOT her fault, that she felt heartsick for this woman she did not know...a husband that would leave her in her greatest pain for thoughts and words she said about her daughter. A daughter that had killed her only grandchild, she is in great fear of losing her husband now...how sad she loses her granddaughter, her daughter and if Stacey is convicted because of her testimony she may also lose her husband, because Stacey Barker is a "Daddy's girl" and always has been.

Just hearing Tori's description makes Sue's pain palpable for me. Does it you? No doubt, this was one of the more frustrating days of Sue's life. She learned she was recorded in an interview with the homicide detectives when she said of her daughter, " I know she did it, and I want you to prove it". Her gut instinct was justice for her granddaughter, not of making up lies to protect her daughter. If you haven't seen them already, Tori very kindly made several comments here giving her impressions of the day.

There was something worrisome that happened in court after the jury was dismissed yesterday. Our friends learned today that Judge Zackey advised both parties that he wants Sue Barker examined and her testimony is to be recorded in case something were to happen to her. The court didn't expand on that, but I think we can read between the lines :(  

There's a lot to say so I'll get to reporting the court business and testimony. Before the jury was brought in for the day's testimony,  DDA Cromer had some things to say about the first day of trial and Stacey Barker's Public Defender, Roberto Dager. Kelly made it clear to the court that she was mad at things PD Dager had said in his opening statement. Cromer felt that that Dager's concentration in his opening on condemning the state and detectives including making personal attacks against them for recording X's conversations with Barker was misconduct. Judge Zackey agreed with the state. Zackey said if it was misconduct, it will not be tolerated, adding he will read the transcripts of the defense opening and would rule later. (I wonder if he will wait until after trial to make a ruling?)   

There is a few other issues for the court to discuss before testimony could start, Judge Zackey advised both parties that someone had called the LA County Sheriff's Office to report that Sue Barker was heard talking about her testimony in the hallway in front of some jurors. Judge Zackey had the jury brought in and questioned them whether they had overheard anyone talking about the case in the hallway during break. No one on the jury had heard anyone talking about the case, so the judge reminded them of the admonishment not to talk to anyone about the case or allow anyone to talk to them about it. If this did happen he advised them to talk to Johnnie, the court's bailiff who would let him know.

( An interesting side note is Tori had mentioned she saw and heard Brendon Borrelli's mother talking to Gary Barker and Brendon in the hallway about Sue's testimony during a break . Seems important enough to mention now....did someone else witness the same and get confused who was who and reported it, or was the incident reported with Sue a different incident?)  

Here is the abbreviation key I will use for the defendant and those speaking in court today....

"JZ" for Judge Hayden Zackey

"KC" for Deputy District Attorney Kelly Cromer

"RD" for Deputy Public Defender Roberto Dager

"SB" for Stacey Barker

"Sue" for Sue Barker

"Hoyt" for Detective John Hoyt

Testimony started at 11:20 today with more direct examination of Sue Barker by DDA Kelly Cromer. I'll use the same Q&A format as yesterday.

Direct Examination- Sue Barker
KC - Who are the people out in the hall ? Sue - My husband and my sister. KC - The husband you told Detective Nava that you didn't want to lose? (No response noted.)

KC - Who came into the courtroom yesterday after the second break?  Sue - I don't know. KC - No one came in ?  Sue - I was. KC - Did your son Matt come in ? Sue - Yes. KC - That was the same time that you seemed to have some lapse in memory. Is it hard for you to testify? Sue - Yes. KC - Why? Sue -  It just is. KC - Do you feel guilt because of the argument you had with Stacey?  Sue - Yes

KC -  Did you tell Detective Nava that you and Stacey had argued in recent weeks before Emma's death and you said something about kicking her out? Sue - I don't know. KC - Did you know that interview was recorded? Sue - I didn't see a recorder.

KC - Did you tell Detective Nava that Brendon Borrelli might be a suspect? Sue - Yes  KC -  Did Det. Nava say that if Brendon had told her to do it it was still her decision? Sue - I know it was Stacey's doing.

KC - Anyone in the family in the legal profession? Sue - Not that I know of. KC - Any relation, not just immediate family? Sue - Gary's sister is a para-legal but I haven't talked to her about this.

KC - You don't recall searching the house for Emma's binky (pink blanket) ? Yesterday you said didn't remember looking for it but today you remember asking Stacey, who said it was in the car. Sue - Yes, but...

KC - Did you ask Stacey why she didn't leave the blanket with Emma's body? Sue - Yes, but she didn't answer.

KC - Did Stacey keep granola bars in her purse for Emma?    Sue - Yes, that was standard.

KC - Whose idea was it for you to have a conversation with Detective Nava at the station?
Sue - Don't know.

KC - Yesterday you said that you remember Emma playing with Stacey's purse. Did you tell detective Nava that it was unusual for Emma to play with her purse? (no response noted)

KC - (Gets out the letters alleged to be written by Stacey to Witness X and pulls out 4 of them) Sue, is this Stacey's writing? Sue - Yes  KC -  (shows Sue exhibit 1e, an envelope from the pack with butterflies drawn on it.) Wasn't that on Emma's Binky? Sue - Yes, there were butterflies on Emma's Binky.
KC -  No more questions.

Cross Examination - Sue Barker

RD - Mr. Dager greets Sue Barker....How are you?  Sue - Fine. RD - You never wanted to talk to me before? Sue - No RD -Do you want to now? Sue - Yes.

RD - Stacey attended Quartz Hill High school, and handed Sue some papers to look at. Sue - These two pages I have never seen. The third page I have seen. RD - When did you see this? Sue - Sometime near graduation. RD - What does it say? Sue - Academics RD - What does it say? Sue - 3.5 RD - Say the whole number. Sue - 3.055 (Tori noted that Dager seemed pretty pleased with himself  after Sue read all the digits. DOH! That makes her GPA 3.1 not 3.5 !)

RD - Did Stacey have any history of street fights? KC - Objection, speculation. JZ - Rephrase. RD - have you seen her come home with any bumps, cuts, or bruises? Sue - No. RD - How many physical fights have you seen her have with her brothers? Sue - Once in her whole life.

RD - When did Stacey move back home? Sue - When she found out she was pregnant at age 23. She moved out when she was 18. At 18 she had her own apartment. RD - How many jobs did she have to work to afford her own apartment? Sue - Two. RD - Kind of hard to work two jobs when pregnant?
Sue - Yes, because she couldn't keep the pizza job. RD - Did she go to college? Sue - No. RD - Why? Sue - Because she worked two jobs , she didn't have time.

RD - Has she always been emotionless? She never cried before Emma died? Sue - No, she has only cried 10 times in her whole life. she was never an emotional person.

RD - So, are you an alcoholic? Sue - Yes. RD - Did you drink daily before Emma died? Sue - No, just a couple days a week. RD - Did you drink Jose Quervo tequila? Sue - Yes, shots of Jose Quervo. RD - Were you taking depression medication at the same time? Sue - Yes. RD - Pills and alcohol? Sue - Yes.
RD - Did you know that could kill you ? Sue - No. RD - You've been sober 13 days? Sue - Yes.

RD - When did Stacey move back home? Sue - Immediately when she found out she was pregnant.
RD - How long was that? Sue - She was a month or two.

RD - What if anything did Stacey tell you about Anthony? (Emma's Dad) Sue - Nothing. RD - How many times did you see Anthony at the house? Sue - Once at her house. RD - Did you ask he3r why she didn't live with him? Sue - No. RD - What did you say to Stacey about Anthony? Sue - That he didn't seem to be concerned about being a dad.

RD - How many bedrooms are there in your home? Sue - Four, one room was an office that we turned into a bedroom for Emma when she was about 3 months. RD - So where did Emma sleep the first 3 months?
Sue - In Stacey's room. RD - Who suggested changing the office into a room for Emma?  Sue - I did.

Court broke for lunch here and returned at 1:30 pm.

RD - What was the daycare when Stacey went back to work? Sue - Emma went to daycare for one day.
RD - Why only one day? Sue - Because I went to daycare to pick up Emma and it wasn't good, she wasn't being cared for as she should have been. RD - What was Stacey's demeanor when you told her about the conditions at daycare? Sue - She cried. RD -  Why did she cry? Because her daughter wasn't being cared for?  Sue - Yes, I suggested going back on nights so that Emma could be cared for in the day without daycare. Nick cared for Emma during the day until I could get back on nights. That took about a month, I cared for Emma from 4 to 18 months. Stacey started out working an eight hour shift, the eight am  to five pm. Stacey asked to go in earlier and earlier so I could sleep.

RD - You went to see Stacey at Linwood (Detention center) once and called her only once. Why? Sue - I wasn't happy with Stacey. RD - Do you want to see her now? Sue - Yes.  RD - Did anyone tell you what to say? Sue - No. (◔_◔)

(Tori made a note before this question was even asked, that it did appear that Sue had been coached compared to her testimony yesterday.)
RD -  These are defense exhibits, pictures A-G. Who is in the pictures and what is she wearing?
Sue - Emma. RD - Who bought the dress she is wearing? Sue - I did. RD - Dager showed Sue photos B-G and each picture asked, "Who bought this dress she is wearing?" Sue - Each time asked, Sue responded, "I did".

(Tori notes that yesterday Sue testified she bought all the toys for Emma and Stacey bought her clothes....guess one or the other response is false. She also noted some jurors looked back in their notes after this round of Q&A. )
RD - This receipt is defense exhibit (#?), it's a Target receipt dated March 17, 2009. Junior - ears are purchased, is that familiar? Sue - Yes. Stacey bought it. RD - What is it? Sue - 2 pairs shorts, 2 shirts, sandals and tennis shoes. RD - Where did the receipt come from? Sue - I gave it to the defense investigator. I found it on top of Emma's dresser.
RD - This next item is is defense exhibit H, a Baby Blender Cookbook. Why did Stacey have this book?
Sue - because she didn't want Emma to have processed food. Stacey herself ate healthy after she became pregnant. RD - Did she use these recipes? Sue - Yes, she made them and froze them for Emma. RD - Do you recognize this book?  Sue - Yes, it was in Emma's room too and I gave it to the investigator. RD - You did? Sue - Well...Gary did. (Sue's husband, Stacey's dad) RD - So she blended meat and vegetables and fruit? Sue - Yes, to freeze for future use.
RD - Did Stacey tell you she was going out for St. Patricks ? Sue - no, she didn't say.
RD - When was the last you saw Stacey and Emma? Sue - On March 18, when Stacey came home from work. RD - At 3:15, did you argue? Sue - Yes. RD - How long did it last? Sue - 5 minutes. RD - Was there screaming?  RD - Stacey was screaming she couldn't make anyone happy. I told her she needed to come home on time so I could rest.
RD - When did you find out what happened? Sue - On March 18 at 11 pm, I got a call at work from Gary to tell me what happened. Gary picked me up from work and we went to the Park n Ride on Avenue S.
RD - Who was there? Sue - Stacey, Nick and Brendon. We stayed a few minutes. RD - Why only a few minutes? Sue - Stacey was being loaded into the ambulance so we went to the ER. RD - Did you leave the hospital and go to the Palmdale Sheriff station? Sue - Yeah, that was morning March 19.
RD - Any law enforcement contact you? Sue - No, we spent several hours at the Sheriff's station and then went home. At some point Detectives Nava and McCarthy and told us they had found Emma. We had a half hour conversation with them. RD - Did they ask for any suggestions of potential suspects? Sue - Yes. Do you think Brendon Borrelli  could be a suspect? Nava asked that, and do we think Brendon and Stacey could have conspired to get rid of Emma?
Sue - On March 20, LE took us ( Gary and Sue) to the Sheriff's station because they needed to question us. I sat in the lobby until Detective Nava joined me and said she wanted to speak to me alone. We only had 3 conversations in all.  RD - Were you recorded? Sue - I didn't know we were recorded.

Sue - On March 20, LE took us ( Gary and Sue) to the Sheriff's station because they needed to question us. I sat in the lobby until Detective Nava joined me and said she wanted to speak to me alone. We only had 3 conversations in all. RD - Were you recorded? Sue - I didn't know we were being recorded. RD - During that conversation did Detective Nava tell you something? Sue - Yes, she said pink fibers were found in Emma's throat. RD - How did that make you feel? Sue - I was devastated. RD - Did you know that Det. Nava was lying and no fibers were found? Sue - No. RD - Is that why you were mad at Stacey? Sue - Yes, after a half hour conversation Stacey went to live at Larry Barker's home. ( Gary's Dad ) RD - That was an interrogation technique. Detective Nava didn't have fibers. Sue - No, I didn't know. RD - How did Nava know the blanket was pink? Sue - I don't know. RD - You didn't know she was lying at that time?Sue - No.

RD - What do you know about a drinking game? Was there drinking going on during the mourning period?

Sue - Yes. RD - Was there a party? Sue - Not a party the night before but people were coming in and out.

RD - When you had dinner were all of Nick's friends there? Sue - Yes, that's when we played beer pong.

JZ - Can you explain what beer pong is? Sue - Beer cups are set up on a ping pong table like bowling pins, each person bounces a ping pong ball trying to get it in a cup, those who make it drink the beer. RD - Did Stacey play? Sue - Stacey only played 45 minutes, at my request. I was trying to cheer her up. She was quiet the whole time.

RD - How did you feel when you found out Detective Nava lied to you? Sue - Mad. JZ - Strike that, that's for the jury to decide what is the truth. RD - How they dealt with grief. (WTH, this is what we meant about questions jumping around.)

Cross Done - Re-direct Starts

KC - Why did you only visit Stacey once at Linwood? Sue - I was hurt. KC - Why, Did you think Stacey killed Emma? Sue - I did, yes. KC - So, when after 3/19 did you have a lot to drink? Had you drank alot when you were interviewed by Detective Nava? Sue - No, after. KC - Did you tell Detective Nava you knew Stacey was guilty and say I want you to prove it? Sue - Yes.

KC - You said you didn't go to the doctor with Stacey when she was pregnant? Sue - Yes, I didn't go with her. KC - But Anthony did go to the Stacey's doctor appointments when she was pregnant? Sue - Yes

KC - I thought he had no interest in being a dad? Sue - I don't know.

KC - When did Stacey start dating again after Emma's birth? Sue - 3 months, she had 2 or 3 boyfriends before she met Brendon.

KC - Did Stacey have any significant injuries when growing up? Sue - One. She hurt her shoulder in gymnastic, but she didn't cry.

KC - So you drank daily before Emma died? Sue - uuhh....yeah. KC - What? Sue - Shots of Jose Quervo, 4 to 5 shots in the evening a couple days a week. KC - How much do you weigh? Sue - 195 lbs.

KC - Do you know Colleen B.? (Colleen is Anthony's mom.) Sue - I met her after Emma's birth.

KC - How long ? Sue - 4 or 5 months. KC - Her daughter? Sue - One time, only.

KC - Defense exhibit H, the baby food book, Is this is the book that Stacey used? Are you sure ?
Sue - Yes. KC - This book doesn't look as though it's been opened much, pages stick together. Sue - I don't know, but she did use it. KC - Hmmm...nothing spilled on it, no pages pressed down, doesn't seem to want to open to any one area...like it's been used. Sue - I don't know. KC - Huh (Not said as a question but rather an opinion aka mild equivalent of BS.)

The pictures here are not what are part of the defense exhibit but may be close in age to the ones the jury are seeing.


KC - The photos, defense exhibit A-G, what ages are they? Sue - (went through pictures) This is 3 months, this is Stacey with Emma at 3 months, this is 3 months, this is Emma newborn. KC - She looks awfully good for newborn? Sue - C- section, picture C is between 3 and 6 months. D is Thanksgiving, uhh...about 2 1/2 months. JZ - Who cooked it? Sue - I did. Emma had a bib that said 1st Thanksgiving. 

Judge Zackey is such a nice guy, but this is Kelly's direct and she has a job to do, sooo.....

KC - You said when you and Stacy were fighting on March 18, she was screaming "I CAN'T MAKE ANYONE HAPPY!" What did she say? Sue - I can't make anyone happy, work, you.... Emma's never happy and I can't make my boyfriend happy!

KC - You made several statements to detectives, each statement to Detective Nava was after she had died, had Emma had an Autopsy yet? Sue - No. KC - What were you told? Sue -Not for 3 weeks. KC - So the day you spoke to Nava, you knew Emma didn't have an autopsy. Sue -No. KC - The 1st day you talked with Nava, the autopsy wasn't done, and you made the statement that Stacey killed Emma, you knew no autopsy, no fibers. When you said Brendon might have helped was before the pink fibers were mentioned or you should have known Nava was lying.

(Tori notes here that Kelly Cromer is on fire today!)

KC - Did Stacey ever shed a tear for Emma? Sue - No. KC - Remorse or regrets? Sue - No.

KC - Why was Stacey going to Long Beach? You told Nava she had plenty of money. Did you say you thought she killed Emma in Palmdale and was going to Long beach to pin it on Anthony? Sue - Yes. KC - How many times had Stacey taken Emma to Long Beach? Sue - None. KC - Stacey herself to Long beach? Sue - When she was pregnant she spent a weekend with Anthony in Long beach.

KC - What was the one major injury that Stacey had growing up? Sue - she dislocated her shoulder during gymnastics. KC - She didn't cry? Sue - No, but had to heal, it took a couple weeks to heal.

KC - Defense exhibit I, is the Target receipt. You said this was new clothes, how do you know they are new? Sue - I saw them, tags still on them. KC - What are ears? Sue - I don't know. KC -I thought you saw the stuff, what was it? Sue - 2 shorts, 2 shirts, sandals and tennies. KC - The receipt time is 5:10 pm from Target in Lancaster.

(Tori noted that takes at least 15 minutes to go from that Target to Barkers and Sue had to leave at 5:30.....either the times don't add up or someone else was watching Emma.)

Re cross examination

RD - She had this blender book. Tori notes as Dager holds the book he is flipping through the pages and bending the binding. Sue - yes, she used it. RD - I JUST DONT LIKE MISS CROMER SAYING THERE WAS NO FLOUR....RD is standing right behind Kelly Cromer as he screamed this. KC - Objection! Personal Attack...and screaming in my ears! JZ - Mr. Dager.... RD - Just because there isn't any flour or food on this doesn't mean it wasn't used! As Dager said this he was manipulating the book and threw it down on his table and picked up a few times to the extent our friends thought he might be trying to age that book a little...just saying. Re-cross done. Brendon Borrelli is told to stand by before re-direct.

JZ - Want to ask more? (asks KC) KC - no, but I'm thinking. JZ - You can have her recalled. KC - My next witness won't be short so I want to change the witness order. JZ - OK.

Detective John Hoyt is called to the stand. Hoyt says he is employed with the LA County Sheriff Department assault and crime unit. He is dressed in a uniform.

Direct examination - Detective John Hoyt

KC - Did you go to the crime scene? What did you see? Hoyt - A silver Mazda parked with all 4 doors open. Both front seats were in a reclining position....reclined all the way back. KC - Did anyone move them? Hoyt - Protocol doesn't allow moving anything. KC - What is this? Hoyt - An adults brown sandal and a child's tennis shoe with a red and white bottom.

KC - Did you stay with the car? Hoyt - No, I went to the hospital to talk to SB.I asked her what happened and she didn't know but thought she was knocked out at the city park. (Lancaster) KC - What did she say to you? Hoyt - Her eye hurt, the back of her head and her ribs hurt. KC - Did she ask about the baby? Hoyt - No KC - What did you notice about her? Hoyt - Clean feet, hands and fingernails. KC - In this informal interview not once asked about Emma. (More of a statement than a question.) Direct exam finished.

Cross examination - Detective John Hoyt

RD - If you are a detective, why are you wearing a Sheriff's deputy uniform? Hoyt - With budget cuts we dress for the street. RD - Did you stay with the car? Hoyt - No. RD - Did you touch the car? Hoyt - No

RD - When did you get called? Hoyt - About 11:40 pm. RD - What were you doing when called? Hoyt - Trying to sleep. RD - Got there about Midnight? Who was there? Hoyt - The Crime Scene Unit was there. RD - How do you know no one else touched the car? Hoyt - That's not protocol, so I doubt it.

Cross Examination was finished and the day is over. JZ - instructed the jury to be in the jury room by 10:30 am tomorrow and he will try to have them up here by 10:45. ( Day 3, tomorrow is, Friday, April 29)

There is a detail that I hadn't mentioned yet. On the first day of trial Tori had noted an attractive young woman with short (pixie cut) with blond over black hair, that she didn't know, speaking with one of Stacey Barker's grandfathers. After speaking with him for a few moments she moved away to her own seat and took notes. We discussed her that night and concluded she may be a cousin or friend.

Today the same young woman was in court but this time she had a woman with her. After a few moments Tori realized the woman with her was Anthony's mother. Later on a break Tori and the young woman spoke and we learn the young woman is Susan, Anthony's sister and the other woman is indeed Anthony's mother, Colleen B.

Susan asked Tori...are you guys the bloggers? Tori, replied , yes...I suppose you hate us too. (It seems as though Stacey Barker's family blame every vile thing that has been said about Stacey out on the web on us.) Susan said, no...we love you guys, extended family and friends are able to follow the case through our blogging. Susan and Colleen did ask us not to use their last names and we agreed. Tori assured them we have been following this case for Emma and are here for Emma .

The reason I bring up Colleen and Susan at all is because "reportedly" Gary Barker pointed Colleen out to Dager who said he has been trying to contact her. Dager wants Colleen added to the witness list and tells Judge Zackey that. Kelly Cromer said she would like to talk to her as well. Evidently, Kelly added Colleen to the state's witness list because she will be the first witness on the stand tomorrow for day 3.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stacey Barker Murder Trial - First Day Testimony

First Witness - Sue Barker

 Stacey Barker's mother, Sue Barker, was the first witness to be called in the state's case in chief. I plan to write this in a question and answer format. Sometimes it seems as though the questions are all over the place.  Kelly Cromer told the jury not to try to read anything into the questions she and Dager ask or how they are asked so I'll take her word for it. :)
I'll use abbreviations as follows for the defendant and those speaking in court today....

"JZ" for Judge Hayden Zackey
"KC" for  Deputy District Attorney Kelly Cromer
"RD" for Deputy Public Defender Roberto Dager
"Sue" for Sue Barker
"SB" for Stacey Barker

KC - You were served a subpoena to appear today. Do you want to be here? Sue - No, I don't want to be here.

KC - Would  you identify Stacey Barker if you see her in the courtroom? Sue - Points at Stacey at the defense table.

KC - Would you tell the court your kids names and birth dates? Sue - Matt, Stacey 01/02/1985, and Nick (I listed in birth order but didn't note birth date for the boys.)

KC - How long has Stacey been living with you? Sue - Stacey got her own apartment when she turned 18, but she moved back home as soon as she became pregnant with Emma. She lived back at home for 27 months. She continued working while pregnant but took a month off work before delivering Emma by C-section and then 3 months after Emma was born.

KC - Who cared for Emma when Stacey went back to work? Sue - When Stacey went back to Bank Of America (BOA) she went on the 5:30 am to 2:30 pm shift and I went to the 6 pm to 2:30 am shift so that I could watch Emma while she worked. She paid me $100 a week for babysitting.

KC - Who took care of Emma the most? Sue - I did, but everyone had their own room. Emma slept in with Stacey until she went back to work and then we converted an office into Emma's room. We gave her a crib for a gift. Emma was a normal baby but she had delayed speech.

KC - Why delayed speech? RD - objected, speculation. JZ - Overruled, she can answer if she knows.  
Sue - Yes, because she was spoiled.

KC -  How was Emma treated? Sue -  Like a princess.

KC -  How was Stacey treated? Sue -  Like a princess. She was always a Daddy's girl.

KC -  Who did Stacey start dating New Years Eve? Mike from work? Sue -  I can't remember the other guy's name
KC - Was Stacey often focused on new relationships? Sue - Yes, sometimes, but Emma came first.

KC - Did she ever date a Hispanic guy, dye her hair black, tan and shave her eyebrows and then draw them on with liner? Sue - Yeah...she lived with that guy.

KC -  Did Stacey try and take on whatever persona or role she thought a guy wanted her to be? Sue - Yes.

KC -  Was she treated bad by men? Sue - Yes.

KC - Did she approach her relationships with such intensity that she drove them away? Sue - I can't remember.

KC - Since Mr. Dager brought it up, are you an alcoholic? Sue - Yes.

KC - Have you drank today? Sue -  It's been 12 days since I drank alcohol. I drank before Emma died, but after she died I drank everyday.

KC - Do you have depression? Sue - Yes. KC -Does the depression or medications cloud your memory? Sue - No.

KC - Who did you sit with at Emma's funeral? Sue - I sat with Nick, Stacey and my sister at the viewing. I sat with my son and my sister at the funeral.

KC - Why didn't you sit with Stacey? Sue - I don't know.

KC - Was there anything that you did after the funeral that you didn't do before? Sue - No.

KC - Did you lock your bedroom door? I can refresh your memory with a transcript from your police interview, Who were you afraid of ? Sue - Stacey

KC - Not trust her? Sue - Yes. KC - Did you think she was capable of murder? RD - Objection! JZ - Over ruled. Sue - No.

RD - Objection! Opinion! JZ - In 2009, did you think she was capable of murder and now you don't? Sue - No response given

KC - On 3/19/2009, did you think Stacey killed Emma? Didn't you tell Detective Nava if the things you were saying about Stacey got back to your husband, Gary, that you would lose him? (Showed transcript)
Sue - Yes.

KC - When Stacey told you what happened to Emma on 3/20 what did she say? Sue - An accident with a baggy playing peek a boo and the blanket got caught on the car seat. She was worried people would think she was a bad mother. Brendon came and stayed that night. She wasn't crying when telling the story but after she was confronted, she cried. RD - Ask to strike as hearsay! Was last question and answer striked?

KC - Did Detective Nava ask you did Stacey do this? Sue - Yes, I did tell Nava that

KC - Do you believe she is capable of killing Emma? Sue - Yes

KC - Was Stacey going to Long beach to see Anthony on the 18th of March? Sue - No. KC -Going for money? Sue - No, she was due to get several thousand dollars back in income tax, she didn't need money.

KC - Did Stacey express any regrets? Sue - I asked her if she tried to save Emma and she said no.

KC - Did Emma have an incident with an allergic reaction to peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Blotchy itchy lips? Sue - Yes, Stacey took Emma to the emergency room right away.

KC - Did you and Stacey have fights before March 18 about caring for Emma and threaten to kick her out of the house? Sue - No

KC - Did you ever argue with Stacey about you coming home from work and needing to find someone to watch Emma? Sue -  I can't remember.

KC - Did Brendon back track to your house on March 18 to pick up Nick? Sue - Yes, I didn't know then.

KC - Did Stacey get a new cell phone after law enforcement took her phone? Sue - When the box came I thought it was some DVD and toys that I had ordered for Emma but didn't come until after...

KC - Who bought things for Emma? Sue - I  bought most of her toys and Stacey bought her clothes. Emma had a stuffed animal she called "Bear Bear"  and a blanket she called "Binky" that she like to take with her in the car  and she always she slept with.

KC - What happened to Binky? Sue - I  don't know. KC - Did you put Bear Bear in Emma's casket? Sue - Yes, when I asked Stacey where Binky was she said she didn't know. KC - To put in the casket too?
Sue - Yes

KC - On March 18, 2009 you argued with Stacey about coming straight home from work, was this the first time?  Sue -  Coming home on time? KC - Only time? Sue - Only that day. I had an appointment at 3:30 that was only 5 minutes away so I wanted to take a nap before.

(Tori notes here that Sue seems flustered with these questions, possibly because she didn't want to say they argued because Stacey hadn't got home the night before until 2:30 am. When asked in the preliminary she said she wouldn't know what time Stacey got home because she was at work. Remember, Sue told Detective Nava that she was afraid of losing her husband if she said anything against Stacey. Court breaks here for 15 minutes. back at 3:15. When court reconvened Stacey Barker's brother, Matt, came into the courtroom....after the break, Tori noted many of Sue's answers to any "hard" questions was "I don't recall.")

KC - Was Stacey neat or a slob? Who cleaned Emma's room? Sue - We both straightened Emma's room but the maid cleaned.

KC - Was Stacey a good student? Sue - She got some A's and B's mostly C's.

KC -  What did Stacey tell you about the baggy in her purse ? Sue -  I saw the baggy. She had Girl Scout cookies in it, Thin mints. KC - What kind of a baggy was it? A real ziplock baggy or another type?
Sue -  real

KC -  Did Stacey keep a neat purse? Sue - Yes.  KC - She wasn't like me...bag stuffed with every receipt?  Sue - No. KC - Did you ever see Emma play with Stacey's purse? Sue - Yes. KC -  Did you lie to Detective Nava about that? Sue - I was in shock. KC - Is your memory better now than then? Sue -  People remember important things.

KC - When is dinner time for Emma? Sue - I don't know I went to work at 5:30.

KC - How coordinated was Emma? RD- Objection, calls for speculation! JZ- It's first hand information. (The question wasn't answered although it sounds as though JZ permitted it. KC moved on.)

KC - Did anyone give Emma Benedryl ? Sue - No  KC - Was Emma teething? Sue - No, but we used Tylenol and a teething ring when she was.

KC - asked some  questions about the Lunchable that Emma had for dinner that night, where it was bought and what was in it. RD- objected, relevance ? JZ must have over ruled the objection .Sue- answered it was bought at Stater Brother's Market. I didn't get Sue's answer about the contents of the lunchable. Court recessed for the day. Sue Barker will be back on the stand tomorrow, Thursday April 28.
It was a long day in court for everyone. Thanks to Tori for taking such in depth notes...it was much more than I expected. Kudos to Tiff, ANurse, Ange and Gabe for helping to fill in some blanks as well. Here is a link to the opening statements from earlier in the day. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, May 2, 2011


Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Superior Courthouse

Judge Hayden Zackey

The murder trial for Stacey Barker, 26 got under way on Wednesday April 27, 2011 in Lancaster, CA at the Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse, with Superior Court Judge Hayden Zackey presiding. ( Tori reports Judge Zackey seems to be a very pleasant man...and I think he's pretty easy to look at as well!)

Stacey and Emma Barker
Stacey Barker is accused of killing her 18 month old daughter, Emma Leigh Barker, on March 18, 2009. Barker was arrested on April 27, 2009 and the charges filed against her include Second Degree Murder, Assault On A Child Causing Death and Child Abuse. The complaint alleges that Barker willfully caused and permitted the child to be injured and harmed and that injury resulted in death. If convicted on either of the top charges Barker may face 25 to Life. Barker formally entered a not guilty plea to all counts on August 12, 2009.

After selecting from a jury pool of over 80 venires,12 jurors and 3 alternates were finally selected on Tuesday. Tori said the jury consists of mostly women, 7 women and 5 men with 3 women alternates. They appear to range in age from 30 to 50 and a sidenote: 1 of the women juror is pregnant. We will update you more about the jury, this first day a LOT is going on. None our friends who have been attending the pre-trial hearings were able to attend the voir dire so we're not able to tell you what type of occupations the jurors have or much about them. Tori did mention that some are dressed nicely and more than she expected came dressed super casually...jeans and t-shirts.

Court started at 10:30 am without the jury present so that Deputy District Attorney S. Kelly Cromer (KC) and Deputy Public Defender Roberto F. Dager (RD) could present their arguments to the court on several outstanding motions. One of the motions argued was over Witness X and the Massiah Motion to exclude his testimony. The defense would still like to have him declared a government agent. Judge Zackey ruled recently that X can testify to any conversations he had with Stacey Barker before he contacted the sheriff's department with an offer to assist them in this case. Zackey stopped short of ruling on the entire Massiah motion at that hearing because Kelly Cromer told the court she will only use X's testimony about the independent conversations with Barker and the letters Barker wrote to X herself  (24 letters over a one month period of time!). Roberto Dager wants to use Witness X's prior criminal history at trial, the extensive amount of time he has spent incarcerated and what his convictions are (A couple Robbery and a burglary) . Dager also calls X a liar and a thief.

( A side note: Witness X commented on an earlier post at katfish ponders through a third party in response to some comments made by members of the Barker family.)

A Defense Motion to Exclude was argued as well. This motion asked the court to prohibit the state from presenting the evidence found in Stacey Barker's car. We haven't seen the motion but the defense argues it was irrelevant and prejudicial. The state said the evidence should be admitted because there were morning after pills found in Stacey's glove box that show state of mind, that she didn't want kids and the pink baby blanket that Emma kept close and called her "Binky" wasn't found in the car, with Emma's body or in the Barker home. The evidence (and lack there of ) from the car is coming in.

Seated at the table for the state are the Prosecutor, Kelly Cromer and Sheriff Department Homicide Detective Sandra Nava. For those interested in the "full picture" Kelly Cromer is a woman  in her early 60's, dressed in a light blue suit, Jacket and skirt. Detective Nava is about 40, she is wearing a maroon colored pant suit. At the defense table Stacey Barker(SB) is wearing a dusty violet colored pants and knit shirt, her attorney, Roberto Dager (early 40's) has on a black suit with a blue shirt. Our friends in court have described Dager as looking like Snidely Whiplash. From Tori's description of the day, it seems Mr. Dager came loaded with "Snidely's"swagger today as well.

Opening arguments were scheduled to begin at 11 am. Things didn't get started on time though, because it was between 11:30 and 12:00 before one of the alternate jurors made it to court. After giving the late juror a severe abmonation about being late and holding up the court, Judge Zackey recessed for lunch.

The State's Opening Statement

Court reconvened from lunch at 1:30 pm. Before beginning opening statements the court announced that anyone who is on the witness list for either side must leave the courtroom until after they are released from testimony by the court. The Barkers were all seated in their "normal seats" although more of the family are present than at the pre-trial hearings. Stacey Barker's parents, Gary and Sue Barker, get up and leave, as does Sue's father. Barker's other three grandparents and an aunt and a brother remain in the courtroom.  Brendon Borrelli, Stacey's boyfriend at the time of Emma's death, also leaves the courtroom. Brendon normally sits with the Barker family but today is seated with his mother off to the side in front of our friends in court.

Kelly Cromer rises to begin her opening for the state. ( FYI, Tori noted that for the most part the information in the state's opening is a rehash of the testimony given at the Preliminary hearing, but there are some extra things...so hear we go...) After introducing herself to the jury, Cromer informed the jury that what she or Public Defender Dager say to them in court is not evidence and is not to be viewed as such. She also told the jury not to try and "read anything" into the questions they ask.

 Cromer said that what should be considered evidence is witness testimony and the exhibits, it is up to the jury to give the weight to the evidence that they deem appropriate. Roberto Dager objected and said a witness is not evidence. Judge Zackey overruled the objection.

 Kelly Cromer began talking to the jury about the state's theory of the case and what they intend to prove....The state will show this "mother", after fighting with her own mother, took her 18 month old daughter Emma and killed her.
Stacey Barker's mother, Sue, changed her work hours to the night shift, 6pm to 2:30 am, so she could take care of Emma from 5:30 am to 2:30 pm, while Stacey worked. The arrangement  seemed to work out at first, but things began to change with Stacey wanting to spend her time on the party scene after she began dating Brendon Borrelli in December 2008....just 4 months before Emma died. Stacey and Brendon did know each other before that from high school.

Evidence will show that on March 17, 2011 Stacey and Brendon celebrated St. Patrick's Day drinking at Coaches late into the night. Stacey didn't arrive home until 2:30 am but she still got up and dressed as if going to work for her 5:30 am shift. Stacey actually spent the day hanging out at Brendon's and they went out for lunch. Later in the day Stacey returned home like she had worked. When Stacey got home from "work" on March 18 she was late again, so her mother was mad. Her mother had an appointment and wanted to get some rest before leaving, something Stacey knew, but was late anyway. Thus the argument ensued.  Sue Barker told Stacey to make other childcare arrangements and threatened to throw Stacey out of the house. Sue was feeding Emma a "Lunchable" when Stacey got home, so Stacey finished feeding Emma and said she was going to see Anthony for some money. Sue left for her appointment. Stacey then went to her brother Nick's room and told him she was taking Emma to the park. He was the last person besides SB to see Emma alive.

Cromer said phone records will show Stacey was sending text messages to Brendon at work from the time she left home all the way to Sylmar. Cellphone pings show that while she was texting Brandon that she was at the Lancaster City Park with Emma Barker's phone was pinging in LA. Later records show that Stacey called Brendon from the Park n Ride in Palmdale and said she needed him (At this point we haven't been told yet exactly what she said to Brendon but we do know she wanted him  to stop and pick up her brother Nick from their home in Quartz Hills). The 911 call came in at 10:50 pm. Nick made the call from the car on the way to the Palmdale Park n Ride.

When law enforcement arrived at the Park n Ride three minutes later, Brendon and Nick were there outside of the car. Stacey was reclined in the front seat of her car, half naked and moaning over and over, "They took my baby". The sheriff's deputy asked Brendon and Nick to cover Stacey, so they both took off their shirts and covered her. She did have bruises on her forehead and ribs so an ambulance was called and an Amber Alert was issued for Emma. Barker reported at the ER that she thought she had been raped, so at 12:19 am the SART, Sexual Assault Response Team examined her and did find bruising injuries in her vaginal area. None of her injuries were serious so Barker was released at 5:30 am on March 19.

At 8am Barker came to the sheriff's department for her first formal interview with detectives. Police records show the interview lasted one-hour forty-seven minutes and 7 seconds. By this time, LE were already noticing some inconsistent statements from SB and had gathered her phone records. From the start of the interview they confronted SB with phone records and said they have other evidence that doesn't line up with her story of being attacked. After being confronted, Barker admitted she hadn't been attacked, she said Emma was chewing on the baggy and choked. SB said she made up the story and hid Emma's body because she was afraid people would think she was a bad mommy. At that point, Detective Nava begged Barker to tell detective Marsh (March?) where she hid Emma's body. Emma's body was found at 9:30 am after Stacey finally told LE where she had hid her daughter off the highway in Sylmar.

At this point Kelly Cromer (KC) began showing some photographs on an overhead projector. The first picture was of a grassy field...the prosecutor pointed out if you look closely you can see Emma's raised leg. The next picture was closer and you could see that both of Emma's legs were raised and bent at the knees. The third picture was even closer and you could clearly see that Emma, dressed in blue shorts and a pink shirt, was in the position as if sitting in a baby car seat with her legs bent and her arms raised  in front as if they were resting on the cushioned restraint bar. Cromer said Emma's body wasn't propped like that....that is rigor mortise. (Tori noted the next picture was harsh.) The fourth picture was a close-up of Emma's dirty face with blood in her nose. Cromer said this suggests that SB did something to Emma before she died and told the jury that Emma had triple the normal dose of Benedryl in her system at autopsy as well. The last picture shown to the jury was a shot from the roadway, KC pointed out that where SB left Emma, she couldn't be seen by anyone driving by, adding that Emma was left to be eaten by animals. (UGH!)
(Tori reported that Stacey Barker looked directly at these pictures of Emma with no emotion. Barker's family that were still in the courtroom didn't show any visible emotion either. Were they coached not to show their emotions? It's possible. Back to the rest of the state's opening.....)

My notes show here that Brendon Borrelli told detectives that he didn't want a family, he couldn't afford a family financially and isn't ready emotionally. He said he only met Stacey's parents one time, after Stacey was let out on March 19.
At her next interview with homicide detectives, on March 20, Barker stuck with the first account that she had told the day before, that Emma died accidentally by choking on a baggy that the baby got out of her purse. It seemed that Barker began changing her story to 'fit' what LE was telling her. Another account was that she was playing peek-a-boo with Emma with a plastic baggy. Detective Sandra Nava asked SB, "Why a plastic bag?" SB replied, "Well, it wasn't tight."  When told that pink blanket fibers were found in Emma's airway (was this an interrogation tactic or a real finding?), SB changed her story again to say she was playing peek-a-boo with Emma using the baggie and the blanket. SB said she didn't hold that long, she was just entertaining Emma, adding, "I guess that wasn't the best option". After not hearing anything from Emma for two minutes, SB told detectives she looked back and saw the blanket over Emma's face, she knew Emma was dead and panicking took the next exit. Stacey claimed she put her hands over Emma's heart and face for signs of life, but there were none.
Dr. Ribe (Deputy Medical Examiner who conducted the autopsy on Emma) concluded that Emma was asphyxiated but said it took force to cause the nose bleed.  Benedryl is often used as a sleeping aid.Was the triple dose of Benedryl a chemical restraint to fighting? There was no baggy or pink blanket found in the car or with Emma when she was found.
Cromer moves on to wrap up her opening statement, that lasted over a half hour. She told the jury they will hear testimony from an inmate referred to in court as Witness X, a 3 strike felon who is covered in tattoos. When X first befriended Stacey Barker he thought she was innocent so he tried to help her. He told her not talk to anyone about her case or put anything in writing. Despite the advice from X, SB started writing him letters, she obsessed about tattoos and her plans to get some too. Her letters became sexually explicit and she was even trying out X's last name. In the 24 letters that SB wrote to X over the course of 1 month, Barker admitted Emma was dead before leaving Palmdale. DDA Cromer ended her opening statement by saying that Stacey Barker asked X to help her come up with a plausible story, adding she has been practicing in her cell for court, but needs help to make the story fit.

The Defense Opening Statement

Roberto Dager began his 20 minute opening statement by telling the jury that after Emma died, his client Stacey Barker did some stupid things, but she had no reason to kill Emma. Emma was basically a miracle baby because Stacey had been told she may not be able to bear children. 

Dager actually dares the jury to find someone who will say Stacey Barker was a bad mother. Kelly Cromer rose and said, "objection!" Before she could even get the basis for her objection out, Mr. Dager  says, "withdrawn."

Dager said all of the Sheriff Detectives and the District Attorney conspired to pin Emma's death on Stacey Barker. They gathered evidence to make SB look to blame. They used interrogation tactics to get Barker to say what they wanted, leading her....such as, no, this is how it had to happen. You will never hear Stacey say she did it, she is just agreeing with them.

Stacey Barker was a good student, she got all A's and B's in school. Stacey came from a dysfunctional family that looked normal from the outside, but her mother, Sue, is an alcoholic and on depression medicine because she was abused. Sue was a controlling mother, she didn't want Stacey to go out and have fun, she just wanted her to stay home with her baby.

Stacey was dating others besides Brendon, she had dated Mark before Brendon even came along and at the same time she was seeing Brendon she was having a sexual relation ship with Sheriff's Deputy Villa Lobo.
 Dager continued, Stacey did make up a cockamamie story, but he has a real problem with detectives Nava, McCarthy and Marsh. They are trying to make the story that Brendon Borelli and Nick Barker helped kill Emma and conspired to cover it up.

Dager told the jury when they see Witness X take the stand, they will see a manipulating snitch who is a liar and a thief. Kelly Cromer says objection and asks for a sidebar. When they return from the sidebar Dager moves on.

Roberto Dager wrapped up his opening statement by telling the jury they will see that Emma was always well dressed, Stacey supplied what her baby needed and cared for her baby...her love. She had no motive to kill her, she just used bad judgement.....

(Dager didn't say what type of abuse Sue allegedly suffered. Tori said she looked at Sue's family when he said this and saw no response.) Sphere: Related Content