|Prosecution Witness: Jennifer Crew|
|Written by Mike Mayleben|
|Friday, 06 May 2011 18:47|
Direct Exam: John Arnold
Before questioning began, the judge asked Ruth Ann Steward to leave the room because of the separation of witness ruling.
Jennifer Crew said she is 36 years old and a resident of Iowa. She's been a full-time student at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa City, IA for the past 2 1/2 years, studying Criminal Justice and Chemical Dependency. She's held various jobs as a bartender, child care provider and worked for JCrew, the clothing company. She was convicted of misdemeanor theft, fraud, and driving while barred over a period of several years and she is engaged to Floyd E. Hulett who she lives with.
In 2000 she began using pain medication for back pain. She started with Tylenol 3 and progressed to oxycontin. She took it for 5 or 6 years but it didn't relieve the pain. She tried to take herself off the medication but began to get withdrawal symptoms so she sought treatment. Her doctors told her she needed to get off the medication slowly so she switched to methadone under a doctor's care. She is still being treated with methadone and submits a urine test several times a month.
She said she never worked at a strip club but worked at a bar in Gulfport, Illinois that had dancers. She began as a bartender in 2000 or 2001 and then became the manager of the dancers, making sure they clocked in and out and booking them at other clubs but she never participated in their performances.
She had never been to the Cincinnati area and never heard of Ryan Widmer or Warren County until she watched "Mystery in the Master Bedroom" on Sept. 18, 2009 on Dateline.
She felt sorry for Ryan “because the Dateline special portrayed him as being 100% innocent". She went to the Dateline website, and saw information about the freeryanwider.com website for Ryan supporters. She felt bad for him and wanted him to know that so she contacted the website administrator and asked how she could contact Ryan.
The judge interrupted to remind the jury that this was not necessarily the truth, but what she said she did.
Arnold then showed her a response from Ryan thanking her for contacting him, saying the support meant a lot. She began to read, "Jennifer, thank you so much for contacting me..." On Monday, Sept. 21, 2009 she responded, saying that she had talked to other people who had watched the show and she thought that he really loved his wife based on the photos and the video on the website which made her cry. She shared some personal information with him, including that she liked football and the Raiders. She said the way he lived his life showed through on the photos.
She sent another e-mail the next day (Sept. 22, 2009) which said she was doing a homework assignment requiring her to do research on WebMD and found information she thought might be useful. She then sent another e-mail later that day to Ryan's personal e-mail address, not the one from freeryanwidmer.com. She got that e-mail address from e-mails she and Ryan exchanged but was unable to recover them from her computer. She shared in that e-mail that she hoped he had a great day and she had school that day. She said Ryan told her he was going to start working part time. She offered to help him from Iowa by sending letters, e-mails, making calls to politicians and doing research on medical conditions.
Between 9-22 and 9-25 she believed they exchanged emails, but couldn't find them. On Sept. 25, she received a one-paragraph response via email from his Yahoo account and she responded at 11:15 a.m. At 2:39 p.m., she sent another e-mail to his yahoo address.
She received an email from Ryan on Sept. 28 at 4:40 p.m. that was three paragraphs long. It talked about how Ryan was a Bengals fan and watched Bengals games all the time and in her response she talked about a Bengals/Steelers game. She also followed Iowa football, and they discussed their win over Penn St.
On Sept. 29, 2009 at 7:13 p.m. she sent an email telling Ryan about her job in Illinois. She wrote, "I LOVED THAT JOB!!!!" In a previous email he talked about people coming for dinner and she asked how dinner went.
Between Sept. 29 and Oct. 6, 2009, they were exchanging instant messages thru Yahoo, she said but she sent an email on Oct. 6, 2009 at 10:56 p.m. Arnold asked her about her comment in the email about "door money" and she replied that friends of her brother's, who were in a band, offered to donate the door money to help with some of his legal costs. She told him they were also going to do a bachelor auction. On Oct. 7, 2009 at 7:24 a.m. she received a response from Ryan saying: "That would be very cool if they wanted to donate that money. You're an amazing person for doing all that you are doing and trying to do for me, and I thank you greatly for it all."
On Yahoo instant message, Crew told Ryan she was going to come to town to help with a fundraiser and she asked about hotels in the area. She said he told her she didn't need a hotel; she could stay with his mother. She also told him that a couple people wanted to come with her to the trial so she wouldn't have to drive all that way alone.
An email to Ryan on Oct. 7, 2009 at 4:08 p.m. was 8 paragraphs long. In it, she told him to "Have a good evening and hug your Mommy." She said that he told her he had been arguing with his mom a lot. She said her mom had passed away 2 years ago and she had never hugged her mom enough.
Oct. 7, 2009 at 9:30 p.m. she received a response from Ryan which said: "I am assuming you may have heard but they set the date for the Trial today; March 15. Will that interfere with your trip?"
On Oct. 8 at 10:19 a.m. she sent him an email, but Arnold didn't question the contents. She received an email from him on Oct. 17 at 9:50 a.m. with two attachments. They were photos of dogs. They had talked on the phone about his dog and his mom's dog. "Carmella is the big one and CJ is the little one."
Each printed email was put on the screen briefly as she remembered what was written. She said they were communicating by email and instant messaging most of the time but had some phone conversations too.
She found 15 documents that she initially turned in to the prosecution, but has since found other items. An email from her to him is dated Oct. 11, 2009 at 11:54 p.m. She said she doesn't have the same computer that she began emailing him from. They sent text messages and used instant messaging but then exchanged phone numbers.
Around Oct. 12, 2009 she received the first call from Ryan to her fiancé’s cell phone number. Arnold handed her a document and she said she didn't know Kim Lyles. The phone number listed on the document was the number that Ryan called her from.
Looking at phone records, she recognized two phone calls from Nov. 8th showing her fiancé’s cell phone number. She received the first call from Ryan at 3:14 pm and made the second call to Ryan at 5:14 pm because she was having problems with her own phone at that time. She recognized Ryan's voice from the 911 call and from the Dateline program. He identified himself as Ryan Widmer.
Arnold presented her cell phone records from October to December of 2009 with her and Ryan's phone numbers highlighted. Red are calls made from her to him; yellow are texts sent from Ryan to her; blue are texts from her to him; brown are calls from him to her. She said these records are accurate as to the calls and text messages exchanged between her and Ryan.
She explained to the jury that she broke her texts up into small messages which she sent every few minutes. "I type very slowly," she said. He told her about his family and that his parents were divorced when he was young. His father wasn't involved much in his life and didn't attend his wedding. He said he had a twin brother and a younger brother but they didn't talk much about them. They talked about their sports interests; he liked the Bengals and a team from Florida.
He talked about his relationship with Sarah and told her he had to sell some of Sarah's possessions to help raise money for his defense. He said Sarah's hobby was shopping and she shopped so much she was going to put him in the poorhouse. He monitored her spending from his work computer. Sarah's father was into martial arts and had written two books on Tai Chi. He was with Sarah while her father was dying from cancer. Her nickname growing up was "Stewy" because of her last name Steward.
He told her how he met Sarah and Crew told him she saw the couple on Dateline that introduced them. On their first date he knew that Sarah was "somebody special" when he walked her to her car. He asked her for another date and she said she needed to check her datebook, as if she was very busy. She pulled it out of her purse and looked through the pages. He saw they were all empty and knew she was playing hard to get. They were inseparable when they started dating. He told her his mother was an alcoholic and he sometimes worried that she cared more about Sarah than him.
She asked him if it was true that he had porn on his computer and he said it wasn't, but when she texted him one time and asked him what he was doing, he said he was watching porn in his mom's basement. She asked him what song was their song but she didn't remember that song, but did recall a song he told her about that reminded him of Sarah: "You're all I Need" by Motley Crue about a woman dying.
Crew said she didn't ask him a lot about his trials. She said, "I felt he had been asked a lot of questions and he didn't need any more from me." However she did ask him about the DNA under Sarah's nails. Ryan told her that they didn't find the owner of that DNA and they never would.
She said Ryan asked for a photo of her, but a friend told her that she didn't really know this man and needed to be careful, so she sent him a photo of one of her friends to show him what "she looked like". Later she sent another photo, but this one was of her. Ryan told her he drank a lot during football games and she asked him about the kegerator because she didn't know what one was. He told her about it and that Sarah had bought it for him.
They talked about the 911 call and she told him the call sounded funny. He asked her what she meant by "funny" and she said, "When you put the phone down and went into the other room and picked Sarah up, you didn't grunt or groan; she was dead weight." Ryan replied that he was strong.
She said he told her he wasn't happy about Sarah's trip to St. Louis with her mother and grandmother. He told Crew, "What kind of "f***ing newlywed wife leaves her husband to go on a trip with her mother."
He told her about learning to dance for their wedding, and Crew told him Sarah looked very happy in the wedding photos on the freeryanwidmer website.
Looking at her phone records, she said that on Oct. 26, 2009, she had communicated with Ryan several times that day, and received the last text message from him at 9:01 p.m. but her phone records indicated that at 10:06 p.m. he made a phone call to her lasting 45 min to an hour. There was an hour time difference between Ohio and Iowa. "We usually spoke in the evening" she said. The conversation was about 45 minutes to an hour long. She had her phone set with a special ring tone to know when it was him.
"I was already in bed; I believe I had fallen asleep already." Arnold asked if it seemed like the middle of the night when she got the call and she replied that it did. She specifically remembered the day because the next day, Oct. 27th was her youngest daughter's birthday. "Ryan was going to send my daughter an e-card for her birthday. She was expecting that, she is 7."
She said, "The defendant was crying" but she couldn't understand what he was saying. He said he had been drinking. She had told him that she was always there if he wanted to talk so she said, "Ryan, Ryan." He was crying and he was saying some things; He said, "I did it, I did it. I killed Sarah, I did it." She said, "My heart fell; here I had believed this person for so long, and now he's telling me he did it".
She said that at first, she thought what he meant was that he didn't do enough to save her life and she told him that he did all he could, but he replied, "No Jen, listen to me, I did it." She said, "I was shocked. I just didn't know what to do. I just sat there and listened and told him, "I'm here". The conversation lasted 45 min to an hour and there were a lot of times when he was quiet or crying and sobbing, going "uh, uh, uh” She told him "It's okay Ryan, I'm right here."
"Did he tell you anything else?" Arnold asked.
Crew replied that he told her he had cheated on Sarah when she went away with her mom, and Sarah found out about it, but he didn't say how he cheated or who he cheated with.
He told her the argument started in the living room about the porn she found on the computer and then they argued about him cheating on her, his drinking and smoking. She didn't know how Sarah found out but the argument happened on the night Sarah died.
The more they argued, the more he drank, and he had to get away, so he went upstairs and lay down on their bed and started watching the football game. Sarah followed him upstairs and was getting ready for a bath. She came out of the bathroom into the bedroom and told him she couldn't do this anymore, "being married". He pushed her out of the way so he could get off the bed and she pushed him back. Then they moved to the bathroom and Sarah told him the marriage was over and she was leaving him.
Crew said Ryan told her that he told Sarah, "Nobody leaves me, nobody ever leaves me, and I mean nobody." Then he told Crew he punched Sarah in the chest, she fell backwards and hit her head. He knelt down to look at Sarah on the floor and she wasn't breathing. Then he blacked out and when he came to, Sarah's head was wet, she was on the floor and she wasn't breathing. He told her he "cleaned up the water" but didn't tell her how he cleaned it up or what he used.
Arnold asked her why she didn't ask him what he used and she replied, "I thought he just needed somebody to listen. He was freaking out. He knew he had done something he shouldn't have done," she said.
Then he told her he started thinking about how he could cover up what he did. He had watched a detective show called "Forensic Files" that had a crime story about a Mr. and Mrs. Rabinowitz. She wrote it down on a piece of paper on her bedside table because she knew she wouldn't remember, but she didn't take any other notes during the conversation. She put it away first, but after moving and unpacking; she found it and called the prosecutor's office.
He told her he called 911 from his phone but it died so he picked up Sarah's phone and used it to call 911. He told her he didn't give Sarah CPR during the call because he knew she was already dead. He put the phone down and breathed (she made a breathing sound into the microphone) "to make it sound like" he was giving her CPR.
He told her he thought he was a "monster" but she told him, "Ryan, you're not really a monster. You just lost control. I know you really loved Sarah." He started crying and told her he was going to "get in trouble" she said.
When police and EMTs arrived, he was concerned about the trash can flipped over that he forgot to clean up and the dog was going crazy. When he went to the hospital and the nurse asked how he found her and he said, "face up", he knew immediately that he "screwed up" because he told the 911 operator "face down".
He told her he was allowed to go back to his home to get some things before staying at a relative's home. He was in jail during her funeral and Sarah's mom paid for the funeral. She promised him she wouldn't tell anyone and she said he told her, "I hope not, because I wouldn't want you to be where Sarah's at." Arnold asked why she made that promise and she replied, "I told him that throughout all of our conversations."
She said she didn't initially tell the investigators about the threat because they had interrupted her and she lost her train of thought, but she called back later to tell them about it.
She said she went downstairs and told her fiancé about the phone call and he said, “I told you that he f***ing did it." She didn't call the police, because she was scared.
She sent an e-mail to him at 12:45 a.m. on Oct. 27th because she wanted to reassure him that she wouldn't turn him in. "I was afraid for my safety" she said. She sent that email to prosecutors on July 21, 2010. The email started off by saying, "I know that we just got off the phone a little while ago but I was up writing a paper and thought I would shoot you an email." She ended the email with: "Love ya, Jenn". She thought if she emailed him telling him how much his friendship meant to her, he'd believe it.
She continued to call, text and email him. When they first started communicating he had sent her a FreeRyanWidmer T-shirt, bracelet and pin, “So he had my home address" she said.
She sent him a statue with the Serenity Prayer and a wooden rose, which she asked him to put on Sarah's grave. She bought two Bengals outfits for Ryan and his twin brother's birthday. She sent the gifts after the phone call of Oct. 26th because she wanted him to think she was still there for him and she feared for her children's safety.
She eventually stopped communicating with him in Nov. 2009 because, "I couldn't do it anymore." She didn't contact the police because she knew that he knew where she lived and she had promised not to tell anyone.
She didn't attend the trial in May 2010 but in June 2010, she did research on the Internet about the 2nd trial and discovered it was a hung jury. She said she was stunned because she thought the state had enough evidence to convict him but she didn't come forward at that time. She had moved from her previous residence and was no longer using the same cell phone.
She was motivated to finally come forward by Sarah's family. She saw the sadness in Sarah's mom's face and felt sorry for her. "I'm a mom. They needed to know the truth." It was then that she decided to contact the prosecutor's office and spoke with Jason Hilliard. Nothing further.
Cross Exam: Jay Clark
Crew said her first interview with Warren County investigators took place in Cedar Rapids, IA. She talked with them for about an hour and the conversation was recorded.
Clark asked if she remembered telling investigators that her memory wasn't good but she said she didn't recall that. Clark then said, "Let's start with your name". She admitted she had used other names because she was married and divorced twice. Asked about the name Waters or Waterman, she didn't recall that name. "You've used false names to get drugs?" asked Clark.
"To see a doctor, yes," she said. She said she used her fiancé’s last name when she saw a doctor. Clark asked if she used these false names to get more drugs and she replied, "I used a different last name, when I saw a doctor. That is my statement."
He asked why she kept looking at the prosecution's table as she answered his questions. She moved her chair and said "there" facing Clark. She had a sharp, clipped tone to her voice and it was obvious she was already very annoyed with Clark.
She said investigators told her to make notes, so that she would remember to tell them everything when they interviewed her. She said she let them copy her hand-written notes.
Clark then began to ask her about her prior convictions. Theft, theft again, fraudulent practices. She replied "yes" to each one. Clark asked, "Driving while barred--habitual offender?" and she replied, "Yes, I believe that's what my records say." Clark asked if she was convicted of theft again in 2007. "Yes, once again, as I told Mr. Arnold, yes." The judge told her to just answer the question. Clark then asked her about using two different Social Security numbers and she replied that she didn’t recall.
She agreed that she was able to retrieve "sent" emails. Clark asked about the picture she sent to Ryan and she agreed that she didn't tell Ryan she was apprehensive about sending him her picture so she sent a picture of a friend. Asked if she supplied a copy of that email to prosecutors, she replied, "I thought I had". She agreed that she'd recognize the photo that she sent if she saw it. Clark read Crew's e-mail address and Ryan's e-mail address and she agreed that was correct. He then showed her an email sent Oct. 6, 2009 from her to Ryan at 11:28 a.m. A photo is put up on the screen showing a photo of a young girl in her 20's in a white or tan mini skirt, pink tank top, and light brown hair with a white head band and large breasts, holding a beer and standing in a slinky pose. She had a nice tan and her stomach was showing. Crew said she sent it because she was afraid to send her own picture. Clark asked about a conversation she had with Ryan about the beer can, which is a Bud Light, but she said she didn't recall.
Clark asked her about the medications she was taking. She told the investigators that she was on methadone at that time but when Clark asked what she's taking now, she said Benadryl, medicine to sleep at night, and methadone. The investigators asked if she had any mental problems and she told them "No, I've never had any mental issues," but she told them she did have post-partum depression.
She recalled being interviewed in 2000 at some Iowa medical center before entering as a patient. She told someone there that she was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as bi-polar in 1999, but that was later changed. She was treated with Paxil for post-partum depression but didn't think it helped. She told them she thought she needed to see a psychiatrist because she had just come out of a 10-year abusive relationship.
She said she was living with her fiancé Floyd, when she saw the Dateline show in 2009 and they are still living together. She told Floyd about all her conversations with Ryan except for one, but he now knows about it. "Floyd only knows what I tell him" she said. The conversation that she didn't originally tell him about had "sexual innuendo" in it. She said when she talked to Ryan about coming for the trial, Ryan asked her to bring a friend for a 3-way. She didn't tell Floyd specifically about that but he told her, "If you go, you can stay" so she decided not to go.
Clark asked her about an instructor at her community college who had asked her out. She had recognized him as a patron of the bar where she worked. She told Ryan about it and told him she didn't go out with the instructor because he was old--not because he was married or that she had a fiancé. She also told Floyd about the instructor asking her out, and told him she didn't go because he was old with a receding hairline. "He had a worse receding hairline than you have." she told Clark. She said she didn't feel it necessary to tell Ryan that she was engaged because he already knew.
She said she used Oxycontin for five years and is now receiving treatment. Oxycontin and Methadone are in the same family of drugs. She has a methadone counselor at the clinic she is close to, but could not remember her last name when she talked to detectives. When Clark asked the counselor’s last name she said they don't use last names. She told her counselor about Ryan's confession phone call around the end of October or beginning of November but forgot to tell investigators that she told her counselor.
Clark asked how long she had been here and she stopped, looked at the judge and said, "Do I have to answer that?" The judge told her to answer so she replied that she had been in town since about a week ago Saturday. Clark then asked how many times she met with prosecutors to prepare for her testimony and she said twice and she gave prosecutors permission to talk to her counselor.
Clark asked her if she knew the counselor had nothing in her notes about the confession phone call but Arnold objected/sustained. Clark asked if her counselor was here and Arnold objected/sustained. After a different line of questioning, Crew agreed that in order to improve her recovery, the counselor told her that she had to "stop lying, stop embellishing" and "stop interjecting" herself into other people's situations. Arnold objected again/sustained.
Clark asked her about the personal information she posted on the freeryanwider web site including her birth date, location, email address and that she was a pre-law student in school. She said she didn't recall telling anyone she was a pre-law student. She said she is studying criminal justice and drug dependency. Clark then showed her a copy of her profile when she registered at FreeRyanWidmer.com on Sept. 18, 2009 at 9:04 p.m. (the night that Dateline aired). Clark asked if it started at 8 p.m. in Iowa and stopped at 9:00 p.m. but she said she didn't remember. In the "about me" field, it said Sept. 29 was her birthday, she's from Cedar Rapids and her email address is there and she entered "I'm a full-time college student in a pre-law program". She agreed that she did put that she was in a pre-law program because the classes she was taking at the time would get her into a pre-law program.
She didn't remember where she heard about the pornography on the computer but it might have been on the news, the Dateline program, she read it online or learned about it from talking to Ryan. She agreed Ryan didn't tell her when or how Sarah found out about the pornography, or the cheating. She agreed she told investigators that Sarah went to Chicago on her trip with her mother, but later remembered St. Louis. Clark asked, "You got St. Louis and Chicago confused?" and she replied "Yes".
Clark asked if the first date information was on Dateline and she said yes, but Ryan told her the details about the date book scenario. Clark then read the transcript from the show where Dana Kist told about the date book scenario and it mirrored what she said Ryan told her. She said, "He told me that", but agreed that it might have been on Dateline too.
Clark asked if she knew Dana Kist told Dateline that Ryan agreed to take ballroom dancing lessons for the wedding. She replied, "I don't recall the entire show... I was up with my children, I did not watch every single second of that show." She said she did not record it.
She said detectives and prosecutors made trips to Iowa in May, August, and December of 2010 to interview her. She gave her statement under oath and signed it. Clark asked if that was at the Rapid City Police Department and she replied rudely, "It was Cedar Rapids; there is no Rapid City, Iowa, that I'm aware of." "Fair enough," Clark replied.
Crew said she didn't tell investigators initially about the statement Ryan made, "I don't want you to end up like Sarah". She said they asked another question and she got "sidetracked" and forgot to tell them, but when she remembered later she told them. She recalled telling investigators that Ryan said he told Sarah, "No one leaves me, I mean no one." "That is what he said", she insisted and Clark reminded her that the interview was recorded. Clark handed her a transcript of the interview and asked her to find herself telling investigators about the "no one leaves me" comment. As she asked what page it was on, Arnold objected. After a bench conference, Arnold asked the court to establish that the statement was not in the transcript. Judge Bronson told the jury to accept that it wasn't there and Crew was willing to accept that it wasn't there, but Crew added, "I thought I did" tell investigators that he said 'no one leaves me'. She continued, "On here it says to call with any further questions, and that's what I did".
Clark handed some papers to Crew which she said were the notes she wrote before meeting with investigators. Clark called her attention to the fact that nowhere is it written, "I hope not, I wouldn't want you to end up where Sarah is..." She replied that this was not her formal statement, it was just from her own memory. Clark asked, "So it's not in there?" Crew replied, "No, it's not in there." Clark asked again, "No one, no one leaves me..." in the notes? "No, it was "stuck in my head" she replied to Clark. She said those two statements made her afraid. When Clark asked her why, she didn't answer.
She identified the affidavit of her witness statement which was signed and notarized August 24, 2010. She said that was the second time investigators came to Iowa. She then called the investigators soon after that meeting to tell them about the two statements.
Clark put the highlighted phone records on the overhead screen and asked her about the orange highlighted number on p. 19. She told investigators that the call came in the middle of the night around 2 or 3 a.m. but admitted that the call was earlier. She was confused about the time because she was asleep. When she received her phone records, she saw that the call actually came at 11:06 p.m. She also told investigators that the call was 1 to 1 1/2 hours long but after looking at her phone records, Clark asked if she changed the time to 45 minutes. "It was an hour long," she insisted.
She agreed she never told investigators the date of the call, even though she testified earlier the date was significant because it was the day before her daughter's birthday. She replied that investigators never asked her the date but Clark pointed out that when she first met with investigators, she said she couldn't remember the date of the call. "I remembered the date." she insisted. Clark replied, "But you didn't tell them?" Asking to look at the phone records she started rubbing her head and replied, "I wasn't asked when the call occurred."
Looking at the phone records, she found a call from her to Ryan on Oct. 29, 2009 for 175 seconds. She agreed the call occurred before Ryan's Nov.3rd birthday, and she sent him a gift. Clark noted on the phone records that between Oct. 14-28, there was no phone call between 1-5 a.m. from anyone and not a single phone call that lasted 1 1/2 hrs. Crew replied that she told investigators her grandfather was sick, and she thought something happened to him between 2 and 3 a.m. But she knew it was Ryan before she answered because she had a special ringtone for his calls. "I know what day he confessed he killed wife" she insisted, and she said she knew she told investigators the date. Clark asked if she wanted to watch the video interview to refresh her memory. She repeated that she didn't give the date of the call during the interview; she called investigators later and told them the date that he confessed to her. "I stated that earlier." she said.
She told investigators in the interview that she didn't see Ryan's phone number appear in her phone; the call was from a blocked number. She had stated earlier that Ryan had a unique ringtone, but she didn't see the number. Clark asked if the call was from a blocked number, how would his ringtone go off? She replied that her 16-yr-old son "messes" with her and changes ringtones on her phone. Clark asked the question again, and the judge told her to answer the question. She replied, "The way I had the phone personally set up? No."
Clark asked if she told the investigators twice that she is a "very honest person." She said yes, she is.
Clark asked about an email she sent to Ryan on Oct. 27th, the day after the confession; was it an effort to show that she was still supportive? She said she sent that about an hour after the phone call because she feared for her safety.
Clark asked her to turn to page 19 in the phone records she was holding and asked her how many texts she sent to Ryan in the 24 hours after the phone call.. She said her daughter and niece sent one to Ryan asking about the e-card. Clark displayed the phone records, and pointed out the blue highlighted messages. On Oct 27th, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. she sent approximately 20 texts. Ryan sent 6 back during that time period.
She said her daughter didn't receive the e-card and she was trying to sort it out with Ryan. There was a total of 51 text message on the 2nd page of the records. Clark asked if 26 to 30 are from her to him. She said she would have to count them so they both counted and found 39 were from her. 9:34 p.m. was the first message; 11:02 p.m. was the last. She agreed that in an hour and a half she sent 39 of the 51 text messages.
Clark asked, if the call came in around 11 p.m. on Oct. 26th, and was an hour long did she send 51 text messages in the 24 hour period after the call? "This wasn't your 16-year-old pranking you was it?" She replied, "No, my 16-yr-old would never text Ryan."
She said she remained in contact with Ryan the same as before the call, when he "confessed" to her. She told investigators that around Thanksgiving or the end of November or beginning of December their communication ended. Her last five texts to him were on Dec. 2 from 11:08 a.m. to 12:08 p.m. There was no response from Ryan. "We decided that we wouldn't have any further communication." she said.
Asked about her notes she wrote before speaking with investigators on June 17, 2010 Clark said there was no reference to the Motley Crue song she mentioned earlier and she agreed.
She agreed she told investigators that she recognized Ryan's voice from Dateline, but Clark reminded her that on direct exam she said from Dateline and the 911 call but there's nothing in her notes or the interview that mentioned the 911 call. She said she remembered from Dateline that Ryan made a statement to the judge: "If he knew what happened to his wife, he would tell." "Did he say he loved his wife?" Clark asked. Do you recall him saying that on Dateline? She replied she didn't recall.
Clark said she testified that Ryan told her Sarah was leaving him, but that wasn't in her interview transcripts. She replied that she did tell them about the argument but doesn't recall the specifics of her statement. She replied, "I was visibly upset [at the time of the interview], I was shaken..." She was upset telling them about a man "killing his wife." She was not asked about "every conversation" that she had with Ryan the day of the interview. She just hoped that Sarah's family would finally get some closure and know the truth. She agreed that she wanted to give investigators all the details she had because she didn't know what was important. "To be open, honest, and truthful with them?" Clark asked. "Did you tell investigators that Ryan punched her in the chest?" "I don't recall. I was very upset", she replied.
She agreed she testified that Ryan told her he cleaned up the water, but didn't tell her what he used or what he did with the items he cleaned up with. Clark said that in her interview, she told investigators that Ryan told her he hid or got rid of the items but he didn't say where. "He didn't tell me where he put them. He didn't tell me if he stuffed them in a ceiling vent. Obviously he didn't leave them in a pile for the detectives to find." she said.
She wrote down the name "Forensic Files" as the show Ryan told her he watched. She didn't tell that to investigators initially, but told them she wrote it down and she later turned it over to them. Clark asked if the note was dated or signed and she replied "No".
She agreed she testified that Ryan said he ran downstairs to secure the house. She didn't tell investigators this or write it in her notes. After the "confession" phone call she wasn't sure if she went downstairs and told Floyd about it. Clark asked if she had time to review Floyd's statement to investigators and she said no.
She testified that Ryan was freaking out about the trash can being dumped on the bathroom floor and he was upset for not remembering to clean it up, but agreed there was nothing in her notes or her interview statement about that. She said she wrote her notes as she had time to remember. She wrote "brief" things; she didn't think she needed to tell them about everything she and Ryan had discussed.
Clark handed her the "notes" she wrote and she said there were just over 8 pages. They were written in a spiral notebook and Clark asked if every page was full. She said she skipped a couple lines so every page wasn't full.
Clark asked about her level of concentration to the Dateline program and she replied, "I didn't watch every single part of it". He then asked if she saw Ryan's statement to the judge. She said she saw that in full, but her daughter was speaking to her during other parts. "I had some distractions in my house, but I could hear his voice."
Clark showed Crew an email and asked her to verify that the email address is hers. It's dated Oct. 27, 2009 and the time is 12:45 a.m. Iowa time. She sent him an email stating that she still supported him. She told him she was writing a paper, but admitted that she was not. She sent the email to convince Ryan that she still supported him.
"You make me smile on the days when I think that there is absolutely nothing to smile about and then I talk to you and there I am smiling at something you say or do. I know sometimes my texts drive you nuts but at least you know you are on my mind. LOL!! You have touched my heart in a way that few people outside of relationships ever has."
She told him that he is a great person and she would trust him with her life and her children's lives. "I can't wait to meet you in person finally and collect all those bets.LOL."
"Love ya, Jenn"
Clark asked if her comment about her texts driving him nuts were because of the number of texts she sent and she replied ""No, because of the way I text. (In short bits) He always asked me to just say it all at once." In regards to the comment about collecting bets, she said she and Ryan would make bets on football, and she kept the tally of who was winning.
Clark asked her about a different e-mail where she said she was afraid she'd lost him because of something stupid she said. She said this was because of the sexually explicit phone conversation.
She sent him a statue with the Serenity Prayer, before the phone call. After the phone call she sent him birthday gifts. She received the T-shirt, bracelet and pin from him in late Sept. or early Oct.
Clark proceeded by asking a lot of unrelated questions.
The Email on Oct. 27 was sent about an hour after their phone call? She agreed.
Was she aware the 2nd trial in May 2010 ended with a hung jury? She said she didn't read the information but saw Sarah's mom's face.
From the Dateline story did she know the evidence from the 1st trial? Did she see the news reports when the attorneys were interviewed? She closed her eyes and said, "I don't get the local media here in Iowa." She got the information from the FreeRyanWidmer.com site.
She forgot to tell investigators about Ryan's threat because her train of thought was interrupted in the interview? "Yes, I was upset".
Investigators asked her twice if she had anything further. She couldn't think of anything at that time.
In the interview she told investigators that Ryan pushed Sarah and she pushed him back. Today she said Ryan punched her? She said no, Ryan pushed Sarah in an attempt to get off the bed and then punched her in the bathroom.
She said that Ryan told her he secured the downstairs during the 911 call because the operator told him to do that? "Yes".
The birthday present was ordered for Ryan before the "confession" phone call? She picked it up from the store. It was returned as "undeliverable"? Yes, because she sent it to the wrong address, used the wrong ZIP code.
She couldn't retrieve the instant messages between her and Ryan? Yes. They aren't saved? Correct. Text messages are saved, but not the content? Correct.
One of the issues that Ryan talked to her about was financial and how much Sarah spent? She agreed. Did she know Sarah made more money than Ryan? She never asked.
She had told Ryan that the 911 call sounded funny. Did she know where he laid the phone down? No. Did she know how he laid it down? No because she didn't know the shape of the phone.
Ryan told her that he used Sarah's phone because his phone died? Yes. Did you know on the way to the hospital, he tried to call Sarah's mom 5 times with his phone? No.
He said to her, how could a wife leave her newlywed husband to go on a trip with her mom? Why wasn't that in her notes from the interview? She didn't think she had to tell them everything they said to each other.
Ryan told her, that he knew "he screwed up" about his statement to the nurse and the 911 operator regarding finding Sarah Face up - Face down but it wasn't in her notes and wasn't said in the interview? She insisted it was. Clark asked if she'd like to review the transcripts. Arnold stated for her that it is not in the transcripts.
Did she know that Ryan had to work the weekend that Sarah was out of town and that's why he didn't go along? She didn't know that.
She told people after Dateline that she couldn't believe he was convicted by a jury with the evidence given? Yes, but then she learned other things, the truth. She was stunned after the hung jury because she thought the state had enough evidence to convict. "So you studied the case?" Clark asked. She said she did some reading.
Clark asked about her medication/methadone program. She has been on methadone for 3 years and could be on it her whole life, but it's based on how she reacts to being weaned off of it. She's been on Oxycontin for 5 year and methadone for three? She admits she's on it by choice.
When she entered the program in March 2010 she took an intake survey at that time. Did she list her listening skills as 8 out of 10 on most days? She didn't recall that question but admitted she must have written that. She blacked out in the past and would forget what people told her. At the time she took that survey she was "using". "My memory is not what it used to be," she said on the form. She said it was her "thought pattern" during the time she was using, but she's not the same now. "My concentration is like a 2-yr-old most of the time."
She answered on the form that she "bought pills" from people and used false names? Yes, during an AA homework assignment, she had to talk about anything illegal she may have done in regards to drugs and alcohol. Nothing further.
Re-Direct: John Arnold
Referring to the survey that Clark just asked her about, she said she went into the program because she wanted to get better. The items she agreed to that Clark asked about were not true in 2009 she says.
In regards to not giving all her information during the interview, she said she understood the first interview to be a "preliminary" interview and that she would be interviewed again.
Arnold asks if she told the investigators about all the personal details she knew about Sarah, like her nickname? No.
Handing her some papers, Arnold asked her to turn to page 3. She read from her interview transcript:
"He shared that she loved shoes... she teased him that Sarah would be mad that he sold them so cheap."
"She came into the bedroom, where the fight got heated. She said that the marriage was over, she had enough."
"He said that he recalled the detective show that he had watched about a woman that drowned in the tub, her husband cleaned up the mess, hid the towels and called 911. The story was called "Summer Obsession".
Arnold: You knew that the interview was in Cedar Rapids not Rapid City? Crew: "I knew where I was... I think the detective was confused where he was."
She stated that she was not using Oxycontin while she gave her statement to investigators. Nothing further.
Re Cross: Jay Clark
Was it her personal decision to enter drug rehab? She said she's been in the program for three years. Was it her decision to go to the treatment center because of her June 2007 theft conviction? "Absolutely not." She started talking to Ryan before she went into treatment.
She has not seen "Summer Obsession" and doesn't know the accuracy of what Ryan told her about the show? "I was asked to tell what Ryan told me and that is what I intend to do", she replied.
Did she know the story was about a man poisoning his wife and then trying to hide it by putting her in the tub? He did not tell her that, she said.