Alaska State Trooper Ryan Anderson illustrates how Duilio Antonio “Tony” Rosales’ boots were arranged when Anderson found Rosales deceased at an Excursion Inlet cabin in 2016. Anderson is a witness in the trial of Mark De Simone, who is accused of shooting and killing Rosales. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Alaska State Trooper Ryan Anderson illustrates how Duilio Antonio “Tony” Rosales’ boots were arranged when Anderson found Rosales deceased at an Excursion Inlet cabin in 2016. Anderson is a witness in the trial of Mark De Simone, who is accused of shooting and killing Rosales. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Live blog: Murder trial of Mark De Simone

The Empire will be at the Mark De Simone murder trial every day, providing live coverage from the courtroom. Bookmark this page and keep checking back for updates.

Thursday, May 11 — 9:30 a.m.

The jury finds Mark De Simone guilty of first-degree murder. No major reaction on his part. Rosales’ friends and family embrace each other, many of them in tears. The verdict comes nearly two years to the day after Rosales was shot and killed.

Read our story from the verdict, with quotes from Rosales’ widow Maria Gonzalez

 

Thursday, May 11 — 9:15 a.m.

Verdict is in. They’re bringing De Simone into the courthouse now.

Thursday, May 10 — 4:34 p.m.

There will be no verdict today.

The jury broke a few minutes ago, the bailiff announced to us here outside the courtroom. The jury will return to its deliberations at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

Read today’s story about closing arguments here

Thursday, May 10 — 3:55 p.m.

There have been a couple questions from the jury this afternoon as the jurors start to dig into deliberations. At around 1:30 p.m., they asked Pallenberg for more clarification on how exactly to define “intent,” and Pallenberg said a person acts intentionally in relation to a result (in this case, the death of Rosales) “when a person’s conscious objective is to cause that result.”

For what it’s worth here, the definition of first-degree murder, according to the indictment, is if someone “intentionally caused the death of another person.”

About two hours after that, the jury sent Pallenberg a note asking for more clarification about the words “conduct” and “substantially certain.” Pallenberg and both attorneys agree to tell the jurors to use their own common-sense definitions of these words.

These words, Pallenberg points out, appear in the definition of second-degree murder, which is “with intent to cause serious physical injury to another person or knowing that the conduct was substantially certain to cause death or serious injury to another person.”

There’s silence in the courtroom as the attorneys and Pallenberg all do research into whether these terms have been defined in past cases. Breaking this silence is a large bout of laughter coming from the jury room.

”They’re getting rowdy,” Paige whispers to Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Matthew Hightower, who’s seated next to Paige.

Pallenberg writes back to the jury saying these words are not defined by any previous case law: “You should interpret them according to their common meaning,” he writes.

Thursday, May 10 — 10:35 a.m.

With that, the closing arguments are finished (a couple photos in the embedded tweet below). For what it’s worth, Rosales’ friends and family left the courtroom when Macaulay started talking. They’ve consistently left the room during Macaulay’s statements throughout the trial.

At long last, this case is heading to the jury. Twelve of them will head back into the jury room and begin to deliberate. They are allowed to go until 5 p.m., Pallenberg says. If they don’t reach a verdict by then, he says, they come back at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

Thursday, May 10 — 10:30 a.m.

Paige returns to the point of the gun’s safety.

”The defense is making this out to be a gun looking for an accident,” Paige says. “No, this is a murder looking for an accident.”

Thursday, May 10 — 10:25 a.m.

Paige says the gunshots weren’t nearly as close together as the defense would like the jurors to think. Macaulay said a couple times during her closing argument that the shots went off in quick succession (“boom boom”), Paige points out.

Paige says multiple witnesses testified to a gap between the two gunshots. Lisa Szybura, a neighbor in Excursion Inlet, testified that she took three or four steps between the two sounds of the gunshots.

”The evidence is there was plenty of time,” Paige says. “Boom…boom.”

Thursday, May 10 — 10:18 a.m.

Macaulay brings up the point that one of the state’s biggest arguments is that the gun had to be cocked, fired, cocked again and fired again. If it were a different gun, she says, this would be a totally different situation.

“If this weren’t a single-action revolver, this would be a tragedy, not a murder accusation,” Paige says.

Macaulay also points out that no witness could find any reason for conflict between the two men.

”The lack of a reason is a gaping hole in the state’s case,” Macaulay says.

Thursday, May 10 — 10:07 a.m.

Macualay repeating that she and the prosecution don’t disagree on much. Macaulay says they agree on the who, what, where and when but disagree on the how and why. Two years after the death, she says, there still isn’t a “why” in this case.

As you might expect, Macaulay talks at length about Sam Bradshaw’s inconsistent testimony. He seems to be a “results-driven” witness, Macaulay points out. Two years later, there’s still no resolution. There’s a grieving family, Macaulay points out, and there’s no resolution. Perhaps Bradshaw wants to help them get some relief and justice, Macaulay suggests.

Macaulay points out that Sam Bradshaw is the only witness who said he thought De Simone’s demeanor changed when he learned Rosales was coming. The prosecution’s key witness, Macaulay points out, is also the one with the least reliable testimony.

Thursday, May 10 — 10:02 a.m.

”He sought a gun and he found it,” Paige says. “He cocked the hammer once, aimed to the back of Mr. Rosales’s head when Mr. Rosales was unaware, and fired. He re-aimed, cocked the hammer again and fired again.”

Paige says the evidence shows that De Simone killed Rosales, and that it shows that De Simone did it intentionally. With that, she asks the jury to find him guilty of first-degree murder.

Thursday, May 10 — 9:55 a.m.

Paige reflecting on the testimony of her key witness, Sam Bradshaw. Bradshaw testified that De Simone’s demeanor changed when it was learned Rosales was joining them on the trip.

Bradshaw also testified that De Simone asked his father Kevin Bradshaw for a gun, but only for “the weekend,” which is when Rosales was scheduled to arrive.

Paige addressing the fact that Bradshaw’s testimony was in question, that Bradshaw had a memory of talking to troopers when troopers refuted that testimony. Bradshaw testified that he had called Trooper Ryan Anderson to tell him another detail he remembered from the day of the shooting. Anderson says he never got that call.

Paige says Bradshaw had nothing to gain or lose in this case, and thus shouldn’t be treated as an unreliable witness.

Paige goes on to talk about De Simone’s demeanor afterward, which was unusually calm. De Simone didn’t offer to help, he didn’t check on Rosales, didn’t offer to call for help, Paige says, and calmly chatted about his recipe for gravy instead, as you’ll recall.

Thursday, May 10 — 9:47 a.m.

The defense’s case that the gun could have fired, Paige says, is one based totally on conjecture. She points out that the experts brought to the stand by the defense were given very little information about this specific case. They based their testimony more on ideas than facts, Paige says.

“Their testimony has zero relevance,” Paige said, because they were just speaking theoretically instead of about this specific case.

Thursday, May 10 — 9:40 a.m.

Paige talks at length about the safety of the gun — the Ruger .41 Magnum Blackhawk revolver. She points out that Vince Bengston, an experienced gunman, said he carried the gun with him on the trip because he trusted the gun and he wanted to use it for protection from bears.

Paige brings up the fact that De Simone fired it five times on the day he shot at the marten, and that Bengston testified that the gun was firing as it should. Then firearms expert Debra Gillis tested the gun three times, Paige says, and found it to work as expected.

”At least seven shots fired with this weapon that were as expected,” Paige says.

Part of the defense’s case, as you’ll recall, is that the gun was not properly updated and was old, so there’s a possibility it could have misfired.

Thursday, May 10 — 9:28 a.m.

Pallenberg instructs the jury that motive is not a factor in the case. It is more about intention, not motive, he says.

“When a person acts intentionally, that person acts knowingly,” Pallenberg reads.

He also says the jurors are not to discuss why they think De Simone did not testify in this case. Pallenberg says the defendant always has the right not to testify and jurors should not speculate as to why.

The jurors will get these instructions in writing, but they’re still listening intently, it appears. One juror is stroking his long, gray beard as Pallenberg reads the instructions.

Paige begins her closing argument the same way she began her opening statement.

“Two shots,” she says. “Two shots to the back of the head.”

There’s no doubt, she says, that De Simone pulled the trigger. The defense is not debating that, as you’ll recall.

Thursday, May 10 — 9:20 a.m.

Prior to jury instructions, Paige and Pallenberg had a lengthy back-and-forth about the five levels of homicide that are charged in this case. The discussion was basically about whether these are all included charges or whether the jury can find De Simone guilty on some of the counts and not guilty on others.

Pallenberg reads the instructions to the jury, walking the jurors through the five charges. He explains the first charge (first-degree murder) includes the lesser offenses below it. He says they’re not to return a verdict on the lower charges unless they find a “not guilty” verdict on the more extreme charges. It’s a little confusing when read aloud, Pallenberg acknowledges, but it’s a little easier to understand when it’s in writing.

Thursday, May 10 — 8:40 a.m.

Closing arguments are expected to start shortly. Pallenberg said he wanted to start “promptly” at 8:30 a.m. this morning, instructing the jurors to be here at 8:15. De Simone just arrived and we’re about to get started.

Wednesday, May 9 — 1:55 p.m.

Very brief testimony from Kendrick. Macaulay asks him if he tried to simulate the gun going off twice in a row, and he says he did it last night with live rounds.

Kendrick says the test went like this: He loaded the gun on an empty cylinder, with his hand over top of the gun. He closed his eyes to simulate being startled, put his thumb on the hammer and squeezed the trigger. The gun went off, recoiled, and he says his hand caught. The gun went off again, he says.

He says did this about six times, and five of the times it went this way.

Paige cross-examines him.

“You can’t (fully) simulate it, can you?” she asks.

“Not 100 percent,” he says.

I thought Kendrick’s testimony was short, but Gillis was only on the stand for about 80 seconds.

Paige asks Gillis if Kendrick’s testimony changed her mind about the possibility of this double-shot happening being “ridiculous.”

Gillis says her opinion is unchanged. She says it sounds like a “trickster-style shot” that only an experienced gunman would be able to pull it off. Macaulay has no cross-examination for Gillis.

That wraps up the testimony in this case. Pallenberg says they’ll start promptly at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow with jury instructions and closing arguments. Then the case will go to the jury.

Wednesday, May 9 — 1:37 p.m.

It sounds more likely we’ll get to closing arguments tomorrow morning instead of this afternoon. Pallenberg says he doesn’t want to continue to draw this out for the jurors but he says he knows it’s more important to do everything they can to make this a fair trial.

“I’m aware that the stakes are enormous,” Pallenberg says.

And with that, Kendrick strides to the front of the courtroom once again. I believe Paige said they were able to get Gillis off her 1 p.m. flight to be here again. Around and around we go.

Wednesday, May 9 — 12:05 p.m.

Kendrick might be coming back. Macaulay says he’s going to come back and respond to some of Gillis’ claims about specifics about the gun. Macaulay is also hoping to show a video her team recorded last night of Kendrick conducting the same demonstration he did for the jury today (when he didn’t have a loaded gun).

”I just don’t want the last thing the jury hears is that my defense is ‘ridiculous,’” Macaulay says.

Wednesday, May 9 — 11:50 a.m.

Gillis steps down after about 20 minutes of cross-examination and re-direct examination, and that should do it for witness testimony in this case. There’s a chance Kendrick comes back in, Pallenberg says.

Most of cross-examination was going back through the specifics of the inner-workings of the revolver. Once Paige had the floor again, she asked more about Gillis’ evaluation that multiple of Enoka’s factors could play a role in this shooting as “ridiculous.”

Gillis says she couldn’t picture that happening in a real-life scenario. She said having two shots in the span of a second or so (as Kendrick demonstrated) could probably only be done by someone with “vast experience with guns.”

Wednesday, May 9 — 11:15 a.m.

Gillis is asked to talk about the idea of recoil. She says a person would likely fire 30-45 degrees above their first shot due to the recoil. To shoot accurately (and the two bullets in Rosales’ head were in almost the same location) a person would have to take their time, she says.

In reference to Kendrick’s presentation, Gillis says she thought Kendrick was holding the gun in a strange way, with his hand over the cylinders. He might have gotten burnt due to holding it that way, Gillis said, and would have at least gotten soot on his clothes. If I recall correctly, there was no soot or residue on De Simone’s clothes.

Gillis is asked about the Enoka factors, and whether multiple factors could have combined in this case. To be both startled and to have a sympathetic reaction of one hand reacting to the other (both hands squeezing at once), Gillis says that when she first heard this theory from the defense, she thought it was “ridiculous.”

Wednesday, May 9 — 10:50 a.m.

Debra Gillis is back on the stand. She’s talking about the history of the Ruger Blackhawk. She says it was discontinued in 1972. In reference to the safety update Kendrick talked about yesterday, she says it was not a requirement.

If you’ll recall, Kendrick said this gun requires a user to put pressure on the trigger as he or she eases the hammer down. The hammer could then slip and hit the firing pin, which would likely fire the gun.

An update was available to owners, Kendrick said (and Gillis says today), where there could be a bar put between the hammer and firing pin that would prevent the gun from going off in the case of the hammer slipping. The firearm in question was not updated.

Gillis says this doesn’t necessarily make the gun unsafe, but it would have been safer with the safety bar. She equates it to an airbag being put in a car.

“The vehicle was safe before the airbags,” Gillis says, “but after the airbags, it was safer.”

Wednesday, May 9 — 9:55 a.m.

Pallenberg turns to De Simone and tells him this is basically his last chance to testify, as the defense is going to rest now. Macaulay says she intends to rest after Paige’s rebuttal with Gillis.

Pallenberg asks De Simone if it’s his desire not to testify, and that prompts De Simone to speak for the first time this trial.

“Yes it is,” De Simone says.

So that’s that. We won’t be hearing Mark De Simone testify.

Wednesday, May 9 — 9:50 a.m.

Paige asks Kendrick if a person could have fired the gun at someone’s head, cock it again and fire it again. Kendrick says it’s possible.

Paige points at Kendrick as she does so and accentuates each word with thrusting her index finger at him.

“In other words, this gun could have operated exactly as it was supposed to, is that right?”

”Yes,” Kendrick says.

With that, Paige wraps up her cross-examination.

Wednesday, May 9 — 9:18 a.m.

Kendrick does his demonstration, showing that it’s possible for the gun to accidentally fire twice in a row.

He says the gun could recoil after the first shot, climbing upward. He demonstrates that a person might then try and stop the gun but accidentally re-cock the gun. With the finger still on the trigger from the first shot, and with Kendrick’s earlier demonstration of how a startled person might squeeze their hand it suggests a person could squeeze the trigger again.

Paige cross-examines Kendrick, asking about Kendrick’s experience with the case. Kendrick says he didn’t investigate this case, and never test-fired the weapon involved in the case.

Using the Enoka factors depends on the person, the circumstances, the gun, the surroundings, distractions, Paige points out, and Kendrick agrees.

“You don’t have any information about those things?” Paige asks in reference to the case.

“I don’t,” Kendrick says.

Wednesday, May 9 — 9:18 a.m.

Pallenberg repeats his hope to have the trial go to the jury today. He says we might end up going until 4:30 p.m. today instead of 2 p.m. to do testimony in the morning, a lunch break at noon and closing arguments in the afternoon.

Kendrick retakes the stand.

Wednesday, May 9 — 8:55 a.m.

Paige starts the day by saying Gillis came to two findings yesterday. Gillis said there’s no safe way to replicate Kendrick’s demonstration, and she said she doesn’t think there’s a scientific way to replicate it. With that in mind, Paige said, they are ready to continue with this today.

So we’re back on. Kendrick will take the stand again within the next half hour or so.

Tuesday, May 8 — 1:55 p.m.

Well folks, this trial might not be going to the jury tomorrow after all.

Pallenberg grants the prosecution a continuance of unknown length to let Gillis conduct her own testing in response to Kendrick’s testimony. Paige and Gillis both say they need to talk more to determine just how long they’ll need. There’s a possibility Gillis will have to go up to Anchorage for it, Paige says.

It’s the end of the day anyway, so they adjourn for the day. Paige and Gillis will meet this afternoon and will tell the court at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow how much time they think they’ll need.

“I don’t want to make this jury wait around,” Pallenberg says.

They’ll certainly be waiting. It’s just a question of how long.

Tuesday, May 8 — 1:28 p.m.

Pallenberg says he listened back to the hearing last Thursday and says it sounds like he made it clear he thought that was going to be the demonstration that would happen in court.

Macaulay said in an earlier statement that she would seek to show that it was possible for the gun to fire twice unintentionally, as Pallenberg has read from the record.

“That opinion was disclosed,” Pallenberg says. “The demonstration wasn’t disclosed.”

Paige is still pretty fired up, calling this “entirely new” evidence. She was able to snag Debra Gillis, who was the ballistics specialist who testified last week, and Paige says she hopes she can get Gillis to provide a response to this. Gillis doesn’t have much of an opportunity to conduct tests on a shooting range or in the crime lab in Anchorage, Paige says.

“Now here we are,” Paige says “(Kendrick)’s already started testifying to it and the state has no meaningful way to respond.”

Macaulay says she doesn’t have to “spoon feed” her defense to the state. Pallenberg still says he believes Macaulay needed to provide more notice. The question is, what to do about it?

“I’m concerned that if I don’t allow this I’m carving the heart out of the defense’s case,” Pallenberg says.

Pallenberg wants to figure out a way to have Gillis find a way to respond to this, maybe by taking the gun to the range. Paige says Gillis needs to do something more detailed, and will need more than just a day to test this theory.

Then Kendrick does the demonstration for Gillis (below).

 

 

Tuesday, May 8 — 12:45 p.m.

Paige is asserting that she has not seen this full demonstration, and did not have notice that Kendrick was going to demonstrate how the gun could have fired twice.

Kendrick demonstrates that the recoil of the gun can cause a person to accidentally cock the hammer again and fire very rapidly. Paige says this is the first time she’s seen this, and Pallenberg agrees.

During the demonstration for Paige and Pallenberg last week, Kendrick just loaded the gun and shot it at the ground for them. Macaulay said she was under the impression that this exercise was merely to make sure it was safe to do this in the courtroom, and that she didn’t need to give all the details of the specific demonstrations.

Pallenberg is visibly frustrated, saying he feels that Macaulay hid her true intent with this demonstration.

“I think there was some gamesmanship that was going on,” Pallenberg says.

He’ll take a break and consider whether to allow this demonstration.

“It seems clear to me that there was an intent to hide the ball,” he says. “With that, we’re going off the record.”

He heads back to his chambers. Could be a lengthy break.

Tuesday, May 8 — 12:25 p.m.

Now we’re getting into the teeth of Macaulay’s case. The gun in question, Kendrick says, is from 1972. There was a recall for the Blackhawk, Kendrick says, which would have made it safer to view the cylinders.

He explains that with this kind of gun, to examine the cylinder (like to see if the gun is loaded) you have to pull the hammer halfway back. To put the hammer back down, he demonstrates, the person has to cock the hammer fully back, then put pressure on the trigger and then ease the hammer back down.

In this case, Kendrick explains, there is now a live round in the chamber if the gun was “set on an empty chamber,” as Bengston said the Blackhawk was last week. It’s “common,” Kendrick says, for the hammer to “slip” and hitting the firing pin and firing the gun.

Kendrick says there was an update to this gun that put a bar between the hammer and the firing pin. The specific gun in this case, Kendrick says, was not updated.

Macaulay asks Kendrick if there’s a way for the gun to fire a second time.

“Unfortunately,” he says, “there is.”

Paige objects to this line of questioning, and the jury is sent out. They’re now talking about whether the defense gave enough detail to the prosecution about this demonstration for this to be fair.

Tuesday, May 8 — 12:10 p.m.

Kendrick has done a couple demonstrations, first about how easy it is to get startled and pull a trigger and then about how a single-action revolver works. A couple photos from Twitter:

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, May 8 — 11:10 a.m.

Chad Kendrick of Taku Tactical is on the stand now, testifying about gun safety. He says he teaches Enoka’s theories to his trainees because those factors can have a large effect on a person’s shot.

“Any of these are really commonplace in the real world,” Kendrick says.

Now, he’s about to do a demonstration for the jury about gun training and safety.

Tuesday, May 8 — 10:05 a.m.

Under cross examination, Paige peppers Enoka with questions about his studies and his knowledge about this current case. She points out that Enoka didn’t actually conduct studies about this, that he just studied the studies and reached conclusions about them, and he agrees.

Enoka also admits that he knows very little about this case, which Paige says is important. She reflects back on her earlier interview with Enoka, where Enoka told her there are a number of factors that go into these unintentional gunshot scenarios.

Age, coordination and even sex are factors in a shooting, Paige says Enoka told her in that interview. Enoka says he doesn’t know the defendant’s age and does not know a great deal about the circumstances of the shooting.

Enoka’s knowledge of this case is limited, he says, as he read the grand jury report and read one document about the gun’s trigger pull (the amount of pressure it takes to pull the trigger). But that’s where his knowledge ends.

In other words, Paige is pointing out, each scenario is different and it’s difficult to apply these factors to every scenario where someone fires a gun.

Enoka did not conduct a study on this particular case, he says, and did not reach a conclusion about whether the gunshot was intentional. Paige points out that every time Enoka does testify in a case, he concludes that a gunshot is unintentional. Enoka responds, saying he chooses which cases to evaluate based on the conditions. If a case does not seem to him like it involved an unintentional gunshot, he says, he doesn’t provide an opinion.

Tuesday, May 8 — 9:50 a.m.

Really interesting testimony here, with Enoka explaining scenarios where someone might accidentally fire a gun. He said he was working at the University of Arizona (he’s now at the University of Colorado) when a firearm expert approached him to ask a favor. Law enforcement officers had apparently been saying they had accidentally fired guns in the field recently, and this firearm instructor wanted to know if these officers had a valid argument.

Enoka looked into it, poring over studies, and came to the conclusion that someone could involuntarily fire a gun under certain circumstances. He identified three of them: sympathetic response, loss of balance and startled response.

The first one, a sympathetic response, is explained basically as if one hand does something, the other one will likely want to do that same thing, Enoka explains. Enoka says he saw instances where an officer was detaining a subject with one hand and holding a gun with the other, and sometimes when the non-armed hand closed in a fist, the hand carrying the gun would automatically follow suit and form a fist and pull the trigger.

The second scenario, loss of balance, is fairly self-explanatory. If you start falling or if you drop something, your body will have a reflex that can basically be a grabbing motion, he says. If you’re holding a gun at the time, Enoka says, this could result in someone pulling the trigger.

The third scenario, a startled response, is also self-explanatory. One reaction to being startled, Enoka says, is forming a fist.

“If you’re holding onto a gun and you have a startled response, it’s not unprobable that the gun will discharge,” Enoka says.

Tuesday, May 8 — 9:30 a.m.

Enoka, according to court records filed in 2017, will testify about “physiological human response to unexpected stimuli and involuntary muscle contractions.”

Macaulay asks Enoka a little about his background and then asks about his familiarity with this case.

“I reviewed the transcript of the grand jury proceedings,” Enoka says. “I was not asked to render an opinion on this specific case.”

Tuesday, May 8 — 9:20 a.m.

Getting a late start again. The first half hour of the day was spent setting up a way to talk to the first witness of the day is physiology expert Dr. Roger Enoka, who I believe is calling from Colorado. He’ll be present via video conference soon.

DAY SIX RECAP

Monday, May 7 — 10:25 a.m.

The final two witnesses for the defense will take the stand tomorrow. They’re unavailable due to travel, Macaulay said this past Friday. As a result, that’s it for today. This is the shortest day of the trial yet.

Monday, May 7 — 10:12 a.m.

Grey shows the model off, saying these two shots had to have been fired extremely quickly. He says even a second or two between shots would have resulted in “very different” paths. He says a victim’s head would have moved after the first gunshot.

Testimony about the timing between shots has been fairly inconsistent. During cross-examination a week ago, Bill Young (the owner of the gun that killed Rosales), said he heard the gunshots and thought they were so close together that the gun might have been semi-automatic. That was before he knew it was his gun that had fired.

The two Bradshaw brothers, who were the two witnesses closest to the shooting, said there was maybe a second between the shots. Lisa Szybura, a neighbor at Excursion Inlet, said she was able to take three or four steps between the first and second gunshots (she walks quickly, she says).

Below is a photo of the model, alongside a photo of De Simone.

 

 

Monday, May 7 — 10 a.m.

Interesting scenario playing out here. Assistant Public Defender Deborah Macaulay presents an item that was not previously entered as evidence. It’s a Styrofoam head with two knitting needle-looking items stuck through it as a “demonstrative” model, Grey says, to show the general paths of the two bullets.

Judge Philip Pallenberg dismisses the jury and a discussion begins about whether to allow this model.

Grey says the intent of this is to show the two paths of the bullets are nearly parallel — a “striking similarity,” he says — which suggests the shots were fired in very fast succession.

Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige strongly objects to this, as it’s a very inexact model. It’s not an exact replica of Rosales’ head and Grey even says the exit wounds might be off by as much as half an inch. Paige questions Grey about this, and he says he made this in the Public Defenders’ Office just yesterday.

Pallenberg says he believes the point of this exhibit is to show the relative paths, not the exact paths, of the bullets. It’s not meant to be a scientific model, he says, and Macaulay confirms that’s the intent.

Pallenberg allows the exhibit. Jury is back.

Monday, May 7 — 9:30 a.m.

Happy Monday to everyone and welcome back to the blog. Getting a late start today due to a couple other unrelated hearings this morning. The first witness for the defense is Dr. Todd Grey, a retired forensic pathologist who is now a consultant. A former medical examiner, Grey said he’s done about 8,800 autopsies and about 475-500 examinations of gunshot homicide cases.

Friday, May 4 — 1:05 p.m.

Anderson was just dismissed, and with that, the state rests its case, Paige says. The defense will begin to make its case at 8:30 a.m. Monday. Pallenberg says the trial could go to the jury as soon as Wednesday.

During cross-examination of Anderson, Macaulay brings up the testimony of Sam Bradshaw. Sam, as you’ll recall, said under oath that he made a phone call to Anderson about a month after the shooting because he remembered that De Simone told him, “I was (screwing) around with the gun and shot” Rosales.

Anderson, though, has no memory of this phone call. He also has no recording of it and no entry in his notes, he says. As Macaulay points out, Anderson recorded pretty much everything he did in his investigation. If he had gotten a phone call from Sam, Anderson says, he would have recorded it and made a note in his log about the call. There was no recording and no note, Anderson says.

Macaulay asks Anderson if he conducted an investigation into motive in this case. He says he did. He says he combed through the phones of both Rosales and De Simone, finding thousands of pages of text messages, phone calls, photos and emails.

Macaulay asks Anderson if he found evidence of any of the following: Racial bias, a history of business transactions between the two men, co-mingled accounts, gambling debts, whether Mr. Rosales ever hurt a loved one of De Simone’s, one man lying to the other, one man stealing from the other, drug abuse or threats.

Anderson says he found no evidence of any of those.

Friday, May 4 — 11:45 a.m.

Trooper Ryan Anderson, the lead investigator in the case, now takes the stand.

He’s talking about the scene on the deck of the cabin. He says he investigated it and came to the conclusion that Rosales was sitting on the bench of the picnic table and was facing away from the tabletop and sitting at an angle.

Anderson says he came to this conclusion because Rosales was wearing a backpack at the time, and he would have had to have been leaning forward because he couldn’t sit straight up while wearing the backpack because the tabletop was there. Anderson says he found Rosales’s Xtratuf boots sitting in front of Rosales at an angle.

Anderson says the boots were off, because there were spots of blood on Rosales’ white socks. Anderson opens evidence bags of the socks and the boots, gesturing to the small spots of blood on the white socks and illustrating that the Xtratufs were rolled down.

“It’s the easiest way to take them off,” Anderson says of rolling down Xtratufs. Photo below of him rolling down the Xtratufs.

 

 

Friday, May 4 —10:40 a.m.

Very brief appearance from fingerprint expert Carly Wiehe, who explains that it’s difficult to get fingerprints off a gun for a variety of reasons. There are oils left on a gun after it gets cleaned, and the surface of a gun can be rough.

She also said that when someone holds a gun, they usually hold it tightly. This can smear the fingerprint, she points out. She says when we touch something with light pressure (she demonstrates on a pitcher of water), we usually leave a good, readable print. When we put a lot of pressure down, we don’t.

Long story short, she did not find a print from Mark De Simone on the Ruger .41 Magnum Blackhawk that was used to kill Tony Rosales.

Friday, May 4 — 9:25 a.m.

Attorneys and Pallenberg are now discussing whether this is a discovery violation on the part of the prosecution. Pallenberg points out that Paige has been asking witnesses about De Simone’s demeanor. The question she posed this time, Pallenberg says, was about De Simone’s “condition,” which Pallenberg says is usually used to ask about intoxication.

They ask Savland for further clarification about why he thought De Simone was intoxicated.

“He seemed to be out of it and not in his right mind,” Savland says. “I assumed he’d been drinking based on the odor of alcohol.”

A few minutes later, Pallenberg asks for more detail.

“It was a lack of reaction of any sort … like nothing had happened, nothing was going on,” Savland says. “He didn’t have any facial expressions. He was just out of it.”

Macaulay asks for this testimony about intoxication be stricken from the record and that the jury be asked to disregard it. Paige says this will come out in Anderson’s testimony as well, so there’s no reason to take this out. She says maybe the word “intoxicated” can be taken out, but the fact that it appeared De Simone had been drinking should stay in.

Pallenberg agrees with that last point in particular.

“There’s a difference that matters between consuming some alcohol…and being intoxicated,” Pallenberg says.

Pallenberg calls this a “dangerous topic,” and Macaulay said if Savland keeps saying things that are not in his report, this could lead to a mistrial.

Pallenberg will strike the use of the word “intoxicated” and tell the jury to disregard that. Savland will testify that he smelled a “light” odor of alcohol. Paige now working on how to phrase the question.

 

 

Friday, May 4 — 9:05 a.m.

This day starts with a bit of a bang. The first witness is Trooper Andy Savland. He said he responded to the scene of the shooting, coming to Excursion Inlet from Hoonah. He said it was his job at the scene to keep an eye on De Simone.

Paige asks Savland what De Simone’s condition was.

“He appeared to be a little intoxicated at the time,” Savland says.

That gets a big objection from Macaulay. The jury’s been dismissed, and the two attorneys are now looking through reports to see if others reported De Simone had been drinking. Savland, they find, did not report at the time that De Simone appeared intoxicated.

From the report of Trooper Ryan Anderson, Macaulay finds this line about De Simone: “Maybe a slight odor of alcohol, not intoxicated.”

Macaulay says Anderson asked everybody if there was drinking, and she says in every interview, witnesses said nobody was intoxicated.

DAY FOUR RECAP

Thursday, May 3 — 2:05 p.m.

Gillis says she found bloodstains on the jeans and T-shirt she was given to test (both of which belonged to De Simone). She said there were no bloodstains on the revolver.

Now wrapping up for the day.

Judge Pallenberg with an update on his estimate of trial length: “Counsel are optimistic that the case will go to the jury by the end of next week.” Pallenberg says he might have the jury deliberate over the weekend, which he says is a little unusual.

There will be a meeting in a little bit about courtroom safety, as Macaulay will have a firearm expert make a demonstration later in the trial for the jury and they want to ensure this demonstration is done as safely as possible.

Thursday, May 3 — 1:25 p.m.

Ballistics expert Debra Gillis has been on the stand for the past half hour, holding the Ruger Blackhawk and guiding jurors through her process of testing the gun.

She explained that this gun is single-action, which means you have to cock the hammer and pull the trigger for each shot. The trigger can only fire the gun, she says. It cannot cock the hammer like a double-action trigger can.

Gillis said she also test-fired the gun on a shooting range, making sure it was functioning properly. It functioned as she expected, she says. She also says that with this gun, there is a bit of a recoil. It’s a somewhat heavy caliber, she says.

Gillis adds that she also examined jeans, a T-shirt, a jacket, a belt, a baseball cap and two pairs of boots in addition to the Blackhawk and the other guns at the cabin.

 

 

Thursday, May 3 — 12:45 p.m.

Back at it. Macaulay is now cross-examining Rolf, asking about the homicide determination. Rolf says she does not deal in intent, just in the general nature of the shot. Basically, she’s testifying that someone else shot and killed Rosales, but she doesn’t determine whether the person shooting was intending to kill Rosales.

Thursday, May 3 — 11:55 a.m.

After saying the cause of death was a brain injury, Rolf says her conclusion was that, “the manner of death is homicide.” She says the location of the wounds behind the ear are indicative that someone else shot Rosales because it’s “tough for a person to shoot” himself or herself there.

She also says that after one shot, the person is probably unconscious, and therefore unable to fire the gun again. She says a key part of her conclusion is that the investigation from law enforcement came to the conclusion that this was a homicide as well.

Thursday, May 3 — 11:48 a.m.

Interesting, gruesome details from Rolf.

She says the bullets actually did not go through the brain, but the bullets go so fast that they cause basically a shockwave that damages the area around them instead of just the path they take through the body. She said the brain was bruised and the skull was fractured, both from the wave that went through the head.

“He died from the skull fracture and a shockwave going through the head and injuries to the brain,” Rolf says.

Thursday, May 3 — 11:20 a.m.

Rolf says the gun was “within inches” of Rosales’ head when it fired the fatal shots.

She says she can tell this because there’s something called stippling, where parts of powder and gases from the gun come out and leave little marks on the skin. Rolf said she found stippling on the right side of Rosales’ head, on the forehead, cheeks and around the ear.

She says the gun wasn’t pressed up against the head, because when a gun is pressed up against someone and goes off, it basically sears the skin. It turns it black, she says. In other words, she said, the gun was within about 18 inches of Rosales’ head when it went off, Rolf estimates.

Thursday, May 3 — 10:52 a.m.

Cristin Rolf is here.

“I perform autopsies on people who die in unusual circumstances,” she says.

She says she has performed around 4,000 autopsies, with 3,000 in Kentucky and 1,000 in Alaska. She said a few hundred of those have been gunshot-related deaths.

Thursday, May 3 — 9:41 a.m.

We’ve gone through three witnesses in the first hour today. Pretty impressive clip. It sent so fast that the fourth witness of the day isn’t even here yet.

The third witness was trooper Tim Tuckwood, who testifies that he examined the gun and found it had been fired twice. Very short testimony there.

Assistant D.A. Amy Paige tells Rosales’ family members they might not want to be around for the next witness. That will be Cristin Rolf of the State Medical Examiner’s Office, who will go through some of the autopsy photos and specifics about the body. She apparently just got off a plane and needs to get to the courthouse. We’re taking a bit of a break.

Thursday, May 3 — 9:28 a.m.

Kind of a tense testimony going on now with Bill Szybura, the other owner of the neighboring home in Excursion Inlet. Bill mentions that he had seen alcohol come into the cannery earlier that week, and when the men came over to their house for help on May 15, 2016, Bill immediately assumed this was a situation that involved alcohol and guns.

Macaulay objects to this statement, but Pallenberg allows the questioning to continue. Paige asks Bill if he had been told there was alcohol used, and he says he was not told that. It was just an initial assumption.

Bill then echoes what Bengston said yesterday. They went up on the deck to “clear the scene,” as Bengston said troopers instructed them to do, and Bill immediately said this felt like a crime scene and they should leave.

“The cabin, the deck, the stairs we just walked up were all now a crime scene,” Bill says.

Under cross examination, Bill says he was in fear for his life at the time.

Thursday, May 3 — 9 a.m.

We’re back underway here at Dimond Courthouse.

Lisa Szybura, one of the owners of the nearby cabin who helped Vince Bengston call for help, is the first witness of the day. Both she and her husband Bill are expected to take the stand. Lisa was very prepared for an emergency and ran the radio, Bengston testified yesterday.

She’s now recapping the events of that day, saying that she heard the gunshots. She had just let her cats out, and once she heard the shots she told them to get back in the house, she said. She said she was able to take three or four steps between the sound of the first and second shots.

“I’m a pretty quick walker,” Lisa says.

Oddly, she says she couldn’t even eat dinner that night because she felt something was wrong.

“I couldn’t eat, I don’t know why,” Lisa says. “I felt like something ripped a hole in our universe. Bill said he hated it when I said that.”

DAY THREE RECAP

Wednesday, May 2 — 2 p.m.

The third and final witness of the day is Alaska Bureau of Investigation (part of the Alaska State Troopers) Investigator Dennis Dupras. Dupras examined Rosales’ body on May 17, two days after the shooting. Like with Hightower yesterday, the attorneys talked for a while about which photos to submit to the jury and which photos were unnecessarily gory or shocking.

Dupras testifies that there were gunshot wounds to Rosales’ head, and that the State Medical Examiner’s Office removed bullet fragments from Rosales’ head. Dupras says he took samples from Rosales’ head, and that he took photos of the process. Basically, it seems like this testimony was done in order to submit numerous photos into evidence.

That wraps it up for the day. Back at it at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 2 — 1:10 p.m.

Bengston talks about the mood on the beach, painting a tense and surreal scene.

He says it was dusk when the troopers landed in a floatplane, after the members of the hunting party had waited for about an hour on shore. De Simone, as Sam Bradshaw testified, was calm as he smoked cigarettes and even talked about his recipe for gravy. Others in the group, Bengston says, were nervous as they awaited help without really knowing what had just happened.

Troopers landed, Bengston says, and trained their guns on the men on the beach. Bengston says it’s easy to be nervous when red dots (from the sights on the troopers’ guns) start dancing across your chest.

The troopers eventually made their way to shore, Bengston says, and he sighed with relief.

Wednesday, May 2 — 1 p.m.

Bengston is back on the stand, telling the story of calling for help. He and Sam Bradshaw got in a boat and headed to an area where they knew they could get cellphone coverage, Bengston says.

On the way, they came across Bill Young walking on the beach. Young testified to this Monday and Bengston tells it the same way today. Bengston says he told Young that Tony was dead, and that young was visibly shaken.

Young got in the boat, Bengston says, and directed them toward a neighbor’s house. There, Bengston says, he went up and met the owners Bill and Lisa. He and Lisa got on a radio they had in the house, Bengston said, and called for help.

Bengston says Troopers directed Bengston and Bill (Lisa’s husband) to go back and “clear the cabin,” basically to secure the scene, it sounds. They did go back to the cabin, but as soon as they were on the deck and saw Rosales, Bill stopped them.

“We’re not touching anything,” Bill (Lisa’s husband) said, Bengston testified. “This looks like a crime scene.”

Then they waited for law enforcement.

“How long did you wait for troopers?” Paige asks Bengston.

“Forever,” he says, saying it was probably an hour but felt much longer.

Wednesday, May 2 — 11:40 a.m.

“Mark had expressed an interest in guns,” Bengston says on the stand.

A couple days prior to the fatal shooting, Bengston had lent De Simone the pistol for a moment when a marten (large rodent) was spotted near the cabin. De Simone took five shots at it, missing all five times, Bengston says.

On the evening of the shooting, Bengston says he was at Young’s second cabin when the shots rang out. Bengston’s hearing is not great, he said, so he couldn’t hear the shots. Others did, though, and Bengston went off in a boat to the other cabin, he says.

When he arrived on the beach near the cabin, Bengston says, he saw Seth coming toward him. The two of them are co-workers, Bengston says, and he’d seen Seth in some dire situations. He could tell Seth was shaken, Bengston testifies.

“Something’s happened to Tony,” Seth said, Bengston testifies. “Tony’s hurt. I’m not sure what’s happened.”

Bengston spotted De Simone on the deck, he says. De Simone looked relaxed, Bengston says, and then came down to the beach after Bengston yelled at him to come down.

De Simone came slowly, Bengston says, and Bengston then patted De Simone down to make sure he wasn’t carrying a gun.

De Simone was mumbling, Bengston says: “There wasn’t anything said that I could discern.”

Bengston says De Simone’s demeanor didn’t change on the beach, that he was still relaxed.

The court breaks for lunch soon after that statement. A slow start to the day, but this testimony has been fairly captivating.

Wednesday, May 2 — 11:10 a.m.

A fairly important bit of testimony here. Bengston, who described himself as “proficient” with firearms, said he borrowed a .41 Ruger Blackhawk pistol from Bill Young for the trip. He wanted it for protection from bears, he said, and carried it with him almost at all times, kept in a brown holster.

Bengston said he kept the gun in a black bag when he wasn’t carrying it. He said that when he was driving the boat that week, he would keep it in the bag beside him. Bengston said he lent the bag (and the gun) to De Simone on the day of the shooting, because De Simone was driving the boat that day.

Paige asks Bengston specifically about how the gun was loaded. Bengston says he kept it “set on an empty chamber.” This means there were five rounds in the gun, with one empty chamber. This empty chamber was lined up so that if the gun were dropped or mishandled, it wouldn’t fire a round, Bengston said.

Therefore, Bengston says, to fire the gun one would need to cock the hammer and pull the trigger. To fire it a second time, one would need to do the same thing — cock the hammer and pull the trigger.

Wednesday, May 2 — 10:47 a.m.

Bartlett ends up only being on the stand for a little while. He guides the jury around the crime scene, and specifically points out a cardboard square posted on a tree near the deck. Based on the “bullet defects,” as he says, on the tree, he came to the conclusion that this was being used as target practice.

Paige brought up this apparent cardboard target yesterday as well. She asked Hightower about the location of the target, establishing that the target was to the left as one was looking south from the deck. The body was found, Hightower testified, on the right side of the deck.

Another member of the hunting party, Vince Bengston, is now taking the stand. He’s a friend of Bill Young’s who had been up to Excursion Inlet a couple times for vacation. On this particular trip in 2016, Bengston says, he was hoping to do some fishing.

Wednesday, May 2 — 10:10 a.m.

It sounds like this will be allowed, at least for an in-court demonstration from Bartlett. The extent to which this will be available to jurors to go back on their own time and examine this is still yet to be determined. The court breaks for a few minutes. Two hours into the day, and the jury has only been in here for only a small portion of it.

 

 

Wednesday, May 2 — 9:50 a.m.

Interesting discussion just went on here. This 3D reconstruction — which Bartlett referred to as basically a Google Street View for a crime scene — is very detailed. It contains photographs and notes from troopers, and allows for users to zoom in and further examine the scene.

Macaulay strongly objects to the use of this, saying this exhibit contains so much information and not all of those notes and photos have been admitted as evidence. If this is admitted as evidence, jurors would be able to look at it on their own in the jury room. Macaulay says she’s concerned that jurors could basically conduct their own independent investigation with this tool.

Paige says this technology can be helpful to show the scene to jurors, and they wouldn’t necessarily be using it without supervision.

Pallenberg agrees sees both sides of this issue, but ultimately agrees with Macaulay for now.

“If we had the capacity to allow the jury to go back in time and view the scene at a time close to the event, wouldn’t that help? This is a bit more than that,” Pallenberg says. “It might contain photographs that haven’t been authenticated.”

They’ll further examine this issue, Pallenberg says. He’s going to refer to other cases where this technology has been used, and will take a look around this specific reconstruction as well.

 

 

Wednesday, May 2 — 9:05 a.m.

I was expecting the wrong trooper. It turns out the first witness of the day is trooper Scott Bartlett, who will be presenting a 3D reconstruction of the crime scene. Could be interesting.

Wednesday, May 2 — 8:45 a.m.

We’re just about to resume here at the Dimond Courthouse. I believe we’ll have trooper Ryan Anderson today, who was the lead investigator on the case.

DAY TWO RECAP

DAY ONE RECAP

Tuesday, May 1 — 1:50 p.m.

Macaulay doesn’t have much to ask Hightower, she says. Her main question to Hightower is a hypothetical, as she asks him if a weapon with a 2.5- or 3-pound trigger pull is a light trigger pull (meaning that very little pressure is needed to fire the gun). Hightower says that’s a fairly light pull. I would guess she’s trying to establish that the revolver that was used to shoot Rosales could be fired with very little pressure being on the trigger.

We’ll likely get to that more when she presents her case, as she said in her opening statement she’ll be calling gun experts to the stand.

That does it for the day, as court adjourns at 2 p.m. every day and Hightower finishes his testimony at 1:48 p.m. With only a few minutes left in the day, Pallenberg says, there’s no point in calling another witness. They’ll be back at it tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.

Tuesday, May 1 —1:20 p.m.

Kind of a nice moment in the courtroom. Paige, the prosecutor, trips on a wire on the way to her desk. The wire isn’t usually there, as it’s connecting TV and her laptop to aid with visual evidence today.

She trips and stumbles, but Macaulay — Paige’s opponent in this case — reaches out and grabs Paige’s arm. Paige might not have fallen, but Macaulay certainly helped prevent a tumble.

We’ve got a little over 30 minutes left today, and Macaulay will begin her cross-examination of Hightower in just a moment.

Tuesday, May 1 — 12:55 p.m.

We spend a few minutes in silence as jurors examine the photos of the body. There were more than a dozen photos, as there was a point when each of the 14 jurors had a photo.

Now Hightower talks about the gun in question, a single-action revolver. Two shots were fired, he says. He says he found two empty casings in the gun (the casings do not automatically eject from this kind of gun, he said). There were three unspent rounds in the gun, he says.

Paige presents Hightower with the gun. He says he secured the gun yesterday, secured with a zip tie so it couldn’t fire. He takes it out of the evidence box and walks over to the jury. Wearing two black gloves, he holds the weapon with its barrel facing down for the jurors to see.

Tuesday, May 1 — 12:30 p.m.

We’ve now reached the point where Hightower is explaining his examination of Rosales’ body. He has a few photos, which will be available to the jury. These photos, due to their graphic nature, will not be shown in the courtroom. Paige looked over at Rosales’ friends and family before beginning the discussion of the body, giving them a chance to leave if they wanted. Rosales’ mother left, but the widow Maria stayed.

Hightower says he found Rosales laying in a pool of wet blood on the deck, and Hightower says he identified what he believed to be brain matter on the seat of the picnic table and on the deck itself. He said there were two entrance wounds behind Rosales’ right ear and two exit wounds in his left cheek. He said he identified the wounds on the cheek as exit wounds because they were bigger than the wounds behind the ear.

Tuesday, May 1 — 12:20 p.m.

We broke for lunch earlier, but are now back at it.

We’ve now watched two videos taken by Hightower on May 16, 2016 at the cabin. The first was fairly short, showing the deck. The picnic table on the deck had been moved, Hightower said, to remove Rosales’ body.

The video showed the picnic table, and then zoomed ahead to a tree just beyond the deck. On the tree was a small cardboard target, as Hightower testified to seeing earlier today.

The second video gave us a tour of the cabin, showing a bit of a messy arrangement. There were a couple guns on a windowsill inside the cabin. One was a black gun in a black holster.

Tuesday, May 1 — 11:20 a.m.

Hightower pulls a piece of railing out of a large box, presenting it as evidence. He took this section of railing from the porch of the cabin where the shooting occurred. When he examined the scene, he said, he noticed “red matter consistent with blood” on one of the vertical supports of the railing. This section includes seven vertical supports. He brings the railing up to the jury and points at the area where the believed blood splatter is. He said it’s more faded now than it was in 2016, and he thinks the photos will be more helpful.

Below is video of Hightower pulling the railing from its box, with help from Paige.

 

 

Tuesday, May 1 — 10:45 a.m.

This has been a very slow-moving testimony with Trooper Matthew Hightower. Most of the time has been spent going through Hightower’s credentials. Now we’re getting into his version of the events of May 15, 2016.

In the tweet below, Hightower is drawing a diagram of how the members of the hunting party were arranged on the beach when he and Trooper Ryan Anderson arrived. You have to click on the pic.twitter.com link to see the photo.

 

 

Tuesday, May 1 — 10 a.m.

Macaulay objects to quite a few of the photos the prosecution is preparing to make available to the jury. She says they’re prejudicial because they’re so gory. She says there are other photos that show the entrance and exit wounds after Rosales has been cleaned up.

Paige says it’s important for the jury to see the crime scene.

“We can’t entirely sanitize the presentation of a murder trial for the jury,” Paige says. “I understand it’s hard to look at.”

Pallenberg says some of the close-up shots do evoke an emotional response, but they serve a purpose for re-creating the crime scene.

“Death is not pretty,” Pallenberg says, “and it is hard to make it so.”

Pallenberg will allow these photos, he says. He adds that it’s important to know where De Simone was standing, and that De Simone’s mental state might be the biggest issue in this trial.

Tuesday, May 1 — 9:42 a.m.

Sam has been dismissed, and Alaska State Trooper Matthew Hightower will take the stand next.

Paige is now preparing to show what she calls “gruesome” photos of the crime scene. She said it’s vital to get a look at the crime scene because Trooper Anderson will later draw conclusions about the crime scene based on the position of the body and the remains.

As Paige is discussing these, Rosales’ family members walk into the courtroom. Paige gives them a motion that they might want to stay in the hallway, but they’re insistent that they want to stay.

“It’s their choice,” a friend of the family says.

Tuesday, May 1 — 9:06 a.m.

On a recording of him speaking with Trooper Ryan Anderson shortly after the shooting, Sam says he’s “pretty sure” De Simone used the word “accident” when he asked De Simone what was going on. Macaulay just played that audio in the courtroom. This is a little different from the seemingly new recollection of De Simone saying he was “(screwing) around” with the gun. Sam didn’t testify to De Simone saying that, either to Anderson or to the grand jury.

“He had said something and I perceived it as an accident because I wasn’t sure exactly what he had mumbled,” Sam says when questioned again by Paige.

In further examination from Paige, Sam says he eventually remembered what exactly De Simone told him. Sam said he was unpacking after the trip and doing laundry, and the exact phrasing came to him. Sam now says he’s 100 percent sure De Simone said he was “(screwing) around with the gun and I shot Tony.”

Tuesday, May 1 — 8:55 a.m.

We’re back underway here at the Dimond Courthouse, with Sam Bradshaw back on the stand. Macaulay is cross-examining Sam.

Macaulay asked Sam a few questions about possible drinking going on the day of the shooting. Sam says he didn’t see any, but that De Simone had a drink at some point. He said he didn’t see Rosales drink during the trip.

Now Macaulay is entering an interesting line of questioning. This trial, if you recall, was delayed by a few days because a witness remembered something else about the day of the shooting. That witness was Sam, and the bit of testimony he recalled was the line about De Simone allegedly saying “I was (screwing) around and I shot Tony.” Macaulay is now preparing to play audio recordings of Sam in earlier interviews where he didn’t relay that important bit of information to law enforcement.

DAY ONE RECAP

Monday, April 30 — 2:08 p.m.

Sam said he was a little more than 100 yards north of the cabin when he heard the shots. He was on the way back to the cabin when he saw De Simone walking toward him, he said.

Sam said he asked De Simone what was going on at the cabin.

“I was (screwing) around and I shot Tony,” De Simone told him, Sam recalled.

Based on this statement, Sam said, he believed it to be an accident. He told his father Kevin and Bill Young that there had been a “shooting accident” when he went to tell them about it.

Sam also added that De Simone seemed nervous soon after the shooting, saying, “Bill’s going to be upset with me.” Sam said he then tried to lift De Simone’s spirits a little bit by complimenting him on the breakfast he made that morning. There was an “immediate” improvement in his mood, Sam recalled.

They call it a day after about 45 minutes of Sam being on the stand. We’ll reconvene at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, when Macaulay will cross-examine Sam.

Monday, April 30 — 1:30 p.m.

The final witness of the day is Sam Bradshaw (Seth’s younger brother). He said De Simone seemed friendly and pleasant when they first arrived at Excursion Inlet. Around the time they learned Rosales was coming to join them, Sam said, De Simone’s demeanor changed.

“He just seemed a little more depressed,” Sam said of De Simone. “He just didn’t seem like the same guy we had met a couple days prior.”

Monday, April 30 — 12:40 p.m.

Macaulay asked Seth whether he heard any yelling or fighting from the front of the cabin. He said no, and said he would have probably heard it if there had been any fighting. Instead, the first thing he heard was the gun, and assumed it was target practice or something harmless like that.

Macaulay also points out a couple discrepancies with Seth’s statements.

“I shot him,” De Simone said after the shooting, according to Seth’s testimony. “It’s all my fault. I shot him.”

To Alaska State Trooper Ryan Anderson, according to Anderson’s report, Seth said that De Simone also said, “I fired the gun and it went off again,” at one point. Macaulay produced that report and showed it to Seth.

Macaulay also points out that Seth testified to a grand jury in 2016 that De Simone was walking very slowly after the shooting. Today, Seth testified that De Simone was walking normally.

Another interesting tidbit: Seth said he had to tell De Simone to drive the boat more carefully earlier that day. Seth said De Simone was a little hesitant to drive the boat earlier in the weekend, but Sunday he was much more aggressive. Macaulay asked if this signaled that De Simone was loosening up a little bit. Seth disagreed, describing De Simone’s demeanor as more “reckless” than loose.

Monday, April 30 — 11:59 a.m.

Seth Bradshaw describes the surreal scene.

He was to the north of the cabin, urinating, when he heard two shots on the front side of the cabin. He assumed they were just doing target practice. Seth walked into the side door of the cabin and walked toward the front door. At the front door, Seth passed De Simone.

Once they passed each other, Seth saw Rosales on the front porch, facedown in a pool of blood. Seth asked De Simone what happened.

“I shot him,” De Simone said, according to Seth’s testimony. “It’s all my fault. I shot him.”

Seth said De Simone’s demeanor wasn’t that different from when they had been out on a boat a little earlier. De Simone didn’t have a gun at the time, Seth said. De Simone just kept walking, Seth said.

“Mark had walked off like nothing was wrong,” Seth said. “He wasn’t concerned about him either. I knew something wasn’t right.”

Seth said he wasn’t sure where De Simone went, but he was focused on checking on Rosales. He didn’t check his pulse, but said he didn’t need to after he saw the damage the gun had done.

Monday, April 30 — 11:28 a.m.

Seth Bradshaw, who was along with the hunting party, is the next witness. He’s a fairly key one, as he’s the one listed in the original indictment as having heard De Simone admit to shooting Rosales.

Bradshaw said he didn’t know De Simone before the hunting trip. Paige asks him to identify De Simone. Bradshaw nods at De Simone, and Judge Philip Pallenberg asks Bradshaw to be more specific.

Bradshaw points at De Simone. He puts his hand down and continues looking at De Simone for a long moment before he turns back to Paige for further questioning.

Monday, April 30 — 11:10 a.m.

Rosales’ widow Maria Gonzalez took the stand for a short but intense testimony. She’s been emotional throughout the trial thus far, having to leave the courtroom a couple times. She’s again showing emotion early on in her testimony, her voice breaking as she spells her name upon taking the stand.

She dropped him off at the airport Friday, and he called her Sunday during the day, she said.

“He told me that the weather was beautiful and he was in the boat,” Gonzalez said. “He was normal. Happy.”

Then at 2 a.m. Monday, she was told that he had died.

Paige then shows Gonzalez a picture of Rosales, and asks her to verify that that is indeed her husband. That does it for her testimony.

Very low-quality cellphone picture linked below, if you click on the pic.twitter.com link.

 

 

Monday, April 30 — 10:37 a.m.

Assistant Public Defender Deborah Macaulay is now cross-examining Young. She asks first about the gunshots Young heard. She’ll be building her case around the gun, she said Friday, and whether it was being maintained properly and used safely.

Young says he initially thought the gun was a semi-automatic, based on the rapidity of the gunshots he heard.

Along those lines, Macaulay says De Simone seems like more of a book person instead of being a hunting, gun-savvy person.

“Would you describe Mr. De Simone as a gun person?” she asks.

“No,” Young says.

Macaulay asks Young to repeat what he had said about the relationship between De Simone and Rosales. Young says he had no reason to think there was any bad blood between the two men, and he was “certain” they had a good relationship. She also asks if De Simone had anything to gain or lose from the change of ownership of the Jewel Box. Young says De Simone had nothing to gain to lose.

Monday, April 30 — 9:55 a.m.

On the evening of May 15, 2016, Young said he and a couple others were sitting on the deck of one of his two cabins at Excursion Inlet when they heard two shots.

“Gunshots,” he said. “One right after the other.”

Five or eight minutes later, Young said, Sam Bradshaw (one of the members of the party) came running to them. He was out of breath, Young said.

“He said there’d been an accident,” Young said of Bradshaw. “A shooting accident.”

Young got out a radio and called for the Coast Guard, he said. He can’t recall if he got a response immediately.

Monday, April 30 — 9:40 a.m.

Young said he met De Simone when they were both working at the Jewel Box in the early 1980s. Young said he was about 23 and De Simone was about 15 when they met.

De Simone came back up to Juneau in 2016, Young says, and at one point stayed with Young’s family. De Simone was looking for employment at the time, and Young owned the Jewel Box that needed some upkeep so he hired De Simone to help him out with maintenance.

Young said he witnessed De Simone and Rosales interact a few times, and said there didn’t seem to be anything strange there. He said their interactions were “good.” He said they interacted “quite a few times.”

Young also said he and Rosales had talked about Rosales taking over the shop soon. Young was looking to get out of the jewelry business (he ended up closing the store in 2017, he said). De Simone was invited on the hunting trip in May to help cook for the guys. Young said he also always made sure Rosales was invited on these trips as well. Rosales was scheduled to come to the cabin after everybody else was already there.

Monday, April 30 — 9:15 a.m.

Bill Young is the first witness. Young, the former owner of the Jewel Box, was also the organizer of the ill-fated hunting trip in May 2016. Young owns a couple cabins in Excursion Inlet, where the hunters were staying.

Young starts off talking about his history in town, saying he’s been here since 1978 and that he owned the Jewel Box starting in 1985. He says Duilio Antonio “Tony” Rosales applied for a job at the jewelry store in about 2012.

“He was a confidant,” Young said of Rosales. “He knew a lot more about jewelry than I did, since he was doing it since he was 8 or 9 years old. I had a great relationship with him.”

Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige asked Young to further describe his relationship with Rosales.

“He was like a son to me.”

Monday, April 30 — 8:30 a.m.

Just about to get started, as the first witnesses will take the stand today.

Some of our previous coverage:

Attorneys deliver opening statements

Jury set for murder trial

‘Laborious’ jury selection process takes longer than planned

The original story from May 2016

A look at De Simone’s past as an Arizona legislator

 


 

• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.

 


 

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