Defense attorney scolded in Serial Shooter trial - East Valley Tribune: News

Defense attorney scolded in Serial Shooter trial

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Posted: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 11:43 am | Updated: 3:45 pm, Wed Jun 19, 2013.

He rolled his eyes. He flailed his arms. He yelled. He cursed. He did everything but spit. Defense attorney Ken Everett did his best Tuesday to try to discredit a key witness in the case against his client, Serial Shooter suspect Dale Hausner.

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In the end, the full-throated attack on witness John Kane appeared only to agitate the one man no attorney wants to upset - the judge.

"The questions are becoming repetitive," Judge Roland Steinle warned Everett from the bench. "And nothing more than harassing."

A day earlier, Kane, a former bartending instructor from Gilbert, testified that Hausner confessed to him about shooting an empty car in December 2005 in the parking lot of the Tempe bartending academy where they first met.

Kane told the jury that he and Hausner had become friends, and that Hausner thought he was doing his newfound pal a favor by shooting the car of a woman who recently filed a sexual harassment complaint against Kane.

The testimony was the first time anybody so far in the marathon trial directly tied Hausner to the Serial Shooter crime spree, which included eight murders and dozens of other shootings.

In court on Tuesday, Everett worked hard to debunk Kane's story by forcefully and loudly attacking the man's credibility.

Everett brought up Kane's four prior felony convictions, his drug use and his alcoholism in an attempt to destroy his character. Then, he went after Kane's motives for agreeing to testify.

He pointed out that Kane was arrested in April 2006 on drug and gun charges, and the testimony was part of an agreement he struck with prosecutors to get out of jail.

Along the way, the normally baritone voice of Everett grew ever stronger, and his attitude more critical, as he tried to show that not even he believed what Kane was saying.

"Gee, John," he would begin some questions, "you did have a conversation with Terry?"

When Kane answered a question, Everett would sometimes say, "Is that right?"

Everett's was easily the loudest voice in the courtroom, booming well above Kane's or the judge's, each of whom were using microphones.

Often, he would swing his arms in grand gestures, pointing at his client, the prosecutors or the detectives in the courtroom. Other times, he rolled his eyes.

By mid-morning, Steinle stopped the proceedings, asked the jury to leave the room and told Everett to calm down.

"Your questions are becoming argumentative and your tone is going way above," Steinle said, calling some of the questions "totally inappropriate."

"I'm asking you to lower your tone," Steinle said.

The request had a temporary effect, and Everett quieted down a bit before lunch.

By late afternoon, however, he was back at it.

Whenever he could, Everett quoted earlier testimony that contained curses.

"He 'did you a favor by shooting at this (expletive),' isn't that right?" Everett asked at one point. "You said, 'The complaint was (expletive),' didn't you?" he asked at another.

Throughout the process, Kane remained calm on the stand, answering most questions with "yes, sir" or "no, sir" and giving little indication of the pressure he was under.

Near day's end, though, the judge had seen enough.

He again asked the jury to leave the courtroom and spoke directly to Everett about his conduct.

"You were rolling your eyes. You used expressions like, 'Is that right?' " Steinle said. "You used other expressions to show that you clearly don't believe what is being said out there."

Steinle called the questioning "harassing."

"You will stop rolling your eyes and other facial gestures," Steinle said.

Then, Steinle told him to wrap up his questions, saying that the witness had put up with enough, and so had he.

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