The Testimony of Det. Frank Tomlinson, Part 2


This is the cross examination of Det. Tomlinson by John’s attorney. At the end, the prosecutor admits stuff into evidence and the Court announces there is sufficient suspicion to have a trial.
I wonder if they did the old “good cop/bad cop” routine on Holmes? Anyhow, this is good stuff.
The Court had this to say in the end:
It is true that in this case there is no direct evidence of the defendant’s participation in the commission of the murders which are before the court and in Count V is an attempted murder. It is true that the victim named in Count V, Susan Launius, cannot and did not in this crime identify the defendant as the person that she had ever seen before or a person that she saw on the morning of these events….
….The testimony of Mr. Lind and Mr. McCourt assists the court to some extent with respect to the activities which led up to the events alleged in the complaint. The court makes a finding at this time based upon the record which is before it that theory of duress is not admissible to this particular case and based upon the totality of the record which is before the court, although not the strongest record this court has ever had, leaves this court to believe that there is strong suspicion that Mr.
Holmes did commit the crimes with which he is charged in this complaint.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
CROSS EXAMINATION
BY MR. HANSON:
Q: Detective Tomlinson, you indicated during your
testimony that prior to this conversation you had
apparently spoken to Mr. Holmes one or two days prior?
Is that correct?
A: Yes, sir. I had.
Q: Where did the first conversation that you ever had
with Mr. Holmes take place?
A: It was in the Dade County Metro Public Safety
Office in North Miami Beach, I believe, is the area of
Miami that it was in.
Q: And did you go specifically to that location for
the purpose of transporting Mr. Holmes to California?
A: That was part of the chain of bringing him in. We
had been present when he was arrested. He was
transported to that facility to await booking at the county
jail in Miami, so at that facility we caught up with him and
had a brief conversation.
Q: When you say “we” who is “we”?
A: Sergeant Lange and myself.
Q: You and Sergeant Lange were both present on the
first occasion that you apparently had some kind of
discussion with Mr. Holmes? Is that correct?
A: Yes.
Q: Before going to Florida did you know that your
purpose in going there was to see Mr. Holmes?
A: That was the purpose. Yes, sir.
Q: In other words, you went there specifically to see
Mr. Holmes?
Shortly after the Wonderland killings, John Holmes was picked up for questioning by
LAPD detectives. He was installed in a suite at the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown L.A. and
encouraged to tell what he knew. He attempted to cut a deal without offering any
incriminating information against Nash. Frustrated, the detectives let him loose, at which
point John – fearing that Eddie Nash had put a contract out on him – fled with girlfriend
Dawn Schiller to Florida. They lived at the Fountainhead Inn, a run-down motel in North
Miami Beach, until John’s subsequent arrest and extradition to Los Angeles to answer for the
murders.

A: Yes, sir.

Q: And you succeeded?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And I do take it that the first conversation that
was between you, Mr. Holmes, and Detective Lange was
apparently nothing more than advising John Holmes of
some rights?
A: Basically. There was a little bit of conversation
after that in regard to the warrant that he was being
arrested on and the murder charge.
Q: I see. But he did not discuss with you anything he
might know about the murder or the robbery of Mr. Nash?
Is that correct?
A: No. He only stated that he knew what had
happened in regard to the murders and that he knew that
eventually someone would be catching up with him.
Q: I see. But you advised him of his rights. Is that
correct?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And there was some purpose for which you
advised him of his rights?
A: Yes. There was.
Q: And was that because you hoped to have an
interview with Mr. Holmes?
A: Yes, it was.
Q: Now, after you advised him of his rights. I take it
you didn’t have an interview with Mr. Holmes?
A: No. After he made the statement that he had, that
he knew what had happened, he stated that he would have
to think about what he wanted to do and that he would let
us know whether or not he was going to tell us what
happened.
Q: And that was the end of the conversation, at least
for that day?
A: Yes. In regard to the murder.
Q: Now, the conversation that you related to us a few
moments ago, would that be the conversation that was had
the next time you saw Mr. Holmes?
A: No.
Q: You saw him in between?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: And did you have any conversation with him
during any of those visits or interviews or whatever they
might have been?
A: Yes. The day after his arrest we were on an
airplane together all day, although there was no real
conversation en route back, and then the Sunday following
that, which would be December 6, I had another brief
conversation with him at Parker Center.
Q: But that is not the conversation you related to us
in detail?
A: No. That was on December 7th, which was the
next day, Monday.
Q: In any event, other than the conversation that you
apparently had referred to from some page notes in front
of you, did you have any other conversations prior to that
time with Mr. Holmes concerning his participation or
knowledge in any of the events that happened at the
Wonderland address or Ed Nash’s house?
A: Well, on the day before he had stated that he
wanted to tell us the truth about the murders and that he
was present when they occurred but that he was afraid for
his family and, again, asked along the same lines to see his
brother, which indicated to me that he was concerned
about his family and wanted to see how his family felt
about him talking to me.
Q: The only conversation, apparently, that relates to
his knowledge of what took place in the Wonderland
residence is the conversation that you have apparently
reduced to some written notes? Is that correct?
A: Yes.
Q: All right. Now when did that conversation take
place?
A: That occurred on Monday, December 7.
The City of Los Angeles Police Administrative Center since 1955

Q: And was he continuously in custody from the
time you first saw him until that conversation?
A: Yes, he was.

Q: To your knowledge had he talked to a lawyer in
the meantime?
A: Yes, he had.
Q: Do you know the name of the lawyer?
A: No, I do not.
Q: After Mr. Holmes talked to a lawyer did you
again seek an interview with Mr. Holmes?
A: I talked to him every day after that, yes.
Q: What I’m asking you is: After you found out that
Mr. Holmes had apparently talked to a lawyer you did not
cease your efforts to have an interview with Mr. Holmes?
A: No, I did not.
Q: Prior to the time that you took that statement that
you have in front of you did you contact the lawyer and
ask the lawyer for permission, for permission to talk to
Mr. Holmes?
A: No, I did not.
Q: Do you know the name of the lawyer?
A: No, sir. I don’t.
Q: Did you know it at that time?
A: No, sir.
Q: You just knew that Mr. Holmes had gone to a
lawyer?
A: Yes.
Q: Did you ask Mr. Holmes who the lawyer was?
A: No, sir.
Q: Did you ask Mr. Holmes how that lawyer could
be contacted?
A: No.
Q: Did you feel that after you knew that Mr. Holmes
apparently had discussed his affairs with the lawyer, that it
was improper for you to seek an interview with Mr.
Holmes?
MR. COEN: Objection. That is irrelevant. That also
calls for a legal conclusion.
THE COURT: Sustained.
BY MR. HANSON:
Q: How did you know that Mr. Holmes had talked to
a lawyer?
A: I was present when he did.
Q: Did you bring the lawyer to see Mr. Holmes?
A: No, sir.
Q: You just happened to be there when he was
talking to a lawyer?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Is this someone from Florida?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: A public defender?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Now, on the conversation that you have reduced
to writing, was Detective Lange there when that
conversation took place?
A: No, sir.
Q: Where was Detective Lange at that time?
A: I’m not sure.
Q: This is after you had brought Mr. Holmes back to
California?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Did Mr. Holmes let it be known to you that he
was of a mind to talk with you or did you just seek him out
and ask him if he had changed his mind about talking to
you?
A: Maybe if you rephrase –
Q: Let me restate it. What I’m asking you, on this
last occasion when you had the conversation that you just
related to us, did Mr. Holmes come to you or did you go to
Mr. Holmes?
A: Mr. Holmes was in jail. I went.
Q: Did he send a message to you or something?
A: He did the following day. Not this day.
Q: On the date that this conversation took place you
sought Mr. Holmes out? Is that correct?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: And was that for the purpose of having a
conversation with Mr. Holmes?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Did you take your tape recorder?
A: No, sir.
Q: Was any portion of that conversation with Mr.
Holmes recorded in any way?
A: No. It wasn’t.
Q: Where did that conversation take place?
A: In jail at Parker Center.
Q: Did it take place at any particular place within the
jail?
A: In an interview room.
Q: Is this a room that is specifically set aside for the
purpose of interviews?
A: Yes, it is.
Q: And is this room, to your knowledge, that is,
equipped with electronic listening devices?
A: I have no idea.
Q: Have you ever used that room before?
A: Yes.
Q: You never bothered to find out if there was some
kind of a recording device that could be utilized in
connection with an interview?
A: No. I never had reason to.
Q: To your knowledge aren’t most of those interview
rooms that the police have equipped with sound recording
devices?
A: Not to my knowledge. I really don’t know.
Q: At some point Mr. Holmes let it be known that he
would talk to you? Is that correct?
A: Yes, he did.
Q: And that conversation, then, took place – if I
understand it – in the absence of any effort on your part to
record that conversation?
A: Yes, it did.
Q: You have referred while you testified to those
notes in front of you? Is that correct?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: When were those notes prepared?
A: Immediately following my talk with John.
Q: Did you make any notes while you were talking
to Mr. Holmes?
A: No.
Q: After you made those notes did you talk with Mr.
Holmes to make sure that you had accurately recorded
what he had just told you?
A: Yes. I told him – basically I repeated back to him
what he had told me, trying to emphasize to him the
importance of this statement and he stated that he
understood.
Q: Your recollection of that conversation is that Mr.
Holmes was apparently very cooperative with you? Is that
correct?
A: Yes, he was.
Q: As far as you were concerned he was making a
free and voluntary statement to you? Is that correct?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Did you ever at any time thereafter ask him if he
would be kind enough to repeat that conversation so that it
could be recorded for posterity in some manner?
A: No. I asked him to tell the entire story —
Q: I understand that.
A: — after that.
Q: And, apparently, he told you what you considered
to b the entire story?
A: I don’t consider that to be the entire story. That
was all that he told me.
Q: What I’m saying is that whatever Mr. Holmes
apparently intended to tell you he told you in a very
cooperative, free, and voluntary fashion? That is all I’m
asking you.
A: Well, yes. I don’t agree with that statement. I felt
that he intended to tell me the entire story.
Q: All I’m asking you is that after he told you the
story did you ever tell Mr. Holmes, “Mr. Holmes, let me
get a recording device of some sort and perhaps you will
tell me that story again so I can record it and make sure
there is no mistakes to what you are saying and what
you are trying to tell me?”
A: No.
Q: After that conversation, that we have been
referring to, the one that is apparently written on those
sheets that you have in front of you, did you ever talk to
Mr. Holmes again?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: And when was that? When was the next
conversation?
A: The following day.
Q: What was your purpose in talking with Mr.
Holmes then?
A: He asked me to come see him.
Q: And did he repeat again the story that he had just
the day before told you?
A: No. He did not.
Q: Did you ask him to go over the story again?
A: No, I did not.
Q: I see. Now, I think you answered me but I just
want to make sure, Detective Tomlinson: After you had
the conversation with Mr. Holmes you did not reduce that
conversation to any kind of a written form and show it to
John and say, “John, would you read this over and if
you agree with it, sign it? Put your name on it?”
A: No, I did not.
Q: Have you ever shown those notes to Mr. Holmes?
A: No.
Q: Those notes were written by you sometime after
Mr. Holmes was either taken away from you or you left
Mr. Holmes. Is that correct?
A: That is true. I told him what was going to be on
the notes.
Q: With regard to what he told you, he gave you to
understand that he went back to the Wonderland address
with some of the people that were connected with Mr.
Nash. Is that correct?
A: Yes, he did.
Q: Now, did he give you the names?
A: No, he did not.
Q: Did you ask him the names?
A: Yes.
Q: Did he give you a description of the people?
A: No.
Q: Did he tell you how the people were armed?
A: He said he was taken there at gunpoint.
Q: He said they had guns and they took him there at
gunpoint?
A: His statement was that he was taken there at
gunpoint.
Q: Mr. Holmes told you that he knew why they were
going to that residence? Is that correct?
A: Yes.
Q: He never said to you that he knew they were
going to kill somebody?
A: No.
Q: Did he tell you, in fact, that they were there for
the purposes of recovering the property that was taken
from Mr. Nash either a day or two prior?
A: No.
Q: He just told you that he knew why they went
there?
A: Yes. He stated that he had no choice; that he had
to set things up and let them in and that he was there when
the murders occurred.
Q: I understand. But he did not tell you, Detective
Tomlinson – did he? – that he knew before he went there
that there was going to be a murder?
A: He didn’t use those words, no.
Q: And as a detective in charge of homicide
investigations, did you, if there was anything to clarify,
ask Mr. Holmes, “Mr. Holmes, did you know there was
going to be a murder?”
Did you ask him that?
A: I, in repeating his statement back to him, told him
that he was guilty of first degree murder because he had
gone there knowing that the murders were going to occur
and had, in fact, allowed the killers into the house.
Q: Well, that is what you told him? I’m asking you
what he told you.
A: He said he understood that.
Q: He understood what you were saying?
A: Yes.
Q: But he didn’t ever tell you that he knew there was
going to be a murder, did he?
A: Not in your words.
Q: Well, in his words? Did he use the word
“murder”?
A: I don’t recall if the word was in his statement. I
would have to look and see.
Q: Take a look at your statement and tell me if
you find that Mr. Holmes ever told you there was going to
be a murder.
MR. HANSON: May I approach the witness, Your
Honor?
THE COURT: Yes, you may.
BY MR. HANSON:
Q: May I see your notes? And show me where he
told you there was going to be a murder of he used the
word “murder”?
A: Initially, when I contacted him in Miami he stated
that he knew about the murders and that he was awaiting
for someone to find him in regard to that.
Q: He said he knew there had been a murder?
A: He said he knew about the murders.
Q: I want you to show me in your notes where Mr.
Holmes told you that he knew there was going to be a
murder taking place at Wonderland before he went there.
A: I get the impression you are asking me two
different questions.
Q: I’m trying to make it one. All I want you to show
me is somewhere in your notes where Mr. Holmes told
you that when he went to Wonderland he knew there was
going to be a murder? That is what I want you to show me.
A: Okay. No. In regard to that question, he did not
use the word “murder.”
Q: Okay. Did he use the word “kill”?
A: No.
Q: Did he use any words that described violence that
was going to occur? Torture, mugging, bludgeoning?
Anything?
A: No.
Q: Now, what he did tell you – and I am not trying to
play a game with you – what he did tell you, in essence,
was that he never laid a hand on anybody. Isn’t that
correct?
A: That is true.
Q: Did he tell you, sir, what kind of device was used
to injure those people?
A: No, he didn’t.
Q: Well, when you discussed with him what,
apparently, he saw, didn’t the presence of or description of
a murder weapon appear to you to be significant?
A: Yes, it did.
Q: Did you ask him?
A: Yes.
Q: What did you say to him?
A: I asked him to be more specific in regard to what
had happened and he told me that was everything he was
going to say.
Q: Had you already seen pictures of the bludgeoned
victims? Maybe you never saw the victims? I don’t know.
A: Yes, I saw the victims.
Q: Alright. Were you there with Detective Lange
when he first went to the location?
A: Yes.
Q: And you actually saw the victims in death?
A: Yes.
Q: Based upon your experience as a homicide
detective you probably formed some opinion as to what
kind of instrument might have been used to injure those
people?
A: No. It was too hard for me to form an opinion that
night.
Q: What I’m saying is they didn’t appear to be
poisoned?
A: No.
Q: They didn’t appear to be shot?
A: That was a possibility.
Q: Did you attend the autopsy?
A: No.
Q: Are you satisfied at this point from whatever
independent investigation was made that none of the
people were shot?
A: Yes, I am.
Q: And you knew that before you talked to Mr.
Holmes in December?
A: Yes. I knew that.
Q: Now, did Mr. Holmes tell you who was killed
first?
A: No, he didn’t.
Q: And he didn’t tell you how anybody met their
death. Isn’t that correct?
A: No, he didn’t.
MR. HANSON: I have nothing further. Thank you.
THE COURT: Redirect?
MR. COEN: Thank you, Your Honor.

REDIRECT EXAMINATION

BY MR. COEN:
Q: Detective Tomlinson, the attorney that was
appointed for the defendant in Florida – this was for the
purpose of extradition, to your knowledge?
A: Yes, it was.
Q: Is that the only warrant that was present before
the court? An extradition warrant?
A: Yes, it was.
Q: And did the defendant state to you that he let
killers in so that people could die?
A: That was my statement to him and he stated that
he understood that.
Q: The next statement – December 8, 1981 – did the
defendant request to see you?
A: Yes, he did.
Q: And did he tell you on that date that he decided to
tell you who committed the murders and give you Nash’s
counterfeiting operations and narcotics connections? Is
that correct?
A: Yes, he did.
Q: He never did, though, did he?
A: No, sir.
MR. COEN: I have nothing further.
THE COURT: Any recross?
MR. HANSON: No recross.
THE COURT: Thank you, sir. You may step down.
THE WITNESS: Thank you.
THE COURT: You are excused.
MR. COEN: Your Honor, I have in my hand a
package containing 16 photographs. May this entire
package and its contents be marked as People’s 4 for
identification?
THE COURT: They may be. The photographs will
be marked Exhibit 4 for identification collectively since
they are autopsy photographs.21
MR. COEN: Yes, they are.
THE COURT: Sixteen autopsy photographs.
MR. COEN: Counsel, will you stipulate that
People’s 4 for identification contains photographs of –
autopsy photographs – of Barbara Richardson, the
decedent in this case?
MR. HANSON: Yes.
21 At John Holmes’s subsequent trial for murder, graphic videotape of the bloody crime scene
was introduced in court for jurors, marking the first time in American jurisprudence that video
was deemed admissible in a criminal trial.
154
MR. COEN: Your Honor, in my hand I’m holding
what appears to be a package containing seven autopsy
photographs. May it be marked People’s 5 for
identification purposes?
THE COURT: So marked.
MR. COEN: Collectively?
Counsel, will you stipulate that People’s 5 for
identification contain the photographs in the autopsy of
Ronald Launius, a decedent in this case?
MR. HANSON: Yes, sir.
MR. COEN: Your Honor, in my hand I am holding
what appears to be a package containing nine photographs,
autopsy photographs. May these be marked as People’s
Six collectively?
THE COURT: So marked.
MR. COEN: Counsel, will you stipulate that
People’s 6 contain the autopsy photographs of Joy Audrey
Miller, a decedent in this case?
MR. HANSON: Yes.
MR. COEN: Finally, I have in my hand a package
containing 14 photographs, autopsy photographs. May this
be marked as People’s 7 collectively for identification?
THE COURT: Yes.
155
MR. COEN: Counsel, do you stipulate that
People’s 7 contains the autopsy photographs of William
Deverell, the decedent in this case?
MR. HANSON: Yes.
MR. COEN: Counsel ,do you stipulate that Dr.
Kornblum, that is K-O-R-N-B-L-U-M, be deemed called,
sworn, duly qualified as an expert autopsy surgeon and
testified as follows:
That on July 3, 1981 at approximately 9:30 he
performed an autopsy upon the body of Barbara
Richardson, the person that is depicted in People’s 4, and
that from the anatomic findings and pertinent history he
ascribed the cause of death as craniocerebral injuries.
MR. HANSON: Yes.
MR.COEN: Counsel, do you further stipulate that
Dr. Kornblum be deemed to have testified on July 3, 1981
that at approximately 11:00 o’clock he performed an
autopsy upon Ronald Launius, the person depicted in the
photographs in People’s 5 for identification, and that from
the anatomic findings and pertinent history he ascribed the
cause of death to craniocerebral injuries.
MR. HANSON: Yes.
MR. COEN: Counsel, do you further stipulate that
on July 3, 1981 at 12:30 Dr. Kornblum performed an
autopsy on Joy Audrey Miller, the person depicted in
People’s 6 for identification; that he, from the anatomic
findings and pertinent history ascribed the cause of death
to craniocerebral injuries; further, that at 2:00 P.M. on July
3, 1981 Dr, Kornblum performed an autopsy upon
156
William Deverell22, the person depicted in People’s 7
for identification, and that from the anatomic findings he
ascribed the cause of death to craniocerebral injuries.
MR. HANSON: Yes.
THE COURT: The stipulations are accepted by the
court. Is the last offer stipulated by the defense?
MR. HANSON: Yes, it is.
THE COURT: All right. Then the prosecutor is
ordered to hand to the court reporter copies of the
autopsies referred to in the stipulations and the court
reporter is ordered to copy those autopsy reports verbatim
into the record.
MR. COEN: At this time may People’s Evidence 1
through 7 inclusive be received?
MR. HANSON: No objection, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right. People’s 1 through 7 are
received.
MR. COEN: The People rest.
THE COURT: Will there be an affirmative defense
at this time?
MR. HANSON: No, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Are there going to be motions?
22 Deverell was the only victim found with defensive wounds on his hands, leading
investigators to speculate that it was Deverell who allowed Holmes and the killers access to
the house.
157
MR. HANSON: There will be a motion, Your
Honor.
THE COURT: All right. Did you wish to be heard at
this time? I note that it is 13 minutes after 4:00. If you
would like to be heard now I will entertain a motion and
argument now. If you prefer to be heard tomorrow I would
be willing to hear you tomorrow morning as well.
MR. HANSON: Your Honor, I am prepared to
address the court at this point.
THE COURT: All right.
MR. HANSON: Keeping in mind that argument
would not exceed two to three minutes.
THE COURT: All right. You may proceed.
MR. HANSON; Thank you, Your Honor.
I’m going to ask the court to dismiss this felony
complaint in its entirety, all five counts against Mr.
Holmes, on the grounds of insufficiency of the evidence.
At this juncture of the case, Your Honor, it does
appear quite clear that four people were bludgeoned to
death and that another person certainly came close to
death. I think the real question before the court is whether
or not the People have met their burden establishing that
Mr. Holmes is a suspect to the extent that he should be
held to answer.
Taking the evidence very quickly and in
chronological order, Your Honor, we know that the
158
survivor of this holocaust, looking at Mr. Holmes from a
matter of feet, cannot identify him either as a participant
or even as a person present at the time of the killings.
Looking at the fingerprints, I would cite to the court
the case of Birt vs. Superior Court at 34 Call App 3d, 934.
From both a legal and factual standpoint, Your Honor, I
would argue that the fingerprints certainly are not
sufficient to hold Mr. Holmes to answer.
From a factual standpoint we know from at least two
witnesses that Mr. Holmes, prior to the time the killings
took place, was in the home, was in the location where the
fingerprints were obtained from Mr. Holmes; so, the fact
of the fingerprints certainly don’t indicate that Mr. Holmes
was there at the time of the killings or that he participated
in the killings and, from a legal standpoint, I would cite
that case for authority that the mere presence of
fingerprints at this scene of the crime are not sufficient to
hold a person to answer. In fact, in that case, a burglary
case where fingerprints were found, a person was held to
answer and a Writ of Prohibition was granted.
With regard to Mr. Lind and Mr. McCourt, it appears
if we accept their testimony at face value – and I certainly
know the court, based upon their felony backgrounds
might not accept everything they say at face value, but
accepting their testimony at face value for purpose of this
Preliminary Hearing – all we have really established is
that Mr. Holmes, apparently, was friendly to some of the
people that were killed; that Mr. Holmes had been to the
house prior to the killings; that Mr. Holmes had a hand, to
some extent, in the robbery of Mr. Nash’s house. I fail to
see where the People from that testimony have shown the
court such a strong motive that the court would feel that
Mr. Holmes clearly had reason to go back and kill any of
those people.
Quite the contrary, we do know that, from what
Detective Tomlinson has said to us – and I expect the
court, having accepted that testimony, that the court is
bound by the testimony itself – and the testimony indicates
that Mr. Holmes did not kill anybody; that the most that
can be shown, apparently, is that Mr. Holmes, under
compulsion of death to himself or death to a family
member, apparently went to that location.
I think it is pure conjecture and speculation based
upon the examination of this very experienced homicide
detective that Mr. Holmes himself either took part in the
killing or that Mr. Holmes knew there was going to be a
killing.
Now, I appreciate the proposition of the law, Your
Honor, that a person cannot utilize the defense of
compulsion when he has supposedly committed a
homicide, but that proposition of law, I think, is entirely
different and can be contrasted with what happened here if
that version is accepted and that is that Mr. Holmes went
there under threat of life to himself or to his family; that
Mr. Holmes, apparently, knew that the people were going
to go into the residence. It is pure speculation and
conjecture that Mr. Holmes knew there was going to be a
killing.
So, I think that the defense at this point of
compulsion certainly is one that the court must consider
and in the totality of all of the evidence, Your Honor, I
submit to the court that the People have not met their
burden of proof. They have not shown that Mr. Holmes
killed anyone or that Mr. Holmes was an aider and abetter
with the requisite knowledge in killing any of those
people.
Submit it, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Mr. Coen?
MR. COEN: Just briefly, Your Honor. We have here
a drug robbery that went tragically awry.
The defense on compulsion would not lie at this
particular case. I’ve prepared a Preliminary Hearing brief
which is all of two pages long but, briefly, Penal Code
Section 26 (6) holds that where a person commits a crime
punishable by death, as this one is, that the defense of
duress, or that he committed the crimes under threats or
menace that life would be in danger is not admissible.
The defendant stated in conversation with Detective
Tomlinson that he went there at gunpoint. He was forced
to tell Eddie Nash about his cohorts who committed these
drug robberies, was forced to take them to this house on
Wonderland, which is a security house that no one would
be allowed entrance except those that are well known to
the occupants.
When Detective Tomlinson said “And you allowed
them to enter so that people could die?” the defendant said
he understood that and that is an adoptive admission and
that the prints being found in the house and, specifically,
the palm print found over the head of the decedent on
the headboard, taking the evidence in its totality, Your
Honor, there is sufficient, more than sufficient, evidence
to hold the defendant to answer to each and every one of
those crimes.
Submit it.
THE COURT: Submit it, Mr. Hanson?
MR. HANSON: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right. Based upon the totality of
the record of the motion to dismiss for insufficiency of the
evidence must be denied.
It is true that in this case there is no direct evidence
of the defendant’s participation in the commission of the
murders which are before the court and in Count V is an
attempted murder. It is true that the victim named in Count
V, Susan Launius, cannot and did not in this crime identify
the defendant as the person that she had ever seen before
or a person that she saw on the morning of these events.
The fingerprints are an element of the case indicating the
defendant’s presence in the house at some time before the
murders were committed.
The palm print in the bedroom number one is very
significant to the court.
The testimony of Mr. Lind and Mr. McCourt assists
the court to some extent with respect to the activities
which led up to the events alleged in the complaint.
The court makes a finding at this time based upon
the record which is before it that theory of duress is not
admissible to this particular case and based upon the
totality of the record which is before the court, although
not the strongest record this court has ever had, leaves this
court to believe that there is strong suspicion that Mr.
Holmes did commit the crimes with which he is charged in
this complaint.
Mr. Holmes, the date of arraignment in the Superior
Court will be February 17, 1982 at 8:30 on Department
The court must make specific findings in this case
and the court finds that there is sufficient evidence to hold
you to answer to the charge alleged in Count I of this
complaint and finds sufficient evidence to find to be true
the special allegations.
The court would make the same findings as to Count
II, III, and IV and as to Count V the court does find that
there is sufficient evidence to hold you to answer to the
charge alleged, because of the special circumstances
alleged in this complaint and the court has, based on this
record, has to find them to be true. The case will remain a
no-bail case at this time.
MR. HANSON: We understand. Thank you, Your
Honor.
THE COURT: Thank you very much.
MR. COEN: Thank you, Your Honor.
(Proceedings Concluded)
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