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West Trial: Defense questions detective about tactics in Jacqueline West interview

Jacqueline West
Posted at 1:53 PM, Apr 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-17 21:37:12-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — “I’m going to hold you to that,” said Defense attorney Alexia Torres-Stallings as she concluded her cross-examination of Detective John Ryan Monday. Torres-Stallings referring to Ryan’s promise to Jacqueline West that he would be the first to apologize to her if he were wrong.

Jacqueline and her husband Trezell West have pleaded not-guilty to second-degree murder in the case of their adoptive sons Orrin and Orson.

Monday allowed the defense to question Ryan about several statements he made during his testimony Friday, as well as a video recording of Ryan and other authorities interviewing Jacqueline.

On Friday, Ryan testified that he watched surveillance video of the family leaving the house on December 19, 2020. Trezell and Jacqueline were taking their children to Bakersfield to stay with Trezell’s mother. Ryan stated that when he watched the surveillance video, he only saw four children entering the van with Trezell and Jacqueline.

Torres-Stallings used her cross-examination to play that full surveillance video for the jury. While playing the video, she asked Ryan if he was able to make out any of the individuals by their faces or clothing. He was not. Torres-Stallings also asked if he could tell if anyone was carrying a child in the video, he could not.

The video showed several individuals leaving the home and entering the van before it pulled out of the driveway. As it left, Torres-Stallings pointed out that an individual walks into the frame across the street. Torres-Stallings asked Ryan if he knew if anyone had ever talked to that individual about seeing six children get into the van. Ryan said he didn’t know if anyone had.

Along with the video, Torres-Stallings asked Ryan about fingerprints on the backyard glass sliding door at the Wests’ home. Ryan stated that he saw the fingerprints but wasn’t sure if they were gathered and tested. A BPD Crime Lab supervisor testified Monday that while he is a certified latent print examiner, when at the home no one asked him to test fingerprints.

Another witness to testify Monday was the BPD lab technician who collected evidence from the Wests’ home. Photos she took of the home showed bedrooms with bunkbeds, toys, clothes, and diapers. She also photographed the Christmas presents in the living room, which included tags for Orrin and Orson.

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