Victim’s mother testified, legal motions heard in Gilley murder trial

The murder trial of Jason Ross Gilley, accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering 23-year-old Dalene Carlson, began Sept. 10.

There was some parts of coverage from that day I couldn’t fit into the story published the next day (Sept. 11). Here is some of it:

*  Carlson’s body was found on Gilley’s 26th birthday (Oct. 15, 2011).

* Before jurors entered the courtroom for opening statements, Judge Seth Hoyt Jr. heard and ruled on motions made by Gilley’s defense attorney, Deputy Public Defender Michael Bullard.

Bullard filed a motion to exclude from evidence a statement Gilley made to Stockton police detectives that he had a panty fetish. Hoyt denied it. The statement is relevant, according to Hoyt, because Carlson’s body was found without her underwear.

Bullard filed motions for a mistrial. In one of the motions, he brought up the media attention the case has received and the affect it would have on a jury’s ability to be fair. Bullard sited that media cameras had been shooting pictures of Gilley in the courtroom hallways.  (Hoyt has denied media requests for camera shots in the courtroom. Media crews have been shooting picture of Gilley being escorted to the courtroom in the hallways of San Joaquin County Superior Court.)

The motion was denied. Hoyt, however, did instruct jurors to not read, listen to or watch media coverage of the trial.

* Carlson’s mother, Narlene Flagg, was the first witness called by prosecutor Robert Himelblau.

Carlson was born Feb. 22, 1988, Flagg said. “She was my youngest daughter,” she said.

The family used to live in Stockton before they relocated to Sandpoint, Idaho, in 1996. In 2011, the Idaho town was under recession, Flagg said, and Carlson wanted to find a job.

Carlson moved back to Stockton (it is unclear which month of 2011 she specifically moved, because some relatives have said May, June and July) in the summer of 2011 to live with her aunt Margret Baker and cousin Cesilee Baker. Her goal was gaining employment and enrolling into college.

“Every night she would call me,” Flagg said. Carlson talked to her about friends she made.

A photograph of Carlson was shown on a projector screen for Flagg to identify. The photo was shot just before Carlson went out on Aug. 6, 2011, and consisted of a brown and white striped tank top, jeans fashioned with rips she had borrowed from her cousin Cecilee Baker, and black flip flops. (The jeans were found away from the body by police during the investigation and positively identified in court by Cecilee).

Flagg last spoke to her youngest daughter the Friday before she went missing. On Sunday — Aug. 7, 2011 — family members hadn’t heard from her all day and they started making calls.

When Dalene’s nude and skeletal remains were finally recovered in an Escalon cornfield there were various identifying methods used: saliva swabs from her mother for a DNA match; dental records obtained from Idaho; a ring her mother had given her with Carlson’s birthstone; an earring post; another earring; and a tattoo she had gotten just before coming to Stockton from a friend’s tattoo shop that had recently opened its doors back in Idaho. Much of her skin had decomposed away but one of the few patches of skin left was the tattooed patch.

Other family members testified next, including her sister Narja Goonan, aunt Margret Baker and cousin Cesilee Baker.

For more on coverage of this day see the story published: http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130911/A_NEWS/309110316&cid=sitesearch.

 

 

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