Wednesday, September 13, 2006

You Have Heard of Bird Watching. . . BUT Bird Catching!

The picture posted August 26 (Jacob Caught a Bird) shows the first in a series of birds that Cob caught and released. When asked how he catches them he replies he corners them in the garage. He says when he first began catching birds he used gloves because he was afraid the bird might bite and snap him. Now after several successful catches he amazingly catches them bare handed. "I'm not afraid of them anymore because the last time one bit me and it didn't hurt too bad. Jacob catches them and releases them within hours for the sake of the creature. When asked what he is learning from catching these birds he says I am learning the types of birds and the accent of each whistle. I am also learning how they signal to each other and that I can talk to them and they don't know I am a human and can easily catch them.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Abigail's Birthday Celebration

We celebrated Abigail's Birthday with a trip to Uncle Ron and Aunt Kari's on Saturday. The day dawned chilly and cloudy. We packed up the van and headed out around 9:30, arriving around 10:45. When we pulled in the driveway and Abigail saw her cousin Anna she let out an ear piercing SQUEAL! She has been counting down the days to her birthday (which is actually tomorrow) since July. Drew dropped Abram, the girls and I off, picked up Grant and headed to his Dad's for a day of boating. Some friends we met a few years ago at Anna's "Little House on the Prairie" party came around 11:00 as well as Drew's Mom. The little girls all dressed in their "Little House on the Prairie" dresses, bonnets and shawls didn't let the clouds slow them down. They climbed in the wagon in the yard and figured out who would play each character for the day. Kaylin playing as Ma, Mary as Mary, Anna as Laura, Abigail as Carrie, and Kariann as Grace. Pa must have been clearing some land because there were no boys at this point. After the girls played a bit they came in and we played pin the antenna on the butterfly. Mary Elisabeth went first and stuck her antenna right on the spot. Each girl followed suit. The finished butterfly had a huge mass of pipe cleaner antennas! Then each girl came to the porch window for a sack lunch which they took outside. After that we broke open the butterfly pinata we have been working on for the last couple weeks. All that work gone in a FLASH. It really made Grandma Mary laugh to see the butterfly once the clasp was broken and the poor thing was dangling there all beat up. It truly was a funny sight. Next the girls searched for beads just like the part in the book when Pa took the girls to the Indian camp. All the girls loved the beautiful beads Aunt Kari had selected. Then Abigail passed out gift bags to each of the girls and they gave her their gifts. Then as the girls played "Little House on the Prairie" they could come to Aunt Kari's porch window to buy cupcakes or ice cream cones or slates and chalk. There was a whole lot more to the day of course. The girls giggled and enjoyed themselves immensely. Around 5 the guys returned (Lynn, Kaylin and Kariann had departed) and we had a wonderful meal of chili, hotdogs and cornbread followed by singing, cake and MORE ice cream. I think Abigail enjoyed her big day! For more birthday pictures click on the flicker badge on the side bar:-).

Labor Day Weekend

We loved having Aunt Rita come visit! She lavished our children with attention and gifts! Thanks Aunt Rita. We spent a good part of Friday getting Aunt Rita's room in proper order. 2:00PM Saturday did not come soon enough for everyone. That is when Aunt Rita arrived. Here is the weekend update from Aunt Rita's perspective. Oh and I might add. . . When we were all out playing in the street (no driveway) and Drew was struggling to raise the unicycle seat I told everyone to get out of the street because a car was coming. Baruch practically yelled "Watch out woman driver". Rita was looking all around to see where that came from! Where do you think that boy learned such talk?

Rita's update:
As you may or may not know, last weekend (labor day weekend) I drove to Iowa to visit the Tribe. Tim was going to go with originally but due to some changing circumstances ended up having to stay home. I knew that this news would be disappointing to the nieces and nephews, especially Jacob, but Beth said he handled it like a man.

So anyway, I woke up pretty leisurely on Saturday morning and left the house about 8:00 a.m. It took me 7 hours to get there due to some congestion on the highway out of Chicago toward Wisconsin. Boy, there is sooo much construction going on but it does finally look like they are making headway along several stretches in and around Chicago.

Shortly after my arrival we decided to take advantage of the nice weather and go for a bike ride. This required waking up Abigail and Baruch early from their naps, otherwise if we left later it would have interfered with dinner time. Ah, with 5 in tow, it is amazing that the timing of it could be worked out at all.

Drew was in front with Abigail connected by the tow-along (or whatever it is called) and then I think it was Abram in the baby
trailer behind her. Then Beth was on her bike with Baruch in the baby trailer behind her. Mary and Jacob each had their own bikes and I was on a very nice spare that they happened to have. We rode all the way into the city up to the river where they have revamped the Mississippi river walk area. Beth and Drew knew the route with the least amount of tricky maneuvering and least amount of traffic but it still gave me a heart attack to see Jacob going gung-ho while approaching a stop sign. Of course he did stop for the stop signs and of course Beth and Drew knew that he would but since I haven't been there to witness this before I was just holding my breath. But what a sight we were to see in our big long train of bikes and trailers. Jacob wanted to ride next to me so we could talk but then when there was traffic he had a hard time getting in line single
file in time and would cut off Mary. Finally, on the way back, Beth told him he needed to ride right behind Drew and his line-up, then Mary would ride behind him, then me and then Beth brining up the rear. Well, Jacob did ride behind Drew but every time Drew was slowing to a stop, Jacob was too interested in everything else around him and only realized he must stop at the last second. I counted at least 4 times when Jacob rammed into the back of the trailer. Whoops. So I think Abram (if in fact that was who Drew was towing) might have suffered a little whip lash, but never once did I hear a whimper.

Then on the way home we stopped at a park and played some fun chasing / tag games while Drew pedaled up to the house and brought back the van with the trailer. He then loaded up the bikes onto the trailer. The reason for this is because there is a humongous hill that we would have had to have ridden up to get home. It is doubtful that all of the little ones (and doubtful that Beth or me either) could have ridden up it. I guess this is their routine anyway.

By the time we got home it was supper time and thanks to Beth's foresight and expertise in setting the timer on the oven, she put a delicious lasagna dinner on the table in a matter of minutes. She also had made a delicious homemade chocolate cheesecake for dessert. They put candles on it and sang Happy Birthday to me which was so sweet.

The next day the weather was kind of yucky and rainy. We ended up going to the National Mississippi River museum. The highlight of that was the "creature feature" which happened to be a Bull Snake that day. We learned all about the snake and got in line (several times over) to pet it. Very interesting!

When we got home the rain had let up some so we spent time outside. I had brought some scooters that Kelsey, Sean and Emily had outgrown so the kids were riding up and down the street and sidewalk on those. In the mean time they had been asking me if I could ride a unicycle and would I show them. So, Drew got out a wrench to try to lower the seat on it. He was exerting himself so forcefully trying to lower the seat that he by accident passed wind. Then he was trying to use a hammer and it somehow got caught and ripped the pocket of a very nice plaid shirt he was wearing. In the end he did
get the seat raised and Beth and I were able to show the kids that we could ride the unicycle. But was it worth it since Drew ended up ruining a pair of underwear as well as a shirt??

I took a few pictures which I will try to put on the site or send out soon. You are not going to believe this, but I forgot to get
any pics of Abram. You'll just have to believe me that he is as cute (and strong) as the dickens. All of the other children are great too; just as nice and polite as can be, funny and smart too!! Beth and Drew are doing a very commendable job.

The kids sang Happy Birthday to me as many times as they could fit it in over the weekend. I loved it. It made me feel so special! Monday morning came around fast. The kids woke me up by singing Happy Birthday to me again which really made me laugh. I departed after pigging out on a wonderful pancake breakfast that Drew made. It only took me 6.5 hours to get home. Even though it didn't take as long as the way there, it still seemed mighty long.

Trial News

It is hard to believe it was two years ago today that Dad was killed! I miss him so much. The first thing that came to my mind when I hung the phone up after Matt's call telling me Dad had been killed in a head on collision that awful morning was. . . "The Lord is good a stronghold in the day of trouble and He knows those who take refuge in Him." (Nahum 1:7) I repeat that verse many times each day and praise the Lord that through everything HE is the same yesterday, today and forever. HE is GOOD! The trial finally took place in August. I am copying the notes my sister took during the trial in case you are interested. I thank God the trial is over.

DAY ONE AUG. 22, 2006
Matt got to court at 9am. The state/prosecution offered Coffey a plea of a 10.5 year sentence. Coffey turned them down and opted for a trial. At the end of the day we spoke with Eric Rosario, who is the prosecuting attorney. He said that 10.5 years is the average; minimum of 6 years, maximum of 16 if found guilty. Of course, Coffey is hoping to be found not guilty. Rosario thinks it could go either way - 50/50 chance.
They the decided to choose a jury. Matt called Michelle and Michelle called Mom - I was in the shower. I got to the courthouse and was able to get a primo parking spot close to the building and under a tree - praise the Lord - even though I saw other cars roaming around. It's under construction and there are very few parking spots. Matt had to park over a large block away.
I was inside the court room at ~ 10:45am. I had to walk between Rosario and the ~ 35 potential jurors to go sit on the left side by Matt. Coffey's parents were sitting on the other side of the jurors. Coffey has cleaned up nicely. He's cut his hair and has a nicely trimmed short beard. He was wearing a suit. Rosario questioned the jurors for over an hour. He asked the whole group yes/no type questions. And if a few answered different than the group - he asked them more detailed questions. They were seated in a specific numbered order and the judge (Joseph A Bulone), prosecutor, and defense all had a seating chart with names on it. see below for more on the kinds of questions asked.
When Rosario was finished we broke for lunch for 1 hour. After the jurors left, the prosecutor and defense went up to talk to the judge about flying in witnesses etc. The defense admitted that they admit that the crash happened the way it did - there defense is going to be about the cause or why it happened. This was a little tough to hear since it was directed to the judge, not us. When they finished Matt introduced me to Rosario and his assistant Seth. I told Eric how sick Mom was and asked if she was going to have to testify. He said it was mandatory that she be in the courtroom at 9am on Wednesday. Mom will be asked to identify Dad using a picture of him after his death. Mom has received a subpoena. Eric has spoken to Mom several times on the phone and went over this with her last week.
After lunch, it was the defenses turn to ask the jurors questions, which took about 1/2 hour. Then the jurors were dismissed back to the jurors room for 20 minutes. During this time the defense and prosecution dismissed potential jurors for cause (the judge and both attorneys agreed on these). Plus both the defense and prosecution got 6 strikes each. Also during this time, the judge listened to another cases hearing where the case was postponed until September.
In the end #'s 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 23, and 26 were chosen - six jurors and one alternate. Cecelia Wiff, Joseph Wolf, Philip Sheek, Tracey Craig, Craig Sullivan (whose wife may go into labor any day), Kevin Morel, and Barbara Spivey - spelling in question on all of these. The rest of the jurors were dismissed.
After that, Matt & I asked Rosario is we could ask him a few questions. We followed him back up to his office. He told us he has 8 witnesses hopefully. One of the main witnesses, Mr. Egan was driving the first car to arrive on the scene. He went to Coffey's van. And his friend, Brian Pollina, went and helped Mom out of Mom & Dad's van. Egan is in the services - so the prosecution is trying to get permission for him to be flown in from Oklahoma to testify. Other witnesses are the Captain & Lieutenant - the highway patrol on the scene, the EMS person on the scene, the person who drew Coffey's blood at the hospital, the person who admitted Coffey to the hospital, and Mom. I think I have that right - there was some fast talking going on and no time for note taking. We'll find out on Wed & Thursday. Coffey's blood alcohol level was .124/.123 two hours after the crash. Unfortunately, Coffey's blood was drawn 2 hours after the crash and the rule of retrograde extrapolat ion apply - which means his blood alcohol level could have been anywhere between .06 (below the legal limit of .08) and .11. For example, if you drank 4 shots of whiskey very quickly, and got behind the wheel of a car, you would be legal to drive until the alcohol got into your blood stream. Just like waiting for an aspirin to take affect. We thought there was a witness who saw Coffey leave the bar and get in his car, but Rosario says there isn't one. He thinks the defense is going to use having a cigarette land on his pants, which is why his pants were partially down. Rosario doesn't think they will use Coffey diabetes. The prosecution has been given a day to get the witnesses flown in and have lots of work to do blowing up pictures, etc. They have an extremely heavy work load - I don't see how they do it. Makes me appreciate camp Sandia! :-)
So that's what's happened so far. I made BBQ chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner. Mom ate maybe 1 ounce of chicken and 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes. I just took some corn bread out of the oven - I hope she eats a little more of that. Please pray that she is strong/well enough by Wed morning. She is so weak and shaky. Michelle's is trying to find a wheel chair for us, because it's just too far for her to walk.
The jury will be sworn in Wed. morning. Rosario will put Mom on the stand first thing.
Love, Terry
PS Here are some of Rosario's questions:
Anyone charged with a crime? 3 people - 2 cases dropped - 1 convicted of DUI - he doesn't like the DUI laws and thinks they're unfair.
Can you be fair and impartial?
Do you believe everything you hear? 1 woman said yes - she believes everybody.
Are you a registered voter? 3 said no, 1 said because she's a Jehovah's Witness they do not believe in judging people.
Will the graphic photos that will be presented affect you? 1 said she would not look at the photos - her mother died in a car accident last October and she had to clean out the car. The judge spoke up here and said that all evidence was relevant and if she was chosen as a juror she would have to look at the pictures. Later she reiterated to the defense that she would not look at the pictures.
Any members of MADD (Mothers against Drunk Drivers)? None
Any members of SADD (Students against Drunk Drivers and Destructive behavior)? 1
Defenses questions:
Presumed innocent unless prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt?
Is anyone opposed to drinking? 3
Who doesn't drink alcohol at all? 5 or 6
Graphic photos? 1 - could cause bias, 1 - roommate was killed in a car accident and he had to identify body. If you're sympathetic say so now? No one else.
Asked the Jehovah's Witness if she could be impartial - she said no she couldn't be.
Asked a potential juror whose name is Coffey if he was related or knew any of Mr. Coffey's family - he said no.
Having you seen someone drinking to impairment? 1 - can't walk 1- driving erratically 1- drifting out of lane 1- guy ran him off the road 1-admitted to drinking and driving and that it felt like being over tired 1- saw someone hit a young girl, blew a tire, and tried to change it, and calling 911 did not help as there was no one in the jurisdiction on duty.
Asked individual who couldn't focus on trial because of work getting in the way - he said he wouldn't be able to focus
Do you know the difference between deliberation and negotiation? Between making a decision and being pressured into changing your decision? 1-admitted to changing her mind in a jury decision because of pressure - she chalked it up to a learning experience. Defense said "please don't take this as a learning experience at Mr. Coffey's expense" while standing behind Coffey chair all friendly.
Apply the facts, do not apply sympathy

DAY TWO AUG 23, 2006
Today was a grueling day. Mom & I left the house at 7:15am exactly and got up to courthouse a little before 8am. We had borrowed a wheel chair from Matt & Michelle's church, but Mom didn't want me to have to lift it out of the car. So I went into the courthouse and borrowed one of theirs which turned out to be large and a little tricky to maneuver. We went to Eridc Rosario's office. Cheryl Price, our MADD advocate, was there. After a little wait all 3 of us went into Eric's assistant's office where Eric went over what he was going to ask Mom. The primary piece was identifying a picture of Dad. He had 2 photos and showed the better of the 2 to Mom. Mom could not believe that the picture was of Dad. Cheryl covered up the most damaged part of his face and then Mom recognized Dad's haircut and ears. Since it was almost 9am it was time to go.
We went down to the courtroom. Mom had to wait outside of the court until after her testimony. Cheryl waiting outside with Mom during this time. A discussion of what was going to happen took place between the judge, the attorneys, and Coffey. They talked about the expected witnesses. Eric said the toxicologist will put the blood alcohol level at .11 to .2 at time of driving. Trooper Fry took a video of the crime scene - it will be shown as evidence. The coroner may show 3 pictures of the deceased. The judge talked about depositions (taking of testimony outside of court) to the defense - Coffey waived this right. He will be a witness. Coffey then stipulated that the deceased is Glenn Schoeppe. A stipulation is an agreement made between two parties in legal proceedings. Stipulations remove points of contention so that progress can be made during the proceedings. This meant that later when Mom testified she did not have to identify Dad - she did not have to look at the picture. But it was good that Rosario had gone over that with Mom, because when she saw the picture of Dad she wasn't sure it was him at all, which would have been bad if Coffey had not agreed with the stipulation. Also, this meant the coroner did not have to show pictures later either. Unfortunately during this discussion, Matt & Michelle saw the picture of Dad sitting on the podium as Rosario was showing the judge other pictures that were going to be used as evidence.
The bailiff then brought the jury in. They were given note pads and pens. There notes will be destroyed after the trial is over.
Then Rosario gave the opening statements for the state. He set the scene. Mr. & Mrs. Schoeppe fleeing a hurricane. Glenn Schoeppe was driving. Ione was in the passengers seat. Leaving early to beat any potential evacuations. He said that Coffey went to Castle Bar in Ebor City. That he was so drunk he went many miles past the area of his home. He was heading west on 54. Mr. & Mrs. Schoeppe were headed east. Coffey crosed over 2 lanes to crash into Mom & Dad's car. It was a horrific crash. The white van (Coffey's) went quite a distance before coming to a stop. Glenn Schoeppe being killed on impact. Ione Schoeppe injured. Stephan Egan and Brian Polina arriving at the scene. Stephan seeing the defendant leave his vehicle with his pants down and trying to walk to the trees. Coffey being bay flight-ed to the hospital.
Then the defense attorney, Donald Harrison, gave his opening remarks. He said his client went dancing in Ebor City at a club that he and his wife frequented. He often went with her and sometimes went without her. On the night of Sept. 11, 2004, he went dancing by himself. As he usually did, his client had a beer, and then switched to drinking water. He described the scene & collision. He then mentioned that Coffey was on medication for diabetes and that Coffey had sought medical help because the medication made him very drowsy. The medication also made him forget things. In fact, some days he made deliveries all day and was surprised at the log as that was his only recollection of the days events. On the morning of the accident, Coffey's body was on auto pilot. He didn't remember anything until about 8 hours after the accident. The accident was not caused by drinking, it was caused by an unconscious individual.
Mom was called to the stand. Cheryl wheeled her in and came and sat next to me. After Mom was sworn in the bailiff wheeled her up near the stand. Mom spoke from the wheel chair. While Rosario asked Mom questions, she described the crash. Of realizing that Dad was dead. Of seeing smoke, which she later realized was from the radiator, and being afraid of fire. Of trying to get out of the car, but being unable to open the door. Of 2 girls trying to help her, and they were unable to open the door. Of a young man getting the car door open. Of going to sit in the girls car. Cross examination/Defense: was about the description of the road and the median in between the two lanes.
Mom came and sat between Matt & I.
Private Stephen Egan was called to the stand. He was in his fatigues. He was flown out from Oklahoma. He's a young man in the US Army, in basic training. State/Rosario questioned: On 9/11 he was with a friend. They were driving home (Egan was driving) on State Rd 54. They went thru a patch of fog and realized it was an accident and no one else was on the scene yet. So they turned around and parked across the road from the crash. Saw two vans, described them. Rosario admitted States evidence picture 1 - Ford Aerostar van (Mom & Dad's van). [Whenever a picture was shown - Rosario showed it to the defense attorney, then the person on the stand. Then it got passed from person to person on the jury. During this time everyone waited.] Egan saw a man's body inside all twisted up. Rosario admitted States evidence picture 2 - inside the van. Egan left his friend to help Mom. Then went to the white van. Rosario admitted States evidence picture 3 - white van. Egan saw a man undo his seat belt and slide out of the white van. He identified Coffey in the courtroom as the same man who got out of the van. His pants were down. He was wobbly and acting intoxicated. He then tried to leave the scene of the crime and walk to where some trees were. Egan yelled at Coffey. He told Coffey a man had died. He went and stood near Coffey and told him you are not leaving. So Coffey layed down and passed out. When he was near Coffey he smelled an odor of liquor on his breath. There was no smell of liquor in the van - just some automotive fluid smell. Then he waited for EMS to arrive. Cross examination/Defense: Yes Coffey appeared to have passed out. He was coming in and out of consciousness. Have you ever smelled the breath of someone undergoing acidosis? [I may not have the wording right] There breath smells like alcohol. Egan said no. What was this man wearing? Leather pants and white shirt. Was he wearing boxers? I don't know it was covered by his shirt - I was trying not to look at that region. Were there any injuries? His leg was hurt.
Brian Polina was called to the stand. State/Rosario questioned: Parked across from white van. Polina identified Coffey as the man in the white van. He was in the driver's seat. He had slurred speech. Then Brian left to go to the other van. He helped 2 or 3 people who were trying to get the van door open. He yanked it open. Then he walked Mom to his car - or actually his mother's car. He heard Stephen yelling at the man who got out of the white van, or more demanding - like he was talking to a child - to get back here / stop. Brian also smelled alcohol on Coffey's breath. Cross examination/Defense: Are you familiar with diabetes? Yes - my grandmother has diabetes. Some question about acidosis? I never smelled alcohol on my grandmother's breath. Polina said Coffey was wobbly because of alcohol.
10:30am - 15 min. break. Matt, Michelle, and I wheeled Mom out to her car. Michelle drove Mom home.
W. Frederick Vetter was called to the stand. State/Rosario questioned: Deputy with Pacoe County Sheriffs Office, DUI squad. Saw two vans that had been in head on collision. He described the road. Rosario admitted States evidence picture 4 - divider/median in road. Saw Stephen on south side of road way (they knew each other previous to crash). Saw a guy in the field wearing black leather pants, white shirt, boots. His demeanor was disoriented. He was slow to answer questions. He had an odor of alcohol. He might be intoxicated. Didn't do anymore, because it was Florida Highway Patrol's jurisdiction. State exhibit 5 - bag with very dirty foo-foo white shirt in it and black leather pants that had been slit all the way down the side. Rosario put on gloves before holding these items up for display. Cross examination/Defense: As a DUI Investigator doesn't diabetes have alcoholic symptoms? Some of the symptoms yes, but not alcohol on the breath. A diabetic episode has a different odor to their breath. Coffey did answer questions - just slowly. He answered questions correctly. In Vetter's experience a person in a diabetic episode can't comprehend and doesn't know where they are. State/Rosario: In your opinion was defendent suffering from a diabetic episode. Vetter said "No".
Kevin Burg was called to the stand. State/Rosario questioned: EMS Firefighter/Paramedic/Nurse. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2004 arrived on scene. Observed white van and mini van. Went to victim lying on the grass near the white van. Was he unconscious? No, he was able to answer questions. He requested a helicopter because he thought there were head injuries. He asked Coffey where are you hurt? He asked him medical history questions - Coffey denied being a diabetic. He made an assessment including measuring blood sugar level - which was 140. He asked Coffey if he had consumed alcohol - Coffey said yes. Time of assessment 5:16am. He also identified Coffey in the courtroom. He's been with EMT since 2003. He's seen 50 to 100 DUI cases. He was with Coffey from 5:13 to 5:44. There was not a severe head injury like he originally thought. He said Coffey appeared intoxicated, sleepy, and very relaxed. He said Coffey answered questions appropriately. He said Coffey denied takin g any medication. Cross examination/Defense: Questioned other measurements - pulse, blood pressure - which Burg had to look up on his records (sheet of paper). He started an IV of saline - no Dextrose. Coffey did not have a medic alert bracelet on. In Burg's experience a diabetic episode had symptoms of being confused, drowsy, slurred speech, and pale. Coffeys speech was slurred. In Burg's experience a diabetic episode with high blood sugar produced fruity smelling breath, one with low blood sugar had no change to their breath. State/Rosario: Describe Coffey injuries? A shoulder injury from seat belt. 140 blood sugar level is within normal range - not necessarily high. Normal pulse - 88 - 90 - 86 over time. Blood pressure 140/88. Defense: Was Coffey experiencing a diabetic episode or was he intoxicated. Burg said he was intoxicated. Wouldn't your heart rate go higher with a diabetic episode? Coffey's heart rate was in normal range 60 to 100. Would someone with a blood alcohol level of .12 be unconscious? No - depends on the individual.
Trooper Leland Fry was called to the stand. State/Rosario questioned: Florida Highway Patrol specializing in traffic fatalities with traffic homicide training in the dynamics of crashes with advanced investigation of crashes course and reconstruction courses. Qualified as an expert. He was the homicide supervisor. He took video of the crash site to assist Corporal Scott Campbell. He requested the blood draw and sent a trooper to Bayfront Hospital. His video was shown to the court. It took ~ 7 min. - We could not see it from where we sat. Cross examination/Defense: No skid marks from the white van. No evidence of the application of brakes. DUI investigation includes the physical and mental effect of alcohol. The more alcohol, the more effect. Unconscious after drinking alcohol? Depends on the individual. Diabetes episode? Depends on the individual. .12 alcohol blood level - is it unusual for a person experiencing this level to be unconscious? Depends on the indi vidual. State/Rosario: 1 beer could be a danger on the road? Depends on the individual. 6 beers could be a danger on the road? Depends on the individual. The people who were there should judge. Defense: Has diabetes caused fatal accidents? Yes.
11:50am - 1 hour lunch break. Michelle returned. Over lunch I felt pretty good about how things were going.
1:05pm - Pow wow with judge - new info/reports admitted from the toxicologist. Jury comes back in.
Cathy Develos was called to the stand. State/Rosario questioned: She drew Coffey's blood. She was pretty nervous on the stand. State/Rosario questioned: She is a medical technologist at Bayfront Medical Center. She was called to ER to draw blood. She wiped the patients arm with benedril - not alcohol. She drew 2 samples - sealed and initialed. Cross examination/Defense: Do you know if this man in the courtroom is who you drew the blood from? No, I don't remember. Was the person you drew blood from male or female? I don't know. What was his race? She explained how many blood draws she does in a week. Was this person conscious or unconscious? I don't know.
Corporal Scott Campbell was called to the stand. State/Rosario questioned: Homicide investigation for FHP. Expert in accident reconstruction. Notified at 5:40am. Arrived on scene at 6:20am. There were two vehicles on south side of 54. Fry was videotaping. Suspect had already been bay flight-ed. Deceased was in mini van. Trooper Wells was dispatched to get blood sample at the hospital. Measured the scene. The blue mini van was moving towards the shoulder. Rosario admitted States evidence picture 7. No signs of braking by white van. Maximum engagement vehicles press down - they leave a mark/scrape on the road tagging where the crash occurred. Blue mini van traveled 7 feet south - stopped in mud and spun counter clockwise. White van went thru the mini van and continued westerly for another 94 feet. It's left front tire was damaged. It was completely off the roadway. The white van was going between 42 and 50. The speed limit here was 45. It was a dry and clear night. Ther e was nothing to cause the white van to cross the double yellow lines of the painted median. The vehicle crossed two whole lanes. He looked into white van - there were no alcoholic beverages and no smell of alcohol in the van. There was blood and red hair in the windshield. Corporal Campbell identified Coffey as the person he met with to question. He interviewed Coffey at his home on Sept. 18. Coffey did not remember the crash. He did remember going to the Castle Gothic Club in Ebor City. Coffey stayed a few hours and he remembered leaving to go home. He had no explanation as to why he was on 54 and was no where near home. Coffey did not mention anything about a diabetic episode at this time. He was by himself and gave no explanation for having crossed the double yellow line. Cross examination/Defense: Did the white van ever apply it's brakes? No. The white van had more momentum than the mini van. Driver took no action to even turn the stirring wheel. Driver remembered the c lub, leaving the club, but does not remember getting out of his van. Diabetes episode has similar signs to alcohol - slow slurred speech. Campbell was not surprised that Coffey's blood alcohol level was .123 The interview was not taped at Coffey's request. Coffey claims he dressed up in a medieval costume to dance. State/Rosario questioned: Did you ask to tape the interview. Yes - Coffey said no. How far past his house was the crash? 8 miles to the south, 5 miles west. Can alcohol make you sleepy. Yes. Defense: How much did Coffey remember? Not much. Is it probably that he could have fallen asleep? Yes. Do you think it was a diabetic episode? No. Where Coffey was didn't make sense.
15 min break to wait for Robin Newinschwanger [toxicologist] to get papers out of her car. Jurors out of court. Conference between attorneys & judge. Talked about Cathy Develos testimony because she couldn't identify Coffey. Rosario requested time to fly in Trooper Wells. He asked for 15 more minutes to arrange that thru his office. Yes - Ilene Wells will take a red-eye from LasVegas to be here at 6am Thursday. After this time I was pretty upset with Cathy's testimony and I hustled Cheryl and everyone down the hall for a walk.  I felt like I had to do something or explode.  Matt, Michelle, and I took a walk with Cheryl just down the hall where we could discuss the case without anyone around. Cheryl calmed me down - she thinks this was just a set back and that the rest of the evidence is strong enough to overcome Cathy's weak testimony. I think this is when Michelle left to go home, but I'm not positive.  Robin's testimony postponed until tomorro w.
2:50pm Cathy Develos was called back to the stand. [Blood drawer] State/Rosario questioned: Cathy worked together with Trooper Wells while drawing blood. She admitted that Coffey looked familiar. She looked at the pictures of the vial and identified her initials. Defense: Before you couldn't tell me whether this person was male or female or what race they were. Has the prosecution been talking to you? Yes, but my memory did come back over time. Talked about the specifics of the blood draw kit. The trooper was there while Cathy drew blood. Cathy saw trooper fill out the info on the tube, but she didn't see the trooper fill out the card. But she was there until the end. Cathy stated that a face has nothing to do with the process. Objection - argumentative - sustained. She thought she had to be 100% certain to identify Coffey - she didn't know it was OK to say that Coffey looked familiar.
1 min break - jury asked to leave. The judge there was to be no tsking from the audience - the left side of the audience - where Coffey's family was sitting (his mother, father, and wife). Jury brought back in.
Dr. Sean Thogmartin was called to the stand. State/Rosario questioned: He is the state medical examiner for district 6. Expert in forensics. He went into detail about all the massive injuries to Dad. Death could have been attributed to a number of fatal multiple injuries. Cross examination/Defense: Homicide on death certificate. State/Rosario questioned: Death was immediate.
Jurors dismissed until 10am tomorrow. Case may conclude tomorrow, but it may go late. There is a chance it could go until Friday morning.
Judge and lawyers discussed the jury instructions or wording of the specific charges. DUI Manslaughter, DUI Bodily Injury (misdemeanor) Ronald Coffey was in actual physical control of vehicle. Ronald Coffey was under the influence of alcoholic beverages with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. There are 3 ways to prove DUI - facilities impaired, blood alcohol of .08 or higher, breathalizer over .08.
We walked out with Cheryl and said good-bye she you tomorrow. That's all for now folks - it's past midnight - time for me to go to bed. Mom seems to be doing better when I got home. She had made herself a poached egg while I was gone. She ate a very little chicken and mashed potatoes with me for dinner. She just ate a little yogurt. So I sure hope and pray she is on the mend and that her problems earlier in the week were due to nerves from having to testify.
Love, Terry

DAY THREE AUG 24, 2006
I got to the courtroom at 10am. The judge was dealing with another case, and then took a 15 min. recess. So, it wasn't until 10:30 am that our case started with a conference between the judge and the attorneys. Rosario mentioned that Trooper Wells (who was the officer on duty for the blood draw and flew in from Las Vegas and arrived at 6am this morning) had taken photographs that link Coffey to the blood draw. Photos of Coffey's injuries which include his face. [Which by the way Uncle Bill is why the blood draw wasn't until 2 hours after the accident.] I believe Trooper Wells had just come on duty and was sent to the hospital where Coffey was taken. These photographs were never given to Rosario when he requested all the evidence from the FHP evidence locker. Later Rosario told us that getting evidence from the Florida Highway Patrol's office is very difficult - that they don't want to go through the paperwork necessary, especially evidence that has blood on it, because it's considered a bio-hazard and has even more tedious paperwork associated with it (like Coffey's clothes). The defense asked why Wells was never deposed. The defense argued against the admittance of the use of the photographs, but said it would be okay to use one of the pictures to aid in identification of Coffey. The judge's findings were that the evidence not being produced earlier was not willful, but inadvertent and the it was because of negligence of the FHP. He said this evidence would most likely not be substantial if Trooper Wells is able to identify Coffey. And that he would allow one on the photos to be used as evidence. Rosario left to update Wells.
The jury was brought in.
11:00am Trooper Ilene Wells was called to the stand. State/Rosario questioned: Yes, she worked for the FHP since 1999 and was on duty the morning of 9/11/2004. She went to the ER at Bayfront Hospital to get a blood draw. She identified Coffey in the courtroom. She described the blood draw kit - small cardboard sealed box, which she provided to the nurse. The nurses name was Cathy Develos (referring to her papers). Two tubes of blood were drawn. She saw the blood go from Coffey arm into the tubes. She filled out stickers and attached them to the tubes. Rosario showed her 3 pictures of the tubes which were admitted as states evidence picture 8, 9, and 10. A copy of the top of the box was admitted as states evidence 11. Yes, she photos of Coffey's injuries. One picture of Coffey's face was shown to defense, Wells, and jury and admitted as state's evidence picture 12. Other evidence that Wells collected was Coffey's clothing. All evidence was sealed in the evidence locker. Cross examination/Defense: He showed Wells a picture of the top of the blood draw box. Is this completely filled out? No. What's missing? The nurses name and the time. Why? Human error. Rosario's redirect: What did you write on the tubes of blood that were drawn from Mr. Coffey? Ronald D. Coffey, the date and time, the case # (which she read) and my (Well's) initials. Develos also initially the tubes.
Robin Neunschwander was called to the stand. State/Rosario questioned: Toxicologist as the medical examiners office. A bachelor's degree in chemistry and biology. A forensic toxicologist for 25 years. She has testified 75 to 100 times. An expert in blood analysis and forensic toxicology and retrograde extrapolation. She used a gas chromatograph to do her analysis. It separates molecules by weight. She was looking for ethanol alcohol. She did the analysis on Sept. 15th. The blood was in good condition. The machine was tested before use. It was in fine working order. She put one of the tubes on the instrument, which results in a peak on a graph. The internal standard of the machine results in another peak. She ran the test twice. The results were 0.124 and 0.123 grams / deciliter. A deciliter equals 100 milliliters. Objection - approached the bench and whispered.?? How would you an analyze a diabetic episode? Keto acidosis - two other components would show on the graph - acetone and isoproponal. There was none of either component in Coffey's blood. Retrograde extrapolation is used to predict what the blood level was. People metabolize alcohol in different ways. If they are new to drinking they usually metabolize it slower. If they are seasoned drinkers, they usually metabolize it faster. The range of metabolization is .009 to .029 grams / deciliter / hour. At the time of the accident I calculate the defendant's blood alcohol level was between .14 and .18 grams / deciliter and giving him the benefit of the doubt, which we do, we take off one drink. That puts his blood alcohol level between .12 and .16 grams / deciliter. (Cheryl Price, our MADD advocate said this is the equivalent of 6 to 8 drinks). Cross examination/Defense: Aren't you making a lot of assumptions here? Aren't you assuming he was in the elimination phase? Isn't it possible he was in the absorption phase? No, he couldn't be in the absorption phase if he did not consume any alcohol for one and a half hours before the blood draw, assuming the person stopped drinking at 4:50am. At this point the defense tried to confuse the issue - he said something about absorbing 4 shots on Mon and 1 on Tues at 7am he could have been in the absorption phase. Robin came back with her formulae for doing the calculation. Defense asked about motor skills being only somewhat diminished with a blood alcohol level of .06 and just a little more diminished with a blood alcohol level of .08. When does the body shut down? It's different for different people - it depends on the individual. Rosario's redirect: Would alcohol affect a diabetic? Diabetics aren't suppose to drink alcohol. It's unhealthy, it overloads their sugar. Robin reconfirmed Coffey was in the elimination phase. How would a saline IV affect the blood sugar level? It would dilute it. Alcohol acts as a central nervous system depressant. It slows the reaction times. It could make them more tired.
11:40am - The state rests. Jury was told to return at 12:20pm. Defense said they only had one witness. Coffey requested that his wife testify. We went to Rosario's office and talked a little about the morning testimonies. Rosario mentioned that Coffey and his wife were practicing Wicken (people who use witchcraft).
12:20pm - Ronald Dean Coffey was called to the stand. Defense: He describes events - his wife was concerned that something bad was going to happen that night and wanted him to stay home. He remembers only driving part way to the club. He remembers nothing after that until going into surgery. He doesn't remember the accident or getting to Ybor City. Why were you so far from home? All I can figure is I didn't have money for the toll, so I took this other route, but I don't remember. Corporal Campbell visited Coffey at home. Campbell talked mostly to my wife, because I so medicated from my crushed ankle. Coffey's wallet was empty when it was returned to him. No money, just his driver's license. He has no memory of anything. He suffers from diabetes. Since the accident he's been borderline schizophrenia and has had an effective mental disability. He's had trouble with blacking out for many years. He blacked out and hit a tree once before. He was diagnosed as a diabetic 6 years ago. He tried 4 different medications - none worked. He would bottom out after breakfast. He used diet to control his diabetes. Low carbs, no sugar. His sugar runs high 170 to 200. When his sugar reaches 100 it makes him light headed and dizzy. Diet was working. He's on new medication now. He had to quit his job because he couldn't remember going thru the day. He only had the log sheet to go by. What does .123 mean? If I was a drunk, I would have remembered getting drunk. Coffey's only 44 years old. Do you remember consuming alcohol? No Leaving Ybor City? No When did you start wearing a medic alert bracelet? After the accident. What were you wearing? Vinyl pants and a white shirt. Why were your pants down? After dancing I was most likely too hot. They were tight, so I would unbutton them to let my stomach out. Mentioned crushed ankle again. Cross examination/Rosario: Typical day I worked from 7am to 7pm. I remember t he whole day. I came home. Did you eat anything? No - left at 9pm. Remember driving down the highway to a certain point. Then you went to the Castle Bar? I assume so. Assumes he drank 1 beer - 32 oz. Guinness. Did you go to the gothic club to live out a fantasy life? I go to dance. I like going by myself. I dance by myself. So you just unbuttoned and unzipped your pants. They were hot. Is it possible other people gave you shots. It's possible, but not shots, beers. A little bit of beer is good for a diabetic. Coffey admitted that 32 oz wasn't good. Did you have weakened abilities with the beer and diabetes? Yes. He doesn't know what happened to his trench coat. This other crash - where and when did it happen? Dale Mayberry & 41 Oct. 2003. You drove knowing you were a danger and blacked out? I knew I blacked out. Question about Campbell. The highway patrol officer forgot to bring his tape recorder - I would have let him tape the interview. Defense redirect: I had lunch and snacks. What did you say at the interview with Campbell? That I didn't know what happened but I told him what normally happened. The other accident? It was related to diabetes. What did you do? I started carrying a glucose monitor and testing through out the day. In 6 years of drinking I've never had a reaction to the 32 oz of Guinness. Rosario: At the crash you hit your head on the windshield. Did you get injured from that? No skull injuries. Is it possible you could have been drunk? Anything’s possible. Defense: Have you ever had a bump on the head before? No
1pm - The defense rests.  15 min. break.  After the jury left the room, they talked about bringing the toxicologist back up to confirm that a 32oz. drink is not enough to get the blood alcohol level to .123
Defenses closing remarks addressed to the jury.  [His remarks were all over the map, which made it hard for me to follow and take notes.]  There was no videotape or eye witness of the accident.  The accident that contributed to the tragic accident that resulted in Mr. Schoeppe’s (pronounced incorrectly) death.  What does normal level’s of sugar mean?  He was too relaxed after the accident, slurred speech, pulse rate of 88 – this is indicative of diabetes.  He was unconscious.  Egan said he was passed out. [Lie – Egan said he went in and out of consciousness]  He was not drunk.  When on drinks, one remembers.  Coffey doesn’t remember.  He has no memory of …  He remembers talking to his wife and then he woke up in the hospital.  It’s the state’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  The VA put Mr. Coffey on different treatment.  Weigh the evidence.  If you have one doubt – you should come back with a not guilty verdict.  A man accidentally took another life.  He has to live with this tragedy.  He did everything he could to control his diabetes.  What is a .123?  Is that a pint?  A 6-pack?  How do you get there?  His normal routine was to drink a 32 oz. Guinness.  This is about manslaughter, about a man who gets inebriated.  I submit that his is a fourth episode of diabetes.  Not a sign of an impaired man.  This is an unconscious man.  The state has fallen short of proving DUI manslaughter.  He suffered from a medical condition.
Prosecutions closing remarks addressed to the jury.  Glenn Schoeppe is dead because the defendant was drunk that night.  Ione Schoeppe was injured because the defendant was drunk that night.  I have proven that the defendant was driving the vehicle.  I have proven that his blood alcohol level was greater than the legal limit of .08 through Robin Neunschwander the toxicologist, through Deputy Vetter’s testimony.  Registered nurse/EMS Kevin Burg said the defendant appeared intoxicated.  He said that the defendant did not have a fruity smell on his breath indicative of a diabetic episode.  He said his blood sugar was fine, that his glucose level was normal.  I showed a picture of the defendant when his blood was drawn, which was at .12 even giving him the benefit of the doubt, which is well over .08.  There was nothing in his blood to indicate diabetes.  Coffey says he doesn’t remember, that he may have had a blackout.  This is contradictory.  There is not enough evidence to prove diabetes.  Glenn tried to get out of the way.  The state does not have to prove that he intentionally tried to kill Mr. Schoeppe.  We have to prove that he was driving, and that his blood alcohol level was above the legal limit.  Cathy Develos looks at hundreds of patients each week.  She is allowed to talk to attorney’s – it’s in the jury instructions that you will receive.  There is a difference between what Corporal Campbell recorded when he interviewed Coffey - where he remembered being at the bar, and what Coffey said when he was on the stand - that he couldn’t remember getting to the bar.  Did Campbell forget his tape player?  Is that truthful?  Did the defendant bump his head?  There was hair on the windshield.  At this point, Rosario went through the names of all the witnesses.  All of the witnesses testimony connects / corroborates.  The verdict you can be proud of is guilty.
Defenses secondary closing remarks addressed to the jury.  With what evidence did they see and hear to come to that conclusion?  There was no one else in Coffey’s vehicle.  What about the grandmother who smelled like alcohol as a diabetic. [This is when Matt whispered in my ear how “this wasn’t right, or he doesn’t remember”.  It sounded so loud in my ear, I was afraid the jury would hear and we’d have a mistrial.  But later Matt told me it was just a whisper.  Guess I was a little intense and hyper sensitive at that point.  What a blatant lie on the defenses part.]  Why did Cathy suddenly recognize Coffey?  This goes against the credibility of the entire case.  Cathy didn’t have an answer for what the state attorney said.  The defendant was impaired by a diabetic episode.  The symptoms are consistent with a diabetic episode.  Drunk people navigate roads, they stop at red lights…  Alcohol would not have made him unconscious.  He never even applied the brakes.  He just had superficial wounds, except for his ankle.  The toxicologist said he had high blood sugar. [Another lie] You would expect it to be high.  Use your common sense.  It’s reasonable that a person flown in by helicopter would be treated / medicated.  Objection – judge instructed the jury to make their own conclusion based on testimony.  This was caused by diabetes, not alcohol.  Come back with the only just verdict.
2 pm – 10 min. break.  Both attorneys and Coffey were in agreement about the jury instructions.  They talked about maybe having to clear the courtroom if the jury wants to view the tape since their was not a tape player in the jury deliberation room or if they wanted to view the clothes.
The jury received their instructions from the judge.  1.  DUI Manslaughter 2. DUI Bodily Injury 1a. Ronald Dean Coffey was in physical control of the vehicle.  b. Ronald Dean Coffey was under the influence of alcohol to the point that normal facilities were impaired or his blood alcohol level was greater than .08   c. Ronald Dean Coffey caused or contributed to cause Glenn S.’s death.  Then the judge defined vehicle and alcoholic beverages.  2abc were the same with cause Ione S.'s bodily injury.  Then the judge defined normal facilities, and physical control of the vehicle.  Beyond and to a reasonable doubt.  The lesser crimes for both counts is DUI.  They must come back with a unanimous verdict.  The judge stated it’s okay for a witness to talk to the lawyers.  He explained the jury forms.  There are 3 check boxes on each form.  a. DUI Manslaughter / Bodily Injury  b. Lesser offense of DUI  c. Not guilty  There’s a line for the signature of the fore-person.  Step 1 is to elect a fore-person.   Even if you don’t like the law, you must uphold it.
2:50pm The jury is sent off to deliberate.  We (Matt, Michelle, Cheryl, and I) went to the snack bar tables and hung out.  Cheryl said a quick deliberation is not usually a good sign and that she would expect this deliberation to take a couple of hours probably.
3:50pm We are all called back into the court room.  The court room is full of people.  The two rows behind us are filled with employees that helped Rosario.  There were 3 bailiffs in the room.  This short amount of time really made me nervous.  The jury is called in.  Wolf, the foreman, stands up to talk.  WE FIND THE DEFENDANT, RONALD DEAN COFFEY TO BE GUILTY OF DUI MANSLAUGHTER AND GUILTY OF DUI BODILY INJURY. The judge discussed sentencing with the defense.  They requested a pre-sentence investigation (PSI).  The sentencing date was set to Friday, October 13, at 9am.  The jury was dismissed.  The judge informed that they were free at this point to talk to any of us if they wanted.  As they filed out the man whose wife was expecting a baby any minute looked at me (he was the only one to look at the family) and gave me a solid nod, as if to say yes - we got him!  They the judge left and everyone started talking at once.  Coffey was very quite – the bailiff started finger printing him.  Coffey wife, Fancy, came up to us and apologized for her husband and said that he was very sorry that this had happened.  She was crying and she told us she hoped that we could find peace.  She hugged Michelle, Matt, and I.  I told her I was very sorry that she and her family had to suffer.
Then we all trailed out of the courtroom and stood outside and talked.  The Tampa Tribune reporter started interviewing people.  She interviewed the defense attorney, then Michelle, then me, then Matt.  The defense attorney was still trying to convince us, especially Michelle, that his client was innocent.  He walked Michelle to her car – Michelle had to get home to the kids.  Eldon said he probably wants us to admit Coffey had a diabetic episode to the investigator that comes around.  So, Mom, Matt, and Michelle – you should come up with a consistent amount of time you think Coffey should spend behind bars – so you can have a united front when talking to the investigator.
Then Matt, Cheryl, and I went up to Rosario’s office to celebrate.  This is where I found out the Coffey’s driver’s license was taken away right after the crash.  Also, here is the correct spelling for the witnesses:  Stefan Egan, Brian Pollina, Fredric Vetter, Kevin Berg, Scott Campbell, Dr. Jon Thogmartin, Kathy Debellis, Robin Neunschwander, and Ilene Wells.
I spent the night at Matt & Michelle’s at Mom’s insistence.  I got back to Mom’s Friday around 1pm after dropping the wheelchair off at the church.  Mom was on the computer.  She said she’d mopped the bathroom floor and washed the bathroom rugs.  Uncle Bill & Aunt Donna picked Mom & I up at 4:30pm and bought us a really nice dinner at Red Lobster.  It was very tough for Mom to walk from the car into the restaurant, but she ate more than I saw her eat all week.  Friday night Matt & Melvin came over to visit and we went swimming.  When we got back Mom had the dining room table piled with all of Dad’s video’s for us to sort through.  I brought a bunch back to CA and Matt took a few home.  We saved a few to give to charity and threw the rest in the garbage.  On Saturday morning Mom was feeling horrible and asked me to stay with her.  I felt so bad abandoning her.  Sure do wish I lived a little closer.
Love, Terry

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