HENNEPIN —áThe first testimony was heard during murder suspect Clifford A. Andersen Jr.'s final motions hearing on Tuesday.
Andersen, 68, of Standard, is accused of killing Deborah Dewey of Ladd, his sister-in-law, on Aug. 22, 2016.
Her body was found on Sept. 12, 2016, in a shallow grave in the yard of a Standard home for which Andersen was caretaker, and the police arrested him the following day.
The prosecution, led by Assistant Illinois Attorney General Bill Elward, called Illinois State Police Special Agent Ryan Kaney, a veteran of 11 years, to testify in regard to internal and external security camera footage taken from the truck stop in Morris where Dewey's vehicle was recovered.
Kaney was questioned as to how often the times shown on surveillance footage at businesses sync with the actual time.
"Almost never," he answered.
He then described how they corrected the inconsistencies during the investigation by sending an officer outside to appear on the live feed of the camera to confirm that it was indeed a live feed and then used a cellphone to see the how much adjustment was needed.
According to Kaney, the external video from Aug. 23 was roughly eight to nine minutes ahead, and the internal videos were found to be approximately one hour and nine minutes behind real-time.
Defense lawyers, Drew Parker and his son, Robert Parker, of Peoria's Parker and Parker Law Firm, questioned if there was a standard operating procedure for these occurrences, if there had ever been issues with this practice, and if Kaney was trained in video forensics.
Kaney replied that there was no standard procedure, he knew of no issues, and that he wasn't trained in video forensics.
The defense also raised questions regarding the equipment's software, download procedures, internet connections, power surges, resolution, color distortions, settings, third party interference, and chain-of-custody issues.
Elward said the date on the Aug. 23 video is correct, and adjusting the time in the way investigators did shows Andersen walking into the truck stop while talking on the phone. Records also show he made a call during that time to a friend who was seen later in the video coming to give Andersen a ride.
Elward has stated the friend, who initially lied to investigators at Andersen's request, later recanted his statement and admitted to meeting Andersen at the truck stop on the day in question. The prosecution says it was so Andersen could leave Dewey's car there and that he left it unlocked and with the keys in it in hopes that it would be stolen.
The prosecution played the video from the internal security camera and asked Kaney if he could identify the man walking through the door and talking on his cellphone. Kaney identified the man in the video as Andersen.
A 13-second video from outside the truck stop was then played, and the defense got Kaney to admit he couldn't identify the man or the vehicle in question.
Judge Stephen Kouri said he didn't hear evidence the vehicle in the video was Dewey's, although he did allow its admission, but he won't allow Kaney to testify on it. He did, however, allow "the circumstantial evidence of the internal video,".
"The time stamps are problematic, but it will be up to the jury. There are a lot of arguments that can be made on both sides," Kouri said.
During the hearing held the day before, on Monday, the prosecution argued Dewey had lent Andersen thousands of dollars to help with several high-interest loans he was having trouble paying off. They listed several checks that had been made out to Andersen and also discussed his gambling habits. The state argued that this was a motive for killing Dewey.
The defense was successful in getting a hand-written note found in Dewey's apartment barred unless the prosecution can show how the figures written on it correlate with her bank records. The note could be significant because it includes the name "Skip," a known nickname of Andersen.
The prosecution and defense are now working on developing a juror questionnaire with assistance from Kouri, and they're scheduled to work out the final details on June 28.
Putnam County State's Attorney Christina Judd-Mennie said the jury will come in on July 9, which will be considered the first day of the trial. Kouri has also arranged for a new venue in Peoria if a jury can't be selected in Putnam County.