v line

Lyle Menendez' Retrial Opening Statement

Search The Library


SOME MAIN ROOMS

LEGAL TOPIC AREAS

MISC BUSHWAH

PREMIUM ROOMS

Follow Us!



Our Most Popular Article:
Power of Attorney
Our Most Popular Page:
Free Legal Forms
Our Newest Article: Personal Finance Guide

line
line

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES
DEPARTMENT NW "N"

HON. STANLEY M. WEISBERG JUDGE

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF )
CALIFORNIA, )
PLAINTIFFS, )
)
VS. ) NO. BA 068880
)
ERIK GALEN MENENDEZ, AND )
JOSEPH LYLE MENENDEZ, )
DEFENDANTS. )
______________________________)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 1995

APPEARANCES:

FOR THE PEOPLE:
GIL GARCETTI, DISTRICT ATTORNEY
BY: DAVID CONN, DEPUTY AND
CAROL NAJERA, DEPUTY
18000 CRIMINAL COURTS BLDG.
210 WEST TEMPLE STREET
LOS ANGELES, CA 90012

FOR THE DEFENDANT JOSEPH LYLE MENENDEZ:
WILBUR F. LITTLEFIELD, PUBLIC DEFENDER
BY: CHARLES GESSLER, DEPUTY AND
TERRI TOWERY, DEPUTY
210 WEST TEMPLE
LOS ANGELES, CA 90012

FOR THE DEFENDANT ERIK GALEN MENENDEZ:
LESLIE ABRAMSON, ATTORNEY AT LAW
4929 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD SUITE 940
LOS ANGELES, CA 90010

BARRY LEVIN, ESQ.
11661 SAN VICENTE BOULEVARD
LOS ANGELES, CA 90049

OPENING STATEMENT BY MR. GESSLER:

GOOD MORNING.

YOU'VE HEARD FROM TWO LAWYERS ALREADY, AND THE JUDGE, WHAT AN OPENING STATEMENT CONSISTS OF. OBVIOUSLY, AS EVERYBODY HAS SAID, IT'S NOT EVIDENCE. IT IS, AGAIN, A GUIDELINE TO YOU AS TO SOME OF THE EVIDENCE THAT WE EXPECT YOU WILL HEAR IN THE CASE. AND AGAIN, A REMINDER THAT THE EVIDENCE REALLY IS WHAT COMES FROM THE WITNESSES, NOT FROM THE LAWYERS. BUT THAT IT'S NOT CONFINED TO THE SIDE THAT CALLS A WITNESS. IN OTHER WORDS, EVIDENCE IS EVIDENCE AND THE WITNESS IS A WITNESS. AND EVIDENCE THAT COMES OUT ON CROSS-EXAMINATION FROM A PROSECUTION WITNESS, OR BY THE PROSECUTION FROM A DEFENSE WITNESS, IS AS MUCH EVIDENCE AS ANYTHING ELSE THAT THE WITNESS SAID WHEN PUT UP ON THE STAND BY THE SIDE THAT CALLED THAT WITNESS.

SO THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT CROSS-EXAMINATION BY EITHER SIDE IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS IS DIRECT EXAMINATION IN BRINGING OUT EVIDENCE. AND NO SIDE OWNS A WITNESS.

DETECTIVE ZOELLER, I ANTICIPATE, WILL BE PRESENTING EVIDENCE, AND HE WILL BE CALLED BY THE PROSECUTION; AND YET ANYTHING THAT DETECTIVE ZOELLER SAYS, WHETHER ASKED BY MR. CONN, BY MS. ABRAMSON, BY THE DEFENSE FOR LYLE MENENDEZ, IS EQUALLY VALUABLE AS EVIDENCE TO BE CONSIDERED BY YOU FOR PROOF.

THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THAT IS WHEN THE JUDGE GIVES A LIMITING INSTRUCTION TO YOU SAYING THAT CERTAIN EVIDENCE IS LIMITED FOR EITHER A CERTAIN PURPOSE OR TO ONE CLIENT OR TO ANOTHER CLIENT.

WITH THAT, I WILL GIVE AN OPENING STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF JOSEPH LYLE MENENDEZ AS TO SOME OF THE THINGS THAT I ANTICIPATE THAT THE EVIDENCE IN THIS CASE WILL SHOW.

LYLE MENENDEZ WAS THE OLDEST SON OF JOSEPH MENENDEZ. HE WAS TREATED AS THE OLDEST SON WITH THE HIGH EXPECTATIONS THAT JOSE MENENDEZ HAD FOR HIM TO CARRY ON THE FAMILY NAME; AND IT IS BEST DESCRIBED IN A PASSAGE THAT JOSE MENENDEZ HAD LYLE MENENDEZ MEMORIZE, AND LYLE MENENDEZ HAD OTHER FRIENDS OF HIS MEMORIZE AS TO A CREDO OF LIFE. IT IS FROM AN AUTHOR NAMED OG MANDINGO AND IT QUOTES:

"I AM NOT A SHEEP WAITING TO BE PRODDED BY MY SHEPHERD. I AM A LION AND I REFUSE TO WALK OR TALK OR SLEEP WITH THE SHEEP, FOR THEIR DISEASE IS CONTAGIOUS. I WAS NOT BROUGHT INTO THIS WORLD FOR FAILURE, NOR DOES FAILURE COURSE WITHIN MY VEINS."

THIS IS THE CREDO BY WHICH JOSE MENENDEZ BROUGHT UP HIS ELDEST SON, LYLE. HE WAS TO BE A LION. HE WAS NOT TO BE A SHEEP. FAILURE WAS NOT TO BE TOLERATED. WINNING WAS EVERYTHING.

AND WITH THIS CREDO JOSE MENENDEZ RECEIVED FROM HIS SON LOVE. HE COMMANDED RESPECT AND HE ENGENDERED FEAR. ALL OF THESE THINGS. AND YOU WILL HEAR EVIDENCE AS TO HOW EACH OF THESE PLAYED A PART IN THIS FAMILY.

FOR EXAMPLE, OF CARRYING OUT THIS CREDO THAT JOSE WANTED AND WAS, AS HE SAW IT, SUCCESS FOR HIS SON, YOU WILL HEAR EVIDENCE FROM A WITNESS, AN ADULT AT THE TIME, A FAMILY MEMBER, WHO SAW AN OCCASION IN WHICH LYLE MENENDEZ WAS FIVE YEARS OF AGE AND HE WAS RUNNING OFF SOME NERVOUS ENERGY. HE DIDN'T STOP THE MINUTE THAT HIS FATHER TOLD HIM TO

AND HIS FATHER GRABBED HIM BY THE SHOULDER, TURNED HIM AROUND AND JUST LOOKED AT HIM IN THE EYE, AND AT THAT POINT LYLE MENENDEZ URINATED IN HIS PANTS. MR. MENENDEZ THEN TOOK HIS SON DOWN TO A BEDROOM AND THE ADULT FOLLOWED TO SEE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN, AND HE SAW JOSEPH MENENDEZ STRIKE HIS SON, AS THE WITNESS DESCRIBED IT, A VERY HARD BLOW WITH HIS FIST, EITHER IN HIS STOMACH OR IN HIS CHEST. AND THIS UPSET THE FAMILY MEMBER SO MUCH THAT HE REPRIMANDED JOSE MENENDEZ. THAT'S NOT THE WAY TO BE A FATHER. AND HE TOOK HIS FAMILY AND HE LEFT THE HOUSE. AND HE STILL REMEMBERS THE INCIDENT TO THIS DAY.

AND YOU WILL HEAR OTHER EXAMPLES OF HOW JOSEPH MENENDEZ BROUGHT UP HIS ELDEST SON, LYLE, TO BE, AS HE SAW IT, A LION AND NOT A SHEEP.

WHEN LYLE MENENDEZ WAS ABOUT NINE, A COUSIN WAS VISITING. THE COUSIN, ALAN ANDERSEN, WAS AGED 15 AT THAT TIME. ALAN ANDERSEN WAS MAD AT MRS. MENENDEZ FOR SOME -- SOME REASON, SOME SLIGHT, SO HE WENT OUT AND HE CUT OFF THE FLOWER HEADS OF HER FLOWERS IN THE YARD. LYLE MENENDEZ AND ERIK MENENDEZ WERE THERE WATCHING, BUT NOT TAKING PART. AND MRS. MENENDEZ GOT VERY UPSET ABOUT THIS AND SHE FACED ALAN ANDERSEN, THE COUSIN, AND SAID: WHO DID THIS? AND HE OWNED UP AND HE SAYS: I DID. AND KNOWING THIS, WHEN MR. MENENDEZ CAME HOME THAT NIGHT, SHE STILL TOLD HIM THAT LYLE MENENDEZ HAD CUT OFF THE FLOWERS, AND MR. MENENDEZ TOOK LYLE MENENDEZ DOWN TO HIS ROOM AND BEAT HIM WITH A BELT, AS WAS THE WAY THAT HE PUNISHED HIM AT THAT TIME. AND ALAN ANDERSEN NOTICED, FOR SOME DAYS AFTERWARD, THE DIFFICULTY THAT LYLE MENENDEZ HAD SITTING DOWN OR WALKING AROUND, AND OTHER WITNESSES WILL TELL YOU OF THE PRESENCE OF THE BELT AS A MEANS OF DISCIPLINING IN THE HOUSE AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME.

AND IT WAS ALSO A FAMILY OF SECRECY. DIANE ANDERSEN, ANOTHER COUSIN WHO SPENT TIME IN THE HOUSEHOLD, SUMMERS, AND ON ANOTHER OCCASION WHEN SHE WAS AN ADULT, 23 YEARS OF AGE, REMEMBERS VERY WELL, AND WILL TELL YOU HOW WHENEVER THEY WENT TO A FAMILY GATHERING, SHE WAS TOLD BEFOREHAND WHAT NOT TO TELL THE RELATIVES, BECAUSE NO ONE SHOULD LOOK POORLY ON THE MENENDEZES. THERE SHOULD BE NO FLAWS IN THE MENENDEZ CHILDREN. THE FAMILY NAME MEANT EVERYTHING.

AND SHE'LL ALSO TELL YOU HOW DURING THE DAYS THERE WAS SOME RELAXATION THERE. THERE WAS LAUGHTER. THERE WAS PLAYING AROUND AS KIDS OF NINE AND TEN NORMALLY DO. AND THEN WHEN MR. MENENDEZ CAME HOME, HOW THERE WAS A SUDDEN TIGHTENING OF THE FACES, HOW THERE WAS A CHANGE IN THE DEMEANOR IN THE PLAYING, AND THE LAUGHING CEASED; AND HOW FOR DINNERS THERE WAS THIS GAME THAT WOULD NOW BE CALLED LIKE JEOPARDY, IN WHICH MR. MENENDEZ WOULD ASK, PARTICULARLY LYLE, SINCE HE WAS THE ONE WHO WAS GROOMED TO BE THE LION, CURRENT EVENTS, TOPICS, THINGS IN THE PAPER. AND IF HE DIDN'T KNOW THE ANSWER, HE HAD TO GET UP FROM THE DINNER, INTERRUPT HIS DINNER AND GO TO THE ENCYCLOPEDIA, GO FIND OUT WHAT THE ANSWER WAS, UNTIL HIS FATHER WAS SATISFIED. THIS WAS NOT JUST, IN HER OPINION, A LEARNING GAME, AN EXPAND- THE-MIND TYPE GAME, BUT A TOOL OF CONTROL AND OF DISCIPLINE.

ALONG WITH THE IMAGE THAT MR. MENENDEZ HAD FOR HIS OLDEST SON, ATHLETICS WERE VERY IMPORTANT. IN HIS CASE SWIMMING FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, THEN SOCCOR, BUT EVENTUALLY IT SETTLED IN ON TENNIS. TENNIS WAS THE SPORT IN WHICH HE USED TO SUCCEED. AND AGAIN, ALAN ANDERSEN REMEMBERS WHEN LYLE MENENDEZ WAS ABOUT NINE AND MR. MENENDEZ HAD HIM OUT ON THE COURT AND THESE PRACTICE SESSIONS WOULD DEVELOP INTO SIX HOURS A DAY, AND HE HAD HIM OUT ON THE COURT AND HE WAS SERVING TO HIM. AND ALAN ANDERSEN COULD SEE THE SHOULDER SWELLING, LYLE MENENDEZ' SHOULDER SWELLING FROM TRYING TO RETURN THESE HARD SERVES THAT HIS FATHER DELIVERED TO HIM. AND HE WOULD KEEP GOING BACK AND PUTTING THE RACKET BACK IN LYLE MENENDEZ' HAND. AND FINALLY, HE WOULD QUIT AND HAVE MRS. MENENDEZ SERVE TO HIM, BUT THE PRACTICE SESSION STILL WENT ON.

AT THE SAME TIME, THE BROTHERS, BOTH LYLE AND ERIK MENENDEZ, WERE DISCOURAGED FROM HAVING ANY FRIENDS OUTSIDE THE HOME, PARTICULARLY DISCOURAGED FROM HAVING FRIENDS AMONG TENNIS COMPETITORS, BECAUSE IF YOU ARE FRIENDS WITH SOMEBODY YOU DIDN'T PLAY AS HARD AGAINST THEM. AND REMEMBER, WINNING WAS EVERYTHING.

AND AT THIS TIME TOO, THE BROTHERS, AS MS. ABRAMSON TOLD YOU YESTERDAY, LYLE AND ERIK MENENDEZ, AS THEY GREW UP, THEY BONDED TOGETHER. THEY HAD SQUABBLES AS ANY BROTHERS DO, PARTICULARLY YOUNGER BROTHER AND OLDER BROTHER, BUT THEY LOVED EACH OTHER.

THERE WAS ONE INCIDENT WHEN ERIK AND LYLE WERE TAKEN OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF A LAKE BY THEIR FATHER IN A BOAT AND THEN THROWN OVERBOARD AND TOLD TO SWIM TO SHORE. AND LYLE WAS TWO YEARS OLDER AND HAD NO DIFFICULTY WITH IT, BUT ERIK MENENDEZ WAS FRIGHTENED AND HE WAS SWALLOWING WATER, AND LYLE MENENDEZ SAW THIS AND HE SWAM BACK OUT FROM SHORE TO HELP HIS BROTHER AND BRING HIM IN TO SHORE AND TO COMFORT HIM. AND HIS FATHER WAS SO INCENSED AT THAT, THAT LYLE MENENDEZ HAD HELPED HIS YOUNGER BROTHER, THAT HE GOT ANGRY AND HE TOOK THEM BOTH BACK INTO THE BOAT AND HAD THEM DO IT AGAIN. BUT IT'S AN EXAMPLE OF THE BONDING OF THE PROTECTIVENESS OF THE CARING THAT LYLE AND ERIK MENENDEZ FELT FOR ONE ANOTHER, EVEN AS YOUNG CHILDREN.

AND THERE WAS A TIME WHEN LYLE MENENDEZ WAS ABOUT 13, 14, THAT HE LEARNED THAT HIS FATHER WAS MOLESTING ERIK, AND LYLE MENENDEZ KNEW THAT HIS FATHER HAD MOLESTED HIM TOO WHEN HE WAS FIVE OR SIX YEARS OF AGE. THAT MOLESTATION HAD STOPPED, BUT HE WANTED IT TO STOP FOR ERIK, AND HE WENT AND TOLD HIS FATHER ABOUT IT, AND HIS FATHER PROMISED IT WOULD STOP. BUT INSTEAD HIS FATHER THEN CONFRONTED ERIK AND THREATENED HIM FOR HAVING REVEALED THE FAMILY SECRET, FEELING THAT HE HAD ASKED LYLE FOR HIS HELP.

WELL, THIS MANDINGO PHILOSOPHY, THIS BE A LION, HOURS OF PRACTICE, SINGLE- MINDEDNESS OF PURPOSE THAT JOSE MENENDEZ HAD FOR HIS SON LYLE, IT WORKED; BUT IT ONLY WORKED IN TENNIS. JOSEPH LYLE MENENDEZ BECAME THE NO. 1 RANKED PLAYER FOR HIS AGE GROUP IN THE WHOLE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, 16, 17, 18. HE WAS ONE OF THE TOP-RANKED PLAYERS IN THE ENTIRE NORTHEAST SECTION OF THE UNITED STATES. HE SUCCEEDED IN TENNIS.

BUT THE SAME PHILOSOPHY THAT MR. MENENDEZ RAISED LYLE MENENDEZ BY FAILED LYLE MENENDEZ TREMENDOUSLY AS A PERSON, BECAUSE YOU WILL HEAR FROM THE EVIDENCE THAT TENNIS BEING EVERYTHING, WINNING BEING EVERYTHING, MR. MENENDEZ WOULD GO TO THE SCHOOL, THE PRINCETON DAY SCHOOL WHERE HIS SONS WERE ENROLLED, AND MAKE SURE THAT THE COURSES DIDN'T INTERFERE WITH COACHING BY PRIVATE COACHES FOR TENNIS, BY TOURNAMENTS THAT WERE IMPORTANT; THAT THEY COULD TRAVEL AND PLAY TENNIS AND NOT MISS THE ALL- IMPORTANT PRACTICE.

AND IN ORDER TO BRING THAT ABOUT, MR. MENENDEZ WOULD SEE THAT LYLE MENENDEZ' HOMEWORK WAS DONE; THAT ESSAYS WERE GHOST WRITTEN FOR HIM AND TURNED IN BECAUSE SCHOOL WAS NOT IMPORTANT; TENNIS WAS.

LYLE MENENDEZ WENT ON, AND AFTER HE GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL HE HAD A TENNIS COACH, MAN NAMED MR. CLAUSE. HE PLAYED TOURNAMENT TENNIS. AND THE TENNIS COACH WAS THREATENED BY MR. MENENDEZ IN EARLY 1987, IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS, THAT HE WAS JUST TO BABY-SIT LYLE MENENDEZ NOW IN TENNIS. HE WAS NOT TO ENCOURAGE HIM TO GO ON TO A CAREER THERE. HE WAS TO BABY-SIT HIM IN TENNIS BECAUSE LYLE MENENDEZ WAS TO GO TO PRINCETON UNIVERSITY. THE COACH TOOK THE THREAT SERIOUSLY AND TOLD LYLE MENENDEZ ABOUT IT IN THE TOURNAMENT. HE FELT THAT HIS SAFETY WAS JEOPARDIZED IF THEY WENT ON WITH DEVELOPMENT IN TENNIS AND THAT LYLE MENENDEZ' SAFETY WAS JEOPARDIZED.

WHEN LYLE MENENDEZ HEARD ABOUT THIS, HE DID SOMETHING HE'D NEVER DONE BEFORE, HE QUIT IN THE MIDDLE OF A MATCH IN WHICH HE WAS HOLDING HIS OWN; TOLD THE OTHER PLAYER, GO AHEAD, PUT UP A SCORE, AND LEFT. AND WENT TO PRINCETON. STARTED IN 19- -- I THINK THE FALL OF 1987. HE WAS VERY ILL- EQUIPPED FOR PRINCETON UNIVERSITY. AND IN HIS FIRST SEMESTER THERE, HE DIDN'T DO WELL, AND HE WAS ASKED TO LEAVE AND HE COULD TRY TO RETURN AGAIN IN A YEAR.

SO HE DID, HE LEFT, AND HE REENTERED PRINCETON UNIVERSITY IN FEBRUARY OF 1989, AND THAT'S WHEN HE BEFRIENDED DONOVAN GOODREAU, THE PERSON WHOSE LICENSE WAS USED TO BUY THE SHOTGUNS LATER ON.

HE BEFRIENDED DONOVAN GOODREAU WHO WAS WORKING IN, I THINK IT WAS A T.G.I.F. RESTAURANT THERE, AND DONOVAN GOODREAU TOLD LYLE MENENDEZ THAT HE WAS GOING TO BE A PRINCETON STUDENT. HE WAS JUST WAITING TO ENROLL THERE. HE WAS GOING TO TAKE CLASSES. AND LYLE MENENDEZ ACTUALLY HAD HIM MOVE IN. HE SHARED LYLE MENENDEZ' ROOM THERE ON CAMPUS AT THAT TIME. AND FOR TWO MONTHS, TWO OR THREE MONTHS, THEY WERE INSEPARABLE FRIENDS SHARING THOUGHTS, IDEAS, GOALS.

LYLE MENENDEZ ALLOWED DONOVAN GOODREAU TO USE HIS STUDENT I.D. TO GO GET MEALS ON THE CAMPUS THERE WITH HIS MEAL TICKET. HE PAID HIS WAY OUT TO LOS ANGELES TO MEET MR. AND MRS. MENENDEZ, TO GET THEIR APPROVAL FOR HIS FRIEND. AND KNOWING HOW HARD THIS WOULD BE, HE WORKED WITH DONOVAN GOODREAU. THEY WENT OVER AND OVER THE EXAMINATION THAT LYLE MENENDEZ KNEW HIS FATHER WOULD GIVE HIM AT THE DINNER TABLE AS TO HIS INTENTIONS, WHO HE WAS, WHERE HE WAS GOING, BECAUSE LYLE MENENDEZ WANTED HIS FRIEND TO BE ACCEPTED BY HIS FATHER AND KNEW HOW HARD THIS WOULD BE. AND IT WAS A DISASTER. IT DIDN'T GO WELL. MR. MENENDEZ DID NOT LIKE DONOVAN GOODREAU, DID NOT FEEL THAT HE WAS ACCEPTABLE FOR A LION TO ASSOCIATE WITH. HE WAS A SHEEP. AND SO HE BEGAN TO DISCOURAGE THAT FRIENDSHIP.

WHEN THEY RETURNED TO SCHOOL AFTER SPRING VACATION BREAK, WHEN THEY'D BEEN OUT HERE TO LOS ANGELES, BEVERLY HILLS AREA, SOME OF LYLE MENENDEZ' FRIENDS, INCLUDING GLENN STEVENS, THAT THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY MENTIONED, FOUND OUT THAT DONOVAN WAS A FRAUD. DONOVAN WAS NOT GOING TO BE GOING TO PRINCETON UNIVERSITY. AND THEY CAME AND THEY TOLD THIS TO LYLE MENENDEZ. GET HIM OUT OF HERE. YOU'VE GOT TO GET HIM OUT. HE'S NOT OUR KIND. AND LYLE MENENDEZ RESISTED THIS. DONOVAN GOODREAU WAS HIS FRIEND. AND THEN THE CALLS CAME, EVENTUALLY A CALL FROM HIS FATHER ORDERING HIM TO EVICT DONOVAN GOODREAU FROM THAT ROOM.

AND SO THERE WERE TEARS AND LYLE MENENDEZ DID KICK DONOVAN GOODREAU OUT. AND LYLE MENENDEZ' FRIENDS, INCLUDING GLENN STEVENS, LOADED DONOVAN GOODREAU'S TRUCK UP AND HE LEFT, AND HE LEFT BEHIND HIS WALLET TO CALIFORNIA LICENSING.

WHEN DONOVAN GOODREAU DROVE AWAY, APPARENTLY HE HAD A SWEATER OR SOME OTHER THINGS OF LYLE'S, POSSIBLY OWED LYLE SOME MONEY. HE DISCOVERED HIS LICENSE WAS MISSING, BUT HE NEVER TRIED TO GO BACK TO GET IT. HIS BANK CARD WAS MISSING TOO, BUT HIS BANK CARD WAS NEVER USED, NEVER USED BY LYLE MENENDEZ. AND THE WALLET WAS NEXT SEEN ON THE FLOOR OF THE DORM ROOM.

WHEN TERESITA BARALT, LYLE MENENDEZ' AUNT, WHO LIVED IN PRINCETON, CAME AND HELPED HIM CLEAN UP THE ROOM, WHICH APPARENTLY LOOKED LIKE MOST 20- YEAR-OLD MEN'S ROOMS WOULD AT THAT TIME, AND FOUND THE WALLET ON THE FLOOR, THEY TOOK IT WITH THE IDENTIFICATION.

NOW, THAT IDENTIFICATION WAS THEN PROVIDED TO ERIK OUT HERE IN CALIFORNIA AS AN IDENTIFICATION BECAUSE IT GAVE THE AGE WHERE YOU COULD USE IT. IT WAS A CALIFORNIA LICENSE. AND IT WAS REALLY USED IN THE PURCHASE OF THE SHOTGUN, BECAUSE TO GET A SHOTGUN YOU HAD TO HAVE A CALIFORNIA RESIDENCE IDENTIFICATION. LYLE MENENDEZ HAD A NEW JERSEY WAS ALL; THAT WOULDN'T DO. ERIK MENENDEZ' CALIFORNIA LICENSE WAS SUSPENDED, AND SO THIS WAS THE IDENTIFICATION THAT WAS USED TO PURCHASE THE SHOTGUNS.

YOU'LL LEARN, TOO, THE SHOTGUNS, EVEN THOUGH PURCHASED, YOU WILL FIND, IN THE SAN DIEGO AREA, AND EVEN THOUGH DONOVAN GOODREAU'S NAME WAS SIGNED TO MATCH THE LICENSE TO FILL OUT THE A.T.F. FORMS, THAT THERE WAS A CAMERA THERE RIGHT ABOVE THE COUNTER. LOOKED FOR ALL THE WORLD LIKE ANY SURVEILLANCE CAMERA THAT YOU SEE IN THE PLACE TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS.

NOW, IT TURNED OUT, FROM THE EVIDENCE, IT WAS A DUMMY. K-MART OR BIG-5, WHOEVER IT WAS, DIDN'T SPEND THE MONEY TO HAVE A REAL CAMERA THERE, BUT IT DIDN'T LOOK THAT WAY TO THE PURCHASER COMING IN. IT LOOKED LIKE A REAL CAMERA THAT RECORDED TRANSACTIONS. THERE WAS NO ATTEMPT TO HIDE THE FACE OR DISGUISE THINGS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT WITH WHAT LOOKED LIKE THE CAMERA THERE.

WE COME UP TO LATER IN THE SUMMER, TO AUGUST, AND THE KALAMAZOO TOURNAMENT THAT MR. CONN MENTIONED, ERIK MENENDEZ WAS PLAYING IN. THIS WAS A NATIONAL TOURNAMENT FOR THE AGE GROUPS, 16 GROUP AND THE 18 GROUP AT THAT TIME. AND THERE WAS A DISCUSSION ABOUT A CAMCORDER THAT HAD BEEN PURCHASED. CAMCORDER WAS THERE, AND LYLE MENENDEZ NEVER KEPT THAT A SECRET. HE TOLD DETECTIVE ZOELLER ABOUT THAT WHEN HE TALKED TO HIM IN PRINCETON IN SEPTEMBER. HE SAID, YEAH, WE HAD AN ARGUMENT ABOUT THE CAMCORDER. BUT MY DAD ALWAYS CAME AROUND WHEN HE SAW THAT IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WE REALLY NEEDED, AND THIS CAMCORDER WAS VERY USEFUL FOR FILMING TENNIS MATCHES, FOR FILMING ERIK'S TENNIS MATCHES TO HELP FIND OUT WHAT FLAWS WERE THERE OR OTHER THINGS IN THE GAME. AND, IN FACT, YOU WILL HEAR THAT KITTY MENENDEZ DID USE THE CAMCORDER AS DID ERIK AND OTHERS.

BUT AT THE SAME TIME THAT THERE WAS THIS ARGUMENT ABOUT THE CAMCORDER AND WHAT IT MIGHT HAVE COST, AT THE SAME TIME, LYLE MENENDEZ, FROM A MATERIAL STANDPOINT, NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD. HE WAS GOING BACK TO PRINCETON IN SEPTEMBER WITH ALL THE TUITION THAT IT COST TO GO TO PRINCETON. HIS FAMILY WAS PURCHASING A TWO-THOUSAND SQUARE FOOT CONDOMINIUM FOR HIM TWO MILES FROM CAMPUS THAT HAD BEEN PICKED OUT BY HIS AUNT TERESITA WHO LIVES THERE. THAT CONDO HAD ALREADY BEEN ARRANGED TO BE PURCHASED AND THE CLOSING WAS SET FOR SEPTEMBER 4TH. PLANS HAD BEEN MADE TO PURCHASE FURNITURE FOR THAT CONDO. MRS. MENENDEZ WAS GOING TO GO HELP TAKE CARE OF THAT ON SEPTEMBER 9TH. LYLE MENENDEZ HAD A CAR TO TAKE HIM THE TWO MILES TO SCHOOL OR ANYWHERE ELSE THAT HE NEEDED TO GO. HE HAD CLOTHES FOR SCHOOL AT THAT TIME; NOT SUITS AND TIES, BUT THE CLOTHES THAT YOU WEAR TO AN IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL, WITH ALL THE CLOTHES THAT HE WANTED OR NEEDED. HE HAD MONEY TO BUY PRESENTS FOR GIRLFRIENDS OR FRIENDS OF ANY KIND, AND DID.

AND HE ALSO KNEW HE WAS DISINHERITED. HE'D BEEN TOLD A YEAR BEFORE, HE AND ERIK MENENDEZ, THAT THEY WERE OUT OF THE WILL. AND THERE WILL BE MUCH EVIDENCE OF THIS FROM CARLOS BARALT, EVEN, I THINK, THE TAPE-RECORDING OF THIS CONVERSATION YOU'RE GOING TO HEAR. DR. OZIEL EVEN HE KNEW ABOUT IT, AND MADE A REFERENCE, YOU WILL HEAR, TO THEM BEING DISINHERITED.

SO AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME IN AUGUST, 1989, LYLE MENENDEZ NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD, FROM A MATERIAL STANDPOINT; HAD POSSESSIONS, THE FUTURE AT PRINCETON, FROM ALL THAT YOU COULD WANT IN YOUR 21 YEARS OF AGE. AND HE NEVER HAD SO MUCH TO LOSE IF HIS PARENTS SHOULD DIE, BECAUSE THIS PRINCETON AND THE CONDO AND THE CLOTHES AND THE MONEY, THAT WAS ONLY THERE IF THEY WERE ALIVE. IF THEY WERE DISINHERITED, AND MONEY WENT UNDER A WILL, THAT ALL WENT AWAY.

BUT YOU WILL HEAR EVIDENCE THAT THERE WAS MORE THAN JUST THE MATERIAL COMFORT AT WORK AT THIS TIME. BECAUSE ALTHOUGH THERE WAS THE CONDO AND THE CAR AND THE CLOTHES AND PRINCETON, AT THE SAME TIME MRS. MENENDEZ, FOR THE WHOLE SEMESTER, THE SPRING SEMESTER THAT HAD JUST ENDED AT PRINCETON, HAD CALLED AUNT TERRY, AS THE FAMILY CALLS HER, TERESITA BARALT, DAILY TO CHECK UP ON LYLE, AND HAD REPEATEDLY ASKED MRS. BARALT TO GET AN EXTRA KEY TO THE CONDO SO THAT SHE COULD GO OVER AND LET HERSELF IN AND SEE WHAT LYLE WAS DOING AND WHAT HE WAS UP TO.

NOW, YOU WILL ALSO HEAR, WHEN THERE IS EVIDENCE PRESENTED ABOUT THIS LAST WEEK BEFORE THE DEATHS, AS MRS. ABRAMSON TOLD YOU YESTERDAY, ABOUT THE FEAR THAT WAS STILL PRESENT IN BOTH THESE YOUNG MEN; AND WHY, WHEN THEY TALKED TO EACH OTHER THAT LAST WEEK, THEY COULDN'T JUST LEAVE. AND THEY BOTH WONDERED: HOW DO MOM AND DAD KNOW EVERYTHING WE'RE DOING? HOW DO THEY KNOW OUR SECRETS? HOW DO THEY KNOW THINGS WE NEVER TOLD THEM? WE CAN'T GET AWAY, THEY KNOW EVERYTHING WE DO. THEY KNOW EVERYWHERE WE GO. THEY EVEN TALKED SERIOUSLY ABOUT WHETHER THEIR MOTHER WAS A WITCH, BECAUSE SHE KNEW SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT THEY WERE DOING.

AND IT WAS ONLY AFTER THE TRAGIC EVENTS OF AUGUST 20TH THAT THEY FOUND THE TAPE-RECORDER THAT HAD BEEN PLACED BY THE PARENTS ON ERIK MENENDEZ' PHONE IN HIS BEDROOM, AND THE TAPES THAT THE PARENTS PLAYED SO THAT THEY KNEW EVERYTHING ERIK WAS TALKING ABOUT TO HIS FRIENDS OR TO OTHER PEOPLE; AND THIS IS WHERE THIS SUPERIOR KNOWLEDGE CAME FROM THAT CAUSED SO MUCH FEAR IN BOTH OF THESE YOUNG MEN.

I'M NOT GOING TO REPEAT ALL THE EVENTS OF THE LAST WEEK. MS. ABRAMSON DID A VERY THOROUGH JOB OF THAT, AS TO WHAT THE EVIDENCE WILL SHOW CONCERNING THAT, EXCEPT ONE EVENT ON FRIDAY, WHEN THEY WERE GOING DOWN, DECIDING WHAT TO DO, AND ENDED UP BUYING THE SHOTGUNS, WHEN ERIK MENENDEZ CONFIDED IN LYLE THE DETAILS OF THE SEXUAL MOLESTATION FROM THE PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF IT FROM HIS FATHER. AND LYLE MENENDEZ, FOR THE FIRST TIME, CONFIDED IN HIS BROTHER THAT HE TOO HAD BEEN MOLESTED WHEN HE WAS YOUNG, AND THEY BOTH REALIZED WHAT A GRAVE FAMILY SECRET THIS WAS THAT THEY WERE CARRYING AROUND WITH THEM. AND IT WAS THAT FEAR OF THAT FAMILY SECRET, AND HOW MUCH MR. MENENDEZ AND MRS. MENENDEZ WOULD DO TO PROTECT THAT SECRET, THAT CAUSED THIS TERRIBLE FEAR ON SUNDAY NIGHT.

IT WAS THEN WHEN MRS. MENENDEZ HAD SAID THEY'D RUINED THE FAMILY AND WENT IN THE DEN AND CLOSED THE DOOR, AFTER ALL THE OTHER EVENTS OF THAT WEEK AND OF THAT DAY THAT LYLE MENENDEZ FREAKED OUT, HE PANICKED, HE RAN UP THE STAIRS WHERE ERIK MENENDEZ WAS, SAID IT'S HAPPENING, THEY'RE GOING TO KILL US. AND THAT'S WHEN THEY WENT AND FRANTICALLY LOADED THE SHOTGUNS AND THEY CAME BACK INTO THE ROOM.

AND AS YOU SEE THE WOUNDS, AND YOU WILL SEE EVIDENCE OF WOUNDS, EVIDENCE OF SHOTS, THE NUMBER OF SHOTS THAT WERE FIRED FROM THOSE TWO SHOTGUNS THAT NIGHT, EACH WOUND, EACH SHOT, SPEAKS OF THE FEAR THAT WAS GOING ON WHEN THOSE SHOTS WERE MADE. AND YOU WILL HEAR FROM THE CORONER'S OFFICE, FROM THE MEDICAL EXAMINER, FROM OTHER MEDICAL DOCTORS, THE AIM OF OVERKILL THAT WAS INVOLVED HERE SPEAKS OF THE FEAR.

WELL, COME 10:15, SHOTS HAVE BEEN FIRED ON A SUMMER EVENING, SHOTGUN SHOTS, SMALL ROOM IN THE BEVERLY HILLS HOUSE. LYLE AND ERIK WAIT FOR THE POLICE, FEELING OBVIOUSLY THEY'VE BEEN HEARD. THEY WERE. AND THE POLICE DIDN'T COME. THAT'S WHEN THE COVER-UP BEGAN. NO POLICE COMING. THEY THEN DID GO PICK UP WHAT THEY SAW OF THE SHOTGUN SHELLS, TOOK THEM OUT, TRIED TO COME UP WITH AN IDEA AS TO HOW THEY COULD COVER THEIR WHEREABOUTS, RAN DOWN, GOT THE MOVIE STUBS FOR THE SOLD-OUT MOVIE. THEY'D MISSED PERRY BERMAN SO THEY TRIED TO GO TO THE -- GET RID OF THE GUNS AND TRY TO STILL CATCH HIM AT THE TASTE OF L.A., BUT IT WAS TOO LATE, SO THEY CALLED HIM. HE AGREED TO MEET THEM AT THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY. AND THEN THEY LOST IT.

ERIK AND LYLE MENENDEZ LOST IT, BECAUSE NOW THEY REALIZED, WHEN THEY WENT IN AND THEY PICKED UP THE SHOTGUN SHELLS, THE TREMENDOUS MISTAKE THEY HAD MADE. THEY KNEW THAT THEIR PARENTS HAD TWO RIFLES IN THE HOUSE AND THAT'S WHAT THEY THOUGHT WAS WAITING FOR THEM IN THE ROOM. THEY WERE GOING TO COME OUT OF THE ROOM WITH THE RIFLES. AND WHEN THEY WENT AND PICKED UP THE SHOTGUN SHELLS, THEY SAW THERE ARE NO RIFLES. THEY HAD MADE A TRAGIC MISTAKE AS TO WHAT THEY THOUGHT THEIR PARENTS WERE GOING TO DO BECAUSE OF THE TREMENDOUS FEAR THAT THEIR PARENTS HAD ALWAYS ENGENDERED IN THEM. WITH THIS MISTAKE CAME TREMENDOUS GRIEF, TREMENDOUS REMORSE, AND THAT'S WHY YOU WILL HEAR THEY DID NOT GO MEET BERRY BERMAN AT THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY, BUT THEY WENT HOME; AND THIS VERY SHAKEN 911 CALL THAT YOU WILL HEAR WAS MADE, AND THE STATEMENTS MADE TO THE POLICE WERE GENUINE EMOTION. IT'S TRUE, THEY DID NOT TELL THE POLICE THE TRUTH. THEY TRIED TO LIE THEIR WAY OUT OF IT AT THIS POINT, BOTH AS TO THE REASON THAT THESE KILLINGS OCCURRED AND AS TO WHO DID IT.

BUT WHAT THEY DID NOT DO, AND WHAT LYLE MENENDEZ DID NOT DO, IS TO TRY TO PRETEND THAT THIS WAS A MAFIA HIT OR AN ORGANIZED CRIME HIT. YOU WILL HEAR THE TAPE OF THAT CONVERSATION WITH SERGEANT EDMONDS ON THE VERY NIGHT THAT THIS HAPPENED, AND IT WAS HE WHO WAS SAYING:

"DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS ON THIS THAT'S GOING TO HELP US SOLVE IT? IF THERE'S ANY PROBLEMS, WE'VE GOT TO SOLVE THIS."

AND AT THAT POINT LYLE MENENDEZ SAID:

"ONE OF MY CONCERNS IS, I DON'T WANT -- I DON'T LIKE ANY BAD PRESS ABOUT MY FATHER NOW."

HE DID NOT TALK ANY ORGANIZED CRIME THEN. HE DID NOT TALK ABOUT BUSINESS ASSOCIATES.

AND THE POLICE OFFICER THEN SAID:

"WELL, WE WANT THIS PERSON OR THESE PEOPLE, WHOEVER DID THIS, TO ANSWER TO THEIR CRIME, SO YOU'VE GOT TO HELP US."

AND YOU WILL HEAR, AND AS YOU FOLLOW IN THE TRANSCRIPT, THAT ABOUT TWO PAGES WENT ON WHILE LYLE MENENDEZ WAS RUMINATING AND TALKING ABOUT IT, NOT LOOKING LIKE A BURGLARY. AND THEN HE FINALLY SAYS:

"WELL, YOU KNOW, HE'S IN THE BUSINESS WHERE THERE'S LITTLE SMALL COMPANIES AND THEY'RE BEING SQUEEZED OUT AND THEY'RE GOING DOWN, AND MY DAD IS A PRETTY, PRETTY RUTHLESS BUSINESSMAN, AND HE BELIEVES IN THE BOTTOM LINE. AND WE'VE LAUGHED OVER STORIES OF HIM TRYING TO PUSH THESE GUYS OUT, SO, YOU KNOW, IT MIGHT BE BUSINESS-RELATED."

THAT'S WHERE THE BUSINESS-RELATED -- AND I WANT YOU TO LISTEN CAREFULLY TO THE TAPES WHEN YOU DO HEAR THEM IN THE TRANSCRIPTS THAT YOU FOLLOW, BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE THE BUSINESS-RELATED CAME UP AFTER REPEATED URGING BY THE POLICE OFFICER TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING.

AND IN ONE SENSE, LATER LYLE MENENDEZ SAYS:

"WE'VE HAD SOME PROBLEMS WITH GANGS IN THE PAST. IN THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF, TWO YEARS, MY BROTHER WAS BEAT UP."

AND THAT'S GIVEN EQUAL SIGNIFICANCE IN HIS STATEMENT WITH THE STATEMENT ABOUT BUSINESS ASSOCIATES. AND, IN FACT, WHEN DETECTIVE ZOELLER GOES TO NEW JERSEY AND TALKS TO LYLE MENENDEZ, I THINK IT WAS SEPTEMBER 17TH, AND YOU WILL HEAR THAT CONVERSATION ALSO, AND LYLE MENENDEZ IS APPARENTLY TRYING TO DISCOURAGE THIS ORGANIZED CRIME THING AND DETECTIVE ZOELLER SAYS, TALKING ABOUT THE CORONER'S OFFICE: AS FAR AS WE KNOW, OF COURSE, YOU KNOW, WE TRUST THEM AS FAR AS WE TRUST ANYBODY. BUT YOU KNOW, THEY INITIALLY CAME OUT AND SAID, OH, IT LOOKS LIKE AN O.C. HIT AND SO ON AND SO FORTH.

AND DETECTIVE LINEHAN, DETECTIVE ZOELLER'S PARTNER AT THAT TIME, SAID: "ORGANIZED CRIME?"

AND DETECTIVE ZOELLER SAYS: "YEAH."

AND, YOU KNOW, THAT WAS THEIR BELIEFS. AND JUST A COUPLE OF PAGES LATER WHEN LYLE MENENDEZ IS ASKED ABOUT IT, HE SAYS: "BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, I DON'T BELIEVE THE ORGANIZED CRIME THING UNTIL I SEE SOMETHING, YOU KNOW." HE WASN'T PUSHING ORGANIZED CRIME WITH THE POLICE, THE INVESTIGATORS. HE WAS DENYING IT AS BEING A THEORY.

THERE WILL BE SOME WITNESSES WHO WILL SAY, IN VARIOUS -- THESE ARE CIVILIAN WITNESSES, WHO WILL SAY, WELL, HE WAS PLAYING UP THAT IT MIGHT BE MAFIA OR ORGANIZED CRIME OR SOMETHING TO THEM, BUT NOT TO THE POLICE, WHERE IT COUNTS. THEY'RE THE ONES WHO WERE DOING THE INVESTIGATING.

THEN WE'VE HEARD, AND YOU WILL HEAR EVIDENCE ABOUT A COMPUTER OR -- YEAH, A COMPUTER WILL, WHETHER OR NOT THERE WAS A WILL THAT HAD BEEN CHANGED, AND THAT JOSEPH LYLE MENENDEZ WAS TRYING TO DESTROY ANY EVIDENCE OF THAT WILL. WELL, YOU'LL HEAR THAT ON THE VERY DAY OR TWO AFTER THE SHOOTINGS, THE LAWYER, RANDY WRIGHT, AND HIS WIFE, TALKED TO LYLE MENENDEZ AND ERIK MENENDEZ IN THEIR HOME. AND THE LAWYER, HOPING TO BE EXECUTOR OF THE WILL, ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WHERE THE WILL MIGHT BE. AND IN RESPONSE TO THAT, JOSEPH LYLE MENENDEZ SAID: WELL, WE HAVE A SAFE. IT MIGHT BE IN THAT. AND IT WAS MR. WRIGHT, THE LAWYER, WHO SAID, WELL, YOU SHOULD BRING THE SAFE OVER HERE AND THEN WE CAN OPEN IT IN THE PRESENCE OF THE EXECUTOR.

AND THAT'S WHAT LYLE MENENDEZ DID. HE WENT AND HE GOT THE SAFE BECAUSE HE WAS DIRECTED TO BY THE LAWYER, AND BROUGHT IT OVER TO HIS HOUSE, THINKING THAT THAT WAS THE WILL THAT HAD DISINHERITED HIM, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT HE HAD HEARD AND THAT'S WHAT HE THOUGHT.

NOW, YOU WILL HEAR FROM MARTA CANO, ANOTHER RELATIVE, A BUSINESS WOMAN IN THE FAMILY FROM FLORIDA, WHO WAS VERY CLOSE TO ALL THE FAMILY AND THEIR FINANCES AND AFFAIRS. AND SHE WAS HERE, AS WAS MOST OF THE FAMILY, FOR THE FIRST MEMORIAL SERVICE THAT THEY HAD HERE. AND SO WHILE SHE WAS HERE, SHE DECIDED THAT SHE SHOULD MAKE HERSELF BUSY AND INVESTIGATE AFFAIRS OF JOSEPH MENENDEZ AS TO THE COMPANY WHERE HE WORKED, INSURANCE POLICIES, WHAT THE FAMILY FINANCIAL AFFAIRS WOULD BE. AND THEN -- AND SHE DOESN'T KNOW IF IT WAS A WEDNESDAY EVENING OR A THURSDAY EVENING; IT WAS ONE OF THE TWO -- SHE CALLED THE BOYS, LYLE MENENDEZ AND ERIK MENENDEZ, TOGETHER AND SAID WE HAVE TO TALK. YOU'VE GOT TO KNOW WHERE YOU STAND. AND SHE SAID: NOW, FIRST THERE'S THIS $650,000 LIFE INSURANCE POLICY WITH SUN LIFE.

AND THEY SAID: HUH?

SHE SAID: WELL, I PERSONALLY TOOK THAT OUT, I BROKERED THAT, AND I KNOW THAT EXISTS, AND I'M GOING TO PUT THE CLAIM IN FOR THAT.

AND BOTH LYLE AND ERIK MENENDEZ SAID: NO, AUNT MARTA, NO. YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. WE'VE BEEN DISINHERITED. WE DON'T HAVE ANYTHING.

AND SHE'S THE ONE WHO TOLD THEM: THAT'S NONSENSE. I REMEMBER WHEN THE WILL WAS WRITTEN, I WITNESSED IT AND I DID THIS POLICY AND YOU'RE ALL RIGHT.

AND BOTH LYLE AND ERIK REFUSED TO BELIEVE IT. AND THEY SAID NO, NO, THAT'S NOT TRUE. BUT AS OF AUGUST 20TH, 1989, ALL THE EVIDENCE WILL SHOW THAT BOTH LYLE AND ERIK MENENDEZ FELT THEY HAD NOTHING COMING FROM A WILL OR INSURANCE POLICIES; THAT IF THEIR PARENTS DIED, THERE WAS NO MONEY. AND IT WASN'T UNTIL THREE OR FOUR DAYS LATER THAT THEY LEARNED THERE MIGHT BE.

THE WILL WAS -- THE SAFE WAS LATER OPENED. THE EXECUTORS WERE PRESENT. THEY WERE A COUPLE OF STEPS, TWO OR THREE STEPS, BEHIND LYLE AND ERIK MENENDEZ; NOT OUT OF THE ROOM, BECAUSE, AGAIN, LYLE AND ERIK MENENDEZ WANTED TO MAKE SURE THERE WERE NO FAMILY SECRETS THAT WERE REVEALED AND THEY KNEW WHAT THE FAMILY SECRETS WERE. THERE WAS NO TEARING UP OF A WILL OR NEW WILL OR CONCEALING OF IT. THERE JUST HAPPENED TO BE NOTHING OF VALUE EXCEPT THE KEY IN THAT SAFE.

AND THE SAME THING WITH THE SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX. THERE WAS NO DESTRUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, TEARING THEM UP OR ANYTHING OF THAT NATURE.

BUT THERE WAS A COMPUTER IN THE HOUSE. AND CARLOS MENENDEZ AND ANOTHER RELATIVE, BRIAN ANDERSEN, AN UNCLE FROM THE CHICAGO AREA, THEY WENT THERE AND THEY TRIED TO CALL UP THE CALL WORDS "WILL" AND "MENENDEZ" AND I THINK ONE OTHER, AND PLAYED WITH THE COMPUTER TRYING TO BRING UP WHATEVER WAS ON IT, AND THEY WERE UNSUCCESSFUL.

AND MEANWHILE, CARLOS BARALT, THE UNCLE FROM PRINCETON, WAS TELLING LYLE AND THE OTHERS, WELL, A COMPUTER WILL'S NOT VALID. THAT'S GOT TO BE WITNESSED. THAT'S NOTHING. BUT CARLOS MENENDEZ DIDN'T WANT TO LET IT GO, AND HE ASKED ANOTHER RELATIVE, MARIANNE CANO, ALSO IN NEW JERSEY, TO GET AN IBM EXPERT TO GO INTO THE COMPUTER AND SEE WHAT THEY COULD FIND, AND THEY DID. SHE GOT AN IBM EXPERT AND HAD IT ALL SET UP. AND THEN CARLOS MENENDEZ SAID, NEVER MIND, I GOT MY OWN EXPERT. CONSIDERABLE DISTRESS TO MARIANNE CANO, WHO HAD GONE TO THIS TROUBLE AND PUT HERSELF ON THE LINE TO GET AN EXPERT. BUT CARLOS MENENDEZ WAS GOING TO HAVE HIS OWN EXPERT GO OUT AND DO SOMETHING WITH THE COMPUTER. AND THIS NOW MADE LYLE MENENDEZ SUSPICIOUS AND HE FLEW OUT TO L.A. AND GOT THE MAN THAT THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY HAS TOLD YOU ABOUT, HOWARD WITKIN, TO GO AND TO LOOK AT THE COMPUTER.

WHEN MR. WITKIN GOT THERE, HE LOOKED AT THE COMPUTER AND HE TRIED TO RETRIEVE WHAT WAS THERE, THEN HE SAID THERE'S NOTHING THERE. THERE ARE ONLY A FEW CHARACTERS TO BEGIN WITH, AND THEY'VE BEEN TYPED OVER SOMEHOW, SO THERE'S NOTHING THAT'S RETRIEVABLE. THERE'S NOTHING ON THE HARD DRIVE THAT WE CAN GET EVEN IF SOMEBODY HAD SAID DELETE THE FILE. IT'S BEEN DESTROYED.

SO AT THAT POINT HE SAYS -- MR. LYLE MENENDEZ SAID: WELL, THEN JUST WIPE IT CLEAN SO THAT NOBODY CAN GET WHATEVER'S IN THAT COMPUTER; AND THEN IF YOU CAN, MAKE IT SO NOBODY KNOWS YOU'VE BEEN HERE.

LYLE MENENDEZ THEN PAID THE MAN WITH A CHECK, WHICH BOUNCED, AND IS STILL AVAILABLE. HE LEFT THE RECEIPT THAT MR. WITKIN GAVE HIM IN PLAIN VIEW BY THE TELEVISION SET WHERE MR. WITKIN SAID HE LEFT IT AND WHERE IT WAS STILL THERE THREE MONTHS LATER FOR THE POLICE TO FIND ON THE EASIEST SEARCH WARRANT THEY EVER EXECUTED. THERE WAS NO ATTEMPT TO HIDE THAT TRANSACTION.

AND AS TO THE SPENDING, THERE WAS NO ATTEMPT TO HIDE THAT EITHER. WHEN LYLE MENENDEZ WENT AND GOT THE ROLEX WATCHES, HE DID IT ON A CREDIT CARD THAT HAD A 250-THOUSAND-DOLLAR CREDIT LIMIT THAT I BELIEVE HAD HIS FATHER'S NAME ON IT. THEY HAD TO CHECK AS TO WHETHER HE WAS AN AUTHORIZED BUYER ON IT OR NOT. HE STAYED THERE WHILE THEY DID THAT. HE EVEN -- BECAUSE THIS WAS A BIG TRANSACTION, THEY ALLOWED HIM TO MAKE A TELEPHONE CALL RIGHT FROM THE COUNTER THERE, RIGHT IN THE PRESENCE OF THE PERSON WHO SOLD HIM THE ROLEX WATCHES. AND HE CALLED HIS UNCLE CARLOS, THE EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE, TO SEE IF THIS WAS APPROPRIATE. AND THEY TALKED ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT HE SHOULD WEAR IT TO THE SERVICE, THE SECOND SERVICE THAT THEY HAD, A FUNERAL SERVICE BACK IN PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY.

AND WHEN HE BOUGHT THE PORSCHE, WHICH HE DID, AND WENT BACK TO NEW JERSEY, HE SOUGHT THE ADVICE OF EVERYONE AROUND HIM: THE BODYGUARD, RICHARD WENSKOSKI, WHO HE KNEW ONLY FOR A WEEK; AND AGAIN, HIS FRIEND, GLENN STEVENS, WHO WAS WITH HIM WHEN HE TEST-DROVE IT AND WENT THERE.

AND HE ALSO LENT GLENN STEVENS ONE OF THESE ROLEX WATCHES TO WEAR. AND MR. STEVENS WAS STILL WEARING IT WHEN LYLE MENENDEZ WAS ARRESTED. AND MR. GLENN STEVENS SOLD THE WATCH TO A JEWELER AND NEVER GAVE ANY OF THAT MONEY TO LYLE MENENDEZ.

AND THEN THERE WAS A BUSINESS, THE CHICKEN WING BUSINESS, IN PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, THE BUFFALO WINGS. THEY CHANGED THE NAME OF IT AND INVESTED HALF A MILLION DOLLARS, I THINK WAS THE PURCHASE PRICE, AND ABOUT 300,000 OR SO DOWN PAYMENT; AND HE HAD TO GO, AGAIN, THROUGH THE EXECUTOR. HE WORKED WITH CARLOS BARALT, HIS UNCLE, ON THIS, AS TO WHETHER IT WAS A GOOD THING TO DO; WENT OVER AND CHECKED THE PLACE OUT. THEY OVERPAID FOR IT, IT TURNED OUT, BUT THIS WAS DONE WITH MR. BARALT'S CONSENT AND CHECKING INTO IT AND THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA FOR LYLE TO HAVE A BUSINESS, SOMETHING TO KEEP HIM BUSY, SOMETHING TO KEEP HIM OCCUPIED, BECAUSE HE'D ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN BUSINESS.

AT THE TIME THAT LYLE MENENDEZ WAS ARRESTED, HE ENTRUSTED THE RUNNING OF THAT BUSINESS TO GLENN STEVENS, WHO WAS WEARING THE ROLEX WATCH; AND IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME THE BUSINESS WENT UNDER AND IT HAD TO BE RETURNED TO THE OWNER AND IT FAILED.

AS TO THE CONDOMINIUMS IN THE NEW JERSEY AREA AND THE PROPERTY THAT MR. CONN MENTIONED, LYLE MENENDEZ WENT AND TALKED TO THE PEOPLE THERE ABOUT BUYING A LARGER CONDO THAN THE ONE THAT WAS ALREADY IN PROGRESS FOR HIM, THAT WAS GOING TO CLOSE SEPTEMBER 4TH, ON THE FEELING THAT HIS BROTHER,

22 ERIK, WOULD BE JOINING HIM, PERHAPS, AT PRINCETON AND THEY'D HAVE SOME PLACE THAT WAS LARGE ENOUGH FOR BOTH OF THEM. AND HE PUT DOWN, I BELIEVE, SOME DEPOSIT MONEY. BUT IT NEVER WENT THROUGH. HE DIDN'T BUY THAT PROPERTY.

WHAT HAPPENED IS THAT ERIK MENENDEZ DECIDED NOT TO GO EAST BUT TO STAY IN CALIFORNIA AND WORK ON HIS TENNIS CAREER; AND SO THAT'S WHEN THEY WENT AND LOOKED AT THE PROPERTY IN MARINA DEL REY, AGAIN TALKING ABOUT A $990,000 PENTHOUSE OR SOMETHING, BUT THEY DIDN'T BUY THAT EITHER. THEY RENTED THERE. AND THE REASON THAT THEY CHOSE MARINA DEL REY WAS BECAUSE IT HAD THE FACILITIES: IT HAD THE HEALTH-CLUB FACILITIES, THE WEIGHT-TRAINING FACILITIES AND THE TENNIS COURTS THAT ERIK MENENDEZ NEEDED IN ORDER TO FURTHER WHAT WAS GOING TO BE A PROFESSIONAL TENNIS CAREER AT THAT POINT.

THEN WE GET TO THE STATEMENT MADE TO DR. OZIEL, WHICH YOU WILL ALSO HEAR THE TAPE-RECORDING OF, I'M SURE, WITH A TRANSCRIPT TO FOLLOW ALONG. AND MR. CONN READ YOU SOME EXCERPTS FROM THAT ABOUT THINKING IT OVER AND SLEEPING ON IT FOR TWO NIGHTS, PLANNING, IN EFFECT, TO KILL THE PARENTS AND DOING A MERCY KILLING FOR THE MOTHER.

YOU HAVE TO LISTEN CAREFULLY TO THAT TAPE WHEN IT'S PLAYED AS TO HOW THESE STATEMENTS CAME ABOUT AND THE CONTEXT IN WHICH THEY WERE MADE. AND YOU WILL FIND THAT FOR THE FIRST TWO-THIRDS OF THAT TAPE, IT'S DR. OZIEL WHO'S DOING MOST OF THE TALKING, MOST OF THE SUGGESTING, UNTIL FINALLY, AT THE END, LYLE GOES AHEAD AND RUNS WITH THE BALL AND SAYS SOME THINGS TO GET IT OVER WITH.

BUT SOME EXAMPLES THAT YOU'LL HEAR WHEN THIS IS PLAYED TO YOU AS TO THE MOTHER'S SUICIDE EARLY IN THE CONVERSATION, YOU'LL HEAR LYLE MENENDEZ TALKING ABOUT: "I COULDN'T TELL MY AUNT, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT MY MOTHER'S SUICIDE THING. I MEAN, IT WAS -- YOU COULDN'T DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT."

AND THIS IS A SUICIDE THING THAT HAD OCCURRED TWO YEARS EARLIER WHEN SHE LEFT WHAT APPEARED TO BE A SUICIDE NOTE; AND SHE'D ALSO HAD AN OVERDOSE OF SOME PILLS FOR WHICH SHE WAS ONCE TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL.

SO DR. OZIEL TAKES THAT AND HE RAN WITH IT. AND YOU'LL HEAR DR. OZIEL SHORTLY AFTERWARDS SAYING: "WELL, WHEN YOU ENDED UP KILLING YOUR MOM, DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE -- DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE SPARING HER? I KNOW SHE WAS HORRIBLY DEPRESSED AND TOTALLY DOMINATED BY YOUR DAD. SHE WAS LIKE A SHELL OF A PERSON. SHE HAD NO IDENTITY OR STRENGTH LEFT ANYMORE. YOU HAD BEEN -- I KNOW THAT YOU HAD BEEN RESPONDING TO HER, AS, I THINK, ALMOST LIKE A PERSON THAT'S BECOME SORT OF PITIFUL. THAT'S A STRONG WORD, BUT IS THAT HOW YOU FELT?"

THOSE ARE DR. OZIEL'S WORDS CONCERNING MERCY KILLING OR SUICIDE OR PITIFUL.

SHORTLY AFTER LYLE MENENDEZ ANSWERS: "WHEN I FOUND OUT ABOUT THE FIRST SUICIDE NOTE, THEN IT GOT WORSE AND WORSE. BUT THAT WAS OKAY. I'LL NOW SUPPORT MY MOTHER. AND ERIK AND I DECIDED WE WOULD RALLY BEHIND MY MOTHER."

HE GOES ON: "I'M GOING TO RALLY BEHIND MY MOTHER, AND I SAID I HAD A CONVERSATION WITH HER AND I WROTE HER A LONG LETTER SAYING IF SHE EVER WANTED TO LEAVE DAD, SHE COULD MOVE TO PRINCETON. I'D LIVE WITH HER."

THIS IS LYLE MENENDEZ TALKING ABOUT HIS MOTHER.

AND AGAIN, WE GET BACK, FOUR PAGES LATER, TO DR. OZIEL, AND DR. OZIEL IS THE ONE SAYING:

"AND YOU, UH, YOU ENDED UP TRYING TO PROTECT HER AND GETTING PUNISHED AND REJECTED; AND AS A PERSON YOU'RE GETTING TOLD YOU'RE A BAD GUY, WHEN REALLY WHAT YOU WERE TRYING TO DO WAS SAVE HER FROM WHAT YOUR DAD WAS DOING TO YOU AND YOUR MOM. I MEAN, THAT'S WHAT I'M HEARING."

THAT'S DR. OZIEL SUGGESTING HERE.

AND THIS WILL BE -- THROUGHOUT THIS TRANSCRIPT YOU WILL HEAR DR. OZIEL PROMPTING AND SAYING THINGS ABOUT THE SUICIDE AND SAVING HER BECAUSE IT WAS THE MERCIFUL THING TO DO.

AND THEN DR. OZIEL STARTS TO TALK ABOUT CONTROL, AND IT'S DR. OZIEL SAYING: "IT'S OBVIOUS TO ME THAT HE WAS DOING ALL KINDS OF STUFF" -- TALKING ABOUT THE FATHER, JOSE MENENDEZ -- "FROM TOTALLY CONTROLLING EVERYBODY IN THE FAMILY, BEING COMPLETELY COLD-BLOODED ABOUT HIS DECISIONS, CONSIDERING EVERYONE AS SORT OF AN INSTRUMENT OF HIS OWN WILL, AND THERE'S A LOT OF STUFF THAT YOUR DAD WAS DOING, INCLUDING TALKING ABOUT DISINHERITING. YOU ACTUALLY HAVE SAID THAT HE DID DISINHERIT YOU, I GUESS, AT A COUPLE OF POINTS."

AND LYLE SAYS: "THAT DIDN'T ENTER INTO IT TOO MUCH BECAUSE I FELT LIKE ERIK AND I COULD HANDLE IT; THAT HE WOULD EXPECT US TO HANDLE IT."

EVEN THERE, THE DISINHERIT IS COMING UP.

AND DR. OZIEL IS THEN SAYING:

"HE TRAINED YOU BY BEING A DISCIPLINARIAN, BY BEING TOUGH, NOT BY HAVING A LOVING BOND WITH YOU." LYLE MENENDEZ SAYS: "I FELT THE BOND THOUGH, YOU KNOW."

AND THEN TWO-THIRDS OF THE WAY THROUGH THIS CONVERSATION THAT YOU WILL HEAR, DR. OZIEL SAYS: "WELL, EVEN WHILE SHE WAS BEING TOTALLY DESTROYED BY HIM, THAT HE WAS BLOCKING ABSOLUTELY EVEN YOUR LOVE FOR HER AND YOU'RE TRYING TO HELP HER, AND ESPECIALLY YOU, LYLE, HERE YOU WERE LOVING HER AND TRYING TO CARE FOR HER, AND INSTEAD YOU GET BLAMED FOR IT. AND THERE WAS AN ABSOLUTE DENIAL OF WHAT WAS HAPPENING AND YET YOU KNEW THE PAIN SHE WAS IN. YOU SAW HER TOTALLY DETERIORATING AND IT'S ALMOST LIKE, I MEAN, YOUR LOVE FOR YOUR MOTHER WAS -- AND THE PAIN WITH HER GETTING JUST TOTALLY BRUTALIZED OVER ALL THESE YEARS, WELL, LIKE IT WAS A LOT WORSE THAN THE PAIN YOU WENT THROUGH BEING WITH YOUR DAD. YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD DEAL WITH YOUR DAD MORE THAN YOUR MOTHER. YOUR MOTHER COULDN'T DEAL WITH YOUR DAD. YOUR MOTHER HAD NO WAY TO DEAL WITH YOUR DAD."

THAT'S ALL DR. OZIEL TALKING. AND THEN YOU WILL HEAR LYLE TALKING ABOUT: "YEAH, OKAY, WE DID IT BECAUSE IT WAS THE MERCIFUL THING TO DO."

FINALLY WE GET TO FEAR. EVEN AFTER THE SHOOTINGS, EVEN AFTER THE TRAGEDY OF AUGUST 20TH, THE FEAR OF WHO'S GOING TO BELIEVE ME? WHO'S GOING TO BELIEVE THESE THINGS HAPPENED IN THE HOUSE?

AND SO HE MADE A MISTAKE. HE ASKED A GIRLFRIEND TO SAY THAT HIS FATHER HAD COME ON TO HER, AND SHE SAID I'M NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT. AND THAT'S WHEN LYLE MENENDEZ SAID, WELL, I TOLD MY ATTORNEY YOU WOULDN'T. AND AS THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY SAID, THAT IS NOT EITHER MS. TOWERY OR I, WHO ARE NOW REPRESENTING LYLE MENENDEZ; NOR WAS IT JILL LANSING NOR MICHAEL BURT, WHO REPRESENTED HIM IN THE LAST TRIAL. THIS OCCURRED BEFORE THAT.

AND EVEN AFTER THAT, AFTER SHE SAID I'M NOT GOING TO DO THAT, SHE WILL TESTIFY THAT THE NEXT TIME SHE SAW LYLE MENENDEZ IS WHEN HE HELD UP THIS YELLOW SHEET OF PAPER FOR HER, PUTTING HIS LIFE IN HER HAND, AND SAYING, I DID DO IT. I DID KILL MY PARENTS. IT WAS BECAUSE MY FATHER WAS MOLESTING ERIK AND MOM MOLESTED ME. HE DIDN'T SAY THE FEAR, BUT HE DID HAVE IN THERE WHAT CAUSED SOME OF THE FEAR. AND AT THAT POINT JAMIE PISARCIK DIDN'T ACCEPT IT, AND RAN OUT.

BUT EVEN AFTER SAYING SHE WOULDN'T LIE FOR HIM, HE ENTRUSTED HIS LIFE TO HER BY TELLING HER THE BEGINNING OF WHAT HAD HAPPENED.

PLEASE LISTEN CAREFULLY TO ALL THE EVIDENCE, ALL THE EVIDENCE THAT IS PRESENTED BY DIRECT EXAMINATION, CROSS-EXAMINATION, TAPE-RECORDINGS, ANY MEANS IN WHICH EITHER SIDE PRESENTS EVIDENCE TO YOU.

I THINK YOU WILL HEAR THE SEXUAL ABUSE BY MR. AND MRS. MENENDEZ IN THIS FAMILY, THE CONTROL IN ALL THE PHASES OF LYLE MENENDEZ' LIFE BY MR. AND MRS. MENENDEZ. YOU'LL HEAR THAT MR. AND MRS. MENENDEZ WERE PRETENDING TO HAVE THESE SUPERNATURAL POWERS TO KNOW EVERYTHING THAT WAS GOING ON AS A CONTROLLING MECHANISM; AND THAT THEY REALLY LEARNED IT THROUGH BUGGING THE PHONE AND OTHER MEANS.

BUT THAT THOSE STATEMENTS, THAT VERY FEAR THAT MR. AND MRS. MENENDEZ ENGENDERED IN THEIR SONS BY PRETENDING OMNISCIENCE, BY BEING ALL- CONTROLLING, BY NOT LETTING THEM DEVELOP THE SKILLS TO HAVE GOOD JUDGMENT, IS WHAT CAUSED THIS UNCONTROLLABLE FEAR ON SUNDAY NIGHT, AUGUST 20TH, AND ENDED UP IN THE TRAGEDY OF THEIR DEATHS.

THANK YOU.

-----
Brought to you by - The 'Lectric Law Library
The Net's Finest Legal Resource For Legal Pros & Laypeople Alike.
http://www.lectlaw.com

Google+