4 – Damon Van Dam’s cross-examination

Damon Van Dam’s cross-examination II
based on transcript of Monday, June 5, 2002

Feldman: mr. Van Dam, is it the case that your children would play outside in the front yard all the time?
Dusek objection, vague as to when.
the court: make a reference point, counsel.
Feldman: directing your attention to the eight months preceding february the 2nd — february the 1st, 2002, is it the case that your kids played out front all the time?
Van Dam I wouldn’t say all the time. I would say on occasion.
Feldman: isn’t it true you told officer Flores at 1750 hours on the 2nd of february, it would be page 12, quote, “and my kids are playing out front all the time”?
Dusek objection, time as to when it happened.
the court: overruled. you may answer.
the witness: we’re on page 12? I found it. yes, I said that.
Feldman: in fact, in the next morning when you realized your daughter was missing, one of the reasons you went in the backyard was because you were concerned your daughter had sleep walked into the backyard, isn’t that true?
Van Dam I don’t recall saying she sleep walked into the backyard. maybe she had gone in the backyard, but if it’s in here, tell me the page.
Feldman: nine — ninth line up where it says “d”. it says “well, I figured.” i’m just trying to get you to cite into it.
Van Dam I didn’t say that — okay. yes, I said that.
Feldman: and it is the case that your daughter had sleep walked on occasion?
Van Dam yes. and as I say, later in here I explain how the only time she had done it, she had done the potty dance, sleep dance around the room, because she won’t really wake up. she’ll have to pee, so she’ll dance around in a circle crying, and we’ll have to get up and take her to the bathroom and sit her down. she is not actually awake, so —
Feldman: you wrote — i’m sorry. you told officer Flores “i figured since the back door was open, maybe she had slept — sleep walked out back.” you made that statement, didn’t you?
Van Dam yes. and I also made the statement “she’s done it a couple of times.”
the court: just a minute, sir. Feldman: your honor?
the court: you’re not answering the questions. you’re not asking the questions. go ahead, mr. feldman.
Feldman: and then the very next line is “and does she sleep walk sometimes?” that question was put to you, isn’t that true? you can answer.
the witness: may I ask your honor a question?
the court: no. you can answer the question you were asked.
the witness: what was the question again?
Feldman: the question was, in the very next line after you had said she had slept, sleep walked out back, the very next question was “does she sleep walk sometimes?” that’s correct, isn’t it.
Van Dam yes. may I read the next few lines?
Feldman: then you said “she’s done it a couple times but only to our room. I don’t think she’s ever gone outside,” correct?
Van Dam uh-huh.
Feldman: i’m sorry. you said uh-huh?
Van Dam yes.
Feldman: but the reason you were looking in the backyard was on the theory that your daughter may have sleep walked in the backyard?
Van Dam yes.
Feldman: when the 911 call was made before the police arrived, isn’t it true you and Brenda had a conversation concerning what it would be appropriate for the two of you to tell the police once they arrived?
Van Dam I don’t specifically recall that conversation.
Feldman: and isn’t it true that you told — you and your wife agreed to withhold from the police anything having to do with your sexual behaviors?
Van Dam no. I don’t recall that.
Feldman: and isn’t it further true —
Dusek objection to the form of the question.
mr. feldman: i’ll withdraw.
Feldman: directing your attention, sir, to february the 3rd, 2002, at approximately 1:42 hours, and your communication with detective Jody Thrasher and steve Flores —
Van Dam is this on —
Feldman: two three oh two?
Van Dam twenty-six?
the court: twenty-six. Feldman: twenty-six.
the witness: page?
Feldman: page — it’s my 13. it may be your 12. i’m going to direct your attention to a portion of the transcript, and i’m going to ask you a question in a particular way, okay, just so you understand I want to direct your attention, counsel, so that you see it. it says “s. f.” at page 12 yeah, all right. it starts there and proceeds — excuse me, sir, I need to turn the page, i’m sorry — to the next page, which is 13, the first quotation or the first attribution to dvd, meaning you. it’s true, isn’t it, that you and Brenda agreed to withhold information from the police?
Van Dam I don’t specifically recall agreeing with Brenda to withhold information from the police.
Feldman: now, i’ve shown you this exhibit, though, 26, and you specifically indicated to the police that basically it was time for the police to please tell your wife that you had let the cat out of the bag with regard to your sexual behaviors, and so it was now okay for her to discuss that, isn’t that true?
Van Dam that’s true.
Dusek objection, improper impeachment. he said he didn’t recall, not that it didn’t happen.
the court: sustained. he doesn’t recall.
Feldman: for the limited purpose of refreshing your recollection, sir, please read that portion of the transcript that I just cited to you?
Van Dam first line of page 13?
Feldman: the part that I just articulated.
Van Dam is that the first quotation on page 13?
Feldman: it’s actually —
Van Dam or we’re starting at 12?
Feldman: it’s your 12.
Dusek no foundation, your honor.
the court: overruled.
Feldman: onto the next page, sir. does that refresh your recollection now as to whether or not you asked the police to tell Brenda at the beginning of her thing to spill the whole thing, meaning with regard to your sexual behaviors so you could get on with the investigation?
Van Dam yes.
Feldman: so you did tell the police that, didn’t you?
Van Dam yes.
Feldman: now, does that mean you, in fact, did agree with Brenda to withhold information from the police?
Van Dam I do not recall.
Feldman: these transcripts that i’ve been showing you today, mr. dusek didn’t have you review these transcripts, did he?
Van Dam no.
Feldman: so you’ve not seen these transcripts which memorialize tape-recorded communications you gave to the police on february 2nd and february 3rd. you’ve not seen them until today, is that right?
Van Dam correct. I saw reports I believe from these interviews but never transcripts from any interviews. Feldman: no further questions.
the court: all right. any redirect?
Dusek yes.
Dusek: Danielle, did she sleep walk?
Van Dam yes. as I said before, she did a potty dance in her room. I believe she did the potty dance into our room one time, you know, having to go to the bathroom and being asleep.
Dusek: and in the transcript that mr. Feldman showed you, I believe was exhibit no. 27, on page nine did you discuss her sleep walking during that interview?
Van Dam yes.
Dusek: what did you tell the officers?
Van Dam she’s done it a couple of times but only to our room. I don’t think she’s ever gone outside.
Dusek: and when you talk about why you went outside to see if she was sleep walking, what did you say?
Van Dam I specific — well, my thinking was that the door was open. I had gone through — there was nothing rational left where she had gone, so I had gone to look out back, even though I didn’t think that had happened, rid — I had gone through every other possibility where she had gone.
Dusek: did you check the hot tub?
Van Dam checked the hot tub.
Dusek: had she ever been in there by herself?
Van Dam no.
Dusek: did you check lots of places where she had never been?
Van Dam lots of ridiculous places, yes.
Dusek: what was your emotional condition at that time, sir?
Van Dam very upset.
Dusek: I think you talked about one time that you had sex with Denise Kemel in october of the year 2000?
Van Dam yes.
Dusek: that was at your house?
Van Dam yes.
Dusek: were the kids there?
Van Dam the kids were spending the night at someone else’s house.
Dusek: and when you were asked questions regarding the first interview with the patrol officer, the uniform officer that showed up, do you recall being asked questions about that?
Van Dam yes.
Dusek: about how long did you speak with that officer?
Van Dam two minutes, three minutes. it was very short.
Dusek: and what information were you conveying to them at that time?
Van Dam a very basic outline. I believe in it I said that two other ladies and two other men were over the house, but he never asked names. it didn’t seem important.
Dusek: so you conveyed to that patrol officer the people that were in the house that night?
Van Dam yes.
Dusek: and you were shown court exhibit 26 from looks like the 3rd of february, when counsel asked you all the questions the police officer put to you to see if you would tell the truth about the sex after they told you they thought it was important, did you tell ’em what was going on?
Van Dam yes.
Dusek: did you give them the names of the people that were in the house?
Van Dam yes.
Dusek: on the interviews that you’ve had throughout this case, have you given the names to the officer of the individuals who were in the house that night?
Van Dam yes. since — since the — you know, realizing the magnitude of the situation, I have — I have opened my private life up and given every detail possible to try and get my daughter back, and now to get justice for her.
mr Dusek thank you, sir. nothing further.
the court: anything further, mr. Feldman? Feldman just brief, sorry. and I — recross-examination
Feldman it’s correct, is it not, that your daughter, Danielle, has gotten in trouble for going outside the gate before when it was left open?
Dusek objection, beyond the scope.
the court: well, you can recall him.
Feldman it’s within the scope. i’d ask leave to reopen my cross.

the court: actually, you did cover — calm down, mr. Feldman.
Feldman yes, your honor.

the court: — did cover an area. overruled. you may ask the question.
Feldman : thank you, your honor.
Feldman: it’s correct, is it not, that you told the police that Danielle has gotten into trouble for going out the side gate before when it was left open?
Dusek objection, vague as to when.
the court: lay a foundation for it, counsel, and i’ll allow it.
mr. Feldman: yes, your honor.

Feldman: sir, directing your attention to your communication with officer s. Flores at 4:50 in the afternoon on february the 2nd, it’s not in that transcript, isn’t it true you told officer Flores, quote, “Danielle has gotten into trouble for going out the side gate before when it was left open”?
Dusek objection, vague as to when this happened, whether he’s quoting from something.
the court: overruled. you may answer.
the witness: may I see the — I don’t recall specifically. if I can see the — it’s recorded.

Feldman: so, i’m sorry, you don’t remember whether or not you made the statement, is that right?
Van Dam not specifically. you have a document with it?
Feldman:so the next question is, do you think looking at the report might refresh your recollection?
Van Dam yes.
Feldman: discovery page 4642. sir, it’s highlighted.
Van Dam yes. yes.
Feldman: i’m sorry. you’ve had the opportunity now to review the document, is that right, sir?
Van Dam yes.
Feldman: and reviewing the document has refreshed your recollection; is that correct?
Van Dam yes.
Feldman: and your refreshed recollection indicates that your daughter had gotten in trouble for going out the side gate before when it was left open, correct?
Van Dam when it was left open, yes.
Feldman: thank you very much. no further.
the court: anything further? redirect examination + by
Dusek
Dusek: when was it?
Van Dam long ago. it was left open one time before the dog, I don’t know.
Dusek: before you had the dog?
Van Dam before we had the dog. we were very careful to keep it closed since having the dog so she doesn’t get out.
Dusek thank you, sir.
the court: all right.
Feldman: excuse me.
recross-examination by mr. Feldman:
Feldman: but that gate was open the morning that you checked, isn’t that right?
Van Dam yes, it was.
Feldman: no further.
the court: all right. may this witness be excused?
Feldman: subject to recalling.

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