Bryan Drew working the ‘helpless Haven’ angle
WAYNE CO.—The afternoon testimony in the ongoing bench trial of former Fairfield PE teacher/coach Haven Kirkpatrick, charged with eight counts of sex assault of a female student, focused on quite a few points, but the theme seemed to be that the teacher was a ‘victim’ of an obsessed student.
The state put on witness after witness who put Kirkpatrick together with her alleged victim repeatedly…but every bit as often, defense attorney Bryan Drew would slam home the prospect that Kirkpatrick, who drank to excess (according to testimony) and at times enjoyed a toke on a joint (also according to testimony), would get in such a condition that her tiny alleged victim would “pin her to the wall and kiss her and try to take advantage of her.”
Witnesses Hillary McKitrick, Kelsey Brendall, Shelby Parrent, Kenzey Brooke Stanley, Makenna Webb and the victim’s mother took the stand this afternoon, telling of how they’d either observed Kirkpatrick and her alleged victim together, or confronted Kirkpatrick about it, in the case of the mother of the young girl, who was 17 at the time the incidents were said to have occurred.
Brendall testified about pot use and drinking, at which time she was giggling and appeared to, in Drew’s estimation, not take the questioning seriously. When Drew railed about it to her, Brendall honestly stated, “I don’t understand your argument.”
However, Drew made the argument clear when, following Parrent’s and Webb’s testimony that they’d seen Kirkpatrick and the victim together at a church parking lot on Burnt Prairie Blacktop (south Wayne County), he attempted to show the judge that the very tiny victim (who might stand five-foot-six but top out at 110 pounds soaking wet) was “taking advantage of” Haven Kirkpatrick (a stout woman, as can be seen in her photos) by physically “pinning” her to walls or other objects and performing acts of affection, and advancing into the realm of sexual, on her, all because Kirkpatrick liked to drink vodka and beer and enjoy the occasional joint while she was at it.
The victim’s mother also took the stand this afternoon and testified about how she’d found references to lesbian behavior in her daughter’s journal, and ongoing mentions of Kirkpatrick. The mother said that the girl had told her she might be gay, and Kirkpatrick was “counseling” her about it at school. The mother told Kirkpatrick NOT to ‘counsel’ her daughter, it would be dealt with at the family level….yet Kirkpatrick’s number continued to show up on the girl’s phone.
Regarding phone usage, a Verizon representative testified early in the afternoon that while his company couldn’t extract exact messages from the phones, they were able to determine that over the course of May 25 to June 19, 2010, there were 1,620 texts coming in to the victim’s phone, and 1,617 outgoing. On Kirkpatrick’s phone, by contrast, they found a total of 3,975 texts and 3,975 in the same time frame. To this, Drew objected, stating there was no way to know what these texts were, or whether there were ANY texts at all between the two. His objection was overruled and the testimony was entered, but whether it will help or hurt Kirkpatrick’s case remains to be seen.
At this point, it doesn’t seem like the state has a very strong case. There is argument about the level of sexual contact, if in fact any occurred at all, between the two. Drew contends the girl made it all up; however, her journal and the ongoing testimony of the people who saw the two together, while circumstantial, is rather incriminating. The testimony will continue in the morning; be checking back frequently, as this is a bench trial (before Edwards County Judge David Frankland) and those tend to move more quickly than jury trials.
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