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RAMEY TRIAL: Testimony begins…and it’s moving quickly

Posted by on Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 @ 12:17 pm.

GLEN RAMEY

EFFINGHAM, Ill. - With both sides yesterday telling the judge that they expected Glen Ramey's fitness trial to last through to Friday, today as of the noon break, half the state's witnesses have taken the stand and have been excused.

Following an 8:30 playing of one of the state police interviews with Ramey (to see if the vid was going to be played for the jury), things kicked off this morning in the trial to determine whether Ramey, 54, of Olney, is "malingering" (as Richland County prosecutor Brad Vaughn put it yesterday) or whether he really is incapable of the proceedings against him, and therefore incapable of standing trial.

Ramey is accused of raping and murdering Sabrina Stauffenberg, 8, of Olney, last November in an extremely high-profile case that's been in part moved to Effingham County owing to the fact that both the state and the defense felt they couldn't seat an unbiased jury in Richland County.

They seated one, however, in Effingham yesterday in less than three hours, and now, they're hearing the case.

Stauffenberg's family and friends are in the courtroom today, filling up the south side seating. We've noticed one other person who appears to be from the press here, and he didn't stay for the full morning session; as far as can be ascertained, there is no other press here.

After opening statements issued by Cole Shaner for the state and Jim Lane for the defense, so far, we've heard from:

Former Olney mayor Ray Vaughn, who, as an attorney, represented former Olney mayor Tommie Fehrenbacher in the Small Claims case Ramey filed against Fehrenbacher last year for payment of some trees Ramey cut for Fehrenbacher. This matter has been covered several times over the last 10 months since Sabrina was killed...which happened about 8 hours after Ramey appeared in Richland County court, acting as his own attorney against Vaughn. Vaughn said that Ramey was clean, well-dressed, could articulate his issue with the case...and that he did so well, Vaughn went right back to his office and called Fehrenbacher to tell him he'd "better have his stuff together if he wanted to win the case Ramey filed against him," in which Ramey was seeking $5,000 for the tree work;

Richland County Circuit Clerk Zac Holder, who issued testimony about the same incident. Holder, who testified he'd seen Ramey in court under other circumstances (usually when he was charged with a traffic or DUI incident, as well as some OPs that flew back and forth between Ramey and an ex for awhile), said that on the day in question - Nov. 23, 2016 - he was set back by the fact that Ramey was "clean, well-groomed, and didn't smell like stale beer and cigarettes" when he appeared for his Small Claims matter;

Richland County Correctional Officer Melissa Belcher, whose testimony underscored the fact that Ramey could indeed read and write, as he was requesting newspapers at the Richland County Jail daily, and appeared, on the monitors the security staff uses, to be reading them. As well, she knew that Ramey had written grievances in the jail about treatment he'd received there. (Her testimony was somewhat startling, and will be covered in full in the print edition Sept. 26, which you won't want to miss); and

Richland County Lead Investigator Robert Sakowicz, who gave testimony regarding the validity of a phone call that was played for the jury, made by Ramey to one of his many sisters, whose name was never given but she was out west, as she commented about the two-hour time difference regarding phone calls between the two. This, too, was somewhat startling...and gave us all a glimpse into what Ramey's planned defense was going to be regarding who committed the crimes against Sabrina. Again....something coming up in the print edition; be sure you're signed up for that either here at the e-Edition or here for renewal of your print subscription, because this is extremely intriguing, as intriguing as we believed it would be.

Those are four of seven state's witnesses; the defense has three witnesses they intend to call, two of them - Dr. Jack Cole and Dr. Jerry Boyd - being two of the state's witnesses whom, it's believed, we'll hear from this afternoon.

There was one little glitch in the witness lineup today: Illinois State Police Special Agent Tim Brown called in yesterday to advise that he's come down with a flu of some sort, and so ISP opted to send Special Agent Jeff Kline, who actually conducted the questioning of Ramey on DVD that we observed this morning, so it's a good fit. Kline has yet to take the stand as well, but as quickly as things are going, it's possible we could hear from him at the end of the day today.

The jury appears very interested in what's going on, but few are making notes for themselves. We can state for the record though that they appear to be paying close attention, as both sides requested during opening statements.

We'll have an update later today...mark your feeds, subscribe to our pages, and keep a tab open. We're glad to have you with us on this trial, which will determine whether or not the murder trial will proceed...or whether Ramey will, as he has in the past when faced with a serious crime and pleading incompetence, be remanded to a state institution for "treatment" so that he can face a jury of his peers. 

 

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Posted by on Sep 12 2017. Filed under Breaking, Richland. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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