Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jackson, OH: Vance testifies that he strangled Carol Evans

Evans Murder Trial
By FELICIA TACKETT
Times-Journal Writer
Published: Monday, January 18, 2010 7:10 PM EST
JACKSON- Monday’s marked day number three in the scheduled three-week trial for David Evans, Sr. (75), who stands accused of conspiring with three others to have his wife, Carol, murdered.

The first action of the day was excusing Juror number 4 for medical reasons and seating an alternate in her place. Jackson County Prosecutor Jonathan Blanton then called convicted co-conspirator Terry Vance to the witness stand.

Witness: Terry Vance The first witness to take the stand was Terry Vance, 42, who is serving 18-years in the Ross County Correctional facility, for actually committing the murder of Carol Evans, 42, of 1724 Camba Road in Jackson.

Prosecuting the case for the State is Jackson County Prosecutor Jonathan Blanton and Assistant Attorney General, Paul Scarsella.

Scarsella led Vance through a series of questions pertaining to his prior criminal record, his drug usage, and his friendship with Heather Speakman, who is currently serving a 20-year sentence in Marysville for her connection to the crime.

Vance claimed he had known Speakman for about 14 years, but really hadn’t seen much of her until he ran into her at her sister’s house in Richmondale where they were partying. When asked what they talked about, Vance said, “She talked about money and the things Evans wanted done.”

Vance was then asked how he met Evans and Vance explained that he met him at Heather’s grandmother’s house.

“At that time a man had reportedly ripped Dave off for $800 and he wanted something done about it,” Vance said. Scarsella asked what they did then. Vance said he set up a meet with the guy who was supposed to have ripped Dave off and he was supposed to take care of the problem by getting the money back. The man was supposed to come alone to the designated site, but the guy showed up with four other people. He explained that Heather and Evans dropped him off at the meet site and that he had an unloaded AK47 assault rifle with him, but everything got out of hand. The four guys jumped him and they all ended up in a fight, his shoulder got dislocated, and the gun floated down the creek after he and the others were wrestling around in the water. He claimed the other guys wrecked their car as they were leaving the scene and said he circled around to where Dave and Heather had dropped him off and they picked him back up.

Vance said they went to Dave’s son’s house that is out by the auction house, where they stayed until about 4 a.m. when Dave drove him to the hospital in Gallipolis for his shoulder.

“It was on the way to the hospital that Dave talked about killing his wife,” Vance stated. Scarsella asked why Dave wanted Carol killed, and Vance responded that Dave told him she was wanting to divorce him and take everything he had.

When asked how much Dave offered him to commit the murder, Vance replied, “$50,000.” Vance continued that Evans brought him over a Mazda 626 the next day so he would have a way to get to the Camba Road home.

The next day Vance said Heather and Evans left for South Carolina and he was supposed to commit the murder, but he was contacted by Heather to come to South Carolina and she wired him $100.

On his way to South Carolina Vance was stopped in Virginia for fictitious plates and the car was impounded.

Vance said he spent the night in a hotel and called Dave or Heather, he wasn’t sure which because he only had a number on a piece of paper and didn’t know whose number it was. The next morning he said a tow truck driver picked him up and took him to the impound lot to get the car. He then went on the the Apache Campground where Heather was staying. Vance claimed Dave was not there the first night he arrived, but was there the second night.

“Did you talk to Dave,” Scarsella asked, “Did he ask you why his wife was not killed yet?” Vance said that the three of them discussed the murder and Dave gave him money to get back to Ohio on, but he got pulled over again in South Carolina for fictitious tags and went to jail.

He claimed that Dave and Heather bailed him out, Heather went back to the campground, and Dave drove him back to Ohio in his Avalanche.

As he went to the sequence of events leading to the murder, Vance said Dave called someone he knew and had a Chevy Cavalier left at the 76 Truckstop with the keys under the floor-mat. What did you talk about during the trip,” Scarsella asked. “We talked about getting it done,” Vance replied.

He explained that Dave dropped him off at the truckstop and was reportedly going back to South Carolina.

When asked where he went from there Vance said he went to his grandmas house, his ex-wife’s house to see his kids, then back to his grandmas house.

At about 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26, Vance stated he parked the car in the pine trees at the house, took the key that Dave gave him to open the front door, went up the stairs with a two foot piece of extension cord he had taken from his grandma’s house in his hands, and when he walked into the bedroom, he said Carol raised up and went for her pistol. At that time Vance said he wrapped the cord around her neck and strangled her for about two minutes.

Afterwards he said he took the lock-boxes and jewelry box from the closet, exited the house locking the front door behind him, and left.

Vance said he went back behind his grandmas house and opened the boxes taking out the money and jewelry. He then paid a neighbor to get rid of the boxes.

After that he said he went and got some Oxycontin’s and contacted his brother and nephew to take him back to South Carolina. He said he parked the Cavalier at the Park and Ride on 32 and paid his family to take him back to South Carolina. Once there, they picked up Heather and went to a motel for two days. His family members returned to Ohio, Heather left and Vance said he stayed in a hotel another night before catching a Greyhound Bus to Columbus where he said he buried the jewelry in his aunts back yard, stayed in hotels, and continued to spend the money he had taken which was in excess of $20,000.

Vance was asked if he and heather planned the murder and he stated, “Me, Dave and Heather.”

“So why did you come back to Jackson on March 25,” Scarsella asked. “To kill Carol ,”Vance responded.

He was asked about his arrest which was at OSU Hospital where he was visiting his brother, and he was asked if he made this story up to get a deal. Vance said, “I just told what happened. I didn’t make this up.”

Vance was asked if he did anything special to the gun he stole from the house before disposing of it, and he said a neighbor ground the serial numbers off the gun before he threw it in Lake White.

Defense Attorney Rick Faulkner next questioned Vance. He asked about the gun he had with him the first night he met Dave, the night he went after the $800 owed to Dave, and got whooped upon by the other party. “Was Dave scared,” Faulkner asked, to which Vance replied, “No, he didn’t appear to be.”

Faulkner proceeded to talk about the fact that Vance had only known Dave a few days when he asked him to kill his wife, to which Vance said, “One day,” and Faulkner continued with,”You went in and put your hands on her and killed her. Did she fight you?” Vance replied she had not.

Faulkner next implied that Heather had told Vance where everything was in the house, including the lock boxes, but Vance stated that Dave is the one who told him where everything was.

Faulkner covered much of the same ground that had already been discussed such as Vance’s drug use, the drive from South Carolina, whether he knew Dave before he met him at Heather’s sister’s house, his relationship with Heather, the night of the murder itself, how he scored drugs before the murder, the amount of money he got out of the lock boxes, and what he did with the items from those boxes as well as the jewelry box.

Faulkner asked him if he ever spoke to Dave again after the murder and Vance said no, but Faulkner questioned why he had not contacted Dave, since he only got $20,000 to $23,000 out of the lock boxes, but was promised $50,000. Vance indicated he never spoke to Dave again and no reason was given.

He asked about Vance’s family members and friends, and questioned whether they were aware of what had happened. “Who did you give the rest of the money to,” Faulkner asked, but Vance replied, “I kept it with me.”

The defense attorney made it clear that Vance kept his family out of the whole situation, and told him he knew how to play the game, implying that Vance would do anything to protect his family members and keep them from being implicated in any way in this case.

He indicated that Vance used people as tools to get what he wanted and didn’t talk about the crime until he was offered a deal that took the death penalty off the table, but Vance held strong and said, “They just wanted me to tell the truth.”

On redirect, Scarsella asked Vance how he felt about what he had done. “I feel bad. She didn’t deserve that,” Vance replied.

Scarsella reminded Vance he had admitted to Faulkner that he was a user of people. “Did you make this story up,” to which Vance responded, “I didn’t have to because it’s the truth.”

His next question to Vance was, “If you hadn’t met Dave would you do the same thing?” Vance replied, “If I hadn’t met Dave I would never have known about the money.”

Before excusing him from the witness stand Faulkner indicated Vance knew what he was supposed to do, which brought another question from Scarsella. He asked Vance, “Have I ever told you what to say,” and Faulkner claimed there was no response.

With that Vance was remanded back to the custody of the Ross County Correctional facility.

Witness: Kevin Yerian

Next on the witness stand was Kevin Yerian who confirmed the testimony of Randy Faught from Friday. He claimed he picked up Faught and a relative of his and took them out to Camba Road to get some money that was owed to them.

He said it was Christmas Eve, 2007, and he took them to the address they gave him and he waited in the car with his dog for 15 to 20 minutes while they went inside. When they came out, Yerian said they left and stopped at Taco Bell and then Speedway where Faught paid for some gas and cigarettes before they dropped him off at the Cambrian.

Yerian said that approximately two weeks later he was again asked to take Faught to the same house. He claimed that it was just he and Faught for the second trip. He said when they arrived and Faught went to the door he saw a man come to the door that looked a lot like Dave Evans, a man he had worked for years before.

When Faught exited the house 15 to 20 minutes later, Yerian stated he asked Faught if that was Dave Evans, and Faught replied, “Yea, I’m blackmailing him.” Yerian said he told Randy that was a good way to go to jail, dropped him off at his apartment, and never saw him again.

Defense Attorney Faulkner questioned whether Yerian took Faught to the Camba Road residence a third time, but Yerian was unsure if there was a third trip or not. He indicated he could not recall another trip.

A few more questions were asked about his criminal record and then court was adjourned for lunch.

ftackett@timesjournal.com

1 comment:

Tacey Bonham said...

Wow, I lived in a room with Heather for about a year, I had no idea. So sorry for that family, especially Miss Crabtree.