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Last updated on Wednesday, May 16, 2012
(SALEM) - Before the jury was called in Tuesday morning, defense attorney David Smith asked Judge Larry Medlock to dismiss the charges against Tammy Spengler, due to insufficient evidence.
Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, of the Leader-Democrat, reports that Spengler is standing trial in Salem for the murder of Timothy M. Orman and Roy Orman.
David Smith, the Bedford attorney representing Spengler, said the state had proved "at best a casual connection between his client and the evidence at the scene. Her comments regarding the alleged murder of Timothy M. Orman and Roy Orman were "conflicted and contradictory" and "used in the wrong context." Smith said that meant the jury would have to speculate to determine Spengler did anything other than violate the protective order against her.
Prosecutor Dustin Houchin countered that argument, saying, Spengler admitted to her role in the murders no less than 27 times. He also told the judgethat forensic evidence corroborates Spengler's statements.
Smith argued that there is no direct evidence tying his client to the scene; no fingerprints and no weapons. Judge Larry Medlock denied smith's request saying the state had produced enough evidence to meet the quantitative requirement, and in his opinion that evidence is sufficient for inferences to be drawn from it by reasonable people. When the jury was seated, the state rested its case.
The defense opened by calling the Ormans' neighbor, Joe Keith Sr., to the stand.
Keith testified that he and the Orman brothers were close, visiting or speaking by telephone several times week. When a week passed without his seeing or hearing from them, Keith went next door to check on them.
He was met by Tim Jr. "I said, 'Where's your uncle and your dad?'" Tim Jr. replied that they were at the doctor. Keith pressed him, saying, "I said they haven't been for a week."
Tim then said, "Well, they're not here." Smith also asked Keith if he saw Spengler while he was there. He said he did not, but at one point, he noticed the blinds move slightly on a window in the house.
He testified he could not make out who was behind the window. Keith described the younger Orman as "real fidgety and nervous." He said he started walking toward him at one point, but Orman ran around the back of the house. At that point, Keith went home.
On cross examination, Deputy Prosecutor Blaine Goode brought out that Keith is a retired police officer with 20 years experience on the Jeffersonville force.
"Why didn't you go to the door," he asked. Keith replied that he felt he shouldn't remain on the property if the men weren't there. "You were worried, correct?" Goode continued, noting that Keith had earlier demonstrated a slashing motion Orman Jr. made when he asked where the brothers were.
"You're concerned, you leave. You were a police officer for 20 years. Did you go home and call the police?" Goode asked.
"I didn't then," Keith responded. "Hindsight is 20/20. I should've. I know I should've."
The defense next called Tim Orman to the stand. He testified that the entire family had been doing drugs together for days prior to the shooting.
He said at the time of the shooting, Spengler was alseep in a bedroom with the door closed. His father "started talking crazy, out of his head."
The two began arguing and his father pulled a gun on him. Tim Orman said he grabbed the gun and ran through the house.
The elder Timothy Orman got another gun and came at him.
"My uncle tried to get between us. My dad raised the gun to fire and I fired." Orman testified.
Afterwards, he dragged the bodies out of the house, wrapped them in sheets and blankets and placed them in a nearby shed.
He cleaned up the scene alone over a period of days and refused to let Spengler leave, although she wanted to. The two continued doing drugs, he said.
For unknown reasons, Orman said, Spengler confessed.
"What's the truth?" Smith asked Orman on redirect. "I did it. It was not planned or premeditated. It happened. She got caught up in the mix of it."
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