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Last updated on Tuesday, October 30, 2012
(BLOOMFIELD) - Law enforcement officials said phone records corroborated most witness testimonies in the felony murder trial of Randy Knapp, who is accused of murdering Stacey J. Lawson.
Sabrina Westfall of the Greene County Daily World reports that Greene County Sheriff's Department (GCSD) Det. George Dallaire discussed Knapp's cell phone records on the stand Monday from Aug. 19, 2011, which is the day Lawson was allegedly last seen before her battered body was found the next day at a cemetery in Newark.
Dallaire noted the GCSD enlisted the help of Sgt. Mark Hess of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to pinpoint an approximate location of where the phone calls were made. Hess also serves on the U.S. Marshal Fugitive Task Force.
According to Lawson's boyfriend Patrick Lewis, on Aug. 19, 2011 Lawson received a phone call around 4 p.m., she went out the front door of the residence and got in a black Ford Taurus.
The Taurus was later identified as Jeffre Alan Sims' vehicle, which Knapp was driving the day Lawson went missing.
Sims passed away two weeks prior to the murder of Lawson from an apparent suicide.
However, Knapp told investigators he did not pick Lawson up until after dark.
Dallaire noted according to Knapp's cell phone records a phone call was made to the home of Lewis at 3:58 p.m. on Aug. 19.
Testimony by Sgt. Hess showed a diagram using the cell phone towers being used between 3:58 p.m. and 4:59 p.m., around the time Lewis said Lawson had been picked up from his residence.
Jeremy Walker testified last week that around 4:19 p.m. he was contacted by Knapp saying he had Lawson at Newark Cemetery.
Hess noted while an exact location cannot be pinpointed, cell phone records show the towers being used at the time of a phone call, as well as the sector of the tower being used.
"It (cell phone use) was in an area consistent with these coverage towers, and the (Newark) cemetery is in that range," Hess explained to the jury.
County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw noted Knapp told investigators he was in Bloomington at a friend's house on Tapp Road when Lawson had allegedly been picked up around 4 p.m.
Hess said this statement was inconsistent with the phone records.
Holtsclaw inquired about the time frame between 9:49 p.m. and 11 p.m., during the time Knapp told investigators he had picked Lawson up.
Hess informed the jury, according to cell phone records, Knapp was on Tapp Road in Bloomington.
An inconsistency with the cell phone records and Lewis' testimony showed Lewis spoke with Knapp twice the night Lawson went missing, but told investigators he only spoke with Knapp once that night and again the next morning.
"The records indicate that regardless of what was said ... he (Lewis) made a phone call to Randy Knapp's phone at 11 p.m. on (Aug.) 19 for five minutes," co-counsel David Hunter said.
Hunter also indicated another inconsistency, with the phone call before Lawson leaving Lewis' house being longer than originally indicated.
Lewis informed investigators when Knapp called, and was at the residence around 4 p.m., the conversation consisted of Lawson saying she was coming out the door. Records indicate the conversation lasted almost three minutes.
"It could have been something as simple (as) she didn't hit the button right to hang up the phone," Dallaire noted.
Hunter also asked with Dallaire's years of law enforcement service, if it was possible for those on drugs to have distorted perceptions of time.
"I know a lot of people that it doesn't even take drugs to be confused by the time. To some people it isn't important, but in my job it is important ... but being confused by daylight and dark -- I've never heard that before," Dallaire said, noting he was going by his own personal experiences.
Hunter asked Dallaire if throughout the course of the investigation there had been other suspects.
Dallaire said Lewis was investigated, and they looked for a connection to people of Hispanic descent because Knapp kept alleging Lawson was working with Mexicans.
Hunter also asked why there was no search warrant issued for Lewis' home, truck or any of his clothing taken from the residence.
"Nothing led us in that direction," Dallaire noted.
Knapp had allegedly told friends he blamed Lawson for the death of Sims, and was upset with anyone involved in the memorial service for Sims because he was not invited.
"He had all day the (Aug.) 20th, were there any other bodies found?" Hunter asked.
Dallaire said to his knowledge there were no other bodies found related to Knapp.
The trial for Knapp will continue this morning, and the trial is expected to last the remainder of the week.
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