- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 29, 2002

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) A judge's decision yesterday to disallow hearsay evidence makes it unlikely that Reginald Carr, one of two brothers accused of a nine-day crime spree that left five persons dead, will testify in his own defense.
Reginald Carr's attorney, John Val Wachtel, told District Judge Paul Clark yesterday that his client would testify that Jonathan Carr gave his brother a cell phone before leaving with an unknown man the evening of Dec. 14, 2000.
Later, Reginald Carr would testify, Jonathan Carr called him several times, crying at one time, to tell him that person was "tripping" and talking about shooting people.
Defense attorneys for Reginald Carr told jurors in their opening arguments that their client was out selling drugs the night of the killings.
But Judge Clark refused yesterday to allow the unsubstantiated hearsay evidence, making it unlikely that Reginald Carr will take the stand. Jurors, who had the day off yesterday, heard none of the exchange.
District Attorney Nola Foulston argued against admitting the testimony and said she has made numerous requests to defense attorneys for details about the unknown man and the phone calls.
"I'd be happy to investigate and send all forces of law enforcement to bring this person to the courthouse," Miss Foulston told the judge.
But Mr. Val Wachtel said that he does not have the man's name, and that his client does not know him.
"If I had the name of the third party, I'd give it to the court," Mr. Val Wachtel said. "I don't have it; Jonathan does."
Ron Evans, the defense attorney for Jonathan Carr, told the judge that he would like to hear Reginald Carr's testimony. Mr. Evans has tried unsuccessfully to separate the trials of the two brothers.
"I'd like to see Reggie Carr say that; I'd like to ask him a few questions," Mr. Evans said. "It strengthens our position of antagonistic defenses."
The Carr brothers are being tried on 113 charges, including five counts of capital murder.
Most of the charges stem from the events of Dec. 14-15, 2000, when five friends were abducted from a Wichita home, forced to engage in sexual acts and withdraw money from ATMs before they were shot. The two women were raped. Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26; and Heather Muller, 25, were killed. Mr. Befort's girlfriend, then a 25-year-old teacher, survived a head wound, running for about a mile to find help.
The brothers are also being tried in the Dec. 11 attempted robbery and shooting of Ann Walenta, 55, who later died; and the Dec. 7, 2000, robbery in which Andrew Schreiber was abducted and forced to withdraw cash from ATMs.
The Carrs are black; all their victims white. The case has provoked criticism from some who accuse prosecutors of ignoring racial hatred as a potential motive in the crime spree.
Defense testimony resumes today, but the defense's scheduled witness, a DNA expert, will not be there. Attorneys told the judge that she fell off a roof Sunday. The judge rescheduled her testimony for tomorrow.
Instead, defense attorneys plan to present testimony today about a television tape of Reginald Carr's arrest. Mr. Schreiber testified earlier that he saw the news broadcast of the arrest and recognized Reginald Carr as the man who had robbed him.
Closing arguments in the case are likely to begin this week, depending on when testimony ends. The prosecution and both defense teams have two hours each for closing arguments.

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