Prosecution describes alleged motives for murder trial
PORT ANGELES – Evidence at the triple murder trial of Dennis Marvin Bauer earlier this week was capped with a summary of prosecution evidence about what prompted the Lower Elwha Road resident to shoot two men and a woman Boxing Day 2018.
“It’s about drugs, it’s about avenging rape,” Clallam County deputy chief prosecutor Michele Devlin said Tuesday during the prosecution’s fourth week of her case.
Bauer, 53, a convicted felon, is charged with three counts of aggravated first degree murder and 14 counts of firearms. He is accused of shooting the owner of a trucking company, Darrell “Dar” Iverson, 57; her son Jordan, 27; and Jordan’s girlfriend, Tiffany May, 26, all located at 52 Bear Meadow Road east of Port Angeles.
The proceedings also included Devlin citing a COVID-19-related incident that she disclosed after testimony ended and the jury had been removed from duty for the day.
âWe had a fear of COVID [Monday] that we were able to take care of and make sure that [there were] no problem and nothing entered the courthouse, âDevlin told Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson without saying more.
All 16 jurors – the panel has alternates – had to attest to being vaccinated, which is not required of everyone else in the courtroom. Everyone should wear protective masks.
The person was a witness who was tested, “and we pursued the case,” Devlin said later in a text message.
“We ensured that no one was sick or had symptoms.”
Erickson, who said Wednesday she was unaware of the incident until Devlin’s disclosure, was not concerned.
âShe does what they have to do,â she said.
As the fourth week of testimony continued on Tuesday, prosecution witnesses included Calvin Kuykendall, a neighbor and longtime friend of the Iversons who last saw them on December 22, 2018.
Kuykendall said he stopped by the house on December 26 when he planned to ask Jordan Iverson to help him restore a tractor and again on December 29, finding the door open both times and no one not responding to his blow.
Alexander “Butch” Zaharias’ vehicle dash camera showed the jury the hood of his SUV as he drove down the unimproved Bear Meadow Road past the Iversons residence on December 27, 28 and 31.
âThe front door stayed open night and day as we walked past,â Zaharias recalls.
Sheriff’s Office Inspector Josh Ley testified at length about the location of the cell phone towers and said he took oral swab DNA samples from Bauer and Kallie Ann LeTellier, 37, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to second degree murder in May’s death.
Ley testified about location information taken from Bauer and Jordan Iverson’s cell phones showing service from the Port Angeles and Sequim towers.
LeTellier, who lived at Bauer’s residence, said the Iversons were killed in retaliation for raping her two weeks before the murders. She is the only eyewitness to testify in the trial. She said Bauer ordered her at gunpoint to shoot May.
Ryan Ward, 40, was sentenced to three terms of life without parole after pleading guilty to three counts of aggravated first degree murder and 16 counts related to firearms.
After the jury left for the day, Erickson discussed when the trial could be suspended for the holidays.
Unger wanted to know when the ballistics and DNA experts will testify.
âNot this week, it might not be next week,â Devlin replied.
Unger said a prosecution witness who allegedly supplied drugs to Bauer, Ward and LeTellier refused to cooperate with the proceedings and retained the services of a lawyer.
“All of these things add time to the trial which in my opinion is irrelevant to the issues at hand,” she said.
Devlin said she was preparing documents to issue an important witness warrant by Monday to force her appearance.
âAs far as our case is concerned, we still have appeals in prison, we still have the processing of [the] Lower elwha [Road residence of Bauer], we still have several more witnesses, âshe said, noting that the COVID-19 incident also delayed proceedings.
Devlin said Unger may object to testimony this week from Noreen Iverson, Darrell Iverson’s ex-wife and Jordan’s mother. She alerted Iverson’s sister, Wendy Peterson, on December 31, 2018, that she had not been able to reach Darrell Iverson for five days, according to a probable cause statement.
Peterson’s subsequent visit that same day to Bear Meadow Road led to the discovery of the victims.
Devlin said the other witnesses to come were Mike Hill, Steve Gumm, Randy Pieper, Erik Smith, Jeff Ordona, Mike Grall, Stacey Sampson, John Stewart and Derek Allen.
“They are all law enforcement officers,” she said.
Unger takes issue with the need for the testimony of about a dozen state witnesses to âpeople of whom I have no ideaâ why they are testifying.
“Like Ryan Ward’s ex-wives, or separated women,” she said. “I don’t know why they are on the witness list.”
Unger disputed the alleged drug trafficker’s call as a witness.
Devlin said the information was not new.
âThe court has already found a conspiracy between the three accomplices,â Devlin said. âIt has to do with drugs. ”
Bauer, LeTellier and Ward would send a money order to the dealership, then a payment failed, triggering a chain of deadly events, Devlin said.
âThere was a shortage of money, there was a shortage of drugs,â Devlin said.
âWhat do you do when there is a shortage of drugs? You take care of the person who supplies you.
Darrel Iverson was “the financier in it all,” Devlin said.
âThere’s a whole bunch of convoluted cobwebs that we have to get people into, in order to explain these cobwebs on the drug side,â she said.
Senior Editor Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [emailÂ protected].