Lead detective Sgt. Rich Volle admits investigators didn’t look into information about Karen’s son-in-law Jeff Sutton receiving weapons from Wabaunsee County
Q. Who else did you look at as a possible suspect?
21 A. Not me specifically, but Jeff Sutton.
22 Q. And why did you look at Jeff Sutton?
23 A. Again, it’s just somebody that’s close to the
25 Q. Did you ever determine or attempt to determine
1 whether or not Jeff Sutton had received a
2 .9 millimeter weapon from the sheriff in
3 Wabaunsee County at some time shortly before this
4 all happened?
5 A. No, I did not.
6 Q. Did you have that information that he had
7 received a .9 millimeter automatic weapon
8 sometime shortly prior to this?
9 A. I don’t know what the time frame was. Yeah, I
10 did become aware that he had some questions
11 surrounding something in Wabaunsee County, but it
12 was not looked at.
13 Q. You say it was not looked at?
14 A. It was not looked at.
15 Q. Okay. But it was a .9 millimeter weapon in the
16 hands of one of the people that you were
17 considering as a possible suspect, right?
18 A. He was a possible suspect up to the point he was
19 eliminated as a suspect. Once he was eliminated,
20 we didn’t go no further into that.
21 Q. You didn’t eliminate him on the basis of him
22 being in possession or not in possession of a
23 .9 millimeter; did you?
24 A. No. We eliminate people on the basis of the
25 stories that they tell us, that are able to be
1 confirmed and backed up by other people that
2 establish where the person was at the time of the
4 Q. Where was Jeff Sutton at the time of the crime?
5 A. He was with his wife Erin Sutton at home.
6 Q. And who says that?
7 A. Erin Sutton and Jeff Sutton.
8 Q. And Jeff Sutton. Anybody else?
9 A. Not to my knowledge. I know they were out
10 earlier in the evening with friends. Not as far
11 as the time of the actual murders.
12 Q. So you accepted a potential suspect’s statement,
13 his statement of he and his wife that he was not
14 somewhere else?
15 A. I accepted the word of the victim’s daughter as
16 saying that her husband, the victim’s son-in-law,
17 did not slip out of bed and go kill him — kill
19 Q. You didn’t even try to match to see if the hairs (20) match or fingerprints match; did you?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Were there any other suspects that you
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you consider Terry Tignor?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Did you consider Walt Rogers?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you consider Jean Basgall?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did you consider Jimmy Basgall?
7 A. No.
8 Q. You can’t tell this jury, can you, that there
9 were no hairs, fibers, prints, DNA or other body
10 fluids recovered at the scene that would match
11 any of those other possible suspects; can you?
12 A. You got me turned around. Could you ask it one
13 more time?
14 MR. BENNETT: Would you read it back to
15 him, please.
16 (The question was read back as
18 A. So you’re asking me did we identify their hairs
19 fibers, DNA and stuff?
20 Q. (By Mr. Bennett) My question, Detective, you
21 can’t tell this jury that the hairs and fibers,
22 fingerprints that were recovered at the scene
23 would not positively match hairs, fibers, DNA or
24 prints of any of these suspects?
25 A. There’s so many turns to your question that’s
1 negative, negative, negative. Let me say this,
2 we do not have anything at the scene that
3 identified any of those people that you
4 mentioned. Would that answer your question?
5 Q. You didn’t make any comparison to find out if (6) there was anything there that matched; did you?
7 A. No.
Later in Sgt. Volle’s testimony:
9 Q. All right. You also, if I understood your
10 testimony yesterday, had some other potential
11 suspects that you talked to, correct?
12 A. That’s correct.
13 Q. One of them was DeWitt Harkness?
14 A. That’s correct.
15 Q. One of them was Chris Seel?
16 A. That’s correct.
17 Q. One of them was Jeff Sutton?
18 A. That’s correct.
19 Q. One of them was Hailey Sisco?
20 A. That’s correct.
21 Q. What other suspects or potential suspects did you
22 talk to other than those four?
23 A. That was all.
24 Q. All right. You didn’t talk to any other family
1 A. We talked to family members, yes. . . .
Later in Sgt. Volle’s testimony:
12 Q. Can you tell the jury, the unidentified hairs,
13 the unidentified DNA that you found at the scene
14 did not match DeWitt Harkness?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Can you tell the jury that the unidentified hairs
17 or the unidentified DNA found at the scene did
18 not match Chris Seel?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Can you tell the jury that the unidentified hair
21 and DNA that you found at the scene did not match
22 Jeff Sutton?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Can you tell the jury that the unidentified hair
25 and the DNA did not match Jean Basgall?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Can you tell the jury that the unidentified hairs
3 and DNA you found did not match Jimmy Basgall?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Can you tell this jury that those hairs and that
6 DNA that was unidentified did not match Terry
8 A. No.
9 Q. Same thing true of Mr. Rogers, you can’t tell
10 this jury that they wouldn’t match him if you
11 would have made an attempt to match him; can you?
12 A. You went negative again.
13 Q. Can you tell this jury that Walt Rogers’ DNA and
14 his hair did not match that found at the scene
15 that you were unable to identify?
16 A. I can say, I don’t know if there was any DNA or
17 hair involving any of those people at the scene.
18 Q. All right.
19 A. It was not checked.
20 Q. You don’t know because you didn’t attempt it,
22 A. It was not checked.
23 Q. Okay. Now, Officer Volle, did you make any
24 attempt to determine whether or not DeWitt
25 Harkness owned a .9 millimeter firearm?
1 A. No, not to my knowledge.
2 Q. Did you make any attempt to determine whether or
3 not Chris Seel owned a .9 millimeter firearm?
4 A. I did not.
5 Q. Did you make any attempt to determine whether or
6 not Jeff Sutton owned or possessed a
7 .9 millimeter firearm?
8 A. I did not.
Reported by: April C. Shepard, RPR, CCR, CSR