• 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
    24 victims.
    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
    3 crime.
    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
    18 her.
    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
    23 considered?
    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
    17 requested.)
    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
    25 members?
    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
    7 Tignor?
    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,
    21 right?
    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

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