Ms. Duffy took a look at your directs last night -- I've posted them all to our Wiki. She thought that generally we are on the right track, but thinks we need to make some pretty serious additions. In order to help, she drafted the direct examination below. Note: she did not have access to the affidavits as she drafted, so this may include inaccuracies.
Would you state your name for the record, please?
My name is Whitney Grey
And how old are you, Whitney,
Where do you live?
I have lived in Thunderbird my entire life.
Are you currently employed?
Not at the moment. I’m presently a full time student at Thunderbird Community College.
What are you studying?
I’m majoring in Criminal Justice with an emphasis on fire technology.
Are you planning to become a firefighter?
Oh no, I have very severe asthma that is triggered by smoke or toxic fumes, so I hope to become a fire investigator instead.
Have you ever been employed?
Yes, until the fire at the tavern on July 5th I had been employed by Ashton Bellows and Lane O’Brien at their business for 6 years.. Given the economy (and these false accusations?), I have been unable to find work since.
What were your duties at the pub Whitney?
I was a Jack of all trades, helping out wherever I could. (add whatever his duties were) plus I helped grill brats and burgers when the weather was good, and maintained the lawn.
Did you enjoy your job at the tavern.?
Oh, very much so. I liked my bosses and the customers. It also fit well with my school schedule.
How old were you when you began working for Lane and Ashton?
I was just 17
Did you interview with the owners before you were hired?
Well, I wouldn’t call it an interview. It was more casual than that. They told me about the duties and hours, and I told them I was grateful to be considered for the postion because I had a bit of youthful trouble in my background.
Did Mr. O’Brien or Mr/ Bellows ask you specifically if you had legal problems in you background?
Oh no, I volunteered it. I have always been open and candid about my past offense. Because it was a juvenile conviction, it doesn’t even show up on a background check. But I believe that the best way to live is with total candor and honesty. I told them that when I was a young teenager I got in with a bad crowd and lit two small brush fires in vacant lots. Falcon (I forget his last name) saw me and turned me in.
Why would you volunteer information such as this when it could be kept secret?
. I had a lot of time to think while completing my community service after the brush fire and decided that honesty is the best policy. I never wanted to be accused of hiding something in my past, especially since I learned so much from it. I was proud that I learned a hard lesson and moved on into adulthood with no further legal problems.
Whitney, have you ever been convicted of arson?
No, sir/m’am. I have not. There was a juvenile proceeding after the brushfire but the charge was not arson. There was never any discussion about my intent or the amount of damage done or even whether someone owned the property where the brushfire was. People don’t seem to understand that just because there was a fire doesn’t necessarily mean its arson.
OK Whitney, I’d like to direct your attention back to the evening of July 4th…