WATERLOO | Allison Simmons, a prosecution witness in Theresa "Terri" Supino's murder trial, on Friday told jurors she heard Supino in 2001 admit killing her husband.
On a recording played in Black Hawk County District Court, Supino later said the same thing.
"I killed Steve Fisher. I didn't kill anyone else," Supino apparently said during a phone conversation with her twin brother, Tim Supino.
Jasper County Jail officials recorded the conversation after Theresa Supino's arrest.
Authorities allege Supino used a heavy instrument with a sharp edge -- something like a claw hammer -- to kill her estranged husband, Steven Fisher, 20, and his girlfriend, Melisa Gregory, 17. The pair died nearly 32 years ago on the Copper Dollar Ranch near Newton.
Authorities arrested Supino in 2014, and she is on trial for two counts of first-degree murder. The notorious local case in Jasper County moved to Black Hawk County District Court on a change of venue.
Jailer Wendy Hecox recorded hundreds of Supino's phone and video calls in the facility. The audible quality in the courtroom, however, was marginal and difficult to decipher.
"And this time, it appears Terri Supino says she killed Stephen Fisher?" prosecutor Scott Nicholson asked.
"Yes, it did," Hecox said.
After court adjourned for the day, Supino appeared to listen to the recording again.
"Now I hear it," she said to her defense attorney, Jill Eimermann.
Supino, though, added the comment "was taken out of context."
Simmons and Supino folded and counted towels and were working at Hunt's Cleaning on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York and the United States. The news sparked a conversation at Hunt's, according to Simmons.
"We were talking about death in the Towers and how people had gotten killed," Simmons said.
As the discussion broke up, Simmons said Supino added another comment.
"She said, 'Yup, my brother and I killed someone,'" Simmons testified.
Simmons added she did not know Supino well at the time. She was also not very familiar with events at the Copper Dollar Ranch.
Simmons later changed jobs and met another woman, Ida Reynolds, who became a good friend. Eventually, Simmons told jurors she made the connection that Reynolds was Melisa Gregory's mother.
According to Simmons' account, Reynolds told another daughter, Lisa Gregory, about the conversation. Lisa Gregory suggested Simmons take the information to the Jasper County Sheriff's Office, which she did informally in May 2011. Authorities interviewed Simmons again a month later.
Prosecutor Scott Nicholson asked why Simmons came forward.
"Because I felt it was the right thing to do," Simmons said.
On cross examination, defense attorney Jill Eimermann noted after Simmons remembered Supino's statement, Simmons did nothing for at least eight years.
"I guess not," Simmons said.
Simmons later testified she did not recall exactly when the conversation with Reynolds took place.
Another of the state's witnesses, Tyron Jordan, also testified about one of Supino's statements. Supino is grandmother to Jordan's children.
When Jordan's vehicle broke down in 2005, Supino gave Jordan and his family a ride. But she was "agitated" and got into an argument with Whitney Wilcox, the children's mother.
According to Jordan's testimony, he tried to intervene but drew a strong rebuke from Supino.
"'I got away with murder once, and I can get away with it again,'" Jordan recalled Supino saying.
Jordan said he revealed the comment to authorities in 2014 after Supino's arrest.
Jurors Friday morning also heard from the defense team's first witness, though prosecutors have not yet finished their case.
Because of scheduling issues, Judge Terry Rickers allowed Paul Kish, a blood stain pattern analyst based in Corning, N.Y., to testify out of order.
Eimermann asked if any of the blood stain patterns could scientifically reveal whether the attacker used their left or right hand.
"Handedness cannot be determined from blood stain patterns," Kish testified.
"There is nothing in this case that tells us the handedness of the assailant or assailants," he added later.
Previous witnesses for prosecutors said the killer was likely left-handed or ambidextrous. A Jasper County jailer testified that Supino said she is ambidextrous.
Kish also talked about drops of blood found on and near the camper's door step. He said analysis of where the blood came from and which direction the person was moving are not possible to determine.
An earlier witness suggested the killer held the murder weapon in the left hand when entering the trailer.