WATERLOO | Defendant Theresa "Terri" Supino on Tuesday took the witness stand on her own behalf, denying any involvement in two brutal homicides in March 1983.
Authorities allege Supino used a heavy instrument with a sharp edge to kill her estranged husband, Steven Fisher, 20, and his girlfriend, Gregory, 17. The pair died nearly 32 years ago on the Copper Dollar Ranch in Jasper County.
Authorities arrested Supino, now 54, in 2014, and the case moved to Black Hawk County District Court on a change of venue.
Jill Eimermann, one of Supino's defense attorneys, opened with the two biggest questions.
"Did you kill Steven Fisher?" she asked.
"No, I did not," Supino testified.
"Did you kill Melisa Gregory?"
"No, I did not."
Supino -- as she had in previous statements -- did admit visiting the horse farm late on March 2, 1983. As she did multiple times before, Supino said she and her twin brother Tim Supino got the ranch after 11 p.m.
The double homicide investigation began the next morning.
Eimermann also asked Supino to explain incriminating statements made over the years, one very recently. In a phone conversation recorded at the Jasper County Jail after her arrest, Supino told Tim Supino "I killed Steven Fisher. I didn't kill anybody else."
On the witness stand Tuesday, Supino said she was looking at court documents. The top page of one criminal complaint only listed Fisher's name.
Fisher told jurors she had not looked at all the pages, which she said she later discovered had a second criminal complaint with Gregory's name listed.
A witness for the state, Allison Simmons, previously testified about Supino saying she had killed someone. Supino on Tuesday denied making the comment or only "vaguely" recalling Simmons as a coworker.
Supino later denied injuring Fisher's arm by dragging him with a vehicle. She also denied chasing Fisher with a car on to a ball field.
Supino did admit telling Darlene Illingworth that "Fisher got what he got" because of his own actions. In her testimony, however, Supino said she was referring to Fisher "pinching" marijuana, cocaine and money from friends.
On cross examination, prosecutor Michael Jacobsen asked if people who testified about Supino's incriminating conduct and statements.
"So all those people have heard things that you say didn't happen?" Jacobsen asked.
Eimerman objected before Supino could respond. After a sidebar with Judge Terry Rickers, Jacobsen moved on to other topics.
Jurors also heard from Whitney Wilcox. Supino's son, Rocky, fathered two children with Wilcox.
Tyron Jordan is the father of Wilcox's other two children. He previously told jurors about Supino threatening "she had gotten away with murder once" and could do it again. Supino made the comment while in a vehicle, according to Jordan.
Wilcox said she never heard the threat and questioned the entire incident.
On cross examination, Jacobsen asked about Wilcox's deposition and her memory problems.
Wilcox stated then and reiterated Tuesday in court she has issues remembering some things "because of my past drug use with methamphetamine."
Also Tuesday, Judge Rickers led Supino, her defense attorneys, prosecutors, court officials and members of the jury to see the 20-foot Prowler trailer. The camper was in a Waterloo police storage area about a block from the courthouse.
Judge Rickers later allowed members of various news outlets to also see and photograph the camper. Jurors were not present at that point, and the camper was already loaded on a flatbed for its return trip to Newton.
Rickers before leaving the courtroom reminded jurors what they would see and be able to do. The camper, according to Rickers, was "cleaned of any crime scene residue." The judge also intended to only let two jurors at a time inside the camper.
Jasper County Sheriff John Halferty testified Monday and talked about the camper's history. He said authorities after processing the bloody crime scene released the camper to its owner, Harold Snedeker.
Halferty, who only became sheriff two years ago, said investigators rediscovered the Prowler in 2003 in southern Iowa. At that time, it was still registered as a vehicle.
Cabinets over the dining area had been removed and replaced with a metal shelf. The modification changed some dimensions, but most of the trailer's other features were the same, according to Halftery's testimony.
The sheriff's office in January 2014 again found the camper. It was no longer in use, and Halftery's office bought the camper for $250.
The trial began Feb. 2 with jury selection. Prosecutors and Supino's defense attorneys offered opening statements two days later. Jacobsen and Assistant County Attorney Scott Nicholson -- after presenting evidence and witnesses over nine days -- rested their case at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday.
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