The Darwin Exception

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CA vs. Spector – Do You Dream, Sir?

Posted by thedarwinexception on May 21, 2007

Tedious, painstaking and BORING.That pretty much sums up the cross examination of Adriano DeSouza.Bradley Brunon took DeSouza through every single word of his direct examination from last week, and damned near every single word of his grand jury testimony from 2004, the entirety of his police statement after the fatal shooting of Lana Clarkson, his call to 911 and then started at the beginning and went through it all again.He did manage to score a few points, but by the time they came around, one wonders if they weren’t just DeSouza finally saying exactly what Brunon wanted to hear simply to shut the guy up and get him to say “No more questions, your honor.” Because I think that’s what I would have done, if I were DeSouza.

Even the judge seemed to want to hurry things along. When Brunon wasn’t able to get DeSouza to say outright “No, I don’t know a word of English, can’t understand it, excuse me, can you get a Portuguese interpreter in here?” The judge leaned over to Desouza himself and said to the witness “Do you dream, sir?” Which, of course, has to be one of the 10 oddest questions ever asked by a judge of a witness.

“Yes,” Desouza answers, “I dream.” “In what language, if any, do you dream?” the judge continues.  “Portuguese and English,” DeSouza says.

The judge then turns to Brunon and says “Move along, Counselor.” A sentiment everyone watching shares.

Perhaps the biggest damage Brunon was able to inflict on the witness was the exact wording of the statement DeSouza says Spector made after the shooting of Clarkson. DeSouza says the words were “I think I killed somebody”. But, not so fast, Brunon says – Brunon then asked De Souza why he had told an investigator at the scene that Spector had said, “I think I shot somebody.” (Not “killed”-“shot.”) “Do you know which version it was? Do you think you might have heard, ‘I think somebody was killed’?” Brunon asked. DeSouza was insistent that he heard the words “I think I killed somebody.”

But Brunon, one pit bull who is never willing to let go, brings up the fact that DeSouza was tired – he was hungry, he was scared, and the fountain next to which he was parked  was loud. DeSouza concedes that all this is true.

“It’s hard to see and hear exactly when something is so frightening, isn’t it?” Brunon continued. “Yes, a little bit,” De Souza said.

Brunon also got DeSouza to admit that he told the investigators on the scene that “my English is not so good.”

Brunon then got into a lengthy line of questioning that focused on how exactly DeSouza processes the English language, and whether or not he translates things from Portuguese to English in his mind.

“Back in 2003, before you had four-plus additional years of English, living in an English-speaking country, when you heard English at that time did you first translate it to Portuguese in your own mind and then translate the answer from Portuguese to English and then answer in English?” Brunon inquired.

Admitting that he did that when he was first learning English, De Souza said, “At that time, I was good in both languages.”

Brunon also pointed out that, last week in court, De Souza testified that Spector looked to be in shock when he came outside on Feb. 3, and that he told the authorities that his boss was “completely drunk.” They then got into a long exchange concerning how Spector looked as opposed to how he walked. DeSouza maintained that when he told authorities in 2004 that Spector was “completely drunk”, he meant that earlier in the evening Spector
was drunk, an opinion he still holds. Brunon contrasted this with his testimony in court here that Spector looked to be “in shock”, not drunk, and what this difference implied to DeSouza.

On redirect, Alan Jackson produced a transcript of De Souza’s interview with an investigator, pointing out that De Souza did in fact use the word “killed” repeatedly and that it was the officer who introduced the word “shot,” after which De Souza started saying “shot” in reference to Spector’s statement.

Jackson also stated that immigration proceedings against De Souza have only been suspended, not stopped. (The defense has suggested that the L.A. District Attorney’s Office is helping De Souza with his immigration status in exchange for his testimony.)

Looking to prove that De Souza had no trouble communicating with police, the prosecution also played part of a 98-minute videotape of authorities interviewing De Souza about five hours after Clarkson’s death. The rest of the tape will be shown Tuesday morning.

De Souza is also expected to return to the stand Tuesday. This week will be a short one, with Judge  Fidler canceling court on Thursday to allow a lengthier holiday weekend for attorneys and jurors who may have holiday plans.

After Brunon’s cross examination – everyone will need a break.


One Response to “CA vs. Spector – Do You Dream, Sir?”

  1. ionatrailer said

    If Lana killed herself as Spector claims, why didn’t HE call 911?

    Or maybe he was too busy wiping his fingerprints off the gun.

    Oh, wait, maybe she did that – after she shot herself.


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