Valery was an elderly, grand-motherly woman, the kind who you expect to make cookies and serve them warm with a frosty glass of milk. Like her daughter, she had a quiet voice.
She was sworn in quietly.
Mr. Jones began.
Valery explained that she too was a hospice nurse and worked at the same company as Theresa. Indeed it was Valery who introduced Theresa to the occupation.
Both were established as immigrants from Jamaica. Theresa had been in the states for ten years and her daughter followed four years ago.
“Mrs. Keesh,” on the Morning of February 21st were you talking to Theresa on her cell phone at 6:00 a.m.?”
“Okay, when your daughter was pleading for her life, did you hear her screams?”
“You’re daughter was in the front yard screaming in desperation for her life and you heard nothing?”
“What did you do when she told you that her life had been threatened.”
“I didn’t know about it.”
“If your daughter had been threatened with a weapon by Gabriel, would you have told her to not call the police.”
“How did you learn about this incident?”
Valery Keesh described how in mid March, a Law Enforcement officer had visited her home looking for one Gabriel Jackson.
Valery was shocked. Why would the police want Gabriel? What had he done?
When she was told the charge, by the police she was shocked to hear that her daughter was accusing Jackson of this crime.
Next Mr. Jones asked Valery about the layout of the house, specifically the living arrangements of Theresa, Theresa’s son, and Gabriel. In the guest wing of the house it was established that Gabriel and Theresa had rooms in very close proximity. Both before and after the alleged incident, Theresa and Gabriel slept within feet of each other. Theresa would not move out of the house for up to six days after February 21st.
Valery was asked about her knowledge of the relationship between Gabriel and Theresa.
She was opposed to the relationship. Gabriel was staying there only until he could reconcile with his estranged wife. Gabriel was initially an acquaintance of Valery and had not met Teresa until she moved back into the home after her previous relationship had faltered.
According to Valery she had talked to the two and discouraged a relationship. Gabriel is still married to his wife and should be working on returning to her.
Per Valery, Theresa’s retort was that “Gabriel was a good man and good men are hard to find.”
The move from the mother’s house to Theresa’s new house was done the Saturday following February 21st.
According to Valery, the move was cordial and without incident. Yes, Gabriel was one of the people who helped in the move.
Mr. Smith then had his opportunity to cross.
He pursued Theresa’s assertion that Valery had discouraged the call to 911, which was vehemently denied.
Mr. Smith had an assertion that the Jamaican culture tended to try to handle problems within the family.
“Certain problems yes,” Valery explained, “But when its time to call the police you need to call the police.”
Mr. Smith then inquired about police corruption in Jamaica and whether there was a fear of the police.
Valery hesitated and after considering it replied, “No.”
As Mr. Smith continued to pursue a cultural difference between Jamaican family values and American family values it became obvious that Valery was confused that such a difference might occur and ultimately denied Mr. Smith’s theory.