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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Winn wanted restraining order, trial witness says

Please click onto the COMMENTS for the story.


Blogger Bob said...

Tells of clash with murder suspect
By Mara H. Gottfried and Richard Chin
Pioneer Press
Article Last Updated: 07/21/2008 11:09:15 PM CDT

A woman who was socializing with Barbara Winn in the hours before she died testified Monday that Winn said she wanted to get a restraining order against Aaron Foster — the man now on trial in her death.

Over the objection of the defense, Brenda Jones testified about sharing a booth at the Tipsy Tiger bar with Winn and Winn's sisters the night of May 7, 1981.

Jones, 51, said she had been "best of friends" with one of Winn's sisters and knew Foster.

That night, Foster came into the bar and "at the time, Barbara's demeanor changed," Jones said Monday. "She was kind of upset."

Winn and Foster argued, Jones said. When Winn returned to the booth, "she was holding her face," Jones said. "I took it at that point that he had slapped her." Jones said there were no visible injuries on Winn's face.

Winn told the people at the table that she was going to get a restraining order against Foster, Jones said.

In defense attorney Earl Gray's argument that Jones' testimony shouldn't be allowed, he said her statement about the restraining order had never been noted or reported to law enforcement before 2006, when the investigation into Winn's death was re-opened.

That was the first time police talked to Jones about the night at the bar.

Gray also argued that Jones' testimony was hearsay and not credible. No one else has testified about hearing Winn saying she wanted to get a restraining order. The judge ruled that Jones could testify.

Also testifying Monday was Ramsey County Medical Examiner Michael McGee.

McGee said powder and scorch marks on the sweater and bra that Winn was wearing indicated that when Winn was shot in the chest, the gun muzzle was either pressed against her or was "very, very close" to her when it was fired.

He said the bullet went into her body at a slight angle from right to left and was found just emerging from the skin on her back.

McGee testified that Winn also had fresh bruise around her left eye, a scratch on her neck, and a bruise on her bicep and left hand. He said the injuries seemed to have occurred at the time of her death.

When asked by prosecutors, McGee said being struck by someone's hand could have made the bruise on Winn's eye. He also said it could have been caused by being struck with a curling iron.

Police at the scene said the bedroom where Winn was found was in a "state of disarray," with a broken curling iron among the items collected as evidence.

Like almost all of the other physical evidence in the case, the curling iron has disappeared.

McGee also testified that black sooty material imbedded in her left palm suggested to him she was holding the revolver around the gun's cylinder when it went off.

McGee ruled that the manner of death in Winn's case was undetermined.

He said Monday that he didn't remember whether former St. Paul Police Chief William Finney was present during Winn's autopsy.

He did say he remembered Maplewood police investigators were there at least part of the time he was examining Winn's body on the morning she died.

Winn's family has viewed Finney's presence at the autopsy with suspicion, since the St. Paul police were not involved in investigating the case and Finney was a friend of Foster's.

Finney has said previously that he did nothing wrong during the investigation and that it was another police agency, not his, investigating. He has said he attended a portion of the autopsy because he also was friends with Winn and he couldn't believe she was dead.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

more on the Barbara Winn story

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He said Monday that he didn't remember whether former St. Paul Police Chief William Finney was present during Winn's autopsy.

He did say he remembered Maplewood police investigators were there at least part of the time he was examining Winn's body on the morning she died.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

any day now we will hear the verdict "not guilty".

3:27 PM  
Blogger John Krenik said...

Back on January 9, 2008 a new Domestic Abuse Center opened at City Hall in Room 140.

This new resource center is designed to increase safety and support for victims of domestic violence. The City of St. Paul has provided office space in City Hall to the Partnership for Domestic Abuse. The Partnership for Domestic Abuse Services is a collaborative of more than 20+ agencies working together to provide safety and assistance to victims of domestic violence. Having all of these services under one roof will improve the quality of much needed assistance.

As I listened to the numerous speakers at the dedication of this new center for domestic abuse my thoughts drifted to another domestic abuse victim, Barbara Winn. If only these services for domestic abuse were under one roof back in 1981, she may be here today. It has taken over 27 years to bring Aaron Foster to justice for the murder of Barbara Winn. The tragic thing about the Barbara Winn case is many people KNEW about the abuse and refused to help her. One particular individual failed in his official capacity as a police officer to help Ms. Winn. My response to this individual is, “It is NEVER ok to hit a woman even if you are in law enforcement.” To just sit back and do nothing is an even bigger crime and this police officer should have been prosecuted for his FAILURE to do his job as a law enforcement officer, on or off duty.

“It is NEVER acceptable to cover for someone who commits the crime of domestic abuse, as this police officer did for Aaron Foster, even if it was your childhood friend.”

My thoughts and prayers go out to all domestic abuse victims. May they now get better services with this new resource center.


John Krenik

7:06 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

After 2 1/2 days of testimony, jury to begin deliberations in 27-year-old shooting case
By PAT PHEIFER, Star Tribune

Last update: July 22, 2008 - 11:18 PM

Dr. Janis Amatuzio, the chief Anoka County medical examiner, told jurors Tuesday that when she was asked to review the case in 2007, she staged a reenactment of the scene that left Barbara (Bobbi) Winn dead from a gunshot to the chest on May 8, 1981.

With the help of the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, she used a similar handgun, room layout and individuals of similar heights to Winn and Aaron W. Foster, who is on trial in the 27-year-old case on charges of third-degree murder in Winn's death.

Amatuzio also reviewed autopsy reports and photographs, discussed the fatal wound with fellow forensic experts and examined tissue samples.

Still she came to the same conclusion as Ramsey County Medical Examiner Michael B. McGee, who performed Winn's autopsy the day she died: The manner of death was "undetermined."

Amatuzio was among the final witnesses in the trial. Jurors will begin deliberating today after the attorneys' closing arguments. Foster has maintained all along that Winn killed herself.

Prosecutor Deidre Aanstad questioned Amatuzio about the bruises and abrasions seen on Winn's face, arm and hands in autopsy photos, and Amatuzio said they were most likely inflicted within an hour of death.

She described the trajectory of the bullet that killed Winn as "not the usual path when a gunshot is classified as suicidal," but said she "could not exclude" accident, suicide or homicide as the manner of death.

Defense attorney Earl Gray had just one question for Amatuzio: "Do you find that accidental shootings a lot of times involve alcohol?"

"Yes, they do," she replied.

Winn had a blood-alcohol level of 0.13 percent at the time of her death.

Anoka County sheriff's Sgt. William Snyder, the lead investigator when the case was reopened in 2006, testified about his interview with Grady Meadows, former owner of the Tipsy Tiger bar, where Winn and Foster argued the night of May 7, 1981.

Using a report he wrote the day after talking with Meadows in March 2007, Snyder recounted a slightly different story than the one Meadows told on the witness stand last week. Most of the differences concerned who sat where and at what time events occurred.

William Peters also testified for the defense, saying he was a clerk at the 7-11 store in Maplewood the night of May 7-8, 1981, when Foster came into the store saying, "Wow. My old lady just shot herself. Call an ambulance."

Pat Pheifer • 651-298-1551

2:57 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi All,

I have something to add to Johns comments.

The courts are also requiring abusers to seek anger management therapy and if need be drug and alcohol treatment.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Foster Acquitted ????? said...

Foster acquitted: What a Shock

Foster not guilty in girlfriend's shooting death 27 years ago
The case was 27 years old, the evidence was gone and two medical examiners said they could not rule out suicide or accident in the death of Barbara Winn.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another city employee getting away with murder.
Finney's son got away with "Gay Bashing" at a bar on Tomas and Western.
I think we should all become Bill Finney's friend, and we will be able to do anything we wish.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't Finney's son case handled in Southern Minnesota? Mower County down on the Iowa border. What influence did he have then? He wasn't even Chief then.

Cookoo, Cookoo.

10:38 AM  

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