Sworn Statement of Lacey Spencer
|Date:||May 27, 1997|
IN RE: INVESTIGATION, Lisa McPherson ___________________________________________ STATEMENT OF: LACEY SPENCER. DATE: May 27, 1997, 1:30 p.m. BEFORE: Donna M. Kanabay, RPR, RNR Notary Public, Court Reporter. PLACE: State Attorney's Office Criminal Justice Center Clearwater, Florida APPEARANCES: MR. MARK McGARRY, JR. Assistant State Attorney Attorney for State of Florida. MR. ROBERT POLLI 101 E. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33602 Attorney for the witness. KANABAY COURT REPORTERS TAMPA AIRPORT MARRIOTT HOTEL (813) 224-9500 ST. PETERSBURG - CLEARWATER (813) 821-3320
INDEX TO PROCEEDINGS PAGE LINE DIRECT - Mr. McGarry 4 7 Reporter's Certificate 24 1
MR. POLLI: My name is Bob Polli, and I represent Lacey Spencer, and I'd like to put a couple things on the record.
To begin with, Lacey is now fifteen years old. At the time this happened, she was either thirteen or fourteen years old.
I have spent considerable time talking to her about this whole circumstance. I also spent some considerable time talking to her mom and dad about the circumstance. Her mother and father live in Michigan. And while I think they'd like to be here for this interview, I think I've got them convinced that excluding a lot of the people in here, so maybe Lacey won't feel so intimidated, Mr. McGarry can run this interview without any kind of problems. And so, based on that, we're ready to go forward.
Part of the time I spent with Lacey was a focus on the justice system, generally, and specifically on immunity and the statute 914.04. And believe it or not, she didn't fall asleep in my history lesson. She asked good questions. And I think she understands what immunity's all about. I think she certainly knows the difference between right and wrong. She knows she's here to tell the truth and answer your questions truthfully and completely.
MR. McGARRY: Thank you. We will begin.
LACEY SPENCER, the witness herein, being first duly sworn was examined and testified as follows:
DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. McGARRY:
Q. My name's Mark McGarry. I'm going to be asking you some questions surrounding the death of Lisa McPherson that occurred in November and December of 95.
Q. And your name came up as a person that might have played a minor role in some of -- some of the reports that were transferred around the building, there.
Q. What's your birthdate?
MR. POLLI: You have to answer "yes" or "no," because she can't copy down "huh-uh."
A. Okay. Yes. That was all correct.
MR. POLLI: Or "cool."
A. My birthday is X, 1981.
BY MR. McGARRY:
Q. Okay. And how long have you lived here in
A. For the past -- about ten years, I've been living down here some part time, each year. And for the past -- about two years, I've been here living full time.
Q. Okay. How did you end up down here in Clearwater? You're from Michigan, right?
Q. How did you end up in Clearwater?
Q. So were they always members of the Church?
A. They've been members of the Church for about seventeen years.
Q. So you're almost -- you were born into it.
Q. Okay. Was there a time when you-all lived down here together?
A. Yes. Definitely.
Q. Okay. And they moved back to Michigan?
A. They're actually selling their house and their business there right now, and then they're going to move here permanently, probably by December.
Q. Okay. So do you live in the Hacienda Building?
Q. You have some roommates, -I guess?
A. Oh, definitely.
Q. Who are your roommates?
A. One of them's my cousin, Emily Rock. And I live with several others. You want to know all their names?
Q. No, no. That's not important, so -- Your parents are going to join you down here, also? Are they going to become staff?
A. Eventually. Not, probably, this year, though.
Q. Okay. So you -- you're staff, right?
Q. Okay. So do you still do what you did back in 95, or are you on to something -- another post?
A. I'm on a different post now.
Q. Are you?
Q. What are you doing now?
A. Right now, I'm in charge, basically, of getting people, like staff members, and helping them - - put them on post, like training them on what their post is, by giving them materials and technology -- basically, that -- and getting them settled in. That's my job.
Q. Okay. Back in November of 95, you had a
different post, right?
Q. You worked pretty much for Mr. Karduzinski?
Q. Just for him?
Q. Tell me about that. How did that happen? How did you get that position?
A. Well, at the time, he needed one, and there was -- there was -- he didn't have, like, a secretary or what we call a "communicator" at the time, and so I was there. And I had recently joined staff --
A. -- and so I went and met him, and I decided that I wanted to work with him, and he wanted me there.
Q. Good. And at the time, he was senior case supervisor?
Q. Is that what his title was?
Q. And did you have a meeting with him about what he wanted you to do for him, what your responsibilities were, or did you have to train -- I guess you had to have a training course for that?
Q. How did that go?
A. It went like this. Well: First I came up to his office to meet him, and then he told me the different basic things that he does, and that -- what my job will be. He showed me around the office, different rooms in the Fort Harrison Hotel, where I'd be, and then I did a little course, as well.
Q. And what was the course?
A. You call it a communicator mini-hat, like -- "hat" means somebody who teaches your job or your post. So it's basic references, what you do, like answering letters, telephone, things like this.
Q. So what exactly were your duties at that time, back then, in November?
A. Getting all his communications, letters, et cetera, that came to him; sometimes proposing answers. And they'd go to him. And he'd sign, if it was okay, or he'd write them himself. I'd answer the telephone, I'd get people for him, and PC folders, as well --
A. -- if he asked for one.
Q. So you'd have to go to the other building to get the PC folders?
A. Actually, most of the time, I stayed in FH, Fort
Q. Is that where his office was?
Q. Weren't the PC folders in another building, or were they in that building?
A. Some were there. Some were -- each building has different storage, like, rooms in them.
Q. Oh, I don't want to get into all of that.
A. Okay. That's fine.
Q. You probably know your way around, though, pretty well, as far as, well, folders and stuff, right?
Q. Okay. Did you ever meet Lisa McPherson prior to her stay at the Cabana?
A. I didn't.
Q. Did you ever know her?
A. (Shakes head).
Q. Just by seeing her in courses or something around?
A. I didn't see her at all. Or if I did, I didn't know her.
Q. Did you become aware that she was staying in the Cabana somehow? Did Mr. Karduzinski tell you, "Hey, I've got this girl that's staying with us, and --" How did you become involved in this whole thing?
A. When she came - - I think it was a few days after she actually arrived there that he told me -- he told me that a lady named Lisa McPherson was staying down in the Cabanas and --
Q. She's got a Type III?
A. Yeah. He told me that.
A. And basically briefed me on that. You don't -- like, you don't have loud noises around them, noises and - -
A. Very brief.
Q. No talking to them.
Q. Right. And - -
A. Give them rest and food.
Q. Right. Did -- but you weren't involved in any of that stuff. You were just --
Q. - - kind of, basically, involved with - - correct me if I'm wrong -- but you were kind of checking in with the caretakers and some of the people that were watching - -
A. That's correct.
Q. - - her, and then kind of reporting back to Mr. Karduzinski about that?
Q. Is that how that went for you?
Q. Okay. Did you have other duties other than that? You had all kinds of phone responsibilities and - -
Q. -- mail and correspondence and stuff.
Q. All right. So did you make a regular stop down at the Cabana in your circulation around the building?
A. Normally, he asked me to go down there to - - he'd want to find out how she was doing. And I'd go -- most of the days - - it was about twice a day, like, once in the early afternoon, once in the evening, like, a little bit past dinner. However, this wasn't every day. Like, I'd -- sometimes I'd be in school, and I think some -- maybe he'd get a report another way or something like that.
Q. Like he might, for instance, any given day, say, "Lacey, go down there and see how Lisa's doing," or would
you check with security there, or one of the girls that were watching her or - -
A. Yeah. That's it.
Q. You wouldn't go say, "Hey, Lisa, how you doing?"
A. No. Q You'd go talk to the security
A. Yeah. The first few days, I'd just go directly to security, and they'd actually go to one of the girls watching her, and get a report, and then I started going directly there.
MR. POLLI: Yeah. You know, the report that has Alain's handwritten questions and Arthur Baxter's answers -- she took the questions to Arthur and sat in the booth while Arthur ran to the Cabana and got the answers and brought them back. That's how that worked a couple of times, and then she felt like the security people were getting put out by her making them go do that, so then she just went right to the Cabana and knocked on the door and handed the - -
MR. McGARRY: Questions.
MR. POLLI: Either the questions or -- by then, she knew what the four questions were. She would just tell the girls, "Alain, wants to know these five things" and --
MR. McGARRY: Right.
MR. POLLI: -- sit down with one on the bench while she - -
MR. McGARRY: Oh, I got you.
BY MR. McGARRY:
Q. All right. You never did see Lisa, really. If you did, it wasn't --
Q. -- for any length of time.
Q. Okay. So you really weren't on a regular time schedule, that you would go down there every day at the same time every time and pick up reports. It was all haphazard.
A. More general. Like in the beginning, afternoon and evening. That was the more general time.
Q. Okay. Would these reports that you would get from the girls - - would they be already prepared for you or would they sit down and jot them down while you were sitting there?
A. They'd jot them down while I was sitting there.
Q. So you watched them write them?
MR. POLLI: Here's something about that,. too. We call them "little reports" and "big reports." Those were little reports that she was sitting there,
waiting for them to do. They would then, she tells me, write the bigger reports. And I showed her some of those, and she didn't really recognize any of them, because they weren't really to her. They were to Alain. But the bigger reports would come in either from security or, you know, that basket, however they get their stuff around. So I think there's two different sets of things going on; "little reports" and "big reports," we called them.
A. Yeah. That's correct.
BY MR. McGARRY:
A. I didn't always read their reports, either. Most of them, I didn't read.
Q. Right. All right. So in the afternoons, you normally stopped by the Cabana section of the hotel --
Q. - - pick up the little reports, or maybe they were just questions (sic) to the big four questions that you had --
Q. -- which those questions were what; one --
A. Like how much has she slept, how much has she
eaten, drank, and how she was acting, like, doing physically.
Q. Okay. And those answers, you'd take back and give to Mr. Karduzinski?
Q. Okay. Were you present for any meetings that he had with anybody in reference to how this all was going with Lisa?
A. There was one time that I remember distinctly - - my desk was in a different room than his, but I overheard the first part, where they told him, like, the watches was there, and he was telling them that you don't talk to her, and you keep quiet and keep her - - like, let her rest, and et cetera. And I heard that briefly, once. That was it.
Q. Okay. Well, so I know where we're going here, this report thing is a very convoluted issue that is tough to follow. These -- these reports here that I've been given -- I've got a bunch of these things --
Q. -- like this. This wouldn't qualify as a little report. This would qualify as a big report. That's Rita Boykins'. Is that a big or a little?
Q. All right. Were these -- was this -- was this the kind of stuff that you would pick up, or was this something that was getting to Mr. Karduzinski through the other -- through security, these things? I mean, there'd be, you know, a couple pages with notes. I mean, do you ever remember picking up stuff like this?
A. Not like that. That's more like a dispatch form. They were more scribbled notes, like, under "eat" and then it said, "blah, blah, blah"; how much she's eaten - - Yeah. That looks right. Something more like that.
Q. Would you be picking up some of these, you think?
Q. Is there any -- any time that you would drop these reports off to somebody other Mr. Karduzinski, or would they always go to him?
A. They always go to him.
Q. Can you think of any way that some reports would get to him or -- strike that. Can you think of any reason why some reports survived this period of time and some didn't? Because I've been told that now there's a bunch of reports that
Q. Can you think of any reason why that might have occurred?
A. The first few days, I didn't know that we were supposed to keep all our reports, and so I shredded about two. And then Alain showed me that there was a file that he was keeping of each day, and then so I started putting them there, from then on. So there's probably about two that were shredded by me. And is there any other way - -
Q. So are those big reports or little reports that got shredded? That would be after he read them, obviously. You wouldn't shred them before he read them.
A. Yeah. No. Like, he'd put them on my desk, and I didn't know what to do with them, you know. They'd be little ones.
Q. Do you ever -- I mean, are you in the practice of getting -- that's how certain things, when they're not needed any more, would just be shredded, or is that - -
Q. That's been changed now?
A. Totally. It's been changed.
Q. Well, what prompted the change?
A. Well, he let me know, "These are important and you need to keep them in the file, there."
Q. Oh. So that -- And what file would that go into?
A. It was a file on top of Lisa Mcpherson's PC folder, just like a regular manilla folder. And each day, like, they'd go on top of each other.
MR. POLLI: Tell him the reason for that, though.
A. The reason for that is so a person could look at them from day to day, see how she was doing.
MR. POLLI: No. Tell him why he used the regular manila folder on top of the PC folder - - THE WITNESS: Oh.
MR. POLLI: Because she's not "clear."
A. The PC folder is "clear." I'm not to that level yet, so I can't look..
MR. POLLI: She couldn't file them chronologically, so she had the manilla envelope on top of it. So he would put them in the PC folder because, of course, he's clear. It took me about two hours to figure that out.
I thought we might just cut to the quick.
BY MR. McGARRY: ~. So you would just put them in the folder on top-
A. Right. - - and he - - he would take them, eventually, from that folder, and put them -- insert them into the PC folder?
A. I didn't see that, but -- I didn't see that.
Q. Okay. But ultimately, that's --
Q. -- probably --
Q. -- what occurred. So you wouldn't be down in the Cabana area at all hours of the night. It was just mostly in the afternoon, you'd run your rounds. Your schedule or your -- Do you go to school?
Q. Where do you go to school?
A. It's actually Scientology School. Basic -- same subjects.
Q. Oh, there's a school over there for that?
Q. This is off the subject. Can I ask a couple questions about that?
Q. Does that have all grades through there?
A. It's not -- it's a different -- a little different than a grading system, but they've got all the subjects, like algebra, history geography.
Q. That is accredited through the Church?
Q. It must be.
Q. I mean, there's a state interest in children going to school. I would assume that they've got all that figured out.
A. Yeah. A certain amount of hours and everything.
Q. Wow. How many people are in the school?
A. A rough guess? Maybe, like -- this isn't exact - - like, about thirty, probably..
Q. Oh, thirty?
A. There's two different classrooms.
Q. In your class?
A. No, not in my class. There's two classrooms. I'm thinking about thirty kids, altogether.
Q. Hmm. For instance, Dr. Hawton has children.. Are they in the school?
Q. Are they?
MR. McGARRY: See? Learning something, here.
MR. POLLI: Me, too.
BY MR. McGARRY:
Q. Okay. Back to --
Q. -- the good stuff. So you're -- I mean, what would be your work schedule? You just work after your classes in the school and during the week and run your stuff - - run your errands for Mr. Karduzinski?
A. Right. I'd study in the mornings and, as well, all day on Sunday.
Q. Okay. For your school --
Q. - - classes?
A. And then I'd be there in the afternoons and evenings.
Q. That's a full schedule.
A. (Nods head).
Q. To your - - to the best of your knowledge, did Mr. Karduzinski ever go downstairs and check on Lisa himself, or did he always --
A. I never saw that. He didn't -- that I know of, he never went in or saw Lisa.
Q. He always did it by -- by messenger --
Q. - - or security?
Q. What other involvement did you have with Lisa? Was there anything else, other than kind of a courier system?
A. Other than these reports, nothing.
Q. So you've been helpful, somewhat, and you have indicated that by, kind of accident, at least, a couple reports were destroyed.
Q. And to the best of your knowledge, that was just two.
A. About, yeah.
Q. Okay. Do you remember whose they were? That would be a tough one.
A. I don't, at all. It would be one of the earlier -- the earlier watches, though.
Q. Like --
A. Like the first - -.
Q. -- Thanksgiving-time, around there sometime?
MR. McGARRY: Well, did I miss anythinig?
MR. POLLI: Let me look real quick. I didn't see anything. I think that's it.
MR. McGARRY: All right. Thank you, Lacey. I appreciate your time and trouble to come down here.
THE WITNESS: Okay.
WHEREUPON THE STATEMENT WAS CONCLUDED AT 1:50 P.M.
CERTIFICATE OF OATH STATE OF FLORIDA ) COUNTY OF PINELLAS ) I, the undersigned authority, certify that LACEY SPENCER personally appeared before me and was duly sworn. WITNESS my hand and official seal this 2nd day of June, 1997. [notary seal] DONNA M. KANABAY, RPR, RMR, Notary Public - State of Florida.
REPORTER' S DEPOSITION CERTIFICATE STATE OF FLORIDA ) COUNTY OF PINELLAS ) I, DONNA M. KANABAY, Registered Professional Reporter, certify that I was authorized to and did stenographically report the deposition of LACEY SPENCER, and that the transcript is a true and complete record of my stenographic notes. I further certify that I am not a relative, employee, attorney or counsel of any of the parties, nor am I a relative or employee of any of the parties' attorney or counsel connected with the action, nor am I financially interested in the action. DATED this 2nd day of June, 1997. DONNA M. KANABAY RPR, RMR.