The John Oldson murder trial continued in the Howard County courthouse.
On Day two, opening statements were given by the State and the Defense. Co-prosecutor Matt Lierman of the Attorney General's office began with a timeline of how Oldson and Beard met on or about May 31, 1989 at the SomePlace Else Tavern in Ord. Defense Attorney Sarah Newell's opening statement took aim to get the jury to pay attention to make sure all witnesses were telling the truth about what happened and were not just recalling things they thought they remembered from hearing stories told to them over the last 23 years. She seemed to indicate it would be incorrect to base a guilty verdict on case based upon circumstantial evidence created from questionable memories.
Six witnesses took the stand, including former Valley County Sheriff Gerald "Woody" Woodgate who was sheriff at the time of the murder. Woodgate testimony indicated the then Ord Chief of Police, John Young who is now deceased, approached Woodgates' office for assistance in investigating the disappearance of Beard.
Sharlene Whitefoot, who was the first witness of the day, testified as to her relationship with Beard and how the two not only worked together, but were close friends. Whitefoot stated Beard came into the tavern about 3-4 pm on May 31, 1989, bringing with her a jacket, an umbrella, her wallet and her house keys. She also stated Oldson came in with a crew of people who worked with his father's brick laying business. Whitefoot testified she and Beard talked for a while until Whitefoot went home. Multiple other witnesses testified to how Oldson approached Beard that afterrnoon and how the two left together out the back door of the tavern and did not return. Beard's personal items still being where she was sitting. Whitefoot said at about 7:30pm, the owner of the tavern, the now deceased Kay Schaefer, called Whitefoot to tell her Beard left the bar and left her personal affects sitting at the bar. Whitefoot said she returned to the tavern and by close of business that night, Beard had not returned. Whitefoot testified she and Schaefer contacted the Ord PD to let them know Beard was missing.