The remainder of the morning consisted of state attorney Lierman and defense council Newell arguing about Oldson's hand written journals being entered into evidence for the jury. The state argued the journals were written and seized by officers while Oldson was incarcerated for a sexual assault charge which occurred in Burwell. Oldson was in jail from December 1989 to September 1990, when the journals were penned. Page by page, the defense argued against Oldson's words being allowed to be used against him. Judge Karen Noakes will make her ruling tomorrow on both issues.
Court resumed after lunch, with the jury present. The state called Suzanne Pelster, of Midland TX to testify. Pelster, originally from the Ord area, testified to an argument she overheard between The Defendant and Minnie Eggers. (His then girlfriend, who later became his wife on April 22, 1992, four days before Catherine Beard's remains were discovered by Dee Petska of Ord). In the summer of 1990, Pelster and 3-4 of her friends went to the SomePlace Else Tavern, in the afternoon, to celebrate one of the ladies birthdays. Oldson and Eggers were also in the bar that afternoon. Pelster stated, Oldson and Eggers engaged in an argument. During the argument Oldson told Eggers, "If you don't do what I want, the same thing that happened to Catherine will happen to you!" Pelster and her friends were scared and uncomfortable with what they witnessed. Pelster did go to authorities with the information. The Defense's cross of Pelster tried to get her to admit she mixed up her stories and was confused, but Pelster held her ground and displayed a confidence and self-assured behavior which seemed to indicate to the jurors, Pelster knew what she was talking about and was sure of it.
The State's next witness, from Seattle WA, Barbara Dasher was wheeled into the courtroom in a wheel chair. Her testimony concerned her conversations with Oldson, back in the late 80's and early 90s, in the Y'all Come Back Saloon, when her, then husband, Donald and Dick "Comanche" Oldson were friends and would hang out together. The Defendant and Barbara Dasher would discuss history and John Oldson confided to Barbara Dasher, on more than one occasion, after Beard disappeared. Dasher further testified, Oldson once whispered into her ear, "They will never be able to find Cathy". Dasher described another conversation in which Oldson stated, "Cathy Beard deserved what she got". Dasher said she thought he was joking, until Beard's remains were found on April 26, 1992. Then Dasher received a phone call from The Defendant, threatening Dasher if she said anything to the Police, "The same thing which happened to Beard would happen to her."
The jury was allowed to leave early as council needed to have a hearing outside the presence of a jury concerning a type written book, by Oldson, which depicts a woman being abducted in the alley behind a bar and dying in a manner similar to Beard's violent end. After both sides made their cases, Judge Noakes said she would make her ruling tomorrow, with the earlier evidentiary hearings, which were held today.
The State is expected to call it's final witnesses tomorrow and rest. Depending upon how long the State's case takes to close, the Defense will either begin it's case tomorrow or Wednesday.
Images from inside of the Howard County Courtroom where John Oldson is on trial for the murder of Catherine Beard