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Page 72 Continued
Q. And what did they do to the door?
A. They did some welding on it and worked on it.
Q. Is it now repaired?
A. Yes.
Q. And how do you know that it's now repaired?
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A. Because you can't open it.
Q. Have you tried?
A. Yes.
Q. Is that the first time that you tried to open that door --
A. Yes, ma'am.
Q. -- since the incident arose? The first time -- I'm sorry. The first time you attempted to access the cell without a key since the incident arose, since September, '97?
A. That's the only time that I tried to get into the cell.
Q. Without a key?
A. Right.
Q. Prior to 1997 -- September, 1997, did you ever try to determine whether or not the women's cell could be accessed without a key?
A. No, ma'am.
Q. How do you determine whether or not Chief Lawson is performing his duties adequately?
A. Well, he as chief -- he's chief jailer. He's been chief jailer since 1992. He's been a jailer since 1987, and his paper work is good. I hadn't had any problems.
Q. How do you determine whether or not he's
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carrying out his duties -- his day-to-day duties? How do you determine that he is doing that?
A. When I go up and check the jail.
Q. And that's two or three times a day when you're on duty?
A. Well, no, maybe twice a day, maybe sometimes once a day. It depends on how busy I am.
Q. How often -- how much time would you spend during each visit to the jail?
A. I don't -- I don't have any idea.
Q. Less than an hour?
A. Sure.
Q. Less than 30 minutes?
A. Possibly.
Q. Do you evaluate Chief Lawson by completing a personnel or a performance --
A. No.
Q. -- evaluation form?
A. No.
Q. No?
A. No.
Q. Have you ever evaluated Chief Lawson in writing?
A. No.
Q. Have you ever evaluated any of your jailers in
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A. No.
Q. Does Chief Lawson evaluate your jailers in writing?
A. I don't have that knowledge. I'm not sure.
Q. Well, you're the sheriff. Do you know whether or not your jailers are evaluated?
A. They're evaluated but not on paper.
Q. Okay. So describe to me how that works, being evaluated not on paper.
A. If they're performing their duties and everything is going fine, that's the evaluation that Mr. Lawson gives me. He reports to me if he's having any problem with his jailers.
Q. Now, if Melvin Lawson isn't on duty, how would you find out if there's a problem with one of your jailers?
A. I don't know. I don't know what you mean.
Q. Well, if Melvin Lawson has a day off and there's a problem with one of your jailers, how would you find out whether or not there was a problem that occurred during Melvin Lawson's absence?
A. Probably one of my dispatchers.
Q. They're on the second floor, correct?
A. Yes, ma'am. But they monitor the jail.
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Q. How do they monitor the jail?
A. On camera.
Q. So you're telling me every square inch of your jail is monitored on camera?
A. No, ma'am.
Q. How does Mr. Lawson give the jailer an evaluation if it's not in writing?
A. You'll have to talk to Mr. Lawson. I can't -- I can't answer that.
Q. Have you at any time during your term as sheriff directed Mr. Lawson on how to evaluate his jailers?
A. No, ma'am.
Q. How many jailers do you have on duty at all times?
A. I have one per shift.
Q. One jailer per shift?
A. Yes, usually on weekends. Sometimes we have two for peak periods.
Q. Are weekends considered your peak periods?
A. Yes.
Q. At any given time, you may have one jailer per shift; is that correct?
A. Right.
Q. Where would that jailer be staffed or be
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positioned while on duty?
A. On the third floor.
Q. Do you have -- conduct frequent inspections of your jail, personally conduct --
A. Myself?
Q. Yes, sir.
A. Occasionally. I mean, I make a walk-through and, you know, check -- check the cells.
Q. All right. What -- how often would you do that?
A. I don't have any schedule when I check the jail.
Q. Would it be once a week or once a month?
A. I'm sure once a week. Usually I -- I check the jail when I have like a complaint or I'm up there. If I'm up there, I'll make a walk-through anyway.
Q. Would you be looking for anything in particular during your walk-through?
A. Nothing in particular, just anything out of the ordinary.
Q. So if it doesn't look to be anything out of the ordinary, you're not going to be going through some thorough check list, are you?
A. No, ma'am.
Q. Would you agree with me, Sheriff, that you are
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as sheriff responsible for the safekeeping of all of your inmates in your jail?
A. Yes, ma'am.
Ms. Jones: Why don't we take a break now for lunch.
The Witness: Okay. Thank you.
The Videographer: Off the record at 12:05 p.m.
(Lunch Recess)
The Videographer: We're back on the record at 1:12 p.m., the beginning of Tape 2.
Questions By Ms. Jones:
Q. Sheriff Garrett, before we took a lunch break, I asked you if you agreed that you were responsible for the safekeeping of all your prisoners committed to your jail, and you agreed with that. That is your responsibility, correct?
A. Yes, ma'am.
Q. And do you also agree that your deputy serves at the pleasure of the sheriff? In other words, he is -- he or she is an at-will employee and serves at your pleasure?
A. Yes.
Q. Do you also agree that you are responsible for
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the official acts of a deputy?
A. Yes.
Q. Sheriff Garrett, have you ever terminated a jailer under your supervision other than Holland Ligon?
A. Yes.
Q. Who did you terminate?
A. Rudy Karen.
Q. And for what reason did Rudy Karen get terminated?
A. Abuse of sick leave.
Q. Do you recall the year that Rudy was terminated?
A. No, ma'am.
Q. Was it during your first term as sheriff?
A. Yes.
Q. Was he the only other individual that you terminated?
A. In the jail?
Q. In the jail.
A. Yes.
Q. Was there one other woman who worked as a jailer during your administration during your first or second term other than Betty and Jackie?
A. Not that I recall.
Q. How were you notified that Tina Wisdom had a
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complaint against Johnny Pesina in September, 1997?
A. My chief jailer, Lawson, and my investigator, Gary Hudgens, came to my office and told me.
Q. What time of day was that?
A. It was a little after 4:00.
Q. Little after 4:00. Was that on September 23rd, 1997?
A. I left my report in there. I believe that's right.
Q. On or about September 23rd?
A. Yes.
Q. What did they tell you?
A. They said that Tina Wisdom had been assaulted in the jail.
Q. They used the term "assaulted"?
A. That's what I got.
Q. All right, sir.
A. That's what I --
Q. Did they say --
A. -- understood them to say.
Q. We'll get our signals straight.
A. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
Q. No. It's my fault, too.
A. Okay, yes. Go ahead.
Q. Did they mention anything about sexual assault?
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A. I don't recall them saying anything about sexual assault.
Q. And how did you respond to them telling you that Tina Wisdom had been assaulted in the jail?
A. I told them we needed to do an investigation and I was calling the Texas Ranger.
Q. Have you ever had another inmate assaulted in the jail since you've been sheriff?
A. Not that I recall.
Q. What happened after you indicated that you were going to call the Texas Ranger?
A. I got on the phone and called the Texas Ranger.
Q. And who is that person?
A. Joey Gordon.
Q. And did you get an opportunity to speak to Joey Gordon?
A. Yes.
Q. And what transpired during that conversation?
A. I just advised him that I'd had an assault in the jail and I needed for him to come to town and help with the investigation.
Q. And where was he located at the time that you had the conversation with him?
A. He was, I believe, at his residence. He was either at his residence or he was pulling into his
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driveway, and that's -- this is approximately 12, 14 miles north of Llano.
Q. What city is that?
A. It's still in the Llano County. It's no city. It's just in the country. He lives on a ranch.
Q. All right. What happened after that phone call?
A. When Ranger Gordon got to town, we went upstairs and secured the scene and -- and started the investigation.
Q. "Upstairs" being the third floor?
A. Yes, ma'am.
Q. Had you gone up to the third floor prior to Joey Gordon's appearance at the jail?
A. No.
Q. How much time did it take from the time you called Joey Gordon to the time that he arrived at the jail, lapsed? How much time lapsed?
A. I believe around 15 minutes approximately.
Q. So when you say you secured -- you went upstairs to the third floor to secure the area, what did that -- what did you do to secure the area?
A. We got the trustee, Johnny Pesina, and brought him forward, put him in a holding cell, strip-searched him, took his clothes, give him another uniform put him
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back in poopulation, locked him down.
Q. What did you do with his clothes?
A. We have them for evidence.
Q. Where are they now?
A. They're in possession of my criminal investigators, I'm assuming, either that --
Q. Who --
A. -- or it may be in DPS. I'm not sure.
Q. Who are your criminal investigators again, please?
A. Gary Hudgens and Jay Bauman.
Q. Have they been instructed to wash those clothes?
A. No, ma'am.
Q. Do you have any knowledge of those clothes being washed?
A. No.
Q. What else happened after Pesina was put back in general population?
A. We went -- there was a rumor that there was a key out, and we started searching the storerooms, kitchen area, closet for another key.
Q. Did you find a key?
A. No, ma'am.
Q. Who was present when you conducted the search
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of the cell as well as the closets for the key?
A. John Keith, the chief deputy; Melvin Lawson; Holland Ligon; Gary Hudgens; and Ranger Gordon, I believe.
Q. And where was Tina Wisdom during this time?
A. In the rec.
Q. Pardon me?
A. Recreation cell.
Q. Was she supervised by anyone?
A. I -- I don't know.
Q. You were on the same floor with her, correct?
A. Yes. But I was on the far end of the --
Q. Was there anyone else on duty other than Holland Ligon and Melvin Lawson?
A. That's it, just the two of them.
Q. So if they were with you conducting the search for the key, then there was no one supervising Ms. Wisdom; is that correct?
A. She was in the cell by itself in the rec area.
Q. Is the rec area a cell?
A. Well, it's a place where we can lock them down where they can have inside rec.
Q. All right. So there was no one with her?
A. No.
Q. All right. What happened after you conducted
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the search for the key?
A. We didn't turn up any -- any key. We got to looking at other ways that could get into the cell, and that's when we tried this sharp instrument and opened the door.
Q. And that's the first time you discovered that the door could be opened --
A. Yes.
Q. -- by some other means other than a key?
A. Yes.
Q. What happened after you completed the search? What was the next step in the process?
A. Joey, which is Ranger Gordon, and my investigators went downstairs, took the suspect down to his office and interviewed him.
Q. Is that second floor?
A. Yes.
Q. All right. So Mr. Pesina was being interviewed by whom again?
A. Ranger Gordon.
Q. Anyone else other than --
A. Gary Hudgens.
Q. All right. Anyone else?
A. That's the only two I can recall. Jay Bauman might have been in there. I'm not sure.
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Q. All right. You weren't present during the interview of Mr. Pesina?
A. Not the first part of it.
Q. Okay. What part were you present for?
A. After I found out how they got into the cell, then I went downstairs and I talked to Ranger Gordon. And Ranger Gordon said that -- you know, that the suspect hadn't admitted to anything, and I went in -- back in the office with him. And I asked Mr. Pesina if there was something that he wanted to tell me. He said no. And I said, "I know how you got into the cell." And that's when he told me that he had been in the cell.
Q. After you told him that you knew how he got in, he admitted that he'd been in there?
A. Yes.
Q. Did he make any other admissions to you?
A. He said that he had had sex and that it was consensual.
Q. And did he -- did you ask him if the sex was consensual, or did he offer that?
A. He just offered it.
Q. Did you find the instrument or the means by which he utilized access to the lot?
A. As I've told you, there are several flat instruments that -- in the jail that could have been
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used. It's unknown what was used.
Q. So when you told him you knew how he got in, you did not know by what means he utilized to get in?
A. No.
Q. Did you ever discover a hunting knife in the possession of Mr. Pesina or in his cell?
A. No.
Q. Did you ever see a hunting knife in the jail on the third floor in any place?
A. I've never seen a hunting knife.
Q. What did you do after Johnny Pesina told you that he had been in the cell with Tina Wisdom and he had sex with her and he said that it was consensual? What did you do after that?
A. I went back upstairs.
Q. Third floor?
A. Yes. And I went around to the rec room, and I talked to Ms. Wisdom.
Q. All right. Who was present when you talked to Ms. Wisdom?
A. No one, just the two of us.
Q. Just the two of you?
A. Yes.
Q. And she was still in the rec area?
A. Yes.
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Q. And what was the conversation between the two of you?
A. I asked her what had happened, and she said that she had woke up and found Johnny Pesina on top of her. She had shoved him off and he had ran out the cell. And at that time, that's when I told her that I had talked to Mr. Pesina and he told me that you all had had consensual sex.
Q. I'm sorry. I didn't get the last part of that.
A. That I advised her that I had talked to the suspect and he advised that they had consensual sex, and she said, "Well, I was so ashamed. I just didn't want to tell no one." And that's --
Q. So what did you say after that?
A. I just told her I didn't want her lying to me, just tell me the truth and we were going to get to the bottom of this and do an investigation.
Q. And what else? Did she say anything after that that you recall?
A. I don't recall her saying anything else.
Q. Did you say anything else after that?
A. I don't recall.
Q. So that's the -- that was the gist of your conversation --
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A. Yes, ma'am.
Q. -- to the best of your knowledge?
A. Yes.
Q. How did Johnny Pesina get out of the women's cell since you cannot leave the cell from inside the cell?
A. The only thing that we could figure, our investigation showed that as long as you didn't slam the door -- if he would have slammed the door, the door would have got accidentally shut. He would have been there till we let him out.
Q. So the door was not completely closed, which enabeled him to get out without a key or without someone from the outside letting him out?
A. Right.
Q. Where was the jailer that was on duty at the time that Johnny Pesina accessed the women's cell?
A. There was two jailers on duty.
Q. Yes, sir.
A. They were -- you know, they make their rounds and then also --
Q. Rounds on the third floor?
A. Yes. -- cell checks, bed checks, head counts. I'm assuming they were right around the booking area from what the report said and doing their head counts.
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Q. How large -- well, how many -- do you know how many square foot -- how many square feet the third floor consists of?
A. I have no idea, no.
Q. Is it more than 2,000 square feet?
A. I don't know.
Q. When they did the bed checks, did they notice that Johnny Pesina wasn't in his cell? You said they were making rounds and doing bed checks.
A. They knew he wasn't in his cell. He was waxing the floors.
Q. At what time? What time of day was this?
A. I don't recall what time. I know he had been waxing the floors.
Q. Would the jailer who was monitoring the video cameras have been able to see Johnny Pesina go into the women's cell?
A. No.
Q. The video camera does not give a view of the hallway where the door is?
A. The jailers do not monitor the cameras.
Q. The dispatchers do?
A. Dispatchers.
Q. Did a dispatcher see Johnny Pesina go into the women's cell?
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A. Not that I know of.
Q. Did you ever ask them if they saw him go in?
A. I'm sure they did.
Q. I mean, did --
A. My investigators -- I didn't, but my investigators may have.
Q. Would the dispatcher have seen that the door was ajar?
A. No. You can't see.
Q. From the video camera?
A. No, ma'am.
Q. Can you --
A. You can't tell if the door is open.
Q. Did you ever receive a written report from Joey Gordon regarding his investigation of this assault?
A. No, ma'am.
Q. Did he make a report to your knowledge regarding his investigation of this assault?
A. I'm sure when they took it to the Grand Jury his report went to the Grand Jury.
Q. How do you know that?
A. Because he's the one that's doing the investigation, him and my investigators.
Q. But you've never seen the report?
A. No. I don't read his report.
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Q. Well, it's about your jail. I'm just wondering --
A. Yes, ma'am. I understand that.
Q. -- if you had an opportunity to see the written report.
A. Excuse me.
Q. I just wondered if you had an opportunity to see the written report he wrote about your jail.
A. No, ma'am.
Q. All right. Were there any tests conducted or performed on the clothing that you and your investigators took from Pesina's clothing? Any tests that were asked for or conducted or performed on those clothes?
A. Yes.
Q. And do you know what tests were performed on those clothes?
A. No.
Q. And do you know who actually conducted the tests?
A. I believe DPS.
Q. So the clothes had to be taken to some -- to DPS?
A. To DPS in Austin.
Q. All, right. Do you know who took the clothes to DPS in Austin?
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A. No, I don't. I would say one of my investigators, but I'm not --
Ms. Lockhart: Sheriff Garrett, please remember you don't have to make guesses.
The Witness: Okay.
Ms. Lockhart: Just answer based on your knowledge.
Questions by Ms. Jones:
Q. Do you know who took the clothes?
A. No.
Q. Have you seen the test results that were --
A. No.
Q. Let me finish the question.
A. I'm sorry.
Q. I know you know what I'm going to say.
A. I'm sorry.
Q. That's all right. Have you seen the test results from the tests that were performed by DPS?
A. No.
Q. Have you heard about the test results? Did anyone ever call you up and tell you what those results were?
A. I don't recall.
Q. What happened to Ms. Wisdom's clothing that was removed?
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A. What?
Q. Her inmate garb or her prison clothing, what happened to the clothing that was removed from her?
A. They're in -- it's in evidence.
Q. Were they also taken to DPS to your knowledge?
A. I don't know.
Q. Did you give anyone any orders or directives about those clothes? Did you tell someone, your investigators or one of your deputies, what to do with those clothes?
A. No.
Q. Who made the decision that tests should be conducted relating to the clothing that was taken from Pesina and Wisdom?
A. My investigators and probably Ranger Gordon.
Q. Did you participate in that decision?
A. No, ma'am.
Q. Do you recall whether or not the sheets and blankets were taken from each of the -- excuse me -- were taken from Ms. Wisdom's cot in the cell?
A. Yes.
Q. They were?
A. Yes. I'm sorry.
Q. That's okay. Do you know whether or not the clothes were returned and placed in the evidence vault?

(Continued on Garrett Deposition V5)