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Transcript of the law enforcement interview with Sherburne County District Court Judge Karla Hancock

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					Inciden Report 09017377 - MN071 0200                                                         Page280f34




NAME OF PARENTS (IF JUVENILE):

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE:

PERSON RECORDING STATEMENT:                    Captain Bob KIuntz, Badge #602

PERSONS PRESENT:                               Judge Hancock & Captain KIuntz


       BK:     Your Honor as we're starting here could ah you do me a favor and please ah just
       verbally identify yourself on the recording?
       KH:     Yes. My name is Karla F. Hancock.

       BK:     Thank you. And Your Honor we talked briefly before we started the tape and you
       understand that I'm just here to urn follow up a little bit on the shooting that occurred on
       courthouse property back on October second and ah involving a Mister Dana Dempsey. Are
       you familiar with Mister Dempsey?
       KH:     Yeah. I think it was the third. Wasn't it?

      BK:     Vb, it was Frlday the second.
      KH:     Was it the second? Okay.

      BK:      Yes ma'am.
      KH:      Yes I am familiar with Mister Dempsey. Urn, he pled guilty to an offense in front of
      me urn, oh, a number of months ago actually. And he was set to be sentenced on Friday and
      actually it was continued once before. Urn previously set for sentencing to allow his time, his
      attorney time to file a motion requesting a dispositional departure which she did file, but she
      only filed it Friday morning.

      BK:      Okay. And can I ask what time that ah, sentencing hearing was scheduled for that
      morning?
      KH:      Well, we calendar everything at the start of the calendar so it's not necessarily the
      order in which they'd be called. Urn, eight thirty is when we start court and it was set at eight
      thirty along with a half a dozen other matters.

       BK:    Okay. So Mister Dempsey was expected to be there at eight thirty that morning?
     . KH:    Actually, I think the check in time begins at eight a.m.

      BK:     Eight a.m. Okay. Thank you. Had you urn been the judge on any previous ah,
      hearings or cases separate from the one he was convicted on here involving Mister Dempsey?
      KH:     I don't believe so.

      BK:     Okay. And uh, my understanding on Friday morning the second urn, you arrived here
      for work and you parked along urn near the Sheriffs Administration building. Is that correct?
      KH:     That's correct.

      BK:     Okay. And do you recall about, approximately what time you would have arrived?
      KH:     I arrived at about eight o'clock a.m.

      BK:     Okay.
      KH:     And the judges usually, there's four of us, we usually, whoever arrives first takes the

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                  first spot, and it's the first four spots there.

                 BK:              Okay.
                 KH:              And you can usually tell who got here first by whose parked in which spot.

                 BK:      Okay. Judge Hayes must have got here first huh?
                 KH:      Judge Hayes got here first on Friday. Urn, Varco is on vacation. Almost inevitably
                 it's Judge Varco over there.

                 BK:              So ah for his good timing Judge Hayes got a bullet hole in his car so.
                 KH:              A couple of them I think. Yeah.

                 BK:      Okay. Yeah. So, urn, so you arrived at eight o'clock and can you just describe what
                 happened then in the parking lot? What kind of interaction you had? Yeah, either with other
                 staffhere at the courthouse or urn, specifically Mister Dempsey.
                 KH:      All right. I pulled into the second parking spot next to ah Tom Hayes' car urn which
                 was in the first and I did see urn, Mister Dempsey on the sidewalk right at the curb at the
                 comer of the building urn, very close to Judge Hayes' car. Urn, he was pacing and smoking
                 and I got out of the car and urn, walked away and as I passed him he said good morning Your
                 Honor. Urn, it wasn't threatening.

                  BK:      Uh huh (yes).
                  KH:      Urn, sounded sort of flat affect like a depressed person which I'm ..(inaudible) he was
                  going to be sentenced and it was a presumptive eighty-six month prison commit. It wouldn't
                  surprise me that someone would be depressed. Urn, he didn't approach me in any way. We
                 just passed each other. I got closer to the building and noticed my court reporter Jane
                  Schleisner (unknown spelling) was standing there and she had crossed the parking lot because
                 most of the staff parks all the way

                 BK:      Uh huh (yes).
                 KH:      in the parking lot on the west side of the building. South side ofthe building. And she
                 said she had been watching him and he was acting kind of nervous and she was uncomfortable
                 about it so she waited for me so she could walk me in the building.

                 BK:     Oh. Okay.
                 KH:     And she mentioned urn you know that's Mister Dempsey and I said yeah I know. He's
                 on the calendar for sentencing and she said he's acting kind of strange so she waited and
                 walked me in.

                 BK:     Uh huh (yes).
                 KH:     And he didn't attempt to follow us. Urn, he stayed outside. I don't know for how long
                 because I came in the building and then we started the calendar at eight thirty.

                 BK:     Okay. So as you arrived did you see him standing there when you parked your car or
                 did you first notice him once you got out of your car?
                 KH:     No. I noticed him when I pulled in. Or I noticed someone. I didn't

                 BK:            Sure.
                 KH:            necessarily acknowledge that it was he until he said something to me.


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Inciden Report 09017377 - MN0710200                                                         Page 30 of34




       BK:     Okay. And as you walked by I assume you recognized him from past contact then or?
       KH:     No. I didn't really look that closelyat him and he kind of had his head down urn and
       he was smoking urn you know but I glanced when someone, a lot of people say good morning
       to you and they aren't even necessarily people that you know but they know from where you
       park what you do so

       BK:     Sure.
       KH:     I didn't pay him a whole lot of attention but he certainly wasn't threatening in any way.

      BK:    Okay. Do you recall what he was wearing to the best of your knowledge that
      morning?
      KH:     I didn't honestly pay any attention to it. Urn, I don't know. I couldn't say.

      BK:    Okay. Urn, so basically the only exchange you had was he said good morning your
      honor. You acknowledged that
      KH:    Ohyeah.

      BK:     and you continued on and met up with Jane?
      KH:     Right.

      BK:      Okay.
      KH:      And as far as I could tell he stayed out in pretty much the same spot pacing back and
      forth very close to the cars.

      BK:     Okay. And just so I'm clear. You didn't feel threatened in any way or?
      KH:     I did not.

      BK:     or anything like that? Okay.
      KH:     No.

      BK:     And
      KH:     At that point I presumed he was hoping I'd, he may have greeted me because he's
      hoping I don't send him to prison and I follow the motion his attorney was filing, filing in his
      favor but,

      BK:      Okay. And did you see him at all at any time during the day after this? See him
      personally? .
      KH:      Urn, not until I saw them working on him on the sidewalk.

      BK:     So
      KH:     I

      BK:      following the shooting?
      KH:      Right. I mean there were a lot of people in the courtroom and we handled all of the
      other matters first. I don't believe he ever came in the court room. I never noticed him
      actually in the court room waiting for his case to be called.

      BK:     Okay.
      KH:     And at some point in the morning before we finished the whole calendar his attorney
      asked to come back in chambers and the prosecutor was less desirous to do that. He didn't
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        Inciden Report 09017377 - MN071 0200                                                                         Page 31 of34



                       really want to but of course I can't talk with one attorney without the other.

                       BK:     Uh huh (yes).
                       KH:     And it's not uncommon at all especially if it's a commit to prison. The attorneys would
                       want to talk to you ahead of time and

                       BK:                 Certainly.
                       KH:                 you know find out what might happen.

                       BK:      Okay. Urn, so this was at this point when his defense attorney asked to come back into
                       your chambers were you aware that there was any kind of an issue at this point with him not
                       wanting to come into the, the courtroom?
                       KH:      No. Other than urn, his attorney said several times back here, he's very anxious. I
                       think that's the words she kept using. He's very anxious. And I said yes I know. I saw him
                       out here this morning when I arrived and he was pacing and smoking and he seemed anxious
                       then.

                      BK:     Okay.
                      KH:     Urn, and she ..you know obviously wanted to know what I was going to do whether she
                      shared that information or noL

                      BK:      Uh huh (yes).
                      KH:      Urn, I told her I received her motion. It wasn't timely. The prosecutor said he's not
                      going to object to the timeliness. Urn, and I told her that I didn't feel there was anything I
                      colild possibly do other than send him to prison. There was absolutely no legal basis for a
                      departure.

                      BK:              Okay. And just ah, for the record and clarification.   His ah defense attorney was
                      KH:              Joanne Anton.

                      BK:Tharlk   you. And the prosecutor in the case?
                      KH:    Sam Wertheimer.

                   BK:      Thank you. Urn so you, you and Sam and Joanne came back into your chambers and
                   met briefly to discuss the motion. Urn, and as you just said urn, you indicated to her it wasn't
                   timely and and you didn't feel that there was any urn anything else you can do at that time but
                  .send him to prison?
                   KH:      Yes. There was no urn legal basis that was raised in the motion that to my mind would
                   have justified a departure. A dispositional departure.

                      BK:      Certainly.
                      KH:      And urn, I don't know, I obviously don't know what she shared or didn't share with her
                      client after that. I know she was going to go talk with him. Urn, I did tell both of the attorneys
                      that they're going to need to make their arguments in court on the record. Whatever we have
                      as the discussion in chambers is not on the record and if she's making a motion on his behalf I
                      want it on record.

                      BK:     Okay. And that was going to be my next question is if you had any idea whether she
                      went and spoke with her client, Mr. Dempsey, urn, after that. At this point urn, urn, Ms. Anton
                      has decided not to to talk with anybody involving this so that's why I may ask some strange

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      Inciden Report 09017377 - MN071 0200                                                                   Page 32 of34



                   questions that normally I would ask you. Maybe you, you would have or she would have
                   insight on but it, its to the best of your knowledge you believe she went and spoke with her
                   client following the meeting in your chambers?
                   KH:      I believe so. I certainly would not be privy to what it is she told him.

                 BK:       Right.
                 KH:       Or said to him. Urn, it was clear to me that since she used the word anxious or, I don't
                 think she even said upset. I think the word she repeatedly used was anxious. Urn, and it was
                 clear when I said at ten thirty call the case because all the other cases were resolved. He
                 wasn't in the courtroom. The attorneys were. Urn, and she said he's, I don't know ifhe's in the
                 hallway or urn outside or it didn't sound to me like he wanted to come in the courtroom so I
                 said I'm going to issue a bench warral)t for his arrest and urn she said perhaps they could put
                 him on a 72-hour hold and I said that's certainly one of the powers that law enforcement has
                 and I'll leave that judgment to them.

                BK:          Sure.
                KH:          Or ifthey arrest him the nurses at the jail can certainly decide ifhe's a man in crisis
                and

               BK:     Uh huh (yes).
               KH:     send him fora whole night.          It wasn't for me to say at that point. At that point he just
               needed to be arrested.

              BK:     Right. Right. And was there any other interaction after that point when you said you
              know I'm going to issue the bench warrant and you have the discussion with Miss Anton about
              the seventy-two hour hold. Urn, is there any other thing, things that happened whether through
              conversation or your observations that would be relevant to this after that?
              KH:     Well, urn, I don't know if it's relevant or not. You can decide that but urn the, Scott
              Tillman was our in court deputy at that time.

             BK:      Uh huh (yes).
             KH:      He walked over, I noticed he walked over and locked the door so no one could come
             into the courtroom from the outside.

             BK:      Okay.
             KH:      Urn, and my court printed out the warrant right there. Urn, Body Only Bench Warrant
             which I signed immediately. Urn, Scott said they've got him under surveillance in the parking
             lot and he said urn, I heard him say on the radio that urn, there's a warrant and I left the bench,
             walked straight across the hall because I was in courtroom three, hung up my robe and then
             someone, I mean it was a matter of moments,

             BK:      Uh huh (yes).
             KH:      someone came running down the hall and said they just got, they shot urn, Dempsey in
             the parking lot.             .

             BK:     Okay. So, urn, it's your understanding that Deputy Tillman urn, your court was
             working on, on the warrant. He locked the door. You signed the warrant and it's your
             understanding that Deputy Tillman radioed other court security officers that there was a
             warrant for his arrest.
             KH:     You know I know he pressed his mic and he was on the radio.

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    Inciden Report 09017377 - MN0710200                                                                        Page 33 of34




                    BK:            Okay.
                    KH:            I guess I can't swear to what he said.

                    BK:    Okay.
                    KH:    Now this was all in the courtroom and my court report is very diligent. I know she
                    would have had Joanne Anton's comments on the record.

                    BK:      Sure.
                    KH:      She could transcribe it. Urn, if she hears it, it's in the record. So if she heard what
                    Scott Tillman said it would be in the record.

                    BK:     Right. Okay. And I haven't had an opportunity to look at the record. Urn, BCA ah
                    Special Agent Wold has ah, he does have a copy of it and ah.
                    KH:     Of the transcript?

                    BK:            Yes ma'am.
                    KH:            I didn't know she did a transcript already.

                BK:               Yeah. He told me he's got a copy already.
                KH:               Oh.

                BK:               So.
                KH:               She's good.

               BK:                Yeah. She is.
               KH:                (Chuckle).

              BK:      So urn, anything else that you think would be important for us to be aware of that you
              have knowledge of? Sounds like ah and I'll just kind of skim over it real quick. Uh, you came
              in that morning at approximately eight a.m. Ah, parked in one of your normal stalls over
              here. Saw this individual urn, standing near the Sheriffs Department. Uh, I suppose that
              would be the southwest portion of the ..the ah, administration building. Urn, you got out of
              your vehicle, walked by the individual, he greeted you, you acknowledged him, nope you
              didn't feel threatened, urn, you continued towards ah, the ah building where you met up with
              Jane who indicated that that was Mister Dempsey and she had seen him and wanted to make
              sure you got inside okay urn, which led into the, the courtroom conversation you had so.
               Anything else you think I should be aware of Your Honor?
              KH:      Well urn, I, in discussing it urn a few min ..minutes or moments after the event urn,
              Tom Hayes, Judge Hayes told me that Mister Dempsey was in that very same spot when urn
              he arrived.

              BK:                 Okay.
              KH:                 And I honestly did not ask him how much before I arrived that he arrived. I don't
              know.

              BK:     Okay.
              KH:     I do know he's on vacation now. He's in Oregon so he won't be easy to reach. Oh I
              don't know. Probably has a cell phone.


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      BK:     Right. Okay.
      KH:     But I don't know that, that tells us how long Mister Dempsey was out there.

      BK:     Yeah.
      KH:     But he seemed to be spending a great deal of time in that same spot.

      BK:     Right.
      KH:     And actually that's the spot where I first saw him is the spot where he was shot.

      BK:      Uh huh (yes).
      KH:      And it's one of the reasons I called down for Sgt. Boler, Adam Boler later because he
      has a bomb dog. I know Mister Dempsey. I've read his presentence investigation. I'm pretty
      familiar with him. Spent four years in the Marines. I don't know what he did there but ifhe
      was a munitions expert I guess I was very uncomfortable with the amount of time he spent
      right by those vehicles and I just asked if they could have them do a sweep of the car.

     BK:     Right.
     KH:     Urn, I didn't know ifhe may have planted something so in the event he got sent to
     prison he had

     BK:     Uh huh (yes).
     KH:     he then felt vindictive.

     BK:      Yeah. Exactly. Nope. That makes sense. All right. Urn, I think that's all the
     information I needed so I, what I'm going to do is, is shut the recorder off. Approximate time
     is fourteen forty-seven hours and same people are present in the interview.

     kvll 0-08-09
     C:mydocsOct.09Hancock      -Karla-602




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Description: Transcript of the law enforcement interview with Sherburne County District Court Judge Karla Hancock