The Testimony of David Lind, Part 1

This is the beginning of David Lind’s testimony at the preliminary trial for John Holmes in February, 1982. To be continued…

One thing is certain, Holmes had a damn good lawyer. He chimes in a few times.

More to come.

* * * * * * * * * * * *


Called as a witness by the People, was sworn and testified as follows:

BY MR. COEN (Prosecutor):
Q: Mr. Lind, do you know the defendant?
A: Yes, I do.

Q: Directing your attention to sometime prior to June 29, 1981: Were you at 8763 Wonderland in Los Angeles?
A: Yes, I was.

Q: By the way, was Barbara Richardson your girlfriend?
A: Yes.

Q: And sometime prior to June 29, 1981, did you have a conversation with the defendant regarding a proposed robbery?
A: Yes. Several.

Q: When was the first conversation?
A: Approximately one week prior to the incidents.

Q: One week prior to June 29?
A: That is correct.

Q: And who brought up the conversation?
A: Mr. Holmes.

Q: And what did the defendant Holmes say?

MR. HANSON: If the Court please, I’m not going to object at this point but I would ask the Court to allow me to reserve a motion to strike if it appears not to link up with any aspect of the case.
THE COURT: So reserved.

Q: What did the defendant Holmes say regarding a robbery on June 29?
A: Mr. Holmes was acquainted with a gentleman by the name of Edward Nash. At that time I didn’t know that is who it was, ad he suggested that Mr. Launius, Mr. Deverell, and myself should rob Mr. Nash as Mr. Nash was in possession of a considerable amount of narcotics, cash and jewelry.

Q: Now, at this time or shortly thereafter did the defendant tell you how he knew Mr. Edward Nash?
A: Yes. The defendant was a frequent visitor of Mr. Nash’s house. In our association that was drug-related.

Q: Why don’t you go ahead and describe what the association was and how it worked between you and the defendant and Nash?
A: Well, John used to purchase heroin from Mr. Nash for Mr. Launius and Mr. Deverell and, and there were times when there wasn’t any cash exchanged. There were articles, such as weapons, jewelry, for collateral.

Q: And how were these articles, the collateral, how would it work? How would it get to Nash?

A: Well, John would take them from the house at Wonderland Avenue and proceed to take it to Mr. Nash and then come back with the drugs.

Q: So Holmes, defendant Holmes, would go between the house on Wonderland Avenue and Nash’s house. Is that correct?
A: That is correct.

Q: What else, a week prior to June 29, did the defendant say regarding this robbery?
A: Well, the defendant was very adamant in that we do this robbery as he was familiar with Mr. Deverell and Mr. Launius’s past and in doing, as doing the same type of thing, robbing large drug connections, and Mr. Holmes was in debt to Mr. Launius and Mr. Deverell and also he was complaining that he did not have enough money to pay his film editors for his latest film. He was very persistent that we do this and that he volunteered to set up Mr. Nash for us.

Q: Was any plan proposed as to how the robbery was to go down?
A: Yes.

Q: Who proposed the plan?
A: Well, the plan was that John was to go in the house and leave an exit or entrance open for us to enter and commit the robbery and after that Mr. Holmes drew an entire diagram on a piece of paper about 24 inches square as to how the inside layout of the house was.

Q: Who was to participate in this robbery?
A: In the beginning it was Mr. Launius, Mr. Deverell, and myself.

Q: And subsequent to that did another party enter into this robbery plan?
A: Yes. Approximately one week prior to the robbery – which would be what? June 29, I believe?

Q: June 29? Yes.
A: Yeah. Mr. Launius, Mr. Deverell and myself took a look at it and I didn’t like it and they deferred to my opinion and then we went back to the house and then it was a couple of days after that that Barbara Richardson and myself left for a few days and we arrived back at the house on Wonderland Avenue, Sunday the 28th, I believe, and that is the date preceding the robbery.

Q: You arrived back on the date prior to the robbery?
A: Yes. In the afternoon, late, around noon.

Q: And was anyone else there?
A: Joy Miller was there at that time.

Q: What happened next?
A: She said that —

MR. HANSON: Your Honor, if the Court please, I’ll object at this point as to apparently going into hearsay.

THE COURT: Yes. The words are being offered for the truth of the matter asserted. The objection is well taken.

MR. COEN: I think it is, the People would propose, is being offered to show the effect on this witness and explain subsequent conduct.

THE COURT: Then the Court will not accept the words for the truth of the matter asserted but for the purpose offered. Once again, subject to your motion to strike.

MR. HANSON: Thank you, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Mr. Hanson. And you may continue your answer, Mr. Lind.

Q: What did Joy Miller say to you?
A: Joy Miller indicated to Barbara Richardson and myself that Mr. Deverell and Mr. Launius and Tracy McCourt were at that time somewhere near Mr. Nash’s house – what is it they say in the business? – casing the house for the robbery.

Q: Based upon this what did you do?
A: Based upon that, at that time, well, Ronnie – well, I was in residence at the house there. I was living there and about that time Ronnie called and asked me to stay there, that he was coming back.

Q: Did you stay there?
A: Yes. I did. And in the interim there were two or three more calls made. They were having some difficulty, I don’t know what it was, and then they returned to the house.

Q: Now, when did you next see the defendant Holmes?

A: Mr. Holmes arrived there sometime about midafternoon.

Q: And were any other plans made at this time regarding the robbery that was to take place the next day?
A: Yes. Mr. Launius provided Mr. Holmes with some money in order to purchase some narcotics from Mr. Nash and to enter the house and leave a door open for us to enter.

Q: What was to happen after that?
A: Well, Mr. Launius and Mr. Deverell and Mr. McCourt and myself were to then proceed to Mr. Nash’s house and enter through the entrance – whatever – that was left open – at that time we weren’t sure – and proceed to rob Mr. Nash.

Q: That day, the 28th, that Sunday, were any other plans made or was that it until the next day?
A: During the course of – very well – between the time approximately 3:00 o’clock Sunday afternoon and onto about 4:00 — 3:00 or 4:00 A.M. the next morning – Mr. Holmes had made two or three trips to Mr. Nash’s house in order to make sure that it was a sliding glass door, a rear guest bedroom was left open as an entrance way to the house, that would be to the right of the house
and the bedroom was located in the front but as from inside the house it would be a rear bedroom.
Q: Directing your attention to the early morning hours of June 29, Monday: Did defendant Holmes ever tell you that anything was or everything was taken care of or words to that effect?
A: Yes. Mr. Holmes returned to the residence on Wonderland Avenue approximately 3:00 to 4:00 A.M., as I stated before, and informed Mr. Deverell and Mr. Launius and myself that everything was fine and Mr. Nash was in bed, Mr. Diles was going to bed; that they were all there and he proceeded to tell us that we should do it as quick as possible as something might change in the

Q: What happened after that?
A: Well, partially because Mr. Launius and Mr. Deverell had a drug habit we had a hard time getting together. We did not get out of the house until 8:00 o’clock in the morning.

Q: So around 8:00 o’clock in the morning of June 29 did you go somewhere?
A: Yes. We proceeded to Mr. Nash’s residence.

Q: Now, when you say “we” you are referring to —
A: I am referring to Mr. Tracy McCourt, Mr. Billy Deverell, Mr. Ronald Launius, and myself.

Q: Where was the defendant Holmes, if you can recall?
A: Mr. Holmes stayed at the residence on Wonderland Avenue along with Joy Miller and Barbara

Q: So when you arrived at 3315 Dona Lola Place, the residence of Ed Nash, what is the next thing that occurred?
A: We instructed Mr. McCourt to park the vehicle in such a way as he could observe the street in front of Mr. Nash’s house. DonnaLola ended in a cul-de-sac and the street there, he backed in such a way and parked on the right hand side facing out so where he could see traffic coming in and where he could also have a good view of the house and then Mr. Deverell and Mr. Launius and
myself proceeded to the right front area of Mr. Nash’s residence and there was a chain link fence there and as it was not connected to the side of the house we just pushed it forward and it, it, it gave us access to the sliding glass doors which were left open by Mr. Holmes and entered the
guest bedroom. There was a doorway leading into the hallway there which leads into the sort of the middle of the house – I really can’t describe it other than the fact that it is, it has a recreation room leading off it, the kitchen, everything goes off that area of the house and Mr. Launius opened the door and was listening there for about a minute or so and then the three of us proceeded down the hallway, to that area.

Q: What happened next?
A: As I was the first one in that area I observed Mr. Diles coming out of the kitchen with a serving tray in his hands.

Q: By “Mr. Diles” you are referring to Gregory Diles, a black, approximately 300 pound person?
A: Yes. Very large.

Q: What happened next?
A: I had in my possession at the time a leather case containing a San Francisco police officer badge, No. 1820, along with false identification identifying me as a police officer and I shouted the words “Freeze! Freeze! Police! You are under arrest!” At that time Mr. Launius and Mr. Deverell also threw down on Mr. Nash. All three of us were armed.

Q: By that you mean you pointed handguns —
A: Yes. We had weapons – yes – and we displayed weapons.

Q: Now, Mr. Nash was with Greg Diles at this time?
A: Yes. Immediately upon entering that area Mr. Diles was directly in front of me and Mr. Nash was to our right.

Q: What happened after that?
A: As we identified ourselves as police officers we, all of us, had handcuffs, had handcuffs and proceeded to handcuff Mr. Diles and to lay him on his stomach and that is next to a wall between the, a pool table and a wall, which is just in front of the kitchen there and Mr. Launius and Mr. Deverell had Mister, Mr. Nash was on his knees, there was accidental gunshot discharge. While I was handcuffing Mr. Diles Ron Launius bumped my arm and the weapon went off and Mr. Nash immediately fell to his knees and asked Mr. Launius to say a prayer.

Q: After the gunshot went off was someone injured
because of that?
A: Yes. There were, Mr. Diles was the person that I was handcuffing and the weapon was in back of him and subsequently when the shot went off he suffered from powder burns which caused him to bleed very minutely over an area approximately six to eight inches in diameter from the flash, muzzle flash of the weapon.

Q: What happened after this?
A: Well, I proceeded to, to finish handcuffing Mr. Diles and laid him on the floor and put a throw rug over his head so he couldn’t observe what we were doing. As I stated before, at that time Mr. Nash was on his knees with his hands behind his head and Mr. Launius and Mr. Deverell proceeded to take Mr. Nash into his bedroom and I followed shortly thereafter.

Q: What happened at this time?
A: Mr. Nash was asked to lay face down on the carpet of his living room – pardon me – of his bedroom and Mr. Launius proceeded to a wardrobe closet where there was a floor safe, as we had been informed by Mr. Holmes that there was a safe in Mr. Nash’s closet and asked Mr. Nash where the, for the key and/or combination – I don’t really recall which – at that time Mr. Nash told
Mr. Launius that, he gave him the correct answer, I guess you would say, and Mr. Launius proceeded to open the safe and withdraw a, what would be called a half pound storage zip-lock bag, polyethylene, which was approximately three quarters full of what looked to me at
that time to be cocaine.

Q: Did you — you’ve seen cocaine before?
A: Yes, I have.

Q: Did you subsequently determine that this stuff was actually cocaine?
A: Yes, it was.

More to come…. stay tuned!