1

 

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA

MIAMI DIVISION

CASE NO. 99-491-CR-KING

 

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Plaintiff,

vs. MIAMI, FLORIDA

November 15, 1999

SABRETECH, INC.

DANIEL GONZALEZ, MONDAY - 8:00 A.M.

EUGENE FLORENCE,

 

Defendants.

 

JURY TRIAL PROCEEDINGS

BEFORE THE HONORABLE JAMES LAWRENCE KING,

SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

DAY 1

APPEARANCES:

FOR THE GOVERNMENT:

CAROLINE HECK MILLER, A.U.S.A.

GEOFFREY BRIGHAM, A.U.S.A.

J.L.K. FEDERAL JUSTICE BUILDING

99 N.E. 4th Street

MIAMI, FL 33132 - 305/961-9432

SPECIAL AGENT JOHN LONG

OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

SPECIAL AGENT MIKE CLARK

OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

SPECIAL AGENT JACQUELINE FRUGE

FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

2

FOR DEFENDANT SABRETECH:

JANE RASKIN, ESQ.

MARTIN RASKIN, ESQ.

RASKIN & RASKIN, P.A.

2937 S.W. 27th Avenue, Suite 206

Miami, FL 33133 - 305/444-3400

 

FOR DEFENDANT FLORENCE:

JANE MOSCOWITZ, ESQ.

MOSCOWITZ STARKMAN & MAGOLNICK

100 S.E. 2nd Street, Suite 3700

Miami, FL 33131 - 305/379-8300

FOR DEFENDANT GONZALEZ:

ROBERT DUNLAP, ESQ.

MARCIA SILVERS, ESQ.

DUNLAP & SILVERS, P.A.

2601 S. Bayshore Drive, Suite 601

Miami, FL 33133 - 305/854-9666

FOR DEFENDANT SABRETECH:

NORMAN MOSCOWITZ, ESQ.

SULLIVAN RIVERO & MOSCOWITZ, P.A.

Miami Center, Suite 2550

201 South Biscayne Blvd.

Miami, FL 33131 - 305/371-7781

 

REPORTED BY:

ROBIN MARIE CARBONELLO

Official Federal Court Reporter

J.L.K. Federal Justice Building

Suite 1127

99 Northeast 4th Street

Miami, FL 33132 - 305/ 523-5108

TOTAL ACCESSTM COURTROOM REALTIME TRANSCRIPTION

3

 

INDEX TO WITNESSES

Witnesses: Direct Cross Redirect Recross

 

INDEX TO EXHIBITS

Exhibits Marked for Received

Identification in Evidence

Description Page Line Page Line

Defense Exhibits E

N PB,D LC,E B

CITATION TABLE

Citation Page Line

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

4

MORNING SESSION

COURTROOM DEPUTY: All rise. Court is in session.

The Honorable Judge James Lawrence King presiding.

THE COURT: Thank you. Announce your appearances

please.

MS. MILLER: Caroline Heck Miller and Geoffrey

Brigham. With us is Jackie Breshay with the FBI and

Special Agent Jack Long with the Department of

Transportation Office of Inspector General.

THE COURT: Thank you.

MR. RASKIN: Martin Raskin on behalf of

SabreTech. With me is Jayne Moskowitz, Norman Moskowitz

and our representative, Jonathan Kaylow (phonetic).

MR. DUNLAP: Good morning. Robert Dunlap on

behalf of Danny Gonzalez who is present. I'm also

accompanied by my partner, Marcia Silvers.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: Jayne Moskowitz on behalf of

Eugene Florence. Mr. Florence is present.

THE COURT: Last Friday evening there were

several motions filed in this case, and then again there

were more this morning brought to my office. Most of it

has to do with two exhibits having to deal with pre-trial

publicity in the case, marked Exhibit A and B for the

defense. The motions we will take up this morning prior to

jury selection.

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

5

 

One I believe that was filed first was

Mr. Dunlap's motion for individual examination of the

jurors. Mr. Dunlap?

MR. DUNLAP: May it please the Court. Your

Honor, that is a joint motion. I will request permission

to have Mr. Moskowitz argue that to the Court.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Good morning, Your Honor. Your

Honor, on Friday with the motion we filed two exhibits as

well, Exhibits A and B which were compendium of all the

publicity relating to this case. This morning we would

also like to file with the Court Exhibit C, which is

cassettes of all the television publicity in this case.

May I hand it to the Court?

THE COURT: Yes. You referred to that in your

motion you filed last Friday afternoon.

MR. RASKIN: As well, we have an Exhibit E, which

is an article which appeared on Saturday in the business

section of the Herald relating to this case that we would

also like to place in evidence.

THE COURT: Exhibit E is admitted into evidence.

[Defense Exhibits E received in evidence].

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, also this morning at

7:00 I pulled off the Internet there was an article in the

Sun-Sentinel headline; "SabreTech argues prosecutors are

trying to criminalize human error" --

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

6

THE COURT: Why don't you just mark them all, any

pre-trial exhibits that you have, and we'll mark them in.

Let's move into the argument. The argument

suggests that it is necessary to interview the jurors one

by one about pre-trial publicity. Wouldn't it be far

better just to take any that have been indicated in the

jury questionnaires that we submitted, the questionnaire

that you all agreed to with all of these questions. There

were some 15 or 14 pages of questions? At page 11 there

were 1, 2, 3, 4 questions that dealt specifically with the

ValuJet flight 592 crash in the Everglades in 1996. Would

not a simple practical approach to this to segregate any

juror who had answered the question, yes. They knew about

it regardless of the extent of their knowledge, and take

first the jurors that had indicated that they had not heard

of the crash and attempt to select the jury from those and

then take the others later? Wouldn't that be simpler?

I've done in a half a dozen other cases, and it's been

approved by the 11th Circuit. If anybody indicates they

have knowledge of the events of the case, to avoid all of

that of how much do you know and how finite your knowledge

is and where did you get it, then we simply pick the jurors

from the people that have not heard of the crash.

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, out of 124 juror

questionnaires, there are only ten left. That was at the

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

7

time that they filled out the questionnaires. I would

suspect that having filled out the questionnaires

heightened the jurors' attention to what they are involved

in.

THE COURT: It may very well have been. Getting

to the process first of those, at least up until the time

they filled out the questionnaire, have never heard of the

matter, couldn't we attempt to select those jurors first?

MR. RASKIN: Well, Your Honor, we are down to ten

jurors.

THE COURT: No, we have 300 something jurors that

have been summonsed. I've asked the jury section to give

us that information this morning.

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, the problem with that

here is given the pervasiveness of the publicity involving

this case, I would expect that any ordinary person would

have heard something about this. It seems to me, if we're

down to people who, in good faith, have no idea about this

case, then that pool is not the type of representative pool

of this case --

THE COURT: That is what you face, Mr. Moskowitz.

Those are the options that you have. If you wish to

exclude anybody that has heard anything about it you end up

with, perhaps, a group of people that would not be as broad

a group or as diversified a group as you would otherwise

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

8

have had.

However, your exact words could have been used in

the selection of the Mayor Dowd case, the mayor of Miami,

Beach, the Mayor Wardlow in Key West; Mayor Lansky.

Certainly everybody of your father's generation would have

known who Mayor Lansky was. One juror said he knew Mayor

Lansky, and we asked him who he was and he said he was

mayor of Miami Beach. Even Mr. Lansky smiled at that one,

and he didn't smile much during the trial. He is a

stern-faced person. But even he smiled at that one.

All I'm saying is, in all of these cases,

certainly the two cases we picked a few months ago, U.S. v.

Moya, dealing with the juror that was bribed in the case of

Falcon and Magluta, the most pervasive publicity this town

has ever seen on a criminal case, those we were able to

pick.

Taking last, it may be that we have to get into

these people, and if we do, sitting here with your

suggestion, it will take some time, but when we have had to

do it that way we have done it three at a time so we don't

affect any of the jurors. Why not take it out of the group

that has never heard it before?

MR. RASKIN: Our position is not that jurors

should be disqualified because they have heard something

about that. Given the extent of the publicity, I would

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

9

expect virtually everybody would have heard something about

it.

THE COURT: Do you think it's more extensive than

the Falcon and Magluta, or the Black Tuna trial where the

Attorney General of the United States at the time stood up

on national T.V. and held up a big indictment himself and

everybody in the world heard about it? Those cases we were

able to select the jury using the same procedure.

If the defense prefers not to have them in the

pool then lets just take them last. Now, the government

may have an objection, but I'm posing this as a practical

solution; we have done in a half dozen other cases.

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, we did not intend on

starting out by taking the entire venire individually. My

understanding is, the way the Court generally proceeds is

you seat 12, 13, and we would see, in an ordinary case,

whether they were acceptable, and then if they were

stricken we would fill their seats, I would suggest that we

proceed the same way and only doing the voir dire on those

first 12 or 13, and then proceed on filling the seats.

THE COURT: Getting into publicity or not into

publicity?

MR. RASKIN: Getting into it individually.

THE COURT: You pick 12, and after that you ask

12 if any have heard anything, and if all 12 have, you

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

10

start over again? That's it?

MR. RASKIN: No, Your Honor, we pick the 12 and

then we individually voir dire.

THE COURT: And let's assume that every one of

the 12 are part of the 114 that you just mentioned.

MR. RASKIN: Our view would be the Court

determine the nature of the exposed publicity and whether

they are fair in deliberating and hearing evidence in this

case.

It's not our view that merely having heard it is

disqualifying. We have heard the questionnaires, and the

government has also. We are concerned about the type of

exposure and whether jurors would have formed views that

would prevent them from deliberating fairly. It may be

that the well-informed jurors have heard about it and can

keep an open mind, but then there are people who have

formed a decision. Those are the people we are concerned

about.

THE COURT: We asked that question on the

questionnaire; what you've heard, and if you've formed an

opinion. If anybody has, I don't think you want me to put

them in the box and ask them questions, would you?

MR. RASKIN: Of course not.

THE COURT: That would be pointless. Even if

they say; "well, I put that down but now I've changed my

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

11

mind and now I can be fair"; there wouldn't be anybody in

the courtroom that would leave them on. I would excuse

them for cause.

MR. RASKIN: I think people who have indicated in

the questionnaire that they thought they could be fair

based on some questioning, I think it might turn out that

we all disagree with that.

THE COURT: We don't have to get into all of that

because they haven't heard about the crash, then aren't we

better off?

I think that the way I did it in January of this

year, the U.S. v. Moya, the bribery case in the trial of

Falcon/Magluta case -- the school children knew who

Falcon/Magluta are, regrettably, but they do. -- We picked

two Moya juries from two different groups, two months,

three months a part. We picked one in the middle of the

afternoon and one in the morning.

The questionnaires give you a plethora of

information about the jurors that you don't have in a

normal criminal case, that it's not available to the

government or the defense. It's all there and it's all

written out. If it says, "I formed an opinion," I think we

ought to leave them last. If we have to use them, we have

to get into it.

Ms. Miller?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

12

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, we do want to be heard

from. I must say, and I hope not for the last time in this

trial, this is a point where we really are in agreement

with the defense. Because the level of awareness is so

high among the jury pool, we think to focus at first on the

people who have not heard of the case, will and can result

in a jury pool that is not representative of the community.

In the cases like Dowd and Moya, there may be

intense publicity but it's publicity of a sort that is

followed by people who are interested in politics, and you

will often find large parts of the community that haven't

heard about that.

THE COURT: How about Black Tuna? The City of

Key West, however many residents there are, and the mayor

of the city, and you say, "well, those are only the ones

that follow the news," inundating publicity that just

flooded the area for weeks and weeks. And by taking those

that answered the questionnaire by saying, "we haven't

heard of that, and them the taking the others last," what

is the harm with that?

MS. MILLER: Here, Your Honor, you would be

taking smaller than ten percent of the jury pool and

excluding or at least putting last more than ninety percent

of the jury pool. That is we think --

THE COURT: What do the numbers have to do with

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

13

it, Ms. Miller? If you get 20 percent of 800 jurors and

you get 395 that answered the questionnaires, and you

exclude those that can't serve for the 6 to 8 weeks, now

that's an exclusionary process.

MS. MILLER: But that is a random exclusionary

process.

THE COURT: So is this.

MS. MILLER: No, Your Honor, I would suggest that

it is not random. Focusing only on people who haven't

heard about it, you are necessarily picking people who are

only extraordinarily -- I'm not suggesting there is

anything denigrating about it, but extraordinarily

different than the rest of the community --

THE COURT: Not anymore so than the people that

lived here in the Black Tuna case or the Moya case, and

everybody in this community knew about the Falcon/Magluta

case. So people that don't read that are in the same

group. I don't see where numbers have anything to do with

it.

MS. MILLER: It's proportions, Your Honor, not

numbers. When you are focusing on such a small proportion

of the jurors as such a presumptive group, you risk skewing

the jury pool. It's not the absolute numbers. It's the

fact that one is focusing on such a small slice of the jury

pool based on something that is not a random factor, like

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

14

everybody happened to have vacation plans for that time

period, but a factor that goes to the outlook and the

mental make up of jurors.

THE COURT: I would suggest to you that the logic

you are suggesting to the Court to accept would apply

equally to those who simply don't want to serve for six

weeks. If we all said okay, let's let them go, fine. How

about that though? Are you only getting those who want to

serve for six weeks?

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, I would never say that

we should automatically skip over people who don't want to

serve. You would be shaping the jury pool out of people

who are not representative of the community. It's a factor

that is not a random factor. It's a factor that has to do

with something about the make-up and outlook of the jury.

Those are the factors that we should not tailor the juror

pool for.

THE COURT: The process that you are all

suggesting, you're talking about 300 jurors, and you're

talking about getting into publicity. There's no sense in

not getting into publicity first. All of them, as it turns

out, has heard about the publicity aspect, so they're gone

or probably gone.

Certainly we can agree that if somebody has made

up their mind, they should be excused for cause?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

15

MR. RASKIN: Yes.

MS. MILLER: Certainly a juror that has a fixed

opinion should be excused for cause. We may disagree as to

which opinions are fixed and which aren't.

THE COURT: Well, it could take weeks and months

to pick a jury. Well, if they formed an opinion about the

guilt or innocence of this defendant, it seems to me that

that person should be excused for cause. Whatever their

opinion is, whether it's pro government or pro defense, it

wouldn't make any difference. Mr. Moskowitz says he agrees

with that.

MS. MILLER: Well, Your Honor, that would

streamline the process and enable us to go to the position

that we are proposing, to take the jurors in random order

and put them in the box, excluding the ones that have

formed opinions and go on from there.

THE COURT: How many of the 114 have formed

opinions that you mentioned?

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, I don't know the answer

to that. If you would give me a second. The estimate is

around 70, 75 percent has said that they have formed

opinions.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, we disagree as to that

proportion. We think it's much higher.

THE COURT: If you're going to go into this issue

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

16

at all, certainly you're going to look at the answer to

question 15. If you haven't even bothered to figure how

many of those 114 had cast a doubt on your analysis, that's

open and shut. "Have you formed an opinion as to the

innocence or guilt of the defendant." Question 15, page

11. Yes or no. If they say "yes," you say approximately

75 people out of the 124, you said 75 percent, so I guess

it would be 100 people and they said yes, they've got an

opinion and we're going to include those for cause, all

right, fine. Then we are getting down to the number that I

wanted to start working with originally which isn't that

many. If you exclude 75 percent that's about 75 jurors

that have not formed an opinion. That's the group we want

to work with. Is that it?

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, when you have got a case

where you have a very large percentage of the pool

admitting that they've formed an opinion based on the

pre-trial publicity, I think that requires the Court to

take a serious look at the rest that say they know about it

but based on the questionnaire --

THE COURT: That's one of the few motions that no

one has made. That's one of the few motions that neither

the government nor the defense has made to this Court.

Nobody has said let's change venue, unless you filed it in

the last five minutes.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

17

MR. RASKIN: We did not, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Right. If you suggest, as you're now

doing, that approximately 75 percent are disqualified

because they have already formed an opinion, you're saying

that they should raise it to the next level, when do we get

to the next level? After we have wasted three weeks of the

depth of their finiteness of their knowledge?

MR. RASKIN: The problem with this publicity, we

don't think that the change of venue is the answer is

because the publicity on this case has been nationwide.

This has been one of the most significant airline crashes.

In the summer, when the indictment came down and the

arrests were made, it was nationwide.

Having received the questionnaires as recently as

this Friday, we want to go ahead and see if we can pick a

fair jury in this venue. I think the only way we can get

to that determination is by doing the type of questions

where you've got admission and clear indication that the

venire knows about this matter. I think it requires

probing by the Court.

THE COURT: What would probing by the Court do

that you already haven't done in your agreed upon questions

of 47 through 51?

By the way, you had the opportunity of asking any

question you wanted to. I don't believe I took out any of

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

18

your questions on your joint proposed jury questionnaire.

I may have. If I did, forgive me. Because I sent out

another questionnaire in a Palm Beach case at the same time

I was doing this. So most of these I went ahead and let

you do what you wanted to do. If there is something more

that you didn't ask, why didn't you ask it in this

questionnaire?

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor did cut about 40 of the

questions.

THE COURT: Did I? I apologize. I got the two

cases confused.

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor did leave in questions

concerning pre-trial publicity. The responses that are 3

lines are very suggestive of a great deal of knowledge and

also of the possibility of having formed a bias or opinion.

We are also concerned about the ones that said, "have you

heard about it," and they say "yes," and they don't go on

to answer further what they know.

THE COURT: Why deal with that person at all if

they're not intelligent enough to finish those 2 lines?

Why not just move on to those who don't have that problem?

That's my suggestion. Why waste time for these people who

didn't fill out the questions adequately enough? "If you

heard about the crash," 47, "if so, what do you know about

the crash and its causes?" They say whatever they say. I

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

19

haven't read the questionnaires, but certainly it seems to

me that you would have a basis for cause or not for cause.

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, there is an additional

factor in this case. Beside the pervasive publicity about

the case itself, there is the fact that one of the

defendants is a fugitive, Mr. Valenzuela. And a number of

the jurors indicated that their favorite programs was

America's Most Wanted. The people have heard something

about one of the defendants being a fugitive.

I had a case ten years ago, the exact same thing,

where Mr. Hogan was defense counsel. I was prosecutor.

Those factors, we both agree, that individual voir dire on

publicity was appropriate, and the Court engaged in that

type of proceeding, and the massive publicity and the fact

that the fugitive indicating in the minds of some of the

jurors is almost an acknowledgment of admission of guilt in

the case. It's very powerful.

THE COURT: The fugitive is not on trial here.

MR. RASKIN: I know. I know. If jurors know

that one of the defendants is a fugitive, that suggests

something again.

THE COURT: Did we ask them that in the

questionnaire?

MR. RASKIN: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Why didn't you? You see, why do you

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

20

want to get into this exhaustive oral examination when it

is so simple, and maybe now we need to give a bunch of

jurors another questionnaire with four or five questions on

it? That would eliminate the possibility of somebody

blurting out something that would affect the whole panel

sitting here, and that would eliminate the necessity of

going one by one.

Maybe the best way to approach this is to take a

look at your challenges for cause and do that right now and

eliminate 70, 75 percent of the people. That may narrow it

down a great deal. Would that be a practical approach to

this?

Ms. Miller?

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, question 50 of the

questionnaire which says; "the defendants in this case are

on trial for matters which relate in some way to the

ValuJet crash. As a result of what you have seen, read,

heard or discussed about this case have you formed an

opinion as to the innocence or guilt of the defendant?"

That is a simple yes or no. The best way to reduce the

jury pool and yet not so skew the jury pool is to eliminate

all the jurors that answered yes to that question 50, and

then proceed with the rest of them.

THE COURT: I would think so.

MR. RASKIN: We agree with that, Your Honor.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

21

Once we eliminate those, we still think that, given the

pervasive nature of the publicity in this case, as to the

rest that said no, this type of further inquiries is really

still appropriate.

THE COURT: It may be, but every jury starts with

a first step. We have spent 30 minutes on this issue up to

this point. Why don't you just give me a list of the

people that you suggest should be excused for cause because

they have answered yes to question 50. Once we have that

and Ms. Kramerman can take that list down to the jury pool

and they can read off those names and send them home, we

can then move on to the next step. Hopefully somebody has

a list of those.

MR. RASKIN: We are getting that right now, Your

Honor.

THE COURT: While they are working on that, let's

move on to the next motion.

Here is a motion to dismiss the indictment on

Mr. Dunlap's stationary. Mr. Dunlap?

MR. DUNLAP: I believe my wife is going to argue

that, Your Honor.

MS. SILVERS: Ms. Raskin is, Your Honor.

MS. RASKIN: Good morning, Your Honor. I believe

the Court is referring to not our motion to dismiss the

indictment but instead the government's motion to

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

22

reconsider an order that was reentered by Judge Brown on

October 7, which we moved to compel compliance with the

government, indicated in a written letter that it did not

intend to follow the instructions given by the judge in

that order. We went back --

THE COURT: I know all of that. The title to

Mr. Dunlap, and he signed it, is "Defendants' Joint Motion

To Dismiss the Indictment." It was filed at 5:17 p.m. on

November 10. It says, alternatively, you want the

government to do something else. So you are not seeking

dismissal of the indictment, is that it?

MS. RASKIN: Your Honor, this motion was ruled

upon by Judge Brown. We are satisfied with his ruling.

What we are not satisfied with is the government's response

to his ruling which was immediately to seek a stay which

Judge Seitz denied, and then they're coming back and asking

for the motion to be reopened. If the motion is to be

reopened we would proceed with all of the relief we were

seeking.

Our position is this is not ripe for decision.

This is something decided by Judge Brown. It was not

appealed by the government. They did not appeal his

November 7 order. They did not seek to clarify. The day

the discovery obligation was due to be filed in response to

Judge Brown's order, and that was last Friday, not this

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

23

past one, but they wrote us a letter saying they did not

interpret the judge's order to mean what it said, and they

were not going to provide the discovery order, we then

moved to compel that order.

THE COURT: That was the order that said the

government should anticipate the defense that was going to

be raised and supply to you by definite delineation or

exactitude the documents that they intended to offer in

their rebuttal case. Is that what you're talking about?

MS. RASKIN: You have got the right order. That

is the way the government characterized it.

THE COURT: How do you characterize it?

MS. RASKIN: I characterize it as follows: the

defendants' motion was a motion for discovery of its own

statements pursuant to Rule 16. We said, you have given us

200 boxes of documents and you have not told us which of

the documents in those 200 boxes you contend are our

defendant statements to which we are entitled under Rule

16. The government acknowledged that it's not made

apparent what those statements are. But they said too much

work; too much of a bother. We've indicted a corporation

and we don't think we should be required to give you all of

that. They further said that there are going to be a lot

of statements in there that don't have anything to do with

this case.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

24

For example, the defendant might have filled out

a form that said they would like to participate in

SabreTech's blood drive and we shouldn't have to give you

this. Rule 16's clear unmistakable requirement that all

defendants' statements be provided and the governments'

concern that they would be overly burdened by complying

with that rule, Judge Brown entered his order. He said

government, you don't have to give them all the statements.

I hear what you're saying, if they don't have anything to

do with this case. But ten days prior to trial, you have

to identify all the statements that you intend to use in

your case. That order wasn't entirely what we are looking

for.

THE COURT: No, but your interpretation of that

is what I want. You were telling me your interpretation of

that order. Your interpretation of that order would be the

government was required ten days before trial to delineate

in these 200 boxes of documents the statements of your

client that they intended to use both on direct case in

chief and in rebuttal. Is that your position?

MS. RASKIN: Correct. I would quote from the

Court's order --

THE COURT: I understand. I'm not quarreling

with your interpretation of it, and it's entirely probable

that you're correct in what he said. What would the

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

25

 

government do to give you what they were going to use in

their rebuttal case? They say they have given you and

delineated the ones from their direct case. If they have

not, you need to tell me that. They say they have given

you all the statements. What they haven't done is

delineate which specific ones they're going to use in

rebuttal. They say they can't because they don't know if

there is going to be a rebuttal in this case.

The point is they say they can't anticipate. How

could -- using the interpretation you placed on Judge

Brown's words, how could they give you those statements in

rebuttal? What should they have done?

MS. RASKIN: Your Honor, I would suggest to the

Court that they would do it the same way the government

does in every single case in which it's required to

identify all of the defendants' statements in Rule 16.

Further, I would suggest that the judge's order

is not instructing them to tell us necessarily each one

that they absolutely will use. It's a rule of exclusion.

He's saying the defendants are entitled to know what the

universe of the defendants' statement that are out there

that you might use any time during the trial. He made a

very good point that we agree with wholeheartedly that

these defendants are getting ready to stand up and give

their opening statements. They are entitled to know what

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

26

 

statements of their's they think are out there.

So we are not asking them to commit to introduce

a particular statement in their rebuttal case or as

impeachment. We are simply saying and what Judge Brown

said is we need to tell them what the list of available

statements are so they can intelligently prepare their case

and make such critical decisions as to whether their client

is going to take the stand.

THE COURT: Maybe it boils down to the

interpretation under Rule 16 of what a statement is. That

may be the problem. You say in your submission that they

ought to be required to do what they do in every Rule 16.

If the defendant has made a statement to the investigating

officers by way of a confession after a Miranda, you're

dealing with one or two statements. Here, I'm not sure

because I can't tell from the pleadings what the scope of

this is, but I guess, and this is a guess on my part, that

when you refer to 200 boxes, there must be a lot of

documents that were signed by the corporate defendant. Or

are we talking about individual defendants?

MS. RASKIN: We are talking about all. I'll give

you a perfect example. Your Honor knows that this case

contains a conspiracy charge involving false statements and

substantive false statement charges. That's at the heart

of the government's case. The false statements are based

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

27

 

on mechanics' signatures on maintenance work cards. That's

what the government says are the false statements in this

case and that's going to be their evidence. Those 200

boxes of documents contains tens of thousands of pages of

work cards just like that with scribbles that you can't

understand and signatures that you can barely read. We

don't know which, if any of those, work cards the

government is willing to contend constitute statements made

by the individual defendants and used them against them and

used them against the corporation who is vicariously liable

for the statements of the employees, and in fact, the

confusion about this issue was highlighted very clearly a

couple of weeks ago where the government wrote us a letter

initially telling us they have identified an unindicted

conspirator and then says; "oops, we are changing our mind.

We were mistaken about a work card we thought he had signed

and now we find out it's somebody else." It's not easy.

We relied on the fact that they were going to go

identify those documents in compliance with the Court's

order. We didn't spend a month fly specking them because

we assumed in good faith that the government would do what

the Court had ordered them to do. They didn't seek

clarification. The order was clear and we relied on it.

If the government is permitted piecemeal to come in during

the trial and introduce defendants' statements that they

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

28

 

have not identified, we are going to be horribly

prejudiced, and our right to a fair trial is going to be

compromised.

THE COURT: All right. Mr. Brigham?

MR. BRIGHAM: Thank you, Your Honor. Under Rule

16, the United States is required to disclose all defendant

statements. That has been done here. The defense counsel

has had full access to these documents and they have sent

their attorneys to review these documents. In fact, many

of these documents were supplied by SabreTech itself in

response to a grand jury subpoena or were documents that

were seized pursuant to a search warrant. In cooperation

with SabreTech, the United States made copies of those

documents shortly after the search. So, in effect, for a

large portion of these documents SabreTech has had them not

only for months but for years. At the time of the

disclosure of these documents, the government's response to

the standing discovery order, we supplied detailed indexes

to these documents with descriptions and Bate numbers that

could serve as an aid in reviewing these documents.

In addition, many of these documents are

self-evident. They have SabreTech letterhead on it.

Employees, when they sign-off on maintenance records, have

unique employee records which appear on the aviation

maintenance documents. Effectively, what counsel is

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

29

 

suggesting is that we go and list everything that is in that

room. But the bottom line is how useful is that? What we

have is what we had at the beginning, an index of all the

documents that were provided to the defense at the time the

United States responded to the standing discovery order.

In this particular case the defendants are asking

for a Bill of Particulars. We understood the scope of Judge

Brown's order to be different from how he ruled last Friday.

At no time in written pleadings or during the oral argument

was it specifically said that the production had to include

any statements we might use as impeachment for any defense

witnesses that we would be required to anticipate. At no

time was it specifically said that the scope of that order

included any statements that we might have to use a

rebuttal.

As we pointed out, in a complex aviation case of

this type where the defenses are numerous, where we don't

know who the defense witnesses are, they have not provided

us a defense witness list or a comprehensive exhibit list,

they have not provided us significant Jencks in this case.

Yet we are required to anticipate the defenses witness for

the purposes of impeachment and the defense themselves for

purposes of rebuttal, and we believe that that is not a

reasonable interpretation of the scope of the order as it

should objectively stand in this case. We have provided the

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

30

 

statements of the defendants with respect to the

government's case in chief, and we believe that that more

than complies with the federal rule of procedure 16.

THE COURT: Anything further, Ms. Raskin?

MS. RASKIN: Your Honor, I just want to state

again that what Mr. Brigham is doing, he's rearguing the

motion that was heard by Judge Brown on October 7. The

order was entered. We relied on it. It was clear. It was

not limited. It was consistent with Rule 16. In fact,

reduced the work that the government had to do under Rule

16. It did not expand it. They elected to indict a

corporation. They can't now back away from it and say, "we

are going to treat you like a corporation in court. We are

going hold you vicariously liable for your employees'

statements." In terms of discovery, that's too much work.

Secondly, you heard Mr. Brigham say things --

THE COURT: You do have all of these documents.

It's a question of knowing which ones they're going to use.

Am I correct? At least, as far as you know, they've given

you 200 boxes of material, and in those 200 boxes it is

suggested that there is material that they may use, and the

thrust of it is to find out precisely which of those

documents are going to be used.

MS. RASKIN: Your Honor, the thrust of our motion

is to find out what they say are our statements. That

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

31

 

issue is not clear, what documents they even identify as a

statement that they believe they can use against them.

In response to the government's request that they not have

to identify all of those statements, he restricted the

scope of them and said you don't have to identify all of

them, so at this point --

THE COURT: All right, all right. You have been

very thorough. It is the ruling of the Court as follows:

These matters, when a document is presented during the

trial of the case that has not been furnished to counsel

and that they feel that they are prejudiced by having

handed it to them at that particular time or during the

course of the trial, then they may object and we will

excuse the jury and we will go into it, and follow the

teachings of the 11th Circuit and sanctions if it was not

given properly under the orders of the Court during the

pre-trial discovery portion of the case, namely we have to

make a determination what is the least horrendous sanction

up to but including dismissal of the charges. We'll take

that on a case by case basis.

So if the government produces something that they

haven't produced before and the defense needs one week or

two weeks or three weeks to investigate it, we'll take that

up at that point in time, whatever the 11th Circuit

teaches. You said that these motions have been ruled on

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

32

 

and they are coming fast and furious to me at this moment.

That is the ruling. The government will give to the

defense those items that they intend to use the day before

or evening before, the usual thing that they do in these

trials. When it gets to the rebuttal case, it may be that

we need to take a few days for the government to give to

the defense anything in rebuttal and for the defense to

re-evaluate it, whatever research they need to do, and if

they can't do it in a time we have available, then move to

dismiss the indictment, and we'll take it up at that time.

Do I have your list of those who have answered the

jurors who have an opinion?

MR. RASKIN: We are almost there, Your Honor.

MS. SILVERS: Marcia Silvers for Mr. Gonzalez. I

don't know if the Court wants to take this time to take up

a motion for a severance that we filed.

THE COURT: I just assume getting the challenges

out of the way so that we can excuse these people.

MS. MILLER: We are ready with A through P.

Shall we proceed?

THE COURT: Yes. I imagine that would be the

same list. So one of you can start.

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, should we read them out?

THE COURT: You don't need to read them out. You

can both give them to Ms. Kramerman.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

33

 

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, we have 27 jurors as to

whom we are in agreement they should be stricken for cause.

Would you like me to give them to Ms. Kramerman?

THE COURT: Why don't you hand the list to

Ms. Kramerman and it will be appended as a court exhibit so

the record will have the names and she'll instruct the jury

section of those persons. They will be challenges for

cause.

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, there are another 10 so

far, and we are in disagreement as to whether they should

be on that list.

THE COURT: Let's deal with the ones that you are

in agreement.

MS. MILLER: It's a list of 27. Unfortunately,

it's a handwritten list and it's not very legible.

THE COURT: Well, hand it to Ms. Kramerman and

she'll see if she can read them.

THE COURT: Let the record reflect that we are

sending down to the jury section the list of 27 agreed upon

names that will be stricken for cause. The jury section

will be notifying these 27 people that they are excused to

serve on any juries or whatever the jury section deems

appropriate, but they will not be brought up to jury

selection this morning to this courtroom.

We had 60 jurors this morning. So half of them

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

34

 

will be gone. The rest will all be sent up here. In the

meantime, while that is happening I will ask you to give me

the list of 10 or 12 that you disagree upon, and we will

separate those out and not call them in the first group. We

will not call them in the first group. We will take them

last.

While that is being accomplished downstairs, I

believe Ms. Silvers wanted to talk about the motion on

behalf of Daniel Gonzalez for a severance.

MS. SILVERS: Your Honor, our motion is based

upon the grand jury testimony of Robert Rodriguez who is

scheduled to be a government witness. He was a mechanic at

SabreTech. He testified that after the ValuJet crash, when

the FAA's investigation was investigating on whether or not

Eugene Florence falsely stated on a work card that there

were safety caps on the oxygen generators, Mr. Florence was

fired; and Mr. Florence walked into the hangar at SabreTech

and Mr. Rodriguez was present, and Mr. Rodriguez asked him

what happened and he said, "Danny Gonzalez set me up."

Mr. Rodriguez further testified that he interpreted this to

mean that Danny Gonzalez made him sign the paperwork. It's

our position that obviously this incriminates Mr. Gonzalez

and violates his confrontation rights in a joint trial.

THE COURT: Tell me how it incriminates

Mr. Gonzalez for Mr. Rodriguez to have said that he did

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

35

something wrong?

MS. SILVERS: No, Mr. Rodriguez said that

Florence said that Danny Gonzalez set me up.

THE COURT: Perhaps I'm not understanding.

You've got Mr. Rodriguez. Mr. Rodriguez comes in and he

says to Mr. Florence?

MS. SILVERS: Yes.

THE COURT: He walks into the hangar and he talks

to somebody. Who does he talk to?

MS. SILVERS: Mr. Rodriguez testified that after

the crash and after Florence was fired, he walked into the

hangar.

THE COURT: Florence walked into the hangar?

MS. SILVERS: Yes.

THE COURT: He says that he saw Florence come

into the hangar and he heard him say something to the

effect that Mr. Rodriguez, who was not present at this

conversation, set him up?

MS. SILVERS: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: I don't know how it's going to get

in. It's all hearsay. If I can't figure out who the

people are that are present.

MS. SILVERS: Maybe I didn't make it clear

enough. Mr. Rodriguez was in the hangar at SabreTech. He

was a mechanic there. After Florence was fired, Florence

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

36

 

came into the hangar and Mr. Rodriguez asked Florence what

happened.

THE COURT: But two of them had a conversation?

MS. SILVERS: Yes.

THE COURT: Where was your client when this was

going on?

MS. SILVERS: The grand jury testimony doesn't

reflect whether he was there or not.

THE COURT: Then it's all hearsay anyway. I

don't know how it's going to come in. These things happen.

The government has to lay a predicate. They have to put

Mr. Rodriguez on the stand. Say; Rodriguez, where were you

on June 1st; I was in the hangar. What happened? Florence

came in. Oh, what did he say to you? Oops, objection. No

time place or predicate. Then they have got to lay a

predicate, what was said, who participated. If they can do

that, then they have got a shot at getting it in. If they

can't, then you've got nothing to worry about.

Ms. Miller, what's the predicate here?

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, Mr. Rodriguez in grand

jury did say, as Ms. Silvers said, he heard Danny Gonzalez

set me up. But in debriefing him, Mr. Rodriguez has said

he didn't hear that remark about Danny Gonzalez; therefore,

we would not intend to introduce that.

THE COURT: Then let's move on.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

37

 

MS. SILVERS: That's fine, Your Honor. I didn't

realize that.

THE COURT: That's fine. That takes care of

that.

What else needs to be taken up before we get into

jury selection?

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, the government has filed

a motion with regard to witness sequestration and in

limine.

THE COURT: The witness sequestration was handed

to me as I came on the bench. It had to do simply with

invoking the rule to keep all witnesses outside the

courtroom. Any objection to that?

MS. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, I got this after Your

Honor got it. I just read it, and it said we shouldn't be

allowed to have any experts in the courtroom. Rule 15

doesn't provide for that. The government should have the

people that it really needs. But we shouldn't have the

people that we need in the courtroom. We are perfectly

happy to have all non expert --

THE COURT: Each of you can have one

representative of your client. You can have your corporate

officer and they can have their case agent.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: The question is the expert.

THE COURT: Why should they be permitted?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

38

 

MS. MOSKOWITZ: Because they are often permitted.

THE COURT: And often not. Tell me why they

should be permitted.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: Factual testimony regarding

scientific and technical items and may render their

opinion.

THE COURT: That's why I seldom have any experts

in here in any case. The difficulty in here is expert

Jones gets on the stand for one side or the other and he

testifies for a day or two. Expert Smith is sitting there

listening to it and he gets on and he, point by point,

makes a closing argument for defense or whoever, tearing

apart the other guy's statement on the stand. That's just

commenting on the evidence. They can't do that anyway.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: That's fine. Aren't they more

useful to the jury if their opinion is based on the same

evidence that the jury is hearing?

THE COURT: Presumably they have had the

opportunity to review that and form their opinion before

they were ever called upon to come in here and testify.

I'll have to take this matter up when it comes up. Well,

for presentation of evidence, which the way the jury

selection is going, it will be about three weeks from now.

I'll review your cases and study this.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: I have no cases, and the

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

39

 

government has no cases. I just got this thing after you

did.

THE COURT: Then I'll do my own research and

review it. I've had this issue come up. My general

opinion is that it is a mistake for the experts to come in

and regurgitate respective positions of parties in what

amounts to be the closing argument for the jury. For that

reason I'm disinclined to have it. We will see.

I'll make a ruling on this prior to or after the

opening statement. I'll have a better understanding of

what it is that everybody intends to do. I made this clear

to you before. Having people come in here and just say

what individual mechanics did was or wasn't correct is not

going to fly I think. Certainly something like what caused

the crash, if that is within the experts, that may well be

and probably will be good expert that the jury will need.

You all have been working with the case from the

pleadings. The Court is trying to make a determination in

limine motions without knowing how it is going to come up.

Just like the last little example we had, it goes away if

we know how it comes up in the trial. We will make a

determination on this later. I'll read the cases and

review them myself.

What's your next motion?

MS. SILVERS: Your Honor, could I clarify briefly

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

40

 

our position on the issue because I didn't receive the

government's letter? Now I'm understanding that

Mr. Rodriguez, during debriefing, said that Florence said

"they set me up" or "he set me up."

THE COURT: I don't know what he said or what he

didn't say. Before he testifies he will have to lay the

proper predicate. What I heard Ms. Miller say, and correct

me if I'm wrong, that Mr. Rodriguez is not going to say

that he heard Florence say that Danny Rodriguez set him up.

Am I correct?

MS. MILLER: That's correct, Your Honor.

THE COURT: You have to make the best of that.

We are not going to play that out here. To that extent the

motion in limine is denied.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, there is outstanding

defense objection to the ruling of the magistrate Judge.

That was made with regard to the motion to suppress.

THE COURT: We'll pick that up after jury

selection.

THE COURT: Do I have a list of your ten that you

say you are in dispute about?

MS. MILLER: We are checking again to see if we

can narrow that dispute. If you can give me a copy of the

jury questionnaire.

THE COURT: It is my understanding that the jury

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

41

 

section was going to do their best to give you all the jury

questionnaires at a certain time.

MS. MILLER: No, they have been trickling in,

Your Honor.

THE COURT: Your Honor, didn't both sides have

all the questionnaires by noon of Friday?

MS. MILLER: It appears that now we may not have

totally matching sets.

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, we have a total of 149

questionnaires.

MS. MILLER: We have not made a count of exactly

how many we have.

MR. RASKIN: We have 149 and an additional 244

which were returned.

THE COURT: Well, it seems to me that counsel had

an obligation to bring this to my attention on the 10th or

the 11th of this month.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, we didn't know until we

heard names from the defense that we didn't have them. We

can't give notice of that which we don't know.

THE COURT: Let's do this, then, let's start with

the defense list and you hand me up, Mr. Moskowitz, the

four, five or ten that you have, and I will read off the

name, and Ms. Miller will look and see if she has got it.

If she does have it, we will listen to the argument.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

42

 

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, I gave my list to the

government agent.

THE COURT: If the government agent will pick up

the top one which both sides have a copy of the

questionnaire.

MS. MILLER: There are two more that we can agree

to. Stephen Foster and Linda Embly. So we are down to 8.

Your Honor, those 8 we don't have. If the defense has

them, we may be able to quickly agree if they have a

question that we don't have.

THE COURT: Would you give Ms. Miller your 8.

Yes, sir.

MR. MAGERK: For the record, Your Honor, my name

is James Magerk, (phonetic) I am an attorney. I represent

two individuals who have been named as unindicted

co-conspirators and one individual who is an immunized

witness and who is going to, in all likelihood, testify in

this case. I came here this morning to monitor the

proceedings on behalf of my clients. I've just been

notified that I, myself, may be a witness. I ask to be

released from the sequestration rule so that I may attend

the trial.

THE COURT: Tell me everybody's position.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: We don't object to releasing

Mr. Magerk from that responsibility, Your Honor, because

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

43

 

otherwise he can't represent his client.

THE COURT: There's a rule that says he can't be

a lawyer in the same case.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: He doesn't have a client in this

case, just witnesses and he could do that. The rule

doesn't preclude that.

THE COURT: So you want Mr. Magerk to sit here

when he is wearing the hat of an attorney representing

unindicted co-conspirators, he needs to perform his

professional responsibility, but on the other hand, if he

has been called as a witness he has heard all the

testimony, you have no objection to it?

MS. MOSKOWITZ: No, we don't have any objection

to it.

THE COURT: Do you have any objection to it?

MS. MILLER: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Mr. Magerk, you can be eliminated

from the sequestration issue. We have scattered the seats

around the courtroom. If we eliminate 27 of them, there

would be room.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, the government also has

filed a motion in limine. We do not seek ruling on any of

the evidentiary matters that it addresses at this point in

the trial. We have raised it because we do wish to

preclude argument as to the issues that are raised in the

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

44

 

motion.

THE COURT: Well, the argument comes at the end

of the case.

MS. MILLER: I'm talking about opening statement.

THE COURT: That's not argument. That's what

counsel expects to prove.

MS. MILLER: To the extent that counsel may

expect to prove matters we think are inadmissible in this

case, we have tried to pled them in the motion in limine so

that inadmissible issues are injected at the statement.

THE COURT: How does one determine the

inadmissible issues without conducting a full scale

evidentiary hearing? The better method, it seems to me, is

to place the responsibility where the code of conduct, the

cannons of ethics and the responsibilities of lawyers,

it's on the shoulders of the lawyer making an opening

statement. The penalty one pays if he stands up and says I

expect to prove a, b and c, if they can't prove a, b or c

is that the other side in closing argument says you heard

lawyer Jones tell you that they were going to prove fact A,

and you didn't hear anything around it, and you wrap it

right around their neck. Counsel should not state to the

jury anything they do not expect to prove in good faith.

If they expect to show it in good faith, how am I to say

that they are not talking to me in good faith in a

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

45

 

preliminary stage at this point? I don't know.

If you tell me in good faith you expect to prove

that this flight crashed in the Everglades, I have to

accept it. They may think that you'll never get the

evidence in and they may be right. Or conversely some

other fact. That may be oversimplification of what may

seem to be a complexed issue. Give me the best fact that

you think they cannot prove that they're going to talk

about?

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, that Mr. Eugene Florence

had his license suspended for a year and then got

reinstated for the same conduct for which he is on trial.

We think that it is inadmissible to seek to prove so

administrative action that may have reinstated

Mr. Florence's license, and we think it should not be

alluded to in opening because that is a bell that can't be

unrung.

THE COURT: Why is it not admissible into

evidence that his license was reinstated?

MS. MILLER: Because the outcome of a collateral

proceeding, I don't know if adjudicated is the right word,

is not something that would be admissible in this case.

It's a completely different proceeding. There's no

collateral estoppel type effect.

THE COURT: I presume then you would simply

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

46

 

object to it at the time, and if your legal position is

correct, you would be sustained. It would never come into

evidence. It would never be argued to the jury fearful

that somebody would remember it. It would never be argued

to the jury. If you're correct, it's not in the record.

It couldn't be argued to the jury and anybody attempting to

do that would face sanctions.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, that's not what we fear

that someone would argue it after the Court ruled it

inadmissible but rather in the openings statements.

THE COURT: Who is going to argue this point?

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, respectfully we just

received this motion. Can we take this up before openings

and after the jury selection?

THE COURT: Fine.

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, I have the jury

questionnaires.

THE COURT: Thank you.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, if I could look at them

at the same time.

THE COURT: Please look at them. Please look at

them.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, looking at the

questionnaires, we are able to agree with all of these

names, that they should be stricken. My concern is we did

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

47

 

not have these questionnaires. That's why we didn't agree

with them earlier.

THE COURT: If you hand up to me, these are from

your file Mr. Moskowitz; is that correct?

MR. RASKIN: Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT: We will ask Ms. Kramerman to make a

copy.

MR. RASKIN: We have other copies of these, Your

Honor.

THE COURT: If you have another copy, then all we

need to do is give Ms. Kramerman these names.

MR. RASKIN: I have a list of the names.

THE COURT: Give me the list of the names. If

you've got a copy, maybe you can give Ms. Miller a copy and

then we don't have to do anything else. Ms. Miller, he's

going to give you a copy.

For the record the names are Calvin, Chacon,

Embry, Foster, Gastelando, Richardson, Rico, Rogerelies. We

will include those 8 people. That then leaves, as I

understand it. From the group that will be here, no one who

has said they have formed an opinion about the airplane

crash; is that correct?

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, Ms. Miller had

additional names on her list who apparently said they have

formed an opinion. We didn't have those. Those names are

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

48

 

on the list of your courtroom deputy.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, I made a list of all the

names we found. We agreed to most of the names on the

list, but some of them Mr. Moskowitz didn't have. So those

names are still in contention. The problem is, we don't

have the list anymore because Ms. Kramerman took that list.

THE COURT: I thought I had instructed the two of

you to look at the list that one of you had and that you

would agree and you place a little check or okay by those.

There were 27 names that you agreed to was my

understanding. That list was given to Ms. Kramerman to

phone downstairs to the jury section, to tell the jury

section to excuse those 27 people for other jury service.

Those people will not be up here in the courtroom, if I am

correct on that.

Now, then, additionally I've been handed this

list of 8 names which will likewise be excused. That will

mean that if they had approximately 60 there, although 60

is a little bit broader than that because these names come

from an entire group, 60 were brought in at random today,

we should have 30 to 35 people to be brought up. When they

are brought up, we will give you those names and you can

then hand up a joint agreed excusal for cause or something,

and then excuse them at a break. Beyond that, we are about

ready to get started. We will take just a five minute

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

49

 

recess while they bring the jurors up.

Marshal, the jurors and spectators can sit

anywhere they want to sit. It doesn't matter to me. We do

have enough seats. We will fill up the side first. If we

don't have enough spaces the spectators will have to wait

outside. We will take a five minute recess.

[There was a short recess].

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Court is in session.

MR. RASKIN: Your Honor, we found 8 more.

THE COURT: Hand them to Ms. Kramerman.

[The jury returns to the courtroom].

THE COURT: Come on in here, folks. I'm going to

ask you to take seats. As your names are called kindly

step forward and have a seat in the jury box.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Carlos Tosca, Gloria Bouie,

Jose Navarro, Anna Reilly, Norma Alverez, Ginette Yacinthe,

Evilio Denis, Viola Jones, Annie Mosley, Jose Cupeiro, Jose

Marin, Dorothy Alexander.

THE COURT: Marshal, if you will get this

microphone and get it ready.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have scheduled for trial

this morning, as you already know from having filled out

the questionnaires, the case of United States of America v.

SabreTech, Incorporated, Daniel Gonzalez and Eugene

Florence. The lawyers representing the respective parties

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

50

 

are Caroline Heck Miller, and she is assisted by Geoffrey

Brigham standing here.

Do any of you know either of the two Assistant

U.S. Attorneys?

THE COURT: Ms. Miller you are assisted with?

MS. MILLER: Jacqueline Breshay.

THE COURT: Do any of you know Ms. Breshay?

Thank you.

The defense counsel is Mr. Martin Raskin, Ms. Jane

Raskin and Mr. Norman Moskowitz for SabreTech, Incorporated.

Do any of you know Martin Raskin, or Jayne Raskin, or

Mr. Norman Moskowitz?

For the defendant Daniel Gonzalez, we have

Mr. Robert Dunlap standing here and Ms. Silvers standing

here. The two of you represent Mr. Gonzalez. Do any of you

know Mr. Dunlap or Ms. Silvers?

We have Ms. Jane Moskowitz, attorney at law for

Mr. Eugene Florence. This is Ms. Moskowitz standing here.

Do any of you know Ms. Moskowitz or Mr. Eugene Florence?

Mr. Dunlap, would you ask Mr. Gonzalez to stand?

I'm sorry. Do any of you know him? All right.

MS. MILLER: The parties did not file a joint

summary.

THE COURT: Well, this case is what is described

as a criminal case. We have got civil cases and criminal

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

51

 

cases. This is a criminal case. We select 12 jurors with

some alternates to listen to the evidence in a case which

will come to you from this witness stand right here in

front of you, this box here. The witnesses will come in

and be sworn to tell the truth. They will testify on

direct and cross-examination, a brief redirect. They will

leave and the next witness comes. The case will proceed in

that manner.

The counsel will argue their respective issues to

you and then you will be instructed on the law in which you

will follow in reaching your decision and then the 12 of

you will go out into the jury room and decide the case.

You will decide the disputed issues of fact. You folks

will resolve the disputed issues of fact.

So your responsibility is to sit and listen with

an open mind to the evidence without any bias or prejudice

in any way to either side and listen to all the evidence,

the examination, listen to the argument and instructions

and then go out and talk about it among yourselves and

resolve those issues that were material issues of fact and

reach a verdict.

What we ask is that you do that with an open mind,

without any bias or prejudice, before you heard evidence or

anything else. Do all 12 of you believe you can do that?

Do any of you believe that you cannot do that? Can all of

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

52

 

you sit here for six weeks or less for that period of time

and then decide the case fairly and base your verdict on the

evidence that you hear in this courtroom and nothing else

just in this courtroom? Can all of you do that?

We appreciate you filling out the questionnaires.

I know it's a chore to do that, but it will save time

substantially in the jury selection process. This is just

so that the lawyers can ask you a few questions and identify

with that person.

Marshal, would you hand the microphone to juror

number one. Bear with me. Just a little bit about each of

you. Stay seated, relax. Answer the questions and tell us

your name. And basically what I'm going to be asking you is

your name; your address; how long you've lived here; where

you work and your family. And after I've gone through two

or three of you, the rest of you will know the questions.

VOIR DIRE

BY THE COURT:

Q. Sir, your name and where you live?

A. Carlos Tosca. I live in Coral Gables.

Q. How long have you lived in Dade County?

A. All my life, 23 years.

Q. How long have you lived here?

A. 23 years.

Q. What do you do for a living?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

53

 

A. Mortgages. I work at a mortgage company.

Q. What company do you work for?

A. It's a family company. Service Mortgage.

Q. How long have you worked there?

A. Four years.

Q. What do you specifically do? What is your job?

A. I manage the office operation.

Q. What does the company do?

A. Mortgages, home loans.

Q. Home mortgages, okay. Are you married, or do you have

children?

A. No.

Q. Neither. Do you live with your folks or do you have

your own apartment?

A. I live at home.

Q. Your folks work in the same business? Is your mother a

housewife?

A. My dad works at the Miami Herald. My mom works at the

company.

Q. Any brother and sisters?

A. Two sisters, one brother.

Q. Younger, older?

A. All older. One of the sisters does mortgages. One

brother does construction. The other sister works in the

stock market.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

54

 

Q. Do you believe you can be a fair and impartial juror if

selected on this case?

A. Yes.

Q. Hand the microphone to the next juror.

A. Gloria Bouie, Miami, Florida, North Miami.

Q. How long have you lived in Dade County?

A. About 14 years.

Q. Where did you live before that?

A. Oklahoma.

Q. Are you employed outside the home?

A. Yes, I am.

Q. What do you do?

A. I'm an insurance agent.

Q. For what company?

A. I work for County Auto Tech and Insurance in Hollywood.

Q. Family? Married? Children?

A. I'm married. I have four children, all grown, away

from home.

Q. What does your husband do?

A. He owns a nursery, landscape and nursery.

Q. Any of your children or your family members work for

the Federal Government in any way, FBI, FAA or DEA?

A. No.

Q. Do you believe you can be fair and impartial?

A. Yes.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

55

Q. Hand the microphone over.

A. Jose Antonio Navarro. I live in the Hammocks.

Q. What do you do?

A. I'm a Corrections officer.

Q. At what facility?

A. Dade.

Q. Is that the state or county?

A. State.

Q. How long have you been there?

A. Three years.

Q. Married? Children?

A. Married, no children.

Q. Does your wife work outside the home?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What does she do?

A. She is a driver's license examiner with DMV.

Q. How long?

A. Approximately three years.

Q. Do you believe you can sit here with us and render a

fair and impartial decision in this case? Can you do that?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Good.

A. My name is Sandra Riley. I've lived here for 16 years.

I live in Coral Gables. I work as a cashier. I don't speak

too good English.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

56

 

Q. Did you have someone help you fill out the

questionnaire, or did you fill it out yourself?

A. Somebody helped me.

Q. There may be and probably will be a lot of documents in

this case. Would you be more comfortable sitting on a

different case where you didn't have to be too familiar with

the English language?

A. I don't understand what you are saying.

THE COURT: We thank you, ma'am, but if there's

no objection, if you'll go back downstairs to the 9th floor

and tell them that you are available for another case.

MR. RASKIN: No objection, Your Honor.

MS. MILLER: No objection.

A JUROR: I'm sorry.

THE COURT: That's perfectly all right.

Call the next juror.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Andrea Clayton.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Miss Clayton, could you hear what the lawyers said from

where you were seated?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you know any of the lawyers in the case?

A. No, sir.

Q. Would you tell us please where you live.

A. In Carol City.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

57

 

Q. How long have you lived in Dade County?

A. Approximately 40 years.

Q. Do you work outside the home?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. What do you do?

A. I'm an assistant coordinator for Florida Power and

Light.

Q. How long have you worked for Florida Power and Light?

A. 15 years.

Q. Married, children?

A. Divorced, two kids.

Q. Either of your children working age? Do they work or

are they in school?

A. One in college and one in grade school.

Q. Both in school?

A. Yes.

Q. All right, ma'am. Did you hear what I told the jury

about their responsibility to listen with an open mind and

decide the case fairly? Do you believe you can do that?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Next.

A. My name is Norma Alvarez. I work in Kendall.

Q. Do you work outside the home?

A. I'm a bookkeeper and office manager downtown in Miami.

Q. What does that company do?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

58

 

A. We are watch distributors.

Q. How long have you worked there?

A. 21 years.

Q. Tell us about your family, married, children?

A. I'm single with two sons. One in college and one in

high school.

Q. Do you believe you can be a fair and impartial juror if

selected on this jury?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Thank you.

A. Ginette Yacinthe.

Q. Where do you live?

A. I live in the Northwest section of Miami, Biscayne

Gardens area.

Q. How long have you lived in Dade County?

A. 23 years.

Q. Do you work outside the home?

A. Yes.

Q. What do you do?

A. Program specialist with the Federal Government, U.S.

Immigration, Office of Internal Affairs.

Q. How long have you worked for the immigration service?

A. I have worked for the Federal Government for 20 years

but I recently transferred to that section.

Q. Where were you before that?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

59

 

A. I started with the state department. I transferred to

Human Health Services then to Justice Department with United

States and Communication Service, and they sent me three

years ago to Internal Affairs.

Q. Was all of that in the local Dade County area?

A. Yes, but I do travel.

Q. When you worked for the Department of Justice what

section?

A. Community Relations Service.

Q. Was that here?

A. Yes.

Q. In your present job would you tell us a little bit

about what specifically you do?

A. I do contracts for the Federal Government. We contract

out for juvenile detention. Juveniles went through the

country illegally and they don't go to detention so we

contract with shelter care facility that provides assistance

to them. I'm responsible for five contracts that I conduct

site visits.

Q. Many of your colleagues and friends are people that

work for the government; is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. Would you be more comfortable sitting -- the government

is sitting on one side of the case. Would you be more

comfortable sitting on a different civil case that didn't

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

60

 

involve the government?

A. It makes no difference. If I'm qualified to stay here

I can.

Q. Do you understand that it would be your responsibility

and that of these other jurors to listen carefully to the

evidence and then decide the case solely on the evidence and

not on anything else outside the courtroom, any bias or

prejudice; could you do that, ma'am?

A. Yes.

Q. Would you hand the microphone to the gentleman behind

you.

A. Jose Maria Cupeiro. I live in Kendall and I work in

the accounting department. I live in Miami 22 years. My

company is work freight forwarder. I speak so-so English

and my understanding is sometimes understanding and

sometimes not understanding.

Q. Did you fill out the questionnaire, or did you get some

help with the questionnaire.

A. One of my daughters is 12 years old and she helped me

in many questions.

Q. Would you be more comfortable on a case that you didn't

have so many documents to read? Do you think you would be

more comfortable sitting on a different jury?

A. I don't understand.

THE COURT: Unless there is some objection, I

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

61

 

will excuse this gentleman for cause. Thank you, sir. You

are free to go home.

Call the next juror.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Elena Maria Arap.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Your name and where you live?

A. Elena Maria Arap. I live in Miami.

Q. How long have you lived here?

A. 30 years.

Q. Do you work outside the home?

A. Yes.

Q. What do you do?

A. I work for Dade County Public School.

Q. How long have you worked for the school system?

A. Four years.

Q. Family, children, married?

A. Yes, I'm married and I have no children.

Q. What does your husband do?

A. He has a car wash.

Q. You don't know any of the lawyers or any of the agents

or the individual defendants? You don't know anybody

connected with this case?

A. No, sir.

Q. Any reason you could not sit here and be a fair and

impartial juror?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

62

 

A. No.

Q. Next.

A. Dorothy Alexander. I'm a retired registered nurse.

I've lived in Miami for 61 years. I'm a widow with three

grown children.

Q. What did you do -- well, you were a nurse. How about

your grown children, what do they do? Are they in school?

A. No, I have a son. My oldest is a correctional officer

at DCI in Florida City. My daughter works for the planning

department of Baptist Hospital. My son, youngest son, works

for Baptist Hospital also.

Q. Well, do you believe you can sit here and listen to the

evidence and decide the case fairly and objectively?

A. Yes.

Q. Next.

A. My name is Jose Marin. I live in Miami 19 years ago.

I work in Broward County.

Q. What do you do in Broward County?

A. I work in the accounting department.

Q. Married, children?

A. I'm married. I have been with my wife for a long time.

We don't have any children.

Q. How long have you lived in Dade County?

A. 19 years.

Q. Do you believe that you can sit here and listen

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

63

 

carefully to the case and decide it fairly and objectively?

A. I don't speak good perfect English. I don't understand

some things.

THE COURT: Unless there is some objection, I

would be inclined, I think we are going to have a number of

documents. Without objection, this gentleman is excused.

Thank you. Next juror.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Edgard Mann.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Your name please.

A. Edgard Mann. I live in Coconut Grove for 14 years and

my job is a financial consultant for export financing.

Q. Do you have your own business?

A. Yes.

Q. How long have you been doing that type of work?

A. 14 years.

Q. Does your wife work outside the home?

A. No, she is a housewife.

Q. Any children?

A. No, no children.

Q. Do you know any of the lawyers or the parties to this

case? Do you know any of these people?

A. No.

Q. Do you or do any of you have any friends or relatives

that work for the United States Attorneys' Office here in

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

64

 

South Florida?

A. No, sir.

Q. Do you believe you can be fair and impartial on this

case?

A. I do.

Q. Thank you.

The lady next to you.

A. Good morning. My name is Annie Mosley. I have been in

Miami for 43 years. I have four children.

Q. Do you work outside the home?

A. No, I don't. I'm retired.

Q. What did you do before you were retired?

A. I was a cook at Dade County School, and I was a cook at

the airport. I also was a PBX operator at hotels.

Q. Where did you work at the airport?

A. In the cafeteria.

Q. How long ago was that?

A. That has been about 18 years.

Q. Your grown children, what do they do?

A. My daughter works for Dade County. She is an

accountant for Dade County. I have three sons. One is a

roofer, one is a cook and one is a construction worker.

Q. Well, do you believe you can sit here with these other

folks and talk about the case and decide the facts and

decide it fairly and objectively? Can you do that?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

65

 

A. Yes, I can.

Q. Ma'am?

A. Viola Jones. I'm a resident of Northwest Miami. I'm a

single mother of three. I'm telemarketing for Craftmatic

adjustable beds.

Q. How long have you been doing that?

A. A year and a half.

Q. Before that what did you do?

A. Burdines.

Q. Your children are small children?

A. Yeah, 11, 9 and 8.

Q. Do you believe that you can listen to the evidence in

the case and decide it fairly and objectively?

A. Yes.

Q. Thank you?

A. My name is Denio Roman. I live in Miami for 14 years.

I'm sorry, I don't speak English. When you speak to me, I

don't understand.

THE COURT: Unless there is some objection, I

will excuse this gentleman.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Alejandro Gutierrez.

THE COURT:

Q. Your name please.

A. Alejandro Gutierrez. I live in Miami. West Chester.

I've lived here approximately 26 years. I currently work

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

66

 

for Florida Power and Light.

Q. What do you do for Florida Power and Light?

A. I'm involved in the bill collections.

Q. How long have you worked for them?

A. Approximately 11 years.

Q. Married, children?

A. Married. No children.

Q. Does your wife work outside the home?

A. Yes, she works for Dade County Public Works department.

Q. What does she do there?

A. Accounts payable.

Q. How long has she worked there?

A. I believe three years.

Q. Well, do you know any of the people that I've

introduced to you earlier?

A. I know one of the jurors.

Q. The two of you work together?

A. We work for Florida Power and Light.

Q. If selected on the jury panel, the two of you would be

expected to exercise your own independent judgment and

decide the case fairly and objectively yourself without

regard to the fact that you work for the same company or

happen to know each other slightly. I'm sure both of you

can do that, can you not?

A. Yes.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

67

 

THE COURT: This is one question I'll ask of all

of you, and we'll see if we have any excuses. If any of

you have served as a juror prior to this time, first of

all, hold up your hands. How many, if any, have served as

jurors before this? Two ladies. All right. Were either

of you foreperson of that jury?

A JUROR: No.

A JUROR: Yes.

THE COURT: When was that, ma'am? How long ago?

A JUROR: Three or four years ago.

THE COURT: What court was that? Was it state or

federal?

A JUROR: Dade County.

THE COURT: Was it a civil or criminal case?

A JUROR: It was civil.

THE COURT: And the jury reached a verdict

without any difficulties?

A JUROR: Without any difficulties.

THE COURT: All right, ma'am, how long ago was it

that you served, ma'am?

A JUROR: It was maybe about ten years maybe.

THE COURT: Was it a criminal case, a civil case?

A JUROR: Civil.

THE COURT: Was it over in the Dade County

courthouse?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

68

 

A JUROR: Yes.

THE COURT: Did the jury reach a verdict okay?

A JUROR: Yes.

THE COURT: The other requested special voir dire

questions, the motion is denied.

Do either side have any other questions that you

want me to consider before we commence the challenging

process?

[The attorneys confer at counsel table].

THE COURT: All right. Let's move along.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, we believe there's one

matter that is to be taken up at the bench.

THE COURT: Just write it down and hand it up to

me. I can't have a side bar with eight lawyers and 100

people in the room. We are going to have to excuse all of

these people unless you can jot it down.

MS. MILLER: I can, Your Honor, if you give me

one second.

MR. RASKIN: Can one counsel come from each side

to side bar?

THE COURT: I can handle that. One from each

side.

(Sidebar proceedings off the record)

MR. RASKIN:

THE COURT: Mr. Tosca, we thank you very much.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

69

 

You may go home, sir.

Ladies and gentlemen, remember the seats you are

in, the 1 of you. You folks go into the jury room and help

yourself to a cup of coffee while I take up some legal

matters with the attorneys. If you folks in the seats in

the courtroom if you step out in a the lobby please do not

talk about the case and if the jurors will all wait outside

please.

[The jury leaves the courtroom].

THE COURT: Are there any jurors remaining in the

courtroom? Thank you, be seated please. Now, I have here

a motion by Mr. Moskowitz to excuse for cause Mr. Mann,

M-A-N-N. I'll hear from you Mr. Moskowitz, your motion is

based upon the answers on page 11. What is the

government's position?

MS. MILLER: This juror has stated that he can be

fair in this case. He has reflected simply having heard

the case which is not an unusual matter. That does not

disqualify him from sitting as a juror. It's not close to

a matter for excuse for cause. We object.

THE COURT: Vicki, bring Mr. Mann back in. We

will start this questioning.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: He is in the restroom.

THE COURT: Ask Maria Arap to step in please.

A-r-a-p.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

70

 

Miss Arap, you have responded on the question that

"have you heard about the crash of ValuJet flight 592;" you

said yes. I'm going to let you read it or I can read it to

you. You said that it was due to poor maintenance. What

have you heard?

A JUROR: I heard the crash was due because of

lack of maintenance.

THE COURT: Where did you hear that, ma'am?

A JUROR: I can't remember. I think it was on

T.V.

THE COURT: Is that where you get most of your

news from the T.V.?

A JUROR: Yes.

THE COURT: When was it, if you remember, that

you heard about it on the T.V?

A JUROR: At the beginning when it happened.

THE COURT: Now, then, you will be instructed

that you should let nothing come to your minds except what

you hear in this courtroom. You will be instructed each

day that if there is anything on the T.V., on the news or

the radio that you should not read it, watch it, or listen

to it. In short, you should let nothing come to your

attention except what you hear in this courtroom.

In your opinion, what you have heard, whenever it

was, did it cause you to form an opinion at this point in

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

71

 

time as to guilt or innocence of anyone?

A JUROR: No, sir.

THE COURT: Did it affect your thinking in some

way that you think someone is probably guilty or not guilty

at this point before you hear the evidence?

A JUROR: No, I cannot form an opinion yet,

Judge.

THE COURT: Mr. Moskowitz?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, could you inquire

whether she has heard any publicity since the time she has

filled out the questionnaire.

THE COURT: When is the last time you heard

anything about the crash?

A JUROR: Two or three years ago. It was in

1996, right?

THE COURT: Fine. Thank you very much. Please

don't discuss anything about the case. Would you go back

into the jury room.

The record should reflect that it is the ruling of

the Court that the motion for dismissal of Marie Arap for

cause is denied.

Mr. Mann, come right on in. Have a seat.

Mr. Mann, you had answered in the questionnaire that you had

heard about the airplane crash of ValuJet flight 592, and

you said here: "It happened in the Everglades due to an

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

72

 

explosives of gases kept in the plane and mishandled by the

cargo crew." In your own words, tell us what you remember

hearing or reading about the crash.

A JUROR: I remember that after the crash it was

argued that it was a failure of the engine first and then

it was found out that it was apparently some gas which

exploded. My memory was recently refreshed on Saturday

when I read an article in the Miami Herald with problems

that the plane had.

THE COURT: Did these articles, the one on

Saturday and the one that you heard about earlier, did they

cause you to form an opinion as to who was responsible or

what happened as to guilt or innocence?

A JUROR: No, I just read it on Saturday, and I

wanted to refresh my memory to see what it is all about.

THE COURT: Do you have an opinion as to guilt or

innocence as you sit here right now?

A JUROR: I do not.

THE COURT: Anything that you've heard on T.V. or

read about the newspaper caused you to have any probable

belief, that is to say, someone is probably guilty or

probably innocent?

A JUROR: Well, in thinking about it, I

understand that there is one person who did not appear in

the trial, apparently a fugitive. I don't know if I'm

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

73

 

correct.

THE COURT:

Q. Other than that person, if there is such a person, do

you have any probable feelings as to guilt or innocence in

the trial of this case?

A. No.

Q. If I instruct you that you should base your verdict

only on the evidence that you hear in this courtroom can you

do that?

A. Yes.

Q. Are you sure that if I tell you that you have to put

aside anything that you may have read last week or last

Saturday and base your verdict solely on what you hear in

this courtroom; can you do that?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: Thank you, sir. You may step out.

Do not discuss anything in the jury room about this case.

Marshal, we will ask you to call Ginette Yacinthe.

It is the ruling of the Court that Edgard Mann

will not be discharged for cause. If counsel wants to get

rid of him they can peremptorily challenge him.

Ma'am, wherever you are comfortable here. You

have answered on your questionnaire that you have heard

about this airplane crash. You say; "I'm aware that they

were transporting flammable or explosive type and were not

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

74

 

officially" --

A JUROR: My handwriting is terrible.

THE COURT: "-- not officially declared which may

have exploded in mid air and caused the cash." And you

said you probably saw it on T.V. Tell us in your own words

what you remember about whatever you saw on T.V. or read or

heard, whatever it was, as best you recall.

A. Maybe a combination of both, maybe T.V. or newspaper.

What I recall is exactly what I put down, that there was

something happening.

Q. Just what you put here?

A. Yes.

Q. Did this cause you to form any opinion in your own mind

as to the probable guilt or innocence of anybody connected

with the case?

A. No, sir.

Q. As you sit here now, do you have an open mind to

listening to the evidence that comes in this case and decide

it fairly on the basis of what you hear today?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Can you do that?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Now, if I instruct you that you should put anything out

of your mind that you may have heard, by the way, when did

you hear about it last?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

75

A. At the time that it was making headlines, and I cannot

hide the fact that I was made aware of it when I was asked a

question.

A. Certainly, but that's the last time you heard about it?

A. Until 2 nights ago. It was too brief for me to even

capture it. They were talking about the crash but I didn't

hear it.

Q. You read that article several days ago?

A. No, I heard it on the news. It was brief.

Q. Which is your principle source of news, T.V. or the

newspaper?

A. Both.

Q. But you heard something about it very recently?

A. It could be two nights ago.

Q. Did that cause you to have any opinion about the

probable guilt or innocence of anyone?

A. No, sir.

Q. Are you sure that you can be fair and objective in this

case?

A. I'm positive that I can be fair.

Q. I will be instructing you to put out of your mind

anything you heard or have seen or read except what you hear

in this courtroom. I will be telling you to do that. Can

you follow that instruction?

A. Yes.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

76

 

THE COURT: Don't discuss anything here in the

courtroom with anybody. You can talk about anything else

but not about this.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, may I raise a matter

briefly with you?

THE COURT: All right.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, with regard to

Ms. Yacinthe, she is an INS employee. She is a long time

United States government employee. INS is a branch of the

Justice Department. We ask that that is a basis for a

cause challenge as well.

THE COURT: I asked her about that when we

conducted the original voir dire. I went into this matter

whether she would be more comfortable being on another

jury. She said no, she felt qualified to serve. Both

basis, both on publicity or works for INS, for cause are

denied.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: With regard to the request on

publicity, I would make the following requests: For

example, with regard to Mr. Mann, he expressed an opinion

as to what caused the crash. He said it was explosive

gases. Your Honor then asked if he thought he had an

opinion as to guilt or innocence. He said no. The problem

is these jurors may not realize that these individuals who

are on trial can arguably be held responsible for causing

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

77

 

that crash,

THE COURT: You see, Mr. Moskowitz, we have got a

charge conference yet to go through, we have got Rule 29

motions, then instructions to the jury. The jury hasn't

heard any of these instructions or been asked can you be

fair. They don't know that they're going to be told that

they must put out of their minds anything connected with

the case that they have heard. We are asking them

unfairly. We should tell them first. That's why getting

into all of this.

Your motion is denied. Bring Gutierrez. You

don't get all of your peremptories on cause.

Bring in the next juror.

Take a seat, sir. This is with respect to the

questionnaire you filled out. To refresh your recollection

you said that you had heard about an airplane crash in the

Everglades. You were asked what do you know about the crash

and its causes. You said; "containers in the engine may

have exploded in midair causing airplane to crash." In your

own words, please, tell us what you heard or remember

hearing or remember reading about the crash beyond what you

just said or whatever you remember.

A JUROR: I just vaguely remember that the

consequences may have been these oxygen canisters or the

cause not the consequence. I don't know much more detail

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

78

 

beyond that.

THE COURT:

Q. Did this come to you by T.V., newspaper, both, if you

remember?

A. Probably T.V.

Q. Do you remember when it was that you heard this on

T.V.?

A. Originally a couple years ago when it happened. Just

recently about a couple months ago in the news.

Q. When is the last time that you heard or read anything

about the crash as best you recall?

A. Just this morning that the trial was beginning.

Q. You heard that the trial was beginning but other than

what we sent you in the questionnaire, other than that;

newspaper or television, when is the last time from

newspaper or television as best you recall?

A. As best I can recall probably two months ago on T.V.

Q. Have you formed any opinion as to these matters, that

is we are going to have a trial. There are going to be

witnesses. You are going to be instructed to base your

verdict on the witnesses and not on anything that may be in

the paper. You are going to be instructed not to read

anything about the crash, if anything should be in T.V. or

anything like that. First, can you follow those

instructions and base your verdict solely on what you are

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

79

 

going to hear in the courtroom?

A. Yes, I can follow the instructions.

Q. Do you think that what you heard or read several months

ago was so powerful in your mind that it causes you to have

some opinion that you can't set aside if the evidence should

be so convincing?

A. No, I don't know the details.

Q. As you sit here now, do you have any pre-conceived

notion or present idea or opinion as to the guilt or

innocence of anyone connected with the charges in this case?

A. No.

Q. Are you willing to rely upon the evidence as it's

presented and the argument of counsel and instructions to

form your opinion and base your verdict that way? Are you

willing to do that?

A. Yes.

Q. You will be instructed that the government has to prove

each and every element of this defense beyond and to the

exclusion of all reasonable doubt. Can you follow that

instruction?

A. Yes.

Q. Anything about this pre-trial publicity cause you any

hesitancy to be a fair juror?

A. No.

THE COURT: Don't discuss your conversations.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

80

 

[The juror leaves the courtroom].

MR. MOSKOWITZ: May Ms. Miller and I approach,

Your Honor?

THE COURT: Yes.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, with regard to this

juror. His answer to question 43 indicated that he

personally is involved in investigations and in his answer

to Your Honor earlier he said his work was bill collections

and fraud.

THE COURT: So.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: I was hoping Your Honor could

question him about that. It sounds like he is almost in

private law enforcement.

THE COURT: This wasn't a menu where you can cook

up another -- you had plenty of time to ask all the

questions you wanted on this questionnaire. What you've

done now is take the questionnaire and that precludes to

another 100 questions. Publicity is one thing. But you

know what he does for a living. If you want to challenge

him you can. The objection on cause on Alejandro Gutierrez

is denied.

Send in the next person. Jose Antonio Navarro.

This man says his vacation starts today. He told the

marshal this after he is sitting here. Anybody object too

that?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

81

 

MS. MOSKOWITZ: No, sir.

MS. MILLER: Probably not.

THE COURT: Your vacation starts today, sir?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How long is it?

A. I come back Friday.

Q. So you are suppose to be off this week?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you want to be excused?

A. If I may, sir. It was hard for me to get those days

off.

THE COURT: Without objection, you may go home.

Send in Viola Jones please.

Q. Ms. Jones, wherever you are comfortable. Ms. Jones, on

your questionnaire you said that you heard about this

airplane crash and you said; "that it went down and killed a

great deal of people. I don't know anymore." Later on you

said "that it went down in thick water and killed hundreds

of people." Tell us anything more, if there is anything,

that you remember hearing about the crash except what you

told us here today.

A. That's pretty much what I know. I never really thought

about it. I know it went down and they couldn't find it.

That was pretty much it. I never followed it up. It was

sad and I just went on. I never did dwell on it.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

82

 

Q. And T.V. is where you heard it?

A. Yeah.

Q. When was it that you heard it on T.V.?

A. The morning that it had happened and then it was on a

couple of days, but I was like flicking the channel. I kept

hearing that the plane went down and then I got sick of it

really.

Q. When is the last time that you heard anything else

about it except for getting these papers from us. It was

several years ago?

A. Yeah. It was like maybe a week after it happened and

then I received the papers that you guys sent me.

Q. As you sit here now, do you have any notion, any

opinion, any pre-conceived notion of guilt or innocence of

anybody?

A. No, sir.

Q. If I tell you that you should listen carefully to the

evidence and the argument of the lawyers and the evidence of

the case can you do that?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: Any other questions, Mr. Moskowitz,

that you an issue about?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Thank you. You may step back into

the jury room. Send in Annie Mosley please.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

83

 

The motion for cause on Jones is denied.

Bring in Annie Mosley. Ms. Jones have a seat

right there at the end.

Q. Ms. Jones, tell us what you heard or read anything

about the airplane crash.

A. I don't really know anything about it no more than when

it first happened.

Q. The time that you saw that on T.V. was back in 1996?

A. I guess so.

Q. Have you heard anything since that then?

A. Well, yes.

Q. When was that?

A. I believe that was this morning when they said they

were going to start picking a juror for it. That's all I

heard.

Q. So you heard that you might be sitting on the airplane

crash jury. Is that what you heard?

A. No, I didn't hear that I might be sitting on it. I

just heard on the T.V. that they were going to start picking

a jury today.

Q. That was on T.V. today so you heard that?

A. Yes.

Q. As you sit there, do you have any opinion about guilt

or innocence of anybody before you hear the evidence from

this courtroom?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

84

 

A. No, I don't.

THE COURT: Any other portion of the

questionnaire that you have any question about?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, may we approach?

THE COURT: Which question?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: 35, Your Honor.

THE COURT:

Q. 35, 11 years ago, a member of your family or someone

was involved in a criminal investigation. Who was that?

A. 11 years ago?

Q. You said here that there was a guilty plea. The

question is: "Have you or any member of your family or

someone ever been a involved in a criminal investigation."

You said yes. "Was there an arrest," "yes." The outcome

was guilty. "When did it happen?" "11 years ago"?

A. Oh, that was my son.

Q. What was the nature of the charge? Was it state or

federal?

A. It was Federal.

Q. What was the nature of the charge?

A. Drugs, I believe.

Q. Is that all finished and over with? Did he go to jail?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. Is he out now?

A. Well, he is in a halfway house now.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

85

 

Q. Does that cause you to be prejudice against the

government or against the defendant?

A. No.

Q. Can you be fair and objective?

A. Yes, I can.

THE COURT: Thank you, ma'am.

Send in Norma Alvarez please.

The objection for cause on Annie Mosley is denied.

THE COURT:

Q. On the questionnaire you responded that you did hear

about an airplane crash in the Everglades. "As a

consequence of carrying on the cargo compartment oxygen

canisters" and you say that the oxygen exploded because of

the oxygen canisters and everybody died as a result of the

crash. It was three or four years ago and you heard that

one of the defendants is not going to be tried. You

indicated that you saw this on T.V. and newspaper and

talking about it with other people. Can you tell us what

you heard at the time or read.

A. Saturday it was on the newspaper about the defendants

are going to do this and the prosecutors are going to do the

other, they are going to try to prove that it's wiring.

Q. And you read the article Saturday?

A. Yes, sir, and I heard on the news yesterday and today

in the morning.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

86

 

Q. Do you believe that with all of this background

material that you've read that it would be hard for you to

put that out of your mind and base your verdict on the

evidence in the courtroom?

A. I have more or less an opinion in the case.

THE COURT: We thank you, ma'am. I will grant

the motion. We will let you go back to the jury room.

Are there any others that I didn't have that are

on this panel? That disposes of all the motions for cause

on the panel that is now constituted. The next two or three

jurors that we are going to call are in the blind random

assignment of the clerk's office has sent up to this jury

room the next three or four jurors are:

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Antonio Garcia, Melvin Hardy

and Roberta McClam.

THE COURT: Do you have any suggested challenges

for cause as to either of them? The first one, Garcia

never heard about anything.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, can we determine

whether since the date of the questionnaire, with regard to

this juror since the date of the questionnaire he has heard

publicity or knows about the case?

THE COURT: Well, we should have brought in ten a

day for sixty days.

MS. MILLER: This juror says that he does have

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

87

 

trouble. It says do you read, write and speak the English

language and he says no. It's on the very first page of

the questionnaire, the form part in the left hand column,

question number four, "do you read write speak or

understand the English language." It says no.

THE COURT: He will be excused for cause.

The next one is Melvin Hardy. He heard about it

and puts in a question mark and didn't fill in any of the

blanks.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, we would request that

Mr. Hardy will be asked about the knowledge of the crash.

THE COURT: All right marshal, step out and ask

the juror to come in.

Mr. Hardy, step right up to the podium here.

Mr. Hardy, let me ask you a couple of questions.

THE COURT:

Q. You said that you heard about an airplane crash but you

indicated that you didn't know much about it. What do you

know about it?

A. Just what was on the news. That's all.

Q. When was the last time you heard anything on the news?

A. A long time.

Q. You can't remember anything you heard; is that right?

A. Anything else, that was it.

Q. Do you have any opinion about guilt or innocence of any

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

88

 

of the parties based on anything you've read or heard?

A. No.

THE COURT: Thank you. You may step out.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Roberta McClam.

THE COURT: I take it you have no motion for

cause on this one?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: No, Your Honor.

With regard to Roberta McClam, we also would like

to question on question 35.

THE COURT: Miss McClam, just step up to the

podium.

Q. You said on your questionnaire that you had heard

something about a crash but didn't know anything about it.

Do you remember anything about what you heard or read or saw

about the crash?

A. No, Your Honor, none other than what the news brought

on when the crash had occurred.

Q. Was that, several years ago?

A. Yes.

Q. Have you heard anything recently about it except the

stuff that we mailed to you?

A. No.

Q. You've got a fair and open mind on the case?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. This has to do with the family, friend, member of the

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

89

 

family that had a problem with the criminal case 25 years

ago or whenever it was. No, it occurred in '92, '93. Who

was that person that was charged in that case. Was that a

relative?

A. My brother was involved.

Q. Was he sent to jail?

A. No, sir.

Q. He was found not guilty in the case?

A. Yes.

Q. Anything about that that would cause you to be

prejudice against the government or the defendants or

anybody in this case?

A. No.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, question 42, Your

Honor.

BY THE COURT:

Q. What training have you had with the airline industry?

A. I worked there. I do food productions, catering for

LSG sky chef.

Q. When was that?

A. I'm employed there now. I've been there for 23 years.

Q. What is your duty there?

A. Cold food catering to the aircrafts, preparing the food

on the planes, that's it.

Q. Where is that done?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

90

 

A. It's 25 Street, 37th Avenue. Miami International.

Q. Would that affect your verdict in any way?

A. No.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, question 35 of my

questionnaire says that it was not an acquittal, it was a

sentence.

THE COURT: But her brother was involved she

said.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Your brother was tried with some other people?

A. It was two questions there. One brother was sentenced

and my other brother was involved in an accident of some

sort. I have no awareness of that case either.

Q. The brother that was sentenced, did he plead guilty?

A. He pleaded not guilty.

Q. And he was found guilty in a trial?

A. Well, they sentenced him, yes.

Q. That happened in '92 or '93?

A. Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Thank you, ma'am, you are excused.

THE COURT: Any for cause by either one of you on

that one?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Who is the next juror?

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Anna Teresa Meyer.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

91

 

THE COURT:

Q. Ms. Meyer, you said that you heard or read something

about an airplane crash and something about an oxygen tank

that caused the crash. You read this about a year ago in

the newspaper. Is that the last time you heard or read

anything about the crash?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you have any opinions now? Do you have an opinion

about guilt or innocence before you hear any of the evidence

based on what you've heard or read?

A. The only opinion I have is that the oxygen tanks caused

the crash.

Q. Now, if the evidence in this case proves to your

satisfaction that that did not happen, if there's no

evidence that that did not happen at all, which would you

base your verdict on, the newspaper story or what happened

in the courtroom?

A. What I hear in the courtroom.

Q. Could you put aside the opinion that you formed when

you read the newspaper account, and if I tell you that this

is what you must do, could you put that aside and base your

verdict only on what you hear in this courtroom? Could you

do that?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you have any problem with that at all?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

92

 

A. No.

Q. You understand that a lot of things that are said in

the newspaper may not ever be proved at all, but it's what

the proof is in this case that you base your verdict on.

Can you understand that?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you follow those instructions?

A. Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Any other questions on any other part

of the questionnaire?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, question 38 and 39.

THE COURT:

Q. Anybody other than your son-in-law been involved with

law enforcement?

A. No, sir.

Q. Where is your son-in-law now?

A. He is a corrections officer.

Q. Where?

A. I don't know.

Q. Locally?

A. Yes, in Miami somewhere.

Q. How long has he done that type of work?

A. 15 or 16 years, something like that.

Q. Would that affect your verdict here? Would that cause

you to be bias or prejudice, the fact that your son-in-law

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

93

 

works for the state, would that cause you to be bias or

prejudice in any way?

A. No, sir.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Question 38.

BY THE COURT:

Q. 38. Where does your daughter work?

A. She is a court reporter for Braun and Vega.

Q. That's a law firm?

A. It's a court reporter firm.

Q. Here in town?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How long has she been doing that type of work?

A. Maybe 15 years.

Q. Would that have any bearing on your decision as a juror

in this case?

A. No, sir.

THE COURT: Thank you, ma'am, you may step out.

Any motions on this juror?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Your Honor.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, Braun Vega are the

court reporters in the civil litigation, in the personal

injury litigation that are going on simultaneously and have

taken all the depositions in that case.

THE COURT: Given that factor, any objection to

her being excused?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

94

 

MS. MILLER: Yes, Your Honor, unless she shows

some evidence that that has effected her in any way. She

may not even know what her daughter works at. We object to

that being a basis for a cause challenge. She doesn't even

know where her son-in-law works.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: As far as I understand, her

daughter is where we got the information for looking in the

articles. Why should we take that risk?

THE COURT: She said she read it in the Miami

Herald.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: I think she said something about

her daughter giving her the information. It's a big case

in that office. I don't understand why we should want to

take that risk. Some of the witnesses that are being

called by the government to testify gave those depositions.

Moreover, Your Honor, may recall, well, I don't know that

Your Honor had any knowledge of the case at the time but

there was a time when some --

THE COURT: I'll reserve ruling on this and ask

her some more questions when she is called in.

Let's bring all the jurors back. We now have all

the causes except the one on Ms. Meyer.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, we would move for

additional peremptory challenge.

THE COURT: Yes, I've considered your written

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

95

motion. That motion is denied.

Tell the other jurors also marshal, out front to

come in. All of them.

[The jury returns to the courtroom].

THE COURT: As your names are called step forward

and have a seat in the jury box. Just have a seat there.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Anna Meyer, Melvin Hardy,

Roberta McClam.

THE COURT: Miss Myers, while we are waiting on

Mr. Hardy to come in, your daughter has worked as a court

reporter and you told us about that --

THE COURT: Mr. Hardy is gone?

MR. MARSHAL: He is not out there.

THE COURT: Did you check the mens room?

MR. MARSHAL: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: I think he misunderstood when I said

he was excused to go back out there.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Ma'am, how often do you see your daughter that works as

a court reporter?

A. Quite often, every week.

Q. She is married?

A. Yes, she is.

Q. She doesn't live with you?

A. No.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

96

 

Q. Just answer the next couple questions yes or no. Have

you talked with your daughter about anything that involves

this case?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: The motion is granted. Miss Myers.

You are excused.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Jose Bringas and Eugene

Newton.

THE COURT: Hand the microphone down to juror

number five.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Mr. Hardy is back in the

courtroom.

THE COURT: Come on in, Mr. Hardy. Take seat

number one.

Mr. Bringas, you are excused.

Ms. Newton is number 3. Please pass it to

Ms. Newton.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Ms. Newton, just answer yes or no. I'm going to be

very careful about how I ask this and don't volunteer

anything.

In spite of what you may have read or seen or

heard on the radio, television or newspapers about the

airplane crash, do you understand that it would be your duty

to base your verdict only on what you heard in this

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

97

 

courtroom from the sworn testimony of the witnesses? Do you

understand that?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you understand that although newspapers try to write

stories, I will tell all of you each day that you're not to

read anything in the paper, not to watch anything on the

television, not to listen to anything on the radio if there

should be something put on about the case.

Now, the reason we do that is the newspaper

people, the media do their best to try to report what they

see when they come here and listen to the case, but they

sometimes listen to a few witnesses and go away and write a

story or maybe listen to argument of counsel and go away and

write a story. This is not criticism of them, they try to

do the best they can to write the news as they understand

it, but their opinions as to what happened here in the

courtroom are not what counts. What counts and what is

important is you folks' opinions and listening to the

witnesses and what you folks hear and not what you may read

in the paper or see on television. So understanding that,

can all of you follow that instruction that I will give you

each day not to read anything or watch anything. At the end

of a few days or week or two you will be able to give me

that instruction back. You will know it by heart.

Can all of you do that, follow my instruction on

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

98

 

that?

ALL JURORS: Yes.

THE COURT: Understanding the importance of not

reading something that will be put on T.V. or in the

newspapers after, do all of you understand not to let

anything that may have been written before this or may have

been on T.V. before this have any part of your decision?

Obviously you cannot and should not base your verdict on

any story in the paper or anything like that. It's got to

be based on what comes from this witness box. All of you

now seated here can all of you do that?

ALL JURORS: Yes.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Ms. Newton, can you put out of your mind anything that

you may have read back whenever it was, you indicate some

time ago, and base it and follow my instruction, can you do

that, ma'am.

A. Yes.

Q. Let me ask you, the last time, have you heard anything

recently or read anything recently about the paper, just yes

or no?

A. Yes.

Q. Did that cause you to have any opinion at all as you

now sit here about the guilt or innocence of anybody in the

case?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

99

 

A. It did not.

Q. Do you understand that the government must prove each

and every element of the charges that they brought against

each of the defendants beyond and to the exclusion of

reasonable doubt in the minds of the 12 of you?

That's their burden of proof. They must carry

that burden. If they do not prove each and every element

beyond and to the exclusion of reasonable doubt then it

would be your duty to find that defendant or defendants not

guilty. If they do prove it, it is your duty, if they carry

that burden, it is your duty to find them guilty.

Do you understand the burden of proof and that it

is upon the government, and can you follow my instructions

on the burden of proof at the end of this case? Can all of

you do that?

ALL JURORS: Yes.

THE COURT: It is very important that you follow

the instructions on the law. Sometimes you may not agree

with what the Judge is telling you. You may say I think

the law ought to be different. I think it should be

something else. But you must follow the instructions I

give you because everyone is relying on the fact that you

folks are going to follow the law. We are counting on

that. Can all of you do that? Can you follow the

instructions each though you may disagree with some of the

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

100

 

instructions? Can all of you do that?

ALL JURORS: Yes.

THE COURT: Any other questions that you wish to

call to my attention?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Number 42 as well as the matter

of military service.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Ms. Newton, just very briefly, has what is your

experience or what is your work?

A. I am director of quality management at Baskin Palmer

Eye Institute.

Q. In that regard you have had some training in the

disposal of medical supplies or hazardous materials, is that

right?

A. Medical waste, yes.

Q. With respect to the traveling industry, no, I'm sorry.

You are are you familiar with those regulations?

A. As it pertains to hospitals.

Q. That's been an area of responsibility for several

years?

A. Yes.

Q. How many, a lot?

A. A long time.

THE COURT: All right, at this point in time we

will inquire first of the government and then after the

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

101

 

government has tendered of the defense of any challenges

they may have preempt to recall for any of the 12.

MS. MILLER: Judge, could I have a moment? I was

missing a page of the last questionnaire.

THE COURT: Ms. Newton's you mean?

MS. MILLER: Yes.

THE COURT: Here is Ms. Newton's.

MS. MILLER: Thank you.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, with regard to an

extension could we have a short recess to confer about

that?

THE COURT: We can just sit here.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, with the government's

thanks we would excuse Ms. Jones, Ms. Mosley and

Ms. McClam.

THE COURT: Thank you ladies. If you folks would

step down. We thank you very much for being with us. Call

the next three jurors.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Cynthia Battle, Thomas

Galiana, Marilyn Herskowitz.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Ms. Battle, which family member or friend had the

problem?

A. I have a brother.

Q. How long ago was that, 1991 you said. Is that about

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

102

 

right?

A. Yes.

Q. Has that matter been resolved?

A. Yes.

Q. Is there anything about that that causes you to have

any feeling or prejudice or bias toward anybody in the

courtroom, the government or the defense?

A. No.

Q. Do you understand and you've heard what we have said

this morning about needing to be fair and impartial? Do you

believe you can do that?

A. Yes.

Q. What is your work now?

A. I'm a correction officer.

Q. How long have you been doing that?

A. About 11 years.

Q. And the training you had was at the academy for

correction officers?

A. Yes.

Q. Where do you work?

A. I work for Miami Dade correction.

Q. Anything about that that would cause you to have any

feeling of bias or prejudice that you're aware of?

A. No.

Q. Just answer yes or no please. With respect to what you

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

103

 

have read or heard and you indicate that T.V. is where you

may have heard something about the case, with respect to

what you heard on T.V. or saw on T.V. several years ago, did

you form any opinions that would carry over and effect your

verdict in this case?

A. No, I did not.

Q. Have you heard anything since the first floury of news

about it?

A. No.

Q. You've heard nothing recently about it as far as you

know, is that right?

A. That's correct.

Q. As you sit here now, do you have any opinion about the

guilt or innocence of anybody involved in this case?

A. No, I don't.

Q. Can you listen to the evidence as you heard me explain

to these other folks and base your verdict solely on the

evidence that you heard in the case?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: Any other questions you wish me to

inquire into by number?

MS. MILLER: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Let's hand the microphone to Thomas

Galiana.

Q. And Mr. Galiana, what do you do now, sir?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

104

 

A. I am a property manager. Right now I'm working with my

father. He is an accountant.

Q. Other than your courses in college you've not had any

other formal training in law enforcement?

A. No.

Q. When is the last time that you heard anything -- other

than what we mailed to you, but other than that in the

newspaper or television about the case?

A. When it originally took place.

Q. Do you understand and I'm sure you do, that the

government has the burden of proving their allegations about

what happened, and they must have the burden of proof beyond

a reasonable doubt. Can you put aside anything you've read

or heard or seen?

A. Yes.

Q. When you have heard all of that do you have any

opinions about guilt or begins or who is responsible or

anything like that understanding as you now know that you

are suppose to base it on what you hear in this courtroom,

do you have any opinion?

A. No.

Q. As you sit here now do you understand that you are

suppose to have an open mind any matter? Do you have an

open mind?

A. Yes.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

105

 

Q. Can you be fair and impartial?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: Any other questions?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor,

THE COURT: Which number?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, in view of this

gentleman's response to question number 47 we would ask

Your Honor to inquire further as you have with regard to

other jurors and also question 57.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Which Judge did you work with when you were a judicial

intern?

A. Judge Salmon.

Q. How long ago was that?

A. Around 5 years ago, 1994.

Q. And you have some, familiarity then with the Assistant

United States Attorney court procedures. Were these civil

or criminal cases?

A. In the beginning they were criminal and at the end of

the semester there was one civil.

Q. You were with him for one semester?

A. Yes.

Q. Anything about your internship with the Judge that

would carry over and prejudice you in any way in this case

as far as you know?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

106

 

A. No.

Q. Do you understand that if you learn something about the

law when you were a judicial intern that is different from

what I instruct you on the law that you must follow at the

end of this case that you be obliged to follow my

instructions even though it might be slightly different from

something you may have already learned. Could you do that?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you understand that the government will have to

prove in this case any matters, whatever elements go to

these prospective charges they brought and will have to

bring it to your satisfaction, the 12 of you beyond a

reasonable doubt, the charges do you understand that?

A. Yes.

Q. Irrespective of what you read, do you have any opinion

that would cause you to not be able to accept the evidence

you hear in this courtroom as being the binding evidence

that you have to follow? Do you have any opinions that are

so firmly fixed that you could not be fair?

A. No.

THE COURT: All right, the third person. Miss

Herskowitz.

Q. Would you tell us what you do?

A. I'm retired first grade teacher. I'm married to a

neurologist. I live in Kendall and I have three adult

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

107

 

children.

Q. You've told us what you read in the newspaper and may

have seen on television. As you sit here now, what is your

opinion as to what you should do? What is your

responsibility? Should you base it upon what you may have

read several years ago or whenever it was or should you base

it on what you hear in the courtroom? What do you think?

A. Definitely what I hear in the courtroom.

Q. Was there anything that you read in the newspaper when

this occurred or you saw on tell investigation that made

such an impression in your mind that you cannot set it aside

if I tell you to do that?

A. No, sir.

Q. Will you hold the government to their burden of proving

this case beyond and to the exclusion of all reasonable

doubt if I tell you that's what you've got to do?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Can you be fair and impartial?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: Any challenge by anybody of any of

these three.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, the government tenders

the jury.

THE COURT: If the defense counsel would like to

confer perhaps over here is as good a place as any I

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

108

 

suppose.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, may I approach the

bench with Ms. Miller?

THE COURT: You can't just give me your

challenges?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: It's another matter besides that.

(Sidebar proceedings off the record)

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, we wish to thank and

excuse the following jurors: Ms. Bouie, Ms. Newton,

Ginette Yacinthe, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Galiana,

Ms. Herskowitz and Mr. Mann.

THE COURT: Thank you, folks. We appreciate you

being with us and you folks are excused. You are free to

go. Thank you very much.

THE COURT: Call the next seven jurors, please.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Bonnie Hepburn, Ruth Baal,

Juanita Tyre, Leonardo Castells, Jinnie Cooper, Frank

Tilton, Hattie Hayden,

BY THE COURT:

Q. Ms. Hepburn, tell us what you do.

A. I work with the Dade County Florida schools for 30

years now.

Q. Did you teach?

A. Yes, I teach.

Q. Going directly to your questionnaire, you have read

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

109

 

something or heard something on the news or television about

the airplane crash. Do you remember when it was that you

heard that?

A. I don't remember anything. I remember I heard it but

that's all I remember.

Q. Do you have any opinion as to what caused the crash as

you sit here right now without having heard the evidence?

A. No.

Q. Do you understand, and all of you, do understand that

the government has the burden of proving these matters and

you must base your verdict only on what you hear in this

courtroom? Can you do that, ma'am?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you put it out of your mind what you may have heard

several years ago?

A. Yes.

Q. Let's go to Ruth Eleanor Baal.

A. For the past 22 years I am the recruiting coordinator

for Sterns Weaver Miller.

Q. And you have contact with a number of lawyers in the

civil field primarily?

A. Approximately 60 in our office.

Q. Okay, that should have either instilled in you, maybe

patience or hostility either way. Hopefully patience?

Do you know whether or not your law firm has had

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

110

 

any involvement of any kind with this airplane crash case?

A. As far as I know, I don't think so.

Q. You've indicated that you saw whatever was on the

newspaper and television at the time. Do you have any fixed

opinions about guilt or innocence or anything that would

affect your verdict in this case?

A. No, I don't.

Q. You believe you have heard something recently about it.

Would that cause you to have any feeling of probable guilt

in this case?

A. No, I mean, as recently as Saturday, but it would not

sway me one way or the other.

Q. Do you understand that you have to base your verdict on

what the government proves or does not prove in this

courtroom?

A. I understand.

Q. Could you do that, ma'am?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, you mentioned the problem about your mother.

Would that cause you to be unable to give this your full

attention?

A. Attention, no. I would have to devote the entire

weekend and probably evenings to maintaining the other home.

Q. Would you be able to do that and still be able to

function as a fair juror in this case? You know the hours

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

111

 

we work.

A. Probably.

Q. You see, it would be very difficult for us to do

anything about that situation if in the middle of the trial

something happened, we try to accommodate you, but all 12 of

us have to be here every day promptly and listen to the

evidence and go home at a reasonable time and come back the

next day. If one person is missing we can't go forward.

A. I understand that.

Q. With that in mind, you are the best one to tell us,

could you handle that all right?

A. I believe so, yes.

Q. We thank you.

THE COURT: Any other questions of this

particular juror?

MS. MILLER: No, Your Honor.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Question number 55, Your Honor.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Is there anything about your daughter's work that would

carry over and have any bearing on this case, your daughter

that is an account exec?

A. I only want the Court to know what she did and that the

airline was one of her accounts in Atlanta.

Q. Any discussions with her to cause you to have any

private knowledge about anything about the airline?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

112

 

A. No, other than I didn't know it until recently and she

happened to mention it to me, and that was the only way I

knew that.

Q. Do you believe any of those discussions would cause you

to be prejudice against the airline?

A. No.

THE COURT: Let's take Ms. Tyre, Juanita Tyre.

BY THE COURT:

Q. You indicated that you have read something or heard

something about the case, the crash. Have you formed any

opinions that you believe would cause you to be unable to

sit here and fairly decide this case? Just yes or no.

A. No.

Q. You indicated the last such time was probably in 1997.

Have you heard anything more recently?

A. No, sir.

Q. You've heard what I have said to those other folks

about the responsibility to base it only on what you hear.

Can you do that?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: Any other questions of this juror?

MS. MILLER: No, Your Honor.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, with regard to her

service on grand jury.

THE COURT: What number?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

113

 

MR. MOSKOWITZ: I don't have it numbered. She

indicates that she was the foreperson of a grand jury.

THE COURT: Where does she indicate that? What

page?

BY THE COURT:

Q. Have you been on a grand jury, ma'am?

A. Yes.

Q. When was it?

A. Several years ago.

Q. State or Federal?

A. State.

Q. You understand that the grand jury's responsibility is

to pass matters on over to petit jurors who decide based on

the evidence in a court of law, their verdict, and it is a

different burden of proof?

A. Yes.

Q. You will follow the burden of proof I give you, will

you not?

A. Yes.

Q. Anything about your grand jury experience cause you to

have any prejudice in this case?

A. No, sir.

THE COURT: Mr. Moskowitz?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Question number 42 as well, Your

Honor.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

114

 

BY THE COURT:

Q. What experience and training have you had in hazardous

waste disposal?

A. My husband owns an automobile repair facility.

Q. At the hospital?

A. No, it's an automobile repair facility, oil and

chemicals and stuff that has to be disposed of.

Q. There are certain regulations there as to that?

A. Yes.

Q. And you have some knowledge of that?

A. No, I just know that we have to put them in a can and

pay to ship them off.

Q. You have indicated that you heard something back at the

time of this crash on T.V., radio and newspaper and then

perhaps again on the crash's anniversary. Anything that

you've heard or read, does that carry over or cause you to

have any opinions to that?

A. No.

Q. Do you believe that you could put aside anything that

you may have read in the paper or heard on T.V. or listened

in the radio three years ago and base your verdict solely on

what you hear in this courtroom? Can you do that?

A. Yes.

Q. Are you sure about that?

A. Yes.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

115

Q. Now, you've heard something about the defendant

SabreTech, who did you hear that from if you remember? Was

that the same news story?

A. Most likely it was the local papers.

Q. What?

A. Local papers and media.

Q. Did that cause you to have any firm opinions about

guilt or innocence in this case?

A. No.

Q. Are you prejudiced against anybody that you know?

A. No bias.

Q. You don't know anybody in the case?

A. No, I do not.

THE COURT: Any other questions?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, 42 and particularly

question 57, Your Honor.

THE COURT: 42 he hasn't had any specialized

training with anything.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: I'm sorry.

THE COURT: We are talking about Leonardo

Castells.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: I apologize, Mr. Castells.

THE COURT: Let's move onto Cooper.

BY THE COURT:

Q. What do you do?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

116

 

A. I work for Dade County School.

Q. You never heard anything about this case up until

today?

A. No.

Q. Do you know of any reason at all that you could not be

fair and impartial in the case and base your verdict on what

you hear in this courtroom?

A. No.

Q. Mr. Tilton, you're a flight engineer with?

A. Florida Western International Airways.

Q. You've been flying for how long?

A. About 12 years now.

Q. Your brother is an attorney?

A. Yes.

Q. You have had a lot of experience and training in the

airline industry?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Including disposal of hazardous material?

A. I'm not sure about the actual disposal, but I'm a

licensed mechanic and I've had some training but not with

disposal per se.

Q. You heard about the crash at the time?

A. At the time I heard very little because I left the

country at the time that it happened.

Q. Well, you have extensive background and training in

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

117

 

this field of air transportation. What do you think? Do

you think that you can, given your background and training

and experience and what you knew or may have discussed with

others, do you think that you would be a good juror on this

case? It's sort of up to you?

A. Well, as far as weighing the evidence and stuff, yes.

I could probably be unbiased but, of course, being in the

industry you have heard things about it.

Q. Don't tell us what you heard about it. I don't mean to

be rude to you, but if you have you tell us we have all

heard it.

Do you think that anything you've heard about the

crash would carry over and possibly affect your verdict in

this case prior to listening to the evidence.

A. Well, I could listen to the evidence. There's always

all kinds of rumors and things going around. I know the

basic story.

Q. Do you think that those would influence your verdict in

this case, anything that you've heard?

A. No, sir, not really. I could probably waive the

information.

THE COURT: What number?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Number 57, Your Honor.

BY THE COURT:

Q. You apparently have worked at DynAir Tech?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

118

 

A. Yes, sir, DynAir Tech which is a predecessor of

SabreTech if I'm not mistaken, but I'm not sure on that.

Q. And you worked there for four months?

A. Yes, sir, just four months.

Q. What was your job there?

A. I worked in the stock room.

Q. Do you think that experience would have any effect or

bearing on your fairness and impartiality in this case?

A. As far as impartiality, it shouldn't effect that. I

don't know if I would know any of the people that were

involved with this. That was two years before this

happened, and I had already been flying for a year.

THE COURT: As far as you know, are there going

to be any witnesses from DynAir going back two years ago?

MS. MILLER: Yes, Your Honor. I'm just trying to

remember all of the work history of all of the witnesses,

and there may be mention of people who have been there as

well including in the stock room.

THE COURT: Would you and Mr. Moskowitz discuss

this and let me know your position.

MS. MILLER: I think we both agree he should be

excused.

THE COURT: Thank you very much. We will let you

step down.

Call the next juror.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

119

 

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Edmond Chin.

THE COURT: We will talk to Ms. Hayden.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Ms. Hayden, at this time you are a housewife, is that

it?

A. Right.

Q. Are you retired? Have you always been a housewife

looking after your grand kids?

A. Always have been, but I have done maid work.

Q. All right, you have never heard anything about this

case before today, have you?

A. No, I haven't.

THE COURT: Any other questions you want me to

look into?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, we don't have the

questionnaire for this juror.

THE COURT: You don't have the questionnaire? We

will come back to her in a moment. We will go to Mr. Chin.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, we don't have the

questionnaire for Mr. Chin. The defense can take a look at

our questionnaire for Ms. Hayden.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: We found that. We have no

additional questions for Ms. Hayden.

THE COURT: How about Mr. Chin?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: We do not have that

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

120

 

questionnaire.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Mr. Chin, what do you do?

A. I'm the leader for the payment processing center of

Florida Power and Light. I've been there for approximately

seven years.

Q. Tell us about family. Married? Children?

A. I'm married. Three children. Two are married. One is

a senior in high school. My first is married to an ATF

officer and the second is married to a computer engineer.

My wife works at the bank as a loan officer. She just

changed jobs. She was with First Union and now is with

NationsBank.

Q. Does your wife work outside the home?

A. Yes, sir, at NationsBank.

Q. What does she do there?

A. She is a loan officer.

Q. Have you heard anything about this case from the radio

television or newspaper before today?

A. When it first broke out, sir.

Q. From anything you've read have you formed any opinions

about the ultimate fact, the guilt or innocence of anyone?

Did that cause you to have any opinions or prejudice one way

or the other?

A. Opinions, yes, I saw where --

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

121

 

Q. I don't want you to tell me what your opinions were.

Would those opinions carry over and affect your verdict in

this case in any way? Just yes or no.

A. Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Without objection, we will excuse

Mr. Chin. Thank you, sir. You may step down. Thank you.

The next one will be Jannette Gonzalez.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Miss Gonsalez, tell us what you do please. You're a

secretary?

A. Yes, I work for a dental office in Miami. I was born

here. I'm a secretary there. I'm single with two kids.

Very small.

Q. You did hear something about an airplane crash, but you

don't recall anything from the newspapers?

A. No, I don't.

Q. Anything at all about what you may have read but you

don't recall what you read in this case, is that fair?

A. Yes, I don't know much about it.

Q. You've heard what I said about basing your verdict on

the evidence that is presented in this courtroom, can you do

that, ma'am?

A. Yes.

Q. Any other questions from the questionnaire from the

government?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

122

 

MS. MILLER: No, sir.

THE COURT: For the defense?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: I'll ask Mr. Moskowitz and Ms. Miller

to step forward and assert any cause challenges they may

have as to these 7 jurors.

(Sidebar proceedings off the record)

THE COURT: Juror number 3, we are going to let

you step down. We thank you very much, Ms. Baal. Thank

you very much.

Call the next juror.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Melba Campbell.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Ms. Campbell, you live in the Homestead area?

A. Yes.

Q. And you work for Florida Power and Light?

A. Yes.

Q. Tell us about your duties.

A. I work in the drawing update department, drawings when

something changes in the plan.

Q. Do you have a background as architect draftsman?

A. No, not really.

Q. Just learned it on the job?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. You have indicated that you did hear something

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

123

 

back in May of '96 on T.V. and radio and conversations.

Don't tell us what you heard or read or talked about, but is

there anything about any of those sources of news or

whatever that cause you to have any opinions that would

affect your ability to be fair in this case?

A. No.

Q. Do you understand you've got to listen to the evidence

as it comes in this courtroom?

A. Yes.

Q. Base your verdict solely on that conversation with your

fellow jurors and the argument on the law. You can do that?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: Any other questions?

MS. MILLER: No, Your Honor.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: I presume, Mr. Moskowitz, your

position and Ms. Miller's would be the same on this last

juror for cause?

MR. MOSCOWITZ: Correct, Your Honor, no cause.

THE COURT: For the government, no cause?

MS. MILLER: That's correct, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Now, we are with the defense. For

the defense any challenge of the seven that have just

joined the panel?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Can we confer again, Your Honor?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

124

 

THE COURT: Certainly.

The 15 jurors that remain that have not been

called up you folks please remain out here in the outer

lobby. Do not talk to anyone or let anybody involved talk

to you. You can talk among yourselves but not about the

case. The marshal will call you in about five minutes.

Thank you. The 12 that are in the box we will let you step

into the jury room in case anybody wishes to use the rest

rooms. Take the same seats.

Those of you that have been spectators, please do

not talk to any of the jurors. Please do not have

conversations where a juror can overhear anything you may be

saying, however innocent it might be, it could affect the

juror's ability to serve. We are going to take a five

minute recess at this time. Thank you.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: All rise.

[There was a short recess].

COURTROOM DEPUTY: All rise.

THE COURT: Bring the jury back in.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, I would like to make

a motion. As the Court knows, Mr. Florence is black. The

only three peremptories that the government has exercised

was to strike three Blacks; Ms. Mosley, Ms. Jones and

Ms. McClam from the jury. I think that at a minimum

Mr. Florence has a right to hear some neutral reason if the

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

125

 

government can put forward any as to why the only strikes

they make are as to the Blacks.

THE COURT: The difficulty is that they've

already been dismissed. The time for the objection to be

made is before they are excused. But I believe the

government has some neutral reason for the challenges.

MS. MILLER: Yes, we do. I think the record

should reflect that the government has tendered a panel

that has numerous African Americans on it including

Mr. Hardy, Ms. Andrea Clayton, Ms. Cynthis Battle,

Ms. Alexander. With regard to the three jurors who were

struck, Your Honor, Ms. Viola Jones told us she is

currently working at a telemarketing firm. Telemarketing

firms, I don't mean to cast any dispersion on any firms,

but that is an area that has frequently that has negative

contact with the Unite States Attorneys' Office.

With regard to Ms. Mosley, I believe her son had

a federal conviction. Obviously, this is the same

prosecutorial office. I know it is the Justice Department,

and with regard to Ms. McClam she also had not only a

conviction with a close family member, but in referring to

it she makes some inconsistent remarks. She described it

as an acquittal and it was actually a conviction and that

gave us some concerning.

THE COURT: The Court finds there has been no

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

126

 

violation of Babson and that the panel is composed of

certainty a cross representation of the community.

Any peremptory challenge of any of the seven that

remain?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: We move to strike Ms. Tyre and

Mr. Castells.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Juanita Tyre and Leonardo

Castells.

THE COURT: All right. Bring in the jury please.

[The jury returns to the courtroom].

THE COURT: Two folks are excused with our

thanks. Juanita Tyre and Leonardo Castells. Thank you

very much. We appreciate it. You are excused.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Hebe Abreu and Mr. Lazarus

Arguelles.

THE COURT: Mr. Hebe Abreu, A-b-r-e-u, going

once, going twice, any objection to passing on to the next

one?

MS. MOSKOWITZ: No, Your Honor.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Barbara Brown.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Ms. Brown, tell us about yourself.

A. My name is Barbara Brown. I live here for 34 years. I

have two daughters. One works at the school and the other

at Walgreens. I've been on the job for like 28 years.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

127

 

Q. You have to take your grand baby to day care every day?

A. Yes.

Q. What time do you do that?

A. I leave Miramar at about quarter to 7 because I have to

take him to day care and then take my daughter to work, and

then I go to work.

Q. So you are tied up going every day to day care for your

grandchildren?

A. Yes.

Q. Would that be a problem for you if you were selected on

this jury?

A. Yes, it would.

THE COURT: Any objection to excusing this lady?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: No, Your Honor.

MS. MILLER: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Call the next juror.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Kelly Moore.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Sir, tell us your name and what you do.

A. Lazarus Arguelles. I'm currently unemployed.

Q. What did you do in your last job?

A. Office clerk.

Q. What type of office did you work in?

A. Anchorman and Sutterfield.

Q. How long ago was that?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

128

 

A. About a year ago.

Q. You've been unemployed for the past year?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you do as office clerk there at that law firm?

A. Faxes, copies, filing.

Q. How long did you work there?

A. About a year.

Q. Does that firm -- do you know anything about this

crash? Have you read anything or heard anything about it?

A. No, sir.

Q. Does the law firm have anything to do with the airplane

crashing, as far as you know?

A. No, sir.

Q. Do you know any of the people involved in this case?

You heard me introduce them earlier.

A. No, sir.

Q. Any reason you could not be a fair and impartial juror

in this case?

A. No, sir.

THE COURT: Any other questions from the

questionnaire on Mr. Arguelles? No.

We will take Mr. Moore.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Mr. Moore, what do you do for a living?

A. I live in Miami Beach for seven years. I'm a flight

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

129

 

attendant for American Airlines for the last 15 years.

Q. Have you read anything about this case or heard

anything before today?

A. Only the initial accident.

Q. Would those conversations that you have had in the

airline business carry over in any way or affect your

verdict in this case?

A. No, sir.

Q. You indicated on your questionnaire a little bit about

what you had heard on T.V. Do you understand that that's

not suppose to have anything to do with your verdict in this

case?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And do you think that you can put that out of your mind

and base it solely on what you hear in this courtroom?

A. Yes.

Q. Which airline do you work for?

A. American Airlines.

Q. How many years?

A. 15 years.

Q. Is that the only airline you've worked with?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you know anybody at ValuJet or SabreTech or any of

these companies?

A. No.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

130

 

Q. Is there anything at all in your background that would

prevent you from being fair and impartial?

A. No, sir.

THE COURT: Any questions?

MS. MILLER: No, sir.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, can we approach?

(Sidebar proceedings off the record)

THE COURT: No challenges for cause of these two.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, can we approach one

moment with Ms. Miller?

THE COURT: All right.

(Sidebar proceedings off the record)

BY THE COURT:

Q. Let me go back to the gentleman from American Airlines.

There may be some testimony forthcoming with one

of the defendants. Mr. Gonzalez also works for American

Airlines involved with service and maintenance at American

Airlines. Since you work at American Airlines, we tell you

this because American Airlines is one of our larger

employers in Dade County. With that information, do you

know him or have you seen him around?

A. No, sir.

Q. Does the fact that he is involved with maintenance of

aircraft every day with American Airlines have any bearing

at all on your ability to be impartial in rendering your

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

131

 

verdict?

A. No, sir.

THE COURT: Any questions or challenges at all of

the juror by the defense?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: May we have a moment, Your Honor?

THE COURT: Yes.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, we wish to thank and

excuse Mr. Moore.

THE COURT: Call the next juror.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Antonio Antelo.

THE COURT: I'll ask you to take a look at the

questionnaire of Ms. Cindy Becerra. I'll be inclined to

excuse her for cause.

A JUROR: My name is Antonio Antelo.

BY THE COURT:

Q. You did read something about this at the time or saw it

on T.V. but you don't recall a whole lot of it?

A. I recall some of the circumstances.

Q. You heard all of the discussions that were going on

here today. Can you base your verdict on solely on what you

hear in this courtroom and put aside anything you may have

heard or seen or read?

A. Yes, I can.

Q. As far as you know, is there any reason you could not

sit here and be a fair and impartial verdict in this case?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

132

 

A. No, I cannot.

THE COURT: Any cause for challenge for the

defense or government?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, could you inquire as

to question 42?

BY THE COURT:

Q. What is your special training, if any, in disposable

hazardous waste?

A. Basically, factors in the warehouse, in a warehouse you

have to know about the disposable factors of OSHA.

Q. And you do that?

A. In case someone was in an accident I take

responsibility for that.

Q. That is that happened while you were working?

A. It has not happened yet.

THE COURT: Hearing nothing for cause, we will go

to the government. Any peremptory challenge by any of the

seven jurors who just joined us?

MS. MILLER: With our thanks we excuse

Mr. Arguelles.

THE COURT: Thank you very much. Call the next

juror.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Cindy Becerra.

THE COURT: Yes, ma'am. Come right on up.

Without objection, she is excused.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

133

 

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Barbara Mills.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Ms. Mills, do you work outside the home?

A. No, I do not.

Q. Are you retired or are you unemployed?

A. I stopped working quite some years ago because I

started having children again, and I just stayed home with

the kids.

Q. And you don't know anything about this case before

today?

A. I've heard of it, but I don't know anything about it,

no, sir.

Q. Now, tell me about your son. How old is he, the one

that is sick?

A. My son is 29 years old.

Q. Your answer is that he may need you.

A. Well, he is at home with me now and he may need me

because his health is really pretty bad. It is pretty bad.

Q. So it is likely that you may have to go and help him

out?

A. Well, he needs help from me, but I have an older

daughter and older son, and I also have a friend of 17 years

who will also help me also.

Q. If you are selected on the jury what is the chance that

you're going to have to stop to help him? Tell us that. If

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

134

 

you are selected we need you here every day. Would you have

to go and take care of your son?

A. I don't think so because most of the time he is in the

house anyway. There's really not anything he can do because

I don't have any training. All I can do is support him and

give him my love.

Q. Do you think you can be impartial in this case?

A. Yes, I can.

THE COURT: For the government, any cause?

MS. MILLER: Yes, Your Honor, we would excuse

Ms. Mills.

THE COURT: Any other question, Ms. Moskowitz?

MS. MOSKOWITZ: I would like to ask to approach

the bench.

THE COURT: We will have Ms. Miller and

Ms. Moskowitz approach the bench please.

Robin, as best you can, try to take this down.

(Sidebar proceedings on the record)

THE COURT: Would you state your neutral reason.

MS. MILLER: I don't know how long this trial is

going to last, but not withstanding her statement that she

can not be distracted by that, I think that there is a

serious potential distraction.

THE COURT: Okay.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: I have no follow up to that.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

135

THE COURT: Fine. She is peremptorily excused.

The Court finds that there is neutral reason. Thank you,

ma'am. You are excused.

THE COURT: Call the next juror.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Carmen Martinez.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, we don't have a

questionnaire for this juror.

THE COURT: I don't either. Does the government

have a questionnaire for this juror?

MS. MILLER: No, sir.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Ma'am, your name?

A. Carmen Martinez, and I live in Coral Gables.

Q. How long have you lived in Dade County?

A. 24 years.

Q. Tell us about your family. Married? Children?

A. I'm married. I have no children.

Q. Do you work outside the home?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. What do you do?

A. I work for a certified public accountant.

Q. What is your responsibility there?

A. Actually, for the past 3 and a half years he has been

involved in a lawsuit, and he really doesn't practice

accounting. He just dedicates his time to the lawsuit and

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

136

 

my responsibilities are pretty much preparing whatever

documents that need to be done for the attorneys.

Q. Which attorneys?

A. The attorneys that he has is Zuckerman Spader

(phonetic). He has Goldwin and Tower, and he has got

Brodrick, Casell, (phonetic).

Q. Is this a civil case?

A. It is an estate planning.

Q. Other than your work on this case, do you have any

legal training or legal background?

A. No.

Q. Is there anything about that case that you think has

any bearing on your ability to be a fair juror in this case?

A. No.

Q. Just yes or no on the next couple of questions. Have

you read or heard anything on this case before today?

A. Yes.

Q. When was the last time that you recall hearing or

reading?

A. Last night on the news.

Q. What you heard on the news or what you've read or seen

on the news up until now, understanding everything that I

have talked about in regards to burden of proof, do you

believe that those stories would have prejudiced you in any

way so that you could not be a fair juror? Just yes or no.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

137

 

A. I guess not.

Q. Do you understand that if you are selected it would be

your responsibility to listen to the evidence very carefully

and insist that the government meet its burden of proof. If

they fail to do that your, verdict should be for the

defendant. If they fail to do that, your verdict would be

for the defendant?

A. Correct.

Q. If there is a dispute about a material fact, some fact

that is material to the case, one witness says, Oh, I'll

make up something totally inane, but if one witness says the

airplane was painted blue, and the other witness says the

airplane is painted red, and if that was material to

something you would have to decide whether was it was blue

or red. You folks decide the issues of fact, not the law

but the issues of fact. And you do that by hearing the

testimony of witnesses, which ones answer correctly, appear

to know what they're talking about, doesn't appear to be

evasive, those things. That's what jurors do. They decide

disputed issues of fact. They decide within the framework

of the law. And you talk about it among yourselves. That's

what it is all about.

So it's not whether you came to the jury thinking

that air travel is good or bad or you had good experience or

a bad experience. It is a question of what does the

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

138

 

evidence show and which witnesses do you believe.

Generally, I give that explanation to everybody at the

beginning of the case, but because you had filled out the

questionnaires we cut through some of that. But do all 12

of the understand what I just said about your job what is

expected of you?

ALL JURORS: Yes.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Ma'am, do you believe you could listen to the case with

an open mind?

A. Yes, but I would like to be excused.

Q. Do you have a personal reason for being excused?

A. Yes, I do.

THE COURT: Would you kindly step up here.

(Sidebar proceedings off the record)

THE COURT: Thank you. You may step down. You

are excused. Call the next juror.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Ngoc-Xuan Tran.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Ma'am, will you tell us where you live and what you do?

A. Ngoc-Xuan Tran. I live in south Miami Dade.

Q. You presently work for who?

A. I work for a health insurance company.

Q. What do you do there?

A. Assistant support.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

139

 

Q. Tell us a little bit about that please.

A. I'm involved with claims testing and network fee

schedule load to the system for repricing purposes.

Q. At the time this incident occurred you heard something

on T.V. and conversations, heard people talking about it?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you think that any of that would carry over and

affect your verdict in any way?

A. I don't think so.

Q. Do you believe you can be fair and impartial in this

case?

A. Yes, sir.

THE COURT: I assume there are no challenges for

cause. Any peremptory challenge from the government?

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, the government tenders

the panel.

THE COURT: I presume the defense accepts.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: We do, Your Honor.

THE COURT: We are going to have to select some

alternate jurors. We will take the noon recess at this

time. We have Jessy Cephus and Clara Larsen. We have you

two folks in the audience. You four, the 12 here, would

all that are jurors hold up your hands please.

It is 1:29. We are going to recess for one hour

for lunch hour. We are going to ask the 12 of you in the

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

140

 

box and all of you in the audience that are jurors not to

discuss the case with anyone or permit anybody to talk to

you about the case. If anyone comes up to you and tries to

talk to you about the case walk away from them. That's a

serious offense. They should not be doing that. Tell the

marshals when you get back and we will take care of it.

Now, with the jurors -- could all of you please have a seat

back there.

For the other jurors we have apparently 7 of you

there. Same instruction, don't have any conversations with

anybody about the trial. Don't let anybody talk to you. Be

careful where you stand in the hallway. If you are seated

out there make sure that you don't innocently overhear a

conversation. Sometimes lawyers don't realize that you're a

juror and you innocently hear something that would

disqualify you. When the 12 of you come back in one hour go

into the jury room. The other 7 of you please just come up

and be in the outer lobby.

The 7 of you, would you please file up forward and

give your names to Ms. Kramerman. The rest of you now will

be in recess 2 until 230. We will be in recess.

[There was a recess for the noon hour].

AFTERNOON SESSION - 2:30 P.M.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Court is in session. The

Honorable Judge James Lawrence King presiding.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

141

 

THE COURT: Thank you. Be seated, please. Do we

have any jurors in the courtroom?

MR. MARSHAL: No, sir.

THE COURT: You all were advised or at least

representatives from each side were advised prior to

leaving that Ms. Tran, the last juror seated, wished to be

excused for the reason she expressed to Ms. Moskowitz and

Ms. Miller.

What is your position respecting letting her be

excused?

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, I think she is

expressing concern, but it seems equivocal to her being

excused. So I would like to hear that.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: I didn't hear any equivocation.

She said she would lose her whole semester of school.

THE COURT: Let's bring her in and ask her. It

will just take a second, if anybody has got a doubt about

it.

Have a seat right there at the end, ma'am. Tell

us about your school.

A JUROR: I go to school part-time Mondays and

Thursdays, part-time Mondays and Thursdays. Mondays and

Wednesdays are 4:45 in the afternoon, and Tuesday and

Thursday at 5:15.

THE COURT: What are you asking the Court to do?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

142

 

Are you asking to be excused?

A JUROR: Yes, sir, if possible.

THE COURT: We thank you very much. If you would

step out, please. All right, the lady is back in the jury

room. What is your position?

MS. MILLER: We are not asking that she be

excused for cause. I understand the Court's position

however,

THE COURT: The lady has asked to be excused.

The defense has no objection to this, even though, I

presume, they would like to have her as a juror. Does the

government have any objection to her being excused?

MS. MILLER: Yes, we do, Your Honor.

THE COURT: You would like for her to stay here.

MS. MILLER: Yes, sir. What is your position?

MS. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, I think she should be

able to go to school.

THE COURT: I do, too, but that's not the answer

to the question.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: I don't think -- we move for

cause to have her struck, Your Honor. She was very clear

about what she wanted. The fact that she said, if

possible, was just because she had respect for the Court

and the proceedings, not because she was asking sincerely

to be excused. We move for cause.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

143

 

THE COURT: The Court will excuse her for cause.

You can tell the lady that she is excused. Tell the others

to come back in and have a seat. Bring the others out in

the lobby all in. We will proceed with the next two jurors

being Clara Larsen and Jesse Cephus.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Jesse Cephus.

THE COURT: Step up, please. Thank you.

Mr. Cephus, step up. All right. Mr. Cephus, we have read

your questionnaire. We thank you for taking the time to

fill it out. We note that you work for the postal service

and --

A JUROR: Sorry. Metro-Dade.

BY THE COURT:

Q. What do you do for Metro-Dade?

A. Assistant Superintendent for Solid Waste Management.

Q. How long have you worked there?

A. 28 years.

Q. What is your specific -- you are the Superintendent?

A. Assistant Superintendent for the Transfer Division. I

supervise 17 drivers that pick up waste and haul it to the

landfill.

Q. Okay. Now, then you indicated that although you never

heard about the airplane crash, ValuJet back in May of '96,

that presently, you don't recall whatever you may have heard

on T.V. or the radio or have seen in the newspaper. Is that

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

144

 

a fair statement?

A. Correct.

Q. So, if you did see something, you don't, at this point,

recall or tell us what it was?

A. I don't know anything about it.

Q. Were you here this morning when we selected the jury?

A. Yes.

Q. All right. Well, you know all the questions I asked

earlier about whether people can be fair and impartial. Do

you believe you can be fair and impartial in this case?

A. Yes, sir.

THE COURT: By number, any other questions of

counsel?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: No, Your Honor.

MS. MILLER: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Any peremptory challenge?

MS. MILLER: The government tenders the jury,

Your Honor.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: We accept, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Let us call -- I propose to seat four

alternates, that satisfactory to everybody?

MS. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT: And each side would have two

challenges. Let's call four jurors.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Clara Larsen, Carmen Thornton,

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

145

 

Maria Muniz, and Pedro Vazquez.

THE COURT: Mr. Moskowitz, do you have a copy of

the questionnaire of Ms. Larsen?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Does the government?

MS. MILLER: We do, Your Honor.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Miss Larsen, tell us about yourself, please. Where you

live, and your name, and how long you lived there?

A. My name a Clara Larsen. I live in southwest Miami. I

have lived in Dade County since 1952. I work for the postal

service. I've worked there for 25 years. I'm divorced.

I have two grown children. My son lives in

Gainesville, and he works in air-conditioning. My daughter

lives in Dade County, and she works for National Tool in

Broward County.

Q. You indicated that you saw some material on the

television about this case, but you don't recall the

specifics. Don't tell us what you saw, but let me ask you

this question. From what you saw or heard at the time, has

that brought with you or carried over anything that would

cause you to be prejudice in this case before you listen to

the testimony in the trial?

A. No, not really. I don't remember enough about it.

Q. If I instruct you, as I will, to listen carefully to

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

146

 

the evidence, and together with your fellow jurors decide

the disputed issues of fact, could you do that fairly and

objectively?

A. Yes, I could.

Q. If I told you, and I will, to put out of your mind

anything you may have read or heard or seen or discussed

about this case before today and just concentrate on what

you've learned in the case here in the courtroom, could you

do that?

A. Yes.

Q. I'm not going to go into this in any detail or

anything, but you didn't answer one question involving a

situation where you were the victim of a crime. Is there

anything about that situation -- first of all, how long ago

was that?

A. It was in November of 1996.

Q. Is that matter something that carries over to bear on

your mind in a way that would divert your attention in this

case or divert your ability to be fair and impartial?

A. No, it's two separate incidents.

Q. Although you evidenced some general feeling of not

being satisfied, which I certainly understand, but would you

carry that over, and would that cause you to be prejudice

against, for example, the government or the defendant in the

case?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

147

 

A. I think it would make me try that much harder to be

fair.

THE COURT: Any other question that you want me

to ask her about?

MS. MILLER: No, Your Honor.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, directing your

attention to her answer to question 47.

THE COURT: Yes, I asked her about that. She

replied she doesn't recall anything about it at this time.

BY THE COURT:

Q. You recall very little about anything you have read at

this time, is that true?

A. That's true.

THE COURT: I asked her that question. Any

suggestion of cause? Hearing none, we will move onto the

next juror.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: We don't have her

questionnaire.

MS. MILLER: We do, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Could I borrow somebody's

questionnaire?

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Here it is. Never mind. I've

got it.

THE COURT: Thank you.

BY THE COURT:

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

148

 

Q. Tell us your name, and where you live?

A. Carmen Thornton, and I live in Sweetwater. I have

lived in Dade County for 24 years. At the present time, I

am an expecting mother. My first child.

Q. I guess this is a personal question, but it is a very

happy one. When is the baby due?

A. In January.

Q. Would that be a problem for you to serve on a jury, for

perhaps, up to the next six weeks?

A. Yes, I think it will, because my feet get swollen if I

sit too much.

THE COURT: I would be inclined to excuse this

lady for cause unless someone has an objection.

MS. MILLER: No objection, Your Honor.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: No objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Thank you. We will go to the next

juror.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Would you tell is your name please, and where you work?

A. Muniz, Maria. I've been in Dade County since 1968. I

worked in Community Health South Dade. I have two children,

18 and 21.

Q. What does your husband do?

A. I am recently divorced.

Q. Do you have grown children?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

149

 

A. They are 21 and 17. I said 18, it should be 17.

Q. Are they both in school?

A. One is in school, and the other one graduated two years

ago.

Q. What does the other one do?

A. He works full-time for his dad.

Q. What type of work does he do?

A. They own a company, a trucking company.

Q. Now, you did hear some stories about this crash of

ValuJet flight 592 from the T.V., radio, newspapers and

conversations. I don't want you to tell us what you heard

or read please. Do not do that.

Do you recall anything about those articles in the

paper that would carry over and prejudice you, in any way,

in this trial in deciding this case fairly and objectively?

Do you have any prejudices or any opinions that would

prejudice you in this case?

A. No.

Q. Do you understand that you would be required to sit and

listen to the evidence in the case, and talk with your

fellow jurors and reach a decision, can you do that fairly

and objectively?

A. Yes, I could.

Q. Regardless of anything you may have heard before today,

can you do that?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

150

 

A. Yes, I could.

THE COURT: Any other questions from the

questionnaire?

MS. MILLER: No, Your Honor.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: One moment, Your Honor.

Your Honor, I direct the Court's attention to

question 50.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Let me ask you now. If I instruct you that the

government has the burden of proving this case beyond and to

the exclusion of reasonable doubt, and that you must consult

with your fellow jurors in arriving at the evidence, and you

must except that which is truthful and reject that which you

do not believe, if you are told that is your job or duty, do

you think that there is anything in your past about reading

about this, that would prevent you from doing what you

believe your job to do?

A. No.

Q. Do you have any opinion, that regardless of what is

presented in the courtroom, your mind is made up? Do you

have anything like that in your mind?

A. No.

Q. Can you listen fairly and objectively right now,

knowing what the case is about and knowing what we are

talking about? Can you sit here and listen to the case

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

151

 

fairly and objectively without regard to what was in the

paper three years ago?

A. Yes.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, it turns out, we

don't have the questionnaire. Can we look at the

government's questionnaire?

THE COURT: Certainly.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Your Honor. We have

no additional questions.

THE COURT: Thank you. Hand the microphone to

Mr. Vazquez.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, I believe that counsel

and I have an agreement to Mr. Vazquez that he should be

excused.

THE COURT: Mr. Vazquez, thank you for being

here. You are excused. You can go home.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Armando Guerra and Mary

Aldana-Chiles.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Tell us your name, and where you live?

A. Armando Guerra, Jr. I work with a company by the name

of Norrell Services. I've been a resident of Miami Dade

since 1973.

Q. Family? Married? Children?

A. I'm currently married, and in the process of being

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

152

 

divorced.

Q. Any children?

A. No.

Q. What do you do at your work?

A. Basically, what I do is, job placement for individuals

for different companies. Staffing, permanent placement,

temporary, in which I assess the skills, interview, test,

place individuals and try to acquire different business of

different clients.

Q. In your questionnaire, you did indicate that you did

hear on the T.V. and radio and newspaper about this case,

and the airplane crash. You have outlined pretty much in

detail. Do you believe that your detailed memory of the

case, as it occurred -- first of all, when is the last time

you have read anything or heard anything about it? Was it

years ago or more recently?

A. I had not heard anything about it until, I think they

had a memorial for the anniversary, I think. That was the

last time I heard anything about the case.

Q. You heard me tell the jurors that their responsibility

is to listen to the case, with an open mind to the evidence

and put out of your mind, the articles in the newspapers and

what has been on the T.V. Can you do that?

A. I believe I can do that. I always try to keep an open

mind, and not make a judgment until I hear all of the facts.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

153

 

Q. Whatever it is that you have read or heard several

years ago, whatever it was that it turns out, that there was

some different story or different sequence of events which

would you rely on, your memory, or what you heard, or what

is presented here in court?

A. Obviously, what is presented in court.

Q. Do you believe you have any prejudice for the

government, or against the defense, or for or against them?

Do you have any prejudice, in your mind, for or against

anyone?

A. I don't believe I do.

Q. Do you feel comfortable that you can be fair and

impartial in this case?

A. I believe I can be fair and impartial.

THE COURT: Any other questions?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Question 42, Your Honor.

BY THE COURT:

Q. What specialized training do you have in hazard waste

disposal?

A. I was the on-site manager for Dade Bearing, in which

they dealt with diagnostic, and I had to touch on certain

training for hazardous materials, in which I had to train

the employees, and they had to wear the safety protection

equipment, and they had to adhere to rules and regulations.

Q. When was that?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

154

 

A. That was an ongoing process from '93 to 98.

Q. What was the name of the company?

A. The name of the company was Dade Bearing, formerly Dade

International, and I think prior to that Baxter.

Q. Did you actually have anything to do with hazard waste

disposal?

A. No, I did not.

Q. What about training in the travel industry? What

training do you have in the travel industry?

A. I was a reservation agent, many years ago, with a

cruise line. Basically, that is the gambit of my training.

THE COURT: Any suggestion of cause by either

side?

MS. MILLER: No, Your Honor.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Basis on his question to 47, Your

Honor.

THE COURT: The motion is denied. We will take

up challenges in a moment.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Next juror, would you tell us your name?

A. My name is Mary Aldana-Chiles. I live in Kendall. I

was born and raised here, 28 years. I work for a market

research center in Coral Gables. I'm married for five and a

half years.

BY THE COURT:

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

155

Q. What does your husband do?

A. He is a teacher for Dade County Public Schools.

Q. You have indicated in your questionnaire that you did

hear some televised news story, radio and newspaper, and so

on about the crash of this flight. The question is simply,

whether or not you can listen objectively to the evidence as

it is presented in this courtroom, excluding therefrom any

consideration of any article that you may have read, or any

news story you may have seen, and decide the case based on

the evidence in the courtroom? Could you do that?

A. I believe I can.

Q. Do you have any opinions or prejudices against or for

anyone connected with the trial, as you sit here today?

A. No, I don't.

Q. Could you tell me please, your children are how old?

A. I do not have children.

Q. Excuse me. I talked to so many folks today. I thought

I heard you say you had young children.

Do you work outside the home?

A. Yes, I do. I work for a market research company.

Q. Any particular question on the questionnaire?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, I direct your

attention to questions 54, 55 and 56.

BY THE COURT:

MS. MILLER: The government and the defense are

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

156

 

in agreement with regards to this juror.

THE COURT: Let me inquire without going into the

details of it.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Do you think that this would be a distraction for you

if you were to be required to sit here for six weeks?

A. Yes, it would.

THE COURT: All right, then, thank you. You are

excused. You may step down.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Patrick Gillyard.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Mr. Gillyard. Your name, and what you do?

A. Patrick H. Gillyard. I'm 28 years old. I work for

Metro Dade County Clerk of Courts. I'm a mail clerk. I was

born and raised here in Miami for 28 years.

Q. Is this the Circuit Court or the County Court?

A. Circuit. 73 West Flagler.

Q. How long have you worked there?

A. For seven years.

Q. Do you have any involvement with trials and cases that

go on in that courthouse?

A. I am a mail center clerk, so I deliver documents to

district courts.

Q. Would that, in any way, cause you to have any bias or

prejudice, in any way, in this case?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

157

 

A. No.

Q. You indicated that you did see some T.V. broadcast

about this case. You've heard what I said about what you

would do if called upon to be a juror.

Do you think that what you heard about the case on

T.V., would, in any way, carry over and cause you to have

any feeling of bias or prejudice, before you hear any

witnesses or before you listen to the argument?

A. No.

Q. Could you be fair and impartial, and listen with an

open mind to the case?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: Any other question?

MS. MILLER: No, Your Honor.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: No other questions, Your Honor.

Your Honor, we would point to questions 47 and 48.

THE COURT: I don't know much more we can ask him

about that.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: I understand.

THE COURT: I would have to excuse everybody in

the courtroom to go further into this. That's the only way

to do it. We can't ask him anymore about it in the

presence of anybody else.

BY THE COURT:

Q. When is the last time you heard anything or read

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

158

 

anything about the case in the newspaper or television?

A. A month ago.

Q. Have you formed an opinion about guilt or innocence in

this case of anyone?

A. No.

Q. From what you read in the newspaper, do you have any

sort of opinion that somebody is probably innocent or

probably guilty of something or what? Let me phrase it

better. As you sit there, right now, do you have any

probability, feeling that somebody has probably done

something wrong or probably not done something wrong?

A. I don't know.

Q. Are you willing to listen to the evidence and then make

up your mind?

A. Yes.

Q. If the government doesn't prove the case to your

satisfaction beyond and to the exclusion of reasonable

doubt, you would have no trouble voting a not guilty

verdict, is that right, if they don't prove the case?

A. Right.

Q. If they prove the case, then you would vote to find

somebody guilty of something, is that a fair statement? The

question is, the government has the burden of proving the

case. If they don't prove the case, you have to vote not

guilty. If they do prove the case, you are supposed to vote

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

159

 

guilty. Do you understand that?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you do that?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: That's all I can do. Anything for

cause?

MS. MILLER: No, sir.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Nothing else, Your Honor, except

based on the same responses.

THE COURT: The motion is denied. Do we have any

peremptory challenges by the government?

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, with our thanks, the

government moves to dismiss Miss Larsen.

THE COURT: Any others?

MS. MILLER: No, sir. No, Your Honor.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Anthony Reus.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Tell us your name.

A. Anthony Reus. I live at southwest Miami.

Q. What do you do for a living?

A. Mechanic.

Q. Where are you a mechanic?

Q. What company?

A. Cedar Corporation.

Q. How long have you worked there?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

160

 

A. 16 years.

Q. Now, I notice that you got your son to help you fill

this form out, because of your English and Spanish language,

is that right?

A. No, I don't understand much of that.

THE COURT: I understand. I would be inclined to

excuse this gentleman unless there is some objection based

on his answer to number 55.

MS. MILLER: No objection, Your Honor.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: No objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Thank you, you can go home.

Next juror.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Barry Canada.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Tell us about yourself.

A. Barry Canada. Currently, I'm a student at FIU, 22

years old, and I reside in Dade County.

Q. Married? Children?

A. Single. No children.

Q. What are you studying?

A. English Education.

Q. You indicated on the questionnaire that you have heard

of this airplane crash, but that you don't recall very much

about what you have read. Don't tell us what you did read

or hear, but do you recall enough that it has carried over

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

161

 

and caused you to have some feeling of prejudice in this

case in any way?

A. No.

Q. The last time you heard anything about the case was 6

or 8 months ago?

A. Correct.

Q. Did that cause you to form any opinions that you think

would cause you to be for or against the government, or for

or against any defendant?

A. No.

Q. Do you believe you can sit here, and listen fairly and

objectively to the evidence, and decide the case based on

what you hear in the courtroom, and disregard anything that

you may have heard or seen before coming here today?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: Any other questions?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Would you please look at his

response to question 54.

BY THE COURT:

Q. If you are called upon to sit here, you wouldn't be

able to graduate, is that right?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: I would be inclined to excuse him.

Hearing no objection, you may step down.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Debra Williams.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

162

 

BY THE COURT:

Q. Miss Williams, before you get too comfortable, it

appears that you might have some real financial problems and

might lose your job, is that right?

A. Yes, I am a single parent. I have a young child.

THE COURT: Any objections to her being excused?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: No, sir.

MS. MILLER: No, sir.

THE COURT: You may step down.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Grace Castro.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Given what you have set forth in your questionnaire

about your finals coming up in your school, do you believe

that it would be difficult for you to sit?

A. Definitely.

Q. I'm inclined to excuse her unless there is some

objection?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: No objection, Your Honor.

MS. MILLER: No, sir.

THE COURT: You may step down.

Call the next juror.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Tracy Tomeny.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Miss Tomeny, will this interfere with your graduation

if you sit as a juror?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

163

 

A. Yes.

THE COURT: Do you ask to be excused?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: Unless there is some objection, we

will excuse the young lady.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Carolyn Collins.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, we are in agreement that

this juror should be excused.

THE COURT: Thank you, Miss Collins. You are

excused.

Next juror.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Ricardo Bays.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Yes, sir. Would you tell us your name, and where you

live?

A. Ricardo Bays. I am a resident of Florida for the last

29 years. Divorced, seven years. I have one child, a 15

year old son currently living in Orlando in school.

Q. Your work is interesting. Tell us about it?

A. I am retired from Dade County Department of Human

Resources. I currently work at WalMart in loss prevention.

Q. You do some ring judging?

A. I've been doing that since 1982.

Q. That's the part that I said was interesting. Is that

wrestling or boxing?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

164

 

A. Professional boxing.

Q. According to your questionnaire, and again, we don't

want you to tell us what you've read or seen, but you have

seen some articles or have read something about this

airplane crash?

A. Yes, Your Honor.

Q. Do you believe that what you've read and what you've

seen about the crash has carried over and had an effect on

you, so that you have formed an opinion about guilt or

innocence at this point?

A. No, Your Honor.

Q. Do you believe that anything you may have seen or read

would carry over and cause you to have any prejudice for or

against anyone?

A. No, sir.

Q. Do you understand that you would be expected to listen

carefully and decide the case based on the evidence in the

courtroom, and not on anything outside of the courtroom?

A. Yes.

Q. Could you be fair and impartial?

A. Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Any other questions?

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, question 38.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Do you have a brother-in-law that is a lawyer?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

165

 

A. Yes, sir. I do.

Q. Where does he practice?

A. Dade County.

Q. Is he with a firm?

A. He is a senior partner in the firm.

Q. Which firm is he with, or what is his name?

A. Alvin Goodman.

Q. So your sister is?

A. My sister is his wife.

Q. I know that, but what is her name?

A. Dorian Goodman.

Q. What does he?

A. Rusty.

Q. They have been married for 20 years or so?

A. Exactly, yes.

Q. Mr. Goodman has a single practice. You all may know

him. Do you know what type of practice?

A. It is a general practice, as far as I know.

Q. How often do you see your brother?

A. Once a week.

Q. He is involved with the boxing commission also?

A. Not any longer. He was.

THE COURT: Anything for cause by either side?

MS. MILLER: No, sir.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, based on responses to

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

166

 

questions 53.

THE COURT: Well, do you want to go into more

questions outside the presence of everybody? The only way

I know to do it, is to excuse everybody. If you want to do

that we can do that.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, unfortunately, that

is our position.

THE COURT: Anybody besides this gentleman that

you want to do that with? Give me a list of everybody.

There are four of them there. Before we get to that.

Ms. Miller, you had challenged one. We have filled the box

with this one. Do you have any other peremptories?

MS. MILLER: Is there going to be any additional

questioning of these jurors?

THE COURT: I was going to do that one by one.

MS. MILLER: We would like the hear the

questioning before we state our position.

THE COURT: You all know the drill. It's like

the fireman's ball. The bell rings and all the jurors go

out into the hall. Don't talk to anybody about the case.

Don't listen to any conversations. Take the same seats

when you come back. Don't talk about the case.

[The jury leaves the courtroom].

THE COURT: Would all of those jurors seated in

the courtroom, please step out in the hallway, and don't

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

167

 

talk to anybody else about the case.

Everybody be seated. Tell me in your own words,

do you have any opinion, at all, in this case before you

listen to the evidence about who is right and who is wrong.

A. I have no opinion, Your Honor.

BY THE COURT:

Q. What did you hear, if you remember, back when this came

out?

A. I don't remember the exact details of the case. All I

can really recall is the issue involved.

Q. Yes, whatever you happened to hear, see or read.

A. The only thing that I can recall right now is the issue

of the canisters being involved as the cause of the crash of

the plane.

Q. As you sit here now, knowing that you are supposed to

listen to the evidence, and based it on that, is there

anything about the earlier news story based on the canisters

that would prejudice you, so you could not be fair and

impartial?

A. No, Your Honor.

Q. If it turns out that they were carrying ping-pong balls

instead of canisters, what would you believe?

A. The information from the court, Your Honor.

Q. Silly question.

THE COURT: Mr. Moskowitz, do you want to ask him

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

168

 

any questions?

BY MR. MOSKOWITZ:

Q. Sir, you stated that you've heard of SabreTech, is that

correct?

A. From the newspaper.

Q. Your answer is that you understand that SabreTech is

responsible for the maintenance of the aircraft?

A. That's what I believe I have read.

Q. What aircraft do you understand that was for, for the

aircraft that crashed?

A. That specific plane.

Q. What is your understanding of the cause of the crash?

A. My understanding is, of the cause of the crash is, I

don't recall exactly, but I think that the canisters have

caught on fire.

Q. Do you have any recollection as to what SabreTech's

role was with regard to the canisters?

A. Specifically, no.

Q. Is it your view that the canisters were part of

SabreTech's responsibility in regards to maintenance?

A. At the time, that was my understanding.

Q. As you sit here, is it your view that SabreTech is

responsible for that crash?

A. No, sir. That was just based on what I read in the

newspaper, certainly after it happened.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

169

 

Q. At the time you read that in the newspaper, was that

your understanding based on that report?

A. At that time.

Q. That SabreTech was responsible?

A. At that time.

Q. What has changed your view since you read that?

MS. MILLER: Objection, Your Honor, that assumes

a statement that the juror did not make.

THE COURT: Let me put it this way. I can answer

it for him, and I hesitate to cut everybody off, he now

understands his job which is to listen to the evidence in

this case and decide it fairly and objectively. Nobody

told him that before. The question is, can he do that? He

is the only one that can tell us that.

BY THE COURT:

Q. When you read the article, you had an opinion and you

wrote this down on the questionnaire, is that right?

A. Yes, Your Honor. I tried to be as honest as I could.

Q. I understand that. When you wrote down, I understand

that the crash was due to the oxygen canisters. I do not

recall all that I have heard or read and then, later on,

same as above, also heard about memorial in the Everglades.

Last night on the news, the trial starts today

involving SabreTech and other defendants. Then over here on

the other page, you said something about SabreTech being

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

170

 

responsible for the maintenance of the aircraft. Have you

heard of any of these defendants? Yes. Which ones?

SabreTech responsible for maintenance of the aircraft.

Now, that's what you know about this case, is that

correct.

A. That's what I understood at the time.

Q. Now, what are you going to base your verdict on, what

you heard here or what you heard three years ago?

A. Based on the information that came out in court.

THE COURT: I think it's quite clear, and I think

he has answered the questions quite clearly. So the motion

is denied. You may step outside. Don't talk about any of

this outside the courtroom.

Which do you want to ask more questions on?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Mr. Guerra, Your Honor.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Mr. Guerra, tell us in your own words what you heard or

what you think you heard or read about the crash when you

heard about it. First of all, you indicated it was T.V.,

radio and newspapers, and you heard people discussing the

case. Was that back at the time that it happened?

A. That's correct.

Q. Since that time, has there been other occasions?

A. The only thing I've heard since originally back then,

was I think, that I had heard once before that one of the

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

171

 

people that were accused from SabreTech had fled. Then

after that, I didn't hear anything else about it until the

anniversary, when I think they did a memorial out there in

the Everglades. After that I did not hear anything else.

THE COURT: Mr. Moskowitz?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Mr. Guerra, in your answers in

the questionnaire that you did for the Court, you were

asked what you had heard about the crash. You said that

apparently there's a fire in the passenger area that seems

to be caused by the air canisters that weren't properly

discharged.

A. That's what I recall originally when I read the

articles.

Q. As you sit here, is that your understanding of what

caused the crash?

A. Originally, that's what I read. That's originally what

I was led to believe.

Q. Is that what you believe?

A. I have no other recourse than to believe what was

written.

Q. As you sit here, sir, it is your view that it was the

air canisters not being properly secured that led to this

crash?

A. From what I recall, there was an investigation and

supposedly there was suppose to be other issues, but that is

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

172

 

one of the ones that originally was indicated on there.

That's what I stated.

Q. Are you suggesting that under this investigation, there

were other possible causes which were investigated?

A. I think that's what I recall from the investigation,

that there was a list of things. That's one of the ones

that I recall.

Q. And you recall the investigation concluded that this

was one of the possible causes?

A. I don't recall that there was a conclusion. I think it

was still being investigated, but that's the original

report, that was given out.

Q. Sir, if it turned out that one of the defendants in

this case had involvement with those air canisters that was

part of his responsibility, would it be your view that that

defendant had some role or responsibility for causing the

crash?

A. Could you please clarify your question?

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, I believe now we are

questioning the juror about things that might emerge at

trial. That's not an appropriate question.

BY THE COURT:

Q. Do you believe everything you read in the newspaper?

A. I read information and I know that they have to go

ahead and write certain stuff. Do I believe everything that

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

173

 

I read? No, I usually find out that there is more than one

side to every story, so I go ahead and take all the

information in, and I try to make a decision afterward.

From what I recall from the case, they were

gathering all the information, there was an investigation

and that was one of the original findings.

Q. If, after you read a newspaper article and you had the

opportunity of listening to a full trial and listening to

all of the witnesses that were there and knew what happened,

and that differed, in any way, from what you heard in the

newspaper, which would you base your verdict on? Would you

base it on the newspaper story, or on the full trial you've

listened to?

A. What I would do in this case is, the trial supposedly

is coming up with all the information and the final findings

of the investigation, I believe. I may be wrong.

Q. Once your mind has read an article or accepted the

facts that were in a newspaper, if those facts were

different from what you heard in a trial, how would you feel

about that? Would you feel obliged to stick to the first

reading in the article, or would you base it on the sworn

evidence in the court?

A. I would base it on the evidence in court.

Q. Could you reject the other article if it was untrue or

incorrect in your mind?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

174

 

A. I believe I can.

Q. As you sit here today, do you believe that any of the

defendants are guilty of anything?

A. I haven't acquired the information. I don't think I

can make a decision.

Q. As you sit there today, right now, do you have some

conviction in your mind that they are guilty of something?

A. I don't know what they are possibly guilty of.

THE COURT: Thank you, sir. You may step down.

A JUROR: Your Honor, if I could ask you a

question, please. I'm sorry. I have no problem with my

employment during the day. However, I am seeking

employment during the evening part-time. In fact, I have a

job interview to go to that I have planned. I can make

arrangements if I am selected as a juror. How long are the

cases supposed to usually last?

THE COURT: We put that in the letter sent to all

of you. We start at about 9:00 in the morning with an hour

for lunch and go until 5:00 or 5:30. We do that five days

a week. We acknowledge all official holidays and all

religious holidays. We don't do it half days or alternate

Tuesdays or every Monday, Wednesday or Friday, and when I

haven't got a golf game or something like that.

A JUROR: I have no issues with that, but I did

have a job interview set for tomorrow morning.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

175

THE COURT: We will keep that in mind. Thank

you. If you will step out now.

Mr. Moskowitz, your motion?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, I know he was quite

clear saying that he believes he could be fair, and I don't

doubt that is his view of himself, but we heard enough

about the initial opinions he formed that this crash was

caused by the canisters put on this plane, and he has

apparently some sense that, as a result of the

investigation as he put it, that was one of the findings.

He is aware of the original investigation that

that finding was made. I believe that the Court has been

very careful with the questioning and trying to pick a

juror. He has sufficient views on this matter, which I

think is prejudicial. I think that is sufficient to strike

him for cause.

THE COURT: Thank you.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, we don't think he need

be stricken for cause. Although the questioning went on

more lengthy than anybody else, he did not change his

opinion that he could be fair.

THE COURT: It's quite clear that he said that.

I think Mr. Moskowitz could take any one of these people

seated out there and ask them a series of questions that

would lead to the conclusion that a basis had been made

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

176

 

that the person is strikeable for cause. I think he has

done that in this case. The motion is granted. He is

stricken. That one a granted and the other one for cause

is denied.

Vicki, now, have we got three alternates?

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Yes.

THE COURT: Marshal, go out and call Tabitha

Caldwell. Have you all read pages 13, 14 and 15?

MS. MILLER: Just a moment, Your Honor.

THE COURT: I'm inclined to grant her request to

be excused.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: No objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Without hearing an objection, you may

be excused, ma'am. Before we bring Mr. Tracy Tomeny, we

have the same problem with the next person. He is a

full-time student set to graduate in April.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: We already took care of that

one.

THE COURT: Who is the next one.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Antonio Garcia. He is not on

the list.

THE COURT: Does anybody have Antonio Garcia's

questionnaire?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: We have it, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Could we borrow it, please?

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

177

 

MS. MILLER: I think we excused him, Your Honor.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, apparently this juror

has a language problem. We would not object to excusing

him on that basis.

THE COURT: All right. What does Ms. Miller say?

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, we have no objection if

the gentleman doesn't feel comfortable in English.

THE COURT: Do we have any other jurors?

COURTROOM DEPUTY: No, sir, that is it.

THE COURT: We can get some more in the morning?

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Yes.

THE COURT: I will let you go out and excuse

those that are in the foyer.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: I think there is only that one

gentleman.

THE COURT: Marshal, bring the other jurors in

that we have here. Then go out and excuse him and tell him

he can leave.

[The jury returns to the courtroom].

THE COURT: All right, does the government have

any peremptory challenges of any of the three alternates?

Mr. Guerra, you are excused. Thank you very much.

Of the three alternates, any challenges by the

government?

MS. MILLER: No, Your Honor.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

178

 

THE COURT: By the defense?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: One moment, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Yes, sir.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, we wish to thank you

and excuse juror Bays, I apologize if I'm not pronouncing

his name correctly, and Ms. Muniz.

THE COURT: All right. The two of you may step

down. You are excused.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have now gone through

approximately 65 or 66 jurors today. We have exhausted the

supply downstairs, and we will resume tomorrow morning at

9:00.

We ask that when you return tomorrow morning that

you be careful to observe the instruction not to innocently

overhear anything in the hallway or in the elevator or have

any conversation with anybody connected with the trial or

anybody at all about the case.

The lawyers will not even be able to say good

morning or good afternoon to you. They are not being rude.

They simply can't talk to you. We want to avoid any

contact however innocent it would be. We just don't want

to have problems that we have to go into spending a half of

the day sorting out. So, just don't have any conversation

with anybody connected with the trial or anybody at all.

If there should be anything in the newspaper, on

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

179

 

television or the radio, please, very important, do not

read it, watch it or listen to it. As I explained to you

earlier no matter how well intended, sometimes the news

articles and news stories are not the full account of

everything you saw in the trial and it creates problems and

confusion, so don't read it, watch it or listen to it.

Also, we are going to ask you, during the

pendency of the trial, not to discuss the trial with your

family or friends. You say, gee, why can't I? Well, quite

innocently again, a spouse or friend might say something to

you about the facts of the case not intending to influence

you at all, but that it might influence your thinking.

The lawyers wouldn't know that the conversations

had been held with your spouse or friend. If they did

know, and they knew whatever your concern was, whatever the

conversation was, they could put on a witness or two and

probably clear it up in a heartbeat, but they don't know

about it so they can't answer. And there is no way for

them to know about it, because they are not having any

conversation with you. So, please, do your best. Just

don't discuss anything about the facts of the evidence.

Wait until the end, and then you can talk to them.

Lastly, in the morning, please be prompt. We will

endeavor to be prompt with you. We will start promptly at

9:00. If one person is not here or tied up, if I permit

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

180

 

myself to get tied up with Chief Judge Davis or somebody

that holds all of you up, and that is not fair to you. So

I'm going to do my best to be prompt with you. If one of

you is missing, we have to wait for everybody.

There is coffee and tea for you to help yourselves

and arrive a few minutes before nine, and we will start at

nine. We thank you very much. We will start tomorrow

morning at nine in the jury room on the 11th floor. Don't

hang around on the front steps because that is a place where

the lawyers have to talk to their clients. Thank you very

much. You are excused until 9:00 tomorrow morning.

[The jury leaves the courtroom].

THE COURT: We are going to get into motions now.

So, anybody that wants to leave, this is your time to

leave.

Do we have consents on how many challenges are

permitted on alternates? The rule is very specific. It

seems to me that it was three to a side.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: It says, between two and four

alternates, I believe, it is two peremptories. We

certainly are in favor of three, if the Court is inclined

to give us three.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, we think that the rule

should govern here.

THE COURT: Whatever the rule says, we will take

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

181

 

a look at it. We don't need to bother with it now. That

will be the number. If it is two, it's two.

MS. MILLER: Yes, Your Honor, 24C.

THE COURT: So, as to how many jurors we will

need, we have one more challenge, but then we are running

into schools and language.

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Maybe 30, just to be safe.

THE COURT: Okay.

This is the time we take up whenever motions are

pending. Who would like to start?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, just to finish up on

the issue of jury selection. You may recall that after the

initial group of twelve jurors, where you questioned them

individually, the Court began seating additional jurors.

At that point, the Court was not questioning them

individually on the issue of publicity. We came up at some

point, and there were several jurors who had been seated,

and we had cause challenges on publicity and, Your Honor,

said we could come back on the record.

THE COURT: Dictated into the record.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: There were two jurors

specifically who we believe there was sufficient basis to

question individually, and they were jurors, Galiana and

Herskowitz, and another juror we would want to have

individually questioned is Eugene Newton. These were all

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

182

 

jurors on whom, Your Honor, we exercised our peremptories.

Also, Antonio Antelo, we believe further questioning on the

issue of pre-trial publicity. We, in fact, did not preempt

him. He is on that jury. Thank you, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Let the record reflect these

objections were made at sidebar, where we do not have the

opportunity or the ability to get the arguments recorded,

and so we did not have it recorded, but I did give

Mr. Moskowitz the right, both counsel, the right to

supplement the record with what did occur at sidebar. I'll

ask Ms. Miller if she agrees, and if there's anything

further that she wishes to add in this supplemental record.

MS. MILLER: As Mr. Moskowitz acknowledges, there

was not a motion to have Ms. Newton questioned

individually, and I don't believe there was a request with

regards to Mr. Antelo.

THE COURT: The rulings are what the rulings are.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, at the end, of

course, Your Honor did revert with regard to the alternates

to individual questioning, and we believe that was the

appropriate manner in which to proceed, and we would have,

of course, preferred to have proceeded with that same

method in between the time that Your Honor was doing that.

THE COURT: All right. That's an accurate

reflection of what took place at sidebar and should be part

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

183

 

of the record.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor said this morning that

by tomorrow, we would supplement the record with additional

exhibits that would be put in, in support of that record.

THE COURT: No, whatever you want to hand me up

here when you are at sidebar, and what I have before me

that's one thing. You had asked for leave to supplement

the record, your motion that was filed last night or some

time by adding a T.V., that I granted, and you walk up

tomorrow and hand it in. That's fine.

There was something about a newspaper article in,

I believe, the Orlando paper which I referred to in your

motion, that's granted. Don't come up and hand me stuff

that you can think up tonight when I've already ruled on.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Of course, Your Honor. Didn't

mean that.

THE COURT: I misunderstood.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: I'm referring to exhibit D, which

is the juror questions themselves.

THE COURT: One copy of the juror questionnaires

will be sealed and placed in the record and in a sealed

document. All other copies will be destroyed. They won't

be floating around all over this community. That is still

the ruling of the court. There will be one complete set

that will be available for examination by The Court of

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

184

 

Appeals or anybody else, that is a legitimate authority

that has need to go into them. I don't want everybody to

have copies floating around their briefcase and everything

else.

This is a critical point for many other reasons

having nothing to do with the type of litigation here. I'm

not concerned about this case. I think you all understand

what I'm talking about with the Moya case and others.

Those juror questionnaires floating around can be a

problem. Not in this case. I don't anticipate any problem

at all. Let's follow that same procedure. We will seal up

one copy.

Let's take up motions. Whoever wants to start,

this is the time.

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, we had earlier filed our

motion in limine. That is one of the motions pending

before the Court. In addition --

THE COURT: Let us take them one at a time. This

is the government's motion in limine that excludes argument

and evidence. I thought we touched on that, but maybe we

didn't. Would you tell me what it is you are moving for

Mr. Brigham?

MR. BRIGHAM: Your Honor, we are not necessarily

asking for a ruling right now, but simply ask that counsel

refrain from argument in their opening statement that would

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

185

 

fall into these areas. Our first concern, as the Court

knows, there is a number of civil --

THE COURT: Excuse me. If you are not asking for

a ruling, then I don't need to hear about it. If it's just

advising me of problems in the trial, doesn't really work.

I'm sympathetic to whatever problems you've got. But you

have got to move for something, and then the other side

responds, and then I get the last guess. If you are not

asking for anything, then I don't need to be involved.

You anticipate that a problem is going to come

about a statement that they are intending to prove. It's

not closing argument, if somebody gets up and says we

intend to prove that plane was painted red, and you know

that they can't prove that because it was painted green.

Well, if in good faith Ms. Moskowitz says we are going to

prove red, I accept her word. The only other thing I can

do is have an evidentiary hearing, and I say well, Jayne,

it doesn't look like you are going to prove that. So it's

pointless.

If the defense thinks, in good faith, that they

are going to prove something, they state it to the jury.

If you think you are going to prove something, you state it

to the jury. They are only talking facts. They're not

talking about how a green plane moves faster than the red

plane. It's facts.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

186

 

MR. BRIGHAM: I appreciate that, Your Honor. I'm

afraid that we may have counsel that comes before the jury,

and says we are going to prove that the NTSB has found that

there was probable cause which contributed to the FAA and

ValuJet and SabreTech.

My point is, you can't make that argument to the

jury because it's for the Court to decide, for the jury to

decide and not to take the conclusions of another entity

which is outside this courtroom. That would be our first

point. We would suggest that counsel not be able to do

that.

THE COURT: Wouldn't this properly come up in

charge conference that says exhibit 43, being the property

report of the transportation board or FAA or whoever, it is

not properly binding on this jury and has no bearing on

this case, and is not proper evidence of this case, and if

you are right, I give that instruction and that's the end

of it? They are not arguing it now. They are just giving

an opening statement of what everybody is expected to

prove.

BY MR. BRIGHAM: And if, in fact, that's what

counsel does, limit itself to the evidence in this

particular case, without reference to the NTSB, we would

say we have no problems with that, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Why can't they offer any document

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

187

 

they have in their briefcase that has something to do with

this accident?

MR. BRIGHAM: Because it's this Court, not the

NTSB which rules on criminal action. We suggest that this

Court needs to be the decision-maker on those particular

decisions. What the NTSB may have ruled is not relevant

because it's this Court that has that authority, either

through the Judge or through the members of the jury. We

suggest that it would be improper to the contrary, to the

jury.

Another one of our points, Your Honor, is that

what the FAA might have done, for example, with

Mr. Florence's or what they may intend to do with

Mr. Gonzalez's license is irrelevant. It's outside this

courtroom. This proceeding is a criminal proceeding,

determining guilt or innocence. We suggest that other

administrative action is not appropriate.

If counsel is to tell the Court that they won't

make those arguments in front of the jury, then I will sit

down and I have nothing further to say. My concern is that

they, very well, may do that. We see, for example, in the

press this weekend, that there has been statements to the

press suggesting that a criminal prosecution is

inappropriate for resolving an issue of this nature.

We feel it's completely to the contrary, where you

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

188

 

have falsification of aviation maintenance records, but it

doesn't really matter because it's not an issue for the

jury. As a matter of fact, it's outside argument which

doesn't really go to the issues that are before the Court.

We say it simply should not be made to the Court in opening

statement. I have no doubt this Court not only has the

power, but the keen ability, through instructions, to

control it's courtroom. At the same time, why wait until

then. Why can't we say those arguments are not appropriate

now, and there won't be need at the end of the trial to

instruct and to tell the jury to forget the elephant that

defense counsel has just released in the courtroom. For

that reason, Your Honor, we request that counsel not make

the argument in these particular areas when the rule, and

that the Court so rule.

THE COURT: Ms. Moskowitz?

MS. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Your Honor. Your

Honor, the FAA is the client agency, an executive branch

agency of the executive branch which is prosecuting this

case. The FAA was found liable by the NTSB as one of the

probable causes of this accident because Mr. Brigham

doesn't want to hear, it doesn't make it irrelevant.

THE COURT: What case does make it proper

evidence? What authority do you have?

MS. MOSKOWITZ: I got the motion in limine, Your

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

189

 

Honor, after court opened this morning. My legal research

ability were somewhat curtailed.

THE COURT: All right. I don't have any problem

with that. This is something that counsel is suggesting is

going to be offered in evidence because he is concerned you

are going to talk about it being offered in evidence. So

obviously, I know you are not going to talk about something

you are not going to offer into evidence. Therefore, since

it is something you are going to offer into evidence, then

the issue is whether or not it is admissible into evidence.

The initial burden falls upon the person or

entity offering the evidence. Therefore, at the right

time, you are going to tell me why this document being, I

presume, some sort of report from the NTSB, you are going

to tell me why that is admissible evidence, and somebody is

going to object to it or not. If it is admitted into

evidence, I don't even have to think about it, by

agreement. Then, if it is objected to, I have to rule on

it, and that ruling will be predicated on whatever his

authority is and yours.

So what we need to do on these motions of limine,

which you understand that I don't care for at all, because

I cannot anticipate every possible method on which a piece

of paper or witness may be admissible. You just can't

anticipate.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

190

 

Generally, when somebody is objecting in limine, I

can think of two or three ways that it might come. You did

that, it would be admissible. So in limine, the Court has

to say that there is no possible way this document will ever

come into evidence, no set of circumstances. I'm asked to

look at it in a crystal ball five, six, seven weeks down the

road, when that problem comes up and rule on it now. I

don't think that is the best way to rule on it. I think the

best way is to wait for it to come up. So much for that.

So I'm having to look, if we go into this matter

at all prior to opening statement, I'm having to look and

what basis, it is admissible. I presume you have a basis.

You do think it is admissible, right?

MS. MOSKOWITZ: It is admissible. It is a public

record, Your Honor, made by a government agency pursuant to

it's duty, admissible against the government in a criminal

case.

THE COURT: His argument is materiality. I know

you are not ready today. His argument is not the hearsay

argument. It is materiality. So we better be prepared to

talk about that and find out what the materiality is.

He is saying that, if my son out there in the

county judges court ruled that your husband speeding home

last night after working all night on the case -- I'm

making up what I hope at the end of the day is a humorous

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

191

 

example. You do have a husband that sometimes works late

at night, and I do have a son that works traffic cases. If

he should decide that Mr. Moskowitz accidently ran the red

light that wouldn't necessarily make it so in the case here

-- it's a bad example, Norman.

Excuse me. What he is saying is an

administrative determination or a determination of the

Court doesn't make it so, and doesn't even make it

admissible because it's confusing. So it is materiality

that he is arguing. So, we will take a look at whatever

your cases are and I'm sure there is an answer readily

available to all of us. If we can't get that before

opening statement, then I am going to rely on the good

faith of the appearance of the attorneys in this case. If

they tell me that they have a good faith reason to tell me

that something is going to come into evidence, then I could

not wish to substitute my judgment to that and rule that

there is no possible way it can come in.

That's all I can tell you on that and that

spreads across all the other motions in limine. I think

you all heard me go through this enough. Let's reserve

ruling on this until you have a chance to look at whatever

your authority is.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: Understanding quite well about

the limine, despite that I have to push forward on one of

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

192

 

my own with some trepidation, but I think the record

requires that I do that.

Your Honor, we received in discovery from the

government on Friday, the government's intention to

introduce what are called the National Transportation

Safety Board's fire test videos. This is also something

that I don't think we should hear about in opening

statement. Let me tell, Your Honor, briefly what those

are.

MS. MILLER: Excuse me, Your Honor. I don't

intend to refer to the videos in my opening statement.

MS. MOSKOWITZ: Then we will cross it later. If

we are not going to hear it in opening, we will do it

whenever you prefer.

THE COURT: If there is a series of objections,

then, indeed, I'll listen to both sides and maybe, several

witnesses, and I will rule.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, two matters that I

want to raise. We have now received the government's

Jencks which is quite extensive, and I spent the weekend

reading it. We have concerns based on Jencks about how

they intend to go proving the case and, more specifically,

what they propose to argue in evidence, I'm sorry, in

opening, how they would prove that case. Let me square my

position briefly. This is, of course, a false statement

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

193

 

case. As Ms. Miller said two months ago, it is a simple

false statement case. The charge is conspiracy to commit

false statements against the government.

As Your Honor well knows, false statements,

whether against the government or mail fraud or wire fraud,

have to be alleged with specifics and have to be proven with

specifics.

We certainly understand that the government has

alleged at least three specific false statements in the

indictment. We understand that we are going to have to meet

the evidence against that. Based on reading the Jencks,

Your Honor, our concern is this: Throughout the Jencks

material, throughout the questioning of the witnesses in the

grand jury, the questions are intended to elicit answers

that there was this whole atmosphere or environment of

falsity of misrepresentation without specific regard to who

said what, who made what false statements on a particular

occasion, but just, in general, people having a reputation

for making false statements, people for doing it all the

time. It seems to me when it gets to the proof of whatever

false statements the government seeks to make, that would be

objectionable and inadmissible.

A brief example -- I was reading the grand jury

testimony of Mr. Stefano, who will be one of the

government's first witnesses, and the question is about his

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

194

 

knowledge of the defendant making, what is called, pencil

whipping false statements. His answer was, and I'll read

the last part of it -- "I say, like I say, I can't tell you.

You are talking about something so common that I can't name

a particular instance. I'm talking about, you know, all the

time."

That is the answer, which was it happened, there

was so much of this pencil whipping going on all the time, I

can't even tell you a specific instance. This will be

admissible evidence. They'll have to prove it with

specifics. If they intend to present it in opening

statement, I believe it will be quite objectionable. How do

we respond to the atmosphere where the allegations are going

to be false statements.

The second area where, based on just reading

Jencks, we have concern is, again, the conspiracy alleged

here is the conspiracy to commit false statements. This is

not an airline safety prosecution where the defendants are

being prosecuted for running an unsafe repair facility, for

violating the regulations on how they are supposed to

repair the airplanes that come in there.

Again, throughout the grand jury testimony, there

is a lot of questioning about unsafe practices in doing

repair work which have nothing to do with what they are

charged with.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

195

For example, in the same questioning of the same

witness, they talk about an instance where apparently they

tried to mount an engine using tools used for automotive

bolts. This goes throughout the grand jury testimony, proof

of unsafe job or labor practices, which I don't think have

anything to do with --

THE COURT: You think they are going to say this

to this jury?

MR. MOSKOWITZ: That is my concern, because that

is what they have eliciting from their witnesses.

THE COURT: Now the defense is doing to the

government what the government did to the defense, and that

is saying that you are concerned with what lawyers, good

lawyers, in good faith, are going to tell the jury what

they expect to prove, and you are asking me to tell them

not to say that to the jury.

Well, how can I do that if, short of some sort of

evidentiary hearing and a finding or ruling, that there is

no way on earth that they are going to get that evidence

in? I don't know how it is going to come up. I personally

can think of a couple ways, depending on who is on the

witness stand and how the direct goes and how the cross

goes, where some of this stuff very well might be

splattered across this courtroom by the end of the day of

the first week.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

196

 

On the other hand, I can see objections to a lot

of this. But to make these rulings and of necessity find

that there's no way in the world that Jayne Moskowitz can

introduce the document that the government doesn't want her

to talk about or there is no way in the world that

Mr. Brigham is going to be able to get into talking about

the hobby horse bolts for the go-cart that the kids ride at

the go-cart place instead of the super strength steel

bolts.

Mr. Brigham says, in good faith, that he is going

to get that in, and Ms. Moskowitz says, in good faith, I

have a tendency to accept and believe that, and let the

lawyers go forward in their opening statement.

As the panel all knows, at the end of the case,

if somebody told the jury something in opening statement,

an astute opposing counsel will wrap that right around

their necks and hammer it home in closing arguments.

Up to now, in the last 36 years, I have left that

up to experienced lawyers. If you get inexperienced

lawyers or somebody that has watched too much T.V., it may

be well that you have to explore that with the lawyers

before you get into it. How am I going to -- you think

there is no way -- first of all, are you going to try to

prove that they used tinker-toy bolts to put the engine on?

MS. MILLER: Your Honor, that is not something I

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

197

 

can allude to in my opening statement.

THE COURT: For me to understand what is being

alluded to, I have to have specifics. I have to have

specific reference to something, not just a generalized,

she is going to talk about atmosphere. I can't do that.

If you tell me that she is going to say to the jury that

the NTSB report, defense exhibit 36, is not going to be

admitted, then I can deal with that. I don't know how to

put it. I know you've been working on this just yesterday.

Maybe you need to do this, and we can come in here early in

the morning and listen to it.

MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honor, I understand the

dilemma. With regard to this first issue, I mentioned

where they would be seeking to prove false statements, not

specifically by reference to a particular statement, but as

they say, atmosphere of false statements. There is

testimony that Mr. Gonzalez had a reputation for being

what is called a pencil whipper. If they try to get in

testimony about his reputation for being a pencil whipper,

someone who coerces mechanics to sign documents improperly,

that would not be admissible.

THE COURT: Again, we are getting into the

language that is going to be used. I presume that if

Ms. Miller says to the jury that we intend to prove that

once a week, Mr. Rodriguez or someone, Mr. Jones, had a

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

198

 

meeting with all the mechanics and said I'm going to pistol

whip you to death, and they are going to prove that, then

she can tell them.

If she, in her analysis suggests that that

creates atmosphere, then that is proper in opening

statement. An opening statement should be specific to what

is proven, i.e. the general meetings with mechanics to get

the work out. Whatever it is. I think you all are asking

me to dip down in the swirling fish bowl and come up with a

goldfish. I don't know that I can do that right now.

My courtroom deputy reminded me that I misspoke.

I have an emergency hearing by a television station,

Telemundo. We had it scheduled for 5:00 today and we moved

it up to 4:00, thinking that whatever happened with the

jurors, we thought we would run out of them. Are the

lawyers here?

ATTORNEY: Yes, the other side is outside.

THE COURT: The parties suggest this is an

important emergency hearing. It has got to be resolved by

midnight tonight. That doesn't leave me much time to write

an opinion. My court reporter is wearing out. Perhaps the

best thing to do is take these things up tomorrow morning

at 8:00. We will take a five minute recess, gentlemen, and

then we will take up the next case.

MR. MARSHAL: All rise.

 

UNITED STATES vs SABRETECH ET. AL. - 11-15-99

199

 

(Proceedings concluded at 4:30 p.m.)

C E R T I F I C A T E

I hereby certify that the foregoing is an accurate

transcription of proceedings in the above-entitled matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

______________ _______________________________________

DATE FILED ROBIN CARBONELLO

Official Federal Court Reporter

Federal Justice Building, Ste. 1127

99 Northeast 4th Street

Miami, FL 33132 - 305/523-5108

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quality Assurance by Proximity Linguibase Technologies

Day One

HOME | UPDATES | Airworthiness Implemented | Maintenance Program | Aeronautical Bulletin 7E | CHALLENGES TO AIRWORTHINESS | ValuJet Flight 592 - SabreTech Trial Transcript Day 1 | VJ Flight 592 - ST Trial Day 2 - a.m. | VJ Flight 592 - ST Trial Day 2 - p.m. | VJ Flight 592 - ST Trial Day 3 | VJ Flight 592 - ST Trial Day 4 | VJ Flight 592 - ST Trial Day 5 | VJ Flight 592 - ST Trial Day 6 | VJ Flight 592 - ST Trial Day 7 - a.m. | VJ Flight 592 - ST Trial Day 7 - p.m. | VJ Flight 592 - ST Trail Day 8 | VJ Flight 592 - ST Trial Day 9 | VJ Flight 592 - ST Trial Day 10 | VJ Fligth 592 - ST Trial Day 11 | VJ Flight 592 - ST Trial Day 12 | VJ Flight 592 - ST Trial Day 13 - VERDICT