Zachariah Anderson trial: State rests case, video sparks drama
KENOSHA, Wis. - Drama in the courtroom boiled down to one piece of video Friday, March 17 in the Kenosha County trial of Zachariah Anderson.
Anderson is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend's love interest, Rosalio Gutierrez, and hiding his body in 2020.
"‘Die, die, die (expletive),'" Marquan Washington said during testimony last week.
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Washington said he heard Anderson say that in his sleep while they were housed together in the Kenosha County Jail.
Video of the exchange became part of the defense's case Friday, accusing District Attorney Michael Graveley of witness coaching by mouthing the words during direct examination.
"It seems fertile grounds for cross-examination. It’s compelling, and that’s why people sent it to us," Defense Attorney John Birdsall said.
Wednesday morning, March 15, Birdsall went down to the courthouse's media room and asked for a copy of the video. Law and Crime received a subpoena and provided the video later that day. Friday, Birsdall told the court he filed a subpoena Thursday.
"This kind of accusation is poisonous to this proceeding," Graveley said. He said prosecutors were not properly noticed about the video.
Washington was allowed to review the video Friday outside the presence of the jury before resuming his testimony. The video appears to show Graveley mouthing the words shortly after Washington said them – which is what the district attorney argued. However, Judge Bruce Schroeder said it appeared to show Graveley and Washington said the words simultaneously.
"That’s where you took your cue?" Birsdall said.
"No," Washington answered.
"When I was asking you questions, did you have an independent memory?" Graveley asked.
"Yes," Washington answered.
"Did you get any assistance from me in remembering that or testifying about that at all?" Graveley followed up.
"No," Washington answered.
Weeks after the trial started, the state rested its case Friday morning.
Defense witnesses included people who lived in Gutierrez's Kenosha apartment building in May 2020. He was last seen or heard from on May 17.
"You didn’t see or hear anything?" asked Defense Attorney Nicole Muller.
"Not that I'm aware of, remember," answered Nathan Hensley, who lived in the apartment building.
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Prosecutors' theory is Anderson attacked Gutierrez in his apartment, killed him, hid his body and destroyed evidence of the crime. A period of time during which prosecutors say there was no activity on Anderson's phones.
"Did you find that there were also no calls that were either made or answered on the Moto G6 phone, during that period of time?" said Graveley.
"That's correct," Kenosha Police Det. Vicente Correa testified.
The defense expects to rest its case Monday with closing arguments to follow.