The second day of testimony Wednesday in the trial of Joseph Lee Garner centered around alleged inconsistencies the child-victim gave to authorities and the timeline surrounding the case.
Under questioning, Skylar Reed, the victim in the case who has been given a pseudonym, said she did not remember telling the Erath County Sheriff's investigator the car Garner was driving when he allegedly exposed himself to her was parked across the street from her home, nor did she remember if she said the car had four doors or two or what color his hair was.
But Investigator Randy Fowler testified he had statements from Reed saying the car was a four-door vehicle and the suspect had "shaggy, blonde hair."
Testimony then turned to the timeline. Reedís mother called authorities about 5:40 p.m. on Oct. 27, 2010, reporting a man parked in a Thunderbird outside her house exposed himself to her daughter.
But Thompson said the timeline did not add up.
Testimony focused on the location of Longhorn Auto Sales in Dublin, where Garner purchased the car on the day of the alleged incident, and ABF Packing, where Garner worked. Longhorn Auto is approximately one mile from the victimís home on Post Oak Street in Dublin and takes about a minute drive time. ABF Packing is approximately six miles from the location and five from Longhorn Auto.
The defense alleges Garner did not have time to leave his work at 5:13 p.m., purchase the car and make it to the victimís home when the incident took place.
While the owner of Longhorn Auto Sales does not remember the exact time of the sale, he does remember Garner purchasing the 1997 Ford Thunderbird on Oct. 27, 2010, the day of the crime, ďbefore it was dark.Ē
Thompson called Misty Markel as the first witness for the defense. She is the office manager for ABF Packing and testified Garner clocked out at 5:13 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010.
Thompson also called Vivian Lingle, office manager at Longhorn Auto Sales, and Hugo Alvarez, owner of Longhorn Auto Sales, to the stand. Lingle testified she had to stay after 5 p.m. on the day Garner bought the vehicle. The paperwork from the dealership is dated Oct. 27, 2010; however, in cross-examination by Nash, Lingle testified Garner bought the vehicle on a Saturday.†
Lingle also stated the transaction began after 5 p.m. on the day in question and was completed shortly after 6 p.m. She said she stayed a while after Garner left to make sure everything was taken care of and he did not come back with any problems with the vehicle. She stated he did not come back and she left before 7 p.m.
"I know it was after 5 because I had to stay late," Lingle said on the stand. "I know that the paperwork was finished and Joe left about 6:05 or 6:10 p.m. that evening."
Before recessing for the night, Nash called one rebuttal witness, Dublin police officer Benny Noel who testified he stopped Garner on Dec. 21 on Valley Street in Dublin. Noel had been dispatched to a call about a suspicious person in a green car parked outside a home on Travis Street watching the complainant's children.†
However, Noel could not locate the vehicle in the area and drove over to Post Oak Street. He said he did so because of the incident reported on Oct. 27 with a vehicle description that was similar. He stated in addition to these two incidents, another (on Dec. 15) also involved a Ford Thunderbird and a suspicious person.