District Attorney Tony Buckley questioned LPD Lt. Shannon Caraway on redirect and helped “clean up” some of the statements she made on body-cam video and under tough cross-examination by defense attorney Tracy Klein.
Buckley asked if she saw Greg Burroughs crying as he told his father his version of what took place in his garage on the night of June 1, 2017. Their backs were turned to her on her video, he noted, so he asked her if she could see their faces.
“No, I did not see any tears,” Caraway said.
Burroughs is seen wiping his face with his shirt, but Buckley pointed out that it was raining that night.
“Do you know if it was rain or tears he was wiping away?” Buckley asked.
Caraway said, “I don’t know.”
Klein also pointed to photos from the day before of Burroughs and Katherine Sinclair together on Beale Street in Memphis and asked Caraway if that looked like “he was trying to get rid of her,” as she was heard saying.
But Buckley turned the tables, asking, “Does it show her looking suicidal or depressed either?”
Buckley also asked about the reply Caraway made to Jessica Dees after she said that Sinclair was “crazy and on drugs.”
“The first thing she said was, ‘I don’t know her…’” but she went on to say that she knew a couple of people who dated her.
Buckley then dropped this bombshell, asking Caraway what Dees’ maiden name is.
“She’s Jessica Burroughs Dees,” she said, the defendant’s first cousin.
After a lot of legal wrangling outside the presence of the jury, Wesley Dickerson, a 36-year-old Lake Eddins resident and friend of Sinclair’s who works offshore, was allowed to testify about prior threats that Burroughs made to Sinclair.
Judge Dal Williamson ruled that it was admissible and fit the standards as an exception to the rule against the inclusion of prior bad acts.
Assistant District Attorney Kristen Martin asked Dickerson about the night of March 20.
“(Sinclair) said she was coming over, she was scared, and she pulled to the back of my house to hide her car,” Dickerson testified. “She said she and (Burroughs) had been in a fight and he threatened to kill her … I’d never seen Katherine like that.”
Dickerson testified that Sinclair then got a picture texted to her from Burroughs that showed him in her house with a message that read, “I’m here and you’re not, I’m going to start throwing your stuff in the yard.”
Dickerson said he learned later that the two had gotten back together.
“She said he was supposed to go to counseling, so she was OK with it,” Dickerson said.
But in late May, Sinclair came back and pulled behind his house again, he testified.
“She said he had hit her,” Dickerson said. “She said it was over. She wasn’t going to be with him any more.”
A text message from Sinclair to Dickerson sent just before midnight on May 26, which was placed into evidence, read in part, “He threatened to kill me. I don’t know why I loved a man that can be so cruel.”
Dickerson said he went back to work in Saudi Arabia the next day, and found out days later that Sinclair died of a gunshot to the head. He served as a pallbearer at her funeral.
On cross-examination, Klein asked Dickerson if he saw any marks on her after she said Burroughs hit her. Dickerson said he did not. Klein also asked about statements that Dickerson made for Laurel police and the Sinclair family attorney Jeannene Pacific. He didn’t mention that she said Burroughs hit her.
“Your testimony today is different than when it was fresh on your mind… did you forget?” Klein asked.
Dickerson said, “I just realized I didn’t give it. I hadn’t ever given a statement before.”
Klein asked if he and Sinclair were close. Dickerson said they were.
“Did you know she was in school?” Klein asked.
Dickerson replied, “Yeh, she was in college.”
Klein showed the day before that she had not really enrolled in college, as she had told her father.
Klein also asked Dickerson if he knew that Burroughs and Sinclair had gotten back together after May 26.
“I’m not sure, she deleted her Facebook, SnapChat and everything else after (she and Burroughs) started dating,” Dickerson said.
Another close friend of Sinclair’s, Courtney Culpepper, also testified, but she was a defense witness who was allowed to testify out of turn because she had to get back home. The attorneys agreed to allow it.
Klein asked her, “With pistols, (Sinclair) could shoot with both hands, right?”
Culpepper answered, “Depending on the handgun, yes, sometimes.”
On redirect, Martin asked if she had ever seen her shoot the .380-caliber Ruger that fired the fatal shot.
“No, ma’am,” Culpepper said.
Klein submitted photos of Sinclair holding handguns with both hands.
The day closed with former Laurel Police Chief Jamie Bush, who is now associate director of the state crime lab in Meridian and a fingerprint expert. He testified that he got “no useable prints” from two “lifts” that were sent in on cards, the shell casing or the magazine of the handgun.
Klein showed an enlarged photo of the gun with prints visible on the top part. He asked Bush, who is a former investigator, if he would have ordered fingerprint tests on the gun in a death investigation to help determine is someone had committed suicide or was a victim of homicide.
“Yes, I would have,” Bush said.
Klein asked if the LPD sent the gun in to “be printed.”
Bush said, “No, sir.”