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LORI KASTNER - JOHN KASTNER - PRE-TRIAL & TRIAL- UPDATED- GUILTY VERDICT

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Jul 17 10 9:17 PM

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      LORI MOON KASTNER                                             JOHN KASTNER (52)
                                                     CHARGE:
 
                                THE MURDER OF LORI KASTNER
 
                            2008 -  June 27 -  AFFIDAVIT (pdf format)
                                       
 
2008 -  June 17 - Tuesday- John Kastner purchases a .22-caliber miniature
                          revolver from Academy Sports.
 
2008 - June 24 - Tuesday - John Kastner testfires the gun to see if the sound
                         can be heard by neighbors.
 
2008 June 25 - Wednesday 4 A.M. - 911 Call - Lori Kastner is shot and
                       dies from two gunshots to the head.
 
                       John Kastner sustains a finger wound from a gunshot.
                       Kastner tells 911 that an intruder had come into their
                       home demanding money and to see their adopted
                       daughter. He claims that when he told the intruder 
                       she wasn't there, the intruder shot Lori twice in the
                       head and that he had struggled with the intruder
                       and was shot in the hand. 
 
                       John Kastner provides conflicting statements to
                       police and first responders.
 
 Dr. Andrew Sibly, Forensic Pathologist's report:  "Lori Moon Kastner, 44,
sustained a "penetrating contact gunshot wound of the right temple" and also
had a "penetrating intermediate range gunshot wound of the right cheek.
There were no other significant injuries. The manner of death is classified as
homicide,"


Detective's affidavit: "the victim was sleeping when she was murdered."
 
                                     COURT HEARING

2010 - July 8 - Tulsa County District Judge Clancy Smith rules "During a video-
                      recorded statement to police, John Robert Kastner exercised his
                      right to request an attorney. Prosecutors can present in court
                      approximately the first hour of that statement but can not present
                      the remainder of the statement, which includes comments by
                      Kastner after he asked for a lawyer."

"Judge Smith Smith did not prohibit or exclude presentation of evidence of other
statements and comments Kastner made at various times in the presence of
five police officers on June 25, 2008."


Doug Drummond (First Assistant District Attorney) "The now-excluded part of that
                                    statement is ‚Äúredundant.The most significant portion of the
                                    statement, in terms of content, is admissible and will be
                                    presented to jurors."


2010 - August 16 -  TRIAL TO BEGIN 

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#1 [url]

Aug 9 10 9:09 PM

2010 - August 8 -

Assistant Public Defender Jill Webb has filed a motion for a "change of venue"
"if it is shown that the influence  of the news media has pervaded trial proceedings
to Kastner's detriment."

"Extensive publicity before trial does not, in itself, preclude fairness."

A document attached to the motion referenced John Byrd (a previous
Kastner attorney) who was opting for an insanity defense and claiming
that Kastner suffers from schizophrenia.  The document states
Kastner ''has consistently denied killing his wife, and there is no
evidence that he suffers from schizophrenia. John Kastner signed
the document.

 
 
John Kastner has previously written to the judge stating"an insanity

defense was ''only appropriate if one has committed the crime in
question. I did not commit the murder of Lori Moon Kastner,
therefore an  insanity defense is irrelevant."

 

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#2 [url]

Aug 16 10 11:45 AM

2010 - August 16 - Jury selection was due to begin today, however, Chief Public
                           Defender Pete Silva, who represents John Kastner, the defendant,
                           is ill and jury selection has been delayed.

                           The jury selection process is still scheduled for this week.


Tulsa County court officials have an estimated 75 prospective jurors
who will fill out juror questionnaires, which will be reviewed by attorneys
before the process of live questioning of  prosepective jurors begins.
 
 
 Pete Silva (Chief Public Defender) "Kastner has spent more than two years in jail.
                   He maintains that he is not guilty and that he is looking forward to his day
                   in court. We want the truth out there."


Doug Drummond (First Assistant District Attorney) "Lori Kastner's family has
                             waited two years for this trial, and "they have suffered a long
                             and winding road through the criminal justice system so far.
                             It is my hope that this trial will give them some closure."
 
Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty. If Kastner is convicted of first-degree
murder, the punishment options are life in prison, either with or without the possibility
of parole.

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#3 [url]

Aug 18 10 5:37 PM

                                    NEW JUDGE - NEW TRIAL DATE
 
 
2010 - August 18 -  Chief Public Defender Pete Silva, one of the attorneys for
                              has been ill this week so the jury selection has been delayed.

                              The trial has now been delayed until Monday of next week.
 
District Judge Tom Gillert will take over the case. He has indicated that if the trial
cannot start on Monday, he could reschedule the trial to begin in September.

Tulsa County District Judge Clancy Smith will move up to the State Court of
Criminal Appeals on September 1, 2010. Time constraints and uncertainties
regarding the length of the Kastner case, and Smith's upcoming departure
has resulted in District Judge Tom Gillert being assigned.

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#4 [url]

Aug 23 10 1:32 PM

                                    NEW TRIAL DATE
 
2010 - August 23 - District Judge Tom Gillert resheduled the trial of John Robert Kastner
                            to begin on Sept. 13, 2010.

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#5 [url]

Sep 13 10 11:58 AM

2010 - September 13 -  A slight postponement

"The trial was scheduled to begin at 9:30 Monday morning, but has been delayed
because the assigned judge is busy with arraignments from weekend arrests.

Jury selection could be pushed back to later this afternoon or tomorrow.

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#6 [url]

Sep 13 10 9:24 PM

                                    JURY SELECTION
 
Tulsa County District Judge Tom Gillert
"I plan for about 55 potential panelists to complete jury questionnaires. After lawyers
review those written responses, the process of live questioning of prospective jurors
will begin, with an early focus on directing questions to members of the jury pool who
indicate that they "recognize the case." 
 
 
First Assistant District Attorney Doug Drummond
"Evidence will show Kastner lied and led family and friends to believe he was,
or soon would be, a multi-millionaire who planned to make sizable financial
donations to Webster High; was a former member of the Israeli military; and
owned or controlled a company that would offer Lori a high-paying job, with
the Kastner family to travel to Israel on June 25, 2008, the day of the killing.
 
Concerning a motive, the marriage "has a ticking time bomb" once Lori Kastner
finds out the "series of outlandish lies" that her husband told, and which would
be discovered on June 25, 2008."
 
                                      KASTNER CLAIMS INNOCENCE
 
John Robert Kastner, (in a letter to the judge) rejects any insanity defense.
"It's "irrelevant" because "I did not commit the murder of Lori Moon Kastner."
 

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#7 [url]

Sep 14 10 7:57 PM

                                    JURY SELECTION CONCLUDED

2010 - September 14 - District Judge Tom Gillert expects the trial to run through next week.
                                   Jury selection is complete.

2010 - September 15 - Opening remarks are scheduled for Wednesday followed by testimony. 

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#8 [url]

Sep 15 10 2:06 PM

Will be saying a heart felt Prayer for the victim's family, she was killed by a cold blooded murderer

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#9 [url]

Sep 15 10 3:50 PM

2010 - September 15 -  Opening statements
 
PROSECUTION
"On June 17, 2008, John Kastner bought a small .22-caliber gun for about $210 from
a Tulsa sporting goods store. Evidence will be introduced that Kastner test-fired the
gun a few days before the killing."

"In the defendant's June 22, 2008, journal entry, Kastner wrote "I do put
things off hoping that problems will cure themselves. Unfortunately, time
has not slowed or gone backward. There is also a reference to "intense pressure."
 
Three days before the murder, John Kastner wrote in his journal, 
"There is no next week."

"On June 25, 2008, the day Lori Moon Kastner was killed, John Kastner's
entire world was caving in."
 
"Kastner had been leading a life of lies. Kastner had convinced his wife to
quit her job working for the state Supreme Court and take a lucrative job

with a company he owned.
 
Kastner promised hundreds of thousands of dollars to Webster High School
and its football coaches. Kastner did not have any money, did not own the
company, and the family was drowning in debt."

Evidence will show that Kastner lied and led relatives and friends to believe

that he was, or soon would be, a multimillionaire who planned to make large
monetary donations to benefit Webster; was a former Israeli military hero;
and was involved in a company that would offer Lori Kastner a high-salary job,
with the Kastner family to travel to Israel in connection with that job prospect
on June 25, 2008."
 
"No such trip or job offer existed; John Kastner never served in the Israeli military;
and his lies were going to be exposed that day."

DEFENSE
 
"Lori was John's best friend, the love of his life, the mother of his children."

"An intruder shot Kastner's wife. Poor police work is responsible for putting the
blame on Kastner. (Jurors) keep your minds open during the trial."
 
"He actually planned to commit suicide."

 
 Among the 3 dozen witnesses to be called, 13 are from the Tulsa Police Department.
 Investigators are expected to testify regarding the disproving of Kastner's claims.
(Such as he owned the company, was a member of the Israeli Army etc..)
 
 

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#10 [url]

Sep 18 10 6:16 PM

2010- September 15 -   TESTIMONY
  
         2008 - June 17 -  John Kastner purchases a small .22-caliber gun for about $210
                                   from a Tulsa sporting goods store.
 
PROSECUTOR
"Evidence will be introduced that Kastner test-fired the gun a few days before the killing."

         2008 - June 22 - John Robert Kastner writes in a journal "There is no next week."
                                 "I do put things off hoping that problems will cure themselves.
                                  Unfortunately, time has not slowed or gone backward."

PROSECUTOR
"There was also a reference to "intense pressure."
 
         2008 - June 25 - 3824 S. Union Ave. - The home of Lori (44) and John Kastner (52)

         4:00 A.M. -  John Robert Kastner calls 911 
 
                             He tells police "an intruder killed my wife, I was shot in the hand
                             during a struggle with that intruder, who picked up a gun from a
                             table in the house. The intruder fled with a bag containing $5,000,
                             taken from the table. (Police reports)
 
OFFICER DAVID MOORE
"I entered the house and saw absolutely no movement from Lori Kastner
 who was on a bed. A small dog was licking some of the blood and sitting
on a pillow by her head."
 
POLICE CPL. MARK SHELTON
"It was a very bloody scene."
"John Kastner seemed completely lucid."
 
DETECTIVE KYLE OHRNOWICZ
"When I was checking windows and doors at the house, I did not observe any
forcible entry."

THOMAS ROWAN (OFFICIAL - ISRAELI CONSULATE - CHICAGO)

"I could find no record of Kastner's ever being a citizen of Israel or ever
serving in the Israeli military."

 

 2010 - September 16 -  TESTIMONY
 
JEFF FELTON (TULSA POLICE DETECTIVE)
"I did not see signs of a struggle in the Kastner residence."
"Shoes were sitting on top of a suitcase and items were standing
on the dining room table."
 
"John Kastner claimed an intruder had entered the couple's home,
shot and killed Lori Kastner, and stole $5,000 that was lying on the
kitchen table.

Kastner said he had struggled with the assailant, and had a gunshot
injury to the hand.
But Kastner's description of his "attacker" changed
several times in the early hours of the investigation.

That, and other inconsistencies, quickly led police to consider him a
suspect in the death of his wife."

 
"I spoke with John Kastner on three occasions on June 25, 2008, including
once at a hospital, where Kastner was treated for his wound. Two of the
 interviews were recorded."

"Kastner was "very unemotional" when questioned about the killing."

"There were inconsistencies in Kastner's statements and in his descriptions
of the man who he said killed his wife."

 
EVIDENCE: Police interview tapes - played for the jury.
 
"John Kastner tells police he didn't know the intruder.
"My marriage was "absolutely wonderful" and "my wife
 "was my best friend." "The family was supposed to fly to Israel the
day of the shooting so she can interview for a new job."
 
Kastner appears to contradict himself several times.
 
In an interview Kastner gave a detective the day after the shooting.
Kastner shows no emotion during the interview and does not ask

the detective about his wife or if they've caught the suspect.

Kastner refers to himself as a "legend" and "folk hero" at Webster
High School. "The principal at the school did not like him because he
challenged the school to improve its academic standing and not worry
about the football team."


PETE SILVA (CHIEF PUBLIC DEFENDER)
"Not everybody reacts the same way" and that "sometimes people are just numb
and don't react at all."

"In cross-examinations of police officers, Silva has maintained that there were
inconsistencies, or incorrect information, provided in police reports or police
testimony."

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#11 [url]

Sep 18 10 7:53 PM

2010 - September 17 -  FAMILY TESTIFY
 
SALLY KASTNER (21) (Adoptive daughter)
"A  few days before my mother's death, I heard a gunshot after John
Kastner went outside the house around 3 a.m. I saws a gun in my
dad's hand and he said "I was just testing it."
 
"I had my mom's permission to stay with a relative on the night of
June 24, 2008."
 
"I never saw John and Lori Kastner fight. My dad told stories about his
experiences in the Israeli military. I heard that he had saved someone
really important and got a lot of money. I heard mom was going to
get a

 
My dad told stories regarding his experiences in the Israeli military.
I heard that he had saved "someone really important" and "got a lot
of money. My mom was going to get a job paying millions of dollars
a year."
 
 
MARION KASTNER (12)
"I believed that the family was going to Israel for vacation, and
because my dad was going to get an award from the Israeli Army."
"I was asleep." She testifies that she was awakened by "the sound
of feet and a police officer."

FRASER KASTNER (17)
"My dad told me he had been in the Israeli military.
He'd told stories about his military service."
 
 "I was awakened by my dad, who told me, "You need to get up.
Somebody's in the house."

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#12 [url]

Sep 20 10 4:53 PM

 2010 - September 20 -        TESTIMONY

MEDICAL EXAMINER
"One of the two gunshot wounds suffered by Lori Kastner was a "penetrating
contact gunshot wound of the right temple."

 TOM COLBERT (OKLAHOMA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE)
"Lori Kastner was "extremely bright," serious and "very brilliant."
When Lori Kastner submitted her resignation from her job with the
Supreme Court in May 2008, she indicated that her husband owned
a company involving a charitable foundation and that they were going
to travel to meet people connected with that company.
 
Lori Kastner was extremely happy because she thought this was
going to take care of the family financially.
 
Lori Kastner "believed in her husband. She never said one bad word at
all about her husband."
 
 
AMBER MERCHANT (BEST FRIEND OF LORI)
"Lori Kastner was my best friend."
" Lori told me she was going to have a job in which she would
run a foundation. Lori indicated that the Kastner family would
have millions of dollars and that the money was coming through
a foundation controlled by her husband because of military heroics
in which he "saved some important people" in an attack."
 
 
Ross Gardner (Independent Crime Scene Analyst)
Gardner testified about the blood patterns found at the Kastner's home
"Kastner bled on his wife before she was shot a second time."

"The blood evidence he examined was also inconsistent with a struggle."

Herman Moon (Lori's father)
"I was shocked at how much debt the couple was in considering his
claims of having so much money.

After my daughter's death, I discovered the couple was in debt more than

150-thousand. They had two mortgages, were upside down on a car loan,
and had 50-thousand dollars in credit card debt."
 
 
FIRST ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY DRUG DRUMMOND
"John Kastner talked about being wealthy, but evidence indicates
the Kastners lived in a 1,200-square-foot house, owed about $50,000
in credit card debts and "were struggling to make ends meet."
 
 
                                  THE PROSECUTION RESTS
 
John Kastner did not testify. The defense had the opportunity to call witnesses but did
not. The defense did present three stipulations - agreements between lawyers about
how someone would testify if called as a witness - into evidence.
 
"Outside the presence of jurors, Kastner acknowledged when questioned by District
Judge Tom Gillert that he knew he had a right to take the witness stand and that he
had decided not to testify."
 
                                    THE DEFENSE RESTS
 

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#13 [url]

Sep 21 10 8:57 AM

                                   CLOSING ARGUMENTS
 
PROSECUTION
 
Doug Drummond (Assistant District Attorney)
"John Kastner became entangled in a "web of lies" and was going to be exposed
as a liar on the day of the killing. His reputation was going to be ruined, and that
was the most important thing in John Kastner's life."
 
"Kastner had led his family to believe that all five family members were traveling
by plane to Israel on June 25, 2008. Kastner indicated he was a former member
of the Israeli military who had been honored for heroism and that the trip to Israel
was related to a high-paying job that Lori Kastner was going to get with a
corporation connected to her husband."

 
"No such flight or job offer existed, and Kastner never served in the Israeli military.
Kastner made significant financial promises to benefit Webster that he could not
keep, and he "was a ticking time bomb getting ready to explode."
 
"John Kastner told preposterous lies, yet he told people that he was telling the truth
about how his wife, Lori Kastner, died in June 2008. Everybody would like to be wealthy,
everybody would like to be a military hero and everybody would like their life to turn out
like a fairytale. But the harsh reality of this case is that he was lying and lying, lying
and had no concern for anybody other than himself." 
 
 
Steve Kunzweiler (Assistant District Attorney) 
"Kastner, the "legend of Webster High School," is "nothing but a bald-faced liar.
You cannot believe a word that the defendant says.
 
"Kastner said the killer was an intruder who he said picked up Kastner's gun in
the house. He told police that he struggled with the intruder and was shot in the
hand, and he said the intruder fled with a bag containing about $5,000."
 
"Kunzweiler said Kastner's account features a "mysterious man" moving around
in a dark house and finding a loaded gun and money on the same table."
 
"Kastner was an English teacher, "and as an English teacher he deals in fiction."
 
 
DEFENSE
Jill Webb (Assistant Public Defender)
"Kastner had no motive to kill his wife. Lori Kastner's death would not "solve
a problem he had. Kastner's problem was not his wife; "John's problem was
John. Kastner was guilty of lying to his family and of making promises he
couldn't keep, but the evidence about Israel did not mean he was guilty of
murdering his wife."

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#14 [url]

Sep 21 10 9:07 AM

                                    JURY DELIBERATES
 
       Jurors took 25 - 30 minutes to select a jury foreman and to reach a verdict.


Doug Drummond (Assistant District Attorney)  
"It's the most bizarre case in my 14 years with the District Attorney's office,
and it's one of the quickest deliberations that I can remember."

                                    VERDICT & SENTENCE

The jury found John Robert Kastner GUILTY of First-degree murder
in the death of Lori Moon Kastner on June 25, 2008. The jury imposed
a LIFE in prison WITHOUT POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE.
 
 
                                    FORMAL SENTENCING DATE
 
Judge Gillert set formal sentencing for Sept. 27, 2010.

 
 
Chief Public Defender Pete Silva
"Kastner will appeal the trial outcome."

                                    FAMILY & FRIENDS REACTION

Amber Merchant (Friend of Lori and her family)

"We're very pleased with the verdict and feel like justice was served."

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#15 [url]

Oct 1 10 10:43 PM

2010 -September 27 - Formal Sentencing.

John Robert Kastner (52) was formally sentenced to LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE.

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