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8.22.2005

Whistling Dixie 

"Whistling Dixie" - A term used to refer to a pointless or unproductive activity.

Dixie T. is probably not the Lobato family's favorite person. She was, after all, the catalyst for the events which led to the police knocking on Kirstin Lobato's door, and her meandering (absent-minded?) comments gave the prosecution a few things to create conjectures from. Which they did. A lot. With everyone. You kind have to when no forensic evidence exists to back up your case, and you've only got a self-serving inmate as a secondhand witness.

But Dixie became a catalyst after Kirstin told her about defending herself from an attacker in May of 2001. Their one conversation about that attack opened the door to Kirstin becoming the only murder suspect for a killing committed two months later in July. Yet Dixie was far more supportive of Kirstin's story in her statement to police than it appeared in court. If there was a Greatest Hits album for the statements the defense never asked about in court, I would have to submit this line from Dixie:

"I do want to make this very clear, Blaze did not think that she ever killed anybody. I know that. I don't think she could have ever done anything like that, and I, I feel confident that she did not think that he was to the point that he wasn't going to live."

And later, when asked if she was surprised that the police contacted her, her response was:

"I was surprised that the man died."

Go here for a list of the injuries that killed Duran Bailey, and see if you can imagine somehow not realizing that you killed him. You would think that the defense might try to find out what gave Dixie the impression that Kirstin's attacker was still alive. At least once.

Additionally, the two women's statements (Dixie’s and Kirstin's) often mirror one another. Considering the three following statements:

"She said he knocked her down."

"She never mentioned hitting him at any time."

"She said she saw him stumbling and getting up and she said stumbling and getting up."

There are many more examples, but this matches what Kirstin Lobato told the police: that a man knocked her down and attempted to rape her, and she slashed at his groin, causing him to back off. She then ran to her car and drove away, but told the police that she saw him still alive, crying on the ground when she left. The police asked her if she hit him with anything, and she said she did not think so.

Maybe the defense ignored those three statements above because some of them came up very briefly when the prosecutor was questioning Dixie. But there is far more than those three statements. After Kirstin was attacked, she took her car to her ex-boyfriend's - he wasn't home - and left it there. She said it was vandalized while she was there, and told Dixie the same thing. Dixie told the police:

"...she had left her car there, and when she went back over there to get her car and her clothes, the rest of her clothes, he had spread feces and urinated all over the interior of her car and had done some, all kinds of really nasty things, and she said that she had to have the whole car really cleaned out."

Jeremy also testified to seeing her car in his driveway for no apparent reason back in May, after they had broken up. He denied vandalizing it. But compare Dixie's statement to what Kirstin told the police about what she found when she returned to get her car:

"He broke my sunroof, my headlight, um, he pissed, shit and puked on the inside of my car...."

The prosecution said nope, that's just an made up excuse for why she cleaned the blood out of her car, so well that forensics found no blood anywhere in the car. Why then, did the forensic expert who examined the car for evidence find vomit under the passenger seat? Good enough cleaning job for blood, but not good enough for vomit? Enough that the forensic expert testified that she knew what it was the moment she saw it?

Actually, the question is why did this, too, skate past the defense? Was it too nasty to bring up? The totality of Dixie's court testimony to this effect came when the prosecution asked her about it, and she stated:

"...after what an ex boyfriend had done to her car... I think we were talking about what had happened after her boyfriend had done what he had done to the car."

Considering that the prosecution was going to say that Kirstin or her family were actually cleaning the car of blood, you'd think that the defense would at least attempt to note that Dixie is one of four people who lent credibility to the sequence of events Kirstin maintained (including the forensic expert who did not even know her). But, no.

Throughout the case, the prosecution offered up explanation after explanation as to why facts that did not fit their case were part of a lie, thought up by Kirstin and possibly her family to cover up murder. But they had to try hard to make any testimony appear like it contradicted her story. For the most part, they were left with only the act of implying something might contradict something else. Thank goodness they had a public defender that would let them do just that, as he engaged in largely pointless and unproductive lines of questioning. Her defense counsel certainly seemed unable to turn supporting statements from multiple people into useful court testimony.


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