Photo and Story by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
The prosecution continued hearing testimony from witnesses in the state’s ongoing trial against Rachelle Waterman in Anchorage Friday. In taped testimony recorded at Waterman’s first trial in 2006, Dr. Frank Fallico, a forensic pathologist, describes in gritty detail what autopsy results showed after Lauri Waterman’s body was discovered.
Dental records proved the identity of the body. Fallico testified Lauri Waterman died of “blunt force injury”, and the circumstances surrounding the death clearly indicated homicide. The Craig housewife and mother was abducted and murdered in November of 2004.
James See, who was police chief in Craig at the time of the murder, described how he went to the Waterman home to alert Lauri Waterman’s husband, Doc Waterman, of the possibility that the body found in the burned van may be his wife. At the home, See encountered two things.
See also told jurors Friday that he also saw Jason Arrant lingering near the Waterman home at that time. Arrant seemed interested and asked “what’s going on.” See told him to leave the crime scene immediately and sealed the house.
Rachelle Waterman was seeing Jason Arrant at the time of the murder, to the displeasure of her mother. Investigators identified Arrant as a suspect almost immediately. In Friday’s court session, jurors heard a recording of investigators interviewing Rachelle Waterman the day after the body was found.
Robert Claus, who was an Alaska State Trooper present during that interview, told jurors that Rachelle Waterman seemed calm and not visibly upset at the time her statements were taken.
Rachelle Waterman is being tried for the second time for conspiracy and murder in the death of her mother. Her first trial ended with a hung jury. Arrant and a second man, Brian Radel, were convicted and are serving prison terms for the murder.
Photo: Rachel Waterman sits with investigator H.H. Tres Lewis who is working with her defense team.
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