Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
The state’s case against alleged matricide conspirator Rachelle Waterman was shaken Friday when the final defense witness took the stand. Former Alaska State Trooper Anna Goemer, who also worked with the city police force in Ketchikan and as a campus cop, testified that she knew that a key witness in Waterman’s first trial had lied under oath.
Goemer said that Craig Police Chief Mark Habib had told her after Waterman’s first trial in 2006 that he had lied about who took some photos connected to the murder of Lauri Waterman.
Mark Habib was a Craig police officer when he worked on the 2004 murder, and he was called as a witness earlier in Waterman’s current trial. Trooper Robert Claus, who also testified, was present when investigators questioned Rachelle Waterman.
In an effort to pinpoint the exact lies, Assistant District Attorney Jean Seaton attempted to have Goemer read transcripts of Habib’s 2006 testimony, but judge William Carey would not allow it, saying Habib’s transcript is not part of Goemer’s testimony.
Seaton said prosecutors would have to bring Habib back to the witness stand, although that would not be possible Friday.
Potentially more damaging to the state’s case was Goemer’s claim that she had alerted state District Attorney Stephen West about her information, and gotten no reply. West is arguing the case for the state.
In earlier testimony, defense witness Doctor Marty Beyer strengthened the defense’s claim that at the time of the murder, Rachelle Waterman was an intellectually mature but emotionally needy teenager, one who suffered extreme low self esteem due to early trauma. Beyer is a psychologist who had evaluated Rachelle Waterman twice.
She said Waterman was unusually unable to assess risk, and did not foresee consequences of her relationship with an older boyfriend. That boyfriend, Jason Arrant, is in prison for the murder of Lauri Waterman.
Beyer also testified that Rachelle Waterman had told her that she had been raped at age 13, and that she told her mother, but her mother did not believe her. As a result, there are no medical or police records of the sexual assault.
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