Those three things also have to be done maliciously, willfully, and repeatedly for it to be stalking. But at this point all I
cared about was that my testimony was done. It was over. After four hours it was finally over. Compared to the way
Marv and Terry had worked me over that was nothing. I sat down and Terry gave me a thumbs up sign. Everyone
else with us gave me the same enthusiastic looks. I knew I did well. I felt good, for the first time the truth got out. I
held up under cross-examination and one big thing I noticed: I didn’t stutter! I kept under control better than I ever
have before! At least one good thing came out of this, I haven’t stuttered since.
My father took the stand next. He gave his long list of credentials as an engineer, including military projects and
indicating that many of the things he had worked on were classified. He talked of my decision to come out to
Oklahoma and how he and my mother approved and understood completely why I did so. He ran with me in Edmond
and he talked of the times we ran my shorter route and I showed him were Shannon lived. It wasn’t like I was keeping
that a secret. Not the behavior of someone obsessed and putting someone under surveillance.
A lot of my early life came up and how I was brought up. My paternal grandmother had trouble expressing
emotions and my father indicated that he felt that both of us had that problem. He also spoke of the fact that
anything I work at I go full force and set my goals high. He felt that this was do to the fact that after anything I
achieved he always set the bar higher. It seemed like he was remorseful for that but I wasn’t sure. Despite that we
were both late bloomers and I hit my stride about the same time he did academically. That made me feel better, it
made me know that despite the lost two semesters from this terrible experience and the fact that it was unsure when I
could continue that I could still succeed. He’s very experience in dealing with speaking with groups and dealing with
difficult people, experience with people from the military I presume. I think that coupled with the classified military
credentials he has prompted the prosecution to not cross-examine. I was disappointed, my father would have taken
My mother was next. She mostly spoke of what we had talked about leading up to the arrest. How I was excited
when we ended up living in the same complex, how I never approached her, how we became friends, and how I
wanted to ask her out but was too scared. “I felt he would get up the courage but that eventually she would break his
heart and you can’t protect your children from that,” she said.
The next thing they got into was my artwork. We had sent as much as we could from what I had drawn through out
my life, including things from when I was only around two or three years old. I always drew constantly and she
confirmed that. Terry showed her the drawings that were found in my apartment, although by this point they were a
moot issue, and she looked at them and said “That’s Joe, that’s his work.” not phased at all. The pictures just weren’
t all that bad! It was just part of a story.
McDanel took over and started in on whether or not she knew about me weaseling out of that math test. She knew
about it and had no problems telling him. I guess he didn’t care for that, it ended right there.
He then brought up the letter I wrote for the family newsletter. Particularly were I mentioned when I was running by
her house, she surprised me and I pulled the muscles just over my thigh. The letter said “I called my mom and said
‘Shannon Miller pulled my (expletive)! She said ‘How dare she, she doesn’t even know you!’” McDanel asked her
what the expletive was. She said the gluteus maximus.
“Was that his exact words, are you sure he didn’t mean that she pulled something else?” Reaching wasn’t he?
“No, his exact words were ‘Shannon Miller pulled my ass’.”
Ann Farrow came next. She had a very good, calming effect on the court. Just a very nice person. She told of the
entire time that I lived in her complex, how we talked in the office quite a bit. “He was always very polite to everyone,
Terry then asked her if her opinion would change of me if she knew I once deceived an instructor to delay taking a
test and she said “No, I would treat like I would one of my students,” Ann used to teach children with behavioral
problems, “and not judge him just because he did something that wasn’t right. I would probably have tried to help
him find another way he could have taken care of the problem.”
Cross-examination here wasn’t much at all. It was the end of the day and outside of some recalls the next day by
the prosecution it was over except for the verdict. Terry had some more work to do and Marv and Sicely drove Ann
back to Edmond. Even though the verdict was still to come and I still didn’t trust an Oklahoma jury I felt pretty good.
We went out to dinner at an “Outback Steakhouse” and really were able to relax and enjoy ourselves. We came
back to the hotel and for the first time we didn’t have to go over testimony. I called friends and family, the first time
they heard from me outside of E-mail, and told them what happened. One thing was pointed out “No matter what
happens you got a big victory. Chris Phillips went up a lied like a cheap rug, you went up and came clean. He was a
jack-ass on the stand and you kept your dignity. No matter what happens you proved you’re the better man. Be
proud of yourself.” and I was.
The next morning we got to the courthouse on time. The recalled witnesses came on and nothing worth mentioning
happened. Just a little rehash. Final statements were to be made. Engle started and said that he felt that he had
proven everything beyond a reasonable doubt. He didn’t prove anything within an unreasonable doubt. He said
what he said before, that I was obsessed an followed her out fifteen hundred mile and that I knew what I was doing.
Still, nothing he said there was illegal.
Terry summed up my life in his final statement. He defined stalking once again and stressed that it was willful,
malicious, repeated behavior. He emphasized malice over and over again. He stated that it didn’t matter if I couldn’t
take a hint or that I was a pest, I had to have meant to vex, annoy, or frighten in a willful repeated manner. His final
words were that the jury let me go home with my family.
One thing that makes no sense is that the prosecution got to rebut the defense’s final statement but the defense
doesn’t get a chance at it. Engle gave it a shot but he really didn’t say anything different.
It was over, the jury was briefed and they retired. Terry later told me one thing that I was wondering during all this.
Why wasn’t there anything explaining reasonable doubt? He told me that in Oklahoma an attorney can’t define it only
mention it. No matter, I don’t think it made a difference as it was.
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Copyright 1999 Joseph Vogt