Grace Sargent - Friend at Church

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Grace Sargent - Friend at Church

Postby admin » October 31st, 2010, 6:23 pm



THE COURT: Alright, State of Indiana.

GRACE SARGENT , a witness called on behalf of the State of Indiana,
being duly sworn by the Court, testified as follows:


Q. Tell the court and the ladies and gentlemen of the jury your name?

A. Grace Sargent, 121 North State.

Q. And what church do you attend?

A. Grace Memorial Baptist Church.

Q. Speak up as loudly as you can.

A. Grace Memorial, 1455 North Alabama.

Q. What is your pastor's name?

A. Roy Julian.

Q. How long have you attended that church?

A. About three years, I guess, maybe longer.

Q. Were you attending there the summer of 1965?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know Mrs. Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. Not personally, I have seen her.

Q. Do you know Paula Marie Baniszewski?

A. Yes.

Q. Is she present?

A. Yes.

Q. Would you point her out, please?

A. In the purple sweater. (indicating defendant Paula Marie Baniszewski)

Q. Do you know the other Baniszewski children?

A. Yes.

Q. Did they attend the same church you attend?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you know Sylvia Likens?

A. I saw her on two occasions.

Q. Did you know Jenny Likens, her sister?

A. Yes, she went more often. I saw her more often.

Q. And what means of transportation do you use to to church?

A. The church bus, the bus belonged to the church.

Q. Did the Baniszewski children ride the bus?

A. Yes.

Q. Did Sylvia Likens ride it?

A. Yes.

Q. Directing your attention to August 22, 1965, did you attend church that day?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Did you see Sylvia Likens that day?

A. Yes, she walked the aisle.

MR. ERBECKER: We object to any testimony of this witness concerning Gertrude Baniszewski, for the obvious reason she was not present; second, it is cumulative; thirdly, any activities of the witness was not in the presence of Gertrude Baniszewski would not be binding.

THE COURT: There is no question. If you object -

MR. ERBECKER: A continuing objection.

THE COURT: Next question.

MISS WESSNER: I believe we have an unanswered question.

A. In our church that day.

Q. What was the purpose, do you know?

MR. ERBECKER: Same objection.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. What else did you see at church?

MR. ERBECKER: Same objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q. What else did you see at church that day?

A. Oh, you mean the conversation?

THE COURT: See? Not conversation. What did you see?

A. Do you mean whom else did I see?

Q. Yes, when Sylvia went down the aisle, went forward in church, what else did you see, if anything?

MR. ERBECKER: Same objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A. Well, there were others going forward.

Q. Who else in the Baniszewski family?

A. I believe some of the Baniszewskis'. I don't remember which ones. It seems some of them went.

Q. Did Jenny Likens go too?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A. Yes, she did.

Q. After church when Sylvia went forward, did you take the bus home?

A. Yes.

Q. Who else was on the bus?

A. The Baniszewski children and the Likens girls. There were others.

Q. They were there?

A. They were there.

Q. Did you see Paula Baniszewski on the bus going home that day?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you have conversation with her that day?

A. Yes.

Q. On the bus?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you say to her and what did she say to you?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained as to Gertrude Baniszewski. The jury will ignore the question and the forthcoming answer in arriving at a verdict as to Gertrude Baniszewski.

A. I brought up the subject of Sylvia because she had gone forward in church, to Paula. There was something in her voice when she said "I do not like her". I thought she was her friend and she said, "I hit her" and I must have looked shocked. She said, "I hit her too hard I" - she must have said she broke or dislocated her wrist. She said, "I could kill her. She called my mom a bad name. If she ever calls my mom a bad name again, I will kill her". Her tone of voice - I can't describe it - it disturbed me. Not enough that I reported it to anybody.

THE COURT: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury and Alternate Jurors, you will ignore the answer of that question in arriving at a verdict as to defendant Gertrude Baniszewski.

MISS WESSNER: Cross examine.

THE COURT: Defendant Gertrude Baniszewski have any questions?


Q. Did you ever talk to Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. No, sir.

Q. And was there any other conversation ever brought up - was there any conversation brought up about Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. Only that once.

Q. That one time there?

MR. ERBECKER: Nothing further.

THE COURT: Defendant Paula Marie Baniszewski may cross examine.


Q. Mrs. Sargent?

A. Yes.

Q. Mrs. Sargent, are you the mother of children yourself?

A. No.

Q. You have no children?

A. I have no children.

Q. Have you ever had occasion to be a sitter, to have charge of children that age?

A. Not that big. I have babysit for smaller children.

Q. Did you happen to know how old Paula Baniszewski was the day you talked with her on the bus?

A. I did not know exactly how old she was, no.

Q. How old?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. How long before this time had you seen Paula Baniszewski the first time?

A. They used to go to our church regular and then they dropped out. This was, I would say for about a year they were out. Then they started back sometime shortly before this day that I had the conversation with Paula.

Q. How well would you say you knew Paula Baniszewski at the time of the ride in the bus, in terms of knowing her very well or casually?

A. I thought I knew her very well.

Q. Did you ever visit her at home?

A. No.

Q. Did you ever meet with her socially any place other than church?

A. Just at church.

Q. Was it your custom to stop and talk with her on the way to church or out any time?

A. If she showed a tendency.

Q. Now, on this particular occasion, Mrs. Sargent, were you convinced of the sincerity of what Paula Baniszewski said to you on the bus?

A. I must not have been because -

Q. Please answer yes or no, if you can.

A. May I put -

Q. Were you convinced?

A. There was something that disturbed me. May I put it in my own words?

Q. No, ma'am.

A. I did not report to the police.

THE COURT: Try to answer yes or no first.

A. She sounded as if she meant it.

MR. RICE: Would you read that back?


Q. You then did believe this was a serious statement by Paula Baniszewski, threatening the life of Sylvia Likens?

A. I really don't know what I did believe.

Q. Well, as a result of your reaction to what you heard, what did you do, if anything?

A. That is the burden of guilt I have to have. I did not do anything about it.

Q. Did you speak to the clergyman?

A. I decided the child was trying to build up the scrape she had.

Q. My question permits a yes or no. I must ask you to answer. My question was, did you speak to your clergyman, Roy Julian, about this incident?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you tell him?

A. I just told him what she said.

Q. What was his reaction?

A. That was sometime later.

Q. Did he say anything - feel you had cause to be perturbed - did he say he did?

A. No, he did not say it.

Q. Did you approach the household where Paula Baniszewski lived and make a report to anyone there?

A. No.

Q. Did you make a report to any police officer, say you thought a killing was in the offing?

A. No, sir.

Q. None of these things were done?

A. No.

MR. RICE: No further questions.

THE COURT: Any questions on cross examination from Coy Hubbard or John Stephan Baniszewski?

MR. BOWMAN: No questions.

THE COURT: Richard Hobbs?


Q. What kind of work do you do, Mrs. Sargent?

A. I work in a factory.

Q. R.C.A.

A. No, a small factory that makes automotive parts.

Q. Are you active in the church of Mr. Julian?

A. Yes.

Q. Other than church services, do you participate in other activities of the church - Sunday School?

A. Yes.

MR. NEDEFF: No other questions.

THE COURT: Any omitted questions on cross examination?

MR. ERBECKER: None, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Any re-direct?



THE COURT: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury and Alternate Jurors, by agreement of counsel and with the consent of the State and defendants made in open court, the jury is permitted to separate. We will reconvene tomorrow morning at 9:30. You will report to the jury room tomorrow morning at half past nine. During the adjournment, don't talk among yourselves and don't let anyone talk to you about this case or any subject connected therewith. Don't form or express any opinion on the case till it is finally submitted to you. Don't read any newspaper articles that may appear about the case and don't watch anything or listen to anything that may be broadcast about the case. Jury and Alternate Jurors are excused till tomorrow morning at 9:30.




THE COURT: We are all here. Are we ready for the jury?

MR. ERBECKER: Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Bring in the jury.

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