OGDEN -- More testimony placing Wade Maughan at the scene of a 26-year-old murder drew aggressive cross examination in court on Friday.
Maughan is charged with murder in the May 26, 1984, slaying of Bradley Newell Perry at a gas station just south of Brigham City. The case was moved to Ogden's 2nd District Court because of the pre-trial publicity. That includes the 2008 conviction of Maughan's co-defendant, Glenn Howard Griffin, serving life without parole for his part in the homicide.
The case went unsolved until 2005, when DNA linked a bloody dollar bill from the crime scene to Griffin. Maughan, a close friend of Griffin, was arrested in 2005 in Spokane, Wash., where he lived at the time, based on admissions to Box Elder County Sheriff's detectives.
Friday, a Spokane police detective testified to statements from a friend of Maughan's that also placed him at the crime scene with Griffin.
Mark Burbridge testified the friend recalled Maughan telling him "Glenn stabbed a guy in an argument over $10."
"Maughan said he was drunk," Burbridge said, quoting the statement, "and didn't remember it until the cops (Box Elder detectives) showed him pictures from the homicide the day he was arrested."
Burbridge was hit with a blistering cross examination from defense attorney Scott Williams, attacking his credibility. Williams began to bring up allegations of perjury against Burbridge from federal officials in Washington state before prosecutors objected.
Judge Ben Hadfield then had the jury removed while the attorneys debated the claims about Burbridge.
"This is the first we've heard of this," Deputy Box Elder County Attorney Brandon Maynard told the judge. "I don't know if he's talking about an allegation or a memorandum, or what."
After 30 minutes of discussion, Hadfield decided the jury could hear that Burbridge had been threatened with perjury charges by a Justice Department attorney as part of a police corruption case still pending in Washington state. He has never been indicted and Burbridge was allowed to defend his run-in with an assistant U.S. Attorney for Washington, testifying "I stood up to him, because my reports are accurate."
Under Williams' cross -examination, Burbridge said the friend recalling Maughan's remarks did not include any detail of what Maughan had done specifically at the murder scene. Burbridge also acknowledged that the friend was an alcoholic who can't hold a job and lived with his mother.
Maughan's videotaped November 2005 statement to the Box Elder detectives was played for the first time publicly on Wednesday. In the video, Maughan first claims no knowledge of the homicide, then admits Griffin told him about it. Further into the interview, under the prompting of the officers, he admits he was at the crime scene and eventually that Griffin threatened to kill him if he didn't help restrain Perry.
But Maughan also said he was drunk at the time and at one point on the video is heard to ask the detectives: "It's probably better if you tell me what I did."
The defense tried to suppress the video as coerced and have said it would be an issue on appeal if Maughan is convicted. The trial reconvenes Tuesday and is scheduled to conclude by Friday.