***Copied from The Ahwatukee Foothills News***
"Harrod Expected to Testify"
by Guinda Reeves
November 12, 1997
James Cornel Harrod, 43, an Ahwatukee Foothills man who is being tried in the murder of Phoenix socialite Jeanne Tovrea, is expected to take the stand in his own behalf this week.
"We anticipate that )Harrod) will testify," defense co-counsel Michael Bernays told Judge Ronald S. Reinstein during a motions hearing November 7, and the defense began its presentation. Attorneys have said the case may go to the jury by the end of this week.
Meanwhile Reinstein turned down three defense motions:
*to remove the burglary charge that is companion to the first-degree murder charge, with the defense contending it wasn't establishethat any items missing from the crime scene.
*to invoke the state's marital privilege in regard to Harrod's ex-wife, Ann Costello, whom the prosecution is expected to use to rebut Harrod's testimony; and
*to eliminate third-party culpability in regard to James Majors (a man who reportedly looks like the composite said to have been "Gordon Phillips," and who was convicted in California for three execution-style murders similar to Jeanne Tovrea's killing).
During the motions hearings, Paul Ahler, chief deputy prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, commented at one point, "There may be other people involved." However, he added, it is "for the jury to decide the guilt or innocence of the defendant."
During testimony November 6 and 7, Jim Raines, a special agent for the state Attorney General's Office and a former investigator for the county attorney's office as well as a former Phoenix police detective, testified about a Bank One deposit slip and a $3,000 cashier's check to Mainland Consultants, with the same amount withdrawn from MECA and Edward A. (Hap) Tovrea Jr.'s accounts at La Jolla Bank and Trust in California.
On cross-examination by Bernays, Raines was asked about the check's memo line, which reportedly read, "Property taxes-Chile" and whether Hap Tovrea "sent money to someone to pay taxes on property he may have owned." Raines replied, "I don't know that he or did not do that."
Asked by Bernays whether that check had anything to do with Harrod, Raines said, "No," but adding that he knew Harrod "has something to do with MECA, a little bit."
In other testimony, Pat Wertheim, an internationally recognized fingerprint expert who works for the Arizona Department Of Public Safety, said that although it was "possible" for fingerprints to be forged or fabricated, it was very unlikely.
On cross-examination, Bernays inquired whether it's possible to obtain someone's fingerprints if they're unconscious. "I suppose," said Wertheim.
The defense attorney also asked Wertheim if a forger were intent on leaving the fingerprints of an innocent person at a crime scene, the forger might leave multiple prints. "Yes, right," replied the finger-print expert.
However, when later asked by deputy prosecutor Bill Culbertson whether the fingerprints on the kitchen window pane and countertop matched Harrod's, Wertheim said all 18 prints "represented original touches" and were identified as Harrod's.
The Tovrea Homepage
The Jeanne Tovrea Murder Listing
22. (page 75) Harrod Testifies in Murder-for-Hire Trial