Chapter 28 – Court Transcripts

thetruthatlast.dreamwidth.com

@gottiewrites 09/05/19

So, as you probably saw, Rob was found guilty of all charges this afternoon. He’s going to be in prison for most of his life. I can’t really believe it. It feels like an awful dream. The whole time the jury were in session, I felt so sick and ill. Even though I know Rob has done terrible things, I still don’t want him to be punished.

Well, I suppose there’s nothing to be done about it now.

I’m sure some of you hate me for my part in this. Some of you have been saying that Nathan died because of me. But all I ever wanted was justice. I’m not sorry for that. I never will be.

I’m sure there’s more out there about Rob. There are whole years in our timeline where he could have been up to anything. What did he do between deleting his LiveJournal in 2014 and getting cast as Jayden in 2016? Thirteen grand isn’t enough money to have kept him occupied for long, and there’s no way he would have just abandoned the bitcoins from tygerbright when they were just sitting there waiting to be spent.

Why did he decide to go into acting in the first place? Was it just because he’d done everything there was to do in the criminal underworld? Or was he searching for bigger fish to fry? We know that he carried on making forgeries even after becoming famous. Was he just making forms, or something worse?

There’s more out there, if you know where to look. I’m sure of it. We haven’t discovered all of Robert Hennings’ secrets yet. And, let’s be frank. If anyone is going to find them, it’s not going to be the police, is it? It’s going to be one of us.

– margot

P.s. Oh, by the way, I’ve been watching that new MTV show, White Coats? It’s so good. The main actors are so cute! I may have to start a side blog . . .


Comments (14,111)

Anonymous none of this feels real. gottie, i’m so glad you got out of this awful situation alive.

Anonymous anyone else keep going back here and just refreshing the page? just hoping that something changed and it’s been put right?

Anonymous yeah. every few weeks. can’t stop myself thinking ‘i can’t wait to see what weird shit gottie’s doing this week’ and then i remember

Anonymous i can’t believe i used to run a fanblog for a murderer

Anonymous it’s been months since gottie last updated, so probably no one is checking this blog anymore. But just in case – trial transcripts are out!

court transcript

THE GRAND JURY OF THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

STATE OF CALIFORNIA

The People of the state of California )

Plaintiff,   )

vs.                                )

01 Robert Hennings,           )         No. BA466743

Defendant. )

_______________________________________)

REPORTER’S TRANSCRIPT OF GRAND JURY PROCEEDINGS

APPEARANCES:

James Brandon, Deputy District Attorney of the County of Los Angeles, representing the Office of the District Attorney

Jin Chang, duly appointed and sworn as the official stenographic reporter of the Los Angeles county grand jury.

Robert Hennings, defendant

24 members of the grand jury

Chronological Index of Witnesses

1 – Margot Garcia

2 – Anya Thomas

3 – Bradley Saffitz

Exhibits

1 – Coroner’s Photo

2 – Coroner’s Diagram

3 – DVD – CCTV footage of porch of Rob Henning’s home address on 8th September 2018

4 – Photo – Interior of Rob Hennings’ home address

5 – Aerial Photo – Video camera locations for CCTV surveillance footage

6 – Document – Blog posts from ‘gottiewrites.wordpress.com’

7 – Cell phone tracking data – Rob Hennings’ phone

8 – Police Report – Abigail Garcia’s report of a stolen laptop

OPENING STATEMENTS

James Brandon: Madam Foreperson, would you please call this criminal grand jury hearing to order.

 The Foreperson: Let the record reflect that there are 24 grand jurors present, as well as defendant Robert Hennings, Deputy District Attorney James Brandon and Jin Chang, stenographic reporter.

This hearing is now in session and the court reporter has been sworn in. I will now read the Foreperson’s statement. This hearing concerns whether sufficient evidence will be presented to the criminal grand jury to indict Robert Hennings (“Hennings”) for one count of murder and one count of fraud by means of forging state legal documents. The proposed indictment charges target Hennings with murder, in violation of penal code section 187(A).

Any member of the grand jury who has a state of mind in reference to this case, or to any of the parties involved, which will prevent them from acting impartially and without prejudice to the substantial rights of any of the said parties shall now retire.

The case involves the death of Nathan O’Donnell, a British citizen working in Los Angeles as a TV actor. At the time of his death, he was living part time in a rented apartment with Witness #3, Bradley Saffitz, and part time with Hennings, who worked on the same TV show. He was a beloved actor, with many fans in both Great Britain and America.

Early in 2018, Hennings was approached by O’Donnell and Saffitz in regard to an immigration case. Hennings was invited to forge income documentation for Saffitz, a request which he fulfilled.

This case involves the series of events that led to the death of O’Donnell by impact to the skull, which occurred on the evening of 23rd September 2018. An argument between Hennings and O’Donnell concerning Saffitz’s visa application was observed by Witness #1, Margot Garcia, several hours before the victim’s death. Garcia was trespassing in the Hennings home at the time of the dispute between the target and the victim.

Today, we will be showing you the series of events which are known to have taken place, according to footage and phone tracking data placed into evidence, alongside witness testimonies.

At the end, we will ask the members of the grand jury to consider the two charges held against Hennings – one count of murder, and one of fraud – by consideration of the evidence presented to you. I thank you for your time and attention, and will now call the first witness – Margot Garcia.

(The witness enters the grand jury hearing room.)

The Foreperson: Miss, if you stand by the flag, raise your right hand to be sworn in.

 Margot Garcia: OK.

 The Foreperson: Margot Garcia, called as a witness before the grand jury of the county of Los Angeles, do you solemnly swear that the evidence you shall give in this matter now pending shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Margot Garcia: I do.

The Foreperson: Thank you. Good morning, Miss Garcia. Go ahead and take a seat. You can pull the microphone closer so you can speak directly into it. Did you leave your cell phone and any recording devices outside?

 Garcia: Yes.

 The Foreperson: Mr Brandon, you may proceed with the examination of the witness.

EXAMINATION

 James Brandon: Now, ladies and gentlemen of the grand jury, Garcia was a minor at the time of the incident. I want you to be aware that Garcia has been given Use Immunity in exchange for her testimony today. Use Immunity is a promise from the district attorney that we will not seek to prosecute Garcia for anything she says during her testimony here today. This ensures that the witness is free to tell the truth, knowing nothing she says here can be used against her. If any of the witnesses lie during their testimony, they will be prosecuted for perjury. The agreement does not immunize them against false statements.

There have been a number of threats on social media against the witness, by members of the public assuming that she was part of the crime, either with knowledge and intent of the incident or as a co-participant. The jury is advised that Garcia has not been charged with any crime, and the police do not see any reason to investigate her actions further at this time.

Miss Garcia, do you agree to the terms of Use Immunity?

Margot Garcia: I do.

Brandon: How did you come to be aware of Robert Hennings?

 Garcia: We were friends online in 2013 and 2014.

Q: You were a minor at this time?

A: Yes – I was fourteen and he was around twenty.

Q: How did that friendship go?

A: Er – badly. He cyberbullied me.

Q: Could you define that term for the grand jury?

A: He systematically drove me off a social media website by targeted harassment.

Q: Had you spoken to him since 2014, before the date of the incident?

A: Not at all. I didn’t even know his real name was Robert Hennings in 2014. We never met in person.

Q: How did you come back into contact with Hennings in 2018?

A: He made a social media post on his acting account that linked himself to the user who had cyberbullied me. He was gloating about harassing me. Once I saw this, I started writing a blog to raise awareness about his history of online abuse. I didn’t want him to hurt any other teenage girls.

Q: You didn’t make contact with Hennings at this time?

A: Absolutely not. The first contact was initiated by him when he left a comment on my blog posts, resuming his targeted online harassment of me.

Q: You were still a minor at this time?

A: I was seventeen when he started commenting on my social media again. He left multiple aggressive comments over a period of several weeks in the summer of 2018. Some of them threatened me with legal action.

Brandon: Jurors, evidence of the IP address of the comments mentioned by the witness can be found in the evidence. This has been confirmed to trace back to Hennings. The evidence also contains transcripts of all the blog entries posted by the witness. Miss Garcia, did you reply to any of the comments left by Hennings at this time?

Garcia: Not directly. I posted blog entries responding to them, though. He kept coming back.

Q: Why do you think he resumed this harassment of you online?

A: He probably thought that the blog posts were invading his privacy. I hypothesised about his relationship status in the posts. I also found out later that he was forging legal documents for freelance clients. He didn’t want me to post any evidence of that online.

Q: We’ll get to that later – for now, when did you next hear from Hennings?

A: Well, I carried on posting online after he harassed me. He carried on trying to get me to stop posting about him by stealing my laptop.

Q: Hennings stole your laptop?

A: He broke into my home and stole my laptop to stop me posting the blog entries, yes. That’s why I went to his house. To get back the laptop.

 Brandon: For the jurors – the police report for the stolen laptop, made by Abigail Garcia, Miss Garcia’s mother, on 20th September 2018, is included in the exhibit.

Miss Garcia, you and Hennings had never met in person up to this point, had you? What makes you think that he knew your home address?

A: It’s really easy to find someone’s address. I could find yours in about five minutes. I can go and get my cell phone and prove it, if you want.

Q: That won’t be necessary. Is that how you found Hennings’ home address?

A: Yeah – yes. He posted pictures of the rooms inside on social media, which I traced back to the real estate listing photographs from when he bought the house.

Q: Let’s assume Hennings had the skill to find your own home address using similar methods. What made you think he was responsible for your stolen laptop?

 A: He has a history of harassing and stalking me. You can see that from the comments he left. He had a clear motive for taking it. And only my laptop was taken – he didn’t take any other electronics in the apartment, so it wasn’t stolen during a random burglary. It was targeted.

 Q: You say you went to his house to try to retrieve the laptop. Why did you enter Hennings’ house personally, instead of reporting the theft to the police?

A: I didn’t think they’d have believed me. He’s famous. I didn’t have any evidence yet, either.

Q: The explanation for these events that you have just presented to the grand jury under oath is different from the account of events which you published on your blog in 2018. Can you explain this discrepancy?

A: At that point, I knew he was reading everything I posted online. I didn’t want him to know what I was really doing. I was scared he’d target me again. Nearly everything on the blog was fake. What I’m telling you right now is the truth.

Q: In the posts dated to this time, your stated reason for visiting the Hennings home was to investigate whether Hennings was dating the victim. In fact, you mention going to his street several weeks before your laptop was stolen, and several days before he left any comments on your blog.

For example, look at 8th September 2018 – 15 days before the death of the victim; 12 days before your laptop was stolen by Hennings; and 2 days before Hennings first left any comments on your blog. In an entry from this date – jurors, this is included in the exhibit – you claimed that you dressed up as a Girl Scout and sold some cookies to the victim. Did this really happen?

Garcia: Um . . .

Brandon: Your Use Immunity is still in place, Miss Garcia. May I remind you, again, that perjury is a criminal offence.

Garcia: I did go to their house, yes.

Brandon: Jurors, the evidence contains CCTV footage from Hennings’ personal security cameras, showing Garcia’s visit to the house to sell Girl Scout cookies on 8th September 2018.

Miss Garcia, before Hennings started commenting on your blog, you attempted to initiate contact with Hennings for the first time since 2014 by going to his property, is that correct?

A: OK. I probably overstepped the line there. But I wanted to see him in person. I’ve known him a long time, and – it’s not like I could just send him a message. He’s a huge celebrity, with millions of messages. He would never see it. This was basically the only way I could get in contact with him. Knocking on someone’s front door isn’t a crime. Because of everything that happened afterwards, it sounds bad, but it wasn’t at the time.

Q: What were you planning to say to Hennings, if he answered the door on 8th September?

A: I just wanted to ask him . . . why me? Why had he targeted me online – a 14-year-old girl? What had I done?

Q: But the victim answered the door instead of Hennings.

A: Yes. So I sold him some cookies instead, and then left.

Q: You weren’t attempting to find the victim’s personal information through a credit card transaction, as you claimed on the blog?

A: I used an app to take a payment for some cookies, but I didn’t attempt to trace his data.

Q: Right. So after that failed attempt at contact, Hennings started leaving comments on your blog. You then came to believe that he had stolen your laptop. So you went back to his house again?

A: Yes. That was the night that he killed him.

Brandon: The night of 23rd September, when O’Donnell died.

Garcia: Yes. I was just going to have a look around, to see if there was any sign of illegal activity that I could take to the police that would prove Rob had stolen my laptop. But then – I’m still under immunity, right?

Brandon: Yes.

Garcia: So, I saw my laptop inside the building through an open window. It’s got stickers on, so it’s very recognisable – I knew it was mine. I climbed inside to retrieve it, and that’s when I heard Hennings yelling at O’Donnell.

Q: Were you aware at this time that you were engaging in a criminal activity, and you would have been convicted of trespassing if you had been caught?

A: I was only seventeen. I was an idiot. I knew it was wrong, but I was really angry at Rob. I didn’t really see it as trespassing – he used to be my friend, after all. And he’d just been inside my house too. I thought that if I was caught, I’d just use that against him. I know that’s not an excuse.

Q: You have declined to press charges against Hennings for the theft of your laptop, is that right?

 A: Yes. I don’t care now I’ve got it back.

Q: Once you were inside the property, can you tell us what you observed?

A: I couldn’t see much, because I was hiding under a desk. As soon as I got my laptop, Hennings and O’Donnell came in. So I hid under there, and they were talking. I – should I tell you what I actually remember, or what I wrote on my blog at the time? I copied it down as accurately as I could, and I’ve probably forgotten how they phrased it by now. It was a while ago.

Brandon: Why don’t you give us the gist of the conversation? Don’t worry about the exact phrasing.

 A: Well, they were fighting about something that Rob had told Nathan, that Nathan didn’t believe. He mentioned the police.

 Brandon: Hennings had upset O’Donnell.

Garcia: Yes. He was really, really upset about something.

Q: Did you hear any specific words which might indicate what they were fighting about?

A: I heard them mention Brad – Bradley Saffitz.

Brandon: The victim’s roommate was mentioned by name?

A: Yeah. Yes. I – can I tell you what I think it was about?

Q: Do you have any other actual evidence about the topic of the fight? Or is this just conjecture?

A: Only that I know Rob was making fake tax documents for Brad. So it was probably about that. I think they were worried that my blog posts would reveal the truth about the forgeries. They were fighting about what to do. Obviously, I had no idea about the forgeries at that point. If I’d known, I would never have carried on posting online.

Q: How do you know that Rob was forging legal documents?

Garcia: Oh. Well, I stole his laptop.

The Foreperson: I’m sorry to interrupt your testimony, but we need to take a break now. We’ll get you back on the stand as soon as we can. Before you leave, Miss Garcia, you are admonished not to reveal to any person what questions were asked or what responses were given today, until such time as the transcripts of this grand jury proceeding are made public. Do you understand?

Garcia: Yes.

The Foreperson: Thank you. We’ll be back in 15 minutes. The Sergeant-at-arms will escort you from the hearing room. Recess is ordered. We are in recess.

[The witness walks past the defendant’s table]

Rob Hennings: Brilliant work there Effie, as always. Great flair for manipulating the facts.

Garcia: My name is Gottie. And you know as well as I do that I’m not lying.

Hennings: Not really telling the truth though either, are you?

Garcia: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Hennings: Hah! I thought you knew everything there was to know about me?

Garcia: I’m going to go for that break now.

Hennings: Make sure you mention that you were still a minor a few more times next time, won’t you?

Garcia: See ya, Rob.

[The witness exits the grand jury hearing room]

(Recess.)

 Anonymous wowwwww. Gottie killed it! How did she keep her cool like that? especially when rob was coming after her. god he’s the worst.


final cover< Chapter 27 | Contents pageGoodreads | Chapter 29 >

Gottie is a fangirl for Loch & Ness, a TV show about paranormal detectives. She’s convinced that two of the male actors are secretly dating, and she’ll stop at nothing to prove it. When her online investigations accidentally uncover far more than she expects, she becomes complicit in secrets beyond just a romantic conspiracy theory.

An internet thriller told in a ‘true crime’ style recollection of events, the novel includes social media extracts such as modern Tumblr posts and early-noughties LiveJournal blog entries.

More information | Support on Patreon | Discuss theories on Discord | Leave a tip on Ko-Fi

 

3 thoughts on “Chapter 28 – Court Transcripts

  1. LOVE THIS STORY!!!!!! Can’t wait for more!! So inspiring how you included so many details in the court transcript–I can’t imagine the headache to create the plot of this novel.

    Like

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