Uploaded: Wednesday, July 25, 2001, 11
Fitzhugh says he didn't know
by Bill D'Agostino
Kenneth Fitzhugh testified on Tuesday that prior to his wife's
death he never knew or even suspected that their son, Justin, was
fathered by another man.
His testimony in Palo Alto Superior Court directly contradicted
the theory of prosecutors, who claim that Fitzhugh killed his wife
of 33 years, Kristine, in order to keep her from telling Justin
that his biological father was a family friend, Robert Brown.
A full-house crowd jammed Judge Franklin Elia's courtroom to watch
Fitzhugh testify in his own behalf. Many anxious spectators were
Fitzhugh said one reason he never suspected that Brown had fathered
Justin was that Brown led a "gay lifestyle." According to Fitzhugh,
Brown also expressed disdain for women, and once hit on Fitzhugh
Fitzhugh told the jury that he rejected him, saying, "I respect
your lifestyle but I don't want a part of it."
Despite the refusal, Fitzhugh said that the two men were extremely
close until the Fitzhugh family decided to cut off contact with
Brown when he could not handle a drug problem. Fitzhugh, an only
child, described Brown as "the brother I never had."
Fitzhugh said he first found out that Brown was Justin's biological
father after he had been in jail eight months on charges of murdering
his wife. He told the jury that he was "devastated" by the news
"I went back to my cell and was quiet for a long time," Fitzhugh
Fitzhugh recalled that he later had a talk with Justin in which
he told him, "You are still my son and I am still your dad."
Also on Tuesday, Fitzhugh recounted his romance with Kristine.
He said that she first approached him at a San Diego County fair
in 1964 while he was playing the pipe organ, a lifelong hobby. She
was 16 and he was 20.
"She came up to me and said, 'Why don't you play more Bach,' which
I thought was a great opening line," Fitzhugh told the jury with
The couple would married two years later and stayed married for
33 years until Kristine's death on May 5, 2000.
Fitzhugh's testimony continues today (Wednesday).