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The Kristine Fitzhugh Case

Wednesday, July 18, 2001, 10:30 a.m.

An angry Fitzhugh depicted in video
Interview with police on evening of murder played in court

by Bill D'Agostino

As the defense begins its case today, echoes of an emotional Kenneth Fitzhugh pounding on a table during a police interview may be ringing in jurors' minds.

Jurors watched a second taped interview this week between Fitzhugh and Palo Alto Sgt. Michael Denson (this time joined by Sgt. Scott Wong), taped just hours after his wife was found dead in their home.

This second interview, played by Deputy District Attorney Michael Fletcher, was decidedly different in tone from the first one, played earlier this week in court. The second sounded at times more like interrogation, with Denson and Wong pressing Fitzhugh to give them an "truthful" account of the day's events, believing him to be leaving out key facts.

The police and prosecution believe that Fitzhugh, a real estate consultant, killed his wife in their kitchen then lied to police after trying to make it look like she had fallen down their basement stairs.

Denson and Wong told him that they didn't believe his alibi (that he was at a real estate site at the time of the death), especially in light of the fact that a pair of Fitzhugh's tennis shoes -- which contained stains of what looked like blood -- were discovered in Fitzhugh's sport's utility vehicle. DNA testing later determined the stains to be Kristine Fitzhugh's blood.

Fitzhugh gave a possible theory for how the shoes got blood on them, saying that Kristine cut herself while the two were gardening and he was wearing the shoes. He admitted to not knowing how the shoes got into his car.

During the course of the interview, the two police detectives told Fitzhugh that they believed Kristine's death was the result of someone's actions, and not having fallen down the stairs, like they had believed earlier.

The police asked Fitzhugh how he felt when denying that he had inflicted the wounds after a fight.

Fitzhugh responded, "I feel horrible. I feel like . . . I feel like . . . I feel like I've been violated somehow. If you tell me, if you tell me that there was . . .there was harm done, not by a fall but by someone doing something, I feel horribly violated in our home."

Later, trying to explain why the shoes were found with blood on them, Fitzhugh offered up "Someone else was . . . was in those shoes."

"So you're saying that someone else was in the house and put those shoes on specifically to attack your wife?" Wong asked.

Fitzhugh said, "I don't know."

Yesterday afternoon, after Sgt. Denson was finished testifying, Fletcher called a blood spatter expert, expected to be Fletcher's last witness before he rests his case. The expert will likely testify that blood evidence showed that Kristine Fitzhugh was killed in the kitchen, not in the basement.




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