D.C. criminal defense lawyer

Trial Transcript: “Bad karma” and other deadly threats

Jamison KoehlerDomestic Violence, Trial Advocacy


Q:     Okay.  And at some point – Mr. Jones is from Russia, right?

A:      Yes.

Q:     And at some point he came back to the United States and he sought to re-initiate his romantic relationship with you, right?

A:      Yes.

Q:     And – and you were not interested in, in resuming that romantic relationship, right?

A:      Correct.

Q:     You had moved on?

A:      Yes. 

Q:     And you testified that, beginning in May, June, there were a number of communications from him, right?

A:      Constantly, yes.

Q:     Constantly.  I see.  And these communications – I, I’ve seen your exhibits.  There are a number of text messages from him to you, right?

A:      Correct.

Q:     In many of the text messages he sent you, he talks about coffee, right?

A:      It started by him asking me out for coffee, and I said no.  Every day he’s reminding me he’s here for me for coffee every day by sending me a coffee fact asking me if I changed my mind, yes.

Q:     Coffee fact?

A:      Yes.

Q:     Right.  Okay.  And at one point he – May 31st – he wished you a happy birthday, right?

A:      Yes.

Q:     Okay.  So there were a number of text messages and from these text messages – the coffee facts and the happy birthday – you could infer that his intent was not to threaten you but to charm you, right?  To win you back?

A:      I was – I felt harassed.  I felt harassed.

Q:     By his happy birthday wishes?

A:      Yes.

Q:     I see.  Okay.

A:      I don’t know –

Q:     Ms. Smith, you testified that on June 13, he threatened you – and I’m reading from your petition – by stating that “I am sure at some point bad karma will get back to you?”

A:      Yes.

Q:     And this is – you took this, you testified – as a threat?

A:      Yes.

Q:     You took this as a threat to your physical safety?

A:      Yes.

Q:     Okay.  Right.  You understand what “karma” means, right?

A:      Yes.

Q:     You understand that bad karma has to do with harm to you caused by your own actions, right?

A:      Yes.

Q:     And yet you took him, referring to karma – bad karma – as him threatening you?

A:      Yes.

Q:     You never told him – you never told him to stop communicating with you, right?

A:      I have.  Many times.

Q:     You told him in the text messages?

A:      I told him through a phone call.  I told him through a text message.  Exhibit 1, page two.

Q:     Hold on.  Let me look at that.  You told him in a text not to communicate with you?

A:      Yes.

Q:     I am looking at that now.  Perhaps you could help me.  Could you –

A:      Over the phone.  I told him so many times over the phone –

Q:     I see.

A:      “Please don’t call me, don’t contact me.”  I have communicated so many times.

Q:     I see.  So when – when I asked you earlier whether you texted him not to contact you and you said you had, you were mistaken, those communications were all by phone –

A:      Yes.  I told him by phone. Many times.

Q:     I see.  Okay.  So – but with respect to the text messages that we do have, you would agree they may have been annoying but there was nothing in those texts that threatened you in any way?

A:      No.

Q:     No, you don’t agree with me or no they weren’t threatening?

A:      No, they weren’t threatening.

Q:     Now, at any point, did you communicate with him and – suggest having coffee?

A:      Never.

Q:     Never.  Not once.  Okay.  Your honor, I’d like to share my screen.  I’d like to introduce Respondent’s exhibit #1. 

THE COURT:    Go ahead.

MS. SMITH:  Oh, sorry,  I — I —


Q:     Oh, okay.  Would you, you –

A:      — I – I –

Q:     — like to change your answer now?

A:      I recall one incident.  Now I do remember –

Q:     Ah. 

A:      The date after I got threatened, my Mom asked me to get – take him out and convince him not to contact me in person and trying to talk to him in person.  Try to calm him down, because he has been acting very crazy.  So yes, I did.  I did initiate – there was a text message.  But I don’t like the fact that you did not present it in court, and I do not like Mr. Caller (phonetic) –

THE COURT:    Okay, Ms. Smith —

MS. SMITH:  — I’m so sorry, Judge.  I’m just so sorry, Your Honor.  This is inappropriate.

THE COURT:    — (indiscernible)

MS. SMITH:  I’m so sorry.  But this is inappropriate.  Mr. Caller did not share this text message before –

THE COURT:    It is called impeachment, Ms. Smith.  But you can change your testimony.  Now you remember that you did.

MS. SMITH:  I remember yes. 


Q:      Your Honor, I would like to mark this document as Respondent’s Exhibit #1.  Ms. Smith, if you could take a look at this.  Do you recognize what I am showing you?

A:      Yes.  That is the message I was talking about.

Q:      You would agree with me it says Friday. July 15th.

A:       Yes.

Q:       Let me scroll down.  That is what you wrote on the left.  Right?

A:        Yes.

Q:        Let me read it to you.  You say “Hi, can we meet for coffee later today around 3:00.  Right?

A:         Yes.  My mother –

Q:         — and he responds, “Hi.  No you’ve hurt me enough already.  I prefer to keep a distance.  Please don’t write me again.”  Right?  Did I read that correctly?

A:         Yes.

Q:         I move to admit Respondent’s Exhibit 1 into evidence.

THE COURT:    Admitted.


Q:         Okay.  I’m going to stop sharing my screen.  Ms. Smith, it’s interesting that you uploaded all these text messages that he sent to you, right?

A:         Yes.

Q:         And we have tons of text messages that you presented to the court, right?

A:         Yes.

Q:         But you chose not to include that particular text.  Is that right?

A:          Yes.

Q:          Your Honor, I have no further questions.