Richard Dale Wilson told a relative he was going to kill the man accused of murdering his fiancee, then twice told relatives he had done the killing, according to Orange County Grand Jury testimony that led to Wilson's murder indictment last month.
The key testimony, contained in transcripts of the two-day grand jury proceeding, came from Wilson's brother and brother-in-law. Both, however, also testified about their emotional, drug or drinking problems, which Wilson's defense attorney said discredits their recollection of events.
Accused of Ambush
Wilson, 45, partner in a San Francisco accounting firm, is accused of ambushing Jeffrey Molloy Parker, 36, outside the home of Parker's mother in Costa Mesa on Aug. 2, 1983.
The attack occurred two days before Parker was to appear in Beverly Hills Municipal Court for allegedly beating to death Wilson's fiancee, San Francisco socialite and businesswoman Joan McShane Mills, 33. Investigators said Parker and Mills had met in a nightclub one night and then had gone to her Beverly Hills hotel room, where she was killed after a night of sex and drugs.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Douglas H. Woodsmall called Wilson's brother-in-law, Robert Clinton Hale of Wilmington, and his brother, Okel Aaron Wilson of Modesto, to testify that Richard Wilson had displayed a pistol before the shooting, had said he was going to try to kill Parker, had borrowed a truck to drive back to San Francisco almost immediately after the killing, told a lawyer in Hale's presence that he had killed Parker and boasted to his brother about doing the killing.
"There are minor inconsistencies . . . , but I certainly don't think they detract from the essential fact of the confession," Woodsmall told the jurors.
Hale, who is married to Wilson's sister Wanda, refused to testify on Fifth Amendment grounds and was granted immunity from prosecution on March 26.
He testified later that day that Wilson, who was attending Parker's court hearings, was staying at Hale's home in Wilmington about the time of Parker's killing.
Wilson Showed Gun
He said that a day or two before the killing, he and Wilson were in the garage when Wilson showed him a derringer--a small, short, double-barreled handgun that will hold two bullets. Hale said it appeared to be a .38-caliber handgun.
Hale said that before the killing--"I can't be sure, but I believe it was the day before it happened"--Wilson "said he was going to try to kill him (Parker)."
Hale testified that he told Wilson "not to be a fool, and he would be doing something that he would regret the rest of his life, and maybe some more things, but I can't remember what it was."
Wilson made no reply, Hale testified.
Hale said Wilson left the Wilmington home around noon the day of the killing, and the Hales thought he had set out for San Francisco. But after midnight--shortly after Parker had been shot, according to investigators--Hale said he heard a knock on the back door, and it was Wilson.
Wilson said he wanted "to wash up," Hale said.
Hale said that Wilson made a telephone call and that he overheard part of what Wilson said. "The only thing I heard is either he said, 'It's over' or 'I'm finished' . . . ," Hale testified.
Wilson asked to borrow Hale's truck for the drive back to San Francisco because Wilson's Jaguar was not running well, and he consented, Hale testified. Hale said he flew to San Francisco within the following two days to retrieve the truck. A friend of Wilson named Frank picked up Wilson's car sometime later, Hale said.
Hale testified that three to four weeks later Wilson telephoned and asked him to come to San Francisco to confer with Wilson and an attorney. Hale agreed without asking why, he testified. "I felt I knew why," he said.
He was met at the airport by Wilson who drove him to the attorney's house, he said. They went into a back room, where the attorney told Wilson, " 'All right, tell me.' . . . He (Wilson) told him that he had killed Mr. Parker. . . . He just said he killed the guy, and he described how he did it. I mean, he said he shot him," Hale testified.
Hale quoted Wilson as saying "that he caught him alone, and he shot him, and he shot him twice, and that he screamed. . . . He said he waited for him."
Pressed for more details of Wilson's statements, Hale expressed uncertainty: ". . . I'm confusing things that I have read in the paper or on the television with things that could have been said and I'm getting them mixed up. This has been a long time ago, you know."
Hale said, however, that he remembered Wilson saying that he killed Parker.
Hale Was Frightened
Hale said he was frightened of Wilson and "definitely" of Wilson's friend Frank but added that "I really wasn't sure he did it. I'm still not. I just can't believe it. Everything--it looks like he did, but I just can't believe that he did it actually."
Wilson's brother Okel testified April 20 that he, too, was skeptical when Richard Wilson boasted about killing Parker.