At the trial, the state's theory of the murder had Lisa wearing Butch's extra-large men's sweatpants, found full of blood in a dumpster after the attack. Trial judge Lawrence F. Stengel accepted this theory and thought it significant. So Kenneff's answers now caused Dalzell to lean forward.
"Did you make a conscious judgment at trial as to who was wearing the clothing that you put into evidence?" Greenberg asked.
"It was my understanding that Miss Lambert had admitted to wearing the clothing . . . ," Kenneff replied.
Dalzell interrupted: "I don't think that's the question he asked you. And I think you ought to listen more carefully to Mr. Greenberg's questions because I don't think you're answering them. . . . That question can be answered yes or no."
So it went through much of the morning. Lancaster County citizens were right: Dalzell by then couldn't hide his dismay for their assistant district attorney. The moments when the judge removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes were adding up.
For 10 days he'd been exposed to an ever-more disturbing portrait of how Kenneff had prosecuted Lisa Lambert. He'd listened to the pathologist Isidore Mihalakis--a defense witness at Lisa's murder trial--describe private conversations with Kenneff that Dalzell thought constituted witness-tampering. He'd heard how authorities had concealed critical testimony by Hazel Show's neighbor Kathleen Bayan. He'd been presented evidence that convinced him the state had "lost" an earring of Butch's found on the victim's body. He'd been presented evidence that convinced him the state had edited critical video and audiotapes.
Now the man who oversaw the state's efforts sat before Dalzell on the witness stand.
No, Kenneff was testifying. He didn't recall looking at the river-search video.
"You didn't think it worthwhile to look at the video?" Greenberg asked.
"I didn't think what happened at the river was a contested issue," Kenneff replied.
This time, Greenberg snapped before the judge could: "You've been in this business long enough to know that when I ask a question you're supposed to answer it?"
"Right," Kenneff agreed.
Dalzell joined in now: "It would be nice if you would do that. . . . I want to warn you, sir, that, if you don't do that, you are going to put me into a position where this will have to get unpleasant. Do you understand that? . . . The record should reflect that you have been consistently unresponsive to the questions. . . . "
Greenberg turned back to the matter of Butch's sweatpants. Now, Kenneff has even resisted saying he based the case on the theory that Lisa wore Butch's clothing. He no longer, in fact, was sure whether the sweatpants were Butch's.
The pair he'd produced for the habeas hearing, after all, were much smaller than men's extra-large. "The sweatpants would have looked ridiculous if worn by 6-foot-1-inch-tall Butch," Kenneff had argued in a written response just before the hearing.
"You are the same person . . . " Greenberg asked, "saying that the sweatpants would have looked ridiculous on Butch, who put Butch on to testify in Lisa's trial . . . that they were his sweatpants, these very same sweatpants that would have looked ridiculous on him?"
"These are the same sweatpants that Judge Stengel found belonged to Butch?"
"And if you had your way, Lisa would have been executed based on that evidence, wouldn't she?"
Kenneff hesitated; Dalzell spoke: "Yes or no," the judge ordered.
"That would be correct."
Greenberg erupted: "Do you think this is some kind of game? . . . Do you realize that there is a human being sitting here who is in jail serving a life sentence based on the evidence you put on . . . that you are now disowning. . . . Not only are you disowning it, you are committing perjury. . . . Are you sure it is Miss Lambert who is a dangerous person in this courtroom?"
Handling of Letter Infuriated Judge
In the end, the commonwealth's handling of the controversial 29 Question Letter was what most inflamed Dalzell.
Lisa had written Butch from jail, asking a series of questions. The answers Butch had scrawled under each question, the judge felt, left no doubt that he was the murderer of Laurie, and that his accomplice was Tabitha Buck. That the letter was authentic seemed equally certain to Dalzell: Both the state and defense experts had affirmed there'd been no alteration.
Yet, Kenneff--after stipulating to the experts' opinions--had let Butch testify at Lambert's trial that the questions were altered. That the prosecutor knew his witness was committing perjury appeared obvious to Dalzell. At Butch's plea-bargain hearing after Lisa's conviction, Kenneff wanted to revoke their deal precisely because of this perjury.