Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Terri Horman / Kaine Horman / Custody Fight / Relevance of Rudy Sanchez

There is another, somewhat confusing, ‘development’ in the Terri and Kaine Horman divorce / custody battle involving the estranged couple’s five-year-old daughter (Kiara).  Terri Horman has not been able to have personal contact with her daughter since the mysterious disappearance of Kyron (her stepson), and the subsequent allegations concerning the ‘murder-for-hire’; resulting in a ‘Restraining Order’ being issued against Terri.

Advisory:  For those of you not familiar with Kyron Horman’s disappearance and the resulting criminal suspicions being focused on Terri, this is going to be a bit confusing.  Perhaps, you might want to read some of my previous posts for background.

Today, in The Oregonian newspaper, an article by Maxine Bernstein, it was reported that the judge officiating over the divorce hearing will allow the deposition of Rudy Sanchez (the landscaper) to give his testimony about Terri approaching him, five months before Kyron disappeared, to ‘get rid of’ Kaine.  The Judge (Henry Kantor), however, drew a line.  It appears the Judge will allow Terri’s attorneys to question Sanchez about those circumstances, but they will not be allowed to question Sanchez about the subsequent bungled ‘sting’ carried out by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

I’m not sure what the Judge is thinking; but it might go something like this.  The Judge appears to agree that the testimony of Sanchez, regarding his meeting with Terri, and the discussion about ‘getting rid of’ Kaine, is relevant to evaluate the suitability of allowing Terri unsupervised custody of her daughter.  And, that makes sense to me.  The Judge wants to hear the story directly from Sanchez – under oath.

Nonetheless, the Judge has stated that Terri’s attorneys (Houze et al) cannot question Sanchez about the subsequent ‘sting’ by the Sheriff’s Office.  This is getting very close to legal gamesmanship, but the Judge is probably correct.  The SO attempted to trap Terri by sending Sanchez to talk to Terri, accompanied by an undercover deputy and/or with Sanchez ‘wired.’  That operation failed.  Terri acted as if she didn’t know what Sanchez was talking about and promptly called 911.  So, this whole ‘sting’ episode has really nothing to do with whether or not Terri would be a good custodial parent.  If Houze could go after Sanchez regarding the ‘sting,’ it would be, however, a good opportunity to lay bare the SO’s investigation – a great benefit to Terri’s lawyers in any subsequent criminal trial.

So what’s going on here?

Terri obviously passed the ‘sting’ test.  But, this occurred sometime after Kyron’s disappearance and Terri was under a lot of scrutiny.  If she had fallen for the ‘sting,’ she would have demonstrated an IQ of less than her body temperature.  Her thinking would have had to go something like, ‘OK, my stepson is missing and I’m a suspect; but, hey, I’ve got some time so let’s talk about ‘offing’ my husband.  And, by the way, why are you bringing this up now, and who is this other guy with you?’

On the other hand, is it possible that Sanchez made the story up to cut some sort of deal with law enforcement?  Maybe.  If so, he would be not only an opportunist, but a wily one at that.  This is, of course, what Houze would like to know.

True Nelson