Assistant Prosecutor David Fry conducts the questioning.
“Good morning. Tell the jury your name, please.” » DavidEpperson.“And how are you employed, sir?” » I'm a sergeant for the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.“And on October 23, 1997, were you employed by the JacksonCounty Sheriff's Department then?” » Yes, sir.“What were your duties on that particular I guess very earlymorning?” » I was assigned to District Five, which is the BlueSummit Area of Jackson County. That’s an unincorporated areabetween Independence and Kansas City. Because the area isunincorporated, it’s patrolled by the Sheriff’s Department. Myshift was from midnight to eight. It had been a routine patrol untilI entered Lincoln Cemetery.I was patrolling along Blue Ridge Boulevard, which runs north andsouth between Lincoln Cemetery to the west and MountWashington Cemetery to the right. I turned west on an accessroad leading into Lincoln Cemetery. There’s no gate there, so Idrove right in. It was 3:44 in the morning. The cemetery is verydark. It has no street lights, there are lots of trees, and inOctober there are lots of leaves on the trees. It’s pitch black inthere. About the only thing you can see are the lights of KansasCity off in the distance.Usually I just travel west on the access road until I come to acircle drive, which allows me to turn around and go back as Icame, or turn south. I usually turn south, travel past an oldabandoned building, and exit the cemetery onto Truman Road. There’s no gate at that entrance either.On that night, I was about two-fifths of a mile into LincolnCemetery when I observed a female lying on the ground, on herback. My first thought was that she could be injured, orintoxicated. Obviously, it was unusual.I notified dispatch that I had a person down in Lincoln Cemetery. Iexited my vehicle and I yelled for the person to get up. Iapproached and shined my flashlight into the person’s face. Shehad a large wound from the bottom portion of her nose down intoher mouth. Her eyes were open. Her arms were above her head.