Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Greene's alleged confession

This is the statement of Lisa Louise Greene written in her own words by Special Agent Charles Gent after being arrested on January 13, 2006:

I did not tell the whole truth in my other statement. I went back to my daughter's room and caught that blanket on fire. I had been in that room about 10 minutes looking at my kids. The blanket I had caught on fire and the other one, this thin little blanket near Daniel caught on, it went out though. The little blanket was already on fire. I went out and closed the door and I put my blanket down by the bottom two shelves of the book case. It caught the book case on fire. I knew it was burning still and it was a little fire.

I don't know why I didn't try to wake up my kids. I just wanted to forget about it. I walked back to the recliner and laid down. I think I just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up but the smoke was too hard to breathe. I just laid down to forget about everything. I just laid there and cried wanting everything to go away and everything to just be over. I don't know when I burned my foot. I didn't even realize I burned it until I got outside.

Greene's second statement

Lisa Greene's second statement to police given January 13, 2006 before she was arrested.

This is the statement of Lisa Louise Greene. I have been advised of my rights by Detective Kevin Pfister and I agree to give this statement voluntarily. This statement is being written by Special Agent Charles Gent in my words. I have asked Agent Gent to write this for me.

On the night my house burned, I woke up in the middle of the night. I was groggy from some drowsy pills. My kids take a pill like that too and they both took them around 8. I had been asleep on the recliner and woke up for some reason, I don't know why. I went back to my daughter's bedroom. I had my blanket around me. My blanket is a woven blanket with some kids pouring lemonade.

I checked on my kids. Daniel was on the floor asleep. Daniel's head was near the kitchen playset. Addison was asleep in the bed. The candle I lit earlier was still burning. They was both asleep. When I turned I caught my blanket on fire. I walked out of the bedroom and closed the door. I think the kids had the door closed earlier but I closed it back.

I dropped my blanket down by the bookcase. I may have put my foot down to put it out but I don't know it all seemed like a dream.

I left it lying there and I went back to the recliner. I don't know how long I was there. I was pretty tired from playing with the kids all day. I wanna say the smoke detector went off. The television was on. There was a lot of smoke and there was fire back there. I saw a bunch of fire on the bookcase. I think maybe it was halfway burned. I looked I think then at the microwave, which said 1:15 or 1:16. It usually gives good time.

I think I burned my foot when I went back there the second time to see what the fire was and how bad. I burned it near the hall. Something felt like it wanted to stick to my foot. It was so smokey.

I went out the door. I did grab my purse on the table by the door. I go outside. I did fall coming down. It seemed like a dream. It seemed like something that shouldn't be happening.

I didn't fall because of my foot being burned, I didn't burn it that bad.

I picked my self back up there at the steps. I tripped again over by the picnic table. The phone fell out. I picked it back up. I kept walking and I fumbled with my phone to get the clip off. Then I dropped it again.

The first time I fell, I just laid there crying for a few minutes before I got up. I was coughing, I couldn't catch my breath. I panicked.

I guess it was 5 or 10 minutes. My house was already smokey. Nothing was functioning in my head. I was lying there thinking what happened, what did I do wrong and this can't be happening.

I go up and started walking fast while I tried to get the clip off my phone. I go down toward Phillip and Tamara's house. I kept screaming Phillip. I laid on my stomach. Between the two pine trees I dropped my phone.

I look for my phone not even a minute. I couldn't see it. I gave up looking and kept going down the hill. I fell again because I just couldn't handle it. I was right near the lady across the street's dog pen. The dogs kept barking. I think when I got to that point, I passed out. I know I came to and saw a bright flashlight, it was a lady.

I don't think I yelled for help at all until I saw that lady with the flashlight. I was trying to get to Phillip and Tamara's house so they could hear me. The lady went up to me and I told her, I said, I need help. She was across at the dog pen. I didn't tell her there was a fire. I said get the phone, call 911, I need some help.

I started crawling to Phillip's car and I called for help. Then she came back and put me on 911 and that's was the end of it. I'm sorry. I always felt like this was a dream.

Greene's first statement to police

Statement given to Cabarrus County Detective Kevin Pfister and SBI Special Agent Charles Gent on January 10, 2006.

I put the kids to bed around 8:15 p.m. and they watched a movie in their room. Daniel and Addison were in Addison's room because Daniel won't sleep in his own room. The door to the room was open. Around 8:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. they, the kids, called my mother, Dale Greene. They used the cordless phone from the kitchen. I could hear them talking and watching the movie in Addison's room. I checked on them about 10 p.m. and Addison was asleep and Daniel was still awake watching the movie on the floor.

I was in the living room in the bigger recliner closer to the window. Before I put them to bed I lit two candles for them. One was a 10 inch metal base candle holder with a six inch scented green candle approximately three inches in diameter. I also lit a small tea-type candle in a glass holder. Both candles were in Addison's bedroom with them. It was about 7 p.m. or 7:15 p.m. when I lit the candles. I last checked on Daniel between 10:30 p.m. and 10:45 p.m.

I then went back and sat in the recliner to watch television in the living room. I woke up when I heard the smoke alarm near the laundry room. The one in the kitchen near the kids' rooms goes off sometimes when I cook so I unplug it sometimes. I may have left it unplugged, they were electric plug-in smoke alarms. I may have unplugged them several weeks ago. I could hear both televisions and then I could hear one of my kids scream around 1:15 to 1:20 a.m. I didn't hear the smoke detectors until after they, the kids, screamed. I could see smoke coming from under their door and some smoke in the air near the ceiling in the kitchen.

The bookshelf by the kids' rooms is filled with kids/children's paperback and hardback books and some movies. I can see the hotness and redness of Addison's bedroom door. I touched the door knob but it was too hot. I used my left hand on the doorknob. I then took the blanket wrapped around me and used it to open the bedroom door. Once the door was open a little I could see the candle laying on Daniel's pillow and burning his blanket and burning the carpet toward the bed and toward the door.

Daniel was on the floor lying on top of his blankets at the side of Addison's bed. I told him to get on the bed and in the corner by the wall and that I was going to get help. Daniel said, "No Mama, don't leave us."

I said, "I have to go get help. I'll be right back" and told them to get on the back of the bed by the wall. I used my blanket that was around me and put it over the flames in the doorway and stepped on it to put it out.

I could hear them both coughing. I stepped on the flames but it was too hot and I burned my foot and it was too hot and flames were coming up my leg. I couldn't find the phone and I was going out the door I grabbed my purse, it is the left of the sofa table by the front door. As I ran out the door with my purse I ran around the passenger side of my truck (Lexus) and dumped out my purse to get my cell phone. I then ran to the back corner of my house and toward the road and tripped over a stump between two pine trees and dropped the phone. I then crawled along the grass near the ditch and called for help. I was yelling “Help Phillip and Tamara”. I was yelling for them for about 10 minutes.

After yelling for about 10 minutes, a lady across the street came outside with a flashlight and I said "Help Ma'am, help, don't leave, I need help, call 911, my house is on fire and the kids are up there."

My hands were half froze and so were my feet and I passed out a couple of times. My boyfriend is Dennis Beckham, he lives in Lancaster, South Carolina and we've been dating for four months. He just left here, my sister's house where I'm being interviewed. I have not taken any drugs or alcohol recently, not any last night/this morning. It's been over a year since I’ve done drugs and six months since I've had alcohol. My kids don't play with matches. I don't keep jewelry in my jewelry box, I keep it in my fire proof case in my bathroom sink. About two weeks ago I checked in my safe with my boyfriend.

I usually wear most of my jewelry. I forgot, left my bangle bracelet in the glass cup in my bathroom. I never had any electrical problems at my house. My ex-husband is Darren Macemore.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Medical examiner testifies in Greene trial

A forensic pathologist who performed an autopsy on Addison Macemore testified Friday that the 8-year-old died of carbon monoxide inhalation.

Thomas Owens, a Mecklenburg County medical examiner, took the stand Friday and said he observed a large amount of soot in the girl’s airways and esophagus during the examination.

Lisa Louise Greene, the girl’s mother, is charged with arson and two counts of murder in a Jan. 2006 mobile home fire that left her two children, Daniel Macemore and Addison Macemore, dead. She could face the death penalty if found guilty.

Court proceedings recessed at 4 p.m. Friday after Lisa Dubs, Greene’s attorney, argued that the defense wasn’t aware that the medical examiner would be giving his opinion on the manner in which the girl died.

“We had no notice about his opinion until it came out of his mouth on the witness stand,” Dubs said.

Judge Robert Bell recessed the trial so defense attorneys could prepare for questioning of a second medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on Daniel.

This is the second time this week court proceedings have recessed early. Court proceedings recessed at noon Thursday due to an illness in Dubs’ family. A sick juror caused proceedings on Tuesday to be cancelled.

Bell has asked the prosecution and defense attorneys to speed up witness questioning to have the trial completed by Christmas.

The trial began with jury selection on Oct. 8.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Judge asks for Christmas deadline in Greene Trial

The Cabarrus County Sheriff’s deputy in charge of collecting evidence from Lisa Greene’s home said that investigators didn’t test a candlestick found in Addison Macemore’s room for wax because it didn’t appear to have any visible residue.

Lisa Dubs, Greene’s attorney, grilled Sergeant Tim Culp on Wednesday about how he collected evidence from the scene and why investigators didn’t search for paraffin wax around the overturned candlestick found in the room.

Greene, 42, is accused of killing her two children, Darren Macemore, 10, and Addison, 8, in a January 2006 house fire. The fire began in her daughter’s room, where the two children were watching a movie. She is charged with arson and two counts of murder. She could face the death penalty if found guilty.

Photos taken from the scene showed several candlesticks around the home. Dubs called the candlestick found in Addison’s room “unique” because it was the only one in the home without a candle on top.

Culp, who isn’t an arson investigator, said it was his decision to not test for paraffin residue in the room.

Dubs also questioned why Culp overlooked items at the scene of the crime that would have shown that Greene intended the children to go to school the next day, including two lunch bags and a handwritten note addressed to Daniel’s teacher.

“You didn’t find it relevant that Lisa Greene intended for her children to go to school the next day?” Dubs asked.

Culp said that he didn’t collect the items because they “didn’t seem to be anything involving the case.”

Culp was the only person to take the stand Wednesday. He spent most of the day displaying evidence collecting at the scene including: the children’s clothes, Greene’s purse, the candlestick found in the room and a section of the house where the children had tried to kick their way out.

Trial proceedings resumed Wednesday after the court took Tuesday off because of a sick juror.

Judge Robert Bell said he wanted to increase the pace of the trial to be completed by Christmas.

After speaking with counsel in chambers, Bell said that he would restrict lunch breaks to only one hour, begin court sessions 30 minutes earlier, have a full Friday schedule and would consider hearing testimony on Saturdays.

Trial proceedings began on Oct. 8 and a Christmas completion would mean the trial would have lasted 11 weeks. Opening statements were heard on Nov. 13.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Greene trial postpone due to sick juror

CONCORD - The judge in the Lisa Greene capital murder trial postponed court proceedings Tuesday because a juror was sick.

Greene, 42, is charged with the deaths of her two children, Daniel Macemore, 10, and Addison Macemore, 8, and arson in a January 2006 mobile home fire. She could face the death penalty if found guilty.

Judge Robert Bell chose not to allow an alternate to take the sick juror’s place because he said it was too early in trial proceedings to lose a juror.

Prosecutors said Tuesday they hope to have the trial completed by Christmas. Bell had asked if prosecutors and defense attorneys could discuss ways to speed up proceedings because testimonies were falling behind schedule last week.

The trial is scheduled to resume today.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jurors see photos of children taken after the fire

CONCORD - Several jurors cried as prosecutors showed graphic photos of Daniel and Addison Macemore taken hours after the fire that took their lives.

Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Tim Culp, who had taken the photos, testified Monday about evidence found at the crime scene in the capital murder case of Lisa Louise Greene.

Greene is charged with arson and the murder of her two children, Daniel, 10, and Addison, 8, in a Jan 10, 2006, Midland mobile home fire. Both children died of carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation. Greene could face the death penalty if found guilty.

Prosecutors introduced more than 40 photos taken by Culp the morning of the fire, including six that showed the children’s bodies and one that showed footprints on the wall.

Greene cried loudly as prosecutors showed an enlarged photo of the bodies to jurors.

Other photos shown to jurors were of two fire extinguishers that were inside the home at the time of the fire, two phones that were in Greene’s bedroom at the time of the fire and a large, mostly empty jewelry box in the master bedroom. First responders testified earlier in the trial that Greene was wearing a large amount of jewelry when they responded to the home.

Greene’s defense attorneys, Lisa Dubs and Robert Campbell, will begin cross-examination questioning of Culp today.

Jerry Macemore, Greene’s former brother-in-law, testified Monday that Greene got angry at the children and called Addison a “whore” when he saw them at a Cabarrus County Wal-Mart a few months before the fatal fire.

Darren Macemore, the children’s father, and Mary Beth Burr, one of Daniel’s former teachers, testified Monday about Greene’s treatment of the children.

Greene’s attorneys said in opening statements that Greene had a great deal of family support in caring for the children and that she was a loving, doting mother

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Former Friends: Greene called her children a 'nuisance'

CONCORD – Daniel Macemore put his head down and looked ashamed as he sat in a barber’s chair after he heard his mother, Lisa Greene, say she “would give her kids away if people wouldn’t get mad at her,” a former friend of Greene’s testified Monday.

Wendy Lucas, a 14-year friend of Greene and hairstylist for her family, testified that one month prior to the January 10, 2006, fire that killed her children, Greene said her boyfriend didn’t want children and she wanted to get rid of them.

Lucas was one of two former friends of Greene, 42, to testify Monday that Greene was tough on her children and repeatedly said she didn’t want them. Greene is charged with two counts of murder and arson, and could face the death penalty if found guilty.

Lucas testified that on December 13, 2005, one month before the fire, Greene visited her salon, Salon 2000, and seemed “agitated” when she made the statements about giving her children away.

Lucas testified that Greene told her over the course of the previous three years that she “wished she’d never had them” while in the presence of the children.

Lucas testified that Greene was angry that her children had “ruined her body” and were a “nuisance.”

She also said that Greene once told her that she would rather her children be “dead than to let (Darren Macemore, the children’s father) have custody.”

Lisa Dubs, Greene’s attorney, angrily objected, saying that Lucas had never previously made that statement to police or the district attorney, and Judge Robert Bell had it taken from the record.

Dubs issued more than 20 objections during the questioning by Assistant District Attorney Ashlie Shanley.

“You remembered (these statements) all those times you were interviewed but didn’t think it was important until now?” Dubs asked during cross examination, and Lucas said she was unsure of when she remembered those statements being made.

Lucas had trouble remembering dates of specific times that Greene made these alleged statements to her but said several other women in the salon heard the statements made by Greene. Lucas testified that Greene would visit the salon every six to eight weeks in 2005, and would frequently make comments about disliking her children and her parental responsibilities. After being aggressively questioned by Dubs, Lucas changed her testimony, saying that Greene may have only entered the salon two or three times during 2005, but she was unsure.

Misti McCaskill, who testified first on Monday, said that Greene was “extremely critical” of her children and “never said a good word about them in public.” McCaskill said that Greene called her daughter Addison Macemore, 8, a “fat, chunky, little pig.” She testified that Greene called Daniel, 10, who had a learning disability, “stupid,” and on one occasion said her children were dressed like “hobos” and she was embarrassed to be around them.

McCaskill testified that she and Greene became “good friends” in 2003 and bonded over their love of motorcycles. McCaskill began testifying on Friday and was brought back for cross-examination on Monday.

McCaskill testified that Greene had ended their friendship by not returning phone calls six months prior to fire, and she was unsure of her state of mind leading up to death of her children. She added that Greene had originally told her that she loved her children, but later called them a “nuisance” and would “take them back if she could.”

Dubs asked McCaskill if she knew how Greene acted with her children outside of her presence, and she said she didn’t know.

A suspected gas leak, which was later found to be falsely reported, emptied the Cabarrus County Courthouse for nearly one hour Monday, interrupting testimonies.

Court proceedings will be halted the rest of the week due to the Thanksgiving holiday and will resume Monday, Nov. 26, at 9:30 a.m.

-Josh Lanier

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jury hears 911 tapes in Greene Trial

CONCORD - Lisa Greene’s screams for help were muffled by her loud crying during much of the 911 call made to police the night of her children’s deaths.

Jurors in Greene’s capital murder case heard Wednesday the 911 call made by a neighbor who found Greene lying near a ditch on Jan 10, 2006, the night of the mobile home fire that killed Greene’s two children.

On the tape, Greene can be heard in the background yelling, “They need to hurry up!” and “My house is on fire!” Her voice wasn’t audible on the tape until two minutes into the five-minute call.

Wednesday was the second day of testimony in Greene’s double murder and arson trial. The Cabarrus County dispatcher, Curtis Anderson, who took the 911 call, testified in court.

Anderson, now a Concord Police officer, testified that the call seemed “unusual” because there was no mention of the fire during the first two minutes. The caller, Teresa Diss, originally only told the dispatcher about Greene’s hurt ankle and mentioned that Greene had lost her cell phone, Anderson testified.

“At a home where someone is potentially dying and the person reporting is more concerned with the cell phone and ankle injury just didn’t sit right with me,” Anderson told the court.

Lisa Dubs, Greene’s attorney, rebuffed Anderson’s statement and asked if he knew if the neighbor had walked too far away from Greene and that’s why he couldn’t hear her on the recording. Anderson said he was unsure of Diss’ movements and didn’t know how far she was while the two were speaking.

When Greene was audible on the tape, she was screaming and coughing, pleading for help, but Anderson testified that he believed she was acting because Greene knew police was on the phone. “It seemed like she was fake coughing and crying,” Anderson said. “I wanted to jump through that phone and save those kids … her actions just didn’t seem genuine.”

Greene can be heard on the tape saying that the children had fallen asleep with a lighted candle in their room, and that’s what must have caused the blaze. Prosecutors asked if it seemed suspicious that Greene would be able to give the dispatcher that information and her address in such an emotional state. Anderson testified that it “didn’t seem right.”

Anderson was the fifth person to testify that Greene seemed to be “faking” about how upset she was the night of the fire.

Cabarrus County Deputy James Moreau testified that if it were his kids, he “would be useless” and that it was suspicious that Greene wasn’t “acting like a woman who just lost her two kids.” Moreau made the initial investigation after the fire.

James Howard, a Cabarrus County firefighter, testified Tuesday that Greene was “engaging in theatrics” and that she cried but without tears.

Christy Brown and Kelly Coulter, both Cabarrus County EMS workers, testified Tuesday that Greene seemed to “cry louder,” but without tears, and “put on a show” as rescue workers treated her.

Dubs said in her opening statement that investigators rushed to judge the 42-year-old Greene because she didn’t act “the way they thought she should.” She said that the assumptions about Greene “weren’t scientific and caused mistakes in the investigation.”

Dubs said defense witnesses would prove that investigators made poor assumptions that led to Greene’s arrest.

The trial will continue Thursday with more prosecution witnesses expected. Greene could face the death penalty if found guilty.

Greene's attorney allege innapropriate behavior

Lisa Greene’s attorneys claimed Cabarrus County EMS paramedic, Kelly Coulter, acted “inappropriately” when she spoke to jurors during a recess break Greene’s capital murder trial.
Coulter and her paramedic partner, Christy Brown, were standing outside of the Cabarrus County Courthouse along with jurors from the trial Tuesday after testifying to Greene’s actions the fire that killed her two chil-dren when a man attempting to escape arrest fled the building.
The man, who’s name wasn’t released, had been found guilty of drug possession in a lower court, and at-tempted to flee arrest by running from the court room and out of the building. Two bailiffs and a bail bonds-man chased him. The man was apprehended outside of the courthouse.
During the chase, a man exited the building and claimed shots had been fired inside the building. Those claims were untrue.
Coulter told the jurors who were standing in front of the building’s sliding glass doors to “get away from the front.”
When Robert Campbell and Lisa Dubs, Greene’s attorneys, heard of the exchange between the paramedic and jurors, they said the actions seemed highly inappropriate because it violates the law the witnesses cannot speak to jurors at anytime during a trial. The two asked Judge Robert Bell to reconsider a motion to call a mistrial.
Outside of the presents of the jury, Coulter was asked to testify about the exchange between her and jurors during the break.
Bell denied the plea saying that Coulter “acted in the interest of safety and did the what she needed to for keep everyone safe.”
Court proceedings resumed after Coulter’s testimony.