Charged with first degree murder of her husband, Bay County resident Judy Gsell testified Monday in a defense motion hearing that could impact next month's trial.
Defense Attorney Kimberly Dowgul wants Judge Elijah Smiley to supress one of Gsell's statements she gave to Bay County Sheriff's officials when they first brought the defendant in for questioning last January. Neither side would say what exactly the defendant said in that statement, but it appeared to be important enough to take up more than an hour of testimony.
"Do you agree that it's in your best interest if you could try and get this second statement supressed right?" Assistant State Attorney Larry Basford asked Gsell.
"Objection your honor," said Dowgul.
Investigators said the first interview with Gsell the day they found her husband Raymond Gsell's body stuffed in a freezer at the couple's home took place in Bay County Sheriff's Office Captain Rickey Ramey's patrol car.
"I grabbed a digital recorder and placed it in the back of my unmarked vehicle," testified Captain Ramey.
"The one in the van was freely given, you know I was more comfortable with that," said Gsell.
"You were more comfortable because you didn't know it was being recorded?" Dowgul asked Gsell.
"Yeah," answered Gsell.
The issued surrounds when she next spoke to sheriff's officials on record later that morning when she claims she was tricked again.
"Did Lieutenant Pitts tell you something to get you to give that taped statement?" Dowgul asked Gsell.
"He said that I would get the hospitalization, the care that I needed because I'm still very sick," testified Gsell.
"Ok, and did he tell you that you would not be arrested?" followed up Dowgul.
"She appeared to be under the influence of alcohol," Pitts later testified.
"I don't recall her being messed up if that's what you're referring to," said Ramey during part of his testimony.
Alcohol and drugs aside, both Ramey and Pitts said they believed Gsell gave all of her statements freely and knowingly, Pitts maintaining he never promised her anything.
The defense also filed a motion Monday for a change of venue if a jury is not sat on the first day of Gsell's trial which starts December 3rd. Judge Elijah Smiley told both sides he'd make a ruling on the supression motion next Monday.