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Witness Statement: Caroline Stevens

Statement of Caroline Stevens, taken at 78 Sherman Drive, 11:00pm, Tuesday, October 17.


Mrs. Stevens, how did you feel about your daughter's involvement with Samuel Herrick?

"Naturally, I was very concerned about her. I knew she was in an abusive relationship with her fiancé, but for a long time she refused to admit that there was a problem. When he broke her arm during a fight this past September I think she finally began to realize that she should get out and get help. Of course, she still didn't do anything definite until last week. I was so happy when she showed up here that evening! I hoped that she had broken everything off with him, but she said the engagement was still on. She kept talking about getting them both into counseling."

To your knowledge, had your daughter remained in contact with her fiancé since she moved out last week?

"I don't think she has seen him since then. Thank heavens he hasn't come stalking her as I think many abusers do. He has called her -- if I picked up the phone sometimes I wouldn't pass on the call, but if Donna picked up she would talk to him. Yesterday she even called him herself; I overheard some of the converstaion. I heard her say something about counseling, and at one point she said, "I'll see you," but I don't know if she gave a time or a place. It could have just been a way of saying good-bye; I don't know. I wasn't in the same room as she was. I didn't want her to feel like her own mother was spying on her, but I've been constantly afraid that she'll decide to go back to him. I guess I don't have to worry about that any more."

Have you met with or spoken to Samuel Herrick recently?

"All I've done is answer the telephone. I never said more than "Hello. No, Donna is not available," and then I hung up. He never said anything to me beyond asking to talk to Donna. The last time I saw him was the day after Donna left him. I went back with her to Sam's apartment to move her things."

Could you please describe your movements between five and ten o'clock this evening?

"At five I was finishing up the plan I was supposed to present tonight; I'd been a bit behind on it and was trying to get it done before dinner. I just had some final coloring to do, which I finished right before making dinner. Donna came home just after I had begun cooking, so I guess that was at 5:20 or so. We ate at six. At 6:30 I went upstairs to change while Donna did the dishes. I checked to make sure I had all my things for the presentation and left at seven for my clients' home. They live about an hour away, in Matford. I drove out there and I know I got there at 7:56 because I checked my watch. I went up to the front door and rang the bell, but there was no answer. I checked my calendar, which I keep all my appointments written down in, and on October 17 it said "8 pm Johnson presentation, Matford" just as I expected. I rang the bell again and there was still no answer. I waited in my car until about 8:30 and no one showed up. I wrote a note saying I'd been there but must have missed them, and said I'd call, and then I left. I wasn't very pleased, because I was quite positive that I had the right time written down. Anyway, I drove home and got back at about 9:30, or maybe a little later. Donna made us some tea and we chatted for a while. Eventually I started to make some pudding but that didn't get very far; the sauce pan handle would decide to break tonight. I took it down to the basement and was trying to fix it with some old solder when you arrived and told us about Sam."

What car did you drive to this appointment?

"My own. The Taurus in the driveway." Officer notes that a light-gray 1989 Toyota Tercel and a white 1997 Ford Taurus are parked in the driveway at 78 Sherman.