(1:37 PM) JPD Captain Takes Stand In Waggoner Murder Trial
MAYVILLE – Jamestown Police Department Captain Bob Samuelson returned to the stand Friday morning to testify in David F. Waggoner’s second-degree murder trial.
He began his testimony on Thursday and today he technically remained on the stand through recess.
Waggoner, 54, is accused of shooting William J. Michishima, 30, at 114 Livingston Ave. in Jamestown last summer. Michishima was taken to an Erie, Pa., hospital where he died the following day.
The first day of the trial began Wednesday with opening statements and accounts from four witnesses. Four more witnesses were heard on Thursday.
Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson is handling the prosecution of the case, which is taking place in front of County Court Judge David Foley. Waggoner is represented by Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone.
Swanson’s statement outlined the day of the shooting implicating Waggoner for the murder of Michishima while Barone focused on prior events leading up to the July 24 shooting. Barone’s statement emphasized that the defendant “chose not to be a victim” during his statements on opening day and indicated that his actions were justified.
During Samuelson’s time on the stand, a video was entered into evidence depicting an interview he conducted with Waggoner after the shooting on July 24. During the interview, Waggoner, as he did previously on body camera footage played for the jury Thursday, denied shooting Michishima. He again claimed Michishima fell and hit his head, according to the video played for jurors Friday.
Samuelson informed Waggoner that there were three witnesses with knowledge of the shooting. Samuelson acknowledged today that there are only two witnesses who observed the actual shooting. Additional witnesses arrived shortly after.
Samuelson also informed Waggoner that Kimberly Johnston, Waggoner’s girlfriend and resident of 114 Livingston Ave., admitted to hiding the weapon in question and that it was now in a possession of the Jamestown Police Department. Johnston testified in court yesterday. She agreed to testify on the basis of receiving a reduced charge for her involvement in the events occurring on July 24.
Waggoner continued to deny any involvement other than an initial confrontation. He also repeatedly drew attention to a blue-colored vehicle that allegedly drove just before Michishima was injured.
Waggoner additionally detailed how he came to know Michishima. Apparently it was a random occurrence that Michishima approached Waggoner and introduced himself one day at Waggoner’s place of employment. From there, Waggoner is heard saying, Michishima became increasingly, “stranger and stranger.”
Waggoner again repeated details heard throughout the trial that he believed Michishima had stolen his and Johnston’s motorcycle and burned it a week before the shooting.
The video ends after Waggoner demands to see Johnston, who he refers to as his wife, and asks to speak with an attorney.
During cross examination, Barone introduced evidence and elicited testimony from Samuelson regarding a photograph taken of Samuelson and Michishima in June 2018, a month before his death. Waggoner makes reference to the photo, having apparently viewed it, during the interview with Samuelson on July 24.
Waggoner referred to Michishima as a “snitch” working for JPD. Waggoner declared he had no issue with Michishima’s involvement during the video. However, he later asked Samuelson why JPD never arrested Michishima and allowed him to remain on the streets referring to the deceased as a “menace to society.”
Samuelson apparently spoke to several different individuals regarding the photo and to inquire about Michishima.
Additionally, a title to the motorcycle owned by Michishima was entered into evidence. The title was in Waggoner’s possession when he was taken to JPD on July 24. The same motorcycle was parked outside Waggoner’s residence when emergency services arrived.
Court has now resumed with Samuelson returning to the stand to testify.