Jurors in the first-degree murder trial of Marc Thomas Sylvester have been watching a video in which a man and his story crumble before their eyes.
On Thursday, the jurors watched about two-thirds of a three-hour interrogation of Sylvester by El Paso County Sheriff’s investigator Cliff Porter on Feb. 11, 2009.
That’s two days after a young girl on a school first spotted the body of Rebecca C. Warren in a field east of Schreiver Air Force Base in eastern El Paso County.
Warren, 35, of Colorado Springs had been shot in the head a close range with a high powered rifle in what one prosecutor described as an execution.
On the tape, Sylvester initially tells the detective he blacked out that night while riding east on a dirt road between Warren and a mysterious man he could only identify as “Issac”
About mid-way through the tape, Porter pulls his chair up directly across from Sylvester, leans forward almost knee to knee and asks the suspect to “picture yourself staring into the darkness,” asking him to relate any flashback of what he sees right before Warren was shot.
Sylvester, a 38-year-old former trucker, slaps the palm of his hand twice against his forehead.
“I don’t know. I can’t see her getting out of the truck.”
The video is a significant piece of evidence in the trial. Prosecutors contend it will show that Sylvester admitted killing Warren because she was a snitch. Sylvester’s public defenders contend the tape shows their client was a broken man at the end of the interrogation and gave the detective a false confession.
On the tape, Sylvester recalls that Warren denying that she snitched on anyone
But Sylvester seems to question his own recall of that night.
“Why would that guy be driving my truck and why would I be sitting in the middle?” he asked Porter. “I was really drunk.”
”There’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t make sense,” Sylvester added.
He described reaching in the car side door for his wallet and pulling out a Taser.
Sylvester said at some point he blacked out. The next thing he remembers is waking at a friend’s house.
Porter then asks, “I know a big chunk of this is missing for you…but do you believe that he (the other man) forced you to shoot her…to force you into their group?”
“I don’t know,” Sylvester replies. “Cause I know I’d never do something like that.”
“I was just messed up. I was drunk,” he adds. “I hadn’t been messed up like that in a while.”
Porter suggests that perhaps Sylvester’s blackout is psycho-somatic – that he was unable to remember something because it was too painful.
“I don’t know how to help you get through that wall,” Porter said.
“Just because of the emotional response you’ve had, I’m concerned he forced you to do it,” the detective added.
“I’m just so confused right now,” Sylvester replies. “I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.”
Jurors will view the remaining portion of the tape when the trial resumes on Friday morning.