EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Friday, March 11, 2016

Assessing Jay's Claim of a 3:40ish "Come & Get Me" Call Based Upon His Pre-Interview

One of the very few consistent elements in Jay's story is that Adnan placed the "come and get me" call to his cell phone at about 3:40 P.M. Given that there were no incoming calls to Adnan's cell phone between 3:15 and 4:27 P.M., Jay's timeline creates an obvious problem. I've seen three main explanations for this timing discrepancy: (1) Adnan did not make a "come and get me" call to his cell phone; (2) Jay is bad with time; and/or (3) Jay intentionally moved the "come and get me call" to 3:40ish so that he could use the Pusateris as alibis.

The obvious problem with scenario #1 is that it completely undermines the credibility of Jay's entire story. The narrative that Adnan lent Jay his cell phone so that he could call him after the murder is at very heart of the State's first-degree murder/kidnapping/false imprisonment case. If that story is a complete fabrication, how can we possibly believe anything that Jay said? This then takes us to scenarios 2 and 3, which in turn takes us to Detective Ritz's pre-interview notes.

As noted, Jay has consistently claimed that there was a 3:40ish "come and get me" call. Jay initially made this claim in his first recorded interview on February 28, 1999 (page 6):

Picture 4

So, how do we explain away this "error"? Under scenario 2, the claim would be that Jay is making this statement a month and a half after January 13th, which could explain why he is about a half an hour or hour off (depending on whether you believe the 2:36 or 3:15 P.M. call was the "come and get me" call). Under scenario 3, the claim would be that Jay was either more involved in the crime than he's claimed or simply aware that Adnan killed Hae before 3:40ish, meaning that a 3:40ish "come and get me" call received at the Pusateri residence gives him an alibi (corroborated by Jenn). 

The problem with either of these scenarios, however, is that they are belied by Detective Ritz's notes of the pre-interview of Jay, which was conducted just before he gave the above statement. Here's the pertinent portion of those notes:

Picture 5

So, in the pre-interview. Jay claimed that (1) Adnan called him at about 2:30 or 2:45 P.M., asking for a ride; and (2) Jay thereafter got a 3:00 P.M. ride from Jeff G. to Woodlawn High School, where he met his girlfriend Stephanie in the back parking lot.

This makes it really hard to believe scenario #2. If the "come and get me" call were the 2:36 P.M. call, then why didn't Jay simply say in his recorded interview that this was the 2:30/2:45 call he referenced in his pre-interview? I'll address the possibility that Jay was lying in a second, but it's really hard to write this off as a mistake. How does Jay recognize that Adnan could have called him about a ride soon after school ended but then mistakenly place the actual "come and get me" call an hour or more later in his recorded interview? It doesn't add up.

What about the 3:15 P.M. call? The problem here is that we have another timestamp. In his pre-interview, Jay indicates that he's seeing Stephanie in the back parking lot of Woodlawn High School at about 3:15 P.M. This actually makes a good deal of sense given that Stephanie herself said that she (1) arrived home at 2:55 P.M.; (2) went back to school, which was about 3 miles away; and (3) got on the bus to her basketball game between 3:30 and 3:45 P.M.

If this meetup with Stephanie were a cover story for a 3:15 P.M. "come and get me" call, then why didn't Jay simply place that "come and get me" call at 3:00-3:15 P.M. in his recorded interview? Again,  you might try to write the 3:40ish call timeline as a lie, but it would be pretty tough to write it off as a mistake.

I would also say, however, that it's tough to write off this timeline as a lie to create an alibi. Again, in this 3rd scenario, the claim is that Jay was either more involved in the crime than he's claimed or simply aware that Adnan killed Hae before 3:40ish. But if that were the case, then why in the world would Jay say in his pre-interview that he (1) went to Woodlawn High School at about 3:00 P.M.; and (2) saw Stephanie there?

If Jay had awareness of the crime, possibly because he had more involvement than he's claimed, there is no logical reason that he would place himself at the Woodlawn High School at about 3:00 P.M. on January 13th. Indeed, even a simple awareness of the State's timeline as of February 28th, which involved Hae being seen leaving Woodlawn at about 3:00 P.M., would have convinced Jay that this was a horrible idea. And yet, this is exactly what he did, in the process claiming that he saw Stephanie at this point in time, despite Jay saying that many of his lies could be explained by his desire to protect his friends and loved ones. 



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So very very confused by the whole thing. The pre interview notes are probably the closest to jays truth though, I assume

Posted by: Ann | Mar 11, 2016 2:50:48 PM

Why would jay need/get a ride to the high school if he has Adnan's car and Adnan wants to be picked up?

Posted by: Pat A. | Mar 11, 2016 4:24:27 PM

I'm going with 1, 2 and 3.

Posted by: FarFarAway | Mar 11, 2016 4:55:26 PM

If a new trial is granted, will there be any consequences for everyone who did not tell the truth in court?

Posted by: Tiffany | Mar 11, 2016 5:05:11 PM

It's more likely the case that the pre interview notes are closest to the truth, before the story got "shaped up" in every retelling/recorded interviews to make it fit the call log. But why would Jay say that Jeff took him to the school at 3pm, if he had Adnan's car since the morning time? He could have driven himself to the school to see Stephanie before she took off for her game. Was it because of the lack of logic of this storyline that it was later dropped off the "official" timeline of events?

Posted by: Pablo | Mar 11, 2016 5:08:02 PM

Colin, early in the pre-interview notes, I think it is clear that Jay was initially trying to hide the fact that Adnan had lent him his car & phone (or that he spent time with Adnan between 11 & 1) and that is why Jay brought in the narrative of 'ride from Jeff to school and met stephanie at back parking lot' into his story.
Then in the pre interview notes, you then see Jay open up to the police and confirm that he met adnan late morning , spent time with him, dropped him back to school, he borrowed Adnans car and phone, goes to Pusateri house, gets call around 3.40pm, then meets Adnan at Edmondson Rd, trunk pop happens, go to park n ride, drops adnan to track, etc.

Posted by: ben | Mar 11, 2016 7:26:01 PM

All the times I have read/heard about these calls, I am wondering why the phone company could not tell where the call was coming from, other than the pings on the cell phone. I mean, if Adnan called from a pay phone, that information should have been available. My husband is a telecommunications engineer and while he doesn't know a lot about cell phones, he knows that the phone company can trace the call records from one end to the other. He does it all the time. They should have been able to tell which call, if any, came from the pay phone at Best Buy. If no call did...their story doesn't work. At all.

Posted by: Cathy McElhaney | Mar 11, 2016 8:41:13 PM

My head hurts

Posted by: Aly | Mar 11, 2016 9:59:20 PM

Jay didn't have anything to do with Hae's murder. Jay and Adnan were most
likely doing some low level drug dealing that day, hence Jay borrowing the car and phone. Jay would pick Adnan up after track and chill. Colin's astute post is further evidence of Jay's unreliability.

Posted by: Katie | Mar 11, 2016 10:44:08 PM

Why would the pre-interview notes be any closer to the actual truth than the recorded interviews. If Jay is trying to give the cops what they want it just means the pre-interview notes were a fail and they waited until he had something more to their liking before they turned on the tape. Not that they are necessarily true or even a bit true.

Posted by: Sue | Mar 12, 2016 1:08:45 AM

How about this timeline: Jay is in Woodlawn to see Stephanie around 3:15. May or may not have seen her. Hae confronts him at or near the school about stepping Out. Confrontation leads to struggle leads to murder. Jay stashes Hae's car and body temporarily at Park and Ride or at one of his numerous addresses. Goes back to school by unknown transport and gets his car to pick up Adnan. Jay and Adnan hang out, then Jay goes back to Hae's car and burial occurs in the evening. Jay then parks Hae's car in the downtown area.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 12, 2016 1:30:17 AM

Ann: They could be. Or they could be yet another story by Jay. It’s so tough to tell. I wish that someone talked to Jeff G. back in 1999.

Pat A.: I wonder whether the detectives asked Jay the same thing.

FarFarAway: All could be true.

Tiffany: Unlikely, unless you could prove intent to lie.

Pablo: There would have been a lot of problems with this timeline under the State’s theory of the case.

ben: It certainly seems that way, and that would make a lie about a ride from Jeff G. a rational one. It would not, however, make a lie about a ride from Jeff G. to see Stephanie at Woodlawn at 3:00 P.M. a rational one.

Cathy: Indeed. I just got the files from a case from around the same time, and it has incoming call numbers.

Aly: I’m sure the jurors felt the same way.

Sue: I could see it going any of several ways. You might imagine Jay coming in and being completely truthful during the pre-interview, with the detectives responding to Jay’s story by saying that Hae was last seen at Woodlawn at 3:00 P.M. As a result, Jay changes his story, and everything since has been a lie. Or, it could be that Jay was already lying during the pre-interview.

Anon: In that scenario, though, would Jay really admit to being at Woodlawn at 3:00 P.M.? This is why I tend to think that the “seeing Stephanie at Woodlawn” story is a lie, and one that shows that Jay had no knowledge about Hae’s murder.

Posted by: Colin | Mar 12, 2016 3:58:34 AM

Didn't Stephanie claim she didn't see Jay until later that night, after her basketball game?

Posted by: Chnchez | Mar 12, 2016 9:35:42 AM

I guess the Jeff-giving-Jay-a-lift scenario isn't necessarily a lie (in spite of Jay having the car) - because Jay could have lent the car out to someone else (and he just didn't feel the need to mention this, or perhaps he's protecting/scared of this person), or else perhaps the car was at Jay's house, but meanwhile Jeff had popped round and taken Jay somewhere else (e.g. High's Store), when the call from Adnan asking for a lift came in. And rather than go back to Jay's to get the car, Jeff just took Jay to collect Adnan. But as with everything Jay says - who knows!

Posted by: Cupcake | Mar 12, 2016 10:23:54 AM


Posted by: Elaine | Mar 12, 2016 11:12:06 AM

Personally I am fairly certain Adnan had nothing to do with the crime. However, I am actually MORE certain that Jay had nothing to do with it. Of all the possible scenarios involving one or the other, or both, the scenario that Adnan did it but without any involvement from Jay seems the least farfetched.

... Though all these scenarios are farfetched to the point of straining credibility.

Posted by: Paul | Mar 12, 2016 12:14:41 PM

“It would not, however, make a lie about a ride from Jeff G. to see Stephanie at Woodlawn at 3:00 P.M. a rational one.”
But Jay knows the crime didn’t happen at woodlawn high but in fact happened at Bestbuy, so it places him away from the crime. What if Jay didn’t know that a couple of hours earlier Jen had vouched for him as an alibi until around 3.30pm, so Jay comes up with the Stephanie alibi hoping that she will vouch for him. When Jay says ‘Ok I come clean’, the cops say ‘where were you at this time, Jen has said you were with her until around 3.30pm’. Jay thinks ‘Bingo’ she has vouched for me and so runs with that story.

Posted by: ben | Mar 12, 2016 1:25:24 PM

Chnchz: Yes. This means that if she was honest and accurate, Jay’s claim about seeing her at Woodlawn at about 3:00 would be a lie or a mistake.

Cupcake: Exactly. Who knows?

Paul: I really want the information about the February 1st CrimeStoppers tip. If it was Jay saying Adnan dumped Hae and/or her car in a lake,…

ben: According to the story by Jay & the State, there are three crime scenes in this case: (1) the Woodlawn High School lot, where Adnan got into Hae's car based upon a lie about needing a ride (false imprisonment, kidnappng); (2) the Security Square Best Buy parking lot, where Adnan strangled Hae (murder, robbery); and (3) Leakin Park, where Adnan buried Hae (allowing for the case to be heard in Baltimore city).

At the time that Jay talked to the detectives, the timeline told by the detectives/press/Debbie was that Hae was about to leave Woodlawn at about 3:00 P.M. Under this scenario, Jay would be nuts to claim he got a ride to Woodlawn at about 3:00.

Posted by: Colin | Mar 12, 2016 6:04:23 PM

Pouring over those pre-interview notes is hard work. Dectective Ritz's handwriting is worse than my doctor's, and that's saying something! There were a couple of things I noticed however, I don't know how important or relevant they are, but I'll raise them anyway, 'cos you just never know. First, that the question of Hae's stocking colour appears to have been answered in these notes. I remember when this came up in an episode of Undisclosed, nobody could quite agree on exactly what color Jay was saying in his interview. But in the pre-interview notes "Toast" has been written in bright red pen, so it's hard to miss it. Yet in the recorded interview, I would have sworn up and down that he said "Taupe stockings." Another thing that stood out to me is that the notes say Jay picked Adnan up from Edmondson Road after the "come and get me" call, not from the Best Buy, and I don't recall any other versions of the story including that detail. The only other mention of Edmondson Road I recall is from the notes of Jen's interview where it mentions Hae's car being found there, or something like that. Is the Best Buy on Edmondson Road? Or is it just another example of Jay's crappy recall and inability to keep his story straight from one minute to the next? The final thing I noticed was at the end of the notes, where they just stop with "MARIJUANA" in big letters, there's no mention of Patapsco State Park, but I thought Jay didn't drop the Patapsco thing until trial. Well, that's my three cents worth.

Posted by: Sakura Craigie | Mar 13, 2016 12:22:40 AM

Not sure if my memory is serving me correctly, but I had heard Jay being questioned in court by Guitierrez where she asks him if Adnan had lent him his car and phone on the day Hae died and Jay says, "no ma'am, Adnan lent me his car only. I found his phone in the glove box and used it." (Not verbatim). So my question is this: if Adnan lent his car, but assumed his phone was sitting in the glove box (probably turned off, especially back then) then why would he be calling Jay at all and expecting him to answer? Even if Adnan did decide to try to get a hold of Jay, the phone would probably be off.
I don't know, I think Jay painted Adnan into this story. Do we know how much of the overall story Adnan can recall?

Posted by: Mel | Mar 13, 2016 4:18:48 AM

Hi Colin, really admire all your work to date! I just want to know whether the cops investigated Jeff G to find out whether he did indeed give Jay a ride that afternoon? I'm sure it's probably mentioned in the podcast but haven't had a look back yet. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Daniel T | Mar 13, 2016 6:38:16 AM

I am not saying Jay did it, or that I belive he did. I am just asking if there are any wholes in my stated timeline. Because the timeline for Adnan doing it is full of hundreds of holes. And we don't have much info about other suspects. This timeline for Jay, if it has no holes, also begs the question about why he was not investigated, while Adnan was carted off to jail and denied bond falsely, since his wrong age was used and false statements were made by the DA about Pakistan and Muslims.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 13, 2016 9:59:11 PM

Cathy - before they could look up the phone records from the best buy pay phone, someone would have to prove that there actually was a pay phone at the best buy then. AFAIK there is no evidence that was the case.

Colin - part of anon's theory is that Jay buried Hae by himself, and then dumped her car downtown (in the location it was found). If this is true, how did Jay get home? Did he get a ride from Jen? By that point he wouldn't have had Adnan's cell phone so how would she know where to pick him up unless she were following him in her car? Also, isn't that an odd spot for Jay to dump the car? I think some theories are that it was near a drug strip where he would buy weed, but that would be another bonehead move by Jay to choose a location from any place in the city that might tie back to him. Do you think the location of the dump site of the car has some other significance?

Posted by: Dan | Mar 14, 2016 5:53:14 AM

Dan, Thanks for comment, but it's not "my theory", it's just a proposed timeline to test versus the Adnan timeline, which holds no water at all.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 14, 2016 9:18:53 AM

Continued... And there is no reason to preclude Jay having help at the burial if that is required for my timeline. Honestly, I don't see any holes in it as far as time goes.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 14, 2016 9:21:58 AM

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