May 3, 2016 1:58 PM by Cecile Juliette
May 2, 2016
Day two of witness testimony has wrapped up in the Quentin Bealer 1st degree murder trial.
Tehama County prosecutor Donna Daly called Red Bluff High School PE teacher Dave Rottenberg to the stand. Rottenberg testified that he saw a male and a female walking close to the creek bed behind Red Bluff High School on February 26, 2013 in the late morning hours. That's the day the prosecution maintains Marysa Nichols was killed. Her body was found near that same creek two days later.
Rottenberg testified that he didn't recognize Bealer as the man walking in the creek. Rottenberg said he coached Bealer on the football and wrestling teams at the high school in the 1990's. He also said the man he saw in the creek was wearing a sweatshirt with a hood over his head.
Rottenberg testified that he recognized the man in surveillance video circulated later by Red Bluff Police as the man he saw in the creek bed.
Education Outreach teacher Jaime Ratan also testified for the prosecution. She said she saw Marysa the morning she disappeared, and Marysa was quiet, polite, and respectful, as always.
Red Bluff Sgt. Aaron Murray was also called to the stand. He testified that he interviewed three high school students who saw Marysa in the creek bed on the morning she disappeared. One student described a stocky 'older' man walking a few steps ahead of Marysa, who kept looking back at the 14-year-old. She also said the man had an oval-shaped tattoo on his calf.
Defense attorney Shon Northam questioned Murray. He asked why Murray chose to show the witnesses two pictures of Bealer's calf tattoo, instead of using a standard '6-pack' of photos made up of random tattoos. Northam has called this case the 'making a murderer; Tehama County,' claiming negligence on the part of investigators.
Bealer is accused of strangling Nichols as she walked home from school. He maintains his innocence. The case was moved to Sacramento County Superior Court because of its high profile nature.