By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
By New Times
Corona jumped in.
"How can you sue Kristin's insurance company, dude? How can you go after money, when Dana died?"
"Everybody sues," Thomas replied. Then he said he wanted to go home.
Shawn Thomas was sworn in at 3:33 p.m. on April 30, 1997, shortly after the conclusion of Graci's deposition. Graci stayed in the room.
Thomas also estimated that he, Graci and Wells spent 90 minutes at Liguori's, playing pool, and left around 1:30 a.m., about 15 minutes before the accident.
"What do you recall after you left the doorway of Liguori's and headed for the car?" Sinner asked.
"I recall looking down and picking up the bag of Funyons that I had previously bought and thinking to myself I might go for a little bit of Funyons right now. So I started to eat them, and there were ants in them. And to my dismay, I realized there was ants in my mouth. So I ran back to the bar, and it was already locked. So I knocked on the door. [The bartender] came, and I said, 'Man, I got ants in my mouth. I need some water.' So I swished around, spit out, you know, what was in my mouth, and then from that point got into the car."
"Okay," Sinner said. "And was there any discussion between any of the three of you about where you were going to head after the bar closed?"
"I don't remember."
"Where did you think you were going when you thought you might have a bit of Funyons?"
"I assumed I was probably going home."
"Which would mean going back to Dana's first?"
"No, home to where I was living."
"Well, you thought Dana was going to take you home or--"
"Well, yeah, because Miles' car would not start so somehow I would have had to get home."
"Then what happened?"
"I don't remember."
"So the last thing you remember is what, exactly?"
"Spitting a bunch of ants out of my mouth and then getting into the car."
"And you remember absolutely nothing else?"
"What's the next thing you remember?"
"Waking up in the hospital bed."
Thomas was released from John C. Lincoln later that day. Sinner asked him if he saw Miles during the time he was in the hospital.
"No," Thomas said.
"Before you were released, you didn't see him?"
"I'm sorry. I did see Miles right when I was getting released. He had just gotten out of surgery."
Graci was in the hospital for 16 days.
"How many times did you go see Miles in the hospital?" Sinner asked Thomas.
"More than a few."
"That's your best estimate?"
"That's my best estimate.
"'Few' meaning three?"
"More than three times, less than 30 times."
"Okay. And what did you discuss with him about the accident?"
"I asked him if he knew what happened."
"And he said?"
"That was the only thing you guys said the whole time about the accident?"
"No. I mean, other things like the events leading up to it were discussed, and both of us, you know, really did not have any insight for one another. So there wasn't much more, you know, to talk about."
"At one point, you stated to Gloria [Cavalera] that you'd be willing to take a lie-detector test. Do you remember that?"
"Are you still willing to do that?"
"Are you willing to be hypnotized?"
"What's the reason you're not willing to be hypnotized to try to find out what happened that night?"
"First of all, I did not appreciate the scare tactics that were involved, being taken out to Dana's grave site. I didn't appreciate the way in which I was approached and being pretty much called a liar by your client."
"Don't you agree it's kind of remarkable that you both have the exact same last memory?"
"I don't think it's remarkable."
Graci interjected, "I don't think it's remarkable at all. I've got to go to the bathroom."
Sinner: "True or not true--You went and visited Miles in his room at the hospital and said to him: 'The story is we don't remember.'"
"Not true," Thomas answered. "Not true."
Her son was two months dead, and Gloria Cavalera still boiled with fury and grief. Thomas and Graci claimed they couldn't remember anything, and Detective Ripley had essentially shelved the case. Cavalera says Ripley mentioned the beer in Dana's pocket, and told her he believed her son, Thomas and Graci were probably drag racing the white car down Cactus after a night of drinking.
One of the women coming out of T's Billiards reportedly told a police officer it looked like the cars were racing, as they were side by side and nosing ahead of one another.
Cavalera didn't buy it.
"First of all, Dana couldn't drink beer. Second, Dana wouldn't drag race in any car, let alone his girlfriend's Hyundai." Cavalera believes her son had the beer in his pocket as a weapon.
In any case, she was outraged.
"I think the police looked at his long hair, and all his body jewelry, and they found a beer in his pocket and beer in the car, and it was 45 minutes after the bars closed, and they just closed the book on Dana way too early," she says.