By SCOTT NORTH
A Snohomish County jury on Friday heard Victor David, in his own words, explain how his wife’s face became covered with scars, her ears cauliflowered and her arms contorted by untreated fractures.
Prosecutors played a tape-recorded statement that the Marysville man gave Karl Parrick, an investigator for the state attorney general.
On the tape, David, 60, said his wife fell on the filthy sailboat the couple shared with up to seven German shepherd dogs. Her grotesquely injured ears, for example, were the result of falling against "probably the walls, probably the walls, I would think so," Victor David said at one point.
The tape was made in early 1997, shortly after Linda David, now 52, was removed from the couple’s dilapidated vessel, which was then moored off Everett. David is on trial for second-degree assault in connection with his wife’s injuries.
Parrick, a Medicaid fraud investigator, testified that he made the tape after an agitated David showed up at Providence Everett Medical Center, demanding to see his wife.
On the tape, David said he and his wife were "old-fashioned people" who chose to treat medical ailments through consumption of natural foods, such as unpasteurized goat milk.
David told Parrick that he believed his wife had multiple sclerosis and perhaps was stricken with intestinal parasites, but he hadn’t taken her to a doctor in years because "trying to get ashore is a problem."
David said he didn’t know the woman was rendered virtually blind from cataracts and glaucoma until after she was removed from the boat by police and firefighters.
He said his wife had burned herself by backing into a gas lantern and otherwise injured herself by falling on the boat.
The defendant recounted one incident when he was sitting on the ship’s toilet, heard a noise, and looked out of the bathroom to find his wife "down just like a fallen tree, face on the floor."
That’s when she likely broke her nose, David told Parrick, who throughout the conversation spoke in soothing tones and repeatedly asked the defendant for his trust.
Victor David’s attorney, Bryan Hershman of Tacoma, forcefully questioned Parrick about his interview technique, asking if he had intentionally misled David to help make a case against him.
Parrick acknowledged that he hadn’t been completely truthful to David, but he said that at the time the tape was made he had a more pressing motive for trying to gain the man’s trust.
Victor David had shown up at the hospital, disheveled and hostile, Parrick testified. The investigator said he was just starting his probe of what happened to Linda David, and he had reason to believe Victor David may be armed with a large-caliber handgun.
Parrick said the tape documented him trying to calm down David.
"His body language told me that at any moment he could go off," Parrick said.
Parrick was scheduled to return to the witness stand Monday, the same day prosecutors say they intend to have Linda David testify.
So far, more than 20 witnesses have been called, and prosecutors don’t expect to rest their case until late next week. Judge Thomas Wynne told jurors they can expect the trial to continue for another two weeks.
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