Bystanders testify to Bostic’s death in Frisco murder case
June 19, 2015
Two anonymous witnesses who were at the Snowshoe Motel on April 13 and 14, 2014, testified on Friday, the fifth day of Charles Sattler's trial. A married couple testified separately, but their stories aligned on several points. Both said they were staying in Frisco the night of April 13 to celebrate the husband's birthday with a weekend of skiing.
The husband said they entered the motel around 8 p.m., going to bed shortly after. They were staying in room 47, just next to the room that Sattler and Charles Upchurch had rented out for the night when a blizzard prevented them from returning to Denver.
"At one point, I remember the room next door was having a party. It was keeping my wife and my dog up. There was laughing … that kind of thing," the man said.
Later on, he heard scuffling noises and peered outside to see if there was a fight.
“I interpreted it as an assault due to the fact that Mr. Bostic was not defending himself. He didn’t seem to be conscious. He was not fighting back. His arms were out, and he was not putting his arms up to protect an area where he was being struck.”Unidentified witness
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"I looked out the window and I saw what I now understand to be Mr. (Ryan) Stevens bouncing off my truck," he said. The man tried yelling at Stevens through the window to get off his new Ram 1500, but received no response.
Opening the door, he got a better look.
"Mr. Stevens was bleeding … not only bleeding, but he was bouncing off the truck a little bit," the man said. "He wasn't keeping his balance very well and it looked like he was injured.
"I looked to my right, and I saw a person standing over Mr. Bostic, and he was delivering blows to Mr. Bostic via his fist," he added.
The man said Bostic was prostrate on the ground, facing up, with the punches hitting his neck and face. The husband shouted for him to stop, and threatened to call the police, but received no verbal response.
Closing the door, the man's wife called the police. In cross-examination by public defender Stacy Shobe, he said he did not see the following events outside.
"I interpreted it as an assault due to the fact that Mr. Bostic was not defending himself. He didn't seem to be conscious. He was not fighting back," the husband said. "His arms were out, and he was not putting his arms up to protect an area where he was being struck."
Shortly after, the man's wife, who was in the same room on the night of the incident, testified separately. She said that after waking up with the dog to hear noises next door she stood behind her husband as he opened the door halfway, peering around him to see what was happening.
"I first saw someone against my husband's truck, and then I looked down and saw one person punching another man on the ground," she said.
She saw a bearded man lying with his head right in front of their door, parallel to the motel building. She added that she saw another man holding him by the collar and striking his face.
"With his left hand he was holding him up off the ground, and was punching him with his right hand," the woman said. She added that Bostic neither moved nor spoke, but "his head flung back with the punches."
A third bystander, Annie Borchers, testified on Thursday. She claims to have heard the incident from her apartment building behind the Snowshoe Motel.
Borchers said she woke up around 2:30 a.m. on April 14, to hear shouting in the alleyway behind the motel. She heard three distinctive voices, one high-pitched male voice, a calmer male voice, and another man threatening to call the police.
She said the first man "dropped several f-bombs, screw you's, things like that."
The second voice repeated, "'calm down, calm down bro,' a lot of calm-downs."
Borchers said the third "was a little more aggravated than the second voice. He said, 'screw this, I'm calling the cops.'"
Shortly after, Borchers woke up to more shouting. This time it was someone asking, "Are you OK? Are you OK?"
She added that from her window, she saw a man shaking Bostic while he was lying on the ground.
"I didn't think anything of it," Borchers said. "I just assumed he was very drunk."
Call in a friend
The prosecution also presented several snippets of phone calls between Sattler and his family that were recorded while in prison. While public defender Stacy Shobe established that these clippings were pulled from hundreds of phone calls, Jay Scott, an investigator with the Fifth Judicial District Attorney's Office, said he selected the calls based on mentions of fighting or the incident before sending them to deputy district attorney Rusty Prindle.
In one conversation, Sattler is speaking with a woman.
She says, "He (Bostic) was 6'9"."
"Get the (expletive) out of here. I thought he was 6'4", (expletive)," Sattler laughs.
He later tells her that Bostic was "snapping him (Upchurch) back like a PEZ dispenser. It's the (expletive) honest truth."
She then admonishes him, telling him he shouldn't say that.
In another conversation with a man, Sattler says, "It's all your fault for teaching me how to use these (expletive)," referring to his fists.
A man later tells Sattler he notices his face was bruised in his mugshot. Sattler responds, "It must have been a shadow because nothing happened to me."
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