According to Peggy Garrett’s testimony, Justin Horn (Peggy’s son) was away from their apartment for the weekend when her daughter, Amber, went missing. Peggy stated that Justin left on the Friday afternoon, and did not return until about 3 pm on the Sunday.
But the state suppressed documents that impeach Peggy’s testimony.
Police records, disclosed only in 2016, include a statement made by Justin, in which he claims he was in the family’s apartment both on the Saturday and on the Sunday of that weekend. He states that on Saturday he went out at about 12 noon, and returned that evening for a short time, before leaving again; he returned at about 8 am on Sunday, woke Peggy and spoke to her, and left again at about 11 am.†
Another police document that was withheld includes this sentence:
“Justin came home about 4:45 a.m. and Erick [sic] left about 0500.”‡
If Jeffrey Wogenstahl’s attorney had been aware of these documents he could have investigated Justin Horn, as well as his friend who, according to Justin, was with him in the apartment on the Sunday morning. The defense could also have cross-examined the detectives as to whether they questioned Justin further about his whereabouts on the evening/ early morning of that weekend.
Two more suppressed documents detail an incident the previous month, when a young girl matching the description of Amber was seen being chased by two boys who matched the description of her brothers, Eric and Justin Horn; she appeared terrified of them. If this information had been available to the defense counsel, he could have questioned Justin about this as well.§
The withholding of so much significant information about Justin Horn, as well as about other aspects of Jeff’s case (for instance, see here, here, here and here), weakened the defense case at trial and resulted in serious gaps in what the jury heard. Jeff’s trial was far from fair. We trust that a court will soon accept this. Jeff should have a new trial.