Saying that he helped accused murderer Billy D. Smith dispose of evidence in order to protect the lives of nieces and nephews, one of five state witnesses testified Thursday about his involvement in the 1994 crime.
Bruce Brown told the court that he agreed to help by cleaning the truck in which the victims, Harold Enzler, 36, and Nancy Bellamy, 42, were shot to death March 27, 1994, and that he later helped dispose of the truck, which had been dismantled.
That night, Smith allegedly threatened the lives of Brown and his family saying he would start with Brown's many nieces and nephews.
Brown began his testimony in the jury trial Thursday and was scheduled to continue this morning at 8:30 in Judge Jonathan Link's courtroom in Kenai. Other state witnesses testifying Thursday included Sandra Holmes, Dathan Bulot and Donna and Mark Wynkoop.
A friend of Enzler's since high school days in the 1970s, Brown told the court that he had gotten together with Enzler the evening of March 27, to party and give him presents he had brought back from a recent trip to Hawaii with Smith.
"We were partying and I got a call from Billy (Smith) saying he needed some money I had for him," said Brown.
Then Smith asked to speak with Enzler and arrangements were made to meet "where I had my stash (of drugs) on emergency access road out near the shooting range," said Brown.
Using Enzler's truck, Brown drove Enzler and Bellamy to the remote North Kenai location and when they got there, another vehicle, with its lights on and hood raised, was blocking the road.
"I got out and went to the other vehicle," said Brown.
"Then I heard shots, turned and saw Billy at the other truck with his hand inside.
"I asked if he shot them people and he said, 'Yeah.'
"Then he asked if I'd help him and I said, 'No. You're gonna shoot me anyway.'"
Brown then turned and walked away to where his drugs were stashed. He sat down and smoked a cigarette, he told the court.
"But then I went back," Brown said.
"I was cold. I had just gotten back from Hawaii. And I wasn't dressed to be out.
"Billy said he needed my help. He threatened my life and my family and said he would start with my nieces and nephews.
"I said, 'What do you need?' He said to take the truck and clean it up."
Asked by assistant district attorney John Wolfe if he saw Enzler and Bellamy's bodies, Brown said, "I never seen Harold or Nancy again after I left them in the truck." Their bodies were never found.
During the time Brown was having his cigarette, the bodies were transferred from Enzler's truck into Smith's, according to earlier testimony in the trial.
"Where did you take the truck?" asked Wolfe.
"Back to Glen McGahan's where I was earlier," said Brown.
"How did you clean the truck?" asked Wolfe.
"With rags and bleach," said Brown. "Then I cleaned myself."
"Did you see Billy any more that evening?" asked Wolfe.
"Yes. He came back and got my clothes and the rags and put them in a bag."
"Before he returned, did you call the police?" Wolfe asked.
"No. I was worried about my nieces and nephews. Billy had connections. If he wanted something done, it got done," Brown testified.
"Did he ever mention those connections?" asked Wolfe.
"Yeah, the Mexican Mafia."
Brown then told the court that he arranged to hide Enzler's truck in a garage in Sterling owned by Donna and Mark Wynkoop.
Earlier witnesses had identified the Wynkoops' garage as the site of the dismantling of Enzler's truck.
During Donna Wynkoop's testimony, she said Brown had given her some cocaine when he came that night asking to park a truck in her garage.
Mark Wynkoop had testified earlier that he was unaware of what was going on in his garage and that at the advice of McGahan, he, in fact, stayed away from the garage.
"I took his advice and just partied down with the rest of the boys," said Mark Wynkoop.
Prior to the court's recess for the day, Brown said he had admitted his involvement in December 1998, after being charged with two counts of murder and eight counts of tampering with evidence.
He was convicted in a plea arrangement on two counts of tampering with physical evidence, and has served a five-year jail sentence with 20 months off for good behavior.
He told the court he stopped drinking and using drugs in May 1998.
Asked if he had made any agreement to testify in the Smith trial in order to get charges dropped or to get a reduced sentence, he said, "No, I was subpoenaed to testify."
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