LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - Tuesday marked day two of testimony in the murder trial of a Chester County man accused of killing his wife and staging a car accident as a cover up.
Jurors heard from numerous witnesses and also listened to a taped interview between the defendant Jamie Baldwin and a South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper that went into great detail about the night of the crash.
“Me and my wife have a house cleaning business,” Baldwin is heard telling the trooper. “We were supposed to clean two houses today but the first house canceled on us.”
This taped interview between Baldwin and a member of Highway Patrol’s MAIT accident reconstruction team Trooper Calvin Rikard was about 40 minutes long. It was recorded in the hospital just a few hours after the alleged crash happened in 2016 when Jamie’s wife Judy was found dead. It starts with Jamie Baldwin’s recap of the Baldwins day on December 14th 2016.
“We had went out to the cemetery, Judy’s first husband died in a motorcycle accident <inaudible> years ago and we always put a Christmas tree on the grave.”
In the tape, Baldwin is later heard saying when they got back he was in the couple’s garage when he believes Judy fell while decorating the Christmas tree. He describes finding her trying to stand up, cleaning her up and then taking her to the hospital. Baldwin says on the way he swerved to miss a truck that crossed into their lane on Old Richburg Road. He then tells the trooper he went down an embankment and awoke to find Judy was not in the Jeep, instead he said he found her in front of it. After his recap, Trooper Rikard asks Baldwin if there’s anything else he wants to share.
“Some of the stuff that you’re saying doesn’t add up to what’s at the collision scene,” said Trooper Rikard after Baldwin didn’t offer up any more details.
Rikard then adds he needs more clarity.
“Did the vehicle overturn?” asked Rikard
“I don’t know,” responds Baldwin. “It was wild. It was rough.”
“Cause it doesn’t look like the vehicle overturned, and if the vehicle doesn’t overturn, I don’t know how Ms. Judy gets out of the vehicle,” Trooper Rikard responded.
Baldwin maintains he’s told the trooper everything he knows.
“There’s a lot of stuff that’s still unanswered on the injuries to Ms Judy. Cause she has significant amount of injuries to her body, especially to the head area - there’s no way to explain it, Mr. Baldwin,” Rikard said.
In part of the interview, Trooper Rikard asked about Jamie and Judy’s relationship - to which Jamie says it was “wonderful” and they were “in love.”
In addition to hearing the tape, jurors also heard from medical experts who treated Jamie after the crash and law enforcement who responded to the scene. That included the lead investigator for the Chester County Sheriff’s Office who was among one of the last witnesses on Tuesday.
Former detective Chris Reynolds testified while they went to the Baldwin’s home the night of the accident, they did not process or secure the scene despite finding a good amount of blood at the home.
Stay with WBTV for more on Reynolds’ full testimony and Wednesday’s witness testimony in court.