1 P R O C E E D I N G S
2 (Exhibit 1 was marked.)
3 VIDEO TECHNICIAN: The time is 9:02 a.m.
4 We are on the record. This is the deposition of Mark
5 Beckner for the case of Robert Christian Wolf versus
6 JonBent (sic) Ramsey, et al., Case Number
7 00-CIV-1187 (JEC).
8 Today is November 26th, 2001. We are
9 located at 1777 Broadway, Boulder, Colorado. The
10 court reporter is Kelly Mackereth from Mackereth
11 Lombritto & Associates. I'm the videographer. My
12 name is Monika Cary, of Wren Video Services.
13 The attorneys will identify themselves,
14 beginning with the attorney on my left.
15 MR. WOOD: Here let's do it this way. My
16 name is Lin Wood and I represent the defendants. And
17 you might want to note that the defendants are John
18 Bennett Ramsey and Patsy Ramsey.
19 Derek, do you want to introduce yourself?
20 MR. BAUER: Why don't you do it.
21 MR. WOOD: Derek Bauer of Powell Goldstein
22 and Frazer, co-counsel for the defendants, and to his
23 right is Ollie Gray, an investigator who works for
24 the defendants' counsel.
25 MR. MILLER: I'm Robert N. Miller from
1 LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae representing the
3 MR. FRICKE: I'm Walter Fricke. I'm an
4 Assistant City Attorney for the City of Boulder.
5 MR. KEATLEY: I'm Robert Keatley. I'm the
6 legal advisor for the Boulder Police Department.
7 VIDEO TECHNICIAN: Will the court reporter
8 please swear in the witness.
9 MARK R. BECKNER,
10 having been first duly sworn, was examined and
11 testified as follows:
12 MR. WOOD: Before we begin, let me attach
13 as Exhibit 1 to the deposition the notice of the
14 deposition that was filed with the federal --
15 MR. MILLER: I've seen it.
16 MR. WOOD: -- court clerk's office in
17 Atlanta and was served on counsel for plaintiff
18 Robert Christian Wolf. I'll state that I have been
19 authorized by Darnay Hoffman, counsel for Mr. Wolf,
20 to state that he has waived his appearance. He is
21 aware of the deposition. He has elected for his own
22 reasons not to appear and has indicated that he does
23 waive his appearance.
24 I'll also attach as Exhibit 2 the
25 protective order, this will be Exhibit 2, Stipulation
1 and Protective Order, which I think you're going to
2 indicate Chief Beckner will sign on to that will
3 therefore be applicable to this deposition.
4 MR. MILLER: Right. Lin, could I suggest
5 that we have as Exhibit 3 a copy of our letter with
6 the ground rules for this deposition.
7 (Exhibit 2 was marked.)
8 MR. WOOD: Exhibit 3 is the letter from
9 Bob Miller to me dated November 20, 2001, which sets
10 forth certain agreements between counsel with respect
11 to the subject matter of the deposition and how it
12 will be adjourned for completion if necessary at a
13 later date.
14 (Exhibit 3 was marked.)
15 MR. WOOD: As stated by the court reporter
16 this is the deposition of Mark Beckner. The
17 deposition is taken pursuant to subpoena and
18 agreement of counsel as to date and place and time,
19 along with the other agreements that have been
20 earlier indicated in the record as Exhibits 2 and 3.
21 The deposition is taken pursuant to the
22 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Anything you want
23 to add, Bob, to the stipulations or are we good to
25 MR. MILLER: No. We're good to go.
2 BY MR. WOOD:
3 Q Great. You have been sworn in so let me
4 ask you for the record if you would state your full
5 name, please.
6 A Mark Ranson Beckner.
7 Q What is your present residence?
8 A 1512 Judson Drive, Longmont, Colorado.
9 Q And you are presently the chief of the
10 Boulder Police Department?
11 A Yes.
12 Q Go back if you would for me, Chief
13 Beckner, and take me through, let's say, high school
14 forward and give me to the best of your recollection
15 kind of a summary of your education and then your
16 training and experience that led up to you finally
17 becoming a chief of police here in Boulder.
18 A Graduated from Swartz Creek High School in
19 Swartz Creek, Michigan in 1974. From there I went to
20 what was then Mott Community College in Flint,
21 Michigan, received an Associate's degree. From there
22 I went to Ferris State, it's now Ferris State
23 University in Big Rapids, Michigan. Received a
24 Bachelor's degree, Bachelor's of Science in criminal
1 In 1982, I received a Master's degree in
2 criminal justice administration from the University
3 of Colorado at Denver. And what else -- what was the
4 other piece?
5 Q Well, we will stop there for a minute.
6 We've got you up to 1982 and you've graduated with a
7 Master's degree in criminal justice administration
8 from the University of Colorado at Denver, right?
9 A Correct.
10 Q Now, take -- that completes your education
11 I guess up at least through that degree?
12 A Correct.
13 Q I don't know if you've had any subsequent
14 training or education but we'll go into that. Did
15 you then take your first job in law enforcement after
16 you graduated and received the Master's degree?
17 A No, my first job in law enforcement was in
18 1978 after my -- graduating from University -- Ferris
19 State University.
20 Q Okay. Tell me about that and then we'll
21 go forward from there with respect to your job
22 experience in law enforcement?
23 A I was hired in June of '78 as a patrol
24 officer for the City of Boulder. I was a patrol
25 officer for three years until 1981, at which time I
1 was selected as a detective. Was in the detective
2 and in investigations until 1983, at which time I was
3 promoted to sergeant. I went back to patrol. I was
4 a patrol sergeant for a number of years, including
5 field training sergeant, crime scene investigation
6 coordinator, liquor code enforcement supervisor.
7 And then I was -- in about I believe it
8 was '86 or '87 I was supervisor of a new tactical
9 unit that we developed in the police department that
10 was called the Tactical Patrol Team. And we did a
11 combination of undercover investigations and
12 sometimes worked uniform depending on what the
13 assignment called for.
14 We basically were a team that could
15 respond to various crime problems in the city and
16 used different tactics for dealing with those.
17 From there I went back to patrol for a
19 Q When did you go back to patrol in the
20 special tactical unit?
21 A '88 or '89, somewhere in there.
22 Q Okay.
23 A Then I spent about, I believe it was '90,
24 I spent nine months as traffic supervisor in a
25 traffic unit. From there I was selected in 1991 to
1 go to our professional standards unit as the
2 department internal affairs investigator. I was in
3 that role for three years as that investigator for
4 the department.
5 From there I was promoted to commander in
6 1994. I then went -- was assigned back to patrol
7 specifically to the second watch of patrol. And I
8 was commander for about three years, three years.
9 And then in October of '97, I was pulled off of
10 patrol and put in charge of the Ramsey investigation
11 as a sole assignment and then in March of '98, I was
12 given command of the entire investigations unit.
13 And in June of '98, I was promoted to
14 chief of police.
15 Q Thanks. Let me go back if I could and
16 just touch on a couple of issues with respect to
17 those different positions. When you were a patrol
18 officer from 1978 to 1981, did you have any
19 involvement in homicide investigations?
20 A As a responding officer, certainly.
21 Q And tell me what you mean when you say as
22 a responding officer. What would your
23 responsibilities have been with respect to a
25 A Well, if you get there, you've got to
1 coordinate the crime scene and secure it and that
2 sort of thing.
3 Q Anything else, in terms of the actual
4 investigation --
5 A No.
6 Q -- of the homicide?
7 A No.
8 Q Your responsibility would be to respond?
9 A Correct.
10 Q To coordinate the efforts at the crime
12 A Correct.
13 Q To secure the crime scene?
14 A (Deponent nods head.)
15 Q And then I take it basically that's turned
16 over to someone in homicide that works the case?
17 A Well, just a clarification. In our
18 department we don't have a specific homicide unit.
19 Our detectives handle a variety of cases. They
20 aren't specialists in homicide, per se.
21 Q Has that been true the entire time that
22 you've been involved with the Boulder Police
23 Department from 1978 up until the present time?
24 A Yes.
25 Q So it would have been simply after you
1 secured the crime scene, coordinated as the
2 responding officer, then it would be turned over to
3 someone in the detective portion of the department?
4 A Correct.
5 Q Okay. In 1981 to '83 when you were a
6 detective doing investigations, did you have occasion
7 to investigate homicides?
8 A There was occasion where I assisted in a
9 couple homicide investigations.
10 Q Do you remember just the general
11 circumstances of those homicides?
12 A One of them was the Gary Stoner case,
13 which was actually just recently solved, but that
14 involved a drug dealer who had been stabbed numerous
15 times in his apartment. And that's the one I can
16 specifically remember because it was -- we did a lot
17 of interviewing in that case.
18 Q Do you recall that being your primary role
19 to conduct interviews?
20 A Yes.
21 Q Anything else that you remember about your
22 role in the Stoner case?
23 A No, that was my role to conduct
25 Q The second homicide that you believe you
1 assisted in, you don't recall the nature of the crime
2 there, do you?
3 A No, I don't.
4 Q How about your role in it? Would it have
5 also been similar to the Stoner where you would have
6 been conducting interviews?
7 A Well, and I get confused here because when
8 you limit it to homicides, its very specific. I've
9 been involved in death investigations that didn't
10 necessarily result in them being homicides. So they
11 all meld together. And I have been involved in death
12 investigations. In one particular drowning at the
13 Boulder Reservoir, I was the primary detective on
14 that investigation and that's what it turned out to
15 be was an accidental drowning, not a homicide.
16 Q We have one of two, you have an accidental
17 death, suicide, I guess it could be three, you have a
18 natural death --