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[PROSECUTION WITNESS #4—Dr. Frederick Keats]

Harker: Objection, Your Honor. This witness’s testimony will be complete hearsay.

J: I denied your pre-trial motion, Mr. Harker. I don’t intend to change that ruling.


James: Can you state your name and occupation for the record?

Keats: Frederick Keats. I am the Haven Park police department child psychologist. I’m on retainer with the department and conduct psychological interviews with minors when it is deemed appropriate.

James: Dr. Keats, how many interviews did you conduct with Cooper Ludarac?

Keats: I interviewed Cooper six times.                  

James: How about Kayla Ludarac?

Keats: I also conducted six interviews.

James: And those interviews were never recorded, so you are giving us your professional opinion in these matters as a child psychologist based on those interviews, correct?

Keats: My interviews were recorded, but are not a matter of public record. They were suppressed, if I’m not mistaken. I was also present for two interviews conducted by Detective Dalton that were recorded. I believe my voice can be heard on the tapes, although I was not conducting the interviews as they were police interrogations, and yes, I will be giving my professional opinion about both children.

James: Can you describe the marks you found on Kayla Ludarac?

Keats: I only saw photographs of the marks. Kayla refused to show me any of them.

James: Which photographs did you see?

Keats: The few that the school took, some that the police took when she was taken into protective custody and some taken at a follow up exam that occurred a few weeks ago.

 James: Do you believe the marks are self-inflicted?

Keats: It’s hard to say. There are extensive marks on her back in areas that would be almost impossible to bend and reach for the average human, but with some sort of tool, I suppose it could be possible.

James: Would Kayla have been able to make these marks?

Keats: I didn’t test her physical flexibility. She claimed that she did not, but Kayla is extremely guarded. I’m not convinced that anything she told me was the truth.

Harker: Objection.

J: Overruled

James: But do you believe that she made the marks herself?

Keats: I don’t think so, no.

James: Do you believe the marks were made by a person?

Keats: Absolutely. As you can see, the marks are arranged into writing that spells out “The Ludarac’s will burn in hell” in a continuous loop. Those marks aren’t an accident. They are made by a human being.

James: Did Kayla explain to you how the marks were made?

Keats: Basically, no. She insists that they simply appeared on her body one morning.

James: Do you think she is telling the truth?

Keats: No, not at all.

James: Why would she lie?

Keats: There are several reasons she may adamantly lie about this. She may feel incredible shame that she did it to herself, or she may be protecting someone else. What is clear is that she fears what will happen if she tells the truth, but I was never able to decipher exactly what she’s afraid of.

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