Marked for death, survivor of savage attack continues to ask "why?"
TOM MAI: There was quite a fear among the office - could someone else be a target?
JAN SCHUL: You're looking over your shoulder even at the office and when you're leaving the office and everywhere you go wondering who has done this to Marti. And if you know them.
TOM MAI: The Prairie Village detectives came to the office. ... Obviously they were just trying to get a sense of Marti's routine. ... Just looking for any ideas that perhaps would give them a direction to which to turn.
DET. LUKE ROTH: Marti's mother ... told us that there was a company by the name of B and J construction who had recently done work at her house who she had actually referred to Marti. She told me that the supervisor of that construction company was named Brian, and that he seemed to be a nice guy.
SHIRLEY ROTH | MARTI'S MOTHER: I thought Brian was a hard worker and a family man. ... And he did good work. Actually that is why Marti decided to go ahead and use him because he did some stuccoing inside my house and he did a really good job.
DET. JASON WAKEFIELD: When I initially called Brian, I didn't even know his last name. He called me back and told me that his last name was Pennington.
DET. LUKE ROTH: He was 26 years old, lived in Leeton, Missouri, approximately an hour-and-a-half from the Kansas City metro area. We decided that we wanted to just ask him some basic questions.
Sept. 10, 2010 | Two nights after the attack
DET. JASON WAKEFIELD: We arrived at Brian's house ... a little after 9 o'clock p.m. When we initially pulled up, it was a very dark house. It's kind of secluded.
When we knocked on the door, we were invited in the house. My partner and I followed Brian into the kitchen. He was very polite, cooperative.
Detective: How long did you work at Marti's house?
Brian Pennington: I'd say three or four days.
Detective: What you think when you heard that Marti got attacked?
Brian Pennington: I really didn't know what to think. She's a really, really decent lady.
Detective: Have you heard what happened to her at all?
Brian Pennington: No. ... My mother-in-law was looking on the news channel earlier. And it showed pictures of her house and stuff ... I really didn't know what to think.
DET. JASON WAKEFIELD: During this conversation, I noticed that Brian had several scratches on the left side of his face.
Detective: Where are the scratches from on your face?
Brian Pennington: That big dog sittin' outside.
Detective: What kind of dog you have?
Brian Pennington: Pit bull.
Detective: When did those happen?
Brian Pennington: Yesterday. ... She just jumps all over me. And when I bent down yesterday to unhook the chain, she jumped up and caught me in the side of the face.
DET. JASON WAKEFIELD: When I looked at the scratches, they didn't appear to be consistent with what a dog would do. ... I felt like he was hiding something from me.
I asked him if he had attacked Marti. ... He told me that he had not.
He kept stressing to us that he was having financial difficulties and there was no way he could drive to Kansas City to commit this crime due to the fact that he didn't have enough money for gas.
I talked to Brian's wife Jessica, in the living room of the house. ... I asked her if Brian had been home on the morning of the attack:
Jessica Pennington: He finished that job last month. ... And he's been here with me for two weeks.
Detective: OK, at night
Jessica Pennington: Night and day.
Detective: Night and day, both?
Jessica Pennington: Yeah, he ain't goin nowhere in the night. I can't sleep at night if he's not here.
DET. JASON WAKEFIELD: She said there was no way that he could have done this attack because he had been with her the entire time. I also asked Jessica about the scratches on Brian's face:
Detective: Do you know how he got those?
Jessica Pennington: They're from the dog, I swear.
DET. JASON WAKEFIELD: I did not believe Jessica. ... She seemed like she was very na»ve. She was very young. I think she was 20 years old at the time of this. She had two young children. And I thought she would say anything possible to help protect her husband and to have him around:
Detective: We have no doubt that we're gonna find the person that's responsible for this.
Jessica Pennington: Brian doesn't have the heart for that.
Detective: I hope so.
Jessica Pennington: He doesn't.
Detective: Believe me, I hope you're right.
Jessica Pennington: He doesn't.
Jessica Pennington: I'm just scared ... I've never been in this kind of situation.
Detective: Yeah, if you're telling me the truth, you don't have a thing in the world to worry about.
Jessica Pennington: Besides my kids. I know he did work on that house. ... That's what I'm scared about.
DET. JASON WAKEFIELD: And then, I asked Brian if he happened to have any clothes that had blood on them in his house. He immediately told me he did not. I asked him if I could look through his clothing, his dirty clothing. And he told me that I could.
I saw a hamper in the corner of the bathroom. ... When I started pulling clothes out, I found a pair of jeans near the bottom of the hamper. When I pulled the jeans out, I immediately saw that they were covered in a red stain. Most of the stain was towards the knees and down towards the bottom portion of the pant leg.
Detective: You know what this stuff is on the bottom?
Brian Pennington: Grease, Grease. Something, I don't know.
Detective: Not blood thought, right?
Brian Pennington: No.
DET. LUKE ROTH: When I saw the red stains, it was definitely a moment of we might have something.
DET. JASON WAKEFIELD: I tried to remain calm and friendly with Brian and asked him if he would give me consent to take the jeans from his house.
Brian signed a written consent form that I could take jeans, shoes, DNA swabs, and also pictures of the scratches on his face.
DET. LUKE ROTH: I guess the best word, we were surprised that we were getting this sort of cooperation with the recovery of these items.
DET. JASON WAKEFIELD: I think Brian Pennington thought ... we would ... not follow up, we would not do any other investigation, that we would just believe what he said and believe what his wife was telling us.
My partner and I drove directly to the crime lab. I think we got there around 11:00 at night.
DET. LUKE ROTH: Actually within 30 minutes of being at the crime lab ... we were told that the stains on the jeans tested positive for human blood.
DET. JASON WAKEFIELD: We did not know who the blood belonged to, it could have been anybody's blood at that point. And we would have to wait a couple more days to determine who the blood belonged to.
We did not tell anybody about this. ... We were told that Marti ... would be able to talk to us eventually. ... We did not want to interfere with the investigation and have them give Marti ideas. We wanted anything that Marti would say to come directly from Marti and nothing we gave her thoughts or suspicions about.
So, we were kinda in a holding pattern waiting to get Marti's side of the story.
DET. LUKE ROTH: And in fact, on that Saturday morning, the morning after leaving Mr. Pennington's house, we were contacted ... that Marti was talking at the hospital.
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