Triple homicide solved after 30 years
By Kate Allt
January 10, 2014
WAPELLO COUNTY, IOWA -- Yet another cold case
from Wapello County is solved thanks to DNA evidence. It was just
over a year ago that the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation
announced the arrest of Robert Pilcher in the 1974 homicide of Mary
Jayne Jones. Pilcher is scheduled to stand trial for that murder on
Now, a triple homicide, this one 30 years old,
has been resolved.
The bodies of Sara Link, Justin Hook and Tina
Lade were found within days of each other in April 1984. Special
Agent Mike Motsinger said the DCI contacted the Davis and Wapello
County Sheriff's Offices in August 2011 to see if they had any
testable DNA evidence. The evidence was resubmitted and processed,
and in March 2012, DNA from the inside of Lade's jeans was
identified as a match to Andrew Six.
The investigation proved Six and Hook had had
some sort of disagreement over a vehicle purchase, but in a 1984
interview, Six denied knowing Lade.
Years later, Six was arrested for the abduction
and murder of Kathy Allen. He was died in 1997 of lethal injection.
He won't go to trial for the crime, but the identification brings
closure family and friends never thought they'd get.
"Just knowing that parents and grandparents and
cousins have gone to their grave not knowing what happened to their
child or to their grandchild, that's heartbreaking," said Cathy
Francis, Tina Lade's cousin.
At Friday's press conference, Motsinger and
Wapello County Sheriff Mark Miller said investigators had footprint
evidence from Six in 1984, but it wasn't enough to bring him to
trial. With the age of the case, it's impossible to determine the
exact timeline of the murders and everything that happened in
between, but the preservation of evidence makes it certain that Six
is responsible for the crime.
"Probably not [all evidence] does get saved, but
the significance of a case like this, I mean, you just never know,"
said Sheriff Miller. "We really have to hand it to the previous
sheriffs for holding onto this, [they] thought it was imperative to
hold onto that, so we did get fortunate in that."
Though the DNA connection was made in 2012, the
positive identification to Six opened the case all over again, and
investigators made sure that everything was done correctly.
"Footwear impressions, the DNA evidence,
interviews that we had done, interviews that we did with people Mr..
Six had hung with back then, just the combination of all that put
together, sit down meeting with law enforcement and our local
partners is what brought us to today's conclusion," said Motsinger.
Though Iowa's Cold Case Unit was shut down
several years ago due to a lack of funding, investigators continue
to re-open cases as they can. To Francis, the effort is worth it.
"Families never forget," she said. "And if you
can help one family, it's worth it."
The full press release from the Iowa Department
of Safety is as follows:
The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office, Davis County
Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation
have resolved the 1984 Triple Homicide of Justin Hook, Jr., 20, Sara
Link, 41, and Tina Lade, 19. Link was the mother of Justin Hook.
Hook and Lade were dating at the time of the homicide.
On April 13, 1984, the Davis County Sheriff’s
Office requested assistance with a death investigation in rural
Drakesville, Iowa. A deceased male was discovered that was later
identified as Justin Hook, Jr. It was determined that Hook had been
beaten to death.
The following day, April 14, 1984, Sara Link was
reported missing to law enforcement. On April 16, 1984, Link’s body
was discovered in a farm field off of a gravel road in rural Eldon,
Iowa in Wapello County. From the evidence at the scene, it appears
Link was taken to the area and subsequently beaten to death.
On April 18, 1984, Lade was found in the same
vicinity where Link’s body had been found. Lade has also been beaten
to death. All 3 bodies had been beaten with a blunt object.
Footprints found at both scenes appeared to be
from the same person. The tread pattern of the footwear impression
was made by the same type of shoe. The investigation at the time
yielded no arrests.
In August of 2011, the DCI Cold Case Unit, Davis
County Sheriff’s office and the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office
started a review of the case. The evidence that was located at the
sheriff’s office was re-examined. The evidence with the highest
probability of obtaining DNA evidence was re-submitted to the DCI
lab for analysis.
In March of 2012, the DCI Criminalistics
Laboratory received information that a DNA profile previously
developed from the evidence matched that of Andrew Wessel Six. The
DNA evidence was recovered from inside the jeans of murder victim
Six was a suspect in the investigation in 1984.
The investigation has yielded information indicating Six was
involved in burglaries in the Ottumwa area. The investigation also
found that Six and Hook had some type of issue over a vehicle
purchase. During an interview in 1984, Six denied knowing Lade.
Subsequent investigations addressed additional suspects that were
involved in criminal activity which included Six. Although some of
these individuals are now deceased, the others have been
Six was arrested in April 1987, along with his
uncle Donald Petary. Both individuals were arrested for the
abduction and murder of Kathy Allen from the Ottumwa area. Allen’s
body was recovered in Schuyler County, Mo. Six was convicted of
Murder in the First Degree and was given a death sentence. Prior to
being executed, investigators attempted to interview Six regarding
the Hook, Link, and Lade murders; however he was uncooperative. Six
was executed by lethal injection in Missouri in August of 1997.
Six’s uncle, Donald Petary, was also convicted of Murder in the
First Degree of Kathy Allen. Petary died in prison in 1998.
Although Federal grant funding for the DCI Cold
Case Unit was exhausted in December 2011, the DCI remains committed
to resolving Iowa’s cold cases. The DCI will continue to assign
agents to investigate cold cases as new leads develop or as
technological advances are made which allow for additional forensic
testing of original evidence. The DCI remains committed to the
resolution of Iowa’s cold cases and will continue to work diligently
with our local law enforcement partners to bring the perpetrators of
these crimes to justice for the victims and their families.
DNA Links Executed Convict to 1984 Triple
By Ryan J. Foley - Associated Press
January 10, 2014
A killer who was executed in Missouri for the
1987 murder of a 12-year-old girl was also responsible for a
long-unsolved triple homicide in Iowa three years earlier,
investigators announced Friday.
New DNA evidence implicates Andrew W. Six in the
1984 bludgeoning deaths of 20-year-old Justin Hook Jr.; Hook's
fiancee, 19-year-old Tina Lade; and Hook's mother, 41-year-old Sara
Link, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Wapello County
Sheriff Mark Miller announced.
"What we know for sure is that Andy Six is
responsible," Miller said at a news conference at his office in
Ottumwa, in southeast Iowa.
Missouri authorities executed Six, then 32, by
lethal injection in 1997 for the kidnapping and murder of
12-year-old Kathy Allen. Six and his uncle kidnapped the girl from
her family's trailer in Ottumwa, then slit her throat and dumped her
in northern Missouri.
Retired DCI supervisor Sam Swaim said that Six
was always a suspect in the 1984 triple homicide, but that
investigators could not come up with enough evidence to charge him.
He said that he was happy that scientific evidence has linked Six to
the crime but wishes Six had been caught earlier.
"I regret that we didn't get that case solved.
That would have saved Kathy Allen's life," he told The Associated
Press in a phone interview.
Hook's body was found one day after his trailer
was burnt down in rural Drakesville, a sleepy town of 200 people
near the Missouri border, in April 1984. When authorities tried to
notify Hook's mother, they learned that she was missing.
Days later, a farmer found her body on a hilly,
wooded section of his property near Eldon, about 15 miles northeast
of Drakesville. Two days later, police dogs found the body of Lade
in a ravine a half-mile from where Link's body was recovered.
Investigators said all three had been killed by blows to the head.
The discovery of the bodies shook the rural area
with little violent crime. Hook had given Lade, of Ottumwa, an
engagement ring days before their deaths on the birthday they
shared, when she turned 19 and he turned 20.
Several relatives of the victims attended the
Friday news conference where investigators announced their
conclusion. Among them was 32-year-old Justin David Hook, Hook's
son, who was 2 years old at the time his father was murdered. Now a
mechanic in St. Louis, he said that he doesn't remember his father
and thought he would go his whole life not knowing how he was
"I've been waiting my whole life to come up here
and do this," he told AP. "At least it's something."
Investigators said they believe that Six killed
the three after a dispute over payment for a used car he sold Hook
and that he burnt down the trailer to conceal evidence.
No murder weapon was ever found, and no arrests
A DCI cold case unit re-examined the case in
2011, sending DNA material believed to be sperm that was recovered
from Lade's jeans to a laboratory for testing. A DNA profile was
developed and matched that of Six, who had given his DNA to Missouri
authorities while he was incarcerated. Six had denied during an
interview in 1984 that he ever met Lade.
DCI supervisor Mike Motsinger said solid
evidence, including the DNA and matching footwear impressions
discovered near both bodies, ties Six to the deaths of Lade and
Link. The footwear evidence had led authorities to focus on Six in
1984. Similar footwear impressions were taken from a car that Six
sold after the homicides, but that wasn't enough to make an arrest,
Investigators concluded that Six was also
responsible for Hook's death at the trailer, but acknowledged there
was no physical evidence putting him there. They believe that he
acted alone, Motsinger said.
Three years after Six apparently got away with
those murders, he terrorized the Allen family.
Six and his uncle, Donald Petary, went to the
family's trailer under the pretense of buying a used pickup truck
from the Allens. In reality, they had planned to rob the family and
rape their oldest daughter, who was a pregnant teenager at the time.
Six raped the teen, then slit her mother's throat with a butcher
knife. The men then grabbed Kathy Allen and headed south.
They were arrested in Texas the next day. Petary
led police to Kathy's body — in a muddy ditch along a gravel road
about 20 miles south of the Iowa border. She had bled to death after
her throat was slashed. Petary died in prison in 1998 while awaiting
Investigators tried to re-interview Six about the
triple homicide before his execution, but he "was uncooperative,"
Cynthia Moyes, Link's daughter and Hook's sister,
said the deaths have been hard to live with. She said Friday's news
finally brought some closure but also makes her miss her once
"My mom was my best friend, and I lost her at age
21," she said.
State of Missouri v.
Andrew Wessel Six
805 SW 2d 159
Andrew Wessel Six was
executed on August 20, 1997
On April 10, 1987, Andrew Six and his uncle Donald Petary went to
the home of Mr. And Mrs. Don and Stella Allen in Ottumwa, Iowa with
the intent to purchase a pick-up truck that was being sold by the
Allens to help pay for Mr. Allen’s open heart surgery.
In the truck, Six overpowered Mrs. Allen and
Petary taped her hands behind her back with duct tape they had
purchased earlier that evening. Learning that the Allens’ 17 year
old daughter Christine was in their trailer home, Six stated that he
wanted to rape Christine who was several months pregnant.
When the trio returned to the trailer Don Allen
was waiting outside. Six held a knife to Stella Allen’s throat while
Petary, also armed with a knife, ordered Mr. Allen inside the
trailer where Petary taped Mr. Allen’s hands. Mr. And Mrs. Allen
were then taken into a bedroom where their mouths were also taped.
Petary guarded the Allens while Six retrieved
their 13 year old daughter Kathy who was taken to the bedroom with
her parents. Six then went to Christine’s room and raped her.
Six then took Christine to the bedroom with the
other family members and ordered the two girls to get dressed in
overalls. Six took Mr. and Mrs. Allen’s wallets and during that time
struggled with Mr. Allen whereupon Six regained control of Mr. Allen
threatened to kill Mrs. Allen if Mr. Allen attempted anything
As Six and Petary were leading the Allen family
from their home Mr. Allen and Christine managed to break free to run
for help. Six then cut Mrs. Allen’s throat exposing her carotid
artery which required 50 stitches to close. Six and Petary abducted
Kathy Allen and then made their escape.
The following evening Six and Petary were
arrested in east Texas. With information received during
interrogation law officers found Kathy Allen’s body in a ditch near
a culvert on a gravel road of U.S. Highway 63 in Schuyler County,
She wore bib overalls. Her throat had been cut
severing her jugular vein and carotid artery causing her to bleed to
death. A hair matching that of Andrew Six was found in her underwear.
01/27 -- Six was arrested for Fifth Degree Theft in Pella,
Iowa and fined $ 25.00.
12/30 -- Convicted of Misdemeanor Theft Fourth Degree and
placed on one year probation and fined $1,295 and ordered to pay
court costs, restitution and attorney’s fees. On June 20, 1987 the
probation was revoked and he was placed on court supervision until
all costs were paid in full.
4/11 – Andrew Six is arrested for the murder of Kathy Allen.
7/29 – Andrew Six is convicted of Murder First Degree in the
Schuyler County Circuit Court. The jury cannot agree to as to the
sentence. The trial judge assesses the death penalty as the
9/2 – Six is formally sentenced to death for Murder First Degree.
9/8 – Six appealed his conviction to the Missouri Supreme Court.
3/13 – Six filed a motion for post-conviction relief with the
Missouri Supreme Court.
11/28-30 – The Circuit Court of Schuyler County held an evidentiary
hearing on Six’s post-conviction relief motion.
3/13 – The Circuit Court of Schuyler County denies Six’s motion for
3/5 – The Missouri Supreme Court affirmed Six’s conviction and
sentence and the denial of post-conviction relief.
10/7 – The United States Supreme Court declined to review Six’s
10/16 – Six filed a federal petition for writ of habeas corpus in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
5/2 – The United States District Court denied Six’s federal habeas
8/27 – The United States Court of appeals for the eighth Circuit
affirmed the district court’s decision denying federal habeas corpus
6/2 – The United States Supreme Court declined to review Six’s
federal habeas case.
6/13 – The Missouri State Supreme Court set an execution date of
August 20, 1997.
857 F.2d 458
26 Fed. R. Evid.
UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,
Donald Eugene PETARY, Appellant.
UNITED STATES of
Andrew Wessel SIX, Appellant.
United States Court of Appeals,
Submitted May 13, 1988.
Decided Sept. 14, 1988.
Before HEANEY and McMILLIAN,
Circuit Judges, and HILL,
Senior District Judge.
McMILLIAN, Circuit Judge.
These cases were consolidated
for purposes of appeal. Donald Eugene Petary and Andrew Wessel
Six appeal from final judgments entered in the District Court
for the Southern District of Iowa upon jury verdicts finding
each guilty of kidnapping in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1201.
Petary and Six received identical sentences of two hundred years
imprisonment with possibility of parole after sixty-six years,
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Sec. 4205(b)(1), and each was ordered to
pay a special assessment of $50 and restitution in the amount of
For reversal, Petary argues
that the district court erred in denying his pre-trial motion to
suppress certain statements and in imposing a two-hundred year
sentence. For reversal, Six argues that the district court erred
in (1) admitting evidence of other crimes, (2) denying his
motion for change of venue, (3) denying his motion for a
mistrial, and (4) admitting photographic evidence. Six further
argues that the cumulative effect of these errors denied him a
fair trial. For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the
judgments of the district court.
In Ottumwa, Iowa, on the night
of April 10, 1987, Mrs. Stella Allen accompanied Six and his
uncle Petary on a purported test drive of a pick-up truck that
the Allen family had offered for sale. Mrs. Allen was slightly
familiar with Petary because he had previously lived in the same
During the test drive and
after driving a distance down the highway, Six pulled the truck
off the road and stopped, indicating that he wanted Petary to
drive. As the two men switched places, Six pulled a knife on Mrs.
Allen, threatened her with bodily harm and bound her hands with
duct tape. They then returned to the Allens' trailer home.
Petary and Six confronted Mr.
Donald Allen outside the trailer and ordered him back into the
trailer home by threatening to kill Mrs. Allen. Six had a knife
pointed at Mrs. Allen's neck. When they were inside the trailer,
Six taped and bound Mr. Allen to a chair. Six awakened the
Allens' twelve-year-old daughter, Kathy Allen, in the process of
taping her mouth shut. Six then raped the Allens' seventeen-year-old
daughter, Christine Allen, who was approximately six months
Then both men tried to abduct
the entire Allen family. Petary forced the two Allen daughters
out of the trailer and into his station wagon. Six forced Mrs.
Allen at knifepoint out of the trailer. While Six was holding
Mrs. Allen, there was a scuffle and Mr. Allen and Christine
Allen escaped. Kathy Allen remained in the station wagon. Six
reacted by slashing Mrs. Allen's throat.
The two men then fled in the station wagon, taking Kathy Allen
On April 11, 1987, near Moscow,
Texas, both men were apprehended and arrested. Kathy Allen was
missing. After his arrest, local law enforcement officers
informed Petary of his Miranda rights, and he signed a waiver of
rights. He was then interviewed by Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) agents. Before interrogating him, the FBI
agents repeated the Miranda warnings. Petary initially expressed
some reluctance, but he agreed to talk about "some things and
some he would not."
The FBI agents told Petary
that Six was currently undergoing questioning and was talking
and would probably place full blame for the crime on him.
Unknown to Petary, Six had refused to cooperate and did not make
any statements. The FBI agents urged Petary to reveal the nature
and extent of his participation in the kidnapping and pressed
him for details as to Kathy Allen's whereabouts. Several hours
later, after the FBI agents told Petary that Mrs. Allen was
still alive, Petary provided additional information that enabled
the authorities to locate Kathy Allen's body.
On April 22, 1987, Petary and
Six were indicted and charged in a single count indictment with
kidnapping Kathy Allen in violation of 18 U.S.C. Secs. 1201, 2.
Petary and Six were tried separately and each was found guilty.
These appeals followed.
No. 87-2485 United States v.
Donald Eugene Petary
Petary first argues that the
district court erred in denying his motion to suppress certain
statements because the statements were not made voluntarily.
Petary argues that before he was interrogated by the FBI agents,
he had not slept for approximately twenty-four hours and had
consumed beer but no food.
He argues that four agents
interrogated him for six to seven hours despite his expressed
reluctance to talk and induced him to talk by lying to him about
their interrogation of Six and by promising him that if he
cooperated, his cooperation would be made known to the proper
authorities. Petary contends that his incriminating statements
were induced by the FBI agents' misrepresentations and therefore
were involuntary. We do not agree.
The voluntariness of
statements made during custodial interrogation is subject to
plenary review. Miller v. Fenton, 474 U.S. 104, 112, 106 S.Ct.
445, 451, 88 L.Ed.2d 405 (1985); United States v. Wilson, 787
F.2d 375, 380 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 857, 107 S.Ct.
197, 93 L.Ed.2d 129 (1986). The nature of this review is a
flexible consideration of the totality of the circumstances to
determine whether the challenged statements were the result of
an overborne will. Rachlin v. United States, 723 F.2d 1373, 1377
This inquiry requires an
examination of the details of the interrogation, the tactics
used, and the personal characteristics of the defendant. Id. "Misrepresentations
on the part of the government do not make a statement per se
involuntary." Flittie v. Solem, 775 F.2d 933, 945 (8th Cir.1985)
(banc) (citations omitted), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1025, 106
S.Ct. 1223, 89 L.Ed.2d 333 (1986). It is but one factor to be
considered in reviewing the totality of the circumstances. See
Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731, 739, 89 S.Ct. 1420, 1424-1425, 22
L.Ed.2d 684 (1969).
Here, Petary was advised of
his Miranda rights at least twice and he signed a waiver; he
does not now claim to have misunderstood those rights. Petary is
a competent adult and was familiar with arrest procedures,
factors which indicate that he would not easily fall prey to FBI
interrogation tactics. Further, the interrogation had an
immediate investigatory objective.
At the time of the
interrogation, the FBI agents were unaware of Kathy Allen's
condition or her whereabouts. Petary provided the information
about where Kathy Allen could be found only after he was told
that Mrs. Allen was still alive. A logical conclusion would be
that Petary decided to provide provide this information because
he thought he could still avoid a murder charge if he helped the
authorities locate Kathy Allen while she, too, had a chance for
Taken together, the totality
of the circumstances indicate that Petary acted knowledgeably
and freely when he made the incriminating statements. We thus
hold that the district court did not err in denying Petary's
motion to suppress these statements.
Petary next argues that the
district court's imposition of a two-hundred year sentence
without possibility of parole for sixty-six years was in excess
of statutory limits and an abuse of discretion. Petary contends
that several factors support a less severe sentence: his role in
the kidnapping was relatively passive, he is fifty years old, he
has been diagnosed as an alcoholic, and he provided information
that helped the authorities find Kathy Allen.
In general, a sentence is not
subject to review unless it exceeds statutory limits, violates
constitutional or procedural requirements, or shows that the
district court manifestly or grossly abused its discretion. E.g.,
United States v. Rosandich, 729 F.2d 1512, 1512 (8th Cir.1984) (per
curiam); United States v. Hollis, 718 F.2d 277, 279 (8th
Cir.1983), cert. denied, 465 U.S. 1036, 104 S.Ct. 1309, 79 L.Ed.2d
The penalty for the crime of
kidnapping is "imprisonment for any term of years or for life."
18 U.S.C. Sec. 1201. Title 18 U.S.C. Sec. 4205(b)(1) authorizes
the sentencing judge, when required by "the ends of justice and
the best interest of the public," to set the minimum number of
years that a prisoner must serve before he or she is eligible
for parole, so long as the minimum term does not exceed one-third
of the total sentence length.
In Rothgeb v. United States,
789 F.2d 647, 652 (8th Cir.1986), this court affirmed a sentence
requiring the defendant to serve longer than ten years before he
is eligible for parole under Sec. 4205(b)(1). See also United
States v. O'Driscoll, 761 F.2d 589, 600 (10th Cir.1985), cert.
denied, 475 U.S. 1020, 106 S.Ct. 1207, 89 L.Ed.2d 320 (1986) (three-hundred-year
sentence without possibility of parole for ninety-nine years
held within statutory bounds for kidnapping conviction).
Petary's two-hundred-year sentence was within the statutory
limits for the crime of kidnapping and thus not illegal. Id. at
Nor did the district court
abuse its discretion in sentencing Petary to a term of two
hundred years without possibility of parole for sixty-six years.
The crime was particularly brutal, Petary has a long criminal
record, and the record shows that his role in the kidnapping was
an active, not passive, one.
No. 87-2486 United States v.
Andrew Wessel Six
Six first argues that the
district court erred in admitting evidence of other criminal
acts that occurred before the kidnapping. Six specifically
argues that evidence about restraining Mr. and Mrs. Allen with
duct tape, the rape of Christine Allen, and the slashing of Mrs.
Allen's throat was improperly admitted. Six argues that this
evidence was not admissible as evidence of other crimes pursuant
to Fed.R.Evid. 404(b), or, in the alternative, was not
admissible under Fed.R.Evid. 403 because its probative value was
substantially outweighed by its prejudicial impact.
The government argues that in
the present case the evidence of other crimes was not admitted
under Fed.R.Evid. 404(b) but because it was "an integral part of
the immediate context of the crime charged." United States v.
Bass, 794 F.2d 1305, 1312 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 479 U.S.
869, 93 L.Ed.2d 159, 107 S.Ct. 233 (1986).
In general, evidence of a
defendant's other criminal acts not charged in the indictment is
not admissible. Evidence of other crimes may be admissible,
however, where such evidence is "so blended or connected with
the one on trial as that proof of one incidentally involves the
other; or explains the circumstances thereof; or tends logically
to prove any element of the crime charged." Bracey v. United
States, 79 U.S.App.D.C. 23, 142 F.2d 85, 88 (footnotes omitted),
cert. denied, 322 U.S. 762, 64 S.Ct. 1274, 88 L.Ed. 1589 (1944);
see, e.g., United States v. Tate, 821 F.2d 1328, 1331 (8th
Cir.1987), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 108 S.Ct. 712, 98 L.Ed.2d
662 (1988); United States v. Derring, 592 F.2d 1003, 1007 (8th
Here, the other crimes
constituted an integral part of the operative facts of the crime
and was therefore not excludable as extrinsic evidence, and
Fed.R.Evid. 404(b) is not implicated. See, e.g., United States
v. Bass, 794 F.2d at 1312.
"[T]aking [other crimes]
evidence out of the scope of [Fed.R.Evid.] 404(b) analysis does
not remove all limits on [its] admission.... The dictates of [Fed.R.Evid.]
403 must still be applied to ensure that [its] probative value
... is not outweighed by its prejudicial value." Id.
Although we are somewhat
troubled by the violent and extremely emotional nature of the
evidence of other crimes in the present case, "[t]he line
between permissible evidence which is an inextricable part of a
criminal transaction and unduly prejudicial evidence proscribed
by [Fed.R.Evid.] 403 is thin." Id. at 1313. We find no abuse of
Six next argues that the
district court erred in denying his motion for change of venue
because of prejudicial pre-trial publicity. Six waived any
objection by failing to question any juror about his or her
knowledge of this case during voir dire. Cf. Robinson v.
Monsanto Co., 758 F.2d 331, 335 (8th Cir.1985) (right to
challenge a juror waived by failure to object at the time the
jury is empaneled if the basis for the objection might have been
discovered during voir dire). Even if Six had preserved this
issue for appellate review, the record fails to support his
Six next argues that the
district court erred in failing to declare a mistrial after the
Allens shouted derogatory remarks at him from the witness stand.
"The decision whether a trial has been so tainted by prejudicial
testimony that a mistrial should be declared lies within the
discretion of the district court." United States v. Muza, 788
F.2d 1309, 1312 (8th Cir.1986); see United States v. Reed, 724
F.2d 677, 679-80 (8th Cir.1984).
Here, the district court
promptly admonished the jury to disregard the Allens' remarks.
See United States v. Young, 553 F.2d 1132, 1136 (8th Cir.), cert.
denied, 431 U.S. 959, 97 S.Ct. 2686, 53 L.Ed.2d 278 (1977).
Under these circumstances, we hold the district court did not
abuse its discretion in denying the motion for mistrial.
Six finally argues that the
district court erred in admitting into evidence a graphic
photograph of Kathy Allen's body. We disagree. The district
court has broad discretion in deciding whether to admit a given
item of evidence. United States v. Williams, 545 F.2d 47, 50
In this case there is no
indication that the photograph was so gruesome or inflammatory
that its prejudicial impact substantially outweighed its
probative value. Because there were signs of a struggle and
blood at the site, the photograph of the body was evidence that
tended to show that Kathy Allen had been alive when Six and
Petary transported her across state lines against her will. The
district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the
photograph of the body into evidence.
Because we found no merit in
any of Six's individual allegations of error, there is no reason
to consider whether their cumulative effect denied him a fair
Accordingly, the judgments of
the district court are affirmed.