UPDATE: Jury finds Cayer guilty of first-degree intentional, attempted homicide charges
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - UPDATE: A jury has found a man guilty of two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, as well as counts of attempted homicide and burglary, as well as two counts of bail jumping.
Early Wednesday evening, jurors reached a unanimous verdict for Jacob Cayer, who denied killing his ex-girlfriend, Sabrina Teague, and her mother, Heesun “Sunny” Teague at their Hobart home on June 7, 2016.
The verdict was reached after three days of testimony.
During opening statements, Judge Hock told the jury that due to Cayer entering pleads to all six charges, both not-guilty and not-guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, the law requires it to be decided in one trial, but two phases.
Judge Hock said the jury will need to decide if Cayer is responsible for criminal conduct. According to Judge Hock, Wisconsin law provides that a person isn’t responsible for criminal conduct if at the time time the crime was committed, the person had a mental disease or defect and as a result, lacked substantial capacity either to appreciate the wrongfulness of the conduct, or to conform the conduct to the requirements of the law.
Action 2 News will continue to cover the second phase of the trial.
ORIGINAL POST: A man charged in the slayings of his ex-girlfriend and the woman’s mother has taken the witness stand at his murder trial. During his testimony, Jacob Cayer denied killing his ex-girlfriend, Sabrina Teague and her mother, Heesun “Sunny” Teague at their home in Hobart on June 7, 2016. Cayer also testified that survivor Joel Kennedy may have wounded himself.
The Jacob Cayer trial is now in its third day of testimony. Action 2 News reporter Brittany Schmidt is Live Tweeting the trial here: https://twitter.com/BritSchmidtNews
Law and Crime Network is broadcasting live from the trial: https://lawandcrime.com/
Cayer is charged with two counts of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide and one count of Attempted 1st Degree Intentional Homicide for the bloody attack on the Teagues and Joel Kennedy.
Witness testimony states Cayer broke into the Teague home through a window and killed Heesun “Sunny” Teague, 63, with a tire iron. Survivor Joel Kennedy testified that he and his girlfriend, Sabrina Teague, 25, arrived at the home that to check on Sunny and Cayer was lying in wait for them.
Prosecutors say Cayer then killed Sabrina and stabbed Kennedy. Kennedy ran inside the home and called 911.
The defense called its first witness Wednesday. It was Jacob Cayer. He said he was “nervous” and has been “emotionally exhausted for years.”
Cayer described Sabrina Teague as an ex-girlfriend from high school. He said they dated each other for more than two years. He then went on to describe the victim as “very childish.”
Cayer said they broke up in 2009 and went their separate ways. They started talking again in 2013 after her step-father died.
Cayer claimed Sabrina was “making stuff up” about him and he wanted to sue her.
He stated that he thought Sabrina’s mother, Sunny, “was cool.”
Cayer denied knowing Joel Kennedy.
On the day of the attack, Cayer testified to having dinner with his family. He said his mother was crying and he doesn’t like to see her cry. He grabbed a backpack and some items and went out. Cayer said he intended to visit a friend at a bar. He said he had been sleep-deprived and had not been eating.
Cayer testified he had “no real memory” of how he got into the Teague home that night.
Cayer said he had filled his backpack with items “for protection” because he believed people were after him. He said he had packed a “giant knife” and zip ties so he “could detain people after him.”
The defense asked him what happened at the Teague home that night.
“I know jack crap,” Cayer said. “I have no memory.”
Cayer claimed that while he was on his bike, a vehicle whipped around him and someone threw a duffel bag at him. He claimed that knocked him off his bike.
Cayer changed his testimony and admitted that he remembered “struggling with someone in the Teague residence. He sees Sabrina in foliage. (Sabrina was found dead outside.) He also says he has a “vision of a knife going out.”
He says the majority of his “visuals” come from the hospital. He was taken there after he was found hiding in some woods after the stabbing. He described it as a “shattering nothingness.”
Cayer recalled being in the hospital and covered with blood. He said he was confused and did not know what happened.
“I’m shocked, scared and then I realize there’s flipping blood all over mine and I am trying to remember what is going on and that is freaking me out,” Cayer testified.
Cayer testified that there would be no reason for him to attack someone who isn’t in his life. This appears to contradict testimony from Brown County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Zachary Holschbach. Holschbach interviewed Cayer for 10 hours. Holschbach said Cayer discussed how he was angry that Sabrina Teague was “blackmailing his family.” He claimed Sabrina had accused him of rape. Cayer said he was angry about that because it upset his mother.
Cayer followed up by saying there would be no reason to kill someone he had planned to sue.
Cayer claimed he was “trying to help the cops” because he was “not the dude they are looking for.”
Cayer claimed he never confessed to a crime and that he was “half aware” of what was going on.
Cayer claimed he witnessed Sabrina being stabbed. He said he was “eight feet away” from her at the time.
Cayer said he never confessed to killing Sabrina or Sunny.
He also claims that there are about “27 hours missing” from his memory.
Cayer testified that he was “physically inoperable and not able to commit a crime.”
Cayer states he believes there are problems with that 10-hour interview because of “bad audio” on the recording.
He accused investigators of cutting out parts of the audio of his interview and that his words were taken out of context.
Cayer testified that he doesn’t trust police.
Cayer testified that he has maintained his innocence from the beginning.
Cayer denied killing Sabrina and Sunny and said it was possible that Joel Kennedy’s injury was “self-inflicted.”
The first person to testify Wednesday was Samara Teague, Sunny’s daughter and Sabrina’s older sister. Samara said her mother lived up to the nickname “Sunny.” “She lived a life of hard work, good food, and sacrifice for us,” Samara said.
Samara talked about her sister’s “very big heart.” She said Sabrina “wanted to love everyone.”
The final witness for the prosecution was Amber Lind, forensic scientist at the State Crime Lab in Madison. Lind is a DNA analyst who authored reports in the case. A DNA swab from Cayer’s left palm was a mix between Cayer and Sabrina Teague. She says Sunny Teague and Joel Kennedy were excluded as contributors.
Lind testified that she analyzed the tire iron allegedly used to attack Sunny Teague. She found the DNA of Sunny and Jacob Cayer.
The defense questioned Lind about using the DNA samples of just four people--the Teagues, Joel Kennedy and Jacob Cayer. Lind testified that they test DNA against an internal database to make sure there is no cross-contamination. The samples were not entered into the federal database.
Cayer’s DNA was not found on a shovel Joel Kennedy testified he used to knock down Cayer.
After a lunch break, Cayer was first questioned by the state, which started off with telling Cayer that Wednesday is a big day because he’ll get to tell the jury what happened.
Prosecutors then started questioning, with the first few regarding the relationships with his parents.
The state then moved on to the battle within himself, and feelings, riding his bike, and family dinner.
After that, the questioning moved to a backpack, shoes found in the home, and more.
Afterwards, questioning moved to his and Sunny’s relationship, as well as her injuries, and the rope found on Sunny.
The State then asked Cayer about items also covered by the defense team.
Action 2 News’ Brittany Schmidt stated she observed throughout questioning, Cayer had challenged quite a bit. He also said the state ‘has everything in his life, so to “shut up”‘.
Cayer went on to tell the state he ‘has a distinct memory of struggling with someone stronger than me. Sabrina is not stronger than me.’
Later on, Cayer told the state he remembered being taken to the Teague home, and told the state he was dropped in the woods behind her house. Afterwards, the state questioned Cayer about a ‘drawing’ that he did for investigators while in the hospital.
During the afternoon, the state played the video Sgt. Holschbach took of Cayer using a pen that police say that Cayer was demonstrating where he stabbed Sabrina. He reacted by saying ‘forward movement of hand... so what are you bringing of this'. When the state asked him to describe it, Cayer said in part to ‘play it again'.
Although Cayer was asked if he wanted a break by the defense after being questioned by the state, he said no.
The defense then asked Cayer about his ex-girlfriend, named Wendy, who Cayer stated was the love of his life.
Questioning ended soon after, however the defense, judge, and state had a conversation, where Cayer interjected. Cayer didn’t retake the stand when the jury came back in after a 20 minute break.
When the jury came back, Judge Hock reminded them Cayer had pleaded not-guilty to both charges of first-degree intentional homicide for the death of Sabrina and Heesun Teague, and also pleaded not-guilty to the charge of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.
Due to his pleas, Judge Hock said the ‘state must prove every element of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt', and reminded jurors that Cayer is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the state’s job.
During the late afternoon, Judge Hock told the jury they should listen to the attorney’s closing arguments, but the arguments aren’t considered evidence.
As closing arguments began, the state said this is a ‘real-life horror movie’ but unlike a movie, you can’t turn on the lights and shut it off.
The state went on to argue about the multiple stab wounds, and there was no doubt of cause of death for Sabrina. The state went on to add the defense is going to try to say that Cayer isn’t responsible for the homicides, and says ’remember there is a witness, Joel Kennedy'.
In opening statements Monday, Brown County District Attorney Dave Lasee said Jacob Cayer turned the Teague home into a “real life horror movie.” Lasee said the scene was gruesome and there was “blood everywhere.” Lasee said Cayer killed Sunny Teague with a tire iron before going after Sabrina and Joel Kennedy.
The defense asked jurors to keep an open mind and to remember there are “two sides to every story.”
Also Monday, survivor Joel Kennedy took the witness stand after opening statements. Kennedy, who was dating Sabrina Teague at the time of the attack, identified Cayer as the man who attacked them on June 7, 2016.
Kennedy testified that he and Sabrina arrived at Sunny’s home that evening to check in on her. Kennedy says the shower was running. Sabrina went to check on her mother and found her in the bathroom with stains on the floor. He says Cayer emerged from a laundry room and attacked them.
Kennedy says Cayer attacked Sabrina before stabbing him with a kitchen knife. Kennedy testified that he put up his arm and the blade went through. His chest was also injured. Kennedy fell back and started kicking and punching. Cayer went after Sabrina and Kennedy ran to the garage to get a shovel. Cayer and Sabrina followed to the garage. Kennedy grabbed a shovel and hit Cayer in the face with it. Kennedy ran inside the home, locked the door and called 911. While in the home, he saw a body in the bedroom wrapped in a blanket. He believed that to be Sunny Teague.
The defense questioned Kennedy about what they describe as “inconsistencies” in his statements and the timeline of the attack. On the stand, Kennedy said Sabrina was attacked first. His initial statement said he was attacked first.
The defense also asked Kennedy about why he was carrying a knife. Kennedy said that he worked at Burger King and used the knife to break down boxes. Kennedy said the knife was also for self-protection.
The defense also asked Kennedy why he ran inside the home after hitting Cayer with the shovel. “I don’t know,” Kennedy answered. He said it happened very fast and he was responding on instinct.
On Tuesday, the prosecution focused on the 10-hour interview between Brown County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Zachary Holschbach and Cayer.
Holschbach testified that he first came in contact with Cayer in the Emergency Room, and Cayer was “covered in dry-brownish/red, consistent with blood.” Holschbach stated that Cayer was handcuffed to a gurney. The sergeant stated that he wanted to assess Cayer to see if he was capable of talking to him. Holschbach testified that if he believed Cayer was not able to have a conversation or respond coherently, he would have waited to interview him. However, he stated that was not the case. He read Cayer his Miranda Rights.
The defense asked Holschbach if he believed Cayer was mentally competent to be interviewed at the time. The defense asked if Cayer expressed confusion about what happened. Holschbach replied, “Yes, he expressed confusion.”
Cayer’s trial is scheduled to go through Friday, Aug. 14. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Tammy Jo Hock is presiding.
Cayer has been in and out of competency since charges were filed in 2016. Last November, a judge ordered Cayer to a mental health institution and to take medication against his objections.
Cayer demanded to be found competent and for his trial to move forward. The court ruled he was competent to stand trial.
Cayer has been through several attorneys, which has also delayed the case.
Action 2 News will continue to update this developing story.
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