Billy Strange, widower of Jennifer, who died at a water drinking contest at KDND’s 107.9 FM Morning Rave program, brought the most emotional testimony of the trial so far.
Very well spoken, Strange talked about meeting Jennifer when they’d both been on Mitchell Junior High’s cross country team. Jennifer was a year older, and out of his "league" socially, but he admired her. "She stood out because she was very competitive. She did not like to lose, so she would do anything she could to win."
He met her years later when he was printing flyers for his band at Kinkos; Jennifer tapped him on his shoulder, and struck up a conversation about music. The two soon were dating, and within six months, he asked her to marry him. On the stand, he talke about how she cried when he asked her to be his bride; Billy cried throughout this testimony, and the jurors could hardly look at him.
He talked about being a dad to her then five year old son Keegan, and how that experience made him feel more whole.
He talked a bout a song he had written for her, how it started with a guitar riff that she liked, and how she wanted him to write lyrics for it. One night, he woke up from a bad dream where Jennifer was "no longer around." He picked up the guitar and wrote the song; he recited the first verse:
Here I will sit to wait for you
In these moments of memories
‘Cause all I wanted to do was be right there.
Regarding the contest, Billy said he had never heard of hyponatremia or water intoxication, and that Jennifer never indicated to him that she knew about it.
(Editors Note: at this point, the jurors started taking notes.)
He talked about the phone conversation he’d had with Jennifer during the contest, how she sounded fine and was having fun, and had turned down tickets for a Justin Timberlake contest. He talked with her again after the contest, he thought as she was driving home, when she told him she didn’t feel well, and was going home to lie down. He was concerned to a degree, but only hoped she would not feel ill. He told her he loved her.
That was the last conversation Billy would have with Jennifer.
Defense attorney Carlson asked whether Jennifer sounded normal when he spoke with her on the phone, and Billy said yes. He established that the radio station was about 20 minutes from their residence.
Carlson also asked whether Jennifer had taken a cruise to the Caribbean with girlfriends when baby Jorie was 9 months old. Strange said that sounded right. He asked whether Billy had taken care of the kids through the week, and Strange said he had. Carlson also asked whether Billy played Playstation with Keegan, and whether thay owned a Playstation; Strange said yes.
On redirect, Dreyer asked about the cruise; Strange said Jennifer had won it through a raffle, and as he gets motion sickness, he choe not to go. He said it was hard to take care of the three kids that week, but since she was lucky enough to win a cruise, why shouldn’t she go?
For video of the Jennifer Strange story and audio of the Wii contest, please go to www.broadcastblues.tv .