Sen Trial: Riley Larkins' Testimony

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A key witness in Tuesday afternoon's testimony was Riley Larkins. Larkins confirmed that on August 26, 2009, he had been living with his grandparents, Wayne and Diane Larkins, and that he owned a green and tan pick-up truck.

He said that he had been a friend of Dennis Poitra, Jr. for about six months, but he was "not really" a friend of Dharminder Sen. He said that on the evening of August 25, 2009, he had been home all night with his grandparents when he received a call from Sen. Larkins told the Court the Sen had wanted Riley to provide him with a gun, but didn't say why he wanted one. Riley said he refused to give him one.

On August 26, 2009, he had heard a little about what had happened at the Ernst home, and after some morning commitments, he tried calling Sen to look for Jr. He went to Wyatt Bear Cloud's home; Jr. wasn't there, but Sen was. Larkins testified that Sen showed him a gun and he told Riley he'd robbed a house and killed a resident. Larkins said that Sen had told him he'd "dropped three rounds" into the person. Larkins added that Sen had said he hadn't meant to shoot him, but as the person got up, he just "pulled the trigger."

Larkins said he then went to the park; later Sen, who had the gun hidden in a stocking cap, connected with him and told him that Jr. and Wyatt Bear Cloud had also been involved. Larkins and Sen got into the truck and headed for his grandparents'. He testified that when the deputies stopped them, Larkins said Sen became agitated and said he was "thinking about taking out the cops." Larkins said he told Sen that he "needs to chill...calm down." Larkins said the deputies did not know the gun was in the truck.

On cross examination, Sen's attorney, Tim Cotton, pounced, saying that Larkins had not said anything to the sheriff's deputies at the traffic stop or at the police station about Sen wanting to shoot the cops. Larkins told Cotton he didn't recall whether he told them or not. Cotton asked him "Didn't you think it was important to tell the cops that? You wanted to be part of this really bad, right?" No.

Cotton continued, “Why would he call you for a gun?” I don't know. “You wanted to get Jr. to the Tri-Cities area of Washington right?” Yes. “You've been shot at?” Yes. “In fact, you had 'homies' who were shot in the Tri-Cities, didn't you?” Yes. “And you wanted revenge.” No. Cotton then showed Larkins the transcript from his police questioning, proving otherwise.

Cotton ended his cross examination by asking, "You're the fixer, aren't you?" Yes. “You knew your best buddy Jr. was in trouble, and you were trying to fix it, weren't you?” Yes. "Poitra was your best buddy, and Dharminder was a nobody, isn't that true?" Yes.

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