Seifried admitted stabbing aunt, court told — (The Yamhill Valley News-Register)

SSRI Ed note: Following vehicle crash as teenager, man diagnosed bipolar, takes Depakote, Celexa. suffers personality change, stabs, kills aunt at party.

Original article no longer available

The Yamhill Valley News-Register

Published: March 27, 2008

By PAUL DAQUILANTE Of the News-Register

Bradley Scott Seifried admitted stabbing his aunt to death in a shop adjacent to her rural Dayton farm home in December 2006, Yamhill County Sheriff’s Detective Todd Steele testified on the second day of Seifried’s murder trial Wednesday.

Steele said the admission came at the conclusion of a 4 1/2-hour interview three investigators conducted. Seifried originally contended he had simply found victim Anne Claire Kreder lying on the floor of the shop in a pool of blood and gone for help, the detective said.

Seifried, 34, who was living in Southeast McMinnville at the time of the incident, is charged with one count of murder. On conviction, Measure 11 dictates life in prison with a 25-year minimum before gaining parole eligibility.

Circuit Court Judge John Collins is presiding at the trial. He will also render a verdict at the end, after the defense team of Carol Fredrick and Michael Finch of McMinnville announced Seifried wished to waive his right to a jury trial.

Deputy District Attorneys Jennifer Gardiner and Erin Greenawald are handling the prosecution. They spent the first two days of the trial calling police officers, medics and relatives to flesh out their case.

The prosecution is also relying on more than 200 pieces of evidence, including drawings, photographs, recordings and clothing worn by Seifried and Kreder the night of the murder. The trial, expected to run about four days, was scheduled to resume at 9 this morning.

Kreder, 46, who lived on Stringtown Road, was dead when the first wave of Dayton Fire District medics and Oregon State Police troopers arrived about 8:15 p.m. They found her lying face down with a garbage bag pulled over her head and shoulders.

Kreder had been hosting a birthday party for Andrew Kreder, the youngest of four children she had with her husband, Kelly. Though they had separated and were in the process of divorcing, she and her husband were on good terms and he attended.

Seifried, son of Anne’s sister, was an invited guest. He was detained for questioning at the scene before eventually being charged and taken into custody.

Another of Kreder’s sons, Jacob, placed the initial 911 call. But was too distraught to speak with a Yamhill Communications Agency dispatcher and Kelly had to handle the chore.

Seifried was sitting in his pickup when contacted by investigators working the scene. They testified his clothing was soaked in blood and they found a bloody knife in his possession.

At the time, he was working as a farmhand for another uncle, Tim Kreder. But he had worked for Kelly and Anne Kreder on their spread in the past.

Steele said an “enormous” amount of blood was found on Seifried and his clothing the night of the murder. And he said human tissue was found on the knife.

Seifried had been drinking beer and smoking marijuana earlier in the evening, Steele said. People at the party were having a good time, eating, opening presents, watching a movie and engaging in friendly conversation, the detective said.

“He said he was outside the shop smoking a cigarette he had gotten from Anne,” said Steele, who was joined by McMinnville Police Detective Jose Salas and Oregon State Police Detective Randy Ogle in the interrogation. “He said he went into the shop and saw Anne bleeding and unresponsive.”

Steele said Seifried stuck to that story for about four hours, then admitted he had stabbed Kreder to death. He told investigators he entered the shop, confronted her and attacked her with a knife.

Gardiner said Kreder suffered seven stab wounds, in addition to an array of defensive wounds suggesting she fought back fiercely. “He had to work hard to kill Anne Kreder,” the detective said.

Former Yamhill County Sheriff’s Detective Ed Rosario, newly retired, said Kreder’s deep and severe neck wounds convinced him Seifried was trying to behead her. But Seifried said that was never his intent.

Salas said Seifried was saturated in blood – so much so that his squad car smelled of blood for two weeks after he transported Seifried to the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office.

Two chilling 911 calls to YCOM were played, the first from Jacob Kreder and the other from his father.

“My mom is hurt really bad,” a hysterical Jacob told the dispatcher. “I think my mom’s dead. We need an ambulance now.”

He repeatedly cried out to the dispatcher, “Why, why, why?” A lot of background noise, including people yelling, is heard as the dispatcher tries to calm him.

“It looks like my wife is dead,” a sobbing Kelly Kreder said. “She’s lying on the ground. On the cement floor. She’s got a huge gash in her throat.”

He told the dispatcher he didn’t see a knife or any other weapon in the area.

Kelly, Jacob and Tim Kreder all joined the detectives in taking the stand for the prosecution.

Kelly said he and his wife were married for 26 years before they separated about a year before her slaying. They had filed restraining orders against each other in recent years, and he had eventually moved to another family home on Kreder Road.

Overall, “Things were going downhill between her and me,” he said. However, at the time of her death, he said, they were actually getting along pretty well.

Kelly said he arrived in the early afternoon.

Jacob and Andrew were there, and a third son, Eric, was expected after he completed his shift at a restaurant in Amity. He said their daughter, Lisa, lives in Portland and couldn’t make it down.

Seifried arrived about 6, Kelly said. He said his wife was in good spirits, glad so many members of the family could get together for Andrew’s party.

Sometime in the late afternoon, Kelly said, he fell asleep on the couch. Shortly after he awoke about two hours later, Jacob ran in panic-stricken.

“He was on his knees and slid across the floor to get his cell phone,” Kelly said. “He was distraught.”

Kelly said he rushed to the shop, passing Seifried on the way, and encountered a “huge spill of blood” on the floor inside. He said he found his wife lying next to a work bench, her neck slashed.

He said he went outside and asked Seifried what had happened, getting an unresponsive answer. Later, he said, he told arriving police officers they should talk to Seifried, “because I was putting some things together in my mind.”

Jacob Kreder said he had encountered Seifried with blood on his face. Knowing his mother had gone out to the shop, he headed that direction and discovered the horrific scene.

Oregon State Police Trooper Mark McDougal was the first member of law enforcement to arrived.

While on routine patrol, he spotted a Dayton Fire District vehicle on an emergency run and decided to follow. From radio communication, he concluded it was responding to a medical call.

Exiting his patrol car, he said, he encountered three “distraught” males. He walked up to the shop and spotted a blood smear on the door.

“I knew it was not a medical call, a heart attack or a stroke,” McDougal said. “I had concerns about everyone.”

He walked in and saw Kreder lying on the floor. He immediately determined he had a crime scene on his hands.

He told medics to remain inside the shop, as the unknown perpetrator posed a potential threat, and called an OSP dispatcher to request assistance. He relayed word that he was at the scene of a suspected homicide, and the county’s Major Crime Response Team was called out in response.

McDougal said members of the Kreder family expressed concern about Seifried, and he was located sitting in his Chevrolet pickup, covered in blood. OSP Trooper Phil Richardson made the initial contact, McDougal said.

Richardson said the windows were fogged up, but he could see a man sitting in the driver’s seat, so he approached and shined a flashlight in.

“He didn’t acknowledge me,” Richardson said. “He was wearing sunglasses and just staring straight ahead.

“He had his hands in his lap. There was blood on his face, fingers, the knees of his jeans and the toe area of his shoes.”

Richardson said Seifried appeared to be in shock.

He admitted having a knife in his jacket. He denied involvement in the crime, the trooper testified, but the knife was covered in blood.

“He said he went out to the shop to have a cigarette and there she was,” Richardson said. “He said he looked down and she was lying on the ground.

“He said he didn’t render first aid because there was nothing he could do. He said he went back into the house and told someone something had happened.”

OSP Sgt. Brad Hessel also rushed to the scene. And he also took note of the blood on Seifried’s face, hands, jeans and shoes.

Investigators said Seifried never told them why he attacked his aunt. However, they said he was closer to Kelly and Anne and was upset over the pending divorce.

One of the prosecutors went further, telling the court, “He said Anne was wrecking the family. He was worried about his job. He was madder than he had ever been before.”

Testimony indicated Seifried was taking two medications, Depakote and Celexa.

Depakote is used for the treatment of bipolar disorder, epilepsy and migraine headaches. Celexa is an antidepressant used to treat adult depression.

Seifried’s father, Kerry, said his mental problems stemmed from a head injury he suffered in a motor vehicle crash when he was in his teens.

“He wasn’t the same person he was before the accident,” his father said. “He wasn’t outgoing any longer. He was less communicative.