Unreliable witness

Detectives were aware of discrepancies and inconsistencies in Huck’s version of events, but the detectives chose to believe him anyway. Todd Johnson noted a discrepancy in his search warrant:

“Detectives viewed the video on the recorder (DVR) from the residence and there is an approximate 8 minute time period that does not match what [Dana’s] husband told Detectives what he did after he heard the crash (noise of something falling).”

Detective Todd Johnson’s search warrant

Here’s what Huck said he was doing on the morning of March 3, 2014, before he called 911:

“[Huck] went inside with his dog and noticed the dog quickly ran towards the recreation room. The recreation room was closed and [Huck] could hear his wife’s I-Pad yoga application playing in the room so he knew she was still doing yoga but he could not see her.

“Normally, he said she would come out and give the dog granola and nine blueberries for breakfast. Since she was still doing yoga, he went into the master bathroom and saw a bag filled with clothes that was not picked up by charity. He thought to himself that he needed to drop the clothes off that day and started getting ready to leave. He then saw an old package that he needed to mail out that day. It was a birthday gift for his nephew, which he needed to mail that day in order for it to make it in time for his nephew’s birthday. He completely forgot about the charity bag filled with clothes and was thinking how he had to go to the post office in Los Alamitos to drop off the package.

“As he began to grab his belongings and his car keys to get ready to go, he heard a loud crash. He thought maybe it was construction because it sounded like wood being hit. He first thought it was possibly construction outside and started to look around. He then thought he should go check on his wife, and so he went into the recreation room.”

Officer Edwin Oak’s report

The video below, seized by LBPD on March 4, 2014, shows activity inside the house from 8:43 a.m. to 8:53 a.m. real time on the morning of March 3, 2014. Huck’s activities do not match what he told police. No audio was recorded. NOTE: The time code on the video is 24 minutes ahead of real time.

According to the video, Huck entered the house with the dog at time code 09:07. Huck wore sunglasses with attached Bluetooth earbuds, which covered his ears. He continued to wear the earbuds as he fed the dog a treat in the kitchen, removed his coat, and walked off camera.

He reappeared on camera at 09:08:16, and walked down the hallway toward the yoga room. He returned with an armload of bedding. He covered the sofa with sheets and prepared a bed for the dog, as if planning to leave the dog at home alone. At 09:09:53, he pushed an orange chair toward the table, removed his earbuds/sunglasses, and walked off camera.

Detail from LBPD photo img_00041
Huck’s glasses with earbuds

He returned to the table at 09:11:19, put on a different pair of glasses, and checked his iPad. At 09:11:56, he turned off his iPad. He ran his fingers through his hair as he walked toward the center of the room. He groomed himself in a mirror on the wall. At 09:12:06, he turned and walked down the hallway toward the yoga room. The dog followed him.

At 09:12:26, the dog walked from the hallway into the living area and settled onto the sofa. The dog appeared to startle at the sound of the alleged “loud crash” at time code 09:12:33. The dog looked in the direction of the hallway where Huck had gone. The dog did not move from the sofa.

At 09:12:45, Huck walked from hallway into the living area, and appeared to be brushing his teeth. He went back down the hallway at 09:12:49. This was the last time that Huck appeared on camera until after the 911 call. The call to 911 was placed at 8:51 a.m., or 09:15 video time code. There is a discontinuity in the video at 09:14:26, and the recording resumes at 09:16:55.

State Farm life insurance documents near Huck’s computer

Despite many obvious discrepancies between Huck’s statement and the video evidence, homicide detectives portrayed Huck’s claims as truthful. Specifically, Detective Johnson stated in his search warrant that Huck could hear his wife’s iPad playing a yoga video in the recreation room — as if this was an established fact — despite the fact that Huck was wearing earbuds at the time. Johnson wrote:

“[Dana] was doing Yoga in the northeast bedroom when [Huck] heard a crash. He checked the surrounding yards thinking the crash sound came from outside. He eventually went into the room where his wife was doing Yoga and found her on her back on the concrete floor.”

Detective Todd Johnson’s search warrant

Detective Johnson described these events as matters of established fact when, clearly, the evidence contradicted these claims. Why were detectives so eager to believe Huck even though they knew he was lying?

Next: dana’s clothing
blog: Double Indemnity