ADA — During at least six hours of interrogation of Faye Francis Sliger the night Caitlin Wooten, a 16-year-old Ada High School student, was kidnapped and killed by Jerry Don Savage Sept. 23, 2005, FBI agents did not video or audio record any of the interviews.

“It never occurred to me at 1 a.m. to record the interview,” said FBI Agent Craig Overby. None of the four interviews with Sliger from 9:50 p.m. until after 9:00 a.m. the next morning were audio or video taped because the investigation was considered a fast investigation, and it is FBI policy not to record interviews without authorization.  

Overby and Agents James Dawson and Allan Carpenter each stated that to gain permission to make video taped interviews their formal process includes requesting authorization from three levels of bureaucracy and approval from their legal attorney that could take two days to secure.

Overby told the court the investigative team requested a phone dump, a spreadsheet of telephone call information from companies providing service to Savage and Sliger. 

Three FBI agents admitted they made very few notes during the interviews, waiting until afterward to write what they remembered and had virtually no verbatim statements from Sliger.

“I did not note exactly what Faye said,” Overby said. 

Overby told the court that after the first interview with Sliger, he discussed with other agents what was said by Sliger and by Karen Dial, Sliger’s girlfriend and determined there were conflicting statements between their stories. Overby told Sliger information he gave conflicted with Dials statements, told him his Miranda rights and conducted another interview with him. 

Overby testified that after the bodies of Wooten and Savage were found in the wooded area on Sliger’s property southwest of Ada on Saturday morning the interviews were finished by noon Sept. 24 and they, the investigation team, rested on Sunday before assembling their notes on Monday for a formal report. 

David Smith, defense attorney, charted the reasons why a video recording of an interview is a sensible tool to use.

“There is a school of thought that there are more reasons to tape than not to tape,” Smith said.

Smith questioned the lack of note taking by the agents during the interviews.  “Notes help jog your memory. You used your memory to make your notes?” Smith asked. 

Witness Jeff Rose, a wireless engineer with U.S. Cellular, testified that cell phone information about the tower used at the start of each call was logged between Savage and Sliger, but determining a specific address or location for the origination of a call could not be done.

The towers locked onto for cell phone signals were recorded providing a general area the calls initially came from, the time and duration and whether or not the call went to voice mail or was answered.  Rose testified that he conducted tests to determine accuracy of the tower connection information a week before the trial started, but did no testing of the signal strengths last year after Wooten was killed.

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