Posted January 19, 2001 | comments Leave a comment

Prosecution calls first witnesses to the stand

By Richard Nash - Daily Staff Writer

The opening day of testimony in the capital murder trial of accused Winchester cop killer Edward N. Bell saw city Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul H. Thomson call his first witnesses to the stand.

Thomson’s witness list for the trial is six pages long. It includes the names of more than 100 people likely to testify for the prosecutor as he attempts to prove that Bell shot and killed Winchester Police Sgt. Ricky L. Timbrook in an East Piccadilly Street alley just before midnight on Oct. 29, 1999.

The list, which Thomson released to reporters Thursday morning, includes residents of Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

About 50 of the witnesses on the list are law enforcement or corrections officers.

Among the law enforcement officers on the list are agents with the Winchester Police Department, the Virginia and West Virginia state police, the Frederick, Loudoun and King William county sheriff’s departments, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the CFW Regional Adult Detention Center and the Fairfax County Police helicopter division.

The list also includes several CFW inmates, forensic scientists with crime labs in Fairfax and Richmond, a Winchester Medical Center emergency room doctor and Winchester probation and parole officers.

Testifying Thursday were Capt. Robert E. Wolford and Officer Jennifer Corboy of the Winchester Police Department, Investigator Glen W. Culp, and Deputy Jeffrey Bowerman of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, and INS Special Council Deborah K. Todd.

Both Corboy and Bowerman testified that they saw evidence while Timbrook was alive of his tempestuous and adversarial relationship with Bell.

Timbrook, who arrested Bell in 1997 on a misdemeanor weapons charge, often stopped the Jamaican immigrant on the street to check him for illegal guns and drugs, they said.

Corboy, who rode in Timbrook’s police cruiser as a trainee during her rookie year with the department, described a 1998 encounter between Bell and Timbrook. Corboy said that Timbrook stopped and frisked Bell on the street at the corner of North Avenue and North Loudoun Street.

“He [Timbrook] generally said to Mr. Bell that this was his town and he wasn’t going to let Mr. Bell carry guns in his town,” she said. “And every time he saw Mr. Bell he was going to check him for guns.”

Corboy testified on cross examination that Timbrook found no guns or drugs on Bell’s person during the encounter.

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