The Clay Shaw trial testimony of Edward Wegmann

EDWARD F. WEGMANN, being called by the Defense on traverse of the predicate, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
Q: You are Mr. Edward Wegmann?
A: That is correct.
Q: Mr. Wegmann, are you a practicing attorney in New Orleans?
A: Yes, I am.
Q: How long have you been so engaged?
A: I was admitted to the Bar in 1941.
Q: You are one of the attorneys for this Defendant Clay Shaw, Mr. Wegmann?
A: Yes, I am, and I have been Mr. Shaw's attorney since approximately 1949.
Q: Mr. Wegmann, did you have occasion to be in the Central Lockup with Mr. Shaw on March 1, 1967, which was the date of his arrest on this case?
A: Yes, I was.
Q: Will you kindly set forth for the Court the happenings from the time that you got to the Central Lockup until you left.
A: Apparently they were waiting for us when we arrived at the Central Lockup. We were escorted to the booking window, the Arrest Register was completed by the booking officer, Mr. Shaw was asked to surrender possession of whatever valuables and other possessions he had with him, including his belt. When the booking procedure at the window was completed, Mr. Shaw was handed the blue copy of the Arrest Register Report.
Q: (Exhibiting document to witness) I show you a document which has been marked for identification "D-19," and I ask you whether that is the copy to which you have made reference.
A: Yes, it is.
(Whereupon, the document referred to by Counsel was duly marked for identification as "Exhibit D-19.")
Q: I now ask you to examine that copy of D-19 and tell me whether there is any alias set forth on that copy.
A: I have examined it many times. There is no such reference on this copy, which is the arrested person's copy of the Arrest Register.
Q: All right. After Mr. Shaw was given D-19, what then happened, Mr. Wegmann?
A: At that time I was advised by Captain Curole that Mr. Shaw would now be taken to the Bureau of Identification room, the B of I room, to be fingerprinted, that I would have to leave the booking area. I was escorted through the working area of the Central Lockup to the opposite side of the room outside the booking area workroom completely and behind the gate at one end of which are the interview rooms and at the other end of which is the lobby to the Central Lockup.
Q: Did you or did you not comply with Captain Curole's request that you stay out of the B of I room while the fingerprinting was being done?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: Did you ever go into the B of I room while Mr. Shaw was being fingerprinted or questioned?
A: At no time on that evening did I ever enter or go close to the B of I room, and, as a matter of fact, never at any time in my life have I ever been in the B of I room of the Central Lockup.
Q: At that time was it your desire that you remain with your client?
A: It certainly was.
MR. DYMOND: We tender the witness.
Q: Now, Mr. Wegmann, do you recall what time you first arrived at the District Attorney's Office on the date of March 1?
A: Somewhere in the neighborhood of 6:30 or 7:00 o'clock, I don't recall the time to any exact hour. I know that I had that day made an appearance in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Albany, Georgia, and had returned to New Orleans on a flight out of Atlanta sometime that afternoon.
Q: And for what reason did you go there? Did anyone call you, or what was your reason for going?
A: Mrs. Wegmann met me at the airport, we drove home, and just as soon as we reached home I was formed by my son that friends of Mr. Shaw were trying to reach me.
Q: Now, when you first arrived at the District Attorney's office, was Mr. Panzeca present?
A: Yes, he was.
Q: Did you have occasion to speak to Mr. Panzeca?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: Did you have occasion, or were you given the opportunity, to speak to Mr. Panzeca in private?
A: Well, we went into two different rooms in the District Attorney's Office. I don't -- yes, and at one time we were alone with Mr. Shaw in the room to the right of the office as you enter it.
Q: And approximately how long did you confer with Mr. Panzeca and the Defendant Shaw?
A: For a brief period of time, something in the neighborhood of perhaps ten or 15 minutes. Mr. Shaw had already been placed under arrest when I arrived at the District Attorney's Office.
Q: Did you advise him of his Constitutional rights at that time?
A: There wasn't any need for me to do that, Mr. Panzeca had been there with him I was told since early that afternoon.
Q: You felt on that occasion Mr. Panzeca had adequately advised him of his Constitutional rights? Is that correct?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: And this conversation that you had with the Defendant and Mr. Panzeca, I think you testified that was in private?
A: Well, either Ivon or Loisel were in the room when we first arrived. Whoever it was, whichever one it was, did leave and we were by ourselves. There wasn't too much conversation because Mr. Panzeca had warned me that he thought that the room was bugged.
Q: I see. Was there anybody in the District Attorney's Office physically in the room?
A: Not at that time.
Q: Did anybody deny you your right to speak to your client?
A: No.
Q: As a matter of fact, you had no trouble at all speaking to him, did you?
A: Under the circumstances and the tremendous confusion and the tremendous number of people who were present in and about and around the District Attorney's Office that evening, I would say that what conversation we had, yes, was under considerable strain.
Q: I see. But you were alone, is that correct?
A: In the event the room was not bugged, we were alone.
Q: Did you ever ascertain whether or not the room was bugged?
A: No, sir, I haven't had any reason to do so.
Q: Did you have any reason to believe that it was?
A: Yes, I did. I was advised by Mr. Panzeca that he thought it was bugged.
Q: Oh, just that Mr. Panzeca thought it was bugged? Is that correct?
A: That is correct.
Q: You saw nothing, no wires or anything that you might associate with bugging?
A: There was a great deal of rushing being done, there wasn't time to investigate the room to ascertain whether or not --
Q: I take it then you didn't see it?
A: Would you mind letting me finish? There wasn't time to ascertain whether or not the room was bugged, and, if there had been time, I wouldn't have been capable of doing so.
Q: I see. Now, after you had this conversation with your client in private, where did you go?
A: Mr. Panzeca and I went into another office in the -- no, subsequent to that I had some conversation with Mr. Oser and perhaps some other people in the room whose names -- and perhaps even you, because I didn't know you at that time and didn't know who you were. I then went into another office where I telephoned Judge Brahney and arranged to have the bond reduced from $25,000.00 to $10,000.00.
Q: I see. And after this did you have occasion to accompany your client to the Central Lockup?
A: Yes, I did. Just after that telephone conversation with Judge Brahney I returned to the center room of the District Attorney's Office. Mr. Shaw was already there and in handcuffs and was about to be taken to the Central Lockup. That was at the time when he was served with the -- when we were served or he was served with the search warrant, which Mr. Panzeca and I discussed. I asked Mr. Panzeca to go to Mr. Shaw's home, telling him that I would accompany Mr. Shaw to the Central Lockup.
Q: I take it then that you did finally go to the Central Lockup with your client?
A: Yes, I certainly did.
Q: Now, on the automobile ride between the District Attorney's Office, or rather the Criminal District Court and the Central Lockup, was there any questioning of your client?
A: No, sir.
Q: And at the Central Lockup for the period of time that you were in his presence, was there any questioning of your client?
A: None that I recall.
Q: Now, Mr. Wegmann, referring you to "D-19," I ask you if you will note the rights of arrestee, or this writing on the front of D-19 (indicating).
A: I have noted it.
Q: Did you have occasion to read it on that night?
A: I am quite sure that I did not.
Q: Did not?
A: That is correct.
Q: Do you know whether or not your client read it on that night?
A: I can tell you that as between the time we arrived at the Central Lockup and from the time that I took him in my car to the home of a friend of his where I had been advised he would spend the night, that he did not read it.
Q: I see. In other words, you never saw him read it?
A: No, I did not.
Q: And you never thought it your duty to advise him to read it?
A: I didn't see any need for it at that time.
Q: In other words, you didn't think it necessary to advise him of his rights at this time? Is that what you are saying?
A: I just said I saw no reason for it.
Q: How long were you in the general booking area?
A: For whatever period of time it took the booking officer to complete the Arrest Register.
Q: Can you approximate that for us?
A: It was a matter of minutes.
Q: Q: Ten, less than ten, over ten?
A: Oh, I would say that it was probably somewhere between ten and 20 minutes in the booking area itself at the booking window.
Q: Do you recall, Mr. Wegmann, what cubicle the Defendant was actually in when they booked him?
A: If you will let me see the picture, I believe that I can.
Q: (Exhibiting photograph to witness) Here it is.
A: It is my recollection that we were at the second cubicle from the far wall.
A: Yes (marking photograph).
Q: In this picture can you see the door to the Bureau of Identification from that second cubicle?
A: I have no idea where the Bureau of Identification room is located.
Q: Now, Mr. Wegmann, again referring you to "State 58," calling your attention to this doorway here which has written above it "Bureau of Identification" -- can you read that (exhibiting photograph to witness)?
A: Which one?
Q: Right here.
A: No, frankly, I can't read it from the picture.
Q: You can't read that from the picture?
A: No, I can't.
Q: Well, can you recall whether or not on that night that door was open?
A: No, I do not.
Q: Do you recall whether or not on that night the other door here was open?
A: No, I do not. I wasn't interested in either door, I was only interested in having the booking completed and taking Mr. Shaw to my office where I could speak with him.
Q: Now, you mentioned that when the Defendant was booked they filled out an Arrest Register, is that your testimony?
A: Yes, it is.
Q: Did you know it was an Arrest Register at that time?
A: Did I know that it was termed the Arrest Register? No, I did not.
Q: Well, what did they fill in? Can you tell us what they put on it, from your recollection?
A: Certainly, because I have looked at the arrested person's copy of the Arrest Register quite a few times.
Q: I see. Well, can you recall what was said that night without having to refresh your memory from this?
A: What was said at the booking window?
Q: (Counsel nodded affirmatively.)
A: Very little.
Q: How about aliases?
A: There was no discussion whatsoever about aliases.
Q: Oh, I see.
MR. ALCOCK: No further questions.
MR. DYMOND: That is all, Mr. Wegmann.
THE COURT: You are excused.
(Witness excused.)
MR. DYMOND: Your Honor, may we have a few minutes recess to check on Officer Vogt?
THE COURT: Very well, we will take a five-minute recess.
(Whereupon, a brief recess was taken.)