Simmons gets 10 years in Glazier death

Minutes after William Frank Simmons was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the 1996 death of Kaelin Glazier, his public defenders requested a new trial, revealing they have a witness who says the Ruch girl's stepfather incriminated himself in the crime.

Simmons, who turned 32 on Tuesday, was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter in the death of the 15-year-old girl in a 10-2 vote on Feb. 14 after a two-week trial and 10 hours of deliberation by the jury. Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Bloom on Wednesday morning sentenced Simmons to a decade in prison, plus a $2,765 fine and three years of post-prison supervision. The 10 years' imprisonment is the specified sentence for the Measure 11 crime.

Glazier was the subject of years of searching and investigation after she disappeared in 1996. Her body was found in 2008, dumped in a neighbor's field just 80 feet from the trailer where Simmons lived when she was killed. Prosecutors said he was the last person known to have seen her that night.

But Simmons' defense attorneys Andrew Vandergaw and Michael Bertholf asked for a new trial Tuesday based on the statement of an Ashland woman, Serena Beach, who said Kaelin's stepfather, Robert Glazier, made incriminating statements to her in either 2003 or 2004.

In an affidavit submitted to the court Beach said that Glazier repeatedly told her that "I was there when she came into this world, and I was there when she went out."

The conversation occurred outside the Ashland Food Co-op, Vandergaw said. During the discussion, Robert Glazier allegedly told Beach that he knew Kaelin was dead and that her body was "down the road," Vandergaw said.

Vandergaw theorized Glazier abducted Kaelin the night she went missing — Nov. 6, 1996 — and killed her later. He suggested Robert Glazier eventually dumped her body in the field near Simmons' residence where it was discovered nearly 12 years later, because by then, Robert Glazier knew police had focused on Vandergraw's client as a target of the investigation.

Vandergaw said Beach notified him of her conversation with Glazier via email on Saturday, Feb. 11, just three days before the jury rendered its guilty verdict on the manslaughter charge. The jury also ruled Simmons was not guilty of first-degree murder.

Kaelin's mother, Kimberly Cruz Waller, spoke at Simmons' sentencing. She asked Bloom to impose a lengthy sentence, saying her family and the community wanted someone held accountable for Kaelin's death. She noted Kaelin's head and face had been wrapped in duct tape. Her daughter's death was not an accidental homicide, Waller said.

"It was horrendous, what happened to my daughter," Waller said.

Waller remained composed as she offered her forgiveness to Simmons, saying he would be judged by God. Waller closed by saying the only good that could have come from her daughter's death is that Jackson County sheriff's deputies now are better trained and equipped to handle missing persons reports, adding she now volunteers for the National Center for Missing Children.

Waller said outside the courtroom that she already has heard the defense allegations against her former husband, along with myriad other theories of what might have happened that night.

Deeming the latest allegations "totally unfounded," Waller said, "we need to trust in the expertise" of the police investigators and prosecutors.

Robert Glazier and Serena Beach could not immediately be reached by the Mail Tribune.

Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston declined to comment on the motion for a new trial that Vandergaw released to media, along with a report made by Ingrid Mathewson, an investigator for the defense.

According to the documents, Mathewson interviewed Beach via telephone on Feb. 23, almost 10 days after Beach contacted Vandergaw via email.

Beach said she does not know Simmons, but that she does know Robert Glazier and that she had been friends with Kaelin's biological father, Paul Haueisen. Beach also told Mathewson she was Waller's dance instructor in the '80s, and that she met Kaelin when the girl was 4, 5 or 6 years old.

Mathewson said Beach told her she repeatedly brought Robert Glazier back to the point of their conversation where he'd stated he knew Kaelin was dead, adding she became fearful of him during the conversation.

Mathewson's report states that Beach and Haueisen have always believed Robert Glazier "had something to do with Kaelin's disappearance." Beach said she did not step forward earlier because she was afraid of Robert Glazier and she did not trust police to protect her. But "her conscious is weighing heavily on her" and so Beach has come forward now, Mathewson and Vandergaw said.

Mathewson said that after the conversation with Robert Glazier, Beach contacted a female friend, told her what he had said and they agreed not to report the conversation to police. Beach said she was told by the woman that Haueisen had contacted police about his suspicions regarding Robert Glazier and asked them to check out his vehicle — a truck with a loud muffler, Vandergaw said.

Vandergaw recounted the testimony of Kevin Daly, 58, who lived on Forest Creek Road. At about 1 a.m. on the night Kaelin went missing, Daly said he said he'd heard a vehicle with a loud muffler near the intersection of his road and Highway 238. Moments later he heard a man and a woman arguing, then he heard a woman scream and a door slam. The vehicle drove up Forest Creek Road toward Bunny Meadows, then later returned and drove toward Ruch, Daly testified.

Vandergaw said Robert Glazier's current whereabouts are unknown.

Vandergaw blamed former Jackson County sheriff's Detective Hugh Crawford for failing to search the Haven Lane field across from Simmons' property in 1996. Kaelin's skeleton was ultimately discovered on April 8, 2008.

"My belief was that the body wasn't there at that time. It was placed there later," Vandergaw said.

Simmons' mother, Barbara Simmons, however, blamed former FBI agent Shawna Carroll, who came on the case in 1998, for a wrongful conviction.

"(Carroll) said she was going to convict him, and she did," Barbara Simmons said. "I kept saying he was innocent. I feel for (Kaelin's family). But I feel for my own, too."

The defense will present its evidence requesting a new trial at a hearing before Judge Bloom within the next two months, Vandergaw said. Bloom ordered that Simmons remain in the Jackson County Jail and not be transported to prison until the matter is resolved.

If Bloom decides in favor of a retrial, and because the jury found Simmons not guilty of the murder charge in Kaelin's death, their client would be retried on the manslaughter charge only, Bertholf said.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email

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