Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

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August 29, 2013

McGinnis, attorney testify

(Continued)

Knoxville —

"If he wanted to testify, he would have," Phelps said. 

On the stand, McGinnis said he felt his testimony would have helped his case. He thinks he could have demonstrated what Ohl meant to him as a friend. 

"Me and Mr. Ohl were friends," McGinnis said. "We basically did everything together. He was the only friend I trusted." 

He later said about testifying, "I felt I could have cleared up a lot of loose ends."

During her cross-examination of McGinnis, Assistant County Attorney Tiffany Kragnes asked McGinnis to specify what he meant by this. 

"(Matrie) was trying to veer away from me when we were actually a couple," McGinnis said. "If the VA had found out that we were dating, she would have been fired." 

McGinnis said he had a conversation with Ohl about the possibility that Ohl had reported the relationship with Matrie. According to McGinnis, Ohl's response was that he would kill whomever reported them. 

Deb Danielson treated McGinnis as a counselor at the VA, but was no longer his counselor at the time of the murder. McGinnis called her several times the day of the murder and reportedly told her that he shot Ohl. McGinnis said she was still his counselor at the time and that Phelps should have tried to establish patient-counselor privilege and keep Danielson from testifying. McGinnis also denies telling her that he shot Ohl.

"To my knowledge, I don't think I ever told her that," McGinnis said. "I wanted her whole testimony thrown out." 

Kragnes further explored McGinnis' relationship with Matrie. McGinnis had said that he believes she was more involved with the crime than she discussed. 

"I, just like my attorneys, felt she had more to do with this case," McGinnis said. He could not specify what she did nor did not do in this case that hurt him, but he added, "She never really told the truth about anything." 

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