'Dead bugging' technique used by Ehrlick questioned by prosecutor

'Dead bugging' technique used by Ehrlick questioned by prosecutor

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by Natalie Podgorski

KTVB.COM

Posted on June 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

BOISE -- Ada County prosecutors focused their cross examination of Daniel Ehrlick on contradictions he made by during questioning about "dead bugging."

The prosecution argued that Ehrlick caused a fatal blow to Robert Manwill by dropping all of his weight on the boy during one of his punishments.

The defense claiming Ehrlick never put his weight on Robert, or dead bugged him.

Throughout Tuesday morning the prosecution grilled Daniel Ehrlick about details he told detectives during the search for Robert Manwill and during his testimony Monday.

To the prosecution, the story Ehrlick is telling does not always add up.

“You didn't like the fact that they kept asking you to clarify your story and you couldn't get it straight, right?” asked Ada County deputy prosecuting attorney Jill Longhurst.

“I, it was the same story every time, I don't know how I couldn't get it straight," replied Ehrlick.

“Well, Mr. Ehrlick, tell us what that story is then because we've heard that Robert disappeared before 7.  We've heard he disappeared at 9:30.  We've heard that you called police 35 minutes after you last saw him. We've heard a whole bunch of different things on those audio tapes out of your mouth and they're not consistent, right?” asked Longhurst.

“Umm, the only thing that wasn't consistent was from the 8:15 to the 7:15," replied Ehrlick.

"So your testimony today is that everything you said  was completely consistent, every time?" asked Longhurst.

"Oh, I'm sure I was off a little bit here and there," replied Ehrlick.

"A couple of hours here and there?" asked Longhurst. 

"No, not a couple of hours," replied Ehrlick.

Besides the discrepancy in the timeline, the prosecution also says Ehrlick contradicted himself when talking about punishing Robert.  In particular, about having him lay in the deadbug position.

"Yesterday, what did you tell us about how often you did the deadbug?" asked Longhurst. 

"Um, just a few times," replied Ehrlick. 

"What do you mean by just a few? asked Longhurst.

"Um, I'd say maybe a half a dozen," replied Ehrlick.  

"Like six?" asked Longhurst. 

"Correct," replied Ehrlick.

"When did you do those?" asked Longhurst. 

"What do you mean when did you do them?" asked Ehrlick. 

"When did you do them?  Did you do them in June? In July?" asked Longhurst.

"Later in July," replied Ehrlick.

But the prosecution says Ehrlick told detectives he put Robert in the deadbug position more than six times.

"You specifically told him when he was asking you how often you deadbug Robert that you sometimes did that a couple of times a day," said Longhurst. 

"Yes. Not everyday," replied Ehrlick. 

"But you did it a couple of times a day?" asked Longhurst. 

"Yes," replied Ehrlick.

A few times when the prosecution asked Ehrlick a "yes" or "no" question he tried to explain himself.

Each time that happened Longhurst stopped Ehrlick and made him directly answer the "yes" or "no" question.

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