By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
In a deposition, Kerr asked Bauman why he had lied about his finances. "Because I wanted to protect my money," he responded.
When Bauman's lie was brought to the court's attention, he was sentenced to ten days in jail. Kerr also requested that the amount Bauman had been ordered to pay in restitution--$1,000--be modified in light of his wealth and Lamar's huge and terrible needs. The district attorney's office opposed Kerr's request. Then-deputy district attorney Louth gives two reasons for the DA's position: that the civil suit Kerr had filed against Bauman would resolve the issue of restitution, and that "it was not until sentencing was over and the Defendant's Fifth Amendment rights were no longer intact, that the People learned the exact extent of the Defendant's financial resources...At that time the People did not think it was legally appropriate to try and undo the plea agreement based on information obtained after the Defendant's Fifth Amendment rights had vanished."
But Fifth Amendment protection did not apply here, Kerr says. "Self-incrimination and financial disclosure are unrelated issues totally. Your financial condition is not something you can incriminate yourself by disclosing." He adds, "Bauman committed fraud when he told his probation officer he had no assets. That was the basis for a restitution award. Fraud. It just doesn't make any sense."
"When a prosecutor gives his word on something, you have to stand by it," says Louth. "I did the plea agreement based upon the facts that I knew at the time. Restitution was not based on the kid being poor or rich; it was based on Baine Kerr's assurance that it would be resolved in civil court."
According to Mimi Wesson, a law professor at the University of Colorado and a former federal prosecutor, the fact that civil litigation was pending against Bauman was entirely irrelevant to the issue of restitution. "It should have been part of the plea bargain that if Bauman lied about the extent of his assets--or anything else--that would be grounds for nullifying the bargain," she says. "And why was there no investigation of his ability to pay?"
As preparation for the civil suit went forward, Kerr's investigators learned a great deal more about Donald Bauman.
At the time of the accident, Bauman was a student at Longmont High, living with his mother. He tested high for IQ--in particular, for math and science skills--but seemed to be a volatile and isolated personality. He spent hours riding his bicycle. His only social outlet was with the Chambers Singers Choir, but his fellow singers described odd and anti-social behavior. They said Don hit his head with the palm of his hand when he made a mistake, muttered obscenities under his breath and glared at other people. One student described a "tendency to go berserk on himself."
It was in the choir that Bauman met Charity Mudd, who tried to be pleasant to him and once accompanied him to a matinee performance of The Naked Gun.
"Charity has a heart of gold," says her father, Steven Mudd. "She was nice to a kid in a situation where other kids were picking on him. She found out real quick he couldn't be a friend."
For roughly two years, Bauman haunted Charity's house. He tossed firecrackers onto her lawn. He phoned her at night and then hung up. He sent her notes. Her family suspected he was behind several minor and inexplicable acts of vandalism, such as the theft of a gas cap from Charity's car. An angry call from Steven Mudd did not deter him. When music teacher Kathy Belair found out about the situation, she told Bauman his behavior constituted stalking and that he should restrain himself. He became enraged.
Kurt Bauman (no relation), another student at Longmont High, expressed to investigators an odd mixture of uneasiness and admiration for Don. He explained that he thought of Don as physically superhuman and believed he possessed a kind of extrasensory perception, an ability to know "unknowable stuff." Though Don Bauman might seem "psychotic" to those who knew him slightly, Kurt saw him as brilliant and deep. "There are a lot of doors between his world and the outside world. It's hard for him to connect with the outside world."
Don "had a thing" about coins, Kurt said. During choir, he often pulled a coin from his pocket and tossed it to the floor. Invariably, it came to rest at Charity Mudd's feet. This proved that Charity was a demon, Don explained to Kurt, since coins are a magnet for evil. The fact that the coin also came up "heads" every time he flipped it was another indicator of evil in the room.
After the accident, Donald Bauman continued to be obsessed with Charity Mudd: "Reports all of Longmont is out to get him. States girlfriend used him to steal all his friends," health workers noted. His mother told his counselors she was "afraid to sleep at night for fear the patient will leave the house and go over to the girl's house or do something else."
Bauman was afraid of losing control and hurting someone, he told health workers. He felt he had been "severely violated in the past, so he would cope now by violating others because they asked for it."