Lyle Menendez's ex-girlfriend insisted Tuesday that he had her look up appellate cases on molested children acquitted of killing their parents, even though a defense lawyer said acquittals are never appealed.
Jamie Pisarcik testified that she went to a Santa Monica law library on Lyle Menendez's instructions, asked for the cases and read them.
"You were very clear they were kids who were acquitted?" attorney Jill Lansing asked.
"Yeah, if you read a case like that a red flag goes off in your head," Pisarcik said.
"You don't know much about the law, do you?" Lansing asked.
"No," said the witness.
Later, Lansing asked: "Are you aware if someone is found not guilty there is no appeal?"
"I guess so," the witness said.
"So if I tell you there are no published cases where children were abused and killed their parents and were found not guilty, do you still stand by your testimony?" Lansing asked.
"Yeah, I stand by my testimony," Pisarcik said.
The prosecution had offered her account on rebuttal to suggest that Lyle Menendez fabricated the molestation defense presented at his trial by reading other cases.
Lyle, 25, and Erik Menendez, 22, admit they killed their parents, but say the slayings were done in self-defense after years of psychological and sexual abuse.
The prosecution says the motive for the August, 1989, killing of Jose and Kitty Menendez was hatred and the brothers' greed to acquire a $14-million family fortune.
The defense, in half a day of biting cross-examination, painted Pisarcik as a vindictive woman whose dreams of a fancy wedding to the wealthy Menendez scion were dashed by his admission of guilt.
Pisarcik at first said she made no wedding plans with Lyle because he was in jail. Lansing confronted her with a May, 1990, letter to Lyle Menendez in which she outlined the wedding from the colors--"everyone in black except me"--to the flowers and the place for the reception, New York's Tavern on the Green.
"Those were all dreams of mine," she said.
But when Lyle Menendez told her he and his brother had killed their parents, she acknowledged that she quickly found a new boyfriend, sold her diamond engagement ring and pocketed the money.
"I tried to give it back to Lyle on two separate occasions," Pisarcik said. "He wouldn't take it."
Lyle Menendez, seated at the counsel table facing her, put his hand over his mouth stifling a laugh.
"Where is the ring now?" Lansing asked.
"I do not know," Pisarcik said.
"What happened to the ring?" Lansing asked.
"Several of the stones fell out and were lost," she said. "And I sold the remaining stone."
"And what did you do with the money?" Lansing asked.
"I'm sure I put it in my bank," the witness said.
Asked when she took up with her current boyfriend, who was seated in the courtroom, she said December, 1990, the same month that Lyle confessed to her.
"Once you knew he had killed these parents, you got a new boyfriend?" Lansing asked.
"After I found out the truth, yes," she said.
In a defense bid to paint the witness as a greedy opportunist, Lansing elicited Pisarcik's acknowledgment that she accepted an $11,000 car from Lyle as a Christmas gift, took "paychecks" for managing his finances, used the Menendez family telephone credit card liberally and moved into his Beverly Hills mansion after his arrest.
She said he told her she'd be safer at the mansion because "the mob or the Mafia" might have killed his parents.
"How was it going to be safer to be in the home where the parents were killed?" Lansing asked.
"His grandmother was there and he felt it was a more unified atmosphere," she said.
"His grandmother was going to protect you from the Mafia?" Lansing said incredulously. "She's in her 70s."
The witness said that wasn't what she meant, but she did not elaborate.