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Social worker testifies that Kennard feared Walradt
"There were elements of tragedy, and almost comedy, during the third day of testimony in the Brodie Walradt murder trial Tuesday.During the afternoon session, Toni Lucas-Steiner, a former social worker with Harrison Hospital's Stork Express obstetrical program kept swiveling her chair to direct her answers to the jury, rather than to Stephan Illa, one of Walradt's defense attorneys.Illa felt compelled to turn his questions in an explanatory direction.In her preparation to testify about cases she worked on, Illa asked, You were trained to direct your answers to the jury, were you not?Lucas-Steiner replied that she was.The rest of her testimony, about interviews with Beth Kennard and her relationship with Walradt, the father of her baby, was eye-opening.Walradt is accused of aggravated first degree murder and manslaughter in the Sept. 17, 1999 death of Kennard and her unborn baby girl, Alexis Ann.Lucas-Steiner testified that Kennard told her she wanted to end her relationship with Walradt and that she was afraid.She said he had forced sex on her. She was so afraid of him she didn't want him in the delivery room, Lucas-Steiner said.She said Kennard was referred to her for counseling by a member of the hospital's Stork Express team because of suspected domestic abuse. Lucas-Steiner said she was on the child abuse team at University Center, and dealt with expectant mothers in very stressful or unsafe situations.People often told me things they didn't tell anyone else ... they felt safe, she said.One of the things Kennard allegedly told Lucas-Steiner was that her pregnancy was the result of sexual assault by Walradt.She was afraid. I was concerned for her safety, Lucas-Steiner said.She said she specifically advised Kennard to get a restraining order on Walradt; not to enter the travel trailer they had shared at her parents home alone when Walradt was present; and to see a physician for her emotional state.Her (demeanor) was so flat, she seemed so sad, Lucas-Steiner said.All this was documented in a routine report Lucas-Steiner said she wrote from her notes after the interview and gave to an assistant to file.She referred to her hand-written notes during her testimony. One problem Illa had with her testimony was that the report has apparently been lost from Harrison Hospitals records.Aside from lost records, do you have an independent recollection of your interview with Beth? deputy Kitsap County prosecutor Neil Wachter asked.Yes, some incidents stay fresh in my mind, Lucas-Steiner replied.The trial is expected to last four to eight weeks. "