Three people have testified in court that David Mead had talked about killing his wife, Pamela Stokes Mead, before she apparently drowned in a backyard pool in Salt Lake City four years ago.
All three individuals, including two women who shared adulterous relationships with Mead, testified at Mead's murder trial in 3rd District Court Thursday. Their testimony is the strongest evidence the eight-member jury has heard, and prosecutors are expected to rest their case Monday.Stormy Simon testified she met David Mead at a nightclub in 1991 and dated him until she learned that he was married. Mead, however, continued to call her.
During a phone conversation in early 1993, Mead told Simon that he was unhappily married but that he could not divorce his wife because his business was undergoing financial troubles and Pamela Mead's family had promised to help, Simon testified.
"He said that it would be better to kill her and get the insurance money," Simon said.
During the conversation, David Mead discovered his wife had been listening on another phone.
David Keith, a mutual friend of the Meads, testified Pamela Mead decided to leave her husband following the phone conversation, but the couple reconciled while driving to Colorado Springs.
The next time Simon saw David Mead was after Pamela Mead's Aug. 15, 1994, death. Mead walked into Simon's work office and told her his wife had been killed in a "mysterious freak accident," she said.
He told Simon that Pamela Mead's parents had filed a civil lawsuit, and that investigators were looking for Simon because Pamela Mead had told her parents about the conversation she had overheard, Simon said. David Mead asked Simon not to talk to investigators.
"I said I would have to tell," Simon said. But a criminal attorney advised her not to get involved in the civil lawsuit.
In March, however, she saw a news report about David Mead's preliminary hearing in criminal court and she decided to come forth with her story.
Another witness, Winnetka Walls said she shared a lengthy relationship with Mead and was pressuring him to leave his wife.
"I gave him a lot of ultimatums," she said. At one point she threatened to send his wife videotapes of them having sexual intercourse.Comment on this story
To appease her, David Mead told Walls his wife was "just going to have an accident," Walls said. He explained that "his house was going to be robbed," that his wife would have "a nasty spill," and that he would have an alibi.
About a month after that conversation, David Mead told police he found his wife dead in a three-foot-deep pond in their back yard. She appeared to have tripped, hit her head on a brick, and drowned.
Walls spoke with police a few weeks after the death, but later recanted her statement in a sworn affidavit that David Mead asked her to write, Walls said. When Pamela Mead's family sued her, Walls agreed to testify against David Mead.
David Mead's cousin, James Hendrix, testified that about a week before Pamela Mead died, David Mead asked him if he would kill his wife. Hendrix, a convicted felon who was on parole, never got involved with the proposition however, because he went on a two-week drug binge using 58 grams of cocaine and $900 David Mead gave him, he said.