Reporter Alyvia Covert contributed to this story.
ITHACA, N.Y. — After 10 days of testimony, jurors were finally able to hear Tompkins County Deputy Jeremy Vann’s version of what happened the night a woman accused him of attacking her.
Vann is facing 14 charges for assault, robbery, and grand larceny, among others. He has denied the accusations against him and turned down plea offers that would have required no jail time for him.
The prosecution has presented several witnesses for more than a week, including police officers, mutual friends of the couple, and the woman who accused Vann of the crimes.
The woman was on the stand for about two-and-a-half days and described a “volatile” relationship where the two constantly argued, called each other names and — eventually — were engaged in a violent confrontation after an argument broke out about Vann’s romantic involvement with someone else.
On Thursday, the jury watched a video of Vann’s initial interview with police, about 12-hours after the incident occurred.
It was Vann’s second interview with police. In the first one, about 8 hours after the incident, he refused to make direct statements about what happened that night, saying he believed that anything he said would be used to build a case against him.
During the second recorded interview, Vann is flanked by local attorney Jerome Mayersak and eagerly spit his version of events out to investigators.
The accumulation of events that happened over several days led to the blowout between Vann and the woman on March 29 and 30, 2015.
On March 27, Vann said he and the woman were at Moonies Bar & Nightclub when he says the woman became mad because a different woman — Galit Poole — was also at the bar. He said the woman threw a vodka and cranberry drink in his face, and a confrontation broke out in the bar. The woman testified, however, that she slipped and mistakenly sparked the confrontation.
Vann said the woman suspected him of cheating on her with Poole.
Either way, Vann said he gave the woman’s friend a ride home, but he was mad at the woman and didn’t want to drive her home.
“Take her home. I’m not dealing with her,” Vann says he told their mutual friend, who testified during the trial that the woman was taken safely to her home, and he texted Vann to let him know that.
Vann eventually made his way back to where he was living — at his parent’s home — with Poole in the early morning hours of March 28.
He told investigators that Poole was just a friend of his, though Poole later testified that they were involved in a romantic relationship. Text messages also indicate that the two of them were seeing each other as romantic partners.
However, the woman suspected Vann was cheating on her with Poole and showed up at his home while Vann and Poole were together early that morning.
“I didn’t want her to know that (he was with Poole) because…she’d go nuts,” Vann said. “She came over because she was pissed.”
At first, Vann said he ignored the woman. But he eventually went to talk to her after she allegedly tried to break into the porch area of the home and allegedly kicked his truck.
Poole previously testified that she saw Vann slam the woman into the ground before putting her in his truck to take her home.
The woman testified that after arguing with Vann at the home, he left and she texted him a photo of a shotgun, insinuating that she was going to kill or hurt herself with it.
“I wanted him to come back and just explain to me what was going on,” the woman said on the stand. “He did come back…We just argued some more, and he put the gun away and then he left again.”
Related: Read more about her testimony regarding the gun here.
Vann said the that the next night, the woman went out with her friends and called him around 4 a.m. for a ride home from a friend’s house.
Vann said he picked her up and they woke up together later that morning. went to breakfast and then to the gym before going horseback riding at her parent’s home.
He said they went to breakfast at Denny’s before going to the gym, and returned to her parent’s house to go horseback riding.
Her parents were out of town when the incident happened.
“We had a nice day. Everything was fine,” Vann said.
But while they were cooking dinner, the woman began questioning him again about Poole.
“She just started getting mad. She just starts getting pissed,” Vann said. “I’m trying to eat. She doesn’t want to eat. She’s going back and forth with Galit (via text message).”
He said that the woman eventually went into the bathroom with a pair of scissors and closed the door, which caused him concern because he says the woman has mental health issues, has threatened to kill herself multiple times over the course of the relationship, and committed self-harm.
He said he asked her if she was alright multiple times through the door, and she didn’t answer.
“I’m starting to freak out,” he said. “That’s why I shouldered the door.”
Vann said he broke the door and found the woman crying on the floor. Then he said they started arguing again and he tried to leave the home.
He said she followed him and threw a beer bottle at the back of his head. The two argued in the garage area — this is when the woman says he choked her, which he denied — and the two began fighting in the doorway that leads from the garage to the upstairs area of the home.
“I’m trying to close the door. She’s kicking me. She’s punching me,” he said. “I’m not trying to hurt her. I’m trying to get her away and close the door…”
While doing so, Vann says he accidently crushed her foot between the door and the top step. There is not landing between the two objects. They’re about flush with each other.
“I didn’t mean to do that,” he said.
Vann said he followed the woman up the stairs wanting to see her foot. He says she sat on the floor and he took her sock off.
“That’s when she kicked me in the eye,” he said, before she ran outside. He told investigators that she kicked him so hard, he nearly blacked out. He also told investigators that he couldn’t see out of th eye.
He said that he then decided that he was going to leave, taking a broken coffee table and the broken door with him to fix. He says he told him he had to fix the door, but it remains unclear if she told him to fix the table he broke or if he took it without permission.
He said the woman, who’d ran out the door, came back up the driveway while he was leaving, got mad, and smashed a vase he gave her as a gift.
“That’s everything that happened,” he said. “It’s just a dumb game. Some control issue.”
He told the interviewer that he did grab the woman’s phone while they argued near his truck.
The investigator asked,” Why did you grab her phone?”
But before Vann could answer, Attorney Mayersak advised him to not answer the question and they arranged to speak to each other privately.
It’s not clear if the video continues, but per agreements lawyers made prior to the showing of the videos, no further footage was shown to jurors or the public.
Later, on the same day the video was shown, the prosecution showed jurors a Snapchat video that Vann sent to the woman after the incident.
In it, he was sitting in a police cruiser and said, “Hey (Redacted), revenge is best served cold.”
He then slightly grinned and turned on the police siren.
During Friday’s testimony, the prosecution rested their case and the defense began calling up witnesses. The trial is scheduled to continue Monday morning.