Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Mailman's Timeline

This information updates and corrects information previously included in the article "The Mailman's Timeline" published on March 1, 2008.


Russell Graybill was scheduled to deliver mail to 500 homes (testimony) during the course of his day. He had the kind of route that is called a park and loop. He would park at a certain spot and then get out of his truck and deliver mail on foot to all the houses that area.  There were scan points on a few mailboxes along his route to determine where he was at certain times.

On December 24, 2002 he arrived at his first scan at 10:19 a.m. and at his last scan at 3:41 p.m. for a total of 5 hours and 22 minutes delivery time.

Graybill’s Route Scan Schedule

This is the schedule that Graybill printed out showing his scan times for December 24, 2002. It includes a notation about the time he delivered mail to the Peterson house. This was entered as Prosecution Exhibit 34.

Graybill’s Testimony

Prosecution Exhibit 33, which was used during Graybill’s testimony, does not show the houses on Rowlands, south of Encina, where he delivered mail in the first part of his route.

Excerpts from Graybill’s testimony:
My first stop would be 1402 Encina. I would walk down 1424, go across the street, deliver all these houses here, come back across Encina, go down Rowland, to the 400 block, which is off the map, come back up, come back to my vehicle. That's the first relay. Then I would get in my vehicle and I would drive to 1520 Encina, and I would shut the vehicle off, get out, drop the mail at that house. Drive around here, shut the vehicle off, drop the mail, drive around, shut the vehicle off. Same thing at 1515. Then I would park the vehicle……………
HARRIS:  And specifically looking at Covena, do you see the boxes starting to the right side of Covena above where it says Pierre Park 508, 516, 525 (sic), 526?    
GRAYBILL:  Yes, sir.
HARRIS:  And do those represent the houses on the -- that would be the east side of the Covena Street?
GRAYBILL:  The street addresses, yes, sir.
HARRIS:  And then starting from the bottom and working on the west side of the street, 511, 517, 523. 523 Covena?
GRAYBILL:  Yes, sir.

Interpretation of the route based on testimony:

·       Graybill’s first scan was at 1424 Encina). He parked at 1402 Encina Avenue and delivered mail to that house and to the scan point  (*yellow) at 1424 (2 houses).  Then he crossed Encina to the north side of the street and delivered mail to some of the houses on that block (5 houses). After that, he crossed back over Encina and delivered mail up and down Rowlands in the 400 block (16 houses).
·       Then he got back in his truck and drove to 1520 Encina where he parked and delivered to that house (1 house.)
·        He turned north on the access road that runs along the vineyard and drove up to the short block of Encina where he parked and delivered to 1519 Encina (1 house); and then parked and delivered at 1515 Encina (1 house).
·        Graybill then parked at the corner of ”little Encina“ and Covena and got out of his truck to deliver to 8 houses on the 500 block of Covena.  He started up the east side of the street for the houses at 508, 516, 520, 526, then crossed over to the west side for the houses at 529, 523, 517, and 511.
·         (The only people home at the time were Fleischman-508, Krigbaum/Venable-520 , and possibly Servas-517.)  Detail:
o    508 -  Fleischman – home
o    516 -  Medina – away, left home at 10:32 for a trip to Los Angeles
o    520 -  Krigbaum/Venable – sleeping until 10:38, did not get up right away
o    526 -  Wilmes - away
o    529 -  Reed – vacant (B2443)
o    523 -  Peterson – gate open, McKenzie not there
o    517 -  Servas – found dog no later than 10:18 and then left for errands
o    511 -  Ikerd – away
·         Then he got back into his truck and drove south on Covena across Encina to deliver to the 400 block of Covena.

Missing Information From Graybill Included in the Habeas document

From the habeas document:

On December 27, 2002, Graybill was interviewed Officer M. Callahan and Detective Skultety of the Modesto Police Department.  According to Callahan’s handwritten police report, Graybill stated the following in response to the officer’s question “what he remembered from December 24, 2002 when he delivered mail in this area”:

……………“[Graybill] said he entered the area around 1030 to 1045 in the morning. He said he couldn’t remember anything unusual from 516 Covena, but remembered the gate was open at 523 Covena. He said usually the dog barks at him from behind the gate. On 12-24-02 the gate was open and he did not see or hear the dog at 523 Covena.” (See Exh. 3 at HCP-00008.)

More text from the habeas document:

Graybill was the Petersons’ postman, and he delivered mail to the Peterson home between 10:35 and 10:50 a.m. on December 24, 2002.  (Exhibit 2 [Declaration of Russell Graybill] at HCP-000005-06; Exhibit 19 [Russell Graybill’s Delivery Record].)  Graybill knew the Petersons’ dog, McKenzi, and explained to police (and has recently declared) that McKenzi would bark at him no matter where on the property the dog happened to be. (Exhibit 3 [Statement of Russell Graybill] at HCP-000008.)  Whether the dog was in the front or back yards, or even inside the house, McKenzi would bark at Graybill.  (Exh. 2 at HCP-000005.)


Russell Graybill told MPD officers on 12-27-02 that the gate was open and McKenzie was not on the property at the time he delivered mail to the Peterson house between 10:35 and 10:50 on December 24.  In spite of this information, MPD claimed that Laci had gone missing before Karen Servas found McKenzi in the street at 10:18, put him back in the yard, and closed the gate.  The  Graybill information shows that Laci was not missing when Servas found McKenzi.  She was very much alive, and took McKenzi for a walk sometime after Servas found him and before Graybill arrived to deliver the mail.  

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