Prosecution reveals tape of call Renfro made from Fairbanks Jail

As the trial for Bradley Renfro, nears an end, the prosecution wanted to use the phone call to question Renfro’s credibility. Renfro is one of the four teens accused of the beating and murder of David Grunwald in Palmer in 2016. (KTUU)
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Prosecutor Roman Kalytiak attempted to play phone calls from the Fairbanks jail that he claims show Bradley Renfro was acting while testifying and that his step-mother was coaching him on how to testify.

As the trial for Bradley Renfro, nears an end, the prosecution wanted to use the phone call to question Renfro’s credibility. Renfro is one of the four teens accused of the beating and murder of David Grunwald in Palmer in 2016.

Kalytiak informed Judge Gregory Heath that he wanted to admit two phone calls that Renfro made from the Fairbanks jail on Monday. According to the prosecution, the calls were made after Renfro had been cross examined by the prosecution for an hour. In the first call Renfro is speaking with his step-mother about the testimony.

She said he had done well on the state but that he needed to remember to be respectful and not get lippy. Renfro got mad on the call and in a profanity laced rant accused the prosecution of lying about him.

The prosecution argued that this disputed the defenses claim that Renfro was a changed person. They also argued that the tapes speak to Renfro’s credibility, claiming that the defense wants to jury to believe that everything Renfro said on the stand was truthful and that he had no part in the murder of David Grunwald, but that calls show that he is acting and being coached on how to be more believable.

Chris Provost, Renfro’s defense attorney, countered claiming the calls weren’t relevant and that the profanity would affect the jury in a negative way towards his client.

Judge Heath ruled that Kalytiak could only use the parts of the calls that show Renfro being coached but they could not play the call to the jury, rather they were required to have Renfro read a transcript of the call from the stand with the parts about coaching and answer questions about the call.

The trial now in its sixth week, is nearing completion. The defense rested their case and the prosecution declined to call any witnesses for rebuttal arguments. The parties spent the remainder of the day going over jury instructions. Tomorrow both sides are expected to present closing argument.

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