Reporting Jim Williams
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JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) – For the second day, jurors in the Vaughn family murder trial have seen videotape of police questioning Christopher Vaughn about the shooting deaths of his wife and three children, in the hours after their bodies were found.
In the video, police angrily confronted Vaughn during a lengthy interrogation about his lack of emotion and vague answers about the violent deaths of his wife and children.
Vaughn, 37, is accused of killing his wife, Kimberly, 34; his 12-year-old daughter Abigayle; his 11-year-old daughter Cassandra; and his 8-year-old son Blake on June 14, 2007.
Prosecutors have said he wanted to escape his troubled marriage and start a new life in the wilderness in Canada. Vaughn’s defense attorneys have said Kimberly Vaughn shot him, killed the children, then took her own life.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports, on Tuesday, prosecutors continued playing a videotape of police interviewing Vaughn after his family’s bodies were found inside their SUV along a frontage road off I-55 near Channahon.
When Vaughn’s answers to investigators’ questions were vague, and he showed little emotion about the violent deaths of his wife and children, police let him have it.
Illinois State Police Sgt. Gary Lawson took the lead in interrogating Vaughn five years ago. At one point in the interview tape, he’s heard pushing Vaughn – who showed no emotion during the interrogation – to admit to his wife and children were dead.
“Say it: ‘My wife and kids are dead.’ They’re not gone. Gone is going to the store. They’re dead. You can shake your head, cover your eyes. The answer’s not in the palm of your hands,” Lawson told Vaughn.
Later in the tape, when Vaughn said he didn’t hear gunshots or see who fired the weapon, another detective leaned across the table and shouted “were you screaming? Speak up. You’re talking like a little girl.”
Showing Vaughn photos of his dead children, the detective said “look at these pictures. What the f*** happened? Talk up. If these were my kids, I’d be crying.”
Throughout all of that questioning, Vaughn showed no emotion.
During the interrogation, Vaughn said he guessed Kimberly pulled the trigger. Later, a detective could be heard calling Vaughn “shameless.”