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Day 6: Testimony continues in Fox River boat crash trial

Jason Lindemann trial
Posted at 10:32 AM, Jun 17, 2024

Testimony continues on the sixth day of the trial of Jason Lindemann.

Lindemann is charged with more than a dozen counts, including two felony charges of second-degree recklessly endangering safety.

Prosecutors claim he crashed his power boat into a paddle wheel boat on the Fox River in Oshkosh in July 2022, and then left the scene.

His defense has said the crash was an accident.

On Monday morning, the state continued to call witnesses.

Watch live below:

(Viewer discretion advised — trial may contain strong language)


Update at 12:00 p.m.

On day six of the Jason Lindeman trial, the defense called witnesses to the stand who were on Jason Lindeman’s boat when it crashed into the On The Loos paddleboat on July 9, 2022.

The prosecution questioned Matthew Vienola and Jackie Walton-Kumbier.

They were both asked what they remembered the night of the crash, including whether or not of Jason Lindeman was consuming alcohol while they were at the Dockside Tavern in the hours before the crash.

Neither recalled Mr. Lindeman drinking while at Dockside.

Prosecution: "Was everyone in your group drinking while you were at Dockside?"

Walton-Kumbier: "I wasn’t paying attention."

Prosecution: "Do you recall seeing him falling?"

Walton-Kumbier: "No, I do not."

The state showed the court video of the defendant at the bar, hugging the witness, who said she did not recall that happening.

The prosecution pressed the witnesses on the moments before, during, and after the crash when Mr. Lindemann’s 2020 Nor-Tech 450, a 45-foot powerboat, crashed into the On The Loos, a 60-foot paddle boat.

During their time on the witness stand, both Vienola and Walkton-Kumbier recalled a few details of the crash and the moments after.

Prosecution: "Did you remember seeing the paddle boat pulled off to the side?"

Walton-Kumbier: "I don’t remember seeing it.

I don’t really know what happened. I think I was in shock. I really didn’t know what was going on.

I couldn’t see very well to begin with. I don’t know if that’s because I was intoxicated which we already established or because if it was dark. I didn’t see a lot of anything."

During a brief cross-examination, Ms. Walton-Kumbier was asked if she remembered anyone yelling at the group inside Mr. Lindeman’s boat. Ms. Walton-Kumbier recalled someone yelling at them but did not recall what they had said.

The state then called one witness who wanted to remain anonymous. The prosecution asked about the moments leading up to the crash.

Witness: "After we took off it seems like it was one or two minutes. It wasn’t very long. I was standing there and we hit something. I went down, and I wasn’t sure what we hit."

Prosecution: "Did the boat accelerate?"

Witness: "Yes."

Prosecution: "Did you have to hold on while the boat accelerated?"

Witness: "Yes."

According to expert testimony from a GPS forensic specialist from the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office on day five of the trail, the Nor-tech 450 accelerated to 46 miles per hour just before it crashed into the On The Loos paddle boat.

The state called Shelly Daun, who was at the Dockside Tavern on the evening of July 9, and also on Jason Lindeman’s boat the moment it crashed.

The prosecution asked if she remembered Jason Lindeman and those in his group in the hours leading up to the crash.

Daun: "I wasn’t paying attention if they were drinking, what they were drinking."

Prosecution: "Did you see the On The Loos before the crash?"

Daun: "No."

Prosecution: "After the crash, did the boat you were on drive past the On The Loos?"

Daun: "I believe we went past it. Yes."

Prosecution: "Did you see the On The Loos?"

Daun: "Yes."

During her brief cross-examination, the defense asked if she saw Jason Lindeman drinking the night of July 9.

Defense: "Did you see Jason drink anything?"

Daun: "No."

Update at 1:30 p.m.

After the court took a break for lunch, the state called Cayleigh Ahrens to the stand. She was with Jason Lindemann at Dockside and on the boat at the time of the crash on July 9, 2022.

The prosecution asked Ms. Ahrens if she had witnessed Jason Lindemann drinking on the night in question. She said she had not due to the fact she was not paying attention to Mr. Lindemann.

Ahrens testified to drinking on the evening of July 9, 2022, and was intoxicated and could not remember who was taking shots of tequila at Dockside Tavern in the hours leading up to the crash.

The prosecution asked Ahrens to describe the moments leading up to and the moments after the crash. She said she was sitting in the back of the boat at the time and did not see the On The Loos paddle boat when they had crashed into it.

Prosecution: "At some point did you know it was a boat that was struck?"

Ahrens: "I saw people in the water. They were waving at us. I put it together what had happened."

Ms. Ahrens testified she was upset that Jason Lindemann did not stop the boat after the crash and had notified people were chasing the Nor-Tech boat along the shoreline waiving their arms.

Ahrens: "I do remember telling him to stop the boat. I was pretty upset that he was not stopping the boat."

Prosecution: "Did Jason respond to your pleas to stop the boat?"

Ahrens: "No."

During cross-examination by the defense, the attorney asked Ahrens if she recalled Jason drinking at the Dockside Tavern on the evening of July 9, 2022.

Ahrens: "No, I don’t remember paying attention to him."

The defense asked Ms. Ahrens about her requests to Lindemann to stop the boat, asking her why she was upset. Ahrens said she noticed people on the shoreline trying to “get our attention.”

The prosecution called to the stand Detective Kyle Shroeder with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office. Det. Shroeder is an expert witness on mobile phone download analysis.

Det. Schroeder testified to analyzing the data from Jason Lindemann’s phone to extract data relevant to the investigation.

Det. Schroeder testified to attempting to download the information from Mr. Lindemann’s phone while it was in airplane mode. During that time, he says he found an application known as a “data locker. ” A data locker is described as an application that can hide digital files. While attempting to open up the locked files, Det. Schroeder says he connected to phone to the internet. After doing so the phone began an automatic factory reset, essentially wiping all of the data from the phone, he says.

Prosecution: "Did you observe one of these data lockers on the defendant's phone?"

Det. Schroeder: "Yes. As soon as it reconnected to the Internet, it initiated a default reset."

Prosecution: "How does a phone have this reaction to taking it out of airplane mode?"

Det. Schroeder: "You need someone with remote access to their phone. It can’t happen accidentally. Someone would have to send the notification that the phone has to be factory reset."

The Det. Schroeder testified he was not able to extract the contents from the storage locker due to the factory reset.

Det. Schroeder: "If there was anything in there, it’s gone."

Det. Schroeder testified he was able to extract call and text data from the phone but noticed all of the call and text records from July 9, 2022 were missing.

"Everything is gone from that day. You have calls and texts before and after. You have nothing that day. The reason that stood out to me, because I wasn’t involved in this case initially, because of multiple efforts to contact Mr. Lindeman, none of those calls showed up and I know those calls were made."

Det. Schroeder testified he was able to recover voicemails made by several detectives asking Lindemann to call the Sheriff’s office regarding the crash, but there are no records of the calls.

Det. Schroeder: Yeah, they were definably deleted because you’re not going to not have any voicemails without any record of call transitions.

During cross-examination, the defense argued, that there is no proof Mr. Lindeman had his phone on the day of the crash or the cause of the factory reset.

Defense: "You don’t know why it went into factory reset right?"

Det. Schroeder: "I know someone would have needed to initiate that protocol."

Defense: "You don’t know if he had his phone with him that day?"

Det. Schroeder: "I don’t know if he had his phone with him that day."

See previous coverage of the trial at this link.