Jerry Active trial begins: Day 1
It was an emotional day for Minesoreta Seng as she took the stand to testify against the man accused of raping her 2-year-old daughter.
Prosecutors allege 26-year-old Jerry Active broke into her family’s home in May 2013 and murdered her husband’s grandparents, 73-year-old Touch Chea and 71-year-old Sorn Sreap. Active is also charged with sexually assaulting Sreap, the toddler and a 91-year-old great-grandmother.
The night of the attacks, Minesoreta testified, she and her husband, Von Seng, had been out to a movie. When they arrived home, the couple said the door was latched shut and the windows locked. After breaking into the home, the couple found Chea and Sreap dead on the living room floor.
Minesoreta said she feared her daughter — who had been left at home with her great grandparents — was dead as well. She testified she tried to get into the bedroom where her daughter was but the door was being held shut. After pushing against the door, Minesoreta says she was able to get into the room.
“I just looked at her, and she looked at me like she was scared. She was really scared that day,” Minesoreta said.
Minesoreta told the jury a man was in the room.
“Who or what did you observe inside the room?” asked State Prosecutor Gustaf Olson.
“Jerry Active,” Minesoreta said.
Minesoreta told the court she grabbed Active, who began hitting her in an attempt to get away. He escaped into the living room, where Minesoreta said he began putting boxers on. She grabbed onto him again, and her husband began questioning him.
“I told him this was the guy that was in the house, he was in the room with our daughter,” Minesoreta explained.
“How did Von respond when you told him that?” Olson asked.
“He was furious,” Minesoreta said.
After Minesoreta’s testimony, her husband Von was next to take the stand.
He also told the jury Active was the man inside their apartment the night of the attacks. After the attacks, Von told police it was Active who had been caught inside the apartment.
“I identified the person because I remember his tattoos. I know the man I fought,” Von said.
Both Minesoreta and Von Seng said they tried to stop Active from escaping the crime scene. They said they fought with him in their living room, and the altercation spilled out into the apartment complex’s parking lot. But Defense Attonrey Chong Yim questioned some inconsistencies in the two witnesses’ testimony.
“So you, how did you get into the residence?” Yim asked Von.
“I climbed in the window,” Von said.
“Did you go head first or feet first?” questioned Yim.
“Feet first,” Von said.
Minesoreta testified she was right behind her husband, but Von said he was alone.
“At this point, where is your wife?” Yim asked.
“She’s still somewhere. I didn’t know where she was at,” Von said.
Von also testified he didn’t see his wife in the apartment until the couple tried to stop Active from getting away. Minesoreta had a different account.
“Where is he standing by the time you go through that window?” Yim asked.
“He went to the open, he was right by his grandma,” Minesoreta said.
“By his grandmother?” continued Yim.
“Yes,” replied Von.
“And when you get into the window are you right next to each other?” Yim asked.
“Yes,” Von said.
After four hours of testimony, the court was adjourned. The trial will resume Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.
This is an ongoing story, check back for updates.