GREELEY — A preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to hold Kevin Dean Eastman over for trial in the deaths of Greeley residents Scott Session and Heather Frank was continued to 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 26 after a full day of testimony was unable to be completed on Thursday.
Weld District Court Judge Marcelo Kopcow set the continuance after 8 hours of testimony by prosecution witnesses into the evidence against the 48-year-old who has been in custody since his arrest for the crimes on Feb. 16.
Eastman was originally arrested by Larimer County Sheriffs in connection with the killing of 54-year-old Greeley musician Stanley Scott Sessions. Sessions was found dead near Old Flowers and Pingree Park roads in Bellvue, northwest of Fort Collins on Feb. 10. Sessions had not been seen since Feb. 8 when he told his father he was going to Fort Collins to see a friend.
Nearly a week after Sessions’ body was discovered, 48-year-old Greeley resident Heather Frank was found dead at a home east of Greeley, just off U.S. 34 in Kersey. It is unknown why Frank was at that location, or how long she had been dead. Sessions’ death occurred Feb. 8, and Frank’s body was found on Feb. 16 at a separate location.
Eastman, who appeared in Weld District Court via video from the Weld County Jail, where he has been held without bail since his arrest, is charged with two counts of 1st Degree Murder, two counts of tampering with a deceased human body, two counts of tampering with evidence and one count of possession of a weapon by a previous offender.
Prosecution testimony Thursday revealed several new pieces of information about the crimes:
- Sessions and Frank met at a jazz festival on Jan. 22 and began talking via Facebook Instant Messaging. Messages between the two on Feb. 8 showed that Frank invited Sessions to her Greeley home near the intersection of 35th Avenue and 20th Street for the evening. According to Larimer County Sheriff’s Office investigators, surveillance cameras from Greeley West High School and other businesses in the area of Frank’s home showed Sessions initially drove to Frank’s home and then his car was moved to the parking lot of the King Soopers on 35th Avenue just south of 20th It is unknown who moved the car. A sheriff’s investigator said the person seen exiting the car appears to be a man of stalky build. Sessions was tall and lean.
- It is likely Sessions was killed in Frank’s home and then his body transported by Frank and Eastman to the location where it was found burned. A large saturation of blood measuring between 21-26 inches in diameter was found near the entryway into the home.
- Eastman told investigators he was at the home of Frank on the day/night of Sessions’ death. Officers said Eastman told them he and Frank had a “yo-yo” relationship for about two years. He said she cheated on him throughout their relationship. Frank had previously filed domestic violence charges against Eastman. Eastman told investigators he had just moved back from Parachute to reconcile with Frank on the 8th.
- Investigators put their own surveillance cameras pointed at Frank’s house after finding Sessions’ body. They also put GPS tracking devices on Frank and Eastman’s cars.
- All three parties’ cell phones were pinged together after Sessions’ death until sometime on Feb. 9th when Sessions’ phone was either turned off or the battery died. Frank and Eastman’s phones remained together on the 9th, when a car resembling Eastman’s was seen on surveillance cameras in the area where Sessions’ body was found.
- Multiple shoe prints were found near Sessions’ body.
- Sessions was found with a construction-grade plastic melted to his face. The lower part of his body was nearly all destroyed by fire when it was found by a snowplow driver early the morning of Feb. 10. His face and hands were relatively free of burns, making identification possible.
- Frank, who initially had a warrant for her arrest for 1stDegree murder in connection with Session’s murder, lived a relatively normal life after Sessions’ death. Investigators said she called in sick at her place of employment, Doug’s Diner in Loveland on Feb. 9, but worked her regular shifts on Feb. 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th of February, as well as shopped at Victoria Secrets in Loveland.
- Eastman was arrested in Kersey at a gas station filling a gas container on Feb. 16th. Frank’s body was found in a wood pile nearby a smoldering burn pit at a home in Kersey. Her body was wrapped in the same plastic as Sessions’ body. In the fire pit, investigators found more plastic similar to what the bodies were wrapped in, along with other items prosecutors deem pertinent to the deaths.
- The cause of death in Sessions’ death was determined to be multiple “bladed weapon” injuries to his upper body including his neck. The autopsy found Sessions was already deceased when his body was set on fire.
- The cause of death in Frank’s death was determined to be multiple gunshot wounds to the chest.
Public Defenders for Eastman on cross examination raised the following points:
- They say there were three sets of footprints where Sessions’ body was found.
- They say the people in the car seen driving to and from the Pingree Park cannot be identified.
- They say Frank borrowed Eastman’s car on the morning of the 9th before she went to Pingree Park.
- They say the person seen leaving Sessions’ car in the King Soopers parking lot could not be definitively identified.
- They say Eastman told investigators that Sessions had sexually assaulted Frank.
- They say Eastman reported the blood in Frank’s home was already there when he showed up.
- They say there was no evidence Eastman and Sessions knew each other prior to Feb. 8.
- They emphasized that Frank was initially a suspect in Sessions’ death.
- They say Eastman was accustomed to Frank dating other men and although he was “disappointed” she was dating Sessions it didn’t really bother him.
- They say there are no witnesses that Eastman was burning anything at the home where Frank’s body was found.
After the conclusion of the hearing on the 26th, if the case continues to trial, Kopcow will also redetermine bail.
Because of the pandemic, most witness and others are appearing by Webex, an online meeting tool. Kopcow did issue a sequestration order for all witnesses, which means witnesses are not allowed to watch the proceedings and they are prohibited to talking to each other about their testimony. Kopcow repeatedly struggled on Thursday with people tuning into the trial, but not muting their phones or computers and talking in the background. Kopcow reminded everyone at the end of Thursday that they are welcome to attend on the 26th, however, he cautioned that anyone who does not mute their devices may be removed from the hearing.