Horman divorce hearing scrutinizes details

FILE - Kaine Horman stands in front of an age-progressed photo posted on the side of a truck trailer of what his missing son could look like now during an unveiling for media, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, at a trucking yard in Pacific, Wash. Kyron Horman, then 7, disappeared in June 2010 from a Portland, Ore., school where his stepmother says she dropped him off. The age-progression photo has been released in a poster from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and also been added to the side of some of the fleet of trucks from Gordon Trucking in Washington and Oregon as part of the latest addition to the Homeward Bound Program. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
FILE - Kaine Horman stands in front of an age-progressed photo posted on the side of a truck trailer of what his missing son could look like now during an unveiling for media, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, at a trucking yard in Pacific, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The ongoing legal saga between Kaine Horman and Terri Horman – the father and stepmother of missing Kyron — continued Friday morning as lawyers for several parties appeared before a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge to argue over whether to allow a Multnomah County sheriff’s deputy to be deposed as part of the estranged couple’s divorce and custody proceedings.

After hearing wide-ranging arguments for 90 minutes, Judge Henry Kantor said he will make his ruling Monday.

Terri Horman’s civil attorney Peter Bunch filed documents Aug. 28 requesting that the court deny a July 19 motion by Multnomah County prosecutors to quash civil subpoenas issued by Bunch to depose Kaine and Deputy Bobby O’Donnell, the lead investigator during the search for Kyron Horman, who disappeared in June 2010. 

Terri’s lawyers seek to question O’Donnell regarding alleged information he provided to Kaine during the investigation. Bunch issued the civil subpoena July 8.

Terri Horman's attorney, Stephen Houze, in Multnomah County Court on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
Terri Horman’s attorney, Stephen Houze, in Multnomah County Court on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

“Lead investigator Bobby O’Donnell waived any confidentiality by showing Kaine Horman any documentation about Terri Horman,” Bunch told the judge Friday.

Multnomah County District Attorney Don Rees countered that the information that O’Donnell divulged to Kaine could compromise the integrity of the investigation into Kyron’s disappearance. He stated that while no criminal case is pending, there is no time limitation if charges are ever filed in the future. Rees accused Terri’s lawyers of attempting to turn the divorce proceedings into a criminal trial.

In his motion, however, Bunch argued that by “voluntarily” sharing information with Kaine, law enforcement cannot then claim it is confidential.

“Here, it is apparent that the police waived the privilege, at least in part, by voluntarily divulging information to Husband (Kaine) and other citizens,” Bunch wrote. “The conversations the police had with those persons are not exempt from disclosure.”

The motion further states that Terri will not seek “protected investigatory information” during O’Donnell’s deposition, because that would be “unlawful and unethical,” but only voluntary statements that he made to Kaine and other “citizens” regarding “the facts of their investigation.”

“Without the opportunity to obtain information supplied to Husband (Kaine) and others, Wife’s (Terri) ability to participate fairly in the dissolution of marriage proceeding will be unalterably and unfairly compromised.”

Meanwhile, Kaine’s attorney Peter Engel was critical of the legal wrangling that has taken place so far.

“We’ve just sat here and listened to an hour-and-a-half of grandstanding and rhetoric regarding this woman’s innocence and how she’s been subjected to violation of due process; which just ignores what ought to happen here. This is a discovery hearing.”

Also under review Friday was a request by Terri to have restricted visitation rights with her daughter. This June, a judge renewed a restraining order originally filed by Kaine in June 2010 against his estranged wife that prevents her from contact with him or their now 4-year-old daughter Kiara. On July 8, the same day that Terri subpoenaed Kaine and O’Donnell, Terri also filed a motion contesting the restraining order. Bunch alleged Friday that the relationship between Terri and Kiara was severed based on the information that O’Donnell provided Kaine.

Terri’s criminal attorney, Stephen Houze, furthered Bunch’s argument Friday by alleging that the state is seeking to deny Terri her right to a parent-child relationship.

“I am one of three attorneys working on behalf of Terri Horman, a person who has been denied these fundamental rights now for three years by these tactics,” Houze said.

Houze added that he would like to present witnesses to refute allegations that she is an unfit mother.

In a July 13 motion, Engel asked Kantor to maintain the restraining order and deny the deposition requests. In it he wrote:

“Ms. Horman has been in seclusion for three years. She refuses to cooperate with law enforcement. She intends to exercise her privilege against self-incrimination. She has not contested the FAPA Order since it was originally issued in June of 2010. She has chosen to forego a relationship with the parties’ daughter Kiara, now four years old. Yet, she now expects to conduct one-sided discovery in a single day of depositions, and have a hearing, all while the case is stayed.”

On June 4, 2010, a then 7-year-old Kyron disappeared from Skyline Elementary School in Northwest Portland, launching the largest search in state history.

Terri Horman is believed to have been the last person to see him alive. She has never been officially named as a suspect in the case. On Friday, Houze claimed that he has a witness that can prove that Terri was not the last person to see the boy alive at Skyline.

In June 2012, Desiree Young, Kyron’s mother, filed a $10 million civil lawsuit asking Terri to to reveal what she knows about his disappearance. That December, Kantor delayed the suit on the grounds that it could also impact the criminal investigation. In April of this year, Kantor also delayed the divorce hearing between Kaine, Kyron’s father, and Terri Horman for similar reasons.

On July 30, Young announced that she was dropping the civil suit so that it would not interfere with the criminal investigation, something she was not willing to do.

Kaine was in attendance at Friday’s hearing, while Terri was not.

Jessica Morkert contributed to this report.

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