Day 2 of Roe’s homicide trial
By Robert Cloud
In the second day of testimony, jurors in the Alison Roe homicide trial heard two different stories regarding a Feb. 8, 2015, domestic abuse call.
Almost a month before he was stabbed to death, Craig Dake called 911 and reported, “My girlfriend’s attacking me.”
Dake’s brief 911 call was played in court Wednesday. He said he was holding Roe down and that she had attacked him with a broom.
Fremont Police Officer Brittany Mathewson was the first to respond to the Jefferson Street apartment complex where Roe and Dake lived.
As she pulled into the parking lot, Mathewson noticed that the garage for the couple’s apartment was open and there was no vehicle in it.
The officer went upstairs to the apartment and made contact with Dake. She told jurors that Roe “had taken off.”
Mathewson described Dake’s demeanor as “real calm,” but he was not very cooperative and refused to fill out the domestic abuse packet.
Dake told Mathewson that the altercation began after she discovered some emails from an online dating service to Dake on her cellphone.
Mathewson testified that she saw a broken broom. When she asked Dake about it, he said it was broken on a different night.
When she asked him about two knives that she saw on the kitchen counter, Dake told Mathewson he did not want to get Roe into any more trouble.
While at the apartment, Mathewson made telephone contact with Roe.
Mathewson said Roe told her about the emails.
“She did tell me she was choked,” Mathewson said in court, adding that Roe also said it was not the first time Dake choked her.
Mathewson said she suggested that Roe stay away from the apartment for the night.
When questioned by defense attorney Troy Nielsen, Mathewson said she did not recall whether she spoke with Dake about Roe’s allegations.
Mathewson then left Dake’s apartment and returned to the Fremont police station, located less than two blocks away.
Waupaca County Deputy James Santiago, who also testified Wednesday, said he was north of New London when he began driving toward Fremont after hearing about the 911 call from dispatch.
When Santiago drove into the parking lot of the Jefferson Street apartment complex, he noticed that the suspect’s car was in the garage.
Santiago then went to the Fremont police station and returned to the apartment with Mathewson.
Santiago said Dake was in the apartment, but not Roe. The two officers searched the apartment, but did not find her.
Mathewson again called Roe’s cellphone, in part to see if they could hear it ring.
When Roe answered, Mathewson asked her if she was home because her car was in the garage. Roe said no.
Roe refused to meet with Mathewson.
Santiago also described Dake as reluctant to discuss the incident. He said Dake answered many of their questions simply by shaking his head, yes or no.
“He stated the two of them were arguing that night over some online dating activity that she had discovered,” Santiago said. “She came into the living room and started hitting him from behind.”
Dake also told Santiago that Roe picked up two knives and started waving them around.
Eventually, however the officers left because Dake would not fill out any paperwork or sign a statement.
The following afternoon, Fremont Police Officer Andrew Bauer arranged to interview Roe at the Waupaca County Law Enforcement Center.
“She told me she got into an altercation with Dake,” Bauer said. “She had asked him to leave, he refused.”
Bauer testified that Roe told him that Dake knocked her down and choked her.
“She told me she was on her stomach and he was on top of her,” Bauer said. “I don’t remember if she said it cut off her air supply or not.”
Bauer said Roe showed him a bruise on her elbow that she said came from Dake knocking her down.
Bauer then arrested Roe after the interview. He referred her to the district attorney’s office for charges. He also referred Dake for charges of strangulation and battery.
When District Attorney Veronica Isherwood asked Bauer about Roe’s arrest, he agreed state law requires an arrest after a domestic abuse incident and the person who seems to be the predominant aggressor needs to be arrested.
Trip to North Dakota
Eugene Smith testified that he and Dake spent a week in early january 2015 driving to and from North Dakota as part of a construction job.
During the trip, their vehicle broke down and they spent a night at a hotel, talking.
Smith said Dake became frustrated after attempting to reach Roe on Smith’s cellphone.
Dake said Roe had attempted to stab him with a knife.
“I didn’t take him seriously,” Smith recalled.
Smith said Dake spoke about trying to help Roe with her efforts to “get her children back.” She was having custody issues with her two youngest daughters.
For a few weeks in September 2014, Roe and Dake lived with another couple, Wayne Nolen and Tonya Otto, at the Firehouse Apartments on Main Street in Waupaca.
They later moved into the apartment on Jefferson Street in Fremont.
On Wednesday, Nolen described Roe and Dake’s relationship as “rough.”
“Alison would go after him,” Nolen testified, adding Roe would slap Dake and he would push her away.
Nolen said he saw Roe hit Dake three or four times while they were living in Nolen’s apartment.
“He told me he wanted out,” Nolen said.
Nolen also recounted a story that Dake told him regarding an incident involving a knife.
Dake told Nolen that Roe “came at him with a knife,” and Dake defended himself by wrapping a towel around his arm.
Nolan said there was a second incident with a knife when Roe attacked Dake from behind while he was sitting in a chair watching TV.
When Nielsen questioned Nolen, he asked why he only remembered one incident involving a knife when he was first interviewed by Deputy Clint Thobaben.
Nolen replied, “I forgot about it and he was gone.”
Nielsen asked Nolen about Roe telling him that Dake had choked her. He said she had told him, but Nolen did not believe her.
Otto said she met Dake through Nolan and met Roe while they both were in jail.
While Roe and Dake were living in their apartment, Otto said she heard them yelling a lot.
She also testified that she saw Roe hit Dake at least five times.
She described one of the physical altercations as Roe “swinging her arms” and Dake “holding her back at arm’s length.”
“Did you ever see him hit her back?” Isherwood asked.
“No,” Otto replied.
Otto said Dake described two incidents involving a knife.
“He said she was sleeping with the knife on the nightstand,” Otto said.
During the week leading up to the stabbing, Dake lived with Nolen and Otto Tuesday, Wednesday and part of Thursday.
After hearing Dake’s stories about the knife, Otto urged him not to return to the apartment in Fremont.
“He was trying to make amends with her,” Otto said, “so that way he could get his personal belongings without a big fight.”
Otto said Dake had a job lined up and planned to move to another apartment.
Nielsen asked Otto if she drank too much beer.
“No, not anymore than anybody else,” Otto replied.
He then asked Otto if she liked Roe.
“I used to love her until she started stealing from us,” Otto said.
Daniel Dake Jr. opened Ma’s Bait and Tackle Shop in Fremont on Jan. 6, 2015.
For several months prior to the opening, Craig Dake helped Daniel remodel the store, which was located directly behind the Jefferson Street apartments through a wooded area.
Although Craig seldom discussed his relationship with Roe, Daniel testified, “He mentioned that she was the meanest person he ever met when she was drinking.”
Daniel said Craig walked to the shop one day with scratches on his face. When Daniel asked about the scratches, Craig said they were from Roe.
Daniel said another time Craig said Roe injured her foot after kicking him in the knee.
He also said Craig never mentioned a knife.
Daniel spent some time discussing Craig’s involvement with varsity wrestling. A graduate of Waupaca High School, Craig took second place in the state championship.
Craig’s wrestling record was 38-0 the year he went to state, Daniel said.
Daniel testified that he never saw Roe and his brother in a physical altercation, never saw Craig in a physical altercation with a woman and never saw Craig choke anyone.
“He talked about having to restrain her,” Daniel said, regarding Craig’s comments concerning Roe.
Daniel said Criag was actively pursuing full-time work, had sent out resumes and lined up an interview with a company based in Milwaukee.
Daniel also said he was helping Craig find another apartment.
“I encouraged him to move out and move on,” Daniel said.