Claims Henning had nothing to do with it
(Albuquerque) With teeth fiercely jutted forward, an intense Diazien Hossencofft told a packed courtroom that he hopes his estranged wife suffered “excruciating pain” when she was murdered in 1999. Hossencofft testified in the Linda Henning murder trial for more than five hours Tuesday. Clearly, he loved taking center stage.
Already convicted for his role in the murder, Hossencofft told the court that Henning had nothing to do with it. In fact, he said he went out of his way not to tell Henning about his plan to murder Girly Chew Hossencofft so that he could build an alibi for himself. Hossencofft said he was at Henning’s home the night of the murder and said he twice managed to sneak away so that he could go to Girly’s apartment and tamper with the crime scene; once while Henning was out running an errand, the second time while Henning was sleeping. An alibi, he contends, was borne.
With great bravado, Hossencofft proclaimed that he is the mastermind behind the murder; the plot to kill divided into two primary “sequences.” He said he was responsible for the first sequence which was “the plan.” He said the second sequence was the actual murder and he laughingly explained that he’d found an “idiot” to do it, Bill Miller. He described Miller as a “militia-type” fellow. In a previous statement to police, Hossencofft claimed Miller wanted to hunt a human being and “gut it like a fish.”
Earlier this year, a Grand Jury indicted Miller on five counts of tampering with evidence. A trial date has not been set.
After a history of domestic violence, Girly Chew Hossencofft moved out of the home she shared with her husband at 3900 Moon NE and into a small apartment. To my knowledge, she only confided in two people concerning the whereabouts of her apartment. She wanted it kept a secret. Co-workers and friends say feared Mr. Hossencofft would find her and kill her. Hossencofft told the court that he tried, but failed, to locate her apartment. He said Miller was all too eager to accept the challenge of performing surveillance on Ms. Hossencofft and followed her from her workplace to her apartment.
Hossencofft said he was surprised to learn that Girly was living just two miles away from him, calling it “a deadly mistake.” “She knows I am a predator,” he explained, “the likes of which you have no idea.”
A bloody excuse…
When asked by Henning’s attorney Gary Mitchell to explain how Henning’s blood ended-up inside the victim’s apartment, Hossencofft said that he’d planted it there to confuse investigators. He claimed he’d previously drawn the blood from Henning after giving her a drug that made her groggy and would erase any memory of giving the blood. Mitchell wondered aloud if Hossencofft’s claim that he planted the blood actually had a more “sinister” intent than confusing investigators. The attorney seemed to be suggesting that Hossencofft may have meant to frame Henning. Mitchell has previously said that Henning is another victim in Hossencofft’s long list of cons.
Jurors, no doubt, are deciding whether Hossencofft’s telling the truth or lying to protect Henning from a possible death sentence.
Prosecutors began to cross-examine Hossencofft late Tuesday and are expected to continue their questioning of the witness when court resumes Wednesday morning.
- Henning and Hossencofft have long been described as “boyfriend and girlfriend.” Although, the nature of their relationship is not clear now. Mitchell contends his client was “used” by Hossencofft for personal gain. Henning told me Tuesday that much of what she was hearing from Hossencofft in court was new to her. She indicated it was all coming as quite a shock. In a drastic departure from a previous occasion I witnessed in which both Henning and Hossencofft appeared in the same courtroom, there appeared to be no flirting and very little eye contact between the two Tuesday.
- Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who noticed changes in Hossencofft’s speaking pattern. A courtroom security person pointed-out to me that Hossencofft appeared to be speaking with an accent at times, then without the accent at other moments. I noticed that Hossencofft began his testimony pronouncing the letter “i” as “ee”. For example, when referring to Ms. Hossencofft’s apartment, he continually called it a domicile and pronounced it “dom–EE–cile”.
“Interesting that the guy (Hossencofft) who says he’s smarter than everybody is the same person who’s wearing the red jump suit, handcuffs and leg irons.”
-KOAT-TV reporter Rod Green
“It’s a Di-az-A-thon.”
-KRQE-TV reporter Brian Barker on the hours of Hossencofft testimony, much of which the witness spent proclaiming his own brilliance.
Girly’s Brother Testifies
Before the defense called Diazien Hossencofft to testify, the prosecution called its final witness as court began Tuesday morning. At the polar opposite of the testimony that would come from Hossencofft, jurors first heard from Andrew Chew, the victim’s brother.
At times soft-spoken, and always polite, Mr. Chew explained that his sister had last visited his family in Malaysia in 1997. He identified a photograph of his sister leaving Malaysia at the end of that visit. He took the picture.
Finally, he read aloud the three page letter that Ms. Hossencofft wrote and sent to her parents in Penang. The letter is postmarked the evening of September 9, 1999, the night Girly would disappear. Prosecutors believe she mailed the letter shortly after getting off work, about two hours before she was kidnapped.
In the letter, Ms. Hossencofft tells her parents about a second job she has taken at a store at inside Albuquerque mall. She explains the Christmas shopping season is coming up and it is an opportunity to earn more money. She shares that she is also making progress in her karate class. She explains that its nice to have friends in three areas; the bank where she is a teller, the mall store and at her karate class.
She mentions nothing of living in fear. Her brother says she wouldn’t want to worry her parents. He told the court that his mother and father are elderly now and that they could not make the trip to Albuquerque because of his father’s health. Chew also explains that it is much more difficult to get visas to travel from Malaysia to the United States “ever since 9-11.”
Chew concludes his testimony reading his sister’s letter: “It’s getting a little cold now at night. Autumn is here now and we have to say goodbye to summer. Soon, the cold wind will start to blow again and darkness will be at 5:00pm in the evening. I really hate that!! Everything is dark and cold.”
This is Chew’s second visit to the United States since his sister’s disappearance. His first trip here was in November of 1999.