Hartung trial continues with interrogation video

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — 5:15 p.m. Court has been adjourned for the day. The trial will continue at about 9 a.m. Friday.

5:11 p.m. The state has called the Smith family’s other neighbor George Chittenden, who also lives on Deerfield Drive.
Chittenden testified he saw Hartung at the Smith home on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 — the same day the state says the Smith family was murdered.
He also stated that he did not see the Hartung’s dog on the 28th, which does not align with the story Hartung told law enforcement. Chittenden testified he saw RT Smith arrive at the home that night and then he saw Hartung leave about twilight, or after about 7:45 p.m.
Chittenden said there was no activity at the Smith home after Hartung left on the 28th.
Chittenden saw Hartung after deputies arrived on July 31, 2015. He stated Hartung seemed detached and unconcerned.
Chittenden said he did not hear gunshots, despite all of his windows being open. Hartung is accused of shooting his brother RT, before slitting his throat.

4:07 p.m. — The state has called the Smith family’s neighbor Brad Gordon. Gordon stated that he knew little about the Smith family.

3:47 p.m. — Chris Williams, who analyzed Hartung’s cell phone records, is testifying. Williams said the last outgoing call Richard Smith made was at about 6:50 p.m. on July 28, 2015. Williams stated he did not have the information available to be able to track Hartung’s location on July 28, 2015 at 7 p.m.

3:11 p.m. Infinger has testified investigators couldn’t prove that Hartung was at the Smith house at the time of the murders.

3:06 p.m. — Infinger testified the hammer investigators found inside the kitchen was determined to be the murder weapon. John’s blood was found on the hammer. Hartung, Bonnie, John and RT’s DNA was found on the hammer.

Infinger tells the jury that the Wiccan religion or the Ouija board had nothing to do with the murder, as far as he could prove. He stated he talked to a Wiccan, who advised him that sacrifices were not a part of the Wicca religion.

2:40 p.m. Donald Hartung’s defense attorney Michael Griffith is now questioning Matt Infinger, who was the lead investigator in the Smith family murder. Griffith asked Infinger why after an hour on the case he accused Hartung of murder. Infinger said he Hartung was last person to see his family and there were no signs of forced entry at their home. He added that there were no signs of a struggle.

2:28 p.m. There was no evidence found inside Donald Hartung’s vehicle.

Second interview video:
— Infinger confronts Hartung about his Wiccan religion and a Ouija board found in his home. Infinger accuses Hartung of killing his family as a Wiccan sacrifice during a Blue Moon. Hartung continues to deny the accusation.
“I don’t know why anyone would do something like that,” Hartung said. “You don’t seem very emotional about it,” Infinger said. “You’re not emotional about it. I find it very odd.”
— Infinger says in the Wicca religion, after sacrificing an animal during a blue moon, Wiccans cover the bodies to keep them warm. Infinger compares this to the accusations Hartung covered the bodies with blankets after killing his family.
“I loved my parents. I love my mom. And I loved my brothers,” Hartung said. “This has nothing to do with the — (Wiccan religion).”
— Hartung says he is not the kind of Wiccan that practices sacrifice.
“I know this points to me, but I did not kill my family,” he said.
“Don, are you a cold blooded killer?”
“No sir, no I am not.” …
“Why did you kill them?
“I did not kill my family sir.”

First interview video: Donald Hartung enters the room wearing a T-shirt, shorts and a ball cap:

–Infinger hands him a cup of water.
— Infinger asked for his mother and brothers names.
— Infinger is read his rights.
— Hartung tells Infinger that he has a good relationship with his brothers.
— Hartung tells Infinger the night the state suspects Bonnie, RT and John were murder, he cooked the family fried chicken, corn, green beans and biscuits.
— Hartung says he used to have guns, but they have since been pawned or sold.
— Hartung acts surprised when Infinger tells him Bonnie, RT and John were murdered. He denies being involved. “I wouldn’t do something like that,” he said.
— Infinger: “How does it make you feel that your family was murdered?” Hartung: “Well, it makes me feel pretty bad … I would never hurt my family.”
— Hartung says his mother is all he has, adding he was really close with his mother. His father left them with he was three weeks old.
— Infinger says he thinks Hartung shot Bonnie, RT and John (the prosecution now says Bonnie and John were killed with a hammer and had their throats slit). Hartung is showing nearly no emotion but denies having any involvement in their murders. Infinger says Hartung didn’t want to see the bodies and that’s why he covered their bodies up with clothes, rugs and more. Hartung seems to be getting agitated and continues to deny killing his family. He says he loves them and it doesn’t make sense that he’d kill them.
“I’m not crazy,” Hartung said.
— Infinger accuses Hartung of killing his family for money. Hartung says if he needed money, his mother would have given it to him.
“This doesn’t make any sense. There has to be something else in here,” Hartung said.
Another investigator talks to Hartung.
Hartung: “They think I did it.”
Investigator: “Why is that?”
Hartung: “Because I was over there the day of the killing. That’s what they say. They say it happened on Tuesday.”
— Hartung says he got to the home Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at about 1 p.m. and started cooking around 2:30 p.m. The family ate dinner at about 3:30 or 4 p.m. Hartung and John cleaned the dishes, and then they started watching Fox News with Bonnie.
Hartung says he left between 5:30 and 6 p.m. When he got home, he said he opened a Coke and watched TV.
— Infinger tells Hartung he doesn’t seem like he’s upset and continues to accuse Hartung of killing his family.
The interrogation video ends, with Infinger and Hartung planning to head to Hartung’s home.

9:40 a.m. — The state has called former Escambia County Sheriff’s Office homicide investigator Matt Infinger as a witness. Infinger said it didn’t look like there had been a robbery or burglary at the home when he investigated. Infinger asked Donald Hartung to interview with him on July 31, 2015 and he agreed. Hartung was read his rights, and he agreed he knew before being interviewed. The court will now show a 1 hour and 45 minute video of that interview.

9:00 a.m. — The trial of a Pensacola man accused of killing his mother and two brothers continues today with his interrogation video. Authorities say 63-year-old Donald Hartung killed his family over money. The trial is expected to last for the next three weeks.


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