Witnesses Smiled and Winked at Murder Defendant Phillip Woodley

FRESNO, Calif. Phillip Woodley's mother, daughter, and stepdaughter were among the witnesses called by the prosecution.

They're all still on friendly terms with the defendant. Most of them smiled or even winked at him from the witness stand, but prosecutors are hoping their voices will help get a murder conviction.

Marina Jimenez admits she did drugs with her stepfather, Phillip Woodley, who's now accused of murdering his father and stepmother, Roy and Angie Woodley.

When detectives tapped Phillip Woodley's phones, they frequently heard Jimenez's voice and were especially interested when she talked about a man known as "Cisco."

His real name is Jeff Rancour and he's the one witness who says he was there when Woodley committed the murders. But in videotaped interviews during the wiretap, Woodley said he barely knew "Cisco," a strategy Jimenez discussed with her sister on the phone.

"He's sticking to his story," said Leanne Jimenez on the phone call from Dec. 20, 2006.

"I know," replied Marina Jimenez.

"He's saying it and saying it," Leanne said.

"I know," said Marina.

"He's saying it over and over, exact, word for word," said Leanne. "I think he's trying to get into my head and for me to tell."

"Listen, that's where he's ****ing up because he said he hadn't talked to [Rancour] in a long, long time," Marina said.

But Woodley never admitted to the crime on the phone and Jimenez testified that her stepfather never confessed to her either.

Prosecutors are also trying to establish that Woodley coached his family about what to say in interviews with homicide detectives. He seemed especially worried about how his common law wife would handle questioning.

"When they come, they're going to come hard, OK? And I can't take the chance of you folding, OK?" he said in a secretly taped conversation from Dec. 12, 2006.

Woodley's mother also spoke to her son in the secretly recorded phone calls. She kept a car in her yard for him, but she denied she was helping him cover up a hit and run accident, despite what he told her in one of the calls.

"You need to cover that son of a ***** up real good with the tarps, OK?" Woodley told his mother in a taped conversation.

"OK," replied his mother, Juanita Tovar. "Yeah."

"So it's not even showing, OK?" said Woodley.

"Yeah," Tovar said.

But in court she testified that the conversation didn't reflect the reality.

"I covered it because it looked bad in my yard," she said in court. "That's why I covered it, regardless of what he said."

The most anticipated testimony should come Thursday. Jeff Rancour, who says he was there when the murders happened, should take the stand in the morning.

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