THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
STATE OF FLORIDA
STATE ATTORNEY INVESTIGATION
RE: LISA MCPHERSON,
SWORN STATEMENT OF LAURA ARRUNADA
TAKEN BY: Office of State Attorney,
April 3, 1997 1:45 p.m.
BEFORE: Sandra A. Ambush, CSR, RMR,
State of Florida at large.
PLACE: Office of State Attorney
B-200 Criminal Justice Center
APPEARANCES: MARK R. MCGARRY, JR.
Assistant State Attorney
ROBERT P. POLLI,
Barnett Bank Plaza
101 East Kennedy Blvd. #3130
Tampa, FL 33602
Attorney for Mr. Greenwood
Florida Dept of Law Enforcement
Clearwater Police Department
KANABAY COURT REPORTERS
TAMPA AIRPORT MARRIOTT, (813) 224-9500
ST. PETERSBURG, CLEARWATER, (813) 821-3320
MR. MCGARRY: You want to place your little
thing on the record?
MR. POLLI: Yes. Thank you. For the
record, my name is Bob Polli. I represent Laura Arrunada,
and we are appearing -- she's appearing today pursuant to
a state attorney investigative subpoena that she received
through my office.
I have explained to Miss Arrunada that with
the subpoena comes the provisions and the protections that
are in Florida Statute 6 -- 914.04. These protections
include immunity for her testimony here. She is therefore
testifying with those protections. We spent some time,
I've discussed with her, I've explained it to her and
spent some time with her about the concept of immunity and
what the protections are. I believe she understands those
protections, and she's here's today to testify
the witness herein, being first duly sworn was examined
and testified as follows:
BY MR. MCGARRY:
Q. Okay. My name is Mark McGarry. I'm a
prosecutor. I'm going to ask you some questions about
your involvement with Lisa McPherson during her stay at
the Church cabana area during the period of November of
'95 and a little bit of December of '95.
But before I do, I'd like to get some general
background information about you. Laura, what is your
A. 4 of November, `58.
Q. And where do you reside right now? You're --
A. In Mexico City.
Q. In Mexico City. Is that where you're from
A. No. Ah, well, yes, I was born there, but I was
living in a state near to the Mexico City, the name is
Q. Okay. Is -- how do you pronounce your last
Q. I know how to spell it --
Q. Is that your given name, or is that a married
name? Is that the name you were born with?
Q. Okay. Laura, do you have -- do you have some
A. Yes, I have.
Q. You do? What training do you have?
A. I did five years in the school and then two
years like the internship, and then social service. Yeah.
So totally it was 7 years.
Q. 7 years?
Q. Was that -- was that college, or just medical
training, 7 years?
MR. POLLI: College. School.
BY MR. MCGARRY:
Q. University? School, university?
A. It's five years university, and then you go and
do practice and in the hospital full time, and then is one
year more giving service.
Q. Okay. Where was this university?
A. Morelia in Michoacan.
MR. POLLI: Sounds like Michigan. Like
University of Michigan. But it's not, it's Michacon,
which is a state next to Mexico City. M-i-c-h-o-a-c-a-n.
THE WITNESS: Yeah, Michoacan.
BY MR. MCGARRY:
Q. Where was your two year residency? Was that --
A. One was there, also, and the other one was in
Tabasco, another state.
Q. All right. Now, you were on your way to be a
doctor? Or are you a doctor? Are you a doctor?
A. I didn't complete the -- all the cycle, you
know, I didn't did the last test. How you say, "The
Q. The board exam?
A. Yeah, I didn't.
Q. The Mexico Board exam?
Q. You did not do that?
Q. But you completed all of the courses and you
Q. From medical school?
Q. Okay. When was this? When did you complete
Q. Okay. When did you become involved with the
Q. All right. And how did you become involved with
A. Because I knew Scientologists and I decide to
join this year.
Q. Was that in Mexico City?
Q. Okay. And that's when you joined, in `94?
A. Yeah. I knew Scientology before, but when I
join, this year was in 1994.
Q. And did you join the Church as a staff member
Q. As a, just as a -- as a staff member?
Q. And that's in Mexico City?
A. Well, that was before, in Michoacan.
A. And then I came here in October 1994. I came
here to Florida.
Q. And why was that? Why did you come to Florida,
to Clearwater? Clearwater?
A. Yeah. Why?
Q. Why did you come here?
A. Just because I was told to come here.
Q. Oh, by the Church?
Q. They needed you here?
Q. And when you were in Mexico City working for the
Church what did you do?
A. Before or after?
Q. In -- when you joined in Mexico, before you came
A. No. Before I was just helping in Michoacan,
helping to bring people to know, to do seminars.
Q. Okay. When you came here in October of `94 to
Q. Did you come here as a staff member?
Q. Okay. And what did you do for the Church as a
A. All I did the basical (sic) training.
Q. Basic what?
A. Basic training. You know, that we do some
A. And then after that I started to work in the MLO
A. Medical Liaison Office.
Q. Okay. When did you start with the MLO Office?
Do you remember that?
A. 22 November, 1994.
Q. Okay. In November of `94 who was in charge of
the MLO Office at that time?
A. Judy Colesberry Webber.
Q. There's another name I haven't heard in a while.
MR. POLLI: What's the last name?
MR. MCGARRY: Webber.
BY MR. MCGARRY:
Q. So she was your -- do you call her your senior
Q. Senior? What duties did you do in the MLO
Office? What would you -- what would be your typical day
back, now, back in the very beginning in November of `94?
A. Okay. So file, and give assist.
Q. Who'd you assist? Judy?
A. Yeah. Well, I assist Judy. Judy was the person
who was telling me what to do.
A. But we have in Scientology some kind of assist
that we give to the people who is sick. So I was training
to do that.
A. That was in the beginning. And also, I was
helping her to keep clean the space where the people with
flu is isolated.
MR. ANDREWS: Flu?
THE WITNESS: Flu.
BY MR. MCGARRY:
Q. Oh, okay. I got you, flu.
A. Is isolated.
Q. Did your duties in the MLO Office change from
`94 to '95?
Q. What responsibilities did you grow to or come to
A. I was helping more the manager. They change the
manager in the office.
Q. And that would have been Susan?
A. Susan Schnurrenburger. So I was helping also to
do some admin. cycle, you know like make papers, do
report, things like that. Looking the people when is come
in, send in the people to the Public MLO, or Staff MLO.
A. Like the receptionist.
Q. Oh, I got you. So was Susan Schnurrenberger,
did she take over for Judy Colesberry Webber?
Q. She did? Did you know Lisa McPherson?
A. I knew her.
Q. Did you know her prior to her illness?
Q. You did not?
Q. You've never seen her before?
Q. Before that? Oh, okay. When did you first
learn that Lisa was staying in the cabana, that your help
was needed? Do you remember when that was?
A. When it was? Yeah. It was, um, it was a Friday
Q. We have some calendars, we got a calendar here.
We're not trying to trick you, because I know it's a long
time ago. And that's of 1995 there. And Thanksgiving is
right there where your finger is.
A. 24. Friday, 24.
Q. Okay. How did you get into this? Who
approached you and who asked you, or who requested you to
assist in this situation?
A. I was called by Lacy Spencer. And she told me
that the senior C.S. is, case supervisor, at that time, he
request my presence in his office.
Q. Okay. And did you go see him?
Q. Was there anybody else there when you arrived?
A. It was Kenia Smythe, Patrizia Strecener, Valerie
Demons, Silvia De la Vega, Gabby Sanchez, Lacy.
A. That's all, yeah.
Q. All right. And you all -- did he have a meeting
with you at that time?
Q. What was the meeting about?
A. About that he was needing our help to take care
of Lisa McPherson.
Q. Did he tell you what was wrong with her?
Q. What was that? What did he say?
A. Well, he said that she was Type Three.
Q. Which is psychotic break?
Q. Did he tell you all about the incident that
occurred prior to her going to the church hotel, with the
traffic? You heard about that, the traffic thing, the
accident she had?
Q. You don't know about that?
A. I know now, but I didn't know, no.
Q. He didn't bring that up?
Q. Okay. Did he -- what further conversations did
he have with you in reference to your participation in
A. Say --
Q. What did he tell you?
A. What did he tell me? Yeah, okay. So that we
was going to do watch. We use that word.
A. And just to make sure that she was clean, eating
sleeping, or make sure that she was not hurting herself,
because she was doing some -- what you call it? Wild
thing, things, so --
A. And don't speak with her because that could
contribute to make more confused, the mind. And don't use
like strong light, you know, just keep her safe.
Q. Okay. Did Mr. Kartuzinski, did he put together
a schedule for girls to keep? Do you know if he did that?
A. I don't know if he did. I think that the one
who did the schedule was Gabby Sanchez.
Q. Gabby, yeah?
A. And then they put like two girls in each.
Q. Two girls in each schedule?
Q. Did you get scheduled in like that, or was
your -- was your participation different than those other
girls? Were you the same as they in the watch?
A. The same.
Q. The same?
Q. And when did your first watch occur? And you
can look, use that.
A. Yeah, it was Saturday morning.
Q. Okay. That would be the 25th of November of --
Q. Of November of 1995. And was Saturday, the 25th
the first time you saw Lisa?
A. The first time, no. I saw her before a little
Q. Okay. When was that?
A. It was, um, nineteen, I think.
Q. Okay. And what was that all about? That was
before you met with Kartuzinski?
A. Yeah, that was before.
Q. And what was that meeting about?
A. I just went to bring Emma something to the room.
Q. Okay. Do you know what that something was?
A. I think that it was some clothes. Clothes.
Q. Did you see Lisa on that day, the 19th?
A. Yeah, I saw her sleeping in the -- on the, her
Q. Okay. You didn't speak to her?
Q. Okay. We're going to move back to the 25th.
Q. What time did you start that watch?
A. It was around nine a.m.
Q. In the morning?
A. In the morning.
Q. And who was assigned to the watch with you?
A. Silvia De La Vega.
Q. And, excuse me, the -- can you describe Lisa
that first time you saw her? How she looked and what she
A. Well, she was with the a lot of physical motion
and she went to make piss (sic) how you say, she went to
the bathroom, and she drink her pee, and then --
Q. She drank, did you guys follow that? What was
it? I missed it.
THE ANDREWS: She urinated then drank it.
BY MR. MCGARRY:
Q. She urinated then drank it?
A. Then she flushed the toilet. Then she went to
take a shower with her clothes and shoes, and then she
started to play with the -- how say the --
MR. POLLI: Spicots.
THE WITNESS: Yeah, exactly. So like she
was singing and dancing, and doing things, and stand up
and down. So then we complete the shower. We took off
her clothes, and we helped her to take a shower. And then
we dry her and we put her clothes. And then we went to
the room and we give her food, but she was too much in
motion, you know, always talking, and yelling or louding
(sic) or singing and dancing and --
BY MR. MCGARRY:
Q. Okay. And that is on the 25th?
Q. And on the 25th did you feel like she was, other
than being -- having a psychotic -- other than being Type
Three, did you feel like on the 25th that she had a
physical problem wrong with her? I mean, something wrong
with her from here down? (Indicating)
A. (Shakes head.) No.
Q. No? Okay. Was she was she still eating regular
food or was she --
A. Regular food.
Q. Regular food at that time?
Q. And that's potatoes, and some broccoli. What
else did she have? Chicken maybe?
Q. All right. So how long did that shift last?
You started at nine o'clock in the morning and you went
until how long?
A. Until five.
Q. Until five?
Q. And Silvia stayed on?
Q. When you left at five o'clock was Lisa doing the
same thing, type of thing or was she sleeping, or do you
Q. Same type of thing?
A. Same thing.
Q. When was the next time that you saw Lisa?
A. Next day, 26.
Q. All right. And what time was that did you
A. It was at 8:00 a.m.
Q. 8:00 in the morning?
Q. And how did she look then?
Q. Okay. Same type of behavior?
Q. And did she still have some strength? Was she
still moving on her own? Was she still talking, walking
A. Yeah, a lot.
Q. A lot?
Q. How about her food intake? Was she still eating
A. Yeah. Yeah, she was like eating, and then
putting out the food, then eating with her hands, and
always doing something not normal, you know. If you're
going to eat, well you eat, and that's it.
Q. Right. Okay. Did you ever see her -- do you
know what vomit means? Throw up?
Q. Did she do that?
Q. Just spit food out? She didn't regurgitate it
from the stomach?
Q. During, so far, the contact that you had with
Lisa, did she ever express any desire to leave the room?
Q. Did she ever try to leave the room?
A. Yeah, she did.
Q. And when was that?
A. I think it was not in these two days, it was
around next Saturday.
Q. Okay. And what did she do?
A. Well, she was yelling at some -- some guys in
her mind, and she was trying to grab them. She was trying
to go through the window or, you know, to hit them or to
go, and -- I don't know. Like she was with something,
like when you're watching that picture, a movie, and
you're talking with the guys in the movie and trying to do
something with that guy.
Q. Well, can you describe this window? Could she
have gotten out of the window if you wouldn't have stopped
her? Was the window open or was there a screen or --
A. No, no. It was a -- is like this is the room,
it was the door, and that was a window, but was a --
MR. POLLI: Curtain?
THE WITNESS: Curtina, yeah. Like she was
in front, she was talking with somebody in the window.
And then she went to try to do something, and so she went
then -- and then she took the door and she was trying to
go outside and kill these guys. So I stopped her.
BY MR. MCGARRY:
Q. Okay. All right. That's -- we'll back up to
back to where we were on the 26th this still. Is there is
there any time during these two days, on the 25th and the
26th, that Janice Johnson stopped by to visit and look at
A. I don't know. She did not when I was there.
Q. Okay. You know Janice Johnson, don't you?
A. I do I know Janice, yeah.
Q. How would you describe her? Was she in the MLO
at the time with you, Janice?
A. Yeah. Yeah. Yes.
Q. What was her position at that time?
A. Her position?
Q. Was it the same as yours or different?
A. No, she was a Staff MLO.
A. Staff MLO.
Q. Okay. I'm not sure I understand what you were.
Weren't you staff MLO?
A. No. I was the assistant manager.
Q. Oh, okay. Okay. I gotcha. It's all kind of
new here for me. So you didn't see Janice the 25th or the
A. In Lisa room, not. In the MLO Office, yes.
Q. Oh, okay. Did you speak with Janice at that
time? I know you don't talk in front of Lisa, right?
Q. Okay. But did you speak with Janice in the MLO
Office about what was going on with Lisa?
Q. You did?
KANABAY COURT REPORTERS - (813)821-3320