‘You don’t know what’s in my head’: Steve Pankey grilled for hours in final moments of trial

Local News

GREELEY, Colo. (KDVR) — For hours, Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke questioned Steve Pankey, the man charged with allegedly murdering and kidnapping Jonelle Matthews in 1984.

Pankey told the court Thursday: “In the little jail cubicle, before I came up here, I was praying and thanking God saying, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t testify at all, maybe I shouldn’t do that, because I’d be just telling more lies.”

While testifying, Pankey said that he is a liar, not a murderer.

“The truth is that I made a lot of stuff up out of bitterness for things that happened to me at Sunny View and for things that happened to me at 7UP and my revenge on them was to, and because I hated the police, it was all in one to say ‘I’ve got information that you want and you can’t have it,’” Pankey said on the stand. “It was a polite way of flipping the bird. It was pure hatred at that point.”

Friday, Rourke tried to see if he could separate Pankey’s self-proclaimed lies from the truth.

“You had a saying that you had prominently posted in your apartment in Twin Falls, Idaho,” Rourke said. “Do you remember that saying?”

“Good morning to you too,” Pankey replied.

“Did you understand my question Mr. Pankey?” Rourke said. Pankey asked for clarification.

“The quote reads ‘All it takes for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing,'” Rourke said. “That’s what you’ve done for 37 years. Nothing. Right? You’ve done nothing to ease the pain of the Matthews family. You’ve done nothing to come forward with information that you had about your involvement with Matthews murder and disappearance, correct?”

“I guess you’re testifying…” Pankey replied.

This was the first of many exchanges between the two, as Rourke questioned Pankey about his history of distrust in law enforcement and his involvement in the case.

Rourke asked about Pankey’s desire to strike a deal and be granted immunity for the crimes before speaking on the record about what he knows about the case.

“You don’t know what’s in my head,” Pankey replied. ” I’m trying to get there, but you’re right, I don’t,” Rourke said.

Pankey laughed.

Over the course of three hours, Rourke went back and fourth with Pankey, finally concluding by asking, “When you shot Jonelle Matthews in the forehead, was she begging for her life?”

“Never happened,” Pankey said.

“Did you look in her eyes?” Rourke said.

“Never happened,” Pankey said.

Court will resume on Monday. You can watch the whole exchange on FOX31 NOW.

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