ELKO — The prosecutor trying Linda Fields for murder called a licensed title and escrow agent to testify Thursday.
Clay G. Holbrook, owner and president of Professional Title Services in Carbon County, Utah, said his business was hired to do the title work on two quit claim deeds in 2002.
“A quit claim deed is the transfer of any interest the grantor has — in this case Mr. Palensky — to the grantee, Linda Walker Fields,” Holbrook said.
The two pieces of property are located in Carbon and Emery counties in Utah.
Holbrook said he did not know how much money the pieces of property were worth.
Deputy District Attorney Rob Lowe alleges Fields repeatedly took money from the victim until he had nothing left but a $300,000 insurance policy in which she was the beneficiary, then killed him by hitting him in the head with a weapon or ordering someone else to hit Palensky in the head.
Alicia Fivecoat, Sunnyside Credit Union assistant manager, testified in Linda Fields’ murder trial Thursday.
Jaromir Palensky, the victim, had an account at the credit union in Sunnyside, Utah — a small community about 145 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.
Fivecoat said Palensky's account received monthly retirement deposits. On Jan. 7, 2002, the credit union was faxed a document informing them Palensky had given Fields power of attorney.
That same month, Fields requested a wire transfer of $3,000 from Palensky's account to her bank account in Nevada.
Every few months, Fields requested a similar transfer to accounts under her or her husband's name ranging from about $400 to $1,800.
On Jan. 20, 2004, Fields wrote to the credit union informing the employees of Palensky's death, Fivecoat said. About a year later, the victim's account closed with the final balance - around $900 - sent to Fields.
A few of the wire transfers indicated the money was to go toward Palensky's house payment, according to Fivecoat.
Jaromir Palensky’s lifeless body was found in the Jordan River in 2004, but he hadn’t drowned, said Dr. Edward Leis, Utah’s deputy chief medical examiner.
Leis, who performed an autopsy on Palensky, testified at Linda Fields’ murder trial Thursday as an expert witness.
Fields, 53, is accused of being involved in Palensky’s death. Her trial began this week, in which she faces a charge of open murder or an alternative charge of acting as a principal to murder.
Palensky had three severe wounds on the back of his head that fractured the victim’s skull and swelled his brain, Leis said. Palensky’s lungs weren’t waterlogged, nor did he have a foamy substance in his throat that is common in drowning victims.
The cause of death, the doctor testified, was “blunt force head trauma.” Forceful hits in the back of the head killed the victim.
The alleged weapon is unknown, but Palensky’s injuries provided a few clues, according to the witness. The shapes of the injuries on the victim’s head indicated the assailant used a solid object, Leis said. It’s almost certain a weapon was involved, he said.
“(The wounds) are too long, too straight that I would not anticipate a human hand alone would be capable of inflicting these,” he said.
He speculated a 2-by-4 board or a baseball bat could have been used to beat Palensky.
Leis said the force of the hits were significant.
“It’s not going to be a tapping,” he said. “You’re going to have to have some momentum behind it with a solid object to cause this fracture to occur.”
In addition to lacerations on the back of his head, Palensky had a couple of fractured ribs, bruises on his thigh and arm and minor scrapes on his face.