Witnesses contradict selves in Quiceno trial
Kasey Burk and Corinne Cochrane testified Thursday that they didn’t meet accused shooter Ronald Quiceno until the night of the shooting.
Barris Guy said Friday that he had met Quiceno around town but wouldn’t call him a friend.
Houston Moorman, on the other hand, considered Quiceno a friend, hung out with him and had met his family. She also knew Travis Buckanaga since their teenage years.
“When we were younger, I was locked up with him on a couple occasions,” Moorman said.
The evening of Jan. 25 started out as friends getting together “having a few drinks, hanging out with friends,” Moorman said.
Cochrane said that no one else at the trailer that night had any weapons because they weren’t there to fight. They were there to have fun together.
“Everybody who was there knew each other. We weren’t there for that,” she said Thursday, recalling the events of that night.
Burk said she was friends with Cochrane and was romantically interested in Barris Guy in January and was just acquaintances with most of the others at the gathering that night. She hadn’t met Buckanaga until the night before he was killed.
Since the shooting though, she said, she’s no longer friends with any of them.
On Jan. 25, she said she, Cochrane and Guy drove to Fargo to eat at Taco Bell. She said they were in town about 45 minutes before heading back to Detroit Lakes and back to the gathering at Kountry Manor mobile home park.
Cochrane and Guy said they went shopping that day too. Cochrane admitted on that stand that she stole some items in Fargo and tried later to sell them to Brad Bloom. She said she needed money that night for a hotel room because she and Guy had nowhere to stay.
Guy was an ex-boyfriend of Cochrane’s, but she said they are still friends.
Moorman spent time that evening at Brad Bloom’s house. He said that he called Bloom to ask what he was doing, and Bloom invited him over to his house. He left around midnight to meet Quiceno back at his mobile home.
The two men smoked a marijuana cigarette, Moorman said, before he called Brad Bloom to ask if he could return to his house and bring Quiceno with him.
In July, while being interviewed by an investigator, Moorman said that Quiceno wanted to go over to “buy pills.” In court Friday, he denied ever saying that to an investigator.
Cochrane and Burk both said they were sober and didn’t drink or take drugs throughout the night that Buckanaga was killed.
After the three of them returned from Fargo, Burk said she was at the mobile home for about five minutes and then she and Guy drove into Detroit Lakes for gas and cigarettes. They then drove back to the mobile home to pick up Cochrane because they were staying with Burk’s sister that night.
When they got back, Brad Bloom met them at the car and encouraged them all to come inside. It was while they were in Detroit Lakes that Buckanaga had hit Quiceno, and Quiceno was outside and invited back inside at that time.
“Even before getting out of the car, he was urging you to go inside,” defense attorney Joe Parise asked Burk. She replied, yes.
Guy said Friday that Brad wasn’t outside; it was just Quiceno that came to the car and told him to check his boy Buckanaga because he had kicked Quiceno out of the house.
Rap battle starts fight
Moorman said that when he and Quiceno got to the gathering, Quiceno and Buckanaga started talking about how they hadn’t seen each other in a long time. They were friendly, he added.
Then the two men got into a rap battle, which Moorman defined as, “pretty much disrespecting each other, see who’s the better rapper.”
Cochrane had been at the trailer the entire time Guy and Burk were in Detroit Lakes. She said it was during that time that she was trying to sell her stolen items to Brad Bloom, and it was during that time that Buckanaga and Quiceno started their rap-off and Buckanaga became angry because Quiceno was disrespecting Cochrane.
She said Thursday that she wasn’t positive what Quiceno was saying about her, but that it was something like she was a “ho” and there to sleep with all the guys. She said it upset her but she let it go because it wasn’t her house and didn’t want to cause problems.
Moorman said that Quiceno asked him if Cochrane and Moorman were “getting it in” in the back room of the house, but he said they were not. Moorman said that Cochrane took it the wrong way though.
Buckanaga was getting upset about Quiceno’s style of rapping — reading it off his phone — and Moorman said he kept trying to explain that it was just Quiceno’s way of rapping.
Cochrane said that both she and Buckanaga told Quiceno to leave the house.
Moorman said he never heard anyone ask Quiceno to leave though.
Buckanaga punched Quiceno in the face, and Moorman said Quiceno fell backward over a space heater. There was no other heat in the home.
Moorman helped Quiceno up and told him to go outside while he stayed inside for a few minutes to talk to Buckanaga.
Everyone started to return to the house then and Moorman said that Brad Bloom wanted everyone to come inside because they were all friends and could work it out.
Moorman said that Brad Bloom questioned what had happened and everyone started talking at once, trying to tell their side of the story.
Burk said that Buckanaga was stepping toward Quiceno, who was egging Buckanaga on. Guy pushed Buckanaga back though, keeping him from fighting Quiceno.
Guy testified that Brad Bloom asked Quiceno to leave because the situation kept escalating.
Cochrane said that Brad Bloom kept trying to calm everyone down because he didn’t want anything to happen in his house.
Moorman said that he encouraged Quiceno to leave because the situation was only escalating.
“We were heading toward the door,” he said.
Moorman was halfway out the door when he heard shots fired.
“It was pretty loud considering it was right over my shoulder,” he said of the shots. He said he then asked Quiceno, “what the hell is wrong with you?”
George asked Moorman if he saw if anyone was coming at Quiceno since his back was turned and he was going out the door. Moorman said he didn’t see.
Burk said Buckanaga reached for her as he fell to the ground. She said she didn’t notice a gun but that she saw the flames coming from Quiceno’s hand.
Cochrane said that when Buckanaga, who was her cousin, was shot, “I was bawling my eyes out. I couldn’t believe that just happened in front of me,” she said.
Guy said that Cochrane was screaming hysterically and he was trying to calm her down because it wasn’t helping the situation.
Guy said that he didn’t realize he was hit by a bullet until he went to help move Buckanaga and blood started coming out his neck.
Leaving after shots fired
Moorman said that Quiceno tucked his right hand under his left arm and ran out the door, telling Moorman to leave.
Quiceno got into his van and told Moorman to come with him, but Moorman didn’t want to.
He said he heard Quiceno ask Allen Bloom if “you want some of this too” when Bloom tried to get at Quiceno in his vehicle. Instead, Allen Bloom picked up a brick or rock, Moorman said, and broke the passenger side window in the van.
He said he refused to get in the van with Quiceno because “I knew that was the last thing to do,” explaining that he didn’t want to be an accessory to the shooting.
Moorman took off running to his mobile home, and didn’t even see Quiceno leave.
He said he was upset “cause I watched a friend shoot another one of my friends,” he said.
After he got to his house, Moorman made two calls to Quiceno to see where he was at, which he said was in Fargo. He also said that Quiceno told him that Guy had pulled a gun on him earlier in the day.
After trying to help move Buckanaga to the van and get him to the hospital, Cochrane said that she and Brad Bloom left the scene as law enforcement was arriving because they both had outstanding warrants. They went to a nearby mobile home.
Later that day on Jan. 26, she said she turned herself in to the police so she could give a statement regarding Buckanaga’s death and what happened that night.
In her statement, Cochrane said that Buckanaga and Guy planned to fight Quiceno.
Burk testified that after the shooting, she and Guy went to her sister’s house in Detroit Lakes, but when her sister’s boy-friend got home, he told them to leave.
She said they drove to Perham and rented a room at the Super 8 motel. Guy said that it was Burk’s suggestion that they get a hotel room instead of going to the hospital right away so she could look at how serious his wound was.
Talking over the phone, Guy’s mom convinced him to go to the hospital, Burk said.
She said that Guy was paranoid that Quiceno was parked along the highway. Guy said that he saw a van that looked like Quiceno’s with loud bass music coming from it. He was worried it was Quiceno.
“I didn’t know what to think,” Guy said.
The van left and Burk drove Guy to the hospital in Perham,
Burk told the defense that Guy wanted to leave before the police arrived at the house because he had warrants out for his arrest.
Moorman said that at 3:30 a.m. the day of the shooting, he told a BCA agent that he didn’t know the guy that had shot Buckanaga. He referred to him as “the dude,” denying that he even knew his name.
“I didn’t want to lose two friends in one night,” he said Friday.
Later that day, Moorman told a different investigator that it could have been Quiceno but that he wasn’t sure.
Two days later, after he had learned that Buckanaga had died, he told another BCA agent that he did know Quiceno.
Friday he testified that he called Quiceno the night of the shooting and said that it was nothing personal but that he couldn’t talk to him anymore given the events that had happened.
Moorman said that Quiceno’s wife texted Moorman the morning of Jan. 26 and asked if he knew where her husband was. Moorman told her to call him, and Moorman told her what had happened the night before at the mobile home.
When George cross-examined Moorman, asking him about statements he made to the police about Travis being upset and having to restrain him, Moorman denied making those comments. He said it was 7:30 a.m. and he was just waking up.
When George asked if Moorman would like to review the statement he gave at the interview, Moorman said he didn’t need to look at the statement to refresh his memory.
Each of the witnesses have been given a sheet of paper with the layout of the mobile home they were in that night.
Burk, Cochrane, Guy and Moorman all marked where they were standing when the shooting occurred.
The placement of people varied slightly from each drawing, but they all placed Quiceno at the door with Buckanaga and Guy standing across the room from him.
Buckanaga’s 2nd family
Cousin Angela Bellanger and aunt Wanda Blaine testified Thursday of how close they were to Buckanaga.
“He was more than a cousin to me,” Bellanger said.
Buckanaga lived much of his life with his aunt and uncle, Wanda and Scot Blaine, who are Bellanger’s parents.
Both of the women said that Buckanaga was very family-minded, and that his daughter, Tiera, 1, was the center of his world.
Bellanger described Buckanaga as a “very loving and caring” father, and that he saved up his money to purchase gifts for his daughter.
“That was his pride and joy,” Blaine said of Buckanaga being a father.
Tiara is now living with the Blaines.
Pointing out Buckanaga in several family photos, both women got choked up on the stand.
Several of Buckanaga’s family members were present in the audience at the trial and had to leave at times, crying from the details of Buckanaga’s death.
The jury, and everyone else present at the trial, listened to the 911 calls that were made to the Becker County dispatch center the night of the shooting. They also watched video from Trooper Joan Kunz’s patrol car as she arrived at the mobile home park and later looked for the suspect’s van.
The trial will continue with testimony on Monday morning.
Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.