Trespass Trial for Mashpee School Boss Begins With Testimony About Residency Status of King Family

COURT POOL PHOTO Mashpee Superintendent Brian Hyde, left, and his attorney Drew Segadelli during the moring session of the first day of Hyde's trial at Falmouth District Court on Tuesday.

COURT POOL PHOTO/Steve Heaslip
Mashpee Superintendent Brian Hyde, left, and his attorney Drew Segadelli during the moring session of the first day of Hyde’s trial at Falmouth District Court on Tuesday.

FALMOUTH –  The first day of the breaking and entering and trespassing trial of Mashpee School Superintendent Brian Hyde included tearful testimony and an aggressive cross-examination by Hyde’s attorney.

During opening statements, Cape and Islands Assistant District Attorney Dan Higgins said the Commonwealth would detail the incident in which Hyde went to the home of Marilyn King to conduct a residency check, as King’s daughter Isabel was trying to re-enroll in Mashpee High School.

Higgins said the prosecution would focus on “how the door was opened” when Hyde entered the home. But during cross examination, Marilyn King stumbled repeatedly while trying to explain how the door was actually opened and where Hyde was standing.

FALMOUTH-- 02/16/16-Marilyn King describes how her mother opened the door to her home when Brian Hyde visited during testimony at Falmouth District Court on Tuesday. Court pool photo/Steve Heaslip

FALMOUTH– Marilyn King describes how her mother opened the door to her home when Brian Hyde visited during testimony at Falmouth District Court on Tuesday. Court pool photo/Steve Heaslip

The superindentent is accused of entering the home without permission.

Defense attorney Drew Segadelli told jurors that Hyde was welcomed into the home, and that at no point was he asked to leave.

Segadelli said the Kings had, on numerous occasions, presented inaccurate information to school officials in an attempt to re-enroll Isabel at Mashpee High School for the 2015-2016 academic year following Isabel’s withdrawal from the school in December to move to Florida.

The prosecution’s first witness was Isabel King, who detailed her efforts to re-enroll in Mashpee in the summer of 2015.

The Kings, Isabel said, were living with friends in Sandwich while house-hunting in Mashpee. During cross-examination, Isabel admitted they were not living full-time in Mashpee, and were actually living with a friend in Sandwich from July to late September 2014, when her mother finally purchased a home in Mashpee.

King also acknowledged that she and her mother presented multiple documents to Mashpee school officials with a Shellback Way address, where her mother’s ex-husband lived, despite not living full-time at that residence in the hopes it would get Isabel back into the Mashpee school system.

The daughter testified that at one point, she asked her mother to just tell school officials where they were actually living. “‘Mom, we live in Sandwich, just tell them the truth.'” That’s what Segadelli said Isabel told school officials.

When the Kings successfully purchased a home in Mashpee in late-September, Isabel began the process of enrolling for classes, and went to meet with officials on September 29.

FALMOUTH-- 02/16/16- Brian Hyde listens to his attorney Drew Segadelli question Isabel King about Hyde's visit to their house during the trial at Falmouth District Court on Tuesday Court Pool Photo/Steve Heaslip

FALMOUTH– 02/16/16- Brian Hyde listens to his attorney Drew Segadelli question Isabel King about Hyde’s visit to their house during the trial at Falmouth District Court on Tuesday Court Pool Photo/Steve Heaslip

It was on the morning of September 29 that Isabel King encountered Hyde, leading to a meeting at school offices regarding her residency.

She became emotional while detailing the meeting and Hyde’s behavior towards her, describing it as “rushed,” as she wiped away tears on the witness stand.

King testified that Hyde told her during the meeting that was “his right as superintendent” to pursue the matter of her residency.

King said, under cross-examination, that she told Hyde to “go over there” during the meeting to see for himself that her family owned the home at 27 Windsor Way.

During direct questioning by ADA Higgins, Marilyn King testified that she was living in Mashpee by September 24, before Hyde’s residency check. She also testified that she tried using several documents, including a car registration, to prove she lived in town.

Higgins also led King through a series of questions on why she notified the Cape Cod Times about the residency check, suggesting Hyde became upset when he learned about the phone call to the paper.

“He was asking me, ‘why, why did you call the Cape Cod Times,'” King testified. Cape Cod Times reporter Cynthia McCormick may be called to testify later in the trial.

FALMOUTH-- 02/16/16-Isabel King wipes away tears while on the witness stand at Falmouth District Court on Tuesday.Steve Heaslip/Cape Cod Times021616sh11

FALMOUTH– 02/16/16-Isabel King wipes away tears while on the witness stand at Falmouth District Court on Tuesday. Court pool photo/Steve Heaslip

There was extensive testimony about how Hyde entered the King’s home, and whether he was ever asked to leave. “I saw him hold the door knob and let himself in,” King said about how Hyde approached the home on the 29th.

“He started to tell me that he wants to know where Isabel sleeps,” King testified.

But under cross-examination, Segadelli repeatedly asked King if she ever asked Hyde to leave, or whether she asked a Mashpee police officer who also went to the house to ask Hyde to leave. Each time, King acknowledged she didn’t ask Hyde to leave the home. In fact, Segadelli suggested that King directed Hyde to see the room where her daughter slept.

Speaking briefly to reporters after testimony concluded for the day, Segadelli said he was pleased that “some of the true facts came out of what transpired that day,” suggesting that earlier media reports on the circumstances surrounding the case were not completely accurate.

Segadelli said Cape Cod Times reporter Cynthia McCormick was a “viable witness,” which is why she was sequestered during the trial.

One the issue of the trespass charge, Segadelli said that Monday’s testimony showed that there were “invitations all over the place,” suggesting the elements of trespass were not met.

A jury of seven women and one man was selected from a pool of 32 potential jurors Tuesday morning. Of the prospective jurors, 11 stated they were familiar of the case in some manner.

At the beginning of the proceedings and at the conclusion of testimony for the day, judge Mary Orfanello told the jury to not read, watch, or listen to any media coverage of the trial and requested that they not discuss the case with anyone.

Additional witnesses are scheduled to be called, including King’s mother, an insurance representative who was at the home, and a number of Mashpee police officials.

By MATT MCCARTHY, MATT PITTA and BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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