HAYWARD, Calif. -- Steven Stayner, a teenager who spent nearly half his life with an alleged kidnapper, told an Alameda County courtroom that the man he once falsely called 'dad' twice drove him to a shopping center to 'get somebody to take home.'
Stayner, 16, took the stand for the first time Monday at the trial of Kenneth Parnell who is charged with kidnapping Timmy White, 5, of Ukiah, Calif., on Feb. 14, 1980.
The lanky youth told the court that two or three months before he first saw Timmy, Parnell had taken him to a Santa Rosa shopping center where, 'he had me go over and talk to a boy and see if I could get him into the car.'
Stayner said he returned to the car and told Parnell that 'the boy's mother was there or something.'
He said he then approached another youth but returned to the car and again told Parnell that 'his mother was there or something.'
Stayner, who waved to Timmy across the crowded courtroom, told the jury that the first time he saw Timmy the little boy was huddled in a blanket in the backseat of Parnell's car.
Another teenager, Randell Sean Poorman, also took the stand Monday and described his part in the actual kidnapping of Timmy.
Poorman, a classmate of Stayner's during his years with Parnell, testified that Parnell paid him with cash and marijuana for grabbing Timmy on Valentine's Day.
He said Parnell did not include Stayner in his plot because he said the boy 'didn't have enough brains to do it.'
Poorman, convicted in juvenile court for his role in the kidnapping, told his tale after prosecutors agreed to give him immunity from any further charges.
The teenager, dressed in a light brown three-piece suit, said the night before Valentine's Day he was at Parnell's home, planning the kidnapping.
He told the jury Parnell 'wanted to build a family' and told him 'we were going to abduct a little boy early in the morning, or if we couldn't do it in the morning, we would do it in the evening.'
He said Parnell first gave him $50, some marijuana and two bottles of Jack Daniel's whiskey. The two got drunk, then drove to the Palace Hotel, where Parnell worked as a night desk clerk, he said.
The next morning they had breakfast, and Parnell told him, 'We'll start cruising around schools, looking for someone.'
They bought some 'little kids' clothes' at a garage sale, he said, and Parnell gave him a hat to wear as a disguise.
One attempt at 'grabbing a little kid' failed when the boy refused to get into the car, Poorman said. After 'cruising around some more,' the pair went to a drug store to buy orange juice and sleeping pills.
Then, Poorman told the jury, 'we abducted a little boy.'
At that point, over the objections of the defense, Timmy was brought into the courtroom and Poorman identified him as the boy he had grabbed.
'I got out of the car and knelt down around a hubcap and I asked the kid to help, but he said no and ran off screaming,' Poorman testified. He said he wanted to 'forget it,' but Parnell 'screamed and cussed at me. He wanted to get the kid.'
Poorman ran after Timmy, grabbed him, threw him in the car and put a blanket over him. Parnell then told him to give the youngster sleeping pills. Timmy 'was screaming and crying when we took him' but then 'he crashed out, and we went to the cabin.'
Poorman said he 'got a bottle of booze and thumbed out' to his house.