First Wife of 'Clark Rockefeller' to Testify at Kidnap Trial
BOSTON – A Wisconsin woman who married the man who calls himself "Clark Rockefeller" is expected to testify at his upcoming kidnapping trial.
Amy Jersild Duhnke of Milwaukee appears on a list of potential witnesses for the trial, scheduled to begin May 26 in Boston.
Rockefeller's real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter. He is a German national who authorities say has used a string of aliases since moving to the United States in the 1970s.
Gerhartsreiter, 48, married Amy Jersild in 1981 in Madison, Wis.
The marriage enabled him to get a green card. Divorce records Jersild filed 11 years later show that Gerhartsreiter left the day after they got married.
Gerhartsreiter is accused of kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter Reigh from a later marriage during a supervised visit in Boston last July.
Prosecutors are seeking to bar Rockefeller from revealing "extraneous" details of that divorce when he stands trial in Reigh's abduction.
In a motion filed Monday, prosecutors ask a judge to prohibit defense lawyers from "improperly exploring issues" in his divorce.
His disappearance touched off an international manhunt. Father and daughter were found in Baltimore six days later, and the girl was unharmed.
Prosecutors argue that details of his divorce agreement are "irrelevant" to any issue in the kidnapping case.
His defense lawyers have repeatedly said that Gerhartsreiter was distraught after losing custody of his daughter to his ex-wife, Sandra Boss. They have said they plan to use an insanity defense.
Prosecutors are expected to call Boss as a witness at the trial. Her name appears on a witness list filed in court Monday.
Gerhartsreiter's lawyers are asking that prosecutors be prohibited from playing for the jury an emotional videotaped plea Boss made while her daughter was missing. The videotaped message was broadcast by media outlets while authorities searched for the girl.
Gerhartsreiter's lawyers argued in a motion filed Monday that the videotape could "exacerbate the emotions of the jurors" and make it difficult for him to receive a fair trial.
Both defense attorneys and prosecutors declined to comment on the pretrial motions filed Monday.
After Gerhartsreiter's arrest, authorities said he had a long history of using aliases to work his way into wealthy circles in New York, Los Angeles and Boston.
California authorities have labeled him a "person of interest" in the 1985 disappearance of a newlywed couple from San Marino. He has not been charged in that case.
In addition to parental kidnapping, Gerhartsreiter also faces a charge of providing a false name to police and two assault charges.
He is accused of pushing a social worker who was supervising the father-daughter visit and putting the girl into a waiting car. The social worker suffered minor injuries.
Prosecutors filed a motion Monday asking the judge to allow them to play for the jury the 911 call made by the social worker.