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Preliminary hearing in Dalene Carlson's murder continues | Crime

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Preliminary hearing in Dalene Carlson's murder continues
Crime

STOCKTON, CA - New details revealed the last moments of Dalene Carlson's life.

Tuesday was the second day of Jason Gilley's preliminary hearing. Gilley is accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering Carlson. A judge will decide whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a murder trial.

RELATED STORY: Evidence heard in Dalene Carlson murder case

Attending the hearing at the San Joaquin County Courthouse were Carlson's mother and older sister. Carlson lived with her sister, Narja Goonan, for most of her life in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Carlson, 23, wanted to move to California to have her own life, so she packed up and moved in with her aunt Margret Baker in Stockton in June 2011. Three months later, Carlson disappeared after a night out with friends at Finnegan's Pub.

"Well, the things that I've heard. Shocking. I would say more like very disturbing," Goonan said.

She said detectives had already informed her family of most of the details that were revealed in court. 

Stockton homicide detectives testified that Gilley told them five different stories about the early morning hours of Aug. 7, 2011.

In his first story, Gilley said he met Carlson at Finnegan's Pub, but left the bar alone after his grandmother texted him that his young son was sick. Gilley said he went directly to his Amador Place home to care for his son all night.

In a second version, Gilley said he left with Carlson, went to Food 4 Less with her to pick up alcohol, but dropped her back off at Finnegan's Pub before heading home alone.

In the third story, Gilley admitted to bringing Carlson back to his house and she traveled with him as he made two marijuana sales between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. He said while taking Carlson back to her aunt's house, she was drunk and voluntarily got out of his car on Charter Way.

By the fourth story, detectives said Gilley told them he and Carlson had consensual sex on a couch in his back patio. He didn't use a condom. Gilley said 30 to 40 minutes later, Carlson was angry that she had sex with him.

According to Gilley, he was driving her home and she screamed at him, "You're horrible. You're a piece of garbage," among other expletives. He dropped her off on California Street by the Crosstown Freeway. 

Gilley told police he then accidentally drove onto South Highway 99, turned off at Arch Road exit, got gas at a Chevron station, and then drove back home. Detectives said surveillance video from the Chevron gas station showed he was there sometime around 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Detectives said the fifth story Gilley told them changed where he had driven Carlson. Gilley said after Carlson cursed at him in the car, she tried to get out. He told detectives he purposefully drove onto the Crosstown Freeway so that Carlson couldn't jump out of his car at that high rate of speed. Gilley said he leaned across her to lock the passenger door.

When Gilley realized he drove too far south, he told detectives that he pulled off on a Modesto exit and Carlson jumped out when he came to a stop. He couldn't remember the name of the exit or the street, but said a Pizza Hut was nearby. Gilley then said he turned around and drove home.

Carlson's body was found on Oct. 17, 2011, by a tractor operator harvesting corn in Escalon. Detectives testified her body was found nude. A black bra was located near her body and days later, her blue jeans were discovered six miles away. Detectives said they match the ones Carlson was wearing in the picture her family circulated during her disappearance.

"They have the right person," Goonan said. "They have plenty of evidence and I'm hoping today is the last day of it."

The hearing will continue Wednesday morning, as the defense needs to finish cross examination of the detectives. Carlson's family said they hope her case will continue to a murder trial.

"It's tough already, but i'm dealing with it," Goonan said. "I shed a tear yesterday. Today, won't be any more, because I want to hear them say, 'Guilty.'"

Goonan and her mother said they will return to Stockton if there is a murder trial. They said despite the devastating outcome, they don't regret letting Dalene move to Stockton, saying it was her dream to come to California and be independent.

"I just miss seeing her walk through the door," Goonan said. "I don't get to see my sister anymore."

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