08/24/10 — Laurean trial: Timeline

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Laurean trial: Timeline

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on August 24, 2010 2:35 PM

May 11, 2007 -- Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach alleges to NCIS Special Agent Megan Grafton she was raped by Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean.

May 27, 2007 -- Ms. Lauterbach tells NCIS she is pregnant and believes the father to be her alleged attacker.

Dec. 14, 2007 (before 4 p.m.) -- Ms. Lauterbach withdraws $700 from her bank account.

Dec. 14, 2007 (between 4 and 4:30 p.m.) -- Ms. Lauterbach's roommate, Daniel Durham, finds a note left by her detailing her intention to desert from the Marine Corps.

Dec. 14 , 2007 (between 4:30 and 5 p.m.) -- Ms. Lauterbach purchases a bus ticket to El Paso, Texas, and has a conversation with ticket salesman Roshaun Hames about her intention to leave the Marine Corps and go to Mexico to wait for the father of her unborn child to join her there.

Dec. 14, 2007 (after 6 p.m.) -- Mary Lauterbach returns home from work and is told her daughter's roommate has found a disturbing note written by her. The mother and other family members begin calling their loved one but never hear from her again.

Dec. 16, 2007 -- Laurean goes to a Jacksonville Lowe's with former Marine Dennis Ward and purchases a wheelbarrow and 12 cinder blocks. He then drives, with Ward, to his home and digs a fire pit in his backyard before taking Ward home and giving him a crowbar.

Dec. 20, 2007 -- Construction worker Cecil Jones finds Ms. Lauterbach's cell phone on the side of the road just outside the Camp Lejeune main gate.

Dec. 21, 2007 -- Images of a man are captured by an ATM security camera, as he tries four times to withdrawal money from Ms. Lauterbach's account. A jury would later conclude that man was Laurean.

Christmas-time, 2007 -- Two of Laurean's neighbors see a bonfire burning in the Marine's back yard.

Jan. 4, 2008 -- Dennis Ward and his wife, Samantha, turn in the crowbar given to them by Laurean to the Onslow County Sheriff's Department, where Ward gave a statement about his trip to Lowe's with Laurean and watching his friend dig a fire pit in his back yard.

Jan. 8, 2008 -- After being interviewed by NCIS, Laurean asked his commanding officer what would happen with his rape case if Ms. Lauterbach never came back to Camp Lejeune -- at that point, she was believed to have deserted from the Marines.

Jan. 9, 2008 -- Laurean's wife, Christina, has a conversation with her commanding officer, now retired Master Sgt. Mariane Pruneda, who testified Mrs. Laurean was crying and upset.

Jan. 11, 2008 -- Mrs. Laurean gives a statement at the Onslow County Sheriff's Office.

Jan. 11, 2008 -- SBI crime scene search specialists discover "what appears to be blood" in Laurean's garage.

Jan. 11, 2008 -- Laurean is declared a deserter by the Marine Corps.

Jan. 12, 2008 -- Evidence is collected from Laurean's home and Ms. Lauterbach's remains are excavated from a fire pit in the defendant's backyard.

Jan. 15, 2008 -- Laurean's black Dodge Ram is found in a hotel parking lot located between Raleigh and Durham.

April 10, 2008 -- Laurean is captured in a small village in Mexico by U.S. and Mexican authorities and taken to Mexico City to await formal extradition.

Aug. 9, 2010 -- Jury selection in Laurean's first-degree murder trial begins after the proceedings are moved to Wayne County due to pre-trial publicity.

Aug. 23, 2010 -- Laurean is found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, although his defense attorney stated that the ex-Marine will appeal the ruling.