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First hearing in 40 years connected to Deanie Peters Disappearance

61-year-old James Frisbie is charged with Perjury

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — After four decades, the first hearing has been held in connection to the disappearance of Deanie Peters in 1981. James Frisbie, 61, was arrested for Perjury last month, and now prosecutors are laying out their evidence against him.

Thursday's hearing ended before all of the witnesses could be called, and will finish September 20. The Prosecution called 6 witnesses in total, and played a 30 minute recording of an investigative interview Frisbie did back in 2008. 

According to witness testimony, Frisbie reached out to investigators multiple times, (once in 2002, once in 2008 as mentioned in Thursdays' hearing) claiming to have information about Peters Disappearance. 

He met with investigators on both occasions, first in a restaurant in 2002, later meeting up with AJ Hite in 2008, an investigator with the Grand Rapids major Case Unit at the time. 

Hite's testimony was split in two, first identifying how he had come into contact with Frisbie, then being cross examined by the defense attorney. Between those stints on the stand, the recording of the 2008 interview was played. In it, Hite and Frisbie are driving around as Frisbie gives details he claims to have heard from others about the case.

In that 2008 conversation, Frisbie lists many names and rumors he had heard about the potential location of Peters' body, saying it may be in a swamp behind the home of Steve Osborne. According to testimony from a detective Frisbie had met with in 2002, he said peters was buried "In a shallow grave with her head towards the river".

RELATED: 40 years later, man charged in Deanie Peters cold case

Osborne's name came up numerous times in the hearing, but not as many times as the name Kyle Fate was mentioned. According to witness testimony, Fate had dated prior to her disappearance Peters. 

Witnesses say Fate died in 2008 after a long history of drug and alcohol abuse. One witness, Susan Timmer dated fate from 1999 to 2004. The day she learned of his death, she testified that she received a phone call from James Frisbie, a good friend of Fate's in the past. She says in that phone call, Frisbie claimed Fate drank himself to death to deal with the guilt of killing Deanie Peters.

Another witness to take the stand was Robert Piotrowski, a former employee of James Frisbie. in 2002, Piotrowski testified that he overheard a conversation between Kyle Fate and James Frisbie in which Frisbie was coaching Fate on how to beat a Polygraph test. 

Asked to strike it from the record as hearsay, Judge Buter allowed the testimony to stay on the record in a limited capacity in regard to specific questioning, saying "discussion about a lie detector test doesn't come up out of the blue."

When AJ Hite, the questioner in the 2008 interview, was on the stand, the prosecution asked about the consistency of Frisbie's testimonies from the early and mid 2000's compared to statements made recently. 

"If the defendant testified recently that he never suspected Steve Osborne or Kyle Fate to be involved in this, and he never told anyone he would ever suspect that or think that, is that consistent with what he told you?" The prosecutor asked. "Not at all," Hite Responded.

In a similar question pointed at exposing inconsistency, the prosecutor asked Hite "If he [Frisbie] recently testified under oath that Steve Osborne was a good kid, is that consistent with what he told you?" To which Hite responded "That is very inconsistent with what he was describing" 

Though this is the first hearing in connection to Peters' disappearance, no information has come out so far about the location of Peters' body, nor have formal accusations been made for a party responsible for her disappearance. 

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