The Trial of Dan White: Trial Testimony of William Melia
Source: The Trial of Dan White by Kenneth W. Salter (1991)


Q Now, Mr. Melia, inviting your attention to November the 27th last year, a Monday, sometime in the morning, were you in your office of Room 62 at City Hall?

A Yes, I was.

Q On that particular day did you have occasion sometime in the morning, after 9:00 o'clock, to see a person who later became known to you, or whom you recognized, as Mr. Daniel White?

A Yes, sir, I did.

Q Tell the members of the jury what time this was, to the best of your recollection?

A At approximately 10:30 I noticed a white male passing my window in a light tan suit on the McAllister Street ramp. A few minutes later I noticed what I believed to be the same person passing by this window again.

Q What did the person appear to be doing?

A Pacing.

Q Now, did you see, or did you become aware of any other circumstance which involved this particular same person whom you initially had observed?

A At approximately 10:30 I heard the window in the adjoining laboratory being opened. There were only two people in our office at that time. I heard someone jump to the floor and then running through the adjoining room. I looked up and caught a glance of a man in a suit running past the doorway of my office into the City Hall hallway.

Q What did you do?

A I got up from my desk and called after him, "Hey, wait a second."

Q Did that person wait or stop?

A Yes, they did… he came back in from the hallway back into-back into the laboratory, back into my office. . .

Q Do you see that person here in this courtroom today?

A It's Dan White.

Q Was there some discussion had between you and Mr. Dan White?

A Well, as I said before, I called after him and said, "Hey, wait a second." He came back in and said to me, "I had to get in. My aide was supposed to come down and let me in the side door, but never showed up." I had taken exception to the way he had entered our office, and I replied, "And you are?" And he replied, "I’m Dan White, the City Supervisor."

He said, "Say I’ve got to go," and with that he turned and he ran out of the office.


Q Have you seen City Hall personnel entering through that door?

A Yes, I have.

Q All right. Specifically, have you seen Supervisors enter through that door?

A Quite common. This is their parking area.

Q Those persons generally have keys to that door, is that correct?

A Yes, they do.

Q Did he explain to you that he was waiting for his aide who hadn't shown up?

A Yes, he had.

Q Do you think that you saw him pacing out there about five minutes? Would that be fair?

A  Approximately.

Q Had you ever seen anyone else enter or exit through that window or those windows along that side?

A. Yes, I had.

Q In fact, that's fairly common, is it not?

A It was common for individuals that worked in our office to do that.

Q It was a window that you could step through with some ease. It was large enough, is that correct?

A Yes.

Q Were you alarmed when you learned that a Supervisor crawled or walked through that window?

A Yes, I was.

Q All right. Once you saw that it was Dan White, he did identify himself, did he not?

A Yes, he did.

Q And that was after you had called to him?

A Right. I called for him to wait.

Q He did wait. In fact, he returned to your office?

A He returned to my office.

Q And at that point he identified himself as Dan White?

A Yes, he did.

Q That window prior to November 27th, 1978 was unlocked and generally kept open for ventilation, is that fair?

A That's accurate, right.

Q You mentioned that he appeared to be in somewhat of a hurry. Did he say he had an appointment with anyone? Was going to see anyone in particular?

A The last words that he said was, "Hey, I got to go."

Q I have nothing further. Thank you.