Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stuart Syvret on Confirmation of Human Remains at Haut de la Garenne

~Stuart Syvret outside Haut de la Garenne

With the sad confirmation of the remains of at least five children gathered from the 150 tons of debris hand-sifted by investigators - who knows how many more - many of us following the story are deeply devastated.

Lenny Harper and Stuart Syvret have done an outstanding job for the victims of abuse in Jersey and by default, around the globe!

We may not get the prosecutions we so hope for due to the "oligarchy" and it's contemptuous, incestuous, good-old-boy network way of dealing with anything of import to the decent folk of Jersey, but by God, we have exposed them for the bottom-feeders they are!

Stuart said yesterday: "With or without a murder probe it was important to remember the horrendous abuse that occurred."

He said: "I was hoping throughout the whole episode that the police would be able to prove that there had been no child killings."

"I know from speaking to survivors of the appalling abuse that occurred. The abuse aspect was quite appalling enough without children dying."

"But it's very important to try and get across the message that it isn't just the possibility of child deaths that is involved here. There was systematic and monstrous abuse carried out at that institution and others in Jersey."

I applaud Stuart and Lenny for their unwavering efforts on behalf of abuse victims, for withstanding the salacious and indecent attacks on their characters and for having the courage to continue the good fight despite the threats of physical attacks on their well-being.


Anthony Hopkins Kept Wife's Body in Freezer

~Anthony Hopkins

Arletha Hopkins caught her husband sexually abusing their daughter so Anthony Hopkins apparently killed her. The day after the killing, he asked the daughter to help hide the mom’s body in the freezer.

The body stayed in the home for the past 4 years – a home occupied by eight children and Hopkins.

Hopkins has been abusing the girl since the age of 11 and he is under investigation for possibly abusing a second child.

Hopkins is charged with murder and several sexual abuse charges, including rape and sodomy. Additional charges may be filed.

The children, aged 3 to 19, have been removed from the home and authorities say they are quiet and withdrawn.

According to the search warrant document, the daughter who finally alerted authorities to her father's alleged behavior didn't leave home until about two weeks ago. Her testimony was the primary evidence cited in the affidavit that allowed police to search Hopkins' home.

As police were making their entry into the house, an anonymous one-story structure of brick and wood, Hopkins, a roving evangelist, was conducting a revival at a small church on the outskirts of Jackson, Ala.

He was arrested after delivering a sermon on forgiveness, much of which was directed toward his seven other children who sat dutifully in the front pew, according to the pastor of the church.

Fox News

Feds Request Extension in Brooke Bennett Case

~Michael Jacques and Raymond Gagnon

Prosecutors have requested a 66-day extension to decide whether to indict Michael Jacques and Raymond Gagnon.

Prosecutors say police and the FBI need the time to complete their investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nolan said the complexity and quantity of evidence being reviewed requires the extra time.

Nolan said in his court filing in the Gagnon case that evidence collected by police and FBI agents suggests the two men’s conduct during the time Brooke was missing may be connected.

Police say Jacques was plotting Bennett’s abduction a month earlier and tried to make it look like she was running away with someone she met on the Internet.

The attorneys, John Pacht, Gagnon’s lawyer, and Jacques’ lawyer, Michael Desautels, did not oppose the request.

Burlington Free Press

No Get Out of Jail Card for Casey Anthony

~Casey Anthony

The Fifth District Court of Appeals denied the request to have Casey Anthony's bond lowered.

The request was denied without comment or explanation just before 3 p.m.

Judge Stan Strickland set her bond at $500,000 on July 22 and her attorney Jose Baez, was hoping to have that amount lowered to $10,000.

Florida Attorney General Bill said that he opposed the bond being lowered, saying that Strickland did not abuse his discretion by setting the bond at $500,000.

The appeals court also ordered Casey’s psychiatric evaluation sealed. The judge reviewed it before making Wednesday's decision.

Jose Baez, said he was shocked by the decision made by the appeals court Wednesday to not lower his client's bond.

"We just got word a few moments ago that it was denied," Baez said on Wednesday afternoon.

Baez is working with attorney Mike Walsh, who specializes in appeals.

"It's disappointing. It's very disappointing," Baez said.

Baez also said of the attention being paid to the case, "It's been nuts. It's been crazy."

"This family has impressed me. They're a united family. I've said this. Any way you look at, she's a victim," Baez said of Caylee's grandmother Cindy Anthony.

Baez is as nutty as his client!

Human Remains Verified at Haut de la Garenne

~Lenny Harper

Forensic experts have been examining 65 milk teeth and more than 100 bone fragments found during the excavation at Haute de la Garenne.

Of the bone fragments, two have been identified – one from a child’s leg and the other from inside a child’s ear.

The condition of the teeth collected, indicate they came out after death.

Police believe they have the remains of at least five children – ages 4 to 11.

Police evidence indicates that the remains were burned and attempts to conceal them were made in the 1960’s or 1970’s.

DCO Lenny Harper told the BBC: "We were pinning our hopes on the process of carbon dating.”

"The latest information we're getting is that for the period we're looking at, it's not going to be possible to give us an exact time of death."

"The indications are that if the results come back the same way as they have now it is obvious there won't be a homicide inquiry.

"We cannot get away from the fact that we have found the remains of at least five children there.

"But at the end of the day there just might not be the evidence to mount a homicide inquiry in an attempt to bring anybody to justice."

Harper said the evidence "substantially corroborate" accounts of abuse at the home from those who have come forward in past months.

Harper will be retiring in a few weeks bringing his participation in the investigation to an end.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Nicholas Sheley Killing Spree: First Court Appearance

Guest Entry by Katfish

T&T is proud to bring you an “inside the courtroom” report of Nicholas Sheley’s first court appearance from a loyal T&T reader, Katfish! This is a very enjoyable read of a first hand perspective of watching a court proceeding in a small community. Sprocket

I just got home from the hearing for IL vs Nicholas Sheley. I took notes during the hearing (it was supposed to be a preliminary hearing) that was held today at the Knox County courthouse in Galesburg, IL. I thought I would share with T&T the results of today's hearing.

For Nicholas Sheley this was the first of many legal proceedings he will be attending. In total, Sheley is suspected in the deaths of eight people after a killing spree in Illinois and Missouri. Here in Galesburg, IL, Sheley has been charged in the death of Ronald Randall, 65, as well as robbing him and stealing his 2007 Chevy Silverado pickup truck. Sheley has also been charged in Festus, Missouri with the death of a couple, Tom and Jill Estes, both 54, who were visiting the area from Arkansas. Sheley also faces 5 counts of 1st degree murder for the death of a 93 year old man, Russell Reed, from Sterling, IL in Whiteside county. Three others have been charged with obstruction of justice in connection with Reed's death. One of them had Reed's car parked in their drive with his body in the trunk. Sheley is also suspected in the deaths of 4 more in Whiteside county: Kenneth Ulve Jr., 25, Brock Branson, 29, and his pregnant fiancee, Kilynna Blake, 20, and her 2 year old son, Dayan Blake. He has not been charged in those murders at this time. There is a 300 mile bloody trail in this guys wake and it looks like the "clean up" will begin in Galesburg.

A preliminary hearing was not held because on July 21 a grand jury handed down 17 count indictment against Nicholas Sheley for the crimes he is believed to have committed here in Galesburg.

This is the first criminal proceeding that I have attended involving a murder. I tried to pay attention to as many details as possible but I had a few distractions. Not surprisingly, there turned out to be a lot of familiar faces in the courtroom. Knox County, IL only has about 53,000 residents in total, with Galesburg making up about 32,000. Even so, I go places all the time and don't see anyone I know. Today in the courtroom was not one of those days.

I knew going in there would be some familiar faces. The District Attorney is stepfather to 2 of my nieces (husband's brother's daughters) and I expected to know some of the Sheriff Department employees. As it turned out, I either knew about half of the people personally or had sold them shoes. LOL! The later could probably be said for about half the people in the courthouse (employees and patrons). I worked retail for many years.

I was also familiar with the Public Defender (P.D.) assigned to Nicholas Sheley. Fifteen years ago, he defended a couple people who broke into my sister's apartment and beat up her then 10 and 14 year old daughters. Justice was served in that case, but he was near the top of my "don't like" list for a long time. After I became interested in trial watching, I do have a better appreciation for the job he has to do.

When I arrived at the courthouse there were 2 young boys (approximately 10-14 years old) picketing the courthouse with signs that read "Nicholas Sheley Sucks". That kind of surprised me, but I guess it's their right. Now I really didn't know what to expect! Hopefully there wouldn't be any trouble. I parked my husband's new truck on another street bordering the courthouse, just in case. I was about 45 minutes early for the hearing so I wasn't "too miffed" when I had to take my cellphone back to my vehicle. No cellphones allowed in the courthouse! Sign of the times.

To my surprise, I didn't know any of the sheriff's deputies at the entrance. They pointed me towards a small courtroom off the main hall and told me I would have to wait. I found a seat at the back of the courtroom and started my wait. There were a couple people in there already. I recognize one older man from somewhere, but I can't put my finger on where. The others I didn't know. Aha! I saw a friend who is a bailiff. He came over to say hi and told me to put my water bottle in my purse. Thanks buddy! I don't want to get in trouble with the judge. Slowly people filtered in and things got going.

Oh no! The attorney for the state is the Assistant D.A. who prosecuted my nieces case. As I said before, the outcome of that trial was satisfactory, but this guy didn't inspire a lot of confidence. He had holes in the soles of his shoes and his suit pants were frayed at the hem. Surely he isn't trying Sheley's case! It appears this judge is going to hear some other cases via web cam from the jail and set their bond. Looks like a dozen or so got themselves arrested this weekend.

As the D.A. walks by he gives me a little grin then kind of a funny look. I know he's wondering who's in trouble. Thank goodness it isn’t anyone I know personally. Next the P.D. comes in. When I see him, I can't believe it. I haven't seen this guy in 15 years and he doesn't look like he has aged at all. I mentally put him back on my list, lol! Also to my surprise, I know the P.D.'s administrative assistant who’s with him. The irony here is that I first met her during the time of my niece's attackers trial. At that time she and my then 14 year old niece were cheerleaders together.

After the attack my sister and her kids came and stayed with us a few months. I chaperoned my niece to this girl's 13th or 14th birthday dance party at the local VFW and she came to my house a few times. In the later years I sold shoes to her and her Mom. She is a nice girl. I don't think she notices me.

My next distraction was a pleasant one. My ex-sister-in-law came in with 2 other women and sat next to me. The judge was talking when she came in so we just smiled and then they brought in Nicholas Sheley. He is in an orange jumpsuit and fully shackled but looked pretty healthy. He and I are in each others direct line of sight. They have him sitting on a bench at the side until his case is called. We made eye contact as he looked around the courtroom. I don't think he found any familiar faces in the crowd and he closes his eyes. Judge Bordner called a 5 minute recess. The D.A., the P.D. and another guy in a suit step out. During this time my sister-in-law and I caught up on her girls. I'm sure this is a very important trial for her husband, as it is for us all. That could have been anyone of us washing our car that night!

After about twenty minutes the Judge was back and the hearing started for Sheley. He was moved to a table that faces the judge so from here on out his back was to me.

Judge Steven Bordner says that he has been notified that a grand jury had returned a Bill of Indictment with 17 counts against Nicholas T. Sheley for the crimes committed against Ronald Randall. The judge moves through the counts quickly so I wasn't able to note all the details of the counts down. Counts 1-10 are 1st degree murder of Ronald Randall. At this point Judge Bordner lets Sheley know that if convicted of these counts, he could face natural life in prison or the death penalty. Sheley remains quiet. The judge then moves on to counts 11-17. Counts 11-16 are 2 counts of aggravated kidnapping, 2 counts of aggravated vehicular hijacking, 1 count of armed robbery, and 1 count of robbery (Randall's wallet). The final count is possession of a stolen vehicle. This is for the 1989 Dodge Ram pickup that was left at the car wash where Randall was nabbed.

After reading through the indictment, Judge Bordner asked the States Attorney, John Pepmeyer, how the state wanted to proceed. Pepmeyer said that the bill of indictment will supersede the previous charges. He also said that the Attorney General will be assisting the prosecution of the Knox and Whiteside counties charges. Assistant Attorney General, Michael Atterberry then enters his appearance with the court.

Judge Bordner says that the state will proceed with the Bill of Indictment and raises the bond from $1 million to $10 MILLION. The defendant will need $1 million dollars to get out of jail. The judge says that since there is no need for a preliminary hearing that was scheduled for today he would go ahead and schedule an arraignment with a felony judge and the date is set for August 6, at 9:30 a.m.

The judge asks, "Does the defense have anything?" The P.D, James Harrell , got it on the record the indictment will supersede the previous charges, and the previous charges will be void. Pepmeyer, then got on the record he had gave the P.D. a copy of the indictment before the hearing. The P.D. responded, "Right before." Supposedly, the indictment was sealed until "right before" so I think the last comment was unnecessary. The judge reconfirmed the arraignment date and time and the hearing was over. Everyone filed out of the courtroom. It seems as though a lot of people are hanging around in the hallway, probably to see Sheley. Not me. I got the heck out of there. I had to get to my truck and write down everything I could think of while it's fresh in my mind. It looks like we will have a murder trial here in Galesburg. The evening news have a clip of Sheley blowing a kiss to the media and the public when he was brought in to court today. LOL! This guy has nothing to lose. He attacked a federal prisoner at the county jail last week.

This hearing was kind of surreal for me. I grew up in this area and so many faces in court were familiar ones.


Thank you so much Katfish for your in court reporting.

Chicago Tribune

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Phil Spector: Pretrial Hearing July 29th, 2008

I drove to downtown LA and made great time. Donchais had some appointments this morning so we didn't get to have our usual chat on my drive down. When I get on the 9th floor, it's empty down at Fidler's end of the hallway. I take the bench at the very end and wait. Spector's biggest fan, the one who wears a Hawaiian shirt every time I've seen her arrives and sits on a bench against the wall. We wait in silence. People come and go from 106. After a while, a big motorized cart with a lift comes down the hall and enters courtroom 105. The maintenance guy is carrying a big box of fluorescent tubes so I'm assuming he's going to change some burnt out bulbs in the ceiling lights.

This end of the hallway is still pretty empty. There are several people congregating around the middle of the hall near the elevator bays. Suddenly, five sheriff's in green t-shirts with "SHERIFF" written across the back in large letters exit Fidler's courtroom along with two suited gentlemen. As it gets closer to 9:30 am, I'm hoping that the hearing was not moved to 10:30 am.

As I wait, I start to space out from lack of sleep since I got to bed so late. A sheriff enters 106 and the only noise I can hear is the occasional clack clack clack of a woman's high heels on the highly polished terrazzo like tile floor. I wonder if Steven from the LA Weekly will be here today. Just as I'm thinking about this, Allan Parachini emerges from 106 and waits in the hallway. I ask him if he knows if any new motions were filed today. He replies, "Not that I know."

At 9:40 am I emerge from the restroom and I see Steven Mikulan ~ who has a new very short hair cut ~ speaking to Dennis Riordan. Steven asks me if I saw the web site about Dominick and I tell him, "Yes. I put up a link to it and wrote a story about it on my blog." Steven says that he thinks Dominick's surgery is today or tomorrow, but Linda would know. Not long after, the AP reporter arrives and the first thing I ask her is what day is Dominick's surgery. "Tomorrow," she replies. I make a mental note.

The Asian photographer from the AP arrives on the 9th floor and he says hello to Allan. Allan tells him that local Channel 5 (KTLA) signed up, but it doesn't look like they are going to show. There isn't a single photographer downstairs waiting in the back watching the parking lot for the Spector's arrival. Addressing the photographer I say, "So you will have exclusives today."

I see Weinberg in the hallway and he's talking to a professionally dressed woman seated on a bench in what looks like to me 5" black heels with a high ankle strap. She has blondish hair that is swept up on her head in a do that reminds me of a 40's or 50's style you might have seen on women in the USO tours.

Allan mentions that next week, Meredith's replacement will start soon. (I think it's next week.) He tells everyone her name and says that she comes to the court from TMZ. Steven thought that was unusual, stating something to the effect of, they're usually leaving the department for TMZ. Meredith moved to Nashville. Her spouse was relocated in his job. Addressing Allan I inquire, "Do you mind if I ask how many staff you have?" "Seven," he replies. My friends I met at an earlier pre-trial hearing, Robin and Sherri arrive on the 9th floor and we say hello.

It's 9:55 and Harriet Ryan, who's now working for the LA Times shows up and gives everyone a big smile and hello. Not long after Rod Lindblom shows up with a big smile and shakes everybody's hand. And as I try to listen in on the conversations I hear someone say that Lindblom is going to be a father. His fiance is due in September. The Clarkson family does not come to court today.

Spector, Rachelle and the lone bodyguard approach from the opposite end of the hall. They still have that special treatment where a deputy brings them up to the 9th floor from the parking lot via a service elevator. Spector is wearing what appears to be a black Edwardian suit and a red tie. The Trial Bride is in a skin tight plum pant suit. I can't tell if she has on one of her many pairs of red soled Louboutin shoes or not. Her hair is still quite blond and I'm reminded of Malibu Barbie. The wig Spector is wearing is a deep dark brown and wavy. When they get down to the end of the hallway Spector and his Hawaiian shirt fan hug each other. I don't have it in my notes, but I'm remembering Spector's fan hugging either Rachelle or Weinberg.

Right after Spector, the prosecution team comes down the hallway in force. I see AJ, Rick Ocampo, and a petite Asian woman in a dark suit. (After court, Sandi Gibbons tells me this is Truc T. Do, the newest member of the prosecution's team.) AJ greets all the reporters, shaking everyone's hand and he gives me a wave. There are also two young men with them who might be clerks. Everyone slowly shuffles into the courtroom. The photographer is set up in the jury box.

I take a seat or two in on the second row, making sure there is enough room for the AP reporter who likes to sit on the end. Rod Lindblom sits in his usual place in the first row near the left end. The professionals, Ciaran, Steven and Harriet are all grouped together in the second row behind Rod. Rick Ocampo is siting in the front row directly in front of the AP reporter and the two young looking clerks are in the front row sitting in front of me. (As the hearing progressed I saw that they took notes.) A few minutes later Pat Dixon came in and sat in the back of the courtroom on the far left.

Jackson, Do, Weinberg, Riordan all went into Fidler's chambers. A very petite, rail thin older looking woman with short, dark brown hair who I saw on the defense side at the last hearing also went into chambers. I have no idea who this woman is; whether she is the woman I heard about back in December, 2007, or if she is a clerk or investigator in Weinberg's office. This in camera meeting lasts until 10:25 am. During that time Sherri and Robin ask if I'd ever been on a jury. I tell them about the time I was almost on a murder trial in Judge Ito's courtroom, but I got kicked by the defense on the second day. Sherri and Robin wanted to know if Ito is still a Judge on the floor and if I had heard about a very old case in the news a few months ago, where supposedly Judge Ito, a DDA at the time, buried evidence in a case file. I had not heard about the case but Steven had.

At 10:30 am Judge Fidler takes the bench. The Judge states that the long conference in chambers discussed scheduling of when some motions would be heard as well as the scheduling of jury selection. Several motions were put over to August 14th at 1:30 pm, specifically, the defense motion to exclude the expert testimony of Dr. Pena, as well as the admissibility of all six of the 1101(b), "prior bad acts" witnesses. At first, they were going to hear the motions at 10 am, on the 14th, with Spector waiving his right to appear since he had a doctor's appointment. Then Weinberg asked if the motions could be heard at 1:30 pm and Fidler said, "Sure."

The first motion that was argued was the double jeopardy motion presented by the defense. Riordan stands up and argues their position. (You can read their motion here, at the LA County Court website.) Riordan asks, "What is the legal standard to be applied by the court? Did the court refuse to instruct because there was insufficient evidence for the lesser included charges?" Riordan is basically presenting the same arguments that were presented in the motion. In rebuttal, Truc Do stands up and argues the people's position, repeating many of the same arguments in their opposition motion. Judge Fidler states that, "There has to be a theory, but we don't have an Ashbury situation here." At first, Fidler states that he doesn't believe it's a double jeopardy issue here and the motion in denied. But then he waffles. "I don't know what is going to be presented. We'll have to wait and see what is presented." So, depending on what is presented at trial will depend on whether or not any lesser included jury instructions will come in.

The next motion that is argued is the defense's request to exclude the testimony of Dr. Pena, Dr. Herold and Steve Renteria. Weinberg presents his points. "The problem is in each case the witness opined on an issue that went beyond their knowledge and expertise." Weinberg focuses in on ". . . a very specific topic. How far can impact spatter travel?" And Weinberg goes on to state that "Dr. Herold doesn't have the training or the knowledge to give an opinion on this." That she took only one or two classes on this, and one class was with a defense expert who testified. (That) it is not considered expert testimony if all she states she did was read reports or books on the topic. She never did any testing of her own. While Weinberg is presenting his argument, I observe AJ lean in to say something to Truc and she smiles. (Later, donchais reminds me of one of Dr. Herold's best quotes from the first trial: "I'm a doctor, not a mechanic!" Priceless!)

"Luminol is not used to find tiny specs of blood on a dark carpet. What should have been done.... (the) luminol test was incorrectly applied."

Do stands up and argues the same position that's outlined in their motion, that these arguments go to the "weight" of the evidence. Fidler rules in favor of the prosecution. The motion to exclude Dr. Herold and Steve Renteria's testimony is denied. He rules that it's up to the "trier of fact" to determine the weight of the evidence.

The next is a prosecution motion regarding using Dianne Ogden's video testimony at the first trial. Unfortunately, at this time Fidler has not yet seen the redacted video that the prosecution has prepared for this motion. The prosecution wants to be able to present the video tape of her actual testimony. AJ stands up to argue for the people. Dianne Ogden clearly isn't available to testify (she's deceased) so her testimony from the first trial is admissible under the evidence code. And he goes into detail as to why the video tape should be used (courts have ruled that it's preferred) because it includes the witness's demeanor and inflection. He states that all side bars and other items can be removed from the tape.

Riordan gets up to argue for the defense their opposition. The video is inadmissible because the taping was not made via a court order. And, they don't want the jury to hear or see how Cutler cross examined Dianne Odgen. Riordan want's to be able to place objections during the playing of the tape, if it's admitted into evidence. Something to the effect of, what if there should have been objections made by the initial defense team, because now, all of Ogden's testimony (direct and cross) would be coming in, presented by the prosecution.

In rebuttal to the defense argument, AJ states that the defense doesn't get to pick and choose which questions they want shown to the jury. AJ argues that as long as all the criteria are met, (under the evidence code) all of the testimoy is admissible. "The defense cited no law in their brief that the court needed to get a court order for the taping to be admissible," AJ argues.

Riordan says that, "It's true; no case has held that no tape made by an entertainment company (is admissible). There is no prior law/ ruling that says the defense has to accept the prior cross." Weinberg then gets up and apologizes to the Judge. He says he knows you only want one counsel to argue point, and then he goes onto say that "...the problem is the camera doesn't focus on the witness. The camera person has decided what to show the jury." And Weinberg goes on about the various things the cameraman focused on and it wasn't always the witness.

AJ rebuts that saying, "One camera was trained on her at a particular time. (This is not) through the prism of an entertainment. There's no commercial; there's no commentary; there's no ticker tape feed."

Judge Fidler throws a bone to the defense. "Without fully ruling, I don't see why you can't comment that you would not have questioned the witness this way. Fidler then reminds the people (since they haven't brought it up yet) about their motion to exclude the defense from bringing into the trial Ms. Ogden's cause of death. Judge Fidler then says he will approach this, ..."working backwards. I won't rule on that issue of excluding Ms. Ogden's cause of death because (they) have to wait and see what discovery shows regarding cause of death." As far as admitting Odgen's testimony via video tape, it appears Fidler is leaning towards letting it come in. "I see no reason...with certain caveats.... you get demeanor. If it doesn't focus on her, it doesn't come in," he states. He doesn't have a concern that the tape was not made under court order. "If for any reason it (the tape) comes out of context then my ruling will change." Jackson states that he will get a redacted copy of the video to the court.

Once these motions are done, then the scheduling of the draw for jurors is discussed and how many will be needed. Fidler states that it will be a repeat of the first trial with a draw of 300 jurors over two days, 150 jurors on each day. The pre-screening of the jurors is also laid out. The trial will be delayed a few days from originally stated. It is now moved to start on October 2nd, with the second jury draw on October 3rd. The jurors will receive their questionnaires on those dates. The jurors will then return on October 14th (the day after a holiday, Columbus Day) for voir dire. All motions need to be presented and argued before that date. A few more questions are asked by Riordan and then that's it. We all file out of the courtroom, and I head back to my car. I get donchais on the phone on my walk back to the parking lot and fill her in on the new trial date and when voir dire will start.

Depending on how long voir dire will take, the trial may not start until early November. I honestly can't remember how long jury selection took in trial one. It looks like Jackson will be first chair and Do second chair. Although I know Ocampo is on the team, I don't know if he will be presenting any witnesses at trial. It appears Dixon will only be involved in the retrial in a supervisory capacity. Several people have emailed me an LA Times piece where Harriet Ryan reported Spector was wearing a "Barack Obama Rocks" pin. I was not close enough to Spector to see a pin. All I observed were the big hugs by Spector's Hawaiian shirted fan.

I just want to add as a postscript that from what I'm overhearing from the accredited press, Weinberg is a very likable guy and Riordan is a brilliant legal mind. He has an almost "encyclopedic" knowledge of case law. This is a much better defense team than trial one. At the same time, I think the prosecution has added a star performer in Truc T. Do, who successfully secured a conviction in the "Black Widows" case. Here is press release from the DA's office where she is mentioned.

Casey Anthony at the Bat? Not!

Guest Entry by Ritanita

Florida Judge Lets Sunshine Law Stand

In a decision this afternoon sure to disappoint the Anthony family and Casey’s attorney Jose Baez, Judge Stan Strickland ruled that the Orange County Sheriff’s Office could continue to release audio and video tapes of phone calls between Casey Anthony and family and friends.

Casey’s father George was the only witness to take the stand in the hearing. He stated on the stand that the visits were to make her "smile a bit" and hopefully pass on information that would help him and his family investigate the child’s disappearance.

Casey’s attorney, Jose Baez argued that information released could impede the search for the little girl and drive possible witnesses away. He also stated that the family was "acting as an agent of the state" in their quest to wrestle factual information from Casey. Publicizing the information would not be in the best interest of the case.

Citing case law and the Florida Sunshine laws, attorneys in opposition to the motion argued that it was the right of the Sheriff’s Office to decide what tapes to disclose to the public.

In comments prior to the decision, Judge Strickland states that the family was saying, "Just trust us, we’re trying to do an investigation, just trust us." Apparently, the judge wasn’t buying this argument!

Quoting Baez in his decision, the judge said that the court wasn’t "playing with fire," they were playing with the First Amendment.



Spector Hearing Rulings Today

Judge Fidler ruled that Lynne Herald and Steve Renteria can be used in Spector Redeux as it is up to the jurors to decide the weight of the evidence by the experts from either side.

The double jeopardy motion by the defense was thrown out!

Some motions, such as Dr. Pena's testimony have been held over till August 14th.

No ruling on the Diane Ogden cause of death yet.

TRIAL DATE MOVED - October 2nd and 3rd - 150 potential jurors will be polled for interview each day as in the last trial.

October 15th - Voir Dire to begin!

So, trial may not begin till November!

Truc Do - tiny Asian woman was at the prosecution table - Pat Dixon sat in the galley.

Sprocket will update shortly.

Correction: Voi Dire to begin on October 14th, not the 15th. Sprocket.

Michael Aubin Remanded in Haut de la Garenne Abuse

Aubin has appeared in court on three charges of sexually assaulting boys at a former children's home on Jersey. He was remanded in custody by magistrates over the alleged abuse at Haut de la Garenne.

He is accused of indecent assault of a seven year old and 13 year old, and serious sexual assault of an eight year old, all between 1977 and 1980.

Aubin's case has now been sent to the Royal Court, although a trial date has not been set.

Two other men charged with alleged abuse have yet to enter pleas.

Gordon Wateridge is charged with three offenses of indecent assault on girls under the age of 16, between 1969 and 1979 at Haut de la Garenne.

Claude Donnelly is charged with raping and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl on Jersey between 1971 and 1974.

Donnelly’s arrest is part of the wider inquiry into child abuse on Jersey.


Casey Anthony - Queen of Lies

~Caylee Anthony

Guest Entry by Ritanita

Casey Anthony’s daughter is missing and she’s sitting behind bars on charges of neglect of a child, lying to investigators, and obstruction of a criminal investigation. From the time she first spoke to police on the phone on July 15th, this young woman has created a Byzantine labyrinth of lies. Her bizarre stories and continual lies have done nothing to help authorities find her child, alive or dead.

In a call with her brother Lee, Casey tells him how difficult it is to work with the police because they "misconstrue" what she tells them and doesn’t use the "information" she gives them properly. She indicates that the police expect her to give them exact information and correct spellings. She says that the police are unable to go beyond whatever she tells them, figure it out for themselves. Unfortunately, when she tells the police a pack of lies from the get-go, that’s what will happen. It’s no wonder the police have pretty much given up on interviewing her; they must be tired of going around in circles with her lies.

The lies and confusion will only continue in this case. Further on in the telephone call, Casey tells Lee that she told only two people about Caylee’s being missing, Jeff (Hopkins) and Juliet Lewis. She tells her brother that Jeff worked at Kodak and Juliet at Universal itself. Well, I’m sure many of you have read the arrest affidavit. Jeff was fired 5/13/02, and Juliet never worked there! If she indeed knows these people, it isn’t from working with them at Universal or Kodak or whatever company took over. Why doesn’t she tell her brother how she knows these people and why these are the people she confided in? She lied about these people in the beginning and she continues now. The best information about these two is that Juliet moved a couple of months ago and she thinks she has her phone number written down somewhere. She tells him to search through her bags at the house. I wonder if Lee will be able to do a better job of figuring out this mess.

Now, if that’s the best she could do to help her brother help her, imagine how much more confusion and consternation she has caused for the police. You can be sure they are combing the phone records, searching the credit card records, and tracking down the names and addresses of all women in Florida named Zenaida Gonzalez. There’s probably much more they are doing as well. They are interviewing Casey’s friends to track her movements over the past two months. They are canvassing neighbors and family friends. With the help of the FBI, they are tracking down leads out-of-state.
In the call, Casey says that her "gut feeling" is that Caylee is safe. Sorry, Casey, that’s not good enough. That little girl shouldn’t be missing at all. You shouldn’t just have a "gut feeling" about the welfare of your child, you should know that she is at home and safe and sound, surrounded by a family that loves her.

And Casey, does your "gut" lie as well as you?

Casey & Lee phone call

Orlando Sentinel

Casey-charging affidavit

Monday, July 28, 2008


This page will be periodically updated.
Update: 6/5/11: Every day of testimony is now posted. I still will at some future time, go back and edit any rough drafts still remaining of the opening statements and closing arguments. Sprocket.

Judge: Kathleen Kennedy
Prosecution team: Alan Jackson and Eric Harmon
Defense team: Mark Werksman and Steve Meister

James Fayed - Defendant
Pamela Fayed - Victim
Jeanett Fayed - Only daughter of James & Pamela
Desiree Goudie - Pamela's oldest daughter by previous relationship
Scott Goudie - Brother of Pamela
Dawn Opoulos - Sister of Pamela
Jose Beltran - Witness to stabbing in parking garage (not called during trial)
Jose Luis Moya - "Joey" Fayed's "go to" man, Goldfinger employee, courier and Happy Camp Ranch manager. Accused of being the head ring-leader of the murder-for-hire team.
Gabriel J. Marquez - co-conspirator in murder, hired by Moya
Steven Vincente Simmons - accused co-conspirator and actual killer of Pamela, hired by Moya

11/17/2011 James Fayed Formal Sentencing
09/28/2011 September 22nd Post-trial Sentencing Hearing



Penalty Phase Verdict watch Day 1 (also Closing Arguments) 5/24
Penalty Phase Verdict watch Day 2 5/25
Penalty Phase Verdict watch Day 3 5/26
Penalty Phase Verdict watch Day 4 5/27
Penalty Phase Verdict watch Day 5 5/31

Penalty phase Day 1 May 20th
Penalty phase Day 1 Part II May 2oth
Prosecution Case
1. Dawn Opoulos
- Older sister to Pamela
2. Christina Holland - Close personal friend of Pamela's
3. Scott Goudie - Brother of Pamela.
4. Shelbi Hamilton - Close personal friend of Pamela's
5. Greta Baught - Oldest sister to Pamela
Penalty phase Day 2
Penalty phase Day 2 Part II May 23rd
6. Renee Goudie - Scott Goudie's wife
7. Desiree Goudie - Pamela's eldest daughter
Defense Case
1. James Sadler - Friend of defendant from high school
2. James Tyler - Friend of defendant in mid 90's
3. Melanie Jackman - Long-distance Friend of defendant from high school forward
Penalty phase Day 3 Closing Arguments (Also Day 1 Verdict watch)

Verdict watch Day 1 May 17th
Verdict watch Day 2 May 18th
Verdict watch Day 3 May 19th
James Fayed Found Guilty

Closing Arguments to be Heard Today
Closing Arguments Part II (Rough Draft Notes, NOT EDITED!)

May 4th, 2011 James Fayed Murder-For-Hire Trial Starts
May 4th, 2011 Day 1: Opening Statements Part I

May 4th, 2011 Day 1: Part II, Testimony
1. Desiree Goudie - oldest daughter of Pamela Fayed.
2. Delilah Urrea - friend of victim and former employee of Fayed's company, Goldfinger.
3. Gregory Wallace Herring - family law attorney representing Pamela Fayed at the time of her death.

May 5th, 2011 Day 2
4. Mark Avis - Federal prosecutor for US Attorney General's Office (testimony complete)
5. David Willingham - Criminal defense attorney; first one Pamela had, later disqualified (testimony complete)
6. Carol Nebe - "Best friend" of Pamela since 1989
7. Jean Nelson - Criminal defense attorney; took over for David Willingham

May 6th, 2011 Day 3
8. Matthew Grode - Attorney; witness who observed attack from office across street
9. Eric Spear - Detective-in-charge at the scene
10. Edwin Rivera - Witness at scene; saw Pamela die
11. Dr. Stephen Schultz, MD - L.A. County Deputy Coroner; performed autopsy
12. Mark Newhouse - FBI Special Agent - assisted in search warrants at various locations

May 9th, 2011 Day 4
13. Steven Eidson - FBI Special Agent - Aggregated all precious metals seized in warrants
14. Miguel Sanchez - Former employee of Happy Camp Ranch

May 11th, 2011 Day 5 Part I
No testimony; juror's questioned

May 11th, 2011 Day 5 Part II
15. Alex Samayoa - Owner/Manager of AVIS Rental Car in Camarillo, CA; presents car rental records of the red SUV by Goldfinger
16. Tenille Chacon - Police Officer in Oxnard, CA; stopped and questioned Simmons, Marquez a month before the murders
17. Edward Dixon - ATT Employee; verified phone records of Moya, Fayed, Mercedes
18. Marty McCoy - Former boss and friend of Pamela; accompanied her to a 4th of July party
19. Dan Jensen - Sprint/Nextel Employee; verified phone records of Simmons, Marquez
20. Salaam Abdul-Rahman - Robbery-Homicide Detective; took over investigation in August, 2008

May 12th, 2011 Day 6
20. Salaam Abdul-Rahman - Robbery-Homicide Detective; placed wire on Fayed cellmate Shawn Smith

May 12th, 2001 Day 6 Part II
1. Patricia Taboga - Sister of James Fayed

May 13th, 2011 Day 7
20. Salaam Abdul-Rahman - Robbery-Homicide Detective; part of taped conversation between Jackson and Ms. Mercedes

MSM Trial Coverage
Ventura Co. Star Defendant Masterminded Murder-For-Hire-Plot
LA Times Prosecutor says man accused of killing wife admits to cellmate
Ventura Co. Star Fayed Murder-for-hire trial continues
Daily Mail Fayed told cellmate he masterminded wife's killing
Ventura Co. Star Witness watched victim fall, die after stabbing
Ventura Co. Star Two Jurors Removed From Jury Duty
Ventura Co Star Tapes of Alleged Confession Played For Jurors
Ventura Co. Star Tape of Fayed Sister Played in Court
Ventura Co. Star Closing Arguments Presented to Jury

Associated Press LA Murder Plot case goes to jury

Ventura Co. Star Fayed case goes to the jury
Ventura Co. Star Jury Finds Fayed Guilty of 1st Degree Murder

July 28th, 2008 LA Times Homicide Report Blog

July 30th, 2008 LA Times Victim Had Bitter Divorce
Aug. 5th, 2008 KEYT.COM FBI Linked Fayed to Wife's Murder
Aug. 8th, 2008 DGC Magazine Have You Seen This Guy?
Aug. 10, 2008 DGC Mag. Beginning of the End for E-bullion
Aug. 10, 2008 LA Times Lawyer May Have Known About Threats
Aug. 28th, 2008 LA Times Slain Woman Feared For Her Life
Dec. 2, 2008 ABC News Individual Sought in Century City Murder
Dec. 3, 2008 E Commerce Jrnl Police Found Pamela's Murderer

Judge: Kathleen Kennedy
Prosecution team: Alan Jackson and Eric Harmon
Defense team: Mark Werksman and Steve Meister

James Fayed - Defendant
Pamela Fayed - Victim
Jeanett Fayed - Only daughter of James & Pamela
Desiree Goudie - Pamela's oldest daughter by previous relationship
Scott Goudie - Brother of Pamela
Dawn Opoulos - Sister of Pamela
Jose Beltran - Witness to stabbing in parking garage (not called during trial)
Jose Luis Moya - "Joey" Fayed's "go to" man, Goldfinger employee, courier and Happy Camp Ranch manager. Accused of being the head ring-leader of the murder-for-hire team.
Gabriel J. Marquez - co-conspirator in murder, hired by Moya
Steven Vincente Simmons - accused co-conspirator and actual killer of Pamela, hired by Moya

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Illegal Immigration, Sanctuary Cities and Criminal Activity

Guest Entry by CaliGirl9

In San Francisco's Excelsior district on June 22, 48-year old Tony Bologna and his sons were shot after Bologna inadvertently and temporarily blocked the progress of a Chrysler 300M containing three occupants. Bologna's Honda Civic, heading in the opposite direction of the Chrysler, inadvertently blocked the path of the Chrysler that was trying to turn north onto Congdon from Maynard Street. Bologna, a volunteer youth basketball and baseball coach, was shot as he backed his Honda Civic up so the Chrysler could complete the turn. Bologna was killed outright at the site, as was his 20-year old son Matthew. Son Michael, age 16, died a few days later as a consequence of his injuries. Tony Bologna is survived by his wife Danielle, and a son and daughter.

By July 26, SF police had arrested Edwin Ramos, age 21, of El Sobrante, a nearby East Bay city. Ramos is a known MS-13 gang member, tattoos and red shirts and all, born in El Salvador and in the United States illegally. Ramos was arrested after a tip from another man who was arrested on unrelated charges who offered up Ramos' name.

Apparently Ramos has had plenty of run-ins with SF police in his checkered past. His first run-in was in at the age of 17 in October 2003, when he and a pair of his gang cronies assaulted an individual on a Muni bus. He should have been deported then—SF's first chance to save itself a lot of grief. But San Francisco is a sanctuary city, and the juvenile Ramos was not turned over to ICE for deportation. Instead, he was convicted in juvenile court on charges of assault and participating in a street gang, and sent to a shelter as part of its sanctuary city policy.

A bit about sanctuary cities. In the state of California, SF, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego are all sanctuary cities. The term is non-binding one, but it prohibits law enforcement and government officials from inquiring about an individual's immigration status. SF has been a sanctuary city since 1989 thanks to a genius vote by the ultra-liberal SF Board of Supervisors (affectionately called the "Board of Stupes" by many SF residents).

SF of course takes this one step farther, and will not turn over the names of undocumented juvenile offenders. The reason for this is that conviction of a felony could jeopardize their potential status as a legal resident, and ultimately a bit for citizenship. The juvenile offenders are shipped off to group homes outside of SF at a cost of millions to taxpayers. On the rare occasion an underage illegal arrested for a crime other than being undocumented was deported from SF, said criminal was escorted home with a juvenile officer via commercial flight, usually to El Salvador or Honduras.

Recently—around the time he announced he was considering running for governor of the state of California, SF Mayor Gavin Newsom put an end to the group home and flights home policies. In June, 12 undocumented Honduran juveniles were arrested for selling crack cocaine. Rather than putting these criminals through the criminal justice system or deporting them back to Honduras, they were packed up at the cost of $7000 a month and sent to group homes in the cities Visalia and Atascadero and in San Bernardino county. All 12 have walked away from those homes, and 10 are still on the run.

Best part of the juvenile offender deal—age was self-reported. So it didn't matter if the arrestee had a beard or looked 30—if he said he was under 18, so be it.

Back to Edwin Ramos. SF had a second try at doing the right thing for the citizens of SF by deporting him after yet another felony conviction, this time for assaulting a pregnant woman in 2004, four days after he was released from the group home to the custody of his mother (whose immigration status has not been revealed; she left Edwin as an infant in the care of his grandmother in El Salvador). Ramos and two other men approached the woman from behind in the middle of the day, with Ramos attempting to pull her backpack-style purse off of her. When the woman's brother intervened, Ramos punched him and fled. The man found a police officer and pointed out Ramos, who a month later was convicted as a juvenile of attempted robbery (felony) but cleared of assault (huh?). This time he was sent to a camp from June 2004 to February 2005.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, federal authorities finally learned Ramos wasn't in the U.S. legally after he turned 18 after he applied for temporary residency status. He was turned down, and at that time was considered deportable. Naturally, he found himself an American citizen to marry and now has an anchor baby daughter, 11 months of age today.

Third time's a charm? Nope. In March, Ramos was pulled over because his car had illegally tinted windows and no front license plate. An occupant of the car tried to discard a gun which was later linked to a double killing. The police report cited numerous documented contacts with Ramos and the man who discarded the gun, and both are known members of MS-13.

SF District Attorney Kamala Harris, who was elected on a platform of "no death penalty ever" elected NOT to prosecute Ramos at that time because it could not be proven he knew his passenger had the gun.

At the time of the third arrest, the comedy of errors continues as the SF Sheriff's office checked an ICE database and learned Ramos was deportable. The SF Sheriff's office claims to have corresponded with ICE about Ramos; ICE says they were sent an inquiry hours after Ramos had been released (the passenger who dumped the gun was held as deportable).

Today we have Edwin Ramos in jail in San Francisco, held for the murder of Tony Bologna and his sons. Special circumstances have been tacked onto the case and it could be a death penalty case, but of course Kamala Harris is hemming and hawing and not talking about it.

(Before I go any farther, please remember that Gavin Newsom is exploring a run for the governor of California and Kamala Harris is said to be in consideration for a Cabinet post—Attorney General—should Obama be elected president.)

And all of this grief and heartache is because the government of a city declared itself a sanctuary city and a federal government did not come down on this sanctuary city and withhold funds for whatever purpose. Doesn't federal law usurp state law—and remember that the sanctuary city status is non-binding?

I am not anti-immigrant or anti-Latino. I am the daughter of a German immigrant who married my father in Germany and came to the U.S pregnant with me (my great-grandfather was born in Ireland). I also grew up in a farming family, where my dad always had irrigators and tractor drivers who didn't have the correct "papers," but who were hard working and as honest as the day is long, except for the lack of a green card. I have friends who are undocumented and one, a college student who is also a cancer survivor, who goes so far as to not drive or take a job with false documents because she is afraid it will jeopardize her quest for a green card. I am not suggesting we round up every undocumented person and "send 'em back to where they came from." But I do believe the United States does have laws in place that allow for deportation of those illegals who flaunt their middle fingers at the law and find themselves in the criminal justice system time after time, receiving no more than a slap on the wrist and a call two hours too late to ICE inquiring of said criminal's immigration status. The United States has a unique opportunity here—to keep the best of the best from wherever they came from, and send the scumbuckets and dead weights packing.

The solution is simple really, for any governmental power to champion. First, here's hoping there is plenty of outrage in the Latino community over what Ramos and his ilk do and have done. Most Latinos are law-abiding people. Period. Aren't they sick of being guilty of association with dirt like Ramos?

Second, secure the borders. Both of 'em, but if we've got to prioritize, secure the southern border first by whatever means necessary. Wall, electrified fence, moat with alligators, sharks or piranhas, armed gunmen in gun towers, I don't much care and am happy to dedicate my tax dollars to this endeavor.

Third, enforce the laws we do have. There are plenty of reasons someone is deportable. Find one and stick to it and follow through. Screw the anchor baby idea! Take your baby with you or leave it in the U.S. for adoption or foster care. Poor kid didn't break any laws … yet. Don't want for the felony like murder or DUI with injury to take action … it's too late.

Fourth, write up laws with some real teeth to discourage illegal immigration. Make employers responsible for hiring undocumented workers. It's easy—no green card and/or social security card, or if the documents look fake, no job. No jobs, no need to come here.

Fifth, get some able-bodied U.S. citizens currently on welfare to take the jobs formerly occupied by illegal immigrants. In certain locations in California, many farm workers make more money than the federal minimum wage (when I was working in farm labor over 10 years ago, farm workers in the Salinas Valley were earning anywhere from $6.50 to $9 an hour depending on the work).

Sixth, adopt some of Canada's immigration policies. Canada uses a point system, with college-educated people earning points toward entry. Enough of the uneducated masses yearning to be gang members in our cities …

Edwin Ramos is a scumbucket. It is too late to deport him, but it is not too late to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law. Minimally he should spend the rest of his life in jail. In a perfect world he finds himself rooming with Richard Allen Davis and Scott Peterson for a few years …

And true justice will be served if Danielle Bologna brings suit against the City of San Francisco, the mayor, the DA, the Board of Supervisors, and anyone else who so rabidly embraced and defended S.F. sanctuary city status.

Thank you so much for this very informative entry CaliGirl9!

Fox News


San Francisco Chronicle

Wikipedia: Sanctuary City

Brooke Bennett and Jessica’s Law

~Brooke Bennett

Yesterday, a rally for Jessica’s Law was held in Saint Albans, Vermont. Supporters of the law have gathered 12,000 signatures on the petition.

What really caught my eye were the following two statements:

"These cases need to be reviewed individually, however I think we need to have a minimum fifteen year mandatory sentence for pedophiles. Jessica's Law is 25 years. That's very aggressive... But we need to take steps to set up something that's mandatory for sentencing," said Maura Kelley, a substitute teacher who lives in Hinesburg.

For god’s sake, Ms. Kelly – it’s pedophilia – it’s the abuse of a vulnerable child and in this case, Brooke Bennett ended up dead! 25 years is VERY aggressive?

Vermont's legislature recently rejected mandatory sentencing, but did enact changes that include a possible life sentence for second-time child sex offenders.

A possible life sentence for second-time offenders? Let me get this straight, if your caught a SECOND time, we’ll get serious after TWO innocent children are harmed and/or murdered?

I am appalled!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Caylee Anthony Disappearance: Casey's Brother, Lee, Interviewed

Here is an interview with Casey Anthony's brother, Lee right after visiting his sister in jail. He sounds quite grounded and (imo) should be the family's spokesperson.

Thank's to ritanita for the alert on this video.

Phil Spector: Prosecution's Opposition Motion to Defendant's Plea of Once in Jeopardy to the Lesser-included Offenses of Second Degree Murder

Originally posted July 24th, 2008
I'm reading the latest prosecution motion that was filed earlier today in opposition to the defense's plea of once in jeopardy to the lesser-included offenses of second degree murder. It's a detailed packed 24 pages long and clearly shows how much "spin" the defense is willing to create to try to prevent the next jury from even considering lesser offenses. Did any of you watch during the first trial, the jury instruction battle the prosecution and the defense went through? It was a part of trial strategy not to charge on the lesser included offenses from both sides. In fact, it was the defense who originally raised this issue through motions as part of it's trial strategy.

Although this stuff hurts my head to read, it's quite interesting to see the arguments and facts the prosecution lays out. I will try my best to have the most important sections of this motion up on the blog sometime tomorrow, so look for this entry to be updated.

Update: July 26th, 2008

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92130 974-3800


Superior Court of the State of California

For the County of Los Angeles



Case No. BA255233



Hearing: July 29, 2008
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Dept.: 106

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PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on July 29, 2008 at 8:30 am or as soon thereafter as this matter may be heard in Department 106 of the above-entitled Court, the People of the State of California will oppose Defendant Phillip Spector's plea of once in jeopardy to the lesser-included offenses of second degree murder. The People's opposition will be based upon the attached memorandum of points and authorities, the files and pleadings in the above-entitled matter, the reporter's transcript of the trial, and on such further evidence and argument as may be introduced at the hearing of Defendant Phillip Spector's plea.

Dated: July 22, 2008
Respectfully submitted,

BY: (signature)
Deputy District Attorney

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The court should deny Defendant Phillip Spector's (hereinafter "Defendant") plea of once in jeopardy to the lesser-included offenses of second-degree murder, namely voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, for the following reasons:

(1) Defendant cannot plead once in jeopardy to an offense he successfully persuaded this Court to not submit to the jury which had been empaneled to try him. United States v. Scott (1978) 437 U.S. 82, 89.

(2) The Court's mere refusal to instruct on the lesser-included offenses is not an acquittal of those offenses under double jeopardy principles. See Scott, 437 U.S. at 96-97. United States v. Martin Linen Supply (1977) 430 U.S. 564, 571-572; and Manokey v. Waters (2004 4th Cr. MD) 390 F.3d 767, 772-773 fn.7, 774-775, cert. denied by Manokey v. Waters (2005) 544 U.S. 1034.

(3)Neither double jeopardy nor judicial estoppel bar retrial of Defendant for the lesser-included offenses, where the People and Defendant requested the Court to not instruct on the lesser-included offenses as a matter of trial tactics. People v. Wilson, 43 Cal.App.4th 839, 841-849.

Notwithstanding the lengthy discussions had by the Court regarding instruction on lesser-included offenses, the defense cited only three (3) excerpts of the Court's comments on the subject. The defense has taken the Court's comments out of context to argue this Court reviewed the People's evidence and made a factual finding that the evidence was insufficient to prove voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. A thorough and fair reading of the entire record demonstrates that: (1) both the People and the

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defense requested the Court not instruct on lesser-included offenses for tactical reasons; and (2) irrespective of the parties' trial strategies, this Court independently determined that neither party had presented evidence or a theory to warrant the jury's consideration of lesser-included offenses. The court never impliedly or otherwise factually acquitted Defendant of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.

When discussions of the proposed jury instructions began on August 29, 2007, the Court asked, "are the People seeking any lessers?" To which, the People answered, "no. . . not at this time." (RT vol. 64, 11003: 14-17). The Court then stated:

"I think we are all in agreement. Let me just get a statement --- besides which I think it is a correct statement of the law. I have for weeks now been thinking of alternatives, and 'what if this, what if that,' just sort of trying to get a head start on whether there is a possibility of voluntary manslaughter or involuntary, and based on the facts of this case and also based on the defense, I don't see it. The problem with a sudden quarrel would be there is the reasonable man standard, which I don't think anybody would say has possibly been shown, which would mandate a voluntary manslaughter. On an involuntary, given the fact that the gun is inside her mouth, you can't possibly get to things like misdemeanor manslaughter or anything else but where it comes to a second degree, if they find --- I mean, I don't see a theory."

(RT Vol 64, 11003: 18-11004:9).

The court then asked defense counsel, "So this is a knowing tactical decision, plus your belief in what the law shows; is that correct?" (RT 11004:8-9) (emphasis added). Dennis Riordan ("Riordan"), for Defendant, answered: "It is your honor." (RT vol. 64, 11004:10) (emphasis added). Mr. Riordan further explained:

"I will state for the record that unlike the situation in which there could be lesser-includeds [sic] --- and we are asking the Court to roll the dice for

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us --- this is actually a case in which tactics aside, we agree with the Court that there simply isn't sufficient evidence to support a theory other than either acquittal or second degree murder."

(RT Vol. 64, 11004:11-17) (emphasis added). The court responded: "Right. I mean, I think initially when the case started out there was a lot of talk of alcohol intoxication, but nothing was presented to the jury that would be sufficient to proceed with that. So based upon that, the Court will instruct only on murder." (RT Vol. 64, 11004: 18-23) (emphasis added).

Discussions on jury instructions continued on September 5, 2007. In response to the court's inquiry regarding Defendant's renewed objection to the 1101(b) evidence, Mr. Riordan stated: "Given the arguments and the jury instructions last week, both sides really agreed that this was an issue of identity and nothing else, and for that reason the court has decided that there will not be lesser included instructions which be given in a case where mental state was at issue." (RT Vol. 65, 11057:21-11058:16) (emphasis added). On September 6, 2007, Mr. Riordan further explained the defense's position on the lesser-included offenses:

"Okay. but the basis on which we agreed that there would not be lesser included is that the insertion of a gun in someone's mouth is so clearly not only an act dangerous to human life but one that any human being would know involved a conscious disregard of human life, that absent some affirmative evidence of, you know, intoxication or lack of mental state and the defendant testifying to that, that it removes the mental state element from the case, and therefore, there are no lessers."

(RT, Vol. 65, 11435:2-10) (emphasis added).

On September 7, 2007, the Court reiterated the following to guide the parties in closing arguments:

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"Just to make it clear, the theories have been presented by both sides. Both sides have pretty much up to this point agreed or stipulated that the only appropriate instruction is that of second degree murder, with no lesser. As I believe I have made it clear, and if I have not, I am not bound by that. If the evidence suggests whether or not the parties don't want me to give lesser, if there is a reasonable suggestion by the evidence that lesser be given, if there is some substantial evidence, reasonable evidence that the jury can consider, it doesn't make any difference what the parties or I think about it, it's whether its something that they should consider. At this point I haven't heard it, and I think that we are in agreement. Basically, the question is whether there is any evidence that would suggest other than a disregard, the instructions for second degree murder, conscious disregard for human life that is set forth in CALCRIM 520."

(RT Vol. 65, 11445:4-23) (emphasis added). Again, Mr. Riordan added:

"Your honor, I could not agree more with the Court that this is a case where lesser-includeds [sic] are not required and not justified, and that is because the People's theory throughout the case has been that Mr. Spector committed the act that caused the death of Miss Clarkson."

(RT Vol. 65, 11447:10-15). On September 10, 2007, after closing arguments, the Court instructed the jury on second-degree murder only.

On September 18, 2007, the sixth day of deliberations, the jury indicated they might be deadlocked. (RT vol. 59, 11712:24-27). At this time, the Court raised the possibility of a sua sponte duty to instruct the jury on a misdemeanor manslaughter theory of involuntary manslaughter under People v. Lee (1999) 20 Cal.4th 47, which held a trial court erred in failing to sua sponte instruct on that theory of involuntary

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manslaughter based on a brandishing of a weapon.(1) (RT Vol. 69, 1171f3:2-11715:3). On September 19, 2007, the court heard oral argument on this issue. Again, Defendant continued to object to any lesser-included offenses, filing a second memorandum of points and authorities to state his opposition on September 19, 2007.

The People, however, requested the court instruct on a misdemeanor manslaughter theory of involuntary manslaughter under Lee to avoid error only. (RT Vol. 70, 11755:6-22). In doing so, the People made clear that both parties had not requested instructions on the lesser for tactical reasons. Moreover, the People had never argued "there was no evidence" to support lesser-included offenses, but that the evidence went "beyond" the lesser-included offenses. On September 19, 2007, Deputy District attorney Alan Jackson ("Jackson") stated:

"Mr. Riordan indicated at first blush that there are three factors that he believes are determinative in this court's decision as far as giving an instruction or not giving an instruction concerning a lesser. He says, number one, there is no substantial evidence in the record to support it. ... [As to this argument,] there needs to be a distinction made between what the defense is saying is no substantial evidence supporting the theory. It's impossible to say that there is not substantial evidence in the record to support a misdemeanor manslaughter instruction. . . . I'll phrase it as a misdemeanor manslaughter instruction based on brandishing. That's impossible to say. When the Court spoke on the record, which Mr. Brunon quoted,

(1) In Lee, the defendant, who had a blood alcohol level of .33 to .39, retrieved a .357 magnum Smith & Wesson handgun during an argument with his wife. As the couple pushed each other with the gun between them the wife sustained a close contact gunshot to the head. There were no witnesses to the gunshot. A jury acquitted the defendant of second-degree murder and convicted him of voluntary manslaughter. Lee, 20 Cal.4th at 52-54. The California Supreme Court held the trial court erred in failing to sua sponte instruct on a "misdemeanor-manslaughter" theory of involuntary manslaughter, based on evidence of a brandishing of weapon. The court, however, affirmed the voluntary manslaughter conviction because it found the jury, having been instructed on two other theories of involuntary manslaughter, had the opportunity but rejected a verdict of involuntary manslaughter. Id at 62.

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And the Court indicated 'I don't see it.' And you remember that dialog that we all had, or had, and you said, 'if this is anything,' I mean he put the gun in her mouth. If the jurors believe the facts as they have been presented, the gun was actually inside her mouth, and everybody here at the table would agree that that is in fact assault with a deadly weapon, it goes' beyond brandishing. That word 'beyond' is the seminal phraseology. It is not that there is no evidence to support brandishing or support the misdemeanor manslaughter. It's that we all surmised that it was that the conduct was grave enough that it subsumed misdemeanor brandishing and went beyond it to a different degree. The same as Justice Brown articulated in her concurring opinion. I think that's why the Court pointed us to that language in Lee. In her concurring opinion, Justice Brown said something to the effect that in that case, under those facts in her opinion that a reasonable jury would have to believe that the conduct went there to the manslaughter and substantially further, but the manslaughter is in fact factually and legally subsumed within the conduct of the assault with a deadly weapon in that case. . . . So I want to make sure I start out by saying what the proper playing fields should be. . . . There is no reasonable argument that the facts don't support a brandishing. You can't assault someone with a gun without first brandishing that gun. Therefore, it is supported by the facts. The Court took the position, and I think we all did, that yeah, it is supported by the facts, but, my goodness, based on the facts, it appears to go beyond that as well. Actually going into an assault with a deadly weapon, actually putting a gun in someone's mouth. That is a far cry from saying the facts don't support it."

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(RT Vol. 70, 11748:13-11750:17) (emphasis added). The Court then asked the People, "notwithstanding Lee, if the facts are so clear, why didn't you argue them and why didn't you ask the Court to include the lesser?" (RT 11753:16-18). Mr. Jackson responded, "Strategically, we didn't want it, the defense didn't want it. . . . To answer the court's question pointedly, why didn't we ask for it, because it's a strategic position." (RT11753:24-25, 11755:6-9).

Defendant notably omitted the following comment by the Court in its analysis of the lesser-included offenses:

'The sole reason I did not give manslaughter instructions in this case originally was because we did not have a theory. I specifically asked is there any theory upon which a manslaughter conviction can rest? I said, I can't [think] of one because we did not see a brandishing. And the reason we did not see a brandishing was that everyone was in agreement that whatever happened in this case, it was a completed assault. It had to go beyond brandishing, which took brandishing away from the jury. It took it away from any possible consideration." (RT Vol. 70, 11860:17-26). "Both sides have told me consistently and I have agreed with you, there is no brandishing because it's gone beyond it in this case."

(RT vol. 70, 11861:18-20). Ultimately, the Court declined to instruct the jury on a misdemeanor manslaughter theory of involuntary manslaughter, finding "it would be inappropriate at this time [i.e. mid-deliberations] to instruct the jury with a new offense, that being the lesser offense of manslaughter, because I believe it's basically directing them, if at all possible, that's what they should find, and that is inappropriate," (RT Vol. 70, 11773:8-14).
The next 10-24 pages outline section III, "Argument And Authorities." I will excerpt some of those sections. Here is an abbreviated list of the cases that are cited throughout the next fourteen pages.

Ohio v. Johnson (1984)
United States v. Scott (1978)
Green v. United States (1957)
People v. Lee (1999)
People v. Breverman (1998)
United States v. Martin Linen Supply (1977)
People v. Hatch (2000)
People v. Lagunas (1994)
Hudson v. Louisiana (1981)
People v. Trevino (1985)
People v. DePriest (2007)
Manokey v. Walters (2004)
People v. Asbury (1985)
People v. Wilson (1996)

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The Double Jeoparyd Clause of the Fifth Amendment protects a criminal defendant from a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal or conviction, and against multiple punishments for the same offense. Ohio v. Johnson (1984) 467 U.S. 493, 498. It does not, however, protect a criminal defendant from a second prosecution of an offense when "he himself successfully undertook to persuade the trial court not to submit the issue of guilt or innocence to the jury which had been empaneled to try him."
end page excerpt:

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Here, Defendant, to use his own words, "went ot of his way" to consistently object to instructions on the lesser-included offenses, including filing two written memoranda of points and authorities in opposition to the lesser-included offenses (dated August 27, 2007 and September 19, 2007). It is transparent that Defendant objected to the lesser-included offenses strictly for tactical reasons, at one point "asking the Court to roll the dice for us." (RT Vol. 64, 11004:11-17). Indeed, prior to the mistrial, the People requested the jury be allowed to consider misdemeanor manslaughter to avoid error under Lee, but Defendant objected. (RT Vol. 70, 117565:6-22). While a trial court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on lesser-included
end page excerpt:

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offenses "even when as a matter of trial tactics a defendant not only fails to request the instruction but expressly objects to it being given," People v. Breverman (1998) 19 Cal.4th 142, 154, the remedy for error (if not harmless) is reversal of his conviction. But it is patently absurd for a defendant to successfully object to the jury's consideration of a lesser-included offense for tactical reasons and then plead he is placed once in jeopardy of life or limb on that offense. The double Jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment was not intended for such gamesmanship.
end page excerpt:

Page 14:
By selectively taking, out of context, three (3) excerpts of the Court's comments from lengthy discussions of the appropriateness of the lesser-included offenses, Defendant has distorted factually the Court's analysis in its refusal to instruct on the lesser-included offenses. This Court did not, as Defendant contends, rule the People's evidence was insufficient or failed to prove the lesser-included offenses of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. Rather, the court and both parties clearly recognized that the People's evidence, if believed by the jury, established that Defendant's conduct went beyond manslaughter.
end page excerpt:

Page 21:
Again, Defendant has misstated the facts. It is not true that the "prosecutor went out of his way to seek an order from the Court precluding the defense from making any argument regarding any lesser offense upon which the jurors had not ben instructed." (Defendant's Plea and Motion at 7:6-7). Defendant did. It is also not true that the People took "the position at the first trial that thre was no evidence to support instruction on the lessers." (Defendant's Plea and Motion at 7:11-12). The People never argued "there was no evidence to support instruction on lessers."
end page excerpt:

Page 23:

This Court should deny Defendant's plea of once in jeopardy to any lesser-included offenses of second-degree murder. Defendant's Double Jeopardy claim flies in the face of logic and law. The protections of the double Jeopard clause were not
end page excerpt:

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intended to enable gamesmanship, in which a criminal defendant may choose to not proffer mitigating evidence, successfully object to the giving of a lesser-included offense, and later complain he is oppressed by the Government's repeated attempts to convict him of the lesser-included offense. Finally, it is only by distorting factually the record and conflating the standard of review for sua sponte instructions and an 1118.1 or 1181 substantial evidence test, that Defendant has argued this Court acquitted him of the lesser-included offenses. The record is unambiguous. The Court and both parties clearly stated the People's evidence necessarily proved the lesser-included offense but had gone "beyond" the lesser to establish the greater offense of implied malice, second-degree murder. For that reason, this Court properly did not instruct on the lesser-included offenses since it is "required only where there is 'substantial evidence' from which a rational jury could conclude that the defendant committed the lesser offense, and that he is not guilty of the greater offense." DePriest, 42 Cal.4th at 50 (emphasis added).

Dated: July 22, 2008
Respectfully submitted,

By: (signature)
Deputy District Attorney
Did y'all get all that? Read this stuff for hours and your head will pound a bit like mine did. Were you able to see the underhanded move the defense was trying to pull with it's motion? Just think about how much time it takes to craft something like this. To pick and choose tiny pieces of the trial transcript so that it appears your arguments are truly representing the trial record and then search case law, quoting it to bolster your arguments. And think about how long it takes to do the exact opposite. Research and present an opposition motion.

Consider that Riordan (who is working the case with Weinberg) is a formidable adversary in crafting jury instruction arguments. (Remember special jury instruction #3?) Kim of The Darwin Exception pointed it out last year in this entry:

The new lawyer on the Spector’s team, Dennis Riordan, was an advisory committee member of the task force that actually revamped the California jury instructions.

Don't underestimate Spector's new defense team. It's a safe bet they will be presenting more motions like this as this case gets closer to its retry date.