Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Today’s Michael Scott pretrial hearing: DNA testing continues and early September is the goal for retrial

Attorneys for both Michael Scott and Robert Springsteen met in chambers for the first 25 minutes of today’s status hearing. Judge Lynch then took the bench and explained that the parties had been working out some more discovery issues, particularly concerning original testing and retesting of certain evidentiary items, with today’s focus on DNA. Apparently logistical difficulties prevented Springsteen from being in the courtroom today.

Scott’s attorney, Carlos Garcia, recently filed a motion requesting that the State be ordered to call the defense as soon as they receive any DNA-testing results, agreeing with Judge Lynch that it’s essentially a Brady motion. Prosecutors argued that it’s not Brady material if the results are only ruling out people and that they do intend to turn over any official written reports. Garcia argued the defense deserves to get the results as soon as possible to know if they need to do their own further testing.

After more arguing, during which Judge Lynch said, “You guys amaze me…” and that he was “transfixed by the extraordinary difficulty” both sides seem to have getting along with each other, the judge ordered the State to inform the defense whenever they receive a conclusive answer (e.g., DNA results), written or verbal.

Garcia put on record that his April 9th motion to allow the defense to test the ligatures and the girl’s shirt had indeed been ordered, a joint agreed order. Garcia then asked that the defense be given copies of audio and/or video witness statements of five or six people, including Dearl Croft. Because the defense has had access to these recordings, Judge Lynch denied the request for copies.

Finally, Judge Lynch said that he expects Michael Scott’s retrial to begin shortly after Labor Day at the earliest and October at the latest, with Robert Springsteen’s retrial to begin not long afterwards, possibly December or January. The next status hearing is set for June 11.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for going and posting! These hearing are really messing up my schedule - June 11th is the day I'm supposed to have my foot surgery. I haven't decided whether I'm going to do it or not. If I don't, I'll go and report for you.