Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Yogurt Shop Murders: today’s joint pretrial hearing, Part 2

Scott’s attorney Carlos Garcia argued motions regarding their desire to inspect and/or acquire copies or transcripts of some photos, VHS-tapes (mostly of “snitches” that have "come out of the woodwork" since 1999 and are now included on the state’s witness list), and expert witness testimony.

Garcia also described his difficulty in getting Ron Lara, the APD commander of the Cold Case unit, to comply with two subpoenas to appear and one follow-up letter, claiming that they’re entitled to some of Lara’s materials now that the state has listed him as an expert witness.

Assistant DA Gail Van Winkle countered that Lara’s materials, particularly his PowerPoint presentation, are work product. She also said that “nothing is secret here.” Judge Lynch said he’d review the case law and make a ruling later but that “there will be no witnesses in these pretrial hearings” because these aren’t evidentiary hearings. So I don’t think we’ll see Ron Lara on the stand until trial time.

Garcia announced that the defense was now filing a Joint Motion to show cause, contempt and appointment of special master. He explained, “the state doesn’t comply, so we’ve filed a motion.” I only caught a quick glance at this redacted motion and can’t remember most of the specifics, but I know that one contention is this: the state left the impression at the 6/11/08 hearing that they had no DNA test results yet when, according to this defense motion, the state has had some results since 4/11/08.

Lynch, who hadn’t yet seen this new motion, recalled that the special master request had come up during the last trials but that he hadn’t been able to find any Texas law that would allow him to appoint one, although he would have liked to have done so. He told Garcia he’d entertain it if they could provide him some case law.

Towards the end, Garcia and Lynch got a little testy as Garcia was attempting to voice objections for the record after Lynch had ordered him to submit some of them in writing instead. Finally, Lynch set the next hearing for 8/05/08, said it would be a quick hearing and added, jokingly, that he was leaving town right afterwards and “might not come back.”

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