Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Yogurt Shop Murders: today’s pretrial hearing, more info

Thanks to much help from the Austin Chronicle's Jordan Smith, I think I finally have an adequate understanding of today’s defense motions. My understanding of their motion to prohibit the D.A. from ex parte communications and the joint motion to set aside protective order is as follows:

1. Defense contends that the state is trying to hide DNA results not favorable to their case.
2. Defense had a "loophole" to expose or exploit what they thought the state was hiding (re incoming DNA results) because previous protective orders only referenced the two cause numbers related to the death of Amy Ayers. So defense files writ revealing new DNA from Amy Ayers not matching any of original four defendants.
3. July 11, the state then tries to close "loophole" (because it’s receiving more DNA results presumably unfavorable to their case) by “re-filing” protective order adding cause numbers for all four victims, making it impossible for defense to speak on any of the cases, not just Ayers', without violating the order.
4. Defense claims improper ex parte communication by state in “re-filing” protective order with added cause numbers and contends that resulting new protective order should be thrown out. Judge Lynch disagrees.

In the defense's Joint Motion to show cause, contempt and appointment of special master, among other points, is their contention that the state allowed the impression stand at the 6/11/08 hearing, when Lynch specifically asked them, that there were no DNA results. However, according to the motion, the state has actually had some results since 4/11/08.

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