The January 15 Status Hearing
DC Superior Court’s steam-powered rule that prohibits TV coverage of hearings has long vexed both seasoned journalists and cub reporters alike.
Not dissuaded, and taking a cue from the rascals who are reenacting the Prop 8 proceedings in California (the federal civil trial concerning the legality of same sex marriage), we offer a similar feature but without having to pay SAG rates.
The renderings are by no means precise and we apologize up front for the five o’clock shadow seen on defense counsel David Schertler and Robert Spagnoletti. In a very brief clip, Judge Lynn Leibovitz gets things under way:
After the jump, a longer segment featuring the key arguments that day, how much of the government’s theory on the injection of paralytic drugs and sexual assault that preceded Robert’s stabbing will make it into the trial.
The full hearing transcript follows as well.
After disposing of the defense motion to dismiss counts, Leibovitz set an aggressive scheduling order giving both sides their first deadlines. Today’s has Assistant US Attorney Glenn Kirschner filing some crucial paperwork.
Due today are his completed discovery, their scientific evidence and the 16(a)(1)(e) disclosure. Leibovitz told Kirschner in no uncertain terms:
“My goal there is to have you give discovery of everything you have got. …Just get everything you have got and put yourselves in a position to say on February 5th, we have disclosed everything we have.”
After months and months of wrangling it seems like the discovery disputes have been settled. Well, almost. Kirschner admitted he is, “…90 percent, 95 percent disclosed at this stage.” Why does that sound like a long way from 100 percent?
Also due for the government today is the Notice of Uncharged Conduct I filing. Leibovitz has broken down uncharged conduct into three separate categories:
1. Circumstances of the murder and what’s articulated in the affidavit.
2. Things “outside the four corners of the affidavit from the night of August 2 and thereafter” that may be crimes.
3. Uncharged conduct that is not a crime: things the government may offer at trial which they think are relevant yet which could be “prejudicial and inflammatory,” admissibility subject to Rule 403.
But it is today’s filing, Uncharged Conduct I is what much of the last status hearing focused on: how the prosecution is going to position Robert’s murder. Leibovitz jumped right in:
“It would be I think hard to suggest the fact that the murder could not be introduced as evidence in this case. And, it would be hard to suggest that the circumstances surrounding it and the evidence that the government has as to what happened during the murder couldn’t come in.
…does the government intend to argue that the defendants committed those acts. …are you (the government) saying one or all defendants committed the murder. Are your going to be saying a murder happened, and they cleaned it up, and that was obstruction? Are you going to be saying a murder happened and they did it one or all, and that is why they cleaned it up, and it was the motive for the obstruction?
Or are you going to be somewhere in the middle of that saying there is certainly enough here to suggest that that is the motive. I certainly think the implications of that for the defendants are significant. I think they are entitled to know what your theory is soon enough to rebut that theory…”
The next deadline is for the defense, February 26. Due is their Uncharged Conduct Response, substantive Motions and 16(a)(1)(e).
Post script: wmrw.com editorial cartoonist Thomas Nasty has already inquired about use of the xtranormal software.
-posted by Craig