A Clearer Picture of What Will Make It To Trial
We’re filing at the 1pm lunch break during today’s status hearing. It’s a day of all business.
You know the trial is nearing as the number of attorneys present multiplies; nine today in all introduced at the start of proceedings at 9:45am.
What’s in, and what’s out:
xylenes are out – the defense’s motion to exclude denied as moot, seeing the government has already said it doesn’t intend to introduce.
The New Yorker, and books found at 1509 are out – again, the defense’s motion to exclude their introduction denied as moot, as today the government said they did not intend to introduce.
Defendant’s sexual histories and orientation: the government is seeking to introduce approximately 15-20 emails, and perhaps half a dozen letters, between and among the defendants to give a “…more specific flavor to the nature of their relationship…” that a “…cold recitation doesn’t,” according to AUSA Glenn Kirschner. The defense had sought to exclude all of these. Key to these is the “…salacious…inflammatory…intimate…” nature of some of those notes. After nearly 1/2 hour of discussion, Judge Leibovitz allowed the notes and emails – as long as all the sex talk was redacted – and also signaled a willingness to allow discussion of the defendant’s unique relationship, beyond just who was sleeping with who, but what the power and familial relationships were like. Again, just as long as everyone skips the tawdry stuff.
Padded restraints and the testimony of S&M “expert” James Plante is out. Much of the questioning from Leibovitz struck to who would testify for the prosecution on signs of restraint – and what kind. Kirschner responded throughout noting the expected testimony of Lois Goslinoski and Maryland Chief Medical Examiner Dr. David Fowler would speak to a lack of evidence strongly suggesting incapacitation, but that no-one could say exactly what kind as no trace evidence could be found. “This is a dramatically different case than any of us have ever dealt with,” Kirschner noted, in a nod to his lack of evidence. But given the dramatically inflammatory nature of padded restraints – “worse than rope,” Leibovitz offered, “…as there’s really only one thing they’re used for…” the restraints are out.
More after the jump:
Defense’s motion to exclude evidence of burglary of 1509 – denied. Judge Leibovitz seemed fairly clear in her reading of Patrick Martin’s case that the Trouple’s actions not to report the October 30 burglary by Michael Price shows their “state of mind” – and that evidence of such state of mind then is relevant to a potentially similar state of mind in August.
What’s almost out: Thomas Connolly. Reeling in the unusually hot and stuff courtroom of 310 Moultrie, Mr. Connolly began to stammer, pause, step back from the podium and even appear to wobble on his legs. A recess of 15 minutes allowed him the chance to find his feet, and everyone else a bit of fresh air.
The Government’s motion to exclude certain expert testimony – notably that of Dr. Farzad Najam: denied. Judge Leibovitz needled Patrick Martin for failing to proffer any expert basis for denying Dr. Najam’s expected testimony that a single stab, resulting in cardiac tamponade, could have rendered Robert immediately incapacitated. “What do you have to show me that it’s speculation or unfounded?”, she asked; “what do you have for me as the gatekeeper?” Nothing workable apparently. Dr. Najam is in.
Last for the morning, a biggie: motions to exclude or limit evidence of crime scene blood, Robert Spaulding’s blood pattern testimony, and the subsequent stabbing “experiments” by government witnesses. We’ll put more substance on this later tonight – for now, any expert testimony (the three retired mobile crime scene analysts) regarding a lack of external blood evidence is out, specific testimony by Dr. Spaulding on blood spatter patterns is in.
To be determined: the experiments. Followed by statements, motions to sever, and much more. Including a misstep by Bernie Grimm.
Tune in later today…