It’s official. Judge Michael Rankin is to inherit the caseload of retiring Judge Brook Hedge.
And along with that comes the Wone case and October 2011 trial.
As it appears on the DC Superior Court website:
12/30/2010 Event Scheduled Event: Pretrial Conference Date: 09/07/2011 Time: 4:00 pm Judge: RANKIN, MICHAEL L Location: Courtroom 517
12/30/2010 Judge Caseload Transfer. The judge was changed from HEDGE, BROOK to RANKIN, MICHAEL .
12/30/2010 Event Scheduled Event: Jury Trial Date: 10/17/2011 Time: 9:00 am Judge: RANKIN, MICHAEL L Location: Courtroom 517
No paper accompanies this announcement. And some good news: The trial date remains fixed. Some thoughts on the case transfer follows.
We all recall the chatter and commentary when the criminal case was shifted from the courtly, Carter appointee, Old Man Weisberg, to Judge Lynn Leibovitz, the Bush43 law and order hard ass.
There was endless speculation on what it meant for the proceedings, motions and actual trial. Well, we know how that turned out and now Leibovitz belongs to the ages.
Rankin too, may appear to be a law and order judge: A Reagan appointee, military service in Nam, AUSA, DeputyChief of the Felony Trial Division, and Presiding Judge of the Criminal and Special Operations Divisions of Superior Court.
We’ll do a more thorough profile of him in the coming weeks. But we’ve given up reading robes and tea leaves. We don’t know when we’ll get our first glimpse of Rankin. No status hearing dates have been set for the out months. Maybe there will be some rulings on motions ahead or perhaps he’s asked to inject himself on another depo/5th Amendment matter.
And in other news regarding the Vidocq Society, this news just broke from Philly:
Private eye questions if death was murder
Philadelphia Daily News
A PROMINENT Philadelphia crime sleuth is speculating that the region’s high-profile murder mystery – the shocking discovery of ex-Pentagon official John “Jack” Wheeler III in a Wilmington landfill – might not be a murder at all.
William Fleisher, an ex-cop who co-founded Philadelphia’s murder-solving Vidocq Society, said that the discovery of eyewitnesses and surveillance video of a disoriented Wheeler before he died suggests that the 66-year-old man had suffered a head or brain injury.