Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Liveblogging the Sharrod Moore dismissal hearing, Part 5

Judge Yerger says "Robert Shuler Smith is not here. Should be here, but we have been advised that he is in another courtroom."

ADA Jamie McBride:

Terrible, terrible event that happened long ago. In Jan. 2008, police announced new evidence. Weapons in this case never found. Witness who gave testimony to grand jury was later found not to be credible. Another witness, Howard Hackett also came forward, and swore to the grand jury that Sharrod confessed to him and gave him the gun used in the killing. Hackett later used that gun in a carjacking. Ballistics tests matched the gun Hackett used to the killing of Washington.

DNA test results recently received show no other DNA besides that of Washington on Washington's body.
105 fingerprints were taken from Washington's police cruiser. No match to Moore.

Hackett, subsequent to his testimony to the grand jury, took the stand in another criminal case sand began to recant his earlier statements in that case. Hackett has also been charged in a new case.

The only direct evidence tying this defendant to this crime is Howard Hackett, who is unreliable. It would be unethical for us to proceed.

McBride then concludes by asking for a nolle pros one second, and permission to dismiss the next. Don't know which it will be.

Chuck Mullins (counsel for Moore):

Big of the State to get up here the week before the trial and admit they didn't have a case, especially considering the high-profile nature of it.

Court to take matter of dismissal with or without prejudice under advisement for a few days and rule later this week.

Mary Washington (R.J. Washington's widow) does not wish to give a statement, per ADA McBride.

Judge Yerger: Parties will file simultaneous briefs on issue of whether dismissal should be with or without prejudice at the end of the week.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


Jane said...

What would be the reason for dismissing it with prejudice?

I think you have to give Smith credit for not wanting to try an unwinnable case. If this were Faye's office, they'd be using prior inconsistent statements as substantive evidence (see Sean King among others) and getting the case thrown out on appeal. At least if it's dismissed without prejudice, Moore could always be tried later if new evidence came along.

I did an appeal of a Lula Anderson case. I was quite impressed.

Jane said...

Is there a speedy trial issue?

Matt Eichelberger said...

The problem with this case is that it was unwinnable from the outset, and the DA caved to pressure from Melton to indict the thing. There never was any new evidence, and the State admitted as much today.

As for speedy trial, yes. It's well past 270 days since indictment, and the delays faced to date have been attributed to the State due to failure to produce discovery. Moore would have to show prejudice, of course, and "incarceration alone is not enough." That being said, his probation was revoked as a result of this indictment, so he can argue that as his prejudice. That has been held to be sufficient prejudice in the past.

Justin said...

Eich, was RSS in another courtroom? Was he trying a case? I want to know why when something is good for him, his face is all over the media, but when his office has to own up, he's nowhere to be seen.