SB Prosecutors Misconduct, Tapes Conversation Btw Defendant and Lawyer

Attias Judge Dismisses Evidence By Marisa Lagos – Staff Writer Monday January 7, 2002 Daily Nexus > News > Volume 82, Issue Number 51 At a hearing for David Attias last month, Judge Thomas Adams ruled to dismiss evidence collected by the prosecution, but upheld the 13 felony counts, including four counts of murder, which the former UCSB student is charged with. The 18-year-old defendant, who will stand trial in April, also entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. He faces felony charges for the Feb. 23, 2001 accident in which four people were struck and killed, and a fifth was seriously injured on the 6500 block of Sabado Tarde Road. This past fall, Attias’ defense team moved to dismiss the entire case on the grounds that the prosecution committed “misconduct” on several occasions, including when authorities seized psychological records from one of Attias’ former schools, and taped a conversation between the defendant and his former lawyer. They also requested the evidence in question be suppressed from the prosecution if the case was not dismissed. Judge Adams dismissed the evidence in question, effectively barring the prosecution, but not the defense, from using it in court. Adams refused to dismiss the case because he did not feel the prosecution’s conduct would interfere with Attias’ ability to have a fair trial. Attias will appear again in court on Jan. 23. Jury selection will begin April 5 and the estimated eight-week trial is scheduled to start on April 8. :nav Source:

Attias Judge Sets March Hearing Date By Marisa Lagos – Staff Writer Thursday January 31, 2002 Daily Nexus > News > Volume 82, Issue Number 68 Prosecution and defense teams for murder suspect David Attias haggled over the suppression of evidence collected from Attias’ parent’s home and former school, during a short hearing on Wednesday. The court also agreed to set a final, March 6 hearing date to clear up unresolved matters before the trial begins on April 5. Attias is charged with 13 felonies, including four counts of murder. The prosecution requested that Judge Thomas Adams clarify a Dec. 19 order, in which he granted a motion to throw out evidence gathered from Attias’ former school and the Attias family’s Santa Monica home. Assistant District Attorney Pat McKinley asked that he be allowed to use evidence gathered from Attias’ bedroom, as well as records seized from the school, including psychological records. “If no defense expert is going to use the CEDU [High School] records, I’d like to use them because, one, the defense entered an insanity plea, waiving the [doctor]-client privilege, and two, that record … could have been seized by subpoena,” he said. “It’s not like there’s some bombshell in those records.” Nancy Haydt and Jack Earley, Attias’ defense team, argued that all the evidence collected during both searches should remain suppressed. McKinley also requested that the defense show him their witness list and all documents related to the defense strategy by the March 6 hearing date. Earley said the DA’s office has already had access to some of this material. “[These disclosures] will continue in the next coming weeks, including things the court covered this morning and other matters. I expect most of these discoveries will be done by the March 6 date,” Earley said. “We haven’t had a good fight in this case, and I don’t expect one,” McKinley said. “I certainly don’t want to get sandbagged … [but] an example of what I’m worried about: I can live with the March 6 date, but I don’t want on March 7 [or] March 20 another witness to pop up on the witness list. Many of the witnesses who are in school will still be here [in April], but if we push the trial date off …?” Adams will decide whether or not to grant the prosecution’s requests on March 6. :nav Source:

Judge Denies Motion in Attias Case Superior Court Refuses Defense Request to Suppress Evidence in Pre-Trial Hearing By Jennifer B. Siverts – Staff Writer Thursday March 7, 2002 Daily Nexus > News > Volume 82, Issue Number 91 Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Thomas Adams denied a motion by murder suspect David Attias’ defense attorneys Wednesday to suppress evidence collected by the California Highway Patrol at the defendant’s home in Santa Monica. Attias was charged with 13 felonies, including four counts of murder, after he struck five pedestrians and nine vehicles last year on Sabado Tarde Road. Four victims were killed and one suffered serious injuries. Defense attorneys filed the motion Nov. 15, 2001 on the grounds that law enforcement officers obtained evidence from Attias’ parents’ Santa Monica home on an allegedly invalid search warrant on March 2, 2001. They also filed three similar motions on grounds of unlawful search and seizure. Evidence in question includes a psychiatric evaluation from Attias’ high school, items collected from his Francisco Torres dorm room and recorded conversations between Attias and his former attorney. The court suppressed some of this evidence in previous hearings. The search warrant issued by Adams gave investigators authorization to search all rooms in the house, for a variety of property including computers, personal letters, photographs, bills, medical and school records and drug paraphernalia. The warrant was issued to gather information to “show a historical state of mind of David Attias, as well as a history of drug sales and use.” Judge Adams said he denied Wednesday’s motion because Attias’ attorneys did not present a good argument as to why the evidence should be suppressed. Adams pointed out the defense could argue illegal search and seizure against each individual room searched in the Santa Monica home, including those rooms belonging to Attias’ family. However, he said doing so would be a waste of judicial time. “I have a sneaking suspicion the decision would be the same,” he said. The defense cited a portion of the California Penal Code as the basis of the motion, which states evidence can be suppressed if “the search and seizure with a search warrant was unreasonable because … the warrant is insufficient on its face.” Defense attorneys Jack Earley and Nancy Haydt said the warrant was “insufficient” because the language used in the warrant was too broad and gave law enforcement officers the unlawful right to make searches that did not pertain to the crime – violating Attias’ fourth amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures. “We had filed a series of motions earlier and this was basically a follow-up motion from before,” Haydt said. Earley said the motions are procedural and need to be taken care of now so the defense does not have to bring them to the court’s attention later. “We need to make sure we go through all these steps now. None of the evidence collected carries a tenor of information that would sway the jury. Whether we won or lost isn’t really going to change any of the issues at hand,” he said. “It’s like before a fight, there is a warm-up.” The Attias case will proceed on April 5 when the court will hear arguments on pre-trial motions and the trial will begin on April 10. In the meantime, both the defense and the prosecution said they are finalizing their arguments. Attias has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. “There are last minute things that need to be taken care of; we are preparing witnesses, evidence and trial strategy,” Earley said. :nav Source:

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