Monday, August 30, 2010

Montgomery Case Back in Court This Morning

Over the weekend, reporters and bloggers pondered the Montgomery trial possibilities. Cedar Posts read though a dozen emails offering insight to what might be the issue that suspended jury selection on Friday.

A couple of theories have emerged.

A request for a change of venue motion by prosecution since so many potential jurors have been exposed to all that has come up during the past week.

There is a report that CMPD will keep Fant on the payroll until this is over. That way he’s under the protection of their attorneys. Which may also explain why the FOP was so quick to rush to Fant's side.

Another plausible rumor is that Chief Monroe is all up in arms about the Fant files, to say he's on the warpath would be a vast understatement.

So no one at CMPD is saying a word at least directly to Cedar Posts. What has been said is that there is more to Fant's story than has come out, but nothing that would be "block buster" level.

There is some question about the files and notes, some questions about evidence and whether Fant can still be called as a witness if he's under investigation.

Another theory is that, with the death penalty off the table, Gilcrest retiring and the Fant fiasco evolving Meckenburg ADA Marsha Goodenow has little reason to risk a trial and maybe there is a plea deal in the works.

It would make sense, both defense and the state using the weekend to "work things out" and for Marsha to inform the families. But if so I'd say advantage defense.

Cedar Posts spoke with a co worker of Shelton's yesterday and she said it would be very painful if this case fell apart after all this time. She was clearly hurting while we talked about what might happen this morning. I'd expect many in law enforcement didn't sleep well this weekend.

We also heard that internal affairs had been combing through Fant's cubicle the past week.

Cedar Posts Update:

The trial of Demetrius Montgomery resumed again this morning, after both sides had the weekend to review "possible new or additional documents" that were apparently retrieved from CMPD officer Fant's desk.

It is unclear if these document need to be included in discovery.

However both the defense and prosecution stated that they found no new evidence.

Defense attorney Bryant said of detective Fant "The more we look, the more we pause, the more we are concerned", noting that there are many inconsistencies with Officer Fant's notes, transcripts, and testimony.

Judge Bridges voiced his concern that Fant's statements might equate to perjury if the missing notes some of which have since been located where not copied verbatim as he testified.

Also, Fant had stated under oath that the notes were destroyed, not just missing.

Bridges also ruled the defense attornies could not tell or remind the jury that the death penalty has been taken off the table, nor can they discuss the reasons why. Which would be pretty much a moot point.

But, we shall see.


Anonymous said...

Today may present a sudden end to the Montgomery trial and go down as one of the biggest and worst examples of DA and police work in Charlotte's history. This I am affraid will be a very very sad day and I hope I am wrong.

Anonymous said...

Geez Cedar. I'm generally a fan, but this is some of your worst work yet. Admittedly, all you have is rumors. If you don't know, don't stir up the pot.

JAT said...

The pot starting simmering on Monday and reached full boil on Friday with the sudden end of the day before it began.

Trust me, the entire legal community is in rumor overload mode with or without blogs.

Anonymous said...

The pathetic thing is that we have lost touch with what this is all about, the murder of two police officers. This whole thing has been mishandled and turned into a fiasco that is being driven by the media. Did we learn nothing from O.J.

Anonymous said...

This IS sad, and it's clearly a FAILURE TO SUPERVISE FROM THE TOP DOWN, and the culture that has been created at rodney, and I won't list all of the reasons why this is the case, they have been listed before, to no avail.

A case this important, and this tragic, there is no excuse for the sloppy handling. There should have been top people on it and it should have been a top priority making sure all the i's were dotted and t's were crossed.

Cedar, IMHO, is not "pot stirring" on this one, but trying to actually pin down what the heck is going on.

We will know today, and I think you will find that Cedar is not far off, not at all, from what I am hearing.

Anonymous said...

worst examples of DA work? how is the DA supposed to know what Fant or CMPD doesn't give them? as soon as the DA found out, they informed the other party and court, as required by law and their ethical obligations. as citizens of Meck Co, we should be concerned about the work of the police dept on a case they held as #1 priority -- what does this mean about all the other cases that aren't their #1 priority? what kind of investigation gets done on those?

don't anticipate a plea deal -- it's a trial, where hopefully the ADAs can divert the attention of the jurors from Fant et al long enough to convict the guy (also assuming no other problems arise with police officers during testimony)

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of a good rant here but I'm dazed from the coverage.

Why bother.

Maybe we should let the SBI investigate. They are doing such a wonderful job.