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Court says no prosecutorial misconduct in cop case

Donna Walter//June 17, 2009//

Court says no prosecutorial misconduct in cop case

Donna Walter//June 17, 2009//

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A federal judge said no prosecutorial misconduct occurred in the case against Bobby Lee Garrett, a St. Louis police officer accused of planting evidence, stealing money and dealing drugs.

U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber, of the St. Louis-based federal court, on Wednesday denied the defendant’s claims that former U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway and St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce prejudiced the case against him when they spoke to the media.

Garrett’s lawyer, Chet Pleban, of Pleban & Associates, wanted the judge to dismiss the case, disqualify the U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Louis or move the case to another venue.

Webber also found that no disclosure violations occurred and that, in any event, the motion to dismiss based on the alleged disclosure violations is premature. The government has “ample time” to disclose any relevant material to the defense before the July 20 trial, the judge said.

Pleban argued that the entire U.S. Attorney’s Office should be disqualified from prosecuting his client because Hanaway and Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith might be called as witnesses. But Webber said the defense hasn’t yet shown that their testimony is vital to his case and would not disqualify the office at this time.

Finally, the judge refused to move the case to another venue, calling the coverage of Garrett’s case “fair and certainly not corrupt.”

Read more on this story in Thursday’s papers.

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