I had a pre-trial hearing this morning (11/27) and my trial has been rescheduled for 1/8/18. I’m happy to finally get this over with, but it is frustrating at the same time, being that I still haven’t viewed and do not possess my complete discovery. The prosecutor, James D. Miller, is going out of his way to keep me from having the discovery, and today was no different. As I have stated in a previous blog, Miller and his co-prosecutor, Judge Margaret O. Steinbeck, came up with an order allowing me to “view” my discovery with the help of the jail. While I’ve had to jump through a few hoops, the jail has actually been fairly accommodating with me in providing me access to the laptop computer for purposes of reviewing the documents, videos and audio files. Then again, the jail’s cooperation is surely not for my benefit, but likely a way of helping the State and Court to cover themselves and give the illusion of fair and equal treatment, while still denying me of my discovery. Unfortunately, viewing the documents for brief periods of time just isn’t enough. Even if I had a photographic memory (which I don’t!), without the ability to print the files to be used as exhibits at trial, or to be able to have transcripts of the audio and video files prepared, it’s still not being provided complete discovery. Not to mention that it will take me several more hours to get through viewing the DVDs provided by the state, and I’m forced to coordinate with the officers on duty and limited to certain time increments.
I brought this up during the court hearing this morning and asked the Court if the State could provide copies of my discovery DVDs to my mother, who is my power of attorney. Judge Steinbeck was understanding to the situation and seemed to be in agreement with my request. She asked James Miller if he could provide send the DVDs to my mother so we could print out any specific documents that I will need for my defense and more importantly for tria. Miller said that he didn’t feel comfortable doing that, even when Judge Steinbeck reminded him that he was receiving my permission in open court. Miller said that because my mother wasn’t an attorney he didn’t want to do that, in which case the judge reminded him that the files are public record and not confidential, and also that I am not an attorney either and I would be entitled to them. In other words, what’s the difference? Then Miller said that I should be the one to send the DVDs to my mother, in which case the judge reminded him of the obvious, which is the fact that I don’t have physically possession of the DVDs! Hence, my reason for the request to begin with. Needless to say, here I am just a little over a month before trial and the State is still stonewalling me on my discovery and standing in the way of trial preparation.
I’ve been incarcerated since 6/28/16, I’ve been in Lee County Jail since 10/8/16, and here I am 3 weeks after trial was set to have begun and 5 weeks before the next scheduled trial and I STILL don’t have my discovery. What is wrong here? Anyway, Judge Steinbeck certainly tried to accommodate my request, (at least so it appeared) but with the State’s unwillingness to cooperate, she instructed me to file a motion with my request. This process will obviously take away from my trial preparation. That leaves me in an awkward position because I want to get this case to trial and want to avoid any other delays. With a number of subpoenas that are needed for trial witnesses, it is costly and time consuming every time trial gets put off. Not to mention that it leaves me stuck here that much longer. I’m just blown away that they’ve fabricated a case out of thin air and are using their friends in high places to manipulate these bogus charges to try and allege wrongdoing that doesn’t exist.
With that being said, I guess I’ll head back to my cell to start writing up a motion for the court to compel the state to provide me the discovery I should have had a year ago. I am still seeking consultation from a criminal defense attorney who would be willing to assist me with a few hours of paid consultation in order to help me prepare for trial and ensure my appeal rights are protected. I am also searching for any attorney who could be an expert trial witness and willing to interpret the statutes and allegations for the jury. Please share this with any attorneys who you feel may be able to help.
Lee County Jail, Lee County Justice System, Judge Margaret O. Steinbeck, James D. Miller, Lee County State Attorney’s Office, unlawful incarceration, excessive bail, 20th Judicial Circuit, Sebouh Gourjian, Attorney-client privilege, corruption, conspiracy