Saturday, August 04, 2007

Jim Cooney on the Dec. 15 Hearing

A fascinating post from Jim Cooney at the Liestoppers forum, discussing the defense attorneys' mindset in the weeks running up to the Dec. 15 hearing:
There appears to be an almost obsessive focus on a single tree now, as opposed to what the forest looked like in December.

From Reade Seligmann's perspective, in December this case was about an alibi which proved he could not have committed this (or any crime) against Precious. The elements to this were his timeline as established by photographs, ATM data, Elmostafa's cab ride with Rob Wellington, his dorm card reader and Jason Bissey's observations. While the timeline as a whole was as close to airtight as you can get (Alan Gell to one side who was actually in jail at the time of the crime), the individual elements each comprised a separate moving piece. In particular, the photographs of the party presented a very difficult chain of custody issue because the photographs needed to be introduced as substantive evidence in order to make the MetaData admissible - - the actual chain of custody left a lot to be desired and required a significant amount of work to establish not only the authenticity of the pictures but that the metadata had not been disturbed.

Against this backdrop, the DNA report from DNASI showed that there was no DNA from Reade, but that there was DNA from Precious' boyfriend. This showed (1) there was DNA to be found, (2) that it was not Reade and (3) how sensitive the test was since, if you believe Precious, she had not had sex for a week. laugh.gifUnder these circumstances, as I am proving that Reade could not have committed the crime because of his alibi, DNA is only one piece of a number of other pieces. In the physical evidence, the lack of DNA simply matched up with the lack of fingerprints, hairs, fibers or any other trace evidence connecting Reade to the bathroom or to Precious. I had lined up two experts in crime scene analysis and trace evidence to testify that it would have been impossible for this rape to have occurred this way without leaving any trace evidence whatsoever.

Moreover, my clients (as well as Brad/Joe's and Wade's) were suffering greatly and we as a team had placed a priority on gaining a dismissal of these charges. Since there is no such thing as a pretrial motion to dismiss under NC criminal law, we focused on the suppression motion as essentially a motion to dismiss - - since this was the only evidence. We reasoned that if we could get the Powerpoint ID thrown out, and then bar Precious from a hysterical in-court ID, the case was over.

Against this backdrop, searching through the DNA data in order to see if Meehan and Nifong were lying was not a priority as of December - - the DNA we had did nothing but help us and we frankly had bigger issues to focus on.

My point on how close we were deals with the reason we were even looking at the DNA in November and December. The only marginally inculpatory finding in the report was the fingernail mixture - - though I still do not believe that finding DNA on something that was in Dave Evans' own wastebasket is inculpatory. This is what led us to assign the DNA to Brad, while I dealt with Reade's alibi and the Motion to Suppress (and Change of Venue). Wade and Doug had their hands full with establishing Collin's alibi and dealing with Levicy and the other physicians at Duke (as a way of trying to blunt where we believed Nifong would go - - that she was "acting" like a rape victim). In addition, I had the tasks of consulting with Dr. Burgess on rape trauma syndrome and dealing with the forensic psychiatrist we retained - - part of my job was to analyze the mental health records and then have them reviewed by Dr. Burgess and our forensic psychiatrist.

In terms of priorities, until Brad stumbled across these additional DNA findings, our central priority was the Motion to Suppress hearing at which we anticipated essentially putting on most of our defense and all of our forensic psychiatric testimony and testimony from Dr. Burgess. As with all things in this case, we needed to do this to let the public know exactly how disturbed this woman was as a way of undermining both her identification and, ultimately, her claims.

The DNA was simply not an issue for Reade or Collin and was only a marginal issue as of December for Dave (though it seemed to be an important issue for Nifong so Brad and Joe rightly prioritized their review).

In retrospect, the DNA transformed this case - - none of us knew this in early November when we formulated our plan and began to implement it. Had it not been for the fingernails, we would simply not have reviewed the DNA material until much closer to trial.

Bottom line is that the big picture in November and December was that we were taking the position that the report's finding of no DNA was exculpatory and was simply one more piece of a number of pieces establishing alibis and the lack of any crime. At that time and with that perspective, there was simply no reason for us to pour through the data on the assumption that Meehan and Nifong were hiding something and misleading us about it.

When Brad discovered what had happened, the significance was threefold. First, it obviously showed that other DNA could be harvested, which strengthened our position that this crime could not happen without leaving DNA. Second, it showed the world what we knew about Precious the "part-time" dancer (and showed her to be lying in her statement to police, which we already knew). Finally, and most importantly to the ending of the case, it showed that Nifong knew he had no case and had resorted to lying and cheating to try to avoid the truth. This last point is what blew up the case - - that Nifong was exposed.

While many now say that they knew this all along (and some of them might be telling the truth), the fact is that the DNA was all exculpatory from the beginning and we had no reason to think that there was even more that we were not being told. As to those attorneys who may now be claiming that they were advising anyone on the defense team that there was more to the DNA than we were seeing, that is just simply not true - - and appears to be part of an orchestrated campaign on behalf of at least one person to try to claim credit for this result and discovery when he is entitled to none.

Would we have found it anyway? Who knows. If we win on February 5 - - and I believe that we would have - - the answer is no. If we go to trial, we probably would have found it as we were cleaning up the details of the case, but in being totally truthful with myself, it might have been very late in the game (ie, within a few days of Meehan's testimony).

The December 15th hearing was the most remarkable day in court that I have experienced in 25 years of law practice - - and that includes the day that a jury declared Alan Gell innocent and a lot of criminal defendants who were given life at death penalty trials. It was an extraordinary day and watching it unfold was surreal. Brad was magnificent and deserves all of the credit that he received - - it took cojones the size of watermelons to take on a DNA expert cold in front of the world's media and Brad did not flinch.


Anonymous said...

Thank Jim. Interesting you would write "dealing with Levicy AND the other Physicians at Duke" Puts a different slant on Kingsbury's take of the situation. Dr Burges - testifying about rape syndrome. Great to hear from you.

JWM said...

Dear KC,

Thanks for posting Cooney's account. It's dramatic and informative.

I'm glad for its "happy ending" but what a reminder of how Nifong and others abused for months police and prosecutorial powers.

Nifong's crimes are serious enough, IMO, to merit jail time.

I feel the same way about certain Durham Police officers.

Also, Brian Meehan.

In each case, "the word" needs to go out to prosecutors, cops, and DNA experts: fake and frame, and you'll go to jail.

John in Carolina

inman said...

I read the transcript of the December 15, 2006 examination of Dr. Meehan.

It was truly remarkable. Bannon was assured and confident and quite knowledgable. Meehan was cornered and could not do anything but provide testimony favorable to the defense. Bannon, in effect, filleted and sauted Meehan. Without onions or mushrooms.

Bannon deserves great kudos for his tenacity and his actions beyond the call of duty in defense of his client.

Bannon and Cheshire and Cooney et al ... thank you ...

Anonymous said...

Thank God for people like Cooney, Bannon and KC Johnson.

Anonymous said...

Nifong was going to go in the direction of "she was acting like a rape victim." Apparently, Dr Burgess was called to review medical records and testify to "rape trauma syndrome." Shoots down the theory, she was there to fatally wound Nurse Levicy.
The dopes questioning Bannon and the defense attorneys, need to get a life outside of this event. Things are moving on.

Topher said...

What a lucid, straight explanation of the December turns. And Williamson called Meehan "Mr Obfuscation." The contrast couldn't be more stark.

BTW, does anyone want to answer why Meehan and/or his lab aren't under a civil/criminal microscope for obstruction of justice? It would seem to me that being engaged in a criminal investigation and withholding evidence from the court is as obstructionary as one can get.

I mean, isn't contracting with an arm of the law to analyze evidence basically contracting yourself into a evidentiary subpoena?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for great post!

mac said...

Seems like a major part of the problem - (the one that allowed the case to proceed) - is North Korealina's law, since "there is no such thing as a pretrial motion to dismiss under NC criminal law."

I can think of one good reason why the young men are better off for that NOT happening: if it were dismissed without the AG's investigation, by a judge,people would be claiming that it was all a bought-and-paid-for coverup. We all know which "people" would be saying this, and they include - in part - 88 pre-judgers. Some of the potbanging-types are still insisting that a trial should have been held, incredible as that is, as if it's there's a constitutional right of the accuser, no matter how shoddy and baseless the charges, to drag anyone at anytime through a criminal proceeding.

If that's the case, I would like to make a motion to charge the Duke 88, Brodhead et al, and that they be tried - (along with certain members of the DPD )- for violating the civil rights of the students - not just the accused, but all students, beginning with the collaborative efforts they made with the DPD to violate the students privacy rights. Begin the grand jury proceedings now, and don't stop until there is either:
a) a special investigation by the AG of the United States that determines such a trial is unneccessary.
b) there is a trial.

A realistic problem with a law that allows a grand jury's "findings" to be set aside is public perception - (I've heard it said that, "in Texas, you ain't nobody unless you own a judge or two.") That might be a problem in some venues, where justice could be purchased, a case could be mysteriously dropped...

On the other hand, a law that allows the presentation of pre-trial, clear exculpatory evidence (as was available with the photographic and ATM data) publicly presented, should provide a clear path to dismissal of false charges. Not being a lawyer, I don't know how many states use or allow pretrial motions to dismiss in criminal law. It's done in federal law, especially when it involves violations of contsitutional law; most states allow those motions in tort cases. I wonder how many states allow these motions to dismiss?


miramar said...

"...and appears to be part of an orchestrated campaign on behalf of at least one person to try to claim credit for this result and discovery when he is entitled to none."

Who is that person?

Anonymous said...

"As to those attorneys who may now be claiming that they were advising anyone on the defense team that there was more to the DNA than we were seeing, that is just simply not true - - and appears to be part of an orchestrated campaign on behalf of at least one person to try to claim credit for this result and discovery when he is entitled to none."

Anybody know who the above referrenced person is?

AF said...

For all the "slam" that North Carolinians have taken over this case, it is nice to know that we do have some Perry Masons and Ben Matlocks in our state. Kudos to the three defense teams and to those who represented the LAX players who were not charged.
Bet Mike Nifong wishes he had something "hidden" that a dream defense team could bring out in his defense. Better yet, he wishes he could have had previous and present mental problems like Precious so that people would feel sorry for him and not want to prosecute.
Oh how he wishes he could relive the past two years. The real question is, would he have done anything differently? Would Cy have let him? What about those at DPD? We already know that the Dukies think they are off the hook since the hoaxed 3 made their settlements. Hopefully, the other 43 will have their day.
Diligence, tenacity, honor, integrity, intelligence, curiousity.....all traits that the marginal academics at Duke should aspire to reach. Unfortunately, they are not a part of the R/C/G agenda and, therefore, are not important to them. The defense teams had them all.
The families of the 3 could have caved in to the pressure and "bought off" Precious (which is what I think she was after in the first place) but they didn't. They stood firm in their sons' innocence and fought for what was right. They are to be applauded as well. Fortunately, they had the wherewithall to find three excellent defense teams. Justice with honor from the players, their families, and their attorneys. Disgrace with dishonor--for the DA's office, the DPD, and the administration and 88 Duke faculty members. Hopefully, they can (and will) turn things around.
I found it interesting that Jim said "it took cojones the size of watermelons to take on a DNA expert cold in front of the world's media and Brad did not flinch." The potbangers don't have watermelons, they have more like grains of salt. Or maybe they have been castrated themselves.

Anonymous said...

I wish he would call her "Crystal" or "Mangum" instead of "Precious".

GPrestonian said...

The 'at least one person' is Newport at LS.

Anonymous said...

"Anybody know who the above referrenced person is?"
Why, yes, you mean you don't?

JeffM said...

@ 8:06 and 8:45

Michael Gaynor is claiming that he had this evidence in May or June of 2006, but admits to having failed to turn it over to the defense attorneys, presumably because he assumed they read his blog and so would have learned about it there.

Over at LS, some (NOT ALL) have decided that Gaynor's assertion proves that the defense lawyers were either negligent or were deliberately padding their bills at the families' expense.

Anonymous said...

Three comments:

(1) This is the most cogent explanation of the defense's thinking going into the December 15 hearing that I've read -- and absolutely convincing.

(2) As my father used to say of me, there are people at the Liestopper's Forum who would argue with a fence post. I grew up. They should try it.

(3) I've never quite understood the awe expressed over Bannon's performance at the Meehan hearing. It was his brilliant DNA motion that prompted Nifong to put Meehan on the stand in the first place. If he thought he was going to catch the defense unprepared, he obviously didn't read the motion.

KC Johnson said...

To the 9.59:

That's just it: Meehan had read the motion--but hadn't read the appendices for the motion, and so appeared to believe that Bannon, et al., hadn't caught his non-reporting. Amazing incompetence--on top of unethical behavior.

Gary Packwood said...


Duke, like most universities, is exempt from income tax as per regulations administered by the IRS.

The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) is asking for public comment concerning a major revision of the 990 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.,,id=171216,00.html

Comments can be sent here ....

The redesign of Form 990 is based on three guiding principles: enhancing transparency, promoting tax compliance, and minimizing the burden on the filing organization.

bill anderson said...

The issue with DNA, as Jim pointed out, was more important in demonstrating Nifong's dishonesty than in establishing innocence. Ultimately, it was that dishonesty that wrecked Fong's career.

However, as we have pointed out, those who have wanted to believe that there was a rape are not deterred by any forensic evidence. Instead, they are demanding that in THIS case, we suspend all issues of time and space. This is the defining issue at hand with the enablers: believe there was a rape no matter what. Harry Potter lives!!

Kilgore said...

Great post. Thanks so much KC for putting this up. A fascinating glimpse into the thinking of the defense team in December. The most frightening thing to me is how close they were to NOT catching Meehan and possibly losing to a cheating lying prosecutor. With a little less legal horsepower these young men would be in jail. Our system is not working.

Meehan, Nifong and the DPD need to be held accountable as does the false accusuer. If CGM is ignored the system will have failed miserably.

mac said...

I'm wondering what Mr. Cooney
(and any other lawyers present)
might think about instituting a
"pretrial motion to dismiss"
law in N.C.?

Again, this could have shortened
the whole process in this case, since it
(the system) is so heavily
weighted toward the grand jury's

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I am reminded of some fans yelling at the TV set. When the team loses it is never their fault, but when ones wins it is because the coach had followed his sage advice.

The Defense attorneys won. It is that simple.


Anonymous said...

After reading Jim Cooney's post, I gave some thought to the issue of federal investigation/prosecution for violation of civil rights. Ordinarily I am a rabid states' rights advocate, and I can accept federal reluctance to investigate if it appears the state/county/municipality is doing the job. In this particular case, it's obvious that the NC authorities--for whatever reason--are paying lip service to the principle of citizens' rights. It appears that the Whichard panel will give it a lick and a promise and say "nothing to see here, move on."
Now, let us examine the federal aspects:
1) the constitutional rights of the three indicted men were violated numerous ways; the other lacrosse team members' rights may have been violated, but only an in-depth investigation can determine that.
2) All three indicted men were from other states. Were they still citizens of those states and only temporarily residing in NC? If so, the principle of crossing state lines comes into play, doesn't it?
3) It's possible that the feds are waiting for a complaint from a person or persons with "standing," that is, who were directly impacted by the actions of Nifong et. al. To wit: the families are the ones who hold the key, and perhaps are waiting for other processes to be completed before lodging a federal complaint.
Would any lawyers out there comment?

Anonymous said...

It takes cojones the size of watermelons and a brain the size of a gnat to imply that any one of these defense attorneys were concerned with padding the bills, or negligent in any way. This is the case of a lifetime and I'll bet they'd give the money back tomorrow, because their fame and fortune is made for life. Too bad LS has been dragged down by a few petty, jealous whiners like Michael Gaynor, for whom I used to have respect. Anyone who criticizes what that team of lawyers accomplished is as unwilling to look at the truth as are the G88 and potbangers. KC - you rule.

DAA said...

I am glad that people at liestoppers were asking such technical questions (excluding the one poster with the padding of the bill comments). It is all those questions which prompted Bannon and Cooney to write these great postings. Without that we would not have these detailed descriptions of the inner workings and thoughts of the defense. Now I am prompted to go back and re read the court documents with a greater understanding knowing the strategy of the defense team.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

1. re: anon 9:25 It is remarkably stupid sounding, silly, ignorant, etc that an attorney whose client was slimed by Mangum continues to give her cover by not using her name. Some of these lawyers while very good lawyers are not very deep thinkers and this one has apparently not thought out the implications of not using Mangum's name at this point.

2. This post by the attorney yet again shows that the 15 December hearing added little to the case of NC v. Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann but completely changed the case of NC Bar v. Nifong.

3. It was interesting to hear that this attorney expected to win the suppression hearing.

Anonymous said...

You probably noted this article posted in Liestopper forum from Newsday. It addresses consequences for GRP88.
'Duke faculty should be shunned by students'
BY JOSEPH W. BELLACOSA | Joseph W. Bellacosa is the former dean and a professor of law at St. John's University School of Law, and a former judge of the New York State Court of Appeals. Link,0,6744379.story

Anonymous said...

Even with all the high powered experts, had this been tried in Durham, I think the guys would have been found quilty. They wanted these guys to be quilty. Nifong knew Durham and his jury.

Anonymous said...

Again, this case has shown the flaws and weaknesses of the criminal justice system, not just in NC, but throughout the U.S. There is nothing sacred about having grand juries, jury trials, or nonsensical rules of evidence and procedure. These are man made rules and they can be changed as we become more enlightend...aren't we more enlightened now? The entire criminal justice system, state and federal, needs to be reviewed and revised to have it render justice that passes the common sense test and protects constitutional rights. The present system too often does not yield justice, but rather provides a platform for power hungry or pension seeking prosecutors or judges, clearly guilty defendants getting off on technicalities, and cya police departments like the DPD forgetting that they work for the people and proud of it. As citizens, we too often come away puzzled by the outcomes, e.g. OJ Simpson. We, the people, must take back the system and demand change for the better. For starters, in this case, the grand jury should never have been able to indict the three defendants. How does our system let this happen? Once falsely indicted, the three are tarnished forever. This is wrong!

Jack said...

Inman @ 10:55 pm on Week in Review thread

“But let's immunize Steele and Wagoner... for the moment at least, for they are after all Duke grads. I prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt.”

So, too, is Melinda Gates, but no immunization for her? Richard Wagoner has presided for seven years over the ignominious decline of General Motors, has failed to move that Board to recognize the failings within his own organization. No competitor, not Toyota or Mercedes or even Fiat, has done anything to cause GM to slip into, or to the very edge of financial oblivion. GM’s problems are of its own doing – poor forecasting, crappy products, lousy quality and design. Fifteen years ago, even seven or eight years ago, what idiot could not see the long term cost of gas was up, up, up! Doesn’t GM employ economists, don’t they have a sense of where the world is heading? Yet, they continued to crank out Suburbans, Hummers, and big V-8 engines. Suddenly, like back in the 70’s the public caught on, switched buying habits on a dime and GM is left practically giving away Tahoe’s. Bloated production costs, choking on benefits and health care costs, GM’s managers and directors have failed miserably their Company, their shareholders and, in a very real sense the American public. The regional economies that rely on supplying GM with parts and services are suffering. He failed to see the problem, or to deal with an uncomfortable reality, or took the most expedient, short term solution. Regardless, his performance at GM has been abysmal. He has no vision; he's not tough enough to take on critics, not principled to see, and to stand up for what is the right thing to do for his organization. He is not a leader. Yet this Richard Wagoner continues to collect his multi million dollar compensation package, year after year, seemingly immunized, as you would have it, from accountability.

No, Richard Wagoner does not deserve to be shielded from scrutiny simply because he is an alumnus; rather, he should be held to a higher standard. He was too busy enjoying all the perks and prestige of being on the Board – aah, the cocktail parties, the ponderous sessions about which capital project to fund, rubbing elbows with the intellingencia. Sorry inman, but your precious duke has been hijacked. And all the harrumphing and strident calls for resignation, law suits and consequences by posters on this blog are not going to change a thing.

Anonymous said...

TO 11:04AM--

Why does this issue matter so much to you?

The poster to whom you refer was talented and humorous in some ways; however, throughout, he created discord just for the fun of it.....repeatedly used different monikers and attempted to hijack the posting experiences of some of the rest of the people here.

I regret that the person you reference took his Sybil act to such an extreme and had to be banned, but it was his own doing.

IMO, that fraudulent poster wanted to do harm to this blog and his last antic provided red meat, temporarily, to detractors by posting a response and pretending to be someone who was the subject of a profile and signing her name to it.

The Gang of 88 and others like them from various universities only need a situation like that one to try to divert attention away from their egregious behavior.

That is why those posts were remove all comments from one who would try to put a stain on what has been stellar work from KC.


KC Johnson said...

The 11.04 comment mentioned by Debrah came from a banned commenter; I have deleted it.

Anonymous said...

I think Jim Cooney should use the name Precious when referring to Mangum. Why not?

It's endearing and illuminates his devilish sense of humor.

Besides, it's also appropriate. Mangum used the name Precious when on her nightly prowl.

And she was definitely on the prowl that night on Buchanan Boulevard.


Anonymous said...

Michael Gaynor does not post at LS. It is not he questioning the defense attorneys. It is a few of the meanest posters who are looking to be bring attntion to themselves. Sad to see LS come to this sorry place.

Gary said...

The Defense attorneys won. It is that simple.
Aug 4, 2007 11:05:00 AM

That's not quite true, they had help from criminal behavior by Nifong and incoherent and evil behavior from Precslut.

That said, it was a great re-post: I appreciate hearing masterful thinking the same way some people appreciate great art.

Anonymous said...

Westpole says to AF

Just a correction to otherwise good post you say the families could have taken the easy road by paying Mangum off. Actually they couldn't. It would be obstruction of justice for them to pay a witness. There is no way they could have legally "bought their way out of a criminal trial". That is the thing about being indicated you are on the defensive period. What is remarkable about this case is that sometimes the best offense is a good defense. Where it not for Nifong's deceitfulness and incompetence those Duke guys would have been screwed.

Anonymous said...

Anyone can look it up. Months before the Defense Attorneys had that "defining" moment with Meehan, Michael Gaynor clearly stated on his blog about the additional DNA on Precious.
With 3 lives in the balance, Gaynor should have done a better job getting the Defense to pay attention to his evidence.

Anonymous said...

To those who think that a motion to dismiss would have solved all the defendants' problems in this case, consider this: in deciding a motion to dismiss, the court must assume that all facts in the complaint are true, and must draw all inferences and resolve all ambiguities in favor of the non-moving party (here, that party would be the State of N.C.). In the LAX case, as long as the State had an accuser (Precious) who was willing to lie and testify that the defendants raped her, the motion to dismiss would have been denied -- regardless of the quantity of other evidence that contradicted Precious' testimony.

Carolyn said...

I am grieved that Cooney and Bannon were the brunt of disrespectful insinuations on LieStoppers - but, alas, as 9:59 aptly observed, some people 'will argue with a fence post'. Boy, I'd like to use that fence post in a way the good Lord (and a few ranchers) never intended!

The insinuation that Cooney or Bannon or ANY of the attorneys would think to prolong this case simply to pad billable hours, etc. enrages me. Cooney writes "my clients (as well as Brad/Joe's and Wade's) were suffering greatly..". Damn, that's a brutal understatement. I can only imagine what those attorneys felt when Dave phoned to tell them his beloved grandfather has just died of a heart attack brought on by this hoax, or when Reade's mom collapsed and had to be hospitalized or Dave's father was stricken with diabetes, etc. These attorneys heard their clients crying, saw the hospital bills, witnessed the parents' devastation when Newsweek slapped their sons' faces on its cover as rapists, walked next to that son through a mob yelling death threats, etc. To therefore suggest those defense attorneys would have prolonged this for something as trivial as billable hours is too awful for words.

Bring on that danged fence post!

Anonymous said...

I have been a trial lawyer for 20 years. I agree with everything Jim Cooney said about Brad Bannon's performance at the Dec. 15 hearing. I watched a video of the hearing, and Bannon's cross-examination of Meehan was very well done. It was even more impressive when you consider Bannon's youth (and relative inexperience), and his lack of notice that Meehan would be testifying at the hearing.

And for all you armchair legal "experts" who've never cross-examined a witness in your life -- let alone a Ph.D. witness in a scientific field in which you have little experience or expertise yourself -- writing a motion is a whole lot different from preparing to cross-examine a witness as slippery and dishonest as Brian Meehan. To get up and do it on the fly -- in front of t.v. cameras providing nationwide coverage, no less -- was extraordinarily courageous. Brad Bannon deserves all the credit in the world for not only doing it, but doing it so well.

Anonymous said...

i agree with you - except the hearing was not televised.

Anonymous said...

1:49 That is Bravo Sierra. Michael Gaynor did a great job. The issue is not the multiple DNA but the cover up. gotta let this go.

Anonymous said...

This Brad Bannon chap seems to have lawyer chops that just won't quit.

So how the hell did Gaynor learn it?

Anonymous said...

What did you expect from those LS posters like Newport. They have been mean and nasty to other posters. Posters left the board due to their hate and anger. Now. they are stuck beating each other up and the defense attorneys. Why is LS letting this go on?

Anonymous said...

One of the posters on liespotters who challenged Brad and Jim spent the 1st 3 months of the case on the CTV messageboard claiming that Mangum had a great claim for personal injury for falling down the stairs! Now, he is supposed to be a DNA whiz! And he knew ALL ALONG! hAhA!

Anonymous said...

Who was it?????????

KT said...

Anonymous @ 2:18:00 PM said...

To those who think that a motion to dismiss would have solved all the defendants' problems in this case, consider this: in deciding a motion to dismiss, the court must assume that all facts in the complaint are true, and must draw all inferences and resolve all ambiguities in favor of the non-moving party (here, that party would be the State of N.C.). In the LAX case, as long as the State had an accuser (Precious) who was willing to lie and testify that the defendants raped her, the motion to dismiss would have been denied -- regardless of the quantity of other evidence that contradicted Precious' testimony.

This sounds like Nifong wrote it. Fortunately, we will never know if his plan would have worked, because he dug himself into such a deep hole!

JeffM said...

@ 1:32

"It is not he [Michael Gaynor] questioning the defense attorneys."

Unfortunately, I believe you are wrong. You are right that Gaynor has not directly accused the defense attorneys of padding their bills. Instead he has implied that either they were negligent or padded their bills.

Gaynor posted: "Mr. Bannon either did not notice [Gaynor's blog] or chose to believe Mr. Nifong's assurances instead (but still sought that underlying documentation)." That implies to me that Gaynor is accusing Bannon of at least negligence in either not reading Gaynor's articles or reading and ignoring them.

He did not accuse the lawyers directly of padding their bills. Instead he merely implied that the bills were inflated, whether out of incompetence or greed is left unstated: "If anyone wanted to pay Mr. Bannon to personally confirm what a DNA expert could have confirmed relatively quickly, especially if told what to look for, so be it."

What is clear by Gaynor's own admission is that he had crucial exculpatory information and failed to inform the defendents' attorneys. How despicable.

Anonymous said...

Between TL micromanaging her blog out of existence and LS writing Nurses Peggy Perfect are crime stoppers, when you leave KC - this case is over for me.

inman said...

Jack @ 12:46

Thank you for your analysis of Rick Wagoner. To clarify, Melinda Gates is a Duke graduate, but is not on the Board.

But your comment revealed that I had not previously analyzed the representation of Duke graduates on the Board of Trustees.

So to amend my earlier (and most erroneous assumptions) I provide the following:

The Hon. Daniel Terry Blue, Jr.
Thigpen Blue Stephens & Fellers
Raleigh, NC

Mr. Jack O. Bovender, Jr.
Chairman HCA
Nashville, TN

Dr. Paula Phillips Burger
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD

Mrs. Paula Hannaway Crown
Principal, Henry Crown & Co.
Chicago, IL

The Hon. Christine M. Durham
Chief Justice, Utah Supreme Court
Salt Lake City, UT

Mr. Frank E. Emory, Jr.
Head of Litigation Department, Hunton & Williams
Charlotte, NC

Ms. Robin A. Ferracone
RAFcapital LLC
San Marino, CA

Mr. Brandon J. Goodwin
Philadelphia, PA

Mr. Kenneth W. Hubbard
Executive Vice president, Gerald D. Hines Interests
New York, NY

Dr. Kimberly J. Jenkins
Chapel Hill, NC

Mr. Bruce A. Karsh
President, Oaktree Capital Management, LLC
Los Angeles, CA

Mrs. Carol Louise Anspach Kohn
Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc.
Highland Park, IL

Ms. Marguerite W. Kondracke
President & CEO, America's Promise-The Alliance for Youth
Washington, DC

Mr. John J. Mack
Chairman, Morgan Stanley
New York, NY

Dr. Michael Marsicano
President. Foundation for the Carolinas
Charlotte, NC

Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey
Presiding Bishop, Western N.C. Annual Conference, UMC
Charlotte, NC

Ms. Nancy A. Nasher
President, NorthPark Development Company
Dallas, TX

Dr. Clarence G. Newsome
President, Shaw University
Raleigh, NC

Mr. David M. Rubenstein
Co-Founder & Managing Director, The Carlyle Group
Washington, DC

Mr. Alan D. Schwartz
President and Co-Chief Operating Officer, Bear Stearns & Company
New York, NY

Rev. Charles M. Smith
Exec. Dir. of Connectional Ministries, The United Methodist Church
Raleigh, NC

Mrs. Susan M. Stalnecker
Vice President & Treasurer, Dupont Finance
Greenville, DE

Mr. Robert King Steel, Chair
Under Secretary, Domestic Finance, Department of the Treasury
New York, NY

Mr. James L. Vincent
Chairman and CEO (RETIRED), Biogen, Inc.
Weston, MA

Mr. Anthony Vitarelli
Deputy International Director, Accion Emprendedora
New Haven, CT

Mr. G. Richard Wagoner, Jr.*
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer , GM
Detroit, MI

Dr. Lewis T. Williams
Founder, Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc.
South San Francisco , CA

I have provided their professional affiliation as listed in the alumni directory. That appears to me to be public domain material. I had originally intended to include their e-mail or other contact information, but decided that privacy issues and the spirit of the Duke alumni web-site policies precluded that action.

As I reviewed this list, I was stunned at the number of people who should have counseled Brodhead to a low or neutral profile, pending revelation of facts -- a Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court should surely have voiced the importance of a presumption of innocence. Shame!

In compiling this list, I attempted to make a positive identification, but accept the fact that I may have erroneously identified someone. Please accept my apologies for mistakes, if any.

In any event, Duke University is well-represented by its distinguished almuni on the Board of Trustees...which frankly makes the current enabling of the '88 all-the-more puzzling.

PS -- I find it fascinating that Duke University graduates from the early 1970's are among the leadership of 3 "bulge bracket" investment banks -- Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs & Bear Stearns. "White shoe" now has a Southern, a North Carolina, yes ... a Duke definitional context.

Anonymous said...

With SBI reporting No Evidence of DNA except the boyfriend, it looked like Gaynor was out in left field. Meehan reported No Team DNA and the question was about the nail. Gaynor is not despicable = he did not get any part of the three million. Nifong and Meeham were despicable for the cover up. We got enough with these two bad guys - let us not try to bring in the innocent,

Anonymous said...

You know what?

I'm tired of hearing about Michael Gaynor.....and I'm not going back to read all this nonsense.

Am I to undersand that Gaynor--someone in New York who was not an attorney on this case--is out there trying to conjure up issues--real or imagined--about miscalculations or deliberate misteps by the defense team?

How ridiculous is that?

Do some of these websites have to try and remain relevant by stirring up fantasies for their readership?


JeffM said...

@ 7:47

If Gaynor had information about the cover-up and did not pass that information on to those who needed it, that is despicable. It is not one bit different from any of the others, e.g. Gottlieb, who knew the truth and did nothing to help the defense. And Gaynor asserts that he did have that information and admits he did not pass it on to the defense.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

re: KT and anon 2:18

I am not a lawyer, but I believe that what anon 2:18 described was the standard in a motion to dismiss the charges for lack of probable cause. The issue here was the suppression of a witness ID.

The suppression of a witness ID is a matter of whether or not the ID in question was so tainted as to not have evidentuary value. If that was not the case here where Mangum saw Evans and Seligmann in prior photo arrays but did not accuse them until when she was told that every picture would be someone likely to be at the party AND THEN THE FIRST PERSON SHE PICKED WAS NOT AT THE PARTY, then it likely never would be in any case.

As for in court IDs, I don't know if Nifong would have still sent Wilson to interview her had the 15 December hearing not taken place but Wilson's interview certainly showed she was coaching herself to know the defendants.

So again if the photo array ID and in court ID were not suppressed in this case, I can not imagine they would ever be in any case in history.

cathyf said...

Mrs. Carol Louise Anspach Kohn
Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc.
Highland Park, IL

CIA non-official cover?!?!?

(I know, I know, just a coincidence, but it cracked me up...)

inman said...

cathyf @ 9:45...

Nice catch! Valerie Plame Wilson et al certainly traveled quite a lot.

ha haha hahahaha ....

Anonymous said...

TO cathyf--

You're right. I didn't catch that. Hilarious and uncanny all at once.....

.....except for the fact that Valerie Plame Wilson was and is about as under cover as I am.

This whole concocted fantasy has given her hubby Joe Wilson a fresh start, however.

Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie had previously been relegated to back-of-the-dive tables every time they showed up at a Robert DeNiro-owned restaurant in Tribeca.

They could only be seen in dime-sized photos of Vanity Fair coverage.

After the big CIA cover-blown-fantasy, Joe grew a he and Valerie copped the cover of Vanity Fair once.

Such is Washington, D.C. opéra-bouffe.



Mad Hatter said...

Re: 8:03 pm,

I second your motion. And, btw, thank you for your open expressions of loyalty and respect for KC and his blog. He really has put Durham on the map for us out-of-towners. His in-depth coverage of this case, along with your insightful comments make for very interesting reading.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

re: Debrah 8:03
she said:
"I'm tired of hearing about Michael Gaynor.....and I'm not going back to read all this nonsense.

Am I to undersand that Gaynor--someone in New York who was not an attorney on this case--is out there trying to conjure up issues--real or imagined--about miscalculations or deliberate misteps by the defense team?"

I get frustrated with some of the comments here too, but if I do not want to read up on the subject matter first, I risk making nonsensical comments and maybe looking uninformed.

Yes, Gaynor is from NY, so is KC
NO, Gaynor is not an attorney on this case, neither is KC
Trying to conjure up issues, no
Eileen Cornacchia, Collin’s aunt first emailed Gaynor 5-24-06. If some of you find it offensive, maybe you should chew her out. Gaynor got permission from Eileen to print their email exchange, which he has. It is tiresome to always read details of comments people make, but we are all talking about fairness and truth. I am not a Gaynor fan, but find it irritating when people make things up and others repeat it as gospel.
Gaynor writing to Eileen giving reason for wanting to post their exchange:
“By posting our email exchange, I would show that (1) my practice was to deal with the defense through you (it was),(2) I expressed my surprise about the defense's apparent ignorance of what to expect BEFORE Brad testified that he did think as of September 22, 2006 that he would not find evidence of multiple male DNA (I did) and (3) my email did not surprise you (after all, I had forwarded my June 20 and June 30 articles directly to you).
"Some Brad enthusiasts are suggesting that I am a Nifong enabler.

"You knew what my view of Nifong was when you first emailed me on May 24, 2006 to express gratitude for my writing and to encourage me to do more.

"I responded by making exposing the truth in the Duke case a personal priority, pro bono, so that the unwarranted ordeal of the players would end ASAP.”

I was really irritated with Gaynor because he seemed to make a bit deal about the party and how immoral it was. At a time of crisis, I thought he could have toned it down a little. But this is something that a lot of commentators do. They say if Paris did not hang with certain people, she wouldn't get in so much trouble. The same is with Vick, a lot of the football players that find themselves in nightclubs where there are shootings and drugs. So maybe Gaynor was just being consistent in the way he writes. I don't know. I prefer the way KC has reported this case.

By posting our email exchange, I would show that (1) my practice was to deal with the defense through you (it was),(2) I expressed my surprise about the defense's apparent ignorance of what to expect BEFORE Brad testified that he did think as of September 22, 2006 that he would not find evidence of multiple male DNA (I did) and (3) my email did not surprise you (after all, I had forwarded my June 20 and June 30 articles directly to you).

"Some Brad enthusiasts are suggesting that I am a Nifong enabler.

"You knew what my view of Nifong was when you first emailed me on May 24, 2006 to express gratitude for my writing and to encourage me to do more.

"I responded by making exposing the truth in the Duke case a personal priority, pro bono, so that the unwarranted ordeal of the players would end ASAP.

Anonymous said...

TO 1:17AM--

Your message is somewhat difficult to follow....a bit disjointed.

I appreciate your call for everyone to go back and read every detail; however, I am expressing my lack of interest in doing so.

Of course KC lives in New York, but there is no comparison with Gaynor. I started to include that fact in my previous post, but decided it had no significance.

KC first became involved because of concern about the behavior of those in his own profession--Duke's Gang of 88.

He didn't approach this case out legal advice to anyone.

Joe Cheshire, Jim Cooney, and Wade Smith seem to have done fine without outside advice and now.....rehashing using 20/20 hindsight.

Lastly, I don't put KC in anyone else's category. He is who he is.....and could be living in Boulder or anywhere else right now for that matter.


JeffM said...

@ 1:17

If it is true that Gaynor passed his information on to a member of one of the families, then his actions were not despicable, and I stand corrected.

His actions were still foolish unless the family member was a lawyer. Gaynor apparently had information that would have blown this case wide open if disclosed to an attorney. Merely sending an article without stressing to the family member what was important in that article and stressing the need to inform the defense counsel immediately is like throwing into the sea a message in a bottle.

You have justified Gaynor's good faith, but not his common sense.

Anonymous said...

TO 12:53AM--

And thank you very much for your kind words.



mac said...

I would prefer that Gaynor not be vilified, nor LS:
Gaynor has a right to his opinion - and he expresses it often -
and it would be nice if all parties would just chill.

There are plenty of villains in this case,
and it needn't be made into a noveau French Revolution:
there may not even be enough powder to
deal with the actual villains.

Anonymous said...

I though SBI and Meeham's lab were in charge of the DNA - not Mike Gaynor.
Liestoppers has been reduced to a few bloggers reinforcing each other. Questioning Bannon is just another cherry on their cake.

mac said...

LS still does good work: KC posts from it regularly.
I don't know the bloggers who post on it; this is the only place I post.

Posters who've question Bannon beyond the normal questions
one might offer, and still aren't satisfied, are most likely
dividers and saboteurs: I somehow don't think they're on our side.

Anonymous said...

no, he does not. Posters put his articles on the blog.

mac said...

Shows what I know.

Anonymous said...

Went rafting down the Ocoee and am just now reading this. Good for you . . . good for you all.

Anonymous said...

a. why is it surprising that Cooney was unprofessional and snarky and repeatedly referred to CGM as "Precious"? When he was on camera he was smirking with satisfaction anythime the defense made statements trashing her; it was obvious he loved doing it,IMO.

b. The so called "DNA mixture" Cooney talks about was a 98% non-exclusion(98%! and this was revealed ONLY after the case was dropped by Cooper); very hard to explain and definitely inculpatory and even more hard to explain as Mr. 98% DNA match was also identified as Mr.90% ID and, unless CGM can see microscopically, a hell of a coincidence. Oh yeah, and the same Mr.98% and 90% just happened to be in the last photos of CGM being put into the car so he did not leave early. A further coincidence.

c.The only things Cooney said that I agree with were that the defense got lucky with Meehan and the Dna issue and that they wanted to avoid a trial at all costs.

d.I can also add that they were lucky there was an impaired accuser because if it had been someone else the defense couldn't trash like they did CGM, their little tactics would not have worked so well and they would have been facing a trial, IMO. And let me add that Bipolar people can be raped, drunk people can be raped and so can those taking narcotics and so can sex workers so just because CGM had these problems does not mean that she was not sexually assaulted or terrorized in that house. The defense blatantly stated this premise again and again,IMO: "she could not be victimised because of who she was". Much was made of her background including people like Fats being brought forward with hearsay evidence that she was trying to set the men up even though Fats is well known in Durham as a big cocaine dealer and pimp whose word means nothing. CGM was vilified and much was made of any unflattering detail when in fact, she was not on trial; the last time I looked 2 grand juries indicted someone else as the criminals. For example, the racist and odious Debrah wrote above that CGM was "prowling that night" which implies she prowled into the party and forced her way in when in fact she was called there by the miscreants on the Lax team who wanted a lesbian sex show for their drunken underage spring fling. the fact of the matter is that CGM had been working all over Durham and there were no other rape compaints or ER visits for her until she ran into this group of "choir boys". The main people prowling that night,IMO, were the players. They set up an x rated and alcohol drenched situation. They even took a nice rapid trip away from the party where "nothing happened" after the 1 am in the morning..... including Mr. 98 and 90% who was already at his home but left rapidly for soome reason. In short, they were looking for trouble and they got it, IMO.

Eric said...


Wow -- this is the silliest thing I've read in a while.

1) Precious is the name this woman chose for herself. Would you prefer he used her real name, rather than her "stage name"? If you're right and he was being snarky, is that relevant to... well... anything?
2) The "98%" match statistically means nothing. They had at least 50 reference specimens to compare, they found one match for this data. That's the number of expected false matches in a pool of 50 specimens with a 98% exclusion rate. This isn't what we typically think of with a DNA "match". If you didn't come from a really small town, your 1st period class in high school probably included someone who would have been a match. Hey, there's a 1 in 50 chance that *YOU* are a match.
3) As far as it happening to be one of the accused, Evans, that point collapses when you remember that the fingernails were collected from the garbage can in... Evans' bathroom... full of... Evans' trash. Given that DNA can easily transfer in such a setting (especially if you throw wet stuff like... snotty tissues... in the trash), he's the one person whose DNA being in that trashcan means the absolute least. You'd better hope none of your DNA is in your garbage can, if you are ever accused of a crime and think this way. As far as the accuser choosing him, that was the second time she was shown his picture in a "lineup". The first time, she didn't recognize him at all. The second time she said it could be him, if he had a moustache. Dave Evans never had a moustache -- they weren't even allowed for men in the lacrosse team. On the other hand, she identified a fourth man as an attacker, without even requiring a non-existent moustache. The police did not follow-up on that identification. She also had a very poor track record in that ID session, identifying as present people who were in other cities at the time, choosing the wrong people for some other things at the party, etc. The ID was utterly useless, as was the DNA. Just "bad luck" for Evans that she picked him out. The fact that his picture was on the wall in the house, and in a previous lineup, couldn't have influenced her eventually selecting him, could it?
4) I, for one, never heard the defense say anything like "she can't be victimized because of who she is", as you assert. On the other hand, I did hear them say that none of the stories she actually told was physically possible. Two of the people she chose to accuse were gone before she claims to have been raped, unless you prefer her December "time-flexible" version in which she was raped before she actually arrived and was photographed dancing. As for your suspicions about the third person, well, I guess all that I can say is that the investigators who actually looked at the bathroom, listened to her stories, and interviewed the witnesses, including the second dancer, ended up concluding that it was all impossible, regardless of which men you choose, and regardless of which version of her story you prefer.

So. Was the Evans DNA purely a statistical coincidence, or did it get transfered onto her nails in the garbage? I don't know, or care. If the alleged crime didn't happen, then it's a distinction without a difference.

Anonymous said...

You simply do not understand Dna exclusion. The 98% nonexclusion is based on worldwide Dna profiles and means that the DNA was almost a perfect match with Evans, missing only about one allele on the standardised test; any closer would be a 100% DNA match. 98% is a VERY good partial match and can be used in court as evidence towards guilt;partial matches with much lower percentages are used all the time. The story about the fingernails being contaiminated in the trashcan is ok but the forensic team would be called to testify whether the DNA was found UNDER the nail which is evidence of a struggle and NOT consistent with contaimination or was it ON the nail, which is consistent with contaimination. Also, if the 98% nonexclusion was such a nothing, why did the defense only go public with that detail AFTER the charges were dismissed? The answer is obvious to anyone with a brain: the statistical coincidences involving Evans and what that high of a Dna match really means and the actual circumstances( ie, he was there to the bitter end and is pictured watching the accuser being put into the car)were not as easily explained away as the other alibis and Nifong could have used this info to try to mount a case in court. That is why the defense has stated court had to be avoided at all costs. Cooney is not lying to you guys when he said they had some luck involved in this dismissal. They were very lucky. Lucky in the accuser's past and lucky that Nifong had Meehan in court that day. BTW, all the big deal about the dna in the accuser's panties indicating that she had sex with someone that night, etc is a lot of bs. The SBI kit found no DNA whatsoever on the clothes and the kit was taken to Meehan's lab for amplification and more specific testing? What does that imply scientifically? That the samples were degraded and quite old and were not particularly germane to the case at hand as they were old( probably greater than 2 weeks old).