Nifong attorney Jim Glover had no discernible defense strategy, instead changing arguments on the fly and without warning, often in ways that contradicted his previous remarks.
During the day, Glover pursued at least seven separate approaches to the Nifong defense:
1) The Irrelevancy Argument: Nifong didn’t lie to the court on September 22 because the unidentified male DNA was of little consequence, given that Nifong already had turned over test results showing no DNA matches to the lacrosse players.
2) The “Something Happened” Argument: A reverse of (1), Nifong was actually doing the defense a favor by not reporting the items, since, Glover darkly hinted, how could the defense have been sure they weren’t matches to the lacrosse players? (Actually, because Meehan had said so, but why let the facts get in the way?)
3) The “Revise History” Argument: The sole purpose of involving Dr. Meehan in this case, suggested Glover, was to test the DNA mixture on Crystal Mangum’s false fingernails. Glover also made a bizarre objection to Brad Bannon reading from the Dec. 15 transcript, as if he could deny Meehan and Nifong said what they did on that occasion.
4) The “Something Happened, II” Argument: Glover consistently referred to Crystal Mangum as the “alleged victim.” Alleged by whom, actually? Meanwhile, he went out of his way to mention Dave Evans’ name as a “match” to the false fingernails.
5) The “Bore-the-Court” Argument: Under this approach, Glover asked wild, unconnected questions, speaking in a low monotone, apparently with the purpose of putting everyone to sleep. Perhaps, he reasoned, the judge would want to stop the torture and dismiss the case.
6) The “Mr. Obfuscation” Argument: Ask Dr. Meehan technical questions, generate incomprehensible answers, and imply to the court that Nifong couldn’t have been expected to understand Meehan when the lab director said he had found matches to four males’ DNA.
7) The “Ignorance-is-bliss” Argument: Nifong never reads reports, or any documents related to his cases. Therefore, he couldn’t have lied to the court about the contents of documents, since he didn’t know what these documents contained.
None of these arguments were persuasive. Also, the one thing from which Glover fervently stayed away: what Nifong said on Sept. 22, when he stated that he had no conversations with Dr. Meehan other than the matches profiled in the May 12 report.
The highlight of the day—as in the Bar proceedings—came from Brad Bannon. Bannon eviscerated Glover’s claim that the multiple male DNA found by Meehan was “not significantly exculpatory.” Bannon responded, “That’s absolutely false.” He then paused before adding, “And you know it.”
Two of Mike Nifong’s most prominent enablers absented themselves from yesterday’s hearing. First, former Nifong citizens’ committee co-chair Victoria Peterson was nowhere to be found. Second, the person who identified Peterson only as a “black activist from Durham”—Duff Wilson of the New York Times—also didn’t put in an appearance. Perhaps Wilson was still trying to track down the facts for his August 25, 2006 article. Or perhaps he was afraid that he might again get called out from the witness stand by Brad Bannon.
Today: Mike Nifong takes the stand.