Sirens & Gavels

Courthouse watch: 7.20.09

The legal saga continued today for a couple police believe plotted to murder the woman's husband then concocted a sordid tale of abuse in an attempt to dupe investigators into thinking the killing was self-defense.

The state filed its response today in Spokane County Superior Court to a motion by Shellye L. Stark's new appellate lawyers to quash a subpoena of Stark's case file with lawyer Russell Bradshaw, whom she fired after her conviction.

Stark's lawyers, Gregory C. Link and David L. Donnan, argued in a motion filed July 10 that the file is protected and shouldn't be released.

Judge Ellen Kalama Clark ruled last month, as detailed in a blog post you can read here, that she would review the material and hand over anything having to do with the involvement of Stark's boyfriend, Brian L. Moore, that was not relevant to Stark's appeal to the state. The file contains crucial evidence for the state's case against Moore, specifically statements he made to a private investigator, Ted Pulver, who has said he'll work with the state but only under a subpoena.

The court allowed the file to be released because Bradshaw did not represent Moore, Starks' lawyers wrote in the motion, which you can read here.

Under that logic, any time co-defendants are charged under different case numbers, they would be able to access each other's case files, Stark's lawyers argued in a motion filed July 10.

"That is a nonsensical distinction," Starks' lawyers wrote. "Instead, if the information would not have been available to the State had it sought it in Ms. Stark's case, it does not become available merely because the State has sought it in a separate matter."

Deputy Prosecutor Larry Haskell filed his response today, citing two Washington state Supreme Court cases that he argues support Clark's decision.

Read that response here.

A hearing is set for later this month.




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