Drug Policy

The Ryan Frederick Trial: Day Three

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Ryan Frederick is the 28-year-old Chesapeake, Virginia man facing murder charges for killing a police officer during a drug raid (see this wiki for more on Frederick's case). My coverage of the first two days of his trial here.

I should note in these updates that I'm not actually in Chesapeake for the trial. My analysis of what's happening is contingent on reporting from the trial from the Virginian-Pilot newspaper and from local blogger Don Tabor, who is writing up reports from notes he's taking in the courtroom (and whom I've found to be pretty fair in his prior coverage of the case).

Yesterday began with the state calling Jarrond Shivers' widow to the stand. I found this odd, and a couple of criminal defense attorneys I spoke with (both not related to the case) confirmed my suspicions. I don't doubt Nicole Shivers' grief, but her tearful testimony added nothing substantive to what's at issue in this case: whether Ryan Frederick knew or should have known that the men breaking into his home were police officers. Shivers testified about her first date with her husband, about their relationship, and about the last time she saw him. This sort of testimony at least makes some sense during a sentencing hearing, but during the guilt phase of a criminal trial, it's inappropriate. It's only purpose is to spark juror emotions—to put in their head that with a"not guilty" verdict, they'd only be inflaming the widow's grief.

According to Tabor, Frederick attorney James Broccoletti didn't object to Shivers taking the stand, though it's possible that he objected to her inclusion as a witness at an earlier hearing. Broccoletti didn't respond to an email query (understandably, given that he's in the middle of a trial). It's possible that Broccoletti calculated that objecting to allowing Shivers to have her say would lose him sympathy with the jury, particularly if he thought he'd be overruled, anyway. I'd be interested in what readers with a criminal law background think of Nicole Shivers taking the stand.

The rest of the day was taken up by testimony from police officers involved in the raid. They reiterated the claim that they knocked and announced themselves repeatedly. Tabor found their testimony believable. I've heard from others at the trail who found them less credible.  But I'm not sure their credibility matters. Even taking the officers' testimony at face value, from the first knock until the battering ram took out the lower panel of his front door, Frederick had at most 25 seconds to wake up, gauge what was going on outside his home, and determine what to do about it. This, while his dogs were going nuts, and after he'd been burglarized days earlier (by the police department's own informant).

A few other items that came out yesterday that are worth noting:

•  On the day of the raid, Frederick bought two dead bolt locks for his door. A relatively minor point, but it helps establish his state of mind the night of the raid.

•  Broccoletti conceded that Frederick did at some point grow marijuana plants for personal use, but Frederick adamantly denies ever selling any. The police had no evidence at the time to suggest otherwise. (I don't know what the state has in store for the trial.  It wouldn't surprise me if they trotted out a jailhouse snitch claiming to have bought marijuana from Frederick). They attempted no controlled buys from Frederick. They surveilled his home and found nothing unusual. The affidavit mentions no complaints from neighbors (the neighbors I've spoken to speak highly of him). This raid wasn't conducted on a community menace. It was conducted on a guy who smoked and sometimes grew pot in his own home, for his own use.

• Indeed, the police officers who testified yesterday conceded that the only evidence they had on Frederick was the word of their informant, Steven Wright. Wright at the time was being held on felony charges related to credit card theft. According to the officers who testified, Wright had helped them on one prior case, and was paid $50. 

I should first add that this testimony conflicts with what Renaldo Turnbull (the other man who broke into Frederick's house with Wright) told me in June, and with what he told the Virginian-Pilot last February. Turnbull said both he and Wright had been working with the police for months, and that the police had encouraged them to illegally break into private homes to obtain probably cause for search warrants.

But let's assume the police officers are telling the truth. If so, that means they broke into Frederick's house after nightfall, using a battering ram, based solely on the word of a shady informant who at the time was facing his own felony charges. Not only that, but he didn't even have the marijuana plants he claimed to have taken. Those plants, if they even exist, have never been in police possession.

• From the Virginian-Pilot:

Roberts, Shivers' partner in the Frederick case, testified at length about the history of the investigation, the informant used and the surveillance conducted.

He described how they pulled up to the house that night in an unmarked van with the lights off. A second group was in an unmarked car, and a marked patrol unit rolled up past the house.

Dressed mostly in black, they "approached in a stealth manor," [sic] Roberts said. Shivers was to be the first through the door.

They started pounding on the door, shouting and then trying to break it down with a battering ram.

"I wanted, without a doubt, Mr. Frederick to know that we were the police outside," Detective Sgt. Scott Chambers said.

This doesn't make sense. If they wanted Frederick to know there were police outside "without a doubt," why approach the house in a "stealth-like manner"?  Why dress in black, and pull up silently in black, unmarked cars? If they wanted Frederick to know "without a doubt" that the police were outside his home, they should have used lights and sirens.  Perhaps a bullhorn.

This is the typical position the police take in these cases. They simultaneously maintain that the ninja tactics are necessary to take the suspect by surprise—and that the suspect should have known it was the police who were breaking into his home. The only way to resolve those two positions is to say that the police want to be stealth until they get to the door, at which point they want to be loud and boisterous.  That is, they want to take the suspect by surprise until just before entry, at which point they want to make it clear who they are. That puts an incredible amount of pressure on, in this case and others, a sleeping person to wake up and correctly ascertain what's going on.

(I'd encourage readers to experiment sometime.  Lay down in a bedroom and have a friend pound on your front door and yell.  See if you can decipher what they're saying, even while awake.)

• As I discussed yesterday, the other gaping hole in the prosecution's case is that they're maintaining that even though Steven Wright told them Frederick's home was broken into three nights before the raid, and even though they knew that Wright was in Frederick's home the same night it was burglarized, they didn't know until months later that it was actually Wright who conducted the burglary, and that he conducted it specifically (and illegally) to obtain probable cause for the search warrant.

Again from the Virginian-Pilot:

Roberts' testimony drew the most intense cross-examination after he named the informant – Steven Wright, whose full name is Steven Rene Wright. The police have refused until the trial to name him.

Also for the first time, Wright was identified as the person who alerted police to a break-in at Frederick's house days before the raid.

Wright failed, however, to tell police that it was he who broke into Frederick's garage and stole several marijuana plants, despite being asked "15 times," Roberts said. Police didn't learn that until about three months ago, he said.

Again, lots of problems, here. If they had to ask Wright "15 times," might that speak to his trustworthiness as an informant—particularly one on whose word would be the sole reason you conduct a home invasion raid?

Moreover, why would Wright possibly implicate himself by telling the police about the burglary in the first place? Did the police think Frederick invited him in?  Did they ask Wright how he was able to take several plants without Frederick noticing?

The state seems to be arguing that Wright came to the police that night and said something to the effect of, "Okay, I found several marijuana plants in the guy's garage tonight.  I took a few. Don't ask me how I got them. Also, I don't have the actual plants anymore. Must have lost them. But I'm sure they were marijuana. Trust me on that. Also, somebody broke into his garage tonight. But it wasn't me."

And they bought it?  In fact, they not only bought it, they bought it enough that they didn't feel they needed to do any further investigation before conducting a raid?

Seems to be that what Turnbull told me and the Virginia-Pilot is a far more plausible explanation. The cops had an arrangement with these guys. The cops looked the other way while their informants illegally broke into homes to get probable cause. That would explain why the cops knew on the night of the raid that Frederick's house had been burglarized three nights earlier (and were recorded saying as much).

Finally, we still don't know if Turnbull and Wright been charged for burglarizing Ryan Frederick's home. If not, why not?

NEXT: Should Genetic Trophy Hunting Be Outlawed?

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  1. He’s fucked. I hate to say it, but he’s fucked.

  2. I don’t doubt Nicole Shivers’ grief, but her tearful testimony added nothing substantive to what’s at issue in this case: whether Ryan Frederick knew or should have known that the men breaking into his home were police officers. Shivers testified about her first date with her husband, about their relationship, and about the last time she saw him.

    Years (and years) ago, during a ‘career day’, workshop, an attorney said one should take “lots of drama classes” if one wanted to become a trial lawyer.

    Just sayin’

  3. Ice Cube had it right..

  4. adrian,

    You mean in the words of the great warrior poet Ice Cube, “I did not have to use my AK today. It is good”?

  5. An added outrage is that Shiver’s widow is being consoled by the same idiots that got her husband killed. Shameful.

  6. He’s fucked. I hate to say it, but he’s fucked.

    I think you’re right. Man, I hope we’re wrong.

  7. I can not belive the defense attorney, and the judge allowed a widow to testify at a criminal procedding. This is grounds for an appeal or mistrial. she was not at the scene, has no knowledge of the procedure and what happend. she is NOT A WITNESS, OR A PLAYER! the state brought her on the stand just to taint a jury. this kind of stunt is horrible at best and at worse a treason of justice!

  8. This is grounds for an appeal or mistrial.

    Brocoletti isn’t stupid. Maybe this is exactly what he’s thinking…if they lose.

  9. The cops had an arrangement with these guys. The cops looked the other way while their informants illegally broke into homes to get probable cause.

    Because as we know, people are far more devastated by a stranger getting high than the financial and emotional loss that comes from being burglarized.

  10. It’s obvious that the facts hardly matter. Look at the justification for marijuana to be illegal in the first place. And the justification for the raid. They don’t care, all they know is drugs are bad and police are good.

    This one is on the jury, and I bet that the widow’s sob fest will win them over.

    A cop died. Convict the “dope fiend.”

    Sigh.

    Seriously though, if I spent as much time and effort with this bs as Balko does, I would need an endless amount of shit to break to release my rage.

    Nerves of steel. Keep it up. Maybe some day they will learn.

  11. Yes, he’s fucked. And by proxy, so are we.

    There are so many aspects about this case in which the police have been shown to be in the wrong and yet, Ryan Frederick is still actually on trial.

    There are many things that depress me reading Hit & Run but this one, this one’s really just fucked my day.

    I can’t tell you how much I want to be proven wrong.

  12. Yes, he’s fucked. And by proxy, so are we.

    The exact reason for my lament.

    There are many things that depress me reading Hit & Run but this one, this one’s really just fucked my day.

    At least the BART shooting seems to be going the right way. This one, I’d concur.

  13. I can not belive the defense attorney, and the judge allowed a widow to testify at a criminal procedding

    I think this is a non-starter. Lots of people are allowed to testify for character reasons etc. Yeah, we know a lot of it is for emotional manipulation of the jury, but unless she says something counterfactual, her testimony will probably stand. Again, think “character witness”. The purpose of her testimony is to show that he was a normal, caring family man and member of the community. Not a bloodthirsty dirty cop who’s on the take.

  14. Again, think “character witness”. The purpose of her testimony is to show that he was a normal, caring family man and member of the community. Not a bloodthirsty dirty cop who’s on the take.

    Yeah, but Shivers character is irrelevant to the case.

  15. If the system continues to fail, and upholds the side of power over the weak, it is grounds for revolution.

  16. This sort of testimony at least makes some sense during a sentencing hearing

    “Sentence first- verdict afterwards.”

  17. objection, relevancy!

    the way you keep an irrelevant witness off the stand without prejudicing the jury is called a “motion in limine” which is heard before the trial gets underway. i would not want to be defended on a murder charge by a lawyer who has never heard of motions in limine.

    oh, and i have just decided to name my estate “stealth manor”.

  18. No, bruce. “Stealthy Manor”.

    I, of course, live in Wayne Manor.

  19. Maybe Obama can pardon this guy after this miscarriage of abortion? Wouldn’t it be nice to see a President use their powers of pardon/commutation other than at the end of their last term?

  20. “Maybe Obama can pardon this guy after this miscarriage of abortion? Wouldn’t it be nice to see a President use their powers of pardon/commutation other than at the end of their last term?”

    He’d be labeled as being soft on crime or some such bullshit because quite frankly, most people, including some I’ve shown this too, see “he shot a cop” and it’s over with in their mind.

    You know, this will sound incredibly negative but if Frederick is convicted, I hope he wears this as a badge of Honor. Someone broke in to his house, and they got exactly what they deserved.

  21. The cops looked the other way while their informants illegally broke into homes to get probable cause.

    This makes me wonder what they took from the homes they burglarized. Were they “supplementing” their incomes while fetching contraband for the cops?

    Wouldn’t this make their cop masters equally complicit in their crimes? As if that would matter to anybody in the DA’s office.

    I also have to wonder whether the defense attorney has just resigned himself to this being a lost cause, in the first go-round, and is concurrently working on the appeal.

  22. I think this is a non-starter. Lots of people are allowed to testify for character reasons etc……..

    Yes, but does that not by procedure come during sentencing, not during a trail. I am not a lwayer, but have served federal jury duty, there were charecter witnesses, but only after we returned the verdict, before the sentence was handed down. and plus, the cops charecter is not in question, it is the defendents. just my .02. things NEDD TO CHANGE, or this will happen with increasing numbers. personally, i would not wait to identify a perp in my home and see him clearly, that gives the perp an advantage. you sulk and when he turns a corner or beats on a door, you fire, the enitre clip, then worry about if you hit or not, while dropping out a clip, and putting a new one in just in case it is needed. or my choice, a shotgun with the plug out and 5 shells of 00 in it. in the dark, i am not gonna miss the figure, lol!

  23. Episiarch,

    Sorry, but since the shoe incident, I’m convinced that George W. Bush is the Batman.

  24. The president can only pardon people convicted of federal crimes. This was in state court.

    Also, I don’t mean to question Broccoletti’s competence. For all I know, he did challenge Nicole Shivers’ testimony in a prior motion. He has an excellent reputation.

    I was just curious what readers with a legal background thought of the propriety of the judge allowing her to testify in the first place.

  25. Presidents cant pardon state criminals.

  26. the president of the united states can only pardon for federal crimes. he has absolutely no pardon power regarding state crimes. dual sovereignty, baby!

  27. Oh, crap. Blue Beetle could’ve dodged two shoes.

  28. I have a hard time understanding why the defense attorney did not object to the victim’s widow’s testimony on relevance grounds. She has no first hand knowledge of the event.

    Radley, you’re also probably right that the objection occurred in pre-trial hearings. The defense would have seen the widow on the prosecution’s witness list and filed a motion. If the defense lost the motion pre-trial, they may not have wanted to renew the objection at trial and annoy the judge. Bereaved family members are famously difficult to cross-examine without looking like a jerk.

    Her testimony might be relevant if the character of the slain officer was an issue, for instance, if the defendant is trying to argue that this particular officer was overly-aggressive. The prosecution could then call her or others to testify about how peace-loving he was to counter the character evidence the defense will presumably introduce.

  29. the gov can pardon him in a state case, and by the reading of the evidence availble to the public, should pardon him this minute. but that will never happen, politicians are by nature pussies when it comes to standing up to do the right thing!

  30. damn it, i have to post faster on here or i’ll be left behind. maybe i should stop drinking between posts.

  31. I will be the first, then, to say that I have more faith in the jury, and that they will see through this fucking charade of a prosecution. Is most of the population truly so gullible and uninformed? Is it possible that there aren’t at least 3 people on that jury that can say “This is utter and complete fucking bullshit.”?

    I’ve never been to Chesapeake. Are they afraid of I-talian type names like Broccoletti?
    Broccoli is one thing. But small broccolli…I don’t know. I might have to make a full retraction.

  32. I was just curious what readers with a legal background thought of the propriety of the judge allowing her to testify in the first place.

    While a judge could sua spontae bar testimony or evidence, most won’t do it unless they are ruling on an objection or the evidence is tirelessly cumlumative and a waste of everyone’s time. Judges generally figure that if one of the two adversarial parties before them aren’t objecting to the testimony, then there’s no harm in letting it in.

  33. Broccoli is one thing. But small broccolli…I don’t know.

    Broccoletti/broccolini is a broccoli/asparagus hybrid, not “little broccoli”.

    (food pedant)

  34. Broccoletti conceded that Frederick did at some point grow marijuana plants for personal use, but Frederick adamantly denies ever selling any.

    He’s dead.

  35. Is it possible that there aren’t at least 3 people on that jury that can say “This is utter and complete fucking bullshit.”?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It only takes 1 to say not guilty, the problem is peer pressure. In the trail i was in, it wa 9/3 after the first vote, the guy was dead to rights caught red handed, but 3 female juruors who had a racial problem held out for 3 days, because it was not fair that the state is taking everything. on day 4 we hung one charge, and convicted him of 4 or 5 others.the truth being that if the jurours had stuck to thier guns, right or wrong, the verdict would have been different. do not underestimate the power of the jury against other members who share a differnt view of the facts.

  36. The marijuana found in his possession will be the final nail in his coffin. As far as the country is concerned these are the relevant facts (all of them true): he was breaking the law, the cops raided his home, and he killed one of them.

    So let that be yet another lesson to everybody. If somebody forces their way into your home, don’t defend yourself and do whatever they say. You should have learned these things in elementary school with their zero tolerance fighting rules. Hell, in my school, you were suspended for being in a fight if somebody punched you and you did nothing.

  37. Broccoletti conceded that Frederick did at some point grow marijuana plants for personal use, but Frederick adamantly denies ever selling any.
    ______________________________________________
    dead yes, but am i the only one who has to ask, why, when you have a few plants you are always charged with manufacture (of a plant?) and dist, even if it is 2 plants for yourself and you would never ever sell it. this travesty also needs to be addresed.

  38. Broccoletti/broccolini is a broccoli/asparagus hybrid, not “little broccoli”.

    I wsa going with the literal transalation, not an actual type of produce. But now that you have clued me into a hybrid of 2 of my favorite vegetables, I will seek this interesting demonstration of science’s great impact on the food industry.

    Um…is it worth it?

  39. This is grounds for an appeal or mistrial.

    Not sure, but I think the defense attorney has to object at trial to the testimony in order for it to be appealed.

    I was just curious what readers with a legal background thought of the propriety of the judge allowing her to testify in the first place.

    Grossly improper, both as to relevance and as to prejudicing the jury.

    Broccoletti conceded that Frederick did at some point grow marijuana plants for personal use,

    Why would he concede that?

  40. I just read the linked Don Tabor post, which relates the testimony regarding the officers’ account. What a clusterfuck.

  41. Um…is it worth it?

    It’s very good. Steam it and either squeeze some lemon on it or saute it in olive oil with garlic.

    Rapini (broccoli rabe) is the best, but isn’t actually a broccoli hybrid.

  42. You mean in the words of the great warrior poet Ice Cube, “I did not have to use my AK today. It is good”?

    Good Lord. If you’re going to quote Ice Cube, please, PLEASE get the quote right. Your version makes him sound like Cliff Huxtable.

  43. Your coverage of this has been fantastic, Radley. Just want you to know it’s much appreciated.

  44. I’m having vague memories of my Evidence class, but I think the rule is that the testimony has to have more probative than prejudicial effect. I’m pretty sure that you have to object to preserve your right to appeal on something like this.

  45. It only takes 1 to say not guilty, the problem is peer pressure.

    That’s my point – I just think in this case the minority is going to be maybe 1-3 people who are willing to stick to their guns for Frederick’s case.

    why, when you have a few plants you are always charged with manufacture (of a plant?) and dist, even if it is 2 plants

    Pretty sure this depends on the state. Some states have up to 99 plants as a misdemeanor; without getting into specifics, it varies widely. I think NORML’s website has all the pertinent info related to posession and charges by state.

  46. I’m 2nd gen Italian of a family from Brooklyn and Queens. I’m down with broccoli rabe.

  47. i did **not** manufacture those marijuana plants. my goddess manufactured them. i am a devout pagan, servant and acolyte to her, and all i do is provide soil, water and ferts. if my lawyer ever conceded during a trial that i manufactured a marijuana plant, i would fire him on the spot with a demosthenic denunciation.

  48. I really hope that Broccoletti did object in chambers or somewhere where it was on the record, since he can’t appeal based on the widow’s testimony if he didn’t.

    And unfortunately, I have to agree with those who say “he’s screwed”. And double unfortunately, I think we all knew that the trial would go exactly this way from the beginning.

  49. I’m 2nd gen Italian of a family from Brooklyn and Queens. I’m down with broccoli rabe.

    I have many memories of my grandmother cooking some up and all the adults running to the kitchen to eat it on bread cut from a round loaf from the pork store. Man, good thing I just had a sandwich or I’d be really hungry right now.

  50. His lawyer requested a delay in the mistrial motion. I have an idea that he wants the full story to come out before the ruling because even by the LEO’s account it doesn’t add up to murder. I think he’s looking to get this dismissed and force the prosecutor to refile under a lesser charge.

  51. I think he’s looking to get this dismissed and force the prosecutor to refile under a lesser charge.

    Except that a jury is probably more likely to convict on a lesser charge. I guess his job is to get his client the best deal possible, and being convicted of, say, manslaughter is better than murder, but it still destroys his life.

    That’s my point – I just think in this case the minority is going to be maybe 1-3 people who are willing to stick to their guns for Frederick’s case.

    All they need is one. But doesn’t that just hang the jury and they go to trial again?

  52. The comments on the Virginian-Pilot site are really good – they read nearly as pro-acquittal as the comments here. Even some pro-drug war people admit that there’s something fishy.

    If they’re representative of NOVA residents, and if Broccoletti is any good at choosing a jury, I think there might be hope yet.

  53. “a round loaf from the pork store.”

    and you bought your meat from a bakery, amirite?

    i hate to plug commercial products on blogs, but razor-thin slices of authentic parma and san daniele prosciutto hams are the bestest pizza toppings evah, and i get mine from igourmet.com. in the interest of equal time and fairness, let’s hear from the spanish serrano and pata negra people.

  54. I was just curious what readers with a legal background thought of the propriety of the judge allowing her to testify in the first place.

    FWIW, I’d agree with those above who would object on the grounds of relevance. The dead cop’s character isn’t at issue. Assuming Broccoletti isn’t completely incompetent, he’s already objected to the testimony and preserved it for his appeal.

    The thing that’s scary to me is that there is a sitting judge out there presiding over a trial for a man’s life who would let evidence in that any second-year law student knows is patently inadmissible.

  55. Again, think “character witness”. The purpose of her testimony is to show that he was a normal, caring family man and member of the community. Not a bloodthirsty dirty cop who’s on the take.

    Yeah, but Shivers character is irrelevant to the case.

    Right, Shivers is not on trial.

    Something really stinks here.

    But doesn’t that just hang the jury and they go to trial again?

    Yes. The Liberty City 7 are on there third trial after two mistrials. At one of the earlier trials some were aquitted on several counts but the feds keep trying to hang something on the sorry lot.

  56. “their” not “there”.

  57. If they’re representative of NOVA residents

    A quibble there, Pengu. Chesapeake is in the Tidewater, about three hours’ drive south-southeast from Occupied Northern Virginia (whence came the prosecutor, i might add).

    Unfortunately, the ones writing comments to the Pilot are not the ones in the jury box. But maybe there is hope. I have to say, the Pilot has been shockingly even-handed with this case — far more so than with other shot cop stories that have gone down concurrently, including an undercover drug buy gone bad in Virginia Beach a couple months back that resulted in another dead LEO. I kind of get the impression that maybe, just maybe, there is starting to be an awareness around here about just how sick and out-of-control the drug war is.

    I could be wrong to hope, though. Juanita’s fellow travelers in the area get their letters published in the print edition with depressing frequency. BUT WAT ABOUT TEH CHILDRENS, etc.

  58. I’m pretty sure that you have to object to preserve your right to appeal on something like this.

    Not that I am saying you are wrong, but I would imagine that if there was a motion hearing on the testimony, the ruling on that is appeal-able.

  59. and you bought your meat from a bakery, amirite?

    They got the bread from the bakery. Why go to the bakery and the pork store when you can just go to the pork store? Mozzarella made that morning…sweet sausages…sopressata…

    in the interest of equal time and fairness, let’s hear from the spanish serrano and pata negra people

    It pains me to say this, but I must be honest:

    jamon iberico > parma > jamon serrano. You just cannot beat the iberico.

  60. “I have a hard time understanding why the defense attorney did not object to the victim’s widow’s testimony on relevance grounds. She has no first hand knowledge of the event. ”

    Victim’s widow??? The dead cop ain’t the victim here.

  61. The guy could fry, and the comments concern food.
    Seems appropriate.

  62. .., if i recall correctly, they’ve ruled out the death penalty. No frying. Not that life in prison is better than death.

  63. “I was just curious what readers with a legal background thought of the propriety of the judge allowing her to testify in the first place.”

    Regardless of its legality its wrong. If it is illegal that should be changed. That kind of stuff has absolutely no bearing on the question before the court.

  64. grub first, then ethics.

  65. The guy could fry, and the comments concern food.
    Seems appropriate.

    Honestly, it’s such a depressing subject that a little distraction is necessary.

  66. Not that I am saying you are wrong, but I would imagine that if there was a motion hearing on the testimony, the ruling on that is appeal-able.

    It’s been a long time since law school and the Bar Exam (well, 6 years. But it seems like forever ago.) But generally, even if the objection was made in an evidentiary hearing, the attorney will repeat his objection for the record at trial.

    That being said, my knowledge of evidentiary law and criminal procedure doesn’t extend to being able to remember whether the objection at the evidentiary hearing is sufficient to keep the issue alive for appeal. Doing transactional corporate law rots your brain.

  67. a little distraction is necessary

    All righty then. I’m marinating some lovely lamb chops in olive oil, garlic and rosemary.
    Ever notice how rosemary smells like fine bud?

  68. “””Except that a jury is probably more likely to convict on a lesser charge. I guess his job is to get his client the best deal possible, and being convicted of, say, manslaughter is better than murder, but it still destroys his life.”””

    True.

    I remember a cop telling me along time ago that if they are breaking in make sure they are in the house even if you have to drag them across your doorway after you fired. That’s what he said even though I don’t buy the drag ’em across your doorway part. But the point stood. Make sure they are in your house. However, in this case. Fredrick would probably be shot dead if he had the gun on them when they entered.

    I’m still thinking he’ll beat the murder rap. The situation does not rise to that level.

  69. In a just, sane world the people of that area would vote the Commonwealth’s Attorney (I think they are “CA”s in VA, not DAs but not sure) out next election for prosecuting this guy for murder.

  70. “Honestly, it’s such a depressing subject that a little distraction is necessary.”

    Exactly.

    And when criticizing the turn to food conversation in this thread, using the term “fry” does not help your cause. And it makes me want Pork Katzu over some Japanese Curry.

  71. “Ever notice how rosemary smells like fine bud?”

    what?

    anyway, he might beat the rap. he might. i hope he does.

  72. i just wanna express admiration to episiarch for coining the term “pork store”. i’m a 53 year-old gastronaut and i hadn’t heard it before today. a pork store is the kind of business i could really get into.

    i am also a neologist, and today i give you “institutional malice”. institutional malice is when nobody specific in an organization bears you ill-will, but collectively they have joined together to persecute you. i’ll bet ryan frederick understands this concept. i have also faced it from time to time, and am currently facing it from the internal revenue service. werner heisenberg taught us that the observer and the object are intertwined, and the interaction changes them both, and i am a different person today, which is to say not as nice a person as when i was a child, on account of my experiences with it.

  73. using the term “fry” does not help your cause

    It was intended as irony, silly goose.
    Ummmm…goooooose…

  74. i’m a 53 year-old gastronaut

    Kinky!

  75. TAO,

    I was opining without reading anything. A denied motion would probably get you an appealable moment, too.

  76. Ah. Well, no one ever said I was stupid…

    They always said I was really stupid.

  77. kinky as all hell, mr. .. . food and sex have an overlapping juncture (lap lap lap), haven’t you ever had the pleasure of lapping grand marnier-flavored whipped cream off your significant other’s privates?

  78. Thanks for the coverage, Radley. I direct everyone I know to your personal blog so they can see the stuff they never hear about on CNN.

    This video is dedicated to several people here, who know who they are.

  79. I’m with joe and RC: Why on earth would the attorney concede that Frederick had at some point grown pot for personal use? If the prosecution is going to argue that Ryan Frederick was selling pot, and they produce the pot as evidence, then I guess the defense has to argue that it was for personal use, but why would the attorney concede that his client had actually grown it? He could concede possession without saying anything about how it was obtaine?

  80. You cannot cross broccoli with asparagus. It isn’t possible. I’m not food expert but I do know plants. This would be like crossing a goat with a pig. It just don’t splice…

  81. This would be like crossing a goat with a pig

    You mean a poat? They’re delicious! I don’t get it.

  82. Pinette,

    I think it’s only asparagus like, not an actual asparagus-broccoli hybrid. Here’s what the wiki says:

    Broccolini is a green vegetable resembling broccoli. Although often mistakenly identified as young broccoli, it is actually a natural hybrid of the cabbage family Brassica oleracea, a cross between broccoli and kai-lan (Chinese broccoli). It was developed by the Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan. It is generally agreed that broccolini has a sweeter flavor than broccoli.

  83. Why on earth would the attorney concede that Frederick had at some point grown pot for personal use?

    Probably some kind of peremptory strike against a witness testifying that Frederick had pot around in the past. Remember, the police are saying he’s a major grower, out of his garage. It puts him at a disadvantage, but much less so than if he swore he never touched the stuff and they trot a number of witnesses out with statements to the contrary.

    I think it’s only asparagus like, not an actual asparagus-broccoli hybrid. Here’s what the wiki says:

    But does it look like a marijuana plant?

  84. But does it look like a marijuana plant?
    ____________________________________________

    no, but this DOES :Hibiscus cannabinus
    info about it, also called Kenaf

    http://jennysgarden.com/Per-Plants-Hibiscus/Hibs_Cannabinus_Kenaf.htm

  85. In a just, sane world the people of that area would vote the Commonwealth’s Attorney (I think they are “CA”s in VA, not DAs but not sure) out next election for prosecuting this guy for murder.

    Unfortunately, the voters in Prince William County seem to love this clown.

  86. Fuck Ryan Frederick.

  87. What kind of informant has a lorg term relationship with the cops when he steals all of their evidence?

  88. MNG sez Regardless of its legality its wrong. If it is illegal that should be changed. That kind of stuff has absolutely no bearing on the question before the court.

    Well you KNOW it must be wrong when MNG and I agree that it is.

    I’m also amazed that we haven’t had a law-and-order troll on this thread.

  89. This entire trial upsets me. That the “facts” are as clouded, and the evidence is so minimal is appaling. That one man – a magistrate – can issue a piece of paper – that violates my rights- without proper cause – is insane, at the very least. I have stood at the court house with my mother, in support for Ryan, and will continue to write my congressman, and the NRA about the injustice of this overzealous police department, and their lack of Due Dilligance.

  90. Mrs. Jones, write to your state assembleyman and senator, the local newspaper, the police chief, the prosecutor’s office, and the mayor as well. You might get farther regarding this specific case with them, but as far as changing national policy, Congress and the NRA are OK, too.

  91. Regarding the cops’ split-personality ninja tactics, I am absurdly reminded of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, whose “stealth” attacks involve bellowing full volume:

    “With cat-like tread upon our prey we steal / In silence dread our cautious way we feel / No sound at all, we barely speak a word / A fly’s foot-fall would be distinctly heard!”

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