Hit & Run

Breaking News in the Ryan Frederick Trial

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Big development in the Ryan Frederick trial today. 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 prior coverage of his trial here.

This morning, Frederick's attorney, James Broccoletti, requested and was granted a recess after three attorneys contacted him last night with concerns about state's witness Jamal Skeeter, a jailhouse snitch who testified on Tuesday.

According to local TV station WVEC, one of the attorneys was actually another prosecutor, Portsmouth Commonwealth's Attorney Earle Mobley.

Broccoletti said Mobley told him Skeeter is well-known to prosecutors for giving false testimony and is considered a "professional witness."

Special Prosecutor Paul Ebert apparently told the court, "he did not realize Skeeter had questionable credibility."

His long felony record, history of snitching in other cases, and wholly implausible testimony didn't give it away?

MORE: From the Virginian-Pilot:

A spokesman for Mobley said this morning that Portsmouth prosecutors had used Skeeter as a witness but stopped. The spokesman, Bill Prince, could not immediately identify what cases Skeeter testified in.

"We didn't find him to be trustworthy. We felt an obligation to turn that over to the Chesapeake people," Prince said this morning. "We got to the point where we wouldn't use him anymore."

To sit on such information, he said, would be "offensive."

Mobley's office also sent a letter last year to the Norfolk commonwealth's attorney upon learning that Skeeter was scheduled to testify against a homicide suspect.

Norfolk did not use Skeeter as a witness.

You don't often hear about one state's attorney undermining another's case in the midst of a trial. Mobley deserves a ton of credit, here.