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.

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  1. Awesome. I hope this is the the fuse that blows this case to hell…

  2. These prosecutors need to be disbared (between this and the lie about photographs not existing). It won’t happen but that would be just result.

    I got lots of feathers. Anybody got lots of tar?

  3. Is “Ebert” the judge in this case?

  4. I dont’ think I ever heard whether Broccoletti destroyed these guys on cross. Please tell me he’s not just now getting around to doing something about these witnesses.

  5. got lots of feathers. Anybody got lots of tar?
    _____________________________________________
    why waste good tar, we need the oil. just put them in gen pop for about a year, there tunes will have changed. (my guess is a couple octaves higher, lol)

  6. Is “Ebert” the judge in this case?

    He’s the prosecutor.

    And I’d like to say that for all the prosecutors out there, like Paul Ebert and Mike Nifong who think their jobs are just about getting convictions — it’s good to know ones like Earle Mobley exist, who know what their jobs are really about — serving the interests of justice.

  7. Thank you for your outstanding reporting on this case, Radley. I look forward to it every day. Everyone being railroaded by the government should have so able a defender in the court of public opinion.

  8. The judge should ream Ebert for this…but he won’t.

  9. Do prosecutors ever get charged with suborning perjury for pulling this stuff?

  10. Finally, something relatively good for today

  11. What Murmur said!

  12. So, at this point, what are the options for dealing with a witness of dubious credibility who has already testified? Is he brought back in for further cross-examination? Can his testimony be struck from the record? Does the defense have to wait until their turn and then call character witnesses to go after the jailhouse informant?

  13. A guy named “skeeter” loses credibility even without a felony record.

  14. So, at this point, what are the options for dealing with a witness of dubious credibility who has already testified? Is he brought back in for further cross-examination? Can his testimony be struck from the record? Does the defense have to wait until their turn and then call character witnesses to go after the jailhouse informant?

    Typically, during cross-examination, the defense attorney can go into the witnesses motivation “So, you weren’t turning down any favors from the police and prosecution after bringing this story to light, were you?”

    Rules of evidence bar the introduction of a criminal record against some witnesses, but there are exceptions when the type of crime indicates the witness is a big fat liar (crimes invovling fraud or perjury).

  15. “Does this qualify as ‘prosecutorial misconduct’?” he asked ingenuously, batting his large, innocent eyes.

  16. OT: Is there any update on the case in Texas where a house was setup to look like an indoor weed growing operation and the cops behavior in searching the place was video taped.

    I’m sorry I can’t remember the name of the town otherwise I would have googled it.

  17. The one saving grace in this case is that the prosecutor seems to be irredeemably stupid. He’s got no sense for overkill. He probably puts 100% Pain on his Green Death Chili.

  18. Chesapeake resident here … up to today, the local news coverage has been lamentably one-sided, against Frederick. Every time I turn to one of the local news channels, all you see is testimony and tales about the pot-crazed, bloodthirsty cop-killer Ryan Frederick. Hopefully, this twist in the case will redound positively to the defense, and the news coverage will follow suit.

  19. I’m sorry I can’t remember the name of the town otherwise I would have googled it.

    Here it is.

    Just Googled “Texas reverse sting”. First link. 🙂

  20. Epi, how’s that compare to

  21. What’s this world coming to, when you can’t even trust the word of a mulitple felon named “Jamal Skeeter.”

    Dude’s name is “Jamal Skeeter.” C’mon.

  22. Thanks Elemenope.

  23. Finally some positive news this Thursday.

    (puts away suicide implements for the time being)

  24. This jury is tainted by prosecutorial misconduct. An honest judge tosses the case and releases Ryan on bond.

  25. Hell yeahs! Thank you Radley.

  26. Warty, 100% Pain is basically seeds in vinegar and salt. It doesn’t even make sense.

    And we all know what else you put in your chili–Warty’s Reproductive Sauce.

  27. *throws away bowl of chili after reading Epi’s comment*

  28. Salt prices are up, dude. Gotta make do with what I have.

    Do you know what the secret is for awesome chili? Cornbread.

  29. And we all know what else you put in your chili–Warty’s Reproductive Sauce.

    That’s mostly composed of seeds too, right?

  30. Do you know what the secret is for awesome chili? Cornbread.

    I see that not only do you jizz in your chili and overspice it, you have to rely on side dish crutches. The secret to chili is being a good cook.

    That’s mostly composed of seeds too, right?

    Not in Warty’s case.

    (whispers to the moose)

    He’s shooting blanks. Just like NutraSweet.

  31. Epi, you’re making me want to try making some long pig chili. Watch yourself.

  32. “””This jury is tainted by prosecutorial misconduct. An honest judge tosses the case and releases Ryan on bond.”””

    Indeed.

    Problems with the warrant

    Prosecution witness blurts out banned testimony

    Now this

    But then again, maybe not declare a mistrial. But have the judge explain why Skeeter’s testimony must be ignored to the jury. Let the jury see what a sham the prosecutor is doing. And sanction the prosecutor by throwing out all snitch testimony.

  33. Warty, I have some in the freezer. You want it?

    “I said no food. I didn’t say there was nothing to eat.”

  34. The secret to chili is being a good cook.

    Bullseye.

    I like chili with corn in it; it gives each bit a little burst.

  35. “I said no food. I didn’t say there was nothing to eat.”

    A Boy and His Dog?

  36. Try hominy next time, joe.

  37. A Boy and His Dog?

    Ravenous.

  38. Episiarch,

    I used to own that movie! I loved it! I’m gonna go out and buy it again today!

  39. I like my chili with Indian spices. Mmmmmmm

  40. Yet, the prosecutor still wants to believe he’s credible.

    “Special Prosecutor Paul Ebert said he had no idea of Skeeter’s reputation until Mobley called him.

    Still, “I like to think he’s credible,” Ebert told the judge.”

  41. I only watch musicals about cannibals, myself.

    I like my chili with Indian spices. Mmmmmmm

    Just as long as you have cumin in it. A little cinnamon is good, too.

  42. This dude’s testimony was not believable regardless of his history. I don’t think any of them are. Is this the guy who said he just happened to meet Frederick one day and he blurted out how he killed a cop and was a big time gangsta pot dealer? Or was it one of the guys who managed to have deep conversations with him while in solitary talking through walls and doors or during the one hour of social time?

    It all stinks like shit. And the prosecutors probably think he’s credible because they approached all these jailhouse snitches and told them what to say and for how much. Just like they paid CIs to break in the garage.

  43. Try hominy next time, joe.

    Is THAT what that stuff is for?

    When I moved to DC, I didn’t know what “hominy corn” was. I bought a can, heated it up on the stove, put a big pile on my plate as a side dish, and dug in.

    DO NOT WANT!

  44. “””This dude’s testimony was not believable regardless of his history. “””

    I agree, but you should see some of the postings on Taybor’s blog site.

  45. Hominy is corn for the cosmotarian elite.

  46. DO NOT WANT!

    Phillistine. Hominy is delicious. How could corn soaked in lye be anything but?

    Aside: if you live in a culture where corn is your staple diet, and you don’t eat it in the form of hominy, you get pellagra. If you don’t eat beans with your corn, you get kwashiorkor.

    Hominy is corn for the cosmotarian elite.

    Hominy is corn for broke-ass Mexicans.

  47. Just to reiterate this–if you were writing your courtroom drama and you named your jailhouse snitch “Jamal Skeeter” your editor would tell you to change it something less over-the-top, like Ratzo Ratzinelli.

  48. Hominy is the source of grits.

  49. I though hominy was corn for redneck southerners, like grits.

  50. Pete: Hominy! Hominy grits!
    Rizzo: How should I know how many, count’em yourself!

  51. Moose, I’m walkin’ here!!!

  52. I meant to say, “Hominy is NOT corn for the cosmotarian elites.” Obviously.

  53. I though hominy was corn for redneck southerners, like grits.

    Are you about to fucking badmouth grits, too?

  54. Epi – I don’t get that reference immediately, but now I can’t help myself

    Joan Rivers: Did something happen at lunch?
    Piggy: My frog turned on me.
    Joan Rivers: Yeah, I had some bad tuna myself.

  55. Are you about to fucking badmouth grits, too?

    Yes. It’s like Farina made with corn. Why? WHY?

    Miss Piggy: It’s too late, Doctor Bob. We’ve lost him.

    Rowlf: Well, he couldn’t have gone far. He was under the sheet just a second ago.

  56. You know how I know you’re gay, Episarch? You say “farina” instead of “cream of wheat”.

  57. Stay on this Radley.

    I’d be shocked if the judge doesn’t declare a mis-trail. This jury is too contanimated.

    I was on a jury (forgery charge) where a witness blurted out about the checks were stolen (banned testimony as that was a seperate charge and irrelevant to if the defendant in question had forged the checks) – the defense attorney tactically decided not to object / ask for a mis-trial as he was doing an able case and figured we’d return a not guilty verdict (which we did). He also had it in his back pocket as a point of appeal if it didn’t go his way.

    That said…..with the BS that’s been reported so far, and a guys life on the line, I’d be looking for a mis-trial at this point if I were the defense, unless they were damn sure they could get a not guilty verdict.

  58. You know how I know you’re gay, Episarch? You say “farina” instead of “cream of wheat”.

    I’m bi, not gay! I only sleep with guys to prove I’m not gay!

    “Let’s go watch some gay porn to get our hate back.”

  59. He also had it in his back pocket as a point of appeal if it didn’t go his way.

    Uh, if he didn’t object, how was he supposed to raise the issue on appeal?

  60. “””I’d be looking for a mis-trial at this point if I were the defense, unless they were damn sure they could get a not guilty verdict.”””

    The guy smokes pot and shot a cop, I wouldn’t bet on a not guilty verdict even if God testified for the defense.

  61. I’d be shocked if the judge doesn’t declare a mis-trail. This jury is too contanimated.

    One would hope so.

    Uh, if he didn’t object, how was he supposed to raise the issue on appeal?

    I am not a lawyer thankfully, but I would think the same thing.

  62. BTW, Balko, you missed the money quote in the Virginian Pilot:

    Still, “I like to think he’s credible,” Ebert told the judge.

    So, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary, he still likes to think he’s credible.

    I can think of a number of things that I would “like to think.” None of them have any basis in reality, but doesn’t stop me from liking to think them.

  63. A mistrial wouldn’t do the defendant any good. It would simply allow a “do over” for the prosecution. Hell, given enough “do overs” even this idiot will eventually perfect his lies or get a jury of 12 total morons.

  64. “it ain’t right.” Indeed.

  65. Thanks are due to Mr. Earle Mobley for his integrity.

  66. I’d be shocked if the judge doesn’t declare a mis-trail.

    I’d be shocked if he did. The easy thing for him to do is let the appeals court declare a mistrial, if it wants.

    This pot-crazed gun nut killed a cop, after all. It would be a rare judge indeed who stood between him and the pen.

  67. So, Mobleys’ actually an honest officer of the court? Good to know there’s one in the state of Virginia.

    -jcr

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