The Ryan Frederick Trial: More Fun With Informants


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). Prior coverage of his trial here

Last week, I posted on how one of Special Prosecutor Paul Ebert's fellow commonwealth's attorneys actually called Ryan Frederick's attorney James Broccoletti in mid-trial to tell him that one of the jailhouse informants Ebert called to the stand was so unreliable, other prosecutors in the state had ceased using him.

As part of Frederick's defense last week, Broccoletti called that informant, Jamal Skeeter, back to the stand. It was an embarrassing display for the state, and raises questions about whether Ebert did the minimum due diligence to verify that his witness wasn't lying.

From the Virginian-Pilot:

Jailhouse informant Jamal Skeeter's credibility took more hits at the Ryan Frederick murder trial this morning, as a defense attorney introduced about 30 letters Skeeter wrote to various authorities offering his assistance in homicides, police shootings and even the Michael Vick dogfighting investigation.

Called back to the witness stand, Skeeter didn't deny that he's a "professional witness." But he denied writing some of the letters, even though acknowledging they were in his handwriting with his name on the envelope…

When Skeeter entered the courtroom, he initially refused to answer any questions, saying his safety was in jeopardy. He also tried to order the removal of the media. The judge refused and ordered him to testify.