A hearing on various motions filed in what will be Michael Devlin’s first criminal trial will begin Tuesday, February 6. Associate Judge Dave Tobben in Division VII of the 20th Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri will preside.
Please note that the case before the Franklin County courts relates strictly to child kidnapping charges filed against Devlin for the abduction of Ben Ownby. Charges against Devlin surrounding Shawn Hornbeck’s abduction were filed in Washington County and will be tried in that jurisdiction, barring an unforeseen and highly remarkable change. Since charges were filed first against Devlin by Franklin County, their D.A. Bob Parks will have first crack at trying Devlin for these crimes.
Defense motions from Devlin’s legal team were filed on January 22nd, following Devlin’s interview by Susannah Cahalan that was published in the NY Post the previous weekend. I rambled ad nauseum about her under my post, “News” is not “Journalism.”
The motions that are expected to be heard include the following issues:
1. To transfer Devlin from the Franklin County jail to another detention facility in St. Louis County, or to another facility outside of, but in proximity to Franklin County.
2. Requesting the issuance of a “gag order limited to statements” Cahalan obtained from Devlin during her two interviews of him in jail, as well as a motion to compel production of her notes.
3. To suppress any “published or unpublished” information gathered by Cahalan and the NY Post.
4. For the “enforcement of Franklin County jail visitation policy” and requesting that no more than six people already identified by defense council on a “Visitation List” be given visitation rights, other than legal counsel.
5. To allow Devlin to appear in court in “plain clothes and free of visible restraints” during future court proceedings.
6. To preserve “all physical, electronic, verbal and written evidence” that has been collected by the state regarding the case.
7. To request a transcript of all grand jury testimony and proceedings and “all other testimonial proceedings.”. (As you may recall, Franklin County D.A. Bob Parks stated his intent following Devlin’s arraignment to take the matter before their grand jury, which will convene later this month.)
8. The defense counsel will also argue for a change of venue for the trial and must present evidence or “show cause” that residents in the county will be unable to render a fair, impartial verdict.
Finally, just last Monday, January 30th, counsel for the NY Post filed a motion to allow Slade R. Metcalf of Hogan and Hartson L.L.P. in New York City to represent the paper before the Missouri court. They have also filed a Motion to Intervene and argue against the gag order requested against Cahalan, as well as the motion to compel production of her notes.
Tuesday’s hearing will begin a 9:00 a.m., unless postponed, and will be held at the Franklin County Courthouse in Union, Missouri.