While the last week has been very quiet in the public sector of the criminal case against Michael J. Devlin and his alleged abduction of Ben Ownby in Franklin County, Missouri courts, Thursday promises to provide new information in the aftermath of two hearings scheduled in the matter.
At the last hearing of motions in this case last Wednesday (Feb. 7), Associate Judge David Tobben of the 20th Judicial District Circuit Court in Franklin County, Missouri, refused to hear the defense motion requesting Devlin be transferred to another jail facility. The judge refused to hear because the defense team had failed to properly notice and provide documents to the prosecuting attorneys. He gave them a week to comply with court rules and scheduled a hearing for that issue for tomorrow, February 15.
So, tomorrow (Thursday) morning at 9:00 a.m., counsel will again appear before Judge Tobben to discuss the motion and seek a transfer, presumably citing fears for Devlin’s safety in the Franklin County Jail. I personally don’t expect this motion to see any success, especially since Judge Tobben denied the defense request to have the Franklin County Jail “enforce” its own visitation policy. In the discussion of that matter, it was clear that jail procedures and policies had been completely followed and it was Devlin himself who agreed to meet with NY Post reporter Susannah Cahalan. Neither the jail, nor its policies, were at any fault.
Nevertheless, since the motion was rescheduled to be heard on February 15, try again they will.
Later in the morning, Devlin’s attorneys Kielty and Corlija will appear on Devlin’s behalf before Circuit Judge Gael D. Wood to address their request to obtain a transcript of all Grand Jury testimony proceedings to come. Last week, Judge Tobben cited that his court had no authority to hear this request, since all Grand Juries are convened only through Judge Wood.
I personally doubt this motion will receive any success for the defense either, since Grand Jury proceedings are almost never recorded and their findings result simply in either an indictment or a no bill. Defense attorneys for individuals going before the Jury are not even allowed inside the room to hear any testimony given.
Nevertheless (again), the hearing on this issue before Judge Wood is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, February 15.
More to come.
In the interim, here is the score on defense motions so far…
DENIED: Gag order against the NY Post and Cahalan on any future stories.
DENIED: Motion to suppress any “published or unpublished” information obtained by the NY Post and/or Cahalan from her interview. (The court did order the paper and the reporter to preserve any notes, etc., in case the courts need them later.)
DENIED: Motion to enforce the Jail Visitation Policy.
DENIED: Motion to allow Devlin to appear in court in civilian clothes.
DENIED: Motion to produce recordings of Grand Jury hearings (this was further redirected to Judge Wood’s court)
Hearings in Washington County, where the case surrounding Shawn Hornbeck is located, will not begin before mid-March.