Myers fires back
More personal and professional barbs were unleashed Monday when the prosecution in the Michael Stagner murder case filed its latest motion.
The motion, filed Monday afternoon, rebuts public defender Greg Greer’s earlier request to District Judge T. Peter Craven to suspend court proceedings on the case and disqualify District Attorney Mac Myers from prosecuting the case because of “the appearance of impropriety.”
Greer is seeking to replace Myers with a special prosecutor. Gretchen Larson asked the court to drop Greer’s request without a hearing.
“Defense counsel’s motion is void of any evidence that demonstrates that Mr. Myers has acted in a manner inconsistent with his sworn duties as district attorney of the Ninth Judicial District,” the motion said.
“Defense counsel attempts to use a non-event and smoke and mirrors to bootstrap arguments, distort the truth and delay the proceedings are reprehensible,” the motion said.
The dueling motions began earlier in the month.
Myers first filed a motion to keep Greer from trying the case in the media. Myers asserted that when Greer accused him of “fishing for another opinion” in regards to Stagner’s psychiatric evaluation, Greer was trying to turn public favor against Myers and the prosecution.
Greer soon fired back with a motion claiming that Myers acted unprofessionally by complaining to the court clerk about a defense-initiated meeting with Stagner’s victims.
Monday’s filing by the prosecution referred to a May 2 letter written from Greer to Myers.
“Your past endorsements of victim reconciliation have been revealed to be nothing more than self-serving hypocrisy,” Greer’s letter read. He called Myers’ attempts to “thwart” a meeting between the victims and defense attorneys “reprehensible.”
“The fact that you perform these acts in an underhanded manner says much about your honesty and integrity,” Greer wrote.
Monday’s filing called Greer’s correspondence a “blistering letter, a personal attack.”
It also characterized Greer’s efforts to suspend Myers from the case as a “frivolous motion in a poorly-disguised attempt to delay the proceedings scheduled for May 14, 2002, and create speedy trial issues.”
A hearing on the murder case is set for 8:30 a.m. today. The public defender’s office issued subpoenas for members of the district attorney’s office as well as court clerk Jim Bradford to testify at the hearing.
In Monday’s motion, Larson wrote that despite requests for information about the reasons for the subpoenas, Greer has not come forth with any.
In addition to Monday’s motion, a letter written May 6 to Greer from Myers was added to the court records. In that letter, Myers wrote that Maria DeLeo “brusquely injected herself between Vicki Jones (a DA victim and witness advocate) and two members of one of Mr. Stagner’s victims’ families and physically escorted them to your `victim liaison.'”
The defense’s victim liaison, Mary Kottenstette, “has only confused and re-victimized the families of (Stagner’s) victims,” Myers wrote.
“Most of the people she has contacted have contacted us and indicated they do not want to be bothered by her. They are simply too polite to tell her no,” Myers wrote.
In addition, Myers defended his request to hire psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz to re-evaluate Stagner to determine if he’s insane, calling him the “best forensic psychiatrist in the country.”
Stagner, 42, faces 19 charges, including eight counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. He was arrested July 3, just minutes after allegedly shooting seven Mexicans in Rifle.
Four of the victims died; three were seriously injured.
Since his arrest, Stagner has been held without bond in the Garfield County Jail. If convicted of the murder charges, he could receive life in prison.
In the rebuttal motion, Deputy District Attorney
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