Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bulletin: David R. Faulkner; Jonathan D. Smith Sr. Washington County; The state argues "finality" - and the defence lawyers including Barry Sheck, one of the founders and directors of the Innocence Project are seeking a new trial and writs of actual innocence. The two men were convicted in 2001 and are serving life sentences for the 1987 murder. Prosecutor Joseph Michael: "“People are owed the finality of judgement ... you get one bite of the apple.” The Star Democrat;

"David R. Faulkner, 46, of Ridgely, and Jonathan D. Smith Sr., 46, of Easton, both were convicted in 2001 of the Jan. 5, 1987, murder of Adeline Wilford, 64. Faulkner is serving a life sentence in prison, plus 10 years, for the crime, and Smith is serving a life sentence in prison. Talbot County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Kehoe began hearing the men’s arguments for a new trial on Monday, April 11. Faulkner and Smith are petitioning Kehoe for a new trial and also have submitted writs of actual innocence, because of information their attorneys say is new evidence, which could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial and of which the introduction creates a substantial possibility the original trials may have ended differently. Joseph Michael, deputy state’s attorney for Washington County, is the special prosecutor who has been assigned to the case. He said the state believes the evidence the defense will produce could have been discovered in time to move for a new trial......... He called on Kehoe to deny Faulkner and Smith new trials, based on the statute of limitations, which prescribes a period of limitation for pursuing legal actions, both criminal and civil. “Ninety-five percent of what you heard (during opening statements) is evidence that was available during the first trial, including the palm prints ... it was just as admissible to the jury in 2001,” Michael said. “People are owed the finality of judgement ... you get one bite of the apple.”......... Kehoe heard opening statements from Smith’s defense lawyer, Donald Salzman of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom’s Washington, D.C., office, who delivered opening statements on behalf of both Faulkner and Smith. Smith’s defense team also consisted of Barry Sheck, one of the founders and directors of the Innocence Project, and Bryce Benjet, a staff attorney with the organization. Faulkner was represented during the hearing by attorneys John Chesley and Jonathan Phillips of Gibson Dunn’s Washington, D.C., office. During opening statements, Salzman said the case was investigated for 13 years, before Faulkner and Smith were convicted in 2001. Salzman said there was no physical evidence tying Faulkner and Smith to the crime. “There is no physical evidence, because they were not in that home,” Salzman said. He said a new match to a palm print that was lifted from a window identified as the point of entry during the crime matched that of Ty Anthony Brooks, 48, of Easton, who currently is incarcerated in a Maryland prison. According to court documents, Brooks was convicted in 2006 of second-degree burglary with a firearm and in 2012 of theft less than $1,000 value. Salzman said Brooks’ palm print matches seven prints lifted from Wilford’s home. According to Salzman, “Boozie” Thomas, who the defense said allegedly assisted Brooks during the burglary and murder, also confessed to the crime Aug. 7, 1991. That confession included key details of the murder that were unknown to the public at the time, Salzman said. In addition to Brooks’ palm print and Thomas’ confession, Salzman said the defense also will introduce evidence of a “secret deal” between Haddaway, who was Smith’s aunt, and police and prosecutors to drop felony drug charges against Haddaway’s grandson. He said Haddaway threatened to tell defense attorneys she was crazy unless the state’s attorney dropped the case against her grandson. Salzman said Haddaway told police she would produce a document alleging she had been diagnosed with a mental disorder, which would potentially discredit her testimony against Ray E. Andrews Sr., 46, of Easton, who was identified as the third man who participated in the crime, as well as Faulkner and Smith. Salzman said the defense will submit as evidence taped conversations between police and Haddaway, “that destroy her credibility as a witness and corrupt this process.” “The scope of her manipulation is disturbing and it’s breathtaking,” Salzman said. Additionally, Salzman said the defense hopes to introduce evidence that there was another car in the area during the time of the murder, a 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass, and he suspects Brooks and Thomas to be the drivers of that vehicle. The state’s theory, based on testimony from Haddaway, is that Andrews, Faulkner and Smith walked to and from the scene of the crime. Salzman also said a confession Smith gave to Haddaway was not consistent with circumstances surrounding the murder, and a later confession made to police was made under pressure. Smith later testified to his innocence during his trial. Additionally, Salzman said, during the initial trials, the state presented a number of witnesses who had “powerful motives to lie,” including Andrews. Andrews testified against Faulkner and Smith in 2001, and as part of a plea agreement, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison......... The evidentiary hearing will continue through this week.