Saturday, October 07, 2006
DEFENSE ACCUSES THOMPSON'S SISTER OF GOING OUTSIDE THE LAW: At the Mickey Thompson murder trial status hearing in Pasadena on October 6th, 2006, Colleen Campbell's attorney, vociferously supported by lead prosecutor Patrick Dixon, argued against a defense motion to exclude Campbell from the courtroom during the trial. The defense argued that testimony by many witnesses would be influenced, and Campbell's own testimony altered, by Campbell's presence in the courtroom during the proceedings. Defense attorney Saris argued that Campbell has already been responsible for a number of witnesses' dramatically distorting their testimony. "Mrs. Campbell is willing to go outside the law if she thinks the ends justifies the means," Saris said. Dixon, one of Los Angeles' top prosecutors and lead prosecutor on the Thompson murder trial, staunchly defended Campbell against those allegations.
CAMPBELL TO BE EXCLUDED FROM COURT DURING THOMPSON MURDER TRIAL FOR KEY WITNESS TESTIMONY: The judge did rule, however, that Campbell could not be present when former Los Angeles Sheriff's Detective Michael Griggs takes the stand. He was the first lead detective in the Thompson murder investigation and was ordered, in 1988, to drop his primary suspect who had very strong links to the Thompson murders, because the suspect, identified by three witnesses as having been near the crime scene on the morning of the murders, had no ties Michael Goodwin. Griggs was ordered to pursue Goodwin directly, even though there was no evidence linking Goodwin to the crimes. Griggs later left the L.A. Sherriff's department on a psychiatric disability; it is alleged, at least in part, because of this undue, inappropriate pressure.
The judge suggested the defense present reasons why Campbell should be out of the courtroom on a witness-by-witness basis.
COURT PROCEEDINGS RAMPING UP TO THOMPSON MURDER TRIAL START DATE: When asked about a definite trial date, defense attorney Saris stated, "Jurors start on questionnaires on October 16th - that is the only "trial date" we know for certain (a case in downtown L.A. had jurors called in on Sept. 5th and, as of October 6th, they are still in selection process). No one knows when the first witness will testify and no one will know that until the jury has been chosen." It is anticipated, however, that the trial will still take place no later than September 26th.
Judge Teri Schwartz set the next hearing for the Thompson murder trial to take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16th, in Pasadena Superior Court, 300E. Walnut St., Department E.
John J. Bradley