Monday, May 16, 2005

You get what you pay for.

Public defender for cop-killer is going shopping:
As a grand jury prepares to meet this week to review charges against a man accused of killing St. Paul police Sgt. Gerald Vick, the defendant's attorney Sunday expressed serious doubts about whether his client can get a fair trial.

Ramsey County public defender David Gill, who is representing Harry J. Evans, said that police and the county attorney's office shouldn't have waited a week to publicly disclose that Vick had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 percent -- twice the legal limit to drive -- when he was killed May 6. Before the information was released, "we were getting beat up with nothing to fight back with," Gill said.

Vick was repeatedly eulogized as a hero, and "we don't believe Sgt. Vick was acting heroic at all on this particular evening at 2 a.m. with a .20 reading," Gill said. "That says nothing about the other merits of his life. But it raises questions about what happened."
I've never quite understood the concept of "venue shopping," where lawyer for the defense wants to have the case tried in another jurisdiction, ostensibly because potential jurors in that county may be more likely to acquit. In this case, does the public defender know a nasty little enclave of Minnesota where residents (potential jurors) don't see a problem with shooting a drunk man five times and then evading police?

"Timing" is the least of this lawyer's worries. He should be more concerned about the gun found that fired the slugs that were fished out of a dead, hard-working cop. I don't care that the cop was drunk. If you had to deal and blend in with life's crustiest slime on a daily basis, asking for a Shirley Temple instead of a Bud may be enough to blow your cover and east St. Paul isn't full of people who see 'moderation' as a virtue.

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