Thursday, March 01, 2012

"Feud" in the Case of Accused Ogden Cop-killer Takes the Weber County Attorney Off the Deep End

So what about it, O Gentle ones? Does this case get crazier with every passing minute, or what?

There's more highly disturbing news this morning in connection with the 1/4/12 Ogden Shootout case.

When folks, have you ever seen a county attorney call a press conference solely to lambaste a private defense attorney in a high profile murder case? The answer, folks, is never. Ethically-inclined public prosecutors don't due that. Well... not until yesterday, that is. In that connection, the Northern Utah news media is all abuzz this morning over yesterday's press conference, about which a variety of news media, everyone from the Standard-Examiner, the Deseret News, ABC4 News to KSL News are feverishly reporting that Weber County Attorney Dee Smith publicly "called out" Defendant Matthew David Stewart's private defense lawyer Randall Richards, accusing him of spreading "misinformation and misrepresentations," “playing games” with the court, and engaging in other purported "shenanigans."

Here's the KLS video on this story. Believe us folks, you're not going to believe your own eyes. Decide for yourselves whether County Attorney Smith has finally "gone off the deep end" (to adopt a little lay psychological parlance):

Mr. Smith's performance has to be the worst public display of professional public misconduct we've witnessed within memory. If County Attorney Smith had set out intentionally to "taint" the potential Weber County jury pool and provide defendant Stewart with another fact element to support an iron-clad basis for appeal upon any possible conviction in this matter, Mr. Smith could not have picked a more effective tactic.

There's been some public discussion centering on the question of whether Defendant Stewart will seek public funds to hire a psychiatric expert to serve as a possible defense witness in this case. Our suggestion... the Weber County Commission should immediately appropriate money to hustle Weber County's top prosecutor for his own psychiatric examination, to determine whether he's sufficiently of sound mind to continue to serve as the top lawyer in this case.

If Mr. Smith requires a forum to vent his childish frustrations, a public press conference is not the place to do it. The Utah Rules of Court provide an appropriate venue within the 2d District court, where the Utah v. Stewart matter is pending. If Mr. Smith believes that Mr. Richards has engaged in any misconduct, Mr. Smith should petition presiding judge Hyde to issue sanctions against Richards. Smith is an experienced lawyer himself, of course, so he's obviously aware of that remedy. With that in mind, Mr. Smith's motivations for this latest egregious public misbehavior become all the more bizarre and mysterious. Mr. Smith's latest attempt to try the matter in the press is an dangerous and mendacious tactic. Perhaps Mr. Richards should himself consider seeking similar sanctions against Mr. Smith. Who knows... maybe Smith and Richards should even adopt the traditional Ogden approach... and settle this in the parking lot.

So what about it, O Gentle Ones?

Does this case get ever crazier with every passing minute, or what?


Blackrulon said...

 Could someone please tell me how Dee Smith holding a press conference to publicly disparage the defense attorney of mr. Stewart and complaining about Mr. Richards is not violating the gag order? Is Mr. Smith really trying to totally contaminate the local jury pool for this up coming trial? At the least releasing information on this case to the media before submitting the information to the defense is at best incomptence.

rudizink said...

Judge Hyde has never issued a gag order in this matter. Although
Attorney Richards earlier filed papers in opposition, Judge Hyde has not
yet ruled either way on the proposed gag order.

Mr. Smith's conduct is nevertheless puzzling however, inasmuch as it's his office who demanded it in the first place.

Equally notable is Mr. Richards' forebearance to comment regarding
this case, while in contrast, Mr. Smith chooses to shot off his mouth in
a public press conference.

Frankly, I believe Mr. Smith's conduct defies logic.

Watch said...

Smith is plainly way over his head.

Get A Grip said...

Get a grip. Mr. Smith.  The whole world is watching.

Hammer said...

Rudi, I appreciate every one of your articles and pass them on.

Donnie G. said...

>>> maybe Smith and Richards should even adopt the traditional Ogden approach... and settle this in the parking lot.<<<

LOL! Smith's a pansy.  Richards would kick Smith's ass in the parking lot, just like he's doing in court.

nohate said...

No...let's give him enough rope to hang himself.

nohate said...

Every time I see these interviews I think of Andy Griffith and Barney Fife. 

rudizink said...

 As I've constently repeated here on WCF, it's not my intention take sides regarding the evidentiary  "merits" in re this case, none of which won't  ever be properly revealed until the actul trial of this matter.

All I'm seeking is a fair trial in this matter.

rudizink said...

 Make no mistake, nohate.  Dee Smith is an extremely sick man, who wants Matthew Stewart's blood on his hands.

How sick is that, I ask.

Ed Flint said...

Thank you for reporting what the media outlets fail to grasp, and don't want to, while they happily and lazily regurgitate whatever Dee Smith spoon-feeds them. Your comments and sentiments are both correct, and align well with my own. I welcome you to call in to our Saturday live radio program on 860 AM radio from 1 to 3 pm at 1-888-384-4882.

Hammer said...

 Rudi, Do you think a judge would/could reprimand Mr.Smith for that press conference and not doing it the legal motion way in court as Mr. Richards has done?

Bob Becker said...

This may seem to some to be off topic, but I don't think so. The Guardian [UK] is running a TV ad based on the premise that the story of the three little pigs is real and happened today in England. Hoot and a half, but has a lot to say about the press, the bloggery, public perceptions based on rumor, social media, and more as it applies to breaking news.    And so I thought it not entirely unrelated to the Ogden story: 

rudizink said...

 Thanks for asking, but I don't think it would be productive for me to speculate about what might occur down the road in relation to this wrinkle in the story, much of which will depend on whether Attorney Richards takes any action with respect to Wednesday's riduculous Dee Smith Dog and pony show.

I assure you though that I'll be keeping my ear to the ground, a happily report if  it turns out there's any blowback.

Having said that, I'll ask this question:

Looking into your own crystal ball, can you actually see a Utah District Court judge having the sack to spank the Weber County Attorney?

Me neither.

rudizink said...

 Thanks, Ed.  Believe me, it gives me no pleasure to be one of the only ones revealing the grubby underbelly of Utah's criminal justice system, but I do believe it's something that a conscientious editorial journalist is duty-bound to do.

And thanks for the pointer to your program.  I'll be sure to tune in, and I encourage other WCF readers to do the same.

Hammer said...

 Outstanding video Bob! Thanks for the laugh and sharing. I passed it on to people in this case.

Danny said...

I've been away for awhile but this write up, Rudi, was excellent.  You are in a class by yourself.

rudizink said...

Thanks, Danny.  Gotta confess that this highly discouraging development got me more that a wee bit riled up.

Rollerswartz said...

801 399 8304 this is the number for the office of Dee Smith, the DA who cleared Troy Burnett. Please feel free to call and let them know how you feel about this.

Rollerswartz said...

801 399 8304 this is the number for the office of Dee Smith, the DA who cleared Troy Burnett. Please feel free to call and let them know how you feel about this.

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