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Friday, August 31, 2007

Nifong Contempt Hearing — Day 2

Today's items — updated:

KC Johnson:

  • Morning in Wonderland -- Even in the Wonderland that is Durham, this morning’s session was surreal.

    A sitting judge served as a de facto character witness for a district attorney who was forced to resign his office after being disbarred.

    A sitting ADA testified as the Durham equivalent of Sgt. Schultz, suggesting that he “knew nothing”—or at least as close to nothing as absolutely possible—about how the case was prosecuted...

  • Morning Session II -- Nifong testimony...

  • Morning Session I--Meehan: Nifong Statement to Court "False"--The morning session resumed with Dr. Brian Meehan returning to the stand...

  • Avoiding the Issue -- Nifong attorney Jim Glover might be seeking to seize from Dr. Brian Meehan the title of “Mr. Obfuscation.” In an entire day of questioning and arguments yesterday, Glover never once specifically referenced Nifong’s remarks in the September 22 court session, for which he’s on trial...
Mike Nifong (ctr), wife Cy Gurne Gurney (left), attorny Ann Peterson (rt)--------

Anne Blythe and Joseph Neff, News & Observer:
Jim Glover (ctr l) and Ann Petersen (ctr r), Judge W. Osmond Smith III, (2nd fm rt), prosecutors Charles Davis (r) and Boyd Sturges III (l)Nifong might testify today on charge -- The former Durham DA could defend himself against a judge's charge that he lied to the court -- Mike Nifong, who has raised more questions than he has answered about his zeal to prosecute the Duke lacrosse case, could take the stand today in the criminal contempt case against him.

The disbarred former district attorney pleaded not guilty on Thursday to Judge W. Osmond Smith III's charge that he lied in court.

Smith's accusation focuses narrowly on an oral exchange between Nifong and the judge during a court hearing last September.

But Thursday's hearing meandered as Jim Glover, the Chapel Hill lawyer representing Nifong, went on at length about the intricacies of DNA testing and the procedural history of the Duke lacrosse case.

Nifong's defense is similar to the unsuccessful one he mounted before a State Bar disciplinary panel in June. [...]
Nifong attorneys - Ann Petersen (second from right) and Jim Glover (right)William West, Herald-Sun
[registration required]
DNA expert denies lacrosse case scheme -- A DNA expert in the Duke lacrosse case on Thursday claimed he didn't engage in any scheme with since-disbarred Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong to hide information that would have helped the defense.

Brian Meehan, director of the Burlington testing lab DNA Security, was testifying in a contempt of court hearing against Nifong that opened Thursday. Nifong is accused of misrepresenting to the court in September 2006 that all evidence, including all DNA evidence, had been turned over to the lacrosse players' defense team.

Superior Court Judge Osmond Smith is presiding in Nifong's contempt case. The hearing resumes at 9:30 this morning. Nifong has pleaded not guilty.

Moments after testifying Thursday afternoon, Meehan told reporters that Nifong "never indicated or said anything or suggested anything to me to withhold any information from the report" he prepared for the then-prosecutor after meetings with Nifong and two Durham police investigators in the spring of 2006.
Nifong hearing arguments get heated
KC Johnson:
Hearing Highlights -- Nifong attorney Jim Glover had no discernible defense strategy, instead changing arguments on the fly and without warning, often in ways that contradicted his previous remarks.

During the day, Glover pursued at least seven separate approaches to the Nifong defense: [...]

The highlight of the day—as in the Bar proceedings—came from Brad Bannon. Bannon eviscerated Glover’s claim that the multiple male DNA found by Meehan was “not significantly exculpatory.” Bannon responded, “That’s absolutely false.” He then paused before adding, “And you know it.” [...]
LieStoppers forum: What's your take?, On Thursday's proceedings
Saint Raymond NonnatusLieStoppers blog:
Feast day of St. Raymond Nonnatus -- Whether one believes in the saints and religion is a personal matter. However, the irony that the last day of Mike Nifong’s criminal contempt of court hearing falls on Saint Raymond Nonnatus' Feast Day is fitting. Saint Raymond is Patron Saint of the Falsely Accused. . .
John in Carolina: