Tuesday, December 5, 2017
A Louisiana Hearing Committee has rejected all charges brought against a criminal defense counsel in connection with the handling of a video that had captured the alleged assault that formed the basis of the case against his client.
The committee thus recommends that the matter be dismissed.
The client owned a store named Cash and Flash and had gotten into a fight with a customer. The police responded.
It appeared to the responding police that there might be a video of the crime caught on the store's cameras. The client told them the equipment did not work.
The police got a warrant. They found nothing.
There was in fact such a tape and it did not help the client. Defense counsel saw the video and instructed the client to turn it over to the police and on the law of obstruction of justice.
The attorney did not initially take possession of the evidence but later made a copy and provided it in discovery to the prosecutors.
The client had failed to heed the advice and got charged and convicted of obstruction of justice. The video was used as evidence at the trial.
The committee noted that the video had not been altered or destroyed. Further, there was no active warrant when counsel first learned of the existence of the video. (Mike Frisch)