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vail daily ^ | 1 29 04 | Larry Seguin

Posted on 01/30/2004 4:46:57 PM PST by freepatriot32

Three undercover members of the High Country Drug Task Force will testify next week in connection with the Kobe Bryant case.

Sources close to the investigation said drugs are not involved in the rape case against Bryant and that the three undercover agents were called in to help with the investigation on June 30, the night Bryant allegedly raped a 19-year-old Eagle woman at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera. Because of the small number of law enforcement officers in Eagle County, other agencies are sometimes tapped.

District Judge Terry Ruckriegle on Thursday ordered that the agents testify in open court but their identities be protected. Ruckriegle ordered them to enter and leave the courtroom from a secluded room, through a side entrance and away from the public. A screen will be erected in front of them to keep them from being seen by the public and the media in the courtroom. The courtroom sketch artist is banned from drawing a likeness of the three undercover agents.

Ruckriegle banned prosecutors and defense attorneys from identifying the undercover agents during questioning in open court.

During last week's motions hearing, media attorney Chris Beall argued that the only way for the public to be certain that their public servants are behaving themselves is for their actions to be detailed in public. Ruckriegle partly agreed, ordering the undercover investigators to testify, while concealing their identities.

What will they say?

Testimony will range far beyond just what those three undercover agents have to say. According to Ruckriegle's order, testimony is expected to include actions and communications among law enforcement personnel; communication between Bryant, his bodyguards who accompanied him to Colorado and law enforcement personnel; as well as communication at Valley View Hospital, where Bryant and his alleged victim each underwent rape examinations.

Anything dealing directly with Bryant's statements to sheriff's investigators will be presented in a private session with only the attorneys and Ruckriegle - a small apparent victory for Bryant's defense attorneys Pamela Mackey and Harold Haddon, who have been fighting to keep those statements away from the public, saying they would hurt Bryant's chances of getting a fair trial.

Bryant was interviewed by sheriff's investigators for almost 75 minutes, beginning just after midnight July 2.

He and his entourage arrived at Cordillera around 10 p.m. June 30, and the alleged rape occurred about a half hour later. Bryant had knee surgery the next day, July 1. He was met outside the Lodge at Cordillera just after midnight that night - making it July 2 - by sheriff's investigators for questioning. Most of that questioning was done in Bryant's room, Room 35. Sheriff's deputies then drove him to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, where he submitted to a rape exam.

Ruckriegle's order stipulates that everything having to do with Bryant's statements and the Valley View communications will be in private, to help the judge decide whether those statements should be allowed as evidence at the trial, explained local attorney Rohn Robbins.

"No one's asking about the ride to Valley View, and no one's offering," Robbins said. "That seems to indicate that nothing happened during that ride."

During October's preliminary hearing, Mackey asked Eagle County Sheriff's Detective Doug Winters if investigators examined the area of Bryant's suite where the incident occurred or the bathroom where the alleged victim cleaned up afterward. Winters answered that he and the other investigators did not.

Night and day

Mackey has asked Ruckriegle to throw out almost all the physical evidence collected by sheriff's investigators the night of the incident, saying they obtained it unlawfully. That argument will take up much of Monday's and Tuesday's court time.

Among Mackey's arguments is that the warrant to detain and question Bryant was not served properly. Robbins explained that Colorado law requires that warrants be served during daylight hours, unless the judge issuing the order says it can be served at night.

"It can be served at night if it's reasonable to believe that the suspect might flee," said Robbins. "It's possible the judge believed that the evidence might have been spoiled if he had left. Her hair and fluids might not be present on him if some more time were allowed to pass."

"In an alleged sexual assault, time is probably of the essence."

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: armchairgeneral; bryant; case; colorado; constitutionlist; donutwatch; drug; govwatch; hearing; in; kobe; libertarians; officers; police; rape; testify; to; wodlist
Because of the small number of law enforcement officers in Eagle County, other agencies are sometimes tapped

so they dont have enough cops in this city to patrol for violent crime like rape robbery and murder but the can afford to put three cops on undercover duty looking for weed and other drugs

Somehow I dont feel safer knowing that if I get murdered in my house they might pull three cops off drug duty to help the severly understaffed police force solve my murder the war on drugs is as retarded as the politicians that fund it and the sheeple that support it

1 posted on 01/30/2004 4:46:59 PM PST by freepatriot32
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To: *Donut watch; **Colorado; *libertarians; *gov_watch; *Constitution List; jmc813; *Wod_list
2 posted on 01/30/2004 4:48:39 PM PST by freepatriot32 (today it was the victory act tomorrow its victory coffee, victory cigarettes...)
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To: freepatriot32
that raised a red flag with me as well. WTF??
3 posted on 01/30/2004 4:53:11 PM PST by KantianBurke (Principles, not blind loyalty)
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