Judge says he won't tolerate witness harassment in Lakin case

Steve Gonzalez May 15, 2007, 1:00pm

Federal Judge J. Phil Gilbert has informed Tom Lakin that he will begin selecting a jury on Jan. 10, 2008, at 9 a.m., with the trial to begin four days later in Benton.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Clark informed Gilbert that he would need three weeks to present evidence and Lakin's lawyer, Scott Rosenblum, said he will need two weeks.

Gilbert said the trial will be held from Monday through Thursday, leaving Fridays open for him to conduct other business.

Lakin was indicted April 23 on charges of cocaine use and distribution as well as transporting a minor male to Malibu, Calif. with the intent to engage in sexual activity.

"The Court advises parties that it will not tolerate any harassment from investigators, agents or anyone and will set up a hearing if anymore complaints are made," Gilbert said in his order entered May 10.

Gilbert's order referred to Clark's written brief that alleged the government has evidence that one of Lakin's investigators engaged in harassing and intimidating conduct toward at least one of their potential witnesses.

Lakin filed a motion for discovery with Gilbert in late April asking the government to hand over the names and addresses of people who have knowledge pertaining to the case, any and all arrest and conviction records of the witnesses that the government plans to call as a witness and the written statements of all the people who the government does not plan to call as a witness.

But Clark claims the government has no duty to disclose the names and addresses of persons who have knowledge pertaining to the case, or who have been interviewed by the government or its agents in connection with the case.

"The Government does intend to provide arrest and conviction records, if any, of any person the Government will call as a trial witness, and any written statements of non-trial witnesses that are discoverable; however, the Government does not intend to produce such records until shortly before such witnesses appear at trial, and if discoverable, such statements from non-trial witnesses will be produced shortly before trial in accordance with the Jenck's Act," Clark wrote.

Lakin also wants the names and whereabouts of any informer who gave information that led to his arrest.

Lakin also has asked for the transcript of testimony given by any person before the grand jury, including the precise nature of any statements attributable to him.

He is asking for any and all written or recorded statements made by or purported to have been made by him, along with the substance of any oral statement that the government intends to offer in evidence at the trial.

Lakin wants the government to hand over "any and all instruments, documents or other tangible objects" obtained during their investigation including, all currency, documents, instruments, or other writing obtained.

He is requesting books, papers, documents and/or other tangible objects that the government relied in returning the indictment.

Lakin also wants all written reports of any chemical analysis of the substance seized along with the test results, dates and determinations as to the nature or weight of the substance.

Clark claims there is no authority for Lakin to ask for the names and locations of people who gave information that led to his arrest.

"Information provided by confidential informants is privileged," Clark wrote.

"Defendant's request is a mere fishing expedition. Consequently, the Government will not produce the requested records."

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