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Text message to special prosecutor before charges filed against Duebbert: Accuser 'embellished'

Lawsuits

By Record News | Jun 25, 2018


BELLEVILLE – Lawyer Alex Enyart told a prosecutor that the accuser of Circuit Judge Ron Duebbert embellished his story, according to a text message filed in the case which is set for trial starting July 9. 

Enyart sent the text to Illinois appellate prosecutor Lorinda Lamken-Finnell on Oct. 25, two weeks before Duebbert was charged with felony sexual abuse and intimidation. 

Two days before Enyart sent it, his client Carlos Rodriguez swore to Belleville police that Duebbert grabbed his penis and offered to reduce a criminal defense fee for sex, in 2016. 

Duebbert’s lawyers now plan to call Enyart as a defense witness, under subpoena. 

Meanwhile they seek more information about Enyart. 

On June 19, defense counsel Scott Rosenblum of Clayton, Mo. moved for access to further communications between Enyart and prosecutors. 

Rosenblum wrote that on Dec. 12, deputy director David Robinson of the State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor, the unit prosecuting Duebbert, produced documents to defense counsel Daniel Fultz. 

After initial discovery, “Robinson mentioned to attorney Fultz on more than one occasion that the state was in possession of some text messages that may or may not be relevant to the case,” Rosenblum wrote. 

According to Rosenblum, on April 20, Robinson provided messages to Fultz; on May 3, the state filed a supplement containing messages between Enyart and Lamken-Finnell from Oct. 6 to Nov. 7.

Enyart sent a text stating, “He has told me he embellished what happened before and that this was the only incident of contact,” on Oct. 25, at 7:24 p.m.,Rosenblum wrote. 

Rosenblum wrote that relevant communication between Enyart and prosecutors, by any method, might contain exculpatory evidence. 

He asked for an order directing the people of the state to preserve all electronic and other communications, and asked for an order directing the people to preserve Enyart’s telephones, and an order directing Enyart to preserve them. 

Rosenblum asked for disclosure by June 29, so Duebbert might prepare for trial and to avoid surprise. 

In Rosenblum's June 19 filing, he also listed witnesses for Duebbert including Enyart. 

The first on the list, lawyer Dedra Brock Moore, represented Rodriguez after voters elected Duebbert as circuit judge. 

Rosenblum listed Maria Duebbert of Oreana, sister of his client, second. 

On June 22, at a pretrial conference, Lamken-Finnell said the messages that the state turned over were all the messages between her and Enyart. 

Lamken-Finnell said taking his phone would violate privilege. 

She said communications with a victim are privileged, and communications with others are too. 

Visiting judge Michael McHaney of Marion County asked Fultz how the state had power to seize the phone. 

Fultz said Enyart waived privilege when he sent the text. 

“He told her his client lied,” Fultz said. “I’m worried about who else Mr. Enyart was working with.” 

Earlier in the hearing, McHaney learned that Belleville police didn’t respond to a subpoena from Duebbert. 

The subpoena sought a report about allegations that the state’s witness Wayne Scott made against Duebbert in 1999.

McHaney asked defense counsel Mike Mettes, “What do you want me to do?” 

Mettes asked for an order to turn over the file. 

McHaney asked if the police had a right to object. 

Lamken-Finnell said that if they objected, he could issue a show cause order. 

He issued one on the spot and told Mettes, “If this file exists, you’re going to get it.” 

McHaney said if there is no file, he expected an affidavit stating why there isn’t. 

He set a deadline of Tuesday, June 26, at 3 p.m. 

Belleville city attorney Brian Flynn watched the hearing from the back row.  

Under an Illinois Supreme Court rule, Enyart needed informed or implicit consent from Rodriguez before sending the text about embellishing. 

The rule provides that a lawyer shall not reveal information regarding representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent. 

The rule extends to implicit authorization of disclosure in order to carry out the representation. 

It allows exceptions for preventing deaths, crimes, substantial frauds, and injuries resulting from crime in furtherance of which the client used the lawyer. 

It requires reasonable efforts to prevent inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure.

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Belleville Police Department Eckert & Enyart Illinois Supreme Court St. Clair County State's Attorney Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Illinois

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