Bryant’s defense requests quick trial date
No one is looking forward to the end of the Kobe Bryant more than the defendent, Kobe Bryant, the NBA star’s attorneys said Tuesday.
Bryant’s attorneys, Harold Haddon and Pamela Mackey, said in a court document filed Tuesday that their client intends to plead not guilty and wants a speedy trial as much as anyone. They filed a response to a request for a quick trial date by Bryant’s alleged victim and District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.
“Kobe Bryant requests that this Court accept his not guilty plea and set a trial date,” wrote Haddon. “Kobe Bryant has always wanted an early trial date that would accommodate the Court’s docket and scheduling requirements.”
Mackey said last November that Bryant’s not guilty plea would come when the motions hearings were completed, in keeping with the Fifth Judicial District’s policy in all felony cases. The trial date will be set when Bryant enters his not guilty plea, Haddon wrote Tuesday. Motions hearings are scheduled into May and could stretch into June.
Once Bryant enters his not guilty plea, the trial must begin within six months unless Bryant waives the right to a speedy trial. The same is true in all Colorado felony cases.
In a request filed in late March asking that a quick trial date be set, the alleged victim’s attorney John Clune, a former county prosecutor, said the young woman has received hundreds of death threats and that her life is in constant turmoil. Last Friday, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert asked that Bryant be arraigned and a trial date set.
Bryant’s attorneys criticized some of the content of Clune’s motion. Haddon said Clune’s request contained “incorrect and/or misleading claims about her personal situation that are calculated to create public sympathy.”
The defense said it rebutted those claims in a sealed court filing.
Haddon wrote Tuesday that when it comes to trial delays, the prosecution need look no further than itself. Prosecution spokeswoman Krista Flannigan declined to comment. The prosecution has previously denied causing delays or failing to turn over all evidence they are required to provide.
But Haddon wrote that delays stem from the prosecution’s refusal to turn over physical evidence; their insistence that no defense representatives can be present during testing that, in the process, destroys some or all evidence being analyzed; their denying the defense access to physical evidence; and delays in exchanging evidence and information.
“The prosecution’s unsupported and unwarranted positions and its consumption of valuable court time in arguing same have resulted in over six months delay … and approximately two days worth of hearings,” Haddon wrote.
All this, wrote Haddon, has exacted a toll on Bryant.
“The accuser’s false accusation of rape has exacted a personal and professional toll on Mr. Bryant that is as incalculable as it is indescribable,” wrote Haddon.
Bryant, 25, has said he had consensual sex with the woman last summer at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera where she worked. If convicted of felony sexual assault, he faces four years to life in prison, or 20 years to life on probation.