DA wins reprieve with crucial deadline
The judge in the Kobe Bryant case let the district attorney’s neck off the chopping block Thursday, reinstating the prosecution’s expert witnesses.District Judge Terry Ruckriegle took District Attorney Mark Hurlbert to task for missing a deadline to file his list of expert witnesses and summaries of their expected testimony. Those witnesses will rebut defense experts in the more technical aspects of the case.Ruckriegle initially threw out the prosecution’s list of expert witnesses. But after arguments from both sides, Ruckriegle reconsidered and rescinded his order. He gave Hurlbert until early June to put his witness summaries in the court’s hands.Hurlbert will provide expert witnesses to rebut defense reports on the alleged victim’s genital trauma and bruising, as well as the defense’s DNA experts.Hurlbert said he was not aware of the deadline. He told Ruckriegle he had prepared oral arguments as to why his witnesses should be allowed.”My assumption was that we argue it today,” said Hurlbert. “I did not file a written response.”Ruckriegle also scolded Hurlbert for providing “inadequate summaries” about what the prosecutor’s expert witnesses would say. The summaries showed only that the prosecution’s expert witnesses would say the opposite of whatever defense experts said about DNA findings and crime scene investigations, Ruckriegle said.That, said Ruckriegle, is not nearly enough – and without more detailed summaries, the prosecution’s experts will be barred from the witness stand.”I have no idea what the testimony will be and what it will be based on,” said Ruckriegle.Expert-witness testimony would be limited to what is contained in the reports he receives, Ruckriegle said. Hurlbert blamed part of his problem on Bryant’s defense team, who he said had provided incomplete information about the DNA testing they performed on cuttings from the alleged victim’s underwear. Hurlbert said he still needs notes on procedures used by the defense attorneys’ lab, the underlying data they used to arrive at their conclusions, and their correspondence. Ruckriegle ordered the defense to provide the information.
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