What were they thinking? (23 point type) | VailDaily.com

What were they thinking? (23 point type)

Don Rogers

That’s the “dream team”?

Kobe Bryant’s attorneys fell something short of impressive this round. In their power to save their client damaging fallout from the evidence and details of the accusations, they instead allowed them to be trumpeted.

Add a slip of the tongue when Pamela Mackey used “Jane Doe’s” real name in violation of a specific court order, and then the defense bombshell posed in a question they may or may not have evidence to support: Could the injuries have occurred over the course of sex with different partners in three days?

It certainly ignited Judge Fred Gannett, who immediately declared a recess to have a little private chat with the lawyers.

The preliminary hearing will continue Wednesday.

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Oh boy.

That little end run around Colorado’s shield laws about sexual history may injure the young woman’s reputation, but has little to do with her story about what happened in the hotel room June 30.

Bryant took far larger blows Thursday, thanks to his lawyers. Bent over a chair? Gripped around the neck? Said “no” twice and cried? Her blood on Bryant’s T-shirt? “You’re not going to tell anyone, right?”

It’s a head-scratcher as a strategy for continuing with a preliminary hearing designed to determine whether the prosecution has enough of a case to merit a trial. There typically is some limited opportunity for cross-examination of prosecution witnesses, but as Judge Gannett put it, a prelim is not some sort of mini-trial.

Maybe Mackey thought the legal dynamite that blew up the prelim Thursday evening would resonate somehow in a way that would help her client.

We’ll submit she failed. Big time.

This is not to suggest the Kobe Bryant is guilty of the accusations. This phase is all about the prosecution’s version of the events. The defense get its chance to offer a vastly different explanation – at trial.

Still, if they didn’t do their client any real favors, by going through with the prelim they did enable a nation of viewers and readers to at least get a more accurate picture of the accusations.

At the Daily, we were relieved to see that we have been repeatedly wise so far in restraining our coverage only to what we knew to be true. Our local rival’s anonymous report about bruises around the neck turned out not to be true. They have had a lot of company in reports that reached a bit far.

But if anything, the news from the prelim in part was more sensational than some of the reports, rather than less. All because the defense team allowed a public showing of the evidence. Call it one more weird spin in this strange, strange case.

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