Tuesday, February 23, 2010
"THE COMMONWEALTH HAS BOUGHT EVERYBODY'S TESTIMONY"
Defense Attorney Bryan Walk: The Commonwealth has bought everybody's testimony. It's clear. Everybody's getting a deal or they got immunity. And when you dangle that in front of them, they will say whatever they need to say to please the Commonwealth.
Witness after witness, as soon as we get on cross, the whole demeanor changes, the whole attitude - and these are people who worked with everybody. But they are scared to death of losing immunity, or losing their deal.
Here's a woman who lied to her boss, to tell him she loves campaigning. You read those e-mails. How would anybody reading that not think Karen Steiner loves to campaign? But now - "Oh, it was all a lie, just to do this." But now? She's got to please the Commonwealth now, to keep her immunity deal.
The focus with these witnesses is, they're avoiding criminal charges, they're destroying evidence and avoiding criminal charges, they're getting free counsel - they don't have to spend a penny out of their pocket - and, they're either avoiding paying back the bonus or they're getting a sweet deal as far as what possible sentence they could get.
Associated Press reporter Mark Scolforo: Something's come up in little bits and pieces, and it came up again today. I mean, there is an issue, isn't there, about the role of the lawyers in all of this? I mean, they seem to be showing up at times and giving people advice about what to do. But that's kind of tangential to this case, right?
Walk: And where does that start? The lawyers are all under whose control? William DeWeese. Bill DeWeese's control. That's not unusual. It's a common theme that the prosecution wants to keep objecting to and keep out, that the fact of the matter is that DeWeese's office is controlling the tenor of this case from the beginning. And they still control it, by meeting with witnesses and telling them, "Hey, we might do this, we might do that, get rid of stuff," you know? And that's the problem you have here. These witnesses all are being told things to do, and are trying to please the Commonwealth.
And I don't that's lost on the jury. The jury's not stupid. They're sitting up there, they're very smart, and they're listening to these witnesses. And they see the difference. We're battling, every single question, to get a simple answer. And Melissa - er, Karen Steiner, how many times did she ask me to repeat the question? And how many times did she ask Blessington to repeat a question?
Scolforo: Or read from the transcript.
Walk: "Let me think about my answer before I answer that?"
Scolforo: What does that tell you?
Walk: She's stalling. She's been coached very well and prepared very well by the prosecution. They meet with these witnesses, and they've got that hanging over their heads. Now they're coming in, who do they want to please now? The Commonwealth. That's who brought them into this mess, That's going to be - it's been that way from beginning to now and it'll continue that way with all these witnesses.