Skip to comments.Police tried to talk with Westerfield without his attorney! (Big No No!!) van Dam Case Update
Posted on 03/06/2002 6:27:23 PM PST by FresnoDA
Lawyers for David Westerfield filed papers in court Tuesday saying that the detectives attempted to talk with Westerfield last Wednesday, the day after he was charged with kidnapping and killing 7-year-old Danielle van Dam. The lawyers called the action outrageous government misconduct, and wrote that it jeopardized Westerfields right to effective counsel.
Defense experts say the law is clear: once a suspect has a lawyer, police and prosecutors should not attempt to talk with the defendant without getting permission from the lawyer. Some say the incident could harm the case against Westerfield.
"It sends a lot of messages, in addition to laying the groundwork for potentially asking the court to dismiss the charges because of this outrageous governmental conduct," criminal defense specialist Kerry Steigerwalt said.
Wednesday, Police Captain Ron Newman told NBC 7/39 that two detectives did request to speak with Westerfield, but he apparently refused to talk with them and called his lawyer to report the attempted interview.
"I have confirmed that that did happen, Capt. Newman told NBC 7/39. I question the appropriateness of it. I'm sure the detectives felt that it was the appropriate thing to do, given the set of circumstances that they were under. But we will be handling that internally. So it's not something that we would normally do. In fact, we should not be doing it, frankly.
Another legal expert told NBC 7/39 that if police did not actually talk with Westerfield that day, there's little damage to the case against him.
Most adults, no matter how slammed, do not break toilet training.
Information is current as of last update: 03/07/2002
The data contained in these files is updated only once a day and should not be relied upon for any type of legal action.
|Sex:||M||Bail Amount:||$ 0|
|Date of Birth:||02/25/1952||Cell:||05|
|Weight:||210 lbs||Booking Nbr:||02109697|
|Second:||OBSCN MTR:MNR||US||311.11(A) PC|
|Third:||MRDR:1ST DEG:S||PC||187(A) PC|
|Fourth:||DESERTION||US||10 885 US|
Go with the fact that Brenda and Damon went to bed at 2:30 am and didn't see the red light. Obviously they didn't.
Fast forward to 3:30 when Damon said he woke up and saw the red light, went downstairs and checked on the door.
By his own testimony, we are being led to believe the kidnapping happened between 2:30 and 3:30.
Damon gives US a huge clue how and what time Westerfield may have entered the house.
He covers his OWN butt, by saying "I didn't check on the kids, I thought nothing".
My major concern with his story, is that it is a fabrication and can't be proven.
( 03-07-2002 ) - Two detectives on the Danielle van Dam murder case are being investigated for inappropriate behavior, after they tried to question suspect David Westerfield in jail without the consent of his attorney or prosecutors.
While San Diego police call the incident "inappropriate," Westerfield's attorney says it was "outrageous" and a violation of his client's right to counsel.
A judge will have the final say in how this will effect the trial, but it does hurt the credibility of police.
If they're willing to violate David Westerfield's constitutional rights while he's in custody, his attorney could certainly argue that to their advantage on any question of credibility during trial.
Police don't deny the incident happened, but they're also not saying why the detectives tried to visit without first contacting Westerfield's attorneys or the prosecutors handling the case.
It's not clear if Westerfield actually met with or spoke to the detectives. He is currently in a cell at the central jail downtown.
Local Defense Attorney Bill Nimmo, who is not involved with this case, says he doesn't know if it was a rookie mistake or involved some calculated intent. But either way, the detectives involved should have known better.
"Here's a clearly, almost egregious violation of the Constitutional rights of David Westerfield, but when you take a look at what harm it does, then there's a question; how much harm was it? Had he made an incredibly incriminating statement and it got out into the press, then there could have been serious case consequences. Whether there will be now, it's a big question," said local Defense Attorney Bill Nimmo.
In a written statement, police admitted to the discrepancy, but wouldn't comment on the detectives' intention.
"It did happen. It is inappropriate once someone is represented to make contact with him. We will have no further comment and it is something we have handled internally," wrote Captain Ron Newman.
Westerfield's attorney has a hearing scheduled for Friday regarding the visit. He also plans to argue for a gag order again.
A preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday will tell us more about the evidence when prosecutors lay out their case against Westerfield.
|SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES WANT YOUR HELP IN FINDING THIS MAN
|Sheriff's deputies are asking for your help in locating a Lomita woman and her two children after their apparent kidnapping.
Adriana Galindo and her daughters, ages one and three were taken from their home Thursday. Deputies say Galindo let her estranged husband, Jose Delacruz, and two others into her Woodward Avenue home. Delacruz then forced her and the girls into a black Chevrolet Suburban and drove off.
I need to go listen to the John and Ken (local radio hosts)audio archive. I distinctly remember JOhn asking Brenda "Do you think she was kidnapped before you got home? She became upset at this, and her answer was negative.
I do not know what that means, I only know that it just struck me as odd when I heard it. How could she know if she did not check.
|SAN DIEGO 02/26/02- A neighbor of 7-year-old girl who vanished from her bedroom was arraigned Tuesday on charges of murder, kidnapping and possession of child pornography.
David Westerfield, 50, the lone suspect in the death of Danielle van Dam, pleaded innocent to the charges and denied the allegations against him in state Superior Court. He remained in jail without bond.
Well, when will the "vigourous defense" start???? Gag order? Get the information out Feldman, and keep the pressure on the other accomplices (if any!).
All true, and none of it makes them culpable or contributory to the criminal act of another. That their errors were exploited by a criminal is tragic, but unsurprising. If criminals approached only the well-armed and watchful, there would be damned fewer of them.
So when they both turned in for the evening, we have to assume the light was NOT red...Only when he got up for his "whiz break" (although he specifically said "he didn't know why he woke up"), did he see the red light. He said he thought nothing of it.
He later added, he thought a "smoker" went out back to snuff out a cigarette..and just left the door open. But THEY WERE ALL GONE, weren't they?
This is what I thought. Then he explained it away with the ash dump story.
That made no sense because the "pizza party" had not occurred at that point and he inferred the alleged smokers were in the "party" group.
If my dog (actually I'm between dogs right now) woke me up and I found a door ajar/unsecured, I would be doing a house check to make sure the kids were in and intruders were out.
I woke up one summer morning to find my front door open (it has deadbolts) and my NAKED daughters (2 and 3) riding their trikes around the block. They used the time out chair to reach the doorlock and the gate latch!
Inquiring minds want to know.
Great document, leaves me with even more questions!!!
You did that on purpose ;-)
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