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County jail guard trial postponed
Aug 05, 2005 12:00 am
August 4, 2005
The trial of former Wilson County jail guard Patrick Marlowe in the alleged beating death of a county inmate and beatings of other inmates has been put off again while a court decides how much the federal government is willing to pay for his defense.
The Aug. 30 trial date scheduled for Marlowe was moved to Nov. 1 after defense attorneys in the case said a higher federal court had not answered a request for more funds for the defense team.
In an affidavit filed with U.S. District Court in Nashville, Marlowe attorney Roger N. "Bo" Taylor stated he had not received an answer from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on funding for the defense team.
Taylor, who requested the funds under the federal Criminal Justice Act, stated in the affidavit he estimated the defense would need a private investigator to work for 60 days "in order to properly interview and investigate the large number of prospective witnesses in the case."
Taylor's affidavit pointed to some 876 new pages of discovery documents released to the defense by the government July 18. The documents apparently are the result of almost a dozen civil cases filed in District Court as well alleging other civil rights violations at the Wilson County Jail.
The affidavit appears to reveal some of the defense strategy in the case, saying discovery materials from the civil cases will be relevant.
"Under certain circumstances, some or all of the collateral civil lawsuits could become relevant at trial," Taylor said.
Finally, Taylor cites the U.S. Attorney's office prior interest in possibly making the case a death penalty case as another road block to an August trial. Taylor argued in his affidavit he is not certified as a death penalty defense attorney.
U.S. Attorney Jim Vines' office at one time submitted the Marlowe case to a federal panel within the U.S Department of Justice that considers whether or not to seek the death penalty in federal criminal cases. Ultimately, the DOJ decided against seeking the death penalty for Marlowe, but not before stopping Taylor from further preparing for the case.
U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell agreed, saying the government's actions contributed to delaying the defense's preparation. Campbell in an order granting the new trial date expressed a desire no grounds for appeal are provided by going to trial too soon.
"The Defendant is likely to be prejudiced is he is not adequately prepared for trial despite due diligence, and the public interest will not be served if such prejudice ultimately requires this case to be retried," Campbell wrote.
Marlowe is one of five former guards indicted last year in what the federal government alleges was an ongoing criminal conspiracy to violate the civil rights of inmates in the Wilson County Jail.
Marlowe and former jailer Gary Hale are accused by the government of beating inmate Walter Kuntz to death in January 2003.
Managing Editor Clint Brewer can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 13 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.