Friday, May 08, 2009

Allen Steed gets a "Resolution Hearing" set for June 25th

The only report that I can find is a "Twitter" by Brooke Adams.
This is an odd sort of legal phrase to associate with rape, at least to my knowledge. It generally shows up in family law matters, not when you're accused of a felony. So I venture this article I found on "Resolution Hearings" as it relates to family law, to see what might possibly be going on. Attorney Jo Spain (Family Law):
"If an agreement can't be reached then you will go into Court and your representatives will put forward their cases. No evidence is given but your representative will summarise your position and explain what you are seeking. If either side has made a 'Without Prejudice' offer then these will be shown to the Judge.

The Judge will have read all of the documents already filed and after hearing your representatives will indicate what he or she would order if this were a final hearing. There is no order made but this does mean that you will both hear what may well happen if this went to a final hearing."
The phrase, "Without Prejudice" is explained this way:
Wikipedia - "In many common law jurisdictions such as the United States, the U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, the term 'without prejudice' is also used in the course of negotiations to indicate that a particular conversation or letter is not to be tendered as evidence in court; it can be considered a form of privilege. This usage flows from the primary meaning: concessions and representations made for purpose of settlement are simply being mooted for that purpose, and are not meant to actually concede those points in litigation."
Essentially, Judge Beacham is asking both sides in the Steed case to tell him how far they might go. I've heard a judge ask what the status of the jury was before, in a deadlocked deliberation. He was trying to get a feel for there being any possibility of a verdict.

Similarly Judge Beacham is sounding for potential common ground. If for instance Allen Steed were willing to plead to the lowest felony form of sexual intercourse without consent, and the prosecution were willing to make a plea bargain to the effect of some type of related misdemeanor, the Judge could signal both sides that resolution was possible, but would not tell either side how far the other was willing to go. There would be some hint though if the prosecution were willing to plead out the case to a misdemeanor, and were told that there was possibility of resolution, they would know that at least Allen would go as far as their worst case offer, "worst case" being from the prosecution's point of view, namely, that they weren't getting much of a conviction.

Anyway, that's how I see it. Allen's case has not shown up on the St. George/Washington county calender yet, but I'm sure it will. A similar flurry of activity occurred about this time last year with Steed's attorney's ending up telling the prosecution to go get bent.

I also see this sort of movement as an attempt to flush out related activity. In the past when these "minor" but related cases move in one state, another moves in yet another state. Rozita Swinton for instance is not yet charged with anything in Texas, and has a trial date of the 19th (this month) set in Colorado on an unrelated charge. Expect her attorney to play the "wait and see" game again if he can, and delay her appearances to late June or July.

It's like this: If Allen plea bargains, Warren's rape conviction ceases to be wet concrete and sets. If Warren is snugly in jail on felony rape for a while, panic eases for the prosecutions in other venues because he won't be going anywhere. Avoidance is less necessary for Texas with regard to Rozita, and they may choose to dismiss her "minor" misdemeanor case as Utah and Arizona already have, without much investigation, Rozita then can say she didn't violate her probation with the call to YFZ in April of 2008 and she doesn't have her deferred sentencing deal processed, and goes free. So expect David Foley to try to delay things again. It's his specialty in Colorado Law.

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