The defendant, Warren Jeffs, by and through counsel undersigned, hereby replies to the State's response and Lamont Barlow's opposition to his motion of the deposition of Lamont Barlow.*In the PDF found at Mohave County, there is no name appearing here. It is almost certainly that of Ms. Wall.
The request for Lamont Barlow's deposition stems from the fact that Ms. Shannon Price contacted County Attorney Brock Belnap of Washington County, Utah, "and she told him that (Elissa Wall*) had lied during her testimony at the Warren Jeffs Trial" in the state of Utah. [See report of Washington County Sheriff Chief Deputy Jake Schultz, attached to Defendant's Motion for Deposition of Witness Lamont Barlow]. Mr. Belnap then instructed Washington County Sheriff Chief Deputy Jake Schultz to interview Ms. Price and she provided further information about this alleged false testimony. Specifically, Ms. Price stated that "Lamont told her that (Elissa Wall's*) medical records had all been created in one day, to make it look like she had seen caretaker on several different occasions." [Id.].
This matter will obviously be admissible at trial as it relates directly to (Elissa Wall's*) Credibility, or lack thereof.
Indeed, Arizona's rules of discovery are quite broad and allow the parties to pursue any matters that might lead to admissible evidence. "It is not a basis for objection 'that the information sought will be inadmissible at the trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead the the discovery of admissible evidence. American Family Medical Insurance Company v. Grant, 222 Ariz. 507,__, pp 12,217 P.3d 1212, 1217 PP 12 (App. 2009) [quoting Ariz. R. Civ. P.26(b)(1)(A)]. Moreover, the Arizona Supreme Court has made it quite clear that, in criminal cases:"We believe that a trial court should exercise its discretion in favor of seeing that the accused is furnished with every fact necessary to prepare the best possible defense. The modern trend (in**) discovery proceedings is to have the winner determined by the facts, rather than by which side is the most ingenious in 'playing the game.' "State v. Ford, 108 Ariz.404,409,499P.2d699,704(1972).
The state correctly notes that it "suggested to defense counsel" that defense counsel move for Mr. Barlow's deposition.
[State's Response, p. 3]. The State suggested this due to the fact that defense counsel had been unable to schedule Mr.
Barlow's interview, despite repeated attempts. [see attached email correspondence]. Accordingly, the defendant has filed the present motion.
The defendant concedes that Mr. Barlow was, in fact, interviewed as to all matters known at that time. The new interview or deposition of Mr. Lamont Barlow will center on the recent report by Ms. Shannon Price to law enforcement about (Elissa Wall's*) false testimony. These matters will obviously be admissible at trial and the rules of discovery clearly contemplate that these matters will be explored through pretrial discovery and interviews.
In his opposition to the motion to depose Lamont Barlow, Mr. Hoole now attempts to re-write history and presents a new version of facts that directly contradicts Ms. Price's statements. However, the defendant is not obliged ot accept teh new version of events that Mr. Barlow, after consultation with Mr. Hoole, now presents. Nor is the defendant obliged to accept the numerous "conditions" that Mr. Hoole is attempting to place on the interview or deposition of Lamont Barlow. It must be remembered that the Mr. Hoole represents not only complaining witness (Elissa Wall*), but also her husband Lamont Barlow, and also claims to have some type of privileged attorney-client relationship with Ms. Shannon Price's employer, the diversity foundation, whom Mr. Hoole claims is some sort of "client representative."1 Mr. Hoole now has a statement from an employee of a "client representative," Ms. Shannon Price, that indicates that the client he represents, complaining witness (Elissa Wall) committed perjury, and Ms. Shannon Price's comments now also directly contradict the statements of Mr. Lamont Barlow, yet another client of Mr. Hoole's. Given all of these obvious conflicts, Mr. Hoole's desire to limit the inquiry is understandable, but not acceptable.
Indeed, it is obvious that there are issues of fact that will have to be explored and will have to be resolved, ultimately, by the jury concerning the problems with (Elissa Wall's*) credibility. Moreover, the defendant is not willing to accept the assertions by the state and counsel for Mr. Barlow that the allegations of (Elissa Wall's*) perjury are limited to simply medical matters. Ms. Shannon Price's report to Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap was not limited. As noted above, "she told him that (Elissa Wall*) had lied during her testimony at the Warren Jeffs Trial." Mr. Belnap then instructed Chief Deputy Schultz to interview Ms. Price, and this is where some of the statements were made about fabricated medical records. The defendant is entitled to fully explore all of these matters, and to further explore the issues of whether there have been any attempts to influence the testimony of any witness, including but not limited to, conversations with third parties.
In addition, the somewhat far-fetched versions of events that Lamont Barlow now presents with Mr. Hoole's help will, itself, be a factual matter for the jury to resolve. Mr. Barlow now claims that it was Mr. Jeffs' attorney in the Utah case, Mr. Walter Bugden, and not (Elissa Wall*) that provided false information in the Utah trial about (Elissa Wall's*) medical condition, and Ms. Price "simply misunderstood" what Lamont barlow had told her. [Barlow's Opposition, p. 2]. The problem with Lamont Barlow's new story is that Ms. Price never said anything bout who may or may not have provided false information about (Elissa Wall's*) medical condition at trial, she stated initially to Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap that (Elissa Wall*) lied during her testimony. She later told the deputy that"Lamont told her that (Elissa Wall's) medical records had all been created in one day, to make it look like she had seen a caretaker on several different occasions." [Schultz Report]. This is obviously a quite separate, and also quite serious, matter. Again, while Mr. Hoole's desire to wish this matter away is understandable, the defendant is not required to accept this new version of events, and is not required to accept any limitations on his ability to fully explore this new matter.
Again, this matter will be brought out at trial as neither Mr. Barlow nor Mr. Hoole can prevent the defendant from question all of the witnesses involved about these matters during the trial. Obviously, this matter can be dealt with more efficiently at trial if, as the rules of criminal discovery clearly contemplate, the issues are narrowed and the factual matters are fully explored during the pretrial discovery. Accordingly, the defendant categorically rejects the proposed limitations Mr. Hoole is suggesting for Mr. Barlow's interview. In addition, the defendant specifically objects to Mr. Barlow's interview being conducted in St. George, Utah, at Mr. Belnap's offices. Indeed, the defendant's request to depose Mr. Barlow in Salt Lake City was specifically designed to accommodate him and his attorney. Ms. Shannon Price will interviewed in Salt Lake City where she lives and works, the prosecutor and defense counsel will be present in Salt Lake City for this interview, Mr. Hoole's offices are in Salt Lake city, and it was thought that Lamont Barlow did reside or currently resides in Salt Lake city although counsel is not certain. Mr. Hoole will presumably be present for Mr. Barlow's interview and he is certainly free to bring to the interview whatever transcripts he wishes.
This is av very serious matter when the executive director of Diversity, an entity that has worked diligently to harm Mr. Jeffs and other FLDS members, feels compelled to advise the previous prosecutor of Mr. Jeffs, Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap, that (Elissa Wall*), the same accuser in this case, had lied during the Warren Jeffs trial. She later provided additional information regarding statements from Lamont Barlow and creation of a false document relating to (Elissa Wall's*) medical records. Lamont Barlow, after consultation with his and (Elissa wall's*) counsel, provides an affidavit claiming she is mistaken. Defense counsel is entitled to explore this very serious matter and also to explore what, if any, communications any of these parties had with third parties discussion these issues. The witnesses' positions can be clarified during the interview process so that the matters can be presented properly at trial. It would not be fair or appropriate to deny the defendant the right to investigate such serious allegations made against the key witness and accuser of Mr. Jeffs and certainly should not be limited by artificial restrictions proposed by their lawyer who is highly motivated to limit the disclosure of information.
For the foregoing reasons, the defendant, Warren Jeffs, by and through his counsel undersigned, hereby respectfully requests this court to order the deposition of Lamont Barlow to take place on March 16, 2010, at Parsons, Behle & Latimer, One Utah Center, 201 South Main Street, Suite 1800, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111, following the interview of Shannon Price. See proposed order attached to Motion for Deposition of Witness Lamont Barlow.
RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED this 1st day of March, 2010.
(1. Arizona, of course, does not recognize through rule, statute, or decisional law, any such privilege for a "client representative," outside the context of some sort of organization or entity. As noted in the defendant's pleadings concerning depositions Diversity Foundation's founder Dan Fischer and Mr. Sam Brower.)
** In the PDF found at Mohave County, the word is actually "is," and I have substituted "in," believing it to be a typo.
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