Friday, February 1, 2013

The Evidence in the Case

Diane Valden reports today in Columbia Paper about another case dismissed because the Hudson Police Department reportedly failed to turn over key evidence: "Judge tosses new case after HPD evidence error." The case in question this time is that against Kerwin A. Jones, who allegedly fired a handgun into a group of people standing in front of 34 North Fifth Street on Memorial Day 2012. The first paragraph of Valden's story reads in part: ". . . the Hudson Police Department took another hit for mishandling evidence, with the mayor expressing outrage at the second such problem that has come to light in the last two months."

1 comment:

  1. I went and read the whole article at

    “The DA also called Judge Koweek’s attention to an unrelated case heard by Judge Nichols last year. Though he did not mention the defendants’ names, the DA said that the case had been dismissed because Hudson Police failed to provide their entire file, including a forensic testing document, to his office in a timely manner so he could provide it to the defense.”

    The DA reminded the judge of an unrelated, previous failure by HPD to produce evidence in a timely manner? Yikes, which side is he on? Note that the defendants in the earlier case were not identified by name. Valden continues:

    “In the earlier case ‘police officers testified under oath that they had brought their entire file with them,’ said the DA, adding that it was not until some weeks later that the forensic testing document was given to his office. This earlier case, the subject of a story in The Columbia Paper December 13, 2012, involved former alderman Quintin Cross and Jamont McClendon, both of whom were accused of a March 2012 break-in at City Hall during which less than $100 stolen.”

    Valden does not indicate who identified the defendants by name to her. Is she speculating? Drawing inferences? If the DA told her the judge was referring to the case against Cross and McClendon, she should state that. She concludes:

    “The DA took that case back to a Grand Jury and the indictment was dismissed.”

    I’m not so sure that the cases are one in the same and, by the way, the GJ doesn’t dismiss charges. Valden should identify her source, especially if it’s the DA. I thought the chief’s comment adds to the confusion:

    “Chief Richardson told The Columbia Paper Wednesday, ‘What was communicated to you by the district attorney was never communicated to HPD. I’d like to think if there is a problem with a case, the arresting agency would be the first phone call made. I have not heard from the DA as to why the case was dismissed.’"