A man in Florida has been held in jail since 2011, after he was charged with four counts of murder. Just days before the trial, however, his attorney is now asking the judge to dismiss the murder charges based on evidence withheld by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Other defense attorneys, Clyde M. Taylor, Jr. included, tend to agree.
During depositions for the case, a crime lab analyst from the FDLE admitted to withholding information for over two years because of orders from her supervisor. The particular evidence showed DNA taken from a phone case at the murder scene was a partial match to a known international drug trafficker.
The defense attorney for the case believes that the FDLE's actions were willful and deliberate. Even further, they directly violated his client's rights and prevented him from chasing a lead that was crucial to the development of his case.
Attorney Taylor Responds in Similar Vein
It is very apparent that the attorney for the case is not the only one who feels this way. Attorney Taylor was also called upon to share his thoughts on the matter and said, "There is no excuse for that happening." He plans to reexamine some of his cases and address the issue of late disclosure of evidence with the local chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
With over 45 years of criminal defense experience, Attorney Taylor is often sought out for the knowledge he possesses. Lab reports from the FDLE have long been held with skepticism by many in the criminal law industry and while a few incidents of late information can be overlooked, Taylor believes this degree of withholding demands further scrutiny.
Put simply, Taylor pointed out that, "When you start to see a pattern, it starts to be concerning." There should only be three players in a trial – the judge, the prosecution, and the defense. Any more and the scales aren't as fair as they should be, as in the current Florida murder case.