While reading redacted grand jury testimony given by Joel Gilbert into the record today, prosecutors screwed up by reading the name of co-defendant David Roberson.
Defense lawyers for Roberson immediately called for a mistrial.
Prosecutors argued that the transcript of the grand jury testimony had been redacted by another judge and that defense lawyers had had the document in their possession for 2 weeks and were “lying in wait” for the mistake to happen, according to tweets by AL.com reporters.
Roberson’s defense attorney struck back by saying prosecutors had the burden to fix the mistake.
Ivana Hrynkiw of AL.com tweeted:
Judge said he’s not granting a mistrial now but he’ll “circle back” and do research on some case law and look at it again. Said defense and government also need to research.
In other words, briefs will be filed and a mistrial could be declared tomorrow or soon (or never).
If Roberson is convicted, an appeal will most likely be filed on this point alone.
Seeing the web of agents, lawyers, and paid consultants Balch and Drummond used to allegedly suppress African-Americans from having their toxic property tested by the EPA in North Birmingham, prosecutors should have triple-checked their work and understand any screw up would get chewed-up by the defense and go to the appeals process inevitably.
Roberson has the best and the brightest defending him and they won’t give an inch, either to Balch or prosecutors.
George, you screwed up.