Fort gets ANOTHER continuancePosted by Jack Howser on Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 @ 1:23 pm.
This was an open wager made between the two and actually approved by the judge, Walden Morris, during this morning’s motion hearing, a continuation of yesterday’s pre-set hearing that was supposed to be one of the last for all pending motions before Fort went to trial on August 29.
However, that date isn’t going to happen now; instead, he’s been granted another continuance, this to Sept. 19, granted on the basis that Fort, via his attorney, Drew, has managed to obtain—and retain—expert witnesses to counter the state’s experts in DNA and in a child sex abuse syndrome the state says they have no intention of bringing up at trial.
Fort is the former Saline County chief deputy and Harrisburg school’s board of education president who stands accused of 17 separate sex or official misconduct offenses after being caught with a 17-year-old intern, with whom it’s alleged he was having an affair, this occurring last summer.
He’s spent the last year in the Jackson County Jail while his attorney has asked for continuance after continuance, each on the barest of tenuous reasons, but each being granted by Morris. Today’s was that they have located Dr. Timothy Moore, an ‘expert’ in debunking Child Abuse Accommodation Syndrome, which Drew has been under the impression the state is going to use, based on something their child advocate witness, Sheryl Woodham, placed in a letter to Assistant State’s Attorney Eva Walker several weeks ago.
Since that time, the state has made it clear that they don’t intend to use that syndrome in any kind of prosecution, but Drew is damned determined that he’s GOT to have an expert on it. Henshaw scoffed at the fact that the one article submitted by Drew that this doctor has written has to do with CANADIAN law and sex crimes against children, not American…but there wasn’t much made of that.
What there WAS much made of was Drew’s witnesses that are supposed to be DNA experts, out of Missouri.
Yesterday, Drew brought up that he wanted the samples taken on July 19, 2010 from a rape kit test done on the alleged victim. Henshaw countered with “Your honor, I don’t think he wants THE samples; we wouldn’t want them to go to Mr. Drew; likely he means he wants ISP’s lab to send them for testing to his lab, otherwise we’d break the chain of custody.”
It was hard to tell if Morris was then making a sincere suggestion, or if he was being a smartass on his own when he leaned over the bench and said to Henshaw, “Alright, so you and Mr. Drew could drive together to go get the samples—?”
He was interrupted by a very emphatic Henshaw, who leaned back in his chair and told the judge “I’m not going ANYWHERE with Mr. Drew!”
It was ordered that Drew would be able to obtain his samples for his ‘experts’ in Missouri. What they intend to do with them, other than show there is present another person’s DNA besides Fort’s and the victim’s, is unknown….but apparently, Drew seems to think that it’s enough that there is another DNA trace present (which is moot, because no one else is charged, just Fort; the state doesn’t need to pursue getting any other DNA excluded; all they’re trying to prove is that Fort’s IS there….but welcome to another Duh moment from Drew, of which there should be many in the trial….if it ever gets here.)
Henshaw isn’t convinced that it’ll happen on the now-new date set of Sept 19, either.
Asked by the judge if the people would be prejudiced in any way by Fort being granted a continuance, Henshaw thought about it for a moment, and then said that they wouldn’t…..but he wondered aloud if Drew would be willing to put a $100 wager on the notion that it’ll go to trial on that date, prompting the judge to jump in on it and ask, which caused Drew to take him up on it….so we’ll see.
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