Monday, February 08, 2010
AZ court suppresses evidence from search of TX polygamist ranch
I said from the get-go that the search warrant used to get on the YFZ Ranch property in Eldorado back in 2008 was overbroad, based on lies, and that evidence derived from the Great Eldorado Polygamist Roundup should be suppressed in criminal court.
Now an Arizona judge has concluded the same thing after prosecutors there
tried agreed not to introduce evidence against polygamist "prophet" Warren Jeffs discovered as a result of information seized during the raid. In Arizona, at least, such evidence will be discarded as fruit of the poisonous tree. The prosecutor may not use the information "directly or indirectly, in his case-in-chief, during cross-examination of any called defense witness, as rebuttal evidence, or for any purpose whatsoever."
San Angelo District Judge Barbara Walther, who approved the original warrant, has continued to stand by it. But I suspect Texas' Third Court of Appeals - which already benchslapped her once over the raid - may agree with the interpretation from Arizona. As Jeffs' attorneys argued to the AZ court, “An investigator of the level of Barney Fife would have recognized the call as a hoax if he had spent an hour or two of proper investigation.”