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|Defense Files Discovery Motion Against Sealed Ex-Parte Meetings Of Prosecution With Court In Criminal Organization Munir Uwaydah Case In Downtown LA|
By Lonce Lamonte - April 7, 2019
Department 106 in downtown Los Angeles, Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, was more crowded than usual for this hearing on March 15th 2019 of the Criminal Organization Munir Uwaydah case. It seemed all the current defendants were here, with their current counsels.
Except for physician assistant Peter Nelson. He was missing. But his lawyer, Winston McKesson, was here. And of course Paul Turley, D. C. who has pled out along with Marisa Schermbeck Nelson, who pled out in 2017, a year before Paul Turley, were not in attendance.
Kelly Soo Park sat, as usual, with her glisteningly beautiful, long dark hair which never changes, in the second row bench next to her friend and co-defendant, Ronnie Case. This writer sat in the third row bench right next to defendant and lawyer, Tatiana Torres Arnold’s husband who was wearing athletic shoes and faded, aging blue jeans with a casual black zipper jacket. His wife sat to his right in a tailored jacket of checked browns with dark blue jeans. To her right sat Jeff Stevens, who ostensibly owned an MRI company controlled by Dr. Uwaydah, where Uwaydah could allegedly falsify MRIs; then on the end sat slender and diminutive Yolanda Groscost, who was a capper.
Judge Larry Fidler quickly took to the bench and stated immediately he had received a motion for discovery. Mark Kassabian, counsel for Kelly Soo Park, filed that discovery motion which the prosecution answered.
Mark and the rest of the defense counsels are aware the prosecutors have had ex-parte, in camera communications with the court; and some of that activity has resulted in under-seal transcripts. Kassabian stated the defense is entitled to know the relevant evidence in the People’s possession and what went on in the ex-parte meetings with the judge.
Mark Kassabian furthered the prosecution has implied the only information disclosed is the recent ~1,200 pages proffer from Paul Turley, which has been produced to the defense under protective order. It is not available to the public, which includes all journalists and media personnel. This writer applied for the right to a copy of the document through the Public Records Act, but was denied.
Mark Kassabian: If what has been disclosed to the court in camera has already been disclosed to us, then there is no ground to keep these transcripts under seal. They can be unsealed, and the defense can take a look at it.
Mark went on to argue that if there’s additional material that’s been disclosed to the court, but not to the defense, then the defense needs to see it. He concluded simply that the defense needs to know all the evidence relevant to the case.
Winston McKesson, counsel for Uwaydah’s physician assistant, Peter Nelson, who was the only pending defendant not in the court room, chimed in that his client was joining the motion. He railed against Paul Turley’s proffer insisting that Turley’s allegations were inadmissible hearsay due to a lack of personal knowledge.
Winston McKesson: What Paul Turley stated in the proffer was that my client, Peter Nelson, was involved in consults, orthopedic consults. He wasn’t there. He didn’t know. Also, that he was involved in improper surgeries. He wasn’t there. He didn’t know. So, everything he testified to in these proffered sessions against Peter Nelson was inadmissible hearsay for lack of personal knowledge.
But Paul Turley, D.C. was there much of the time. He was in the Frontline Medical office on a regular basis since close to the turn of the century. Thus, he did know. He knew a great deal. Henceforth, Peter Nelson’s attorney, Winston McKesson, makes a bad argument.
McKesson argues that Paul Turley could have impermissibly gotten information from the Joint Defense Agreement, thus the documents should be unsealed to see if this could be true. But Dr. Turley, who was the ostensible business partner of Dr. Uwaydah, who grew into more of a lackey over time than any kind of a partner, didn’t need to improperly glean information from the Joint Defense Agreement. He saw Uwaydah’s operation in Frontline Medical and other sobriquets up close and personal, and what he didn’t see directly, other professionals in the criminal organization told him. These professionals have most likely continued to communicate with Turley to this day. They all know each other. So, for Turley to have improperly tapped into the Joint Defense Agreement, tapped confidential information and spread it to the prosecution, is not a highly credible idea.
Paul Turley knew and knows a great deal.
Winston McKesson: If Paul Turley is making statements that he has no personal knowledge about, and he is saying “It’s common knowledge” and “Everybody knows”, we are entitled to look at those sealed documents.
Judge Fidler agreed to review the sealed transcripts and the entirety of the ex-parte meetings with the prosecution, and then take the defense’s motion under consideration.
Now, at least, it can be communicated to the public a few things that Paul Turley stated in his prodigious proffer which remains under a protective order. His statement of “It’s common knowledge” can be understood that he meant it’s common knowledge to the individuals who worked for Uwaydah’s criminal organization that Peter Nelson performed improper surgeries that were most likely dangerous to the patients. “Everybody knows” can be understood the same way.
To be continued...
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