Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Grace’

Murder charges against a man and his brother for the 1989 murder of the man’s estranged wife have been dismissed due to the discovery of an affair between the prosecutor and a key state witness as well as the prosecution’s failure to disclose 10,000 pages of evidence.  The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office dismissed charges against David Zimmer, 66, and Robert Zimmer, 70, in the strangulation death of David’s estranged wife Cathy Zimmer, whose body was found wrapped in a quilt in her car parked at San Jose International Airport on March 10, 1989.

Deputy District Attorney Ted Kajani and DNA lab technician Amanda Cardenas were reassigned to other duties after their secret relationship came to light.  Kajani had alleged that DNA found on the victim’s clothing was linked to her husband’s brother, Robert Zimmer. He also alleged that David and Cathy Zimmer were having marital problems at the time and that David Zimmer stood to benefit from a life insurance policy he took out on his estranged wife.

Kajani had alleged that DNA found on the victim’s clothing was linked to her husband’s brother, Robert Zimmer. He also alleged that David and Cathy Zimmer were having marital problems at the time and that David Zimmer stood to benefit from a life insurance policy he took out on his estranged wife.  Assistant District Attorney Marc Buller said in a statement that “prosecutors will now reassess the case”.  Prosecutors can refile charges.  The case is being reevaluated not only because of the conflict of interest, but because the prosecution failed to follow discovery rules.

District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement, “We offer our deepest apologies to the family of the victim, but based on the totality of the circumstances, we simply cannot proceed without taking the time to reexamine and reevaluate the case to ensure we have not violated the rights of the accused, or compromised the integrity of the criminal justice system.”

David Zimmer’s attorney Michael Cardoza said that the case was wrong from the start, “He was an innocent man that was arrested because of an overzealous young district attorney that looked at evidence and interpreted it in the wrong way.”

It is rare for a high-profile case to fall apart in such a manner.  The case had national coverage, including the Nancy Grace show.

Steve Clark, a legal analyst with a local California station said, “This is something that is very much an embarrassment.  But it’s also a tragedy for people who may have been in jail wrongfully, but also for a victim’s family looking for answers.”

It was not publicly disclosed whether either state employee was disciplined.


Jodi Arias (above), who is currently awaiting her September sentencing for a first-degree murder conviction, did not file a lawsuit against Maricopa County, Arizona’s controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio for contracting Hepatitis C in his custody.  TMZ and other Internet sites reported that Arias filed a lawsuit saying she was given a Tuberculosis vaccine in custody and the needle was not properly sanitized.  Jennifer Willmott, one of Arias’ lawyers, said the lawsuit is completely false.

Everyone should have suspected it as a fake, according to Willmott.  The return address listed Arias as being at the 4th Avenue jail in Pheonix, but she is being held at the Estrella Jail.  The signature on the lawsuit does not match Jodi Arias’ signature, which can be seen on her driver’s license.  The lawsuit is filed without her attorneys.

The lawsuit also alleges that Arias was denied medical care after her breast implant leaked, among other claims.  The lawsuit states that Nancy Grace colluded with Arpaio.  The lawsuit alleges that Arpaio intercepted sexual letters between Arias and the cousin of Travis Alexander, her ex-boyfriend, whom she was convicted of killing, and leaked them to Grace.  The lawsuit requests a restraining order against Grace and Arpaio because they are preventing her from getting a fair trial.

Arpaio seems to think the lawsuit is real saying, “Nothing surprises me with her.  She’s just angry…because…I stopped all the media from going to jail to interview her.”  He claims the lawsuit is Arias’ way of getting more media attention.

You still hear people today questioning why Cindy Anthony didn’t get charged with perjury for “lying” and saying that she did the chloroform search.  People, including the media, often point to the comments of Jeff Ashton and the visible shock of the prosecution team in court, but these facts just make what really happened even stranger.  People believe that Cindy Anthony never said that she did the searches before that day (many media outlets told people this as well) and many of those people blame Casey Anthony’s acquittal partly on this.  Media outlets, right after her testimony, even claimed that she “weakened” the first-degree murder charge because of her “brand new” testimony.  The thing that baffles me the most about this discussion was that Cindy Anthony always denied that she made a search on ‘how to make chloroform’, she just said that she made searches for chlorophyll and chloroform came up on the search results page.

On Good Morning America, June 24th, 2011, Nancy Grace, like most media “experts”, said that Cindy Anthony was just trying to save her daughter’s life and that the defense put her at risk for perjury charges.  “…If they have her computer records, they’re going to be able to show she was absolutely at work and if the defense set her up for a perjury charge, it’s on them…”  What Nancy Grace is referring to is that the defense brought out in testimony that Cindy Anthony said she did the chlorophyll searches that turned into chloroform.  Now, it is important to remember here how attorneys from both sides learn information.  They learn it through investigation and that mostly comes from talking to people.  In this case, the most important document to remember is the deposition.

Jeff Ashton, one of the prosecutors on the Casey Anthony case, was asked by NBC’s Today Show on July 6, 2011, after the verdict if there could be perjury charges against Cindy Anthony, he responded, “I think there could be. That will be a decision made by another branch of our office.”  He was also asked whether he would personally make that decision, he responded,  “I honestly don’t know. That would be a very, very difficult decision to make. As a prosecutor — I’ve been a prosecutor for 30 years — I hate to say this, but you’re somewhat accustomed to family members trying to help their fellow family members. So you’re kind of used to that.  This, of course, was a rather important, you know, deception, if you will, that obviously was proven to be so by the other evidence. What they do with it is going to be a difficult decision that I’m glad I don’t have to make.”

In several interviews after that, he implied that he had no idea that Cindy Anthony was going to say she made the chloroform “searches” (even though it is really only 1 search).  On the same day as the Today Show interview, People Magazine quoted Jeff Ashton as saying, “The main thing that went through my head was, ‘Why are you doing this now? Now I have to go through the process of impeaching your testimony.’ With the exception of that issue, Cindy had always been pretty honest about things.”  He also called her testimony that she did the searches, “annoying”.  (more…)