Defense ConfirmsTwo Sealed Indictments in Duke Lacrosse Case

Update: Defense lawyers confirm two players were indicted. The New York Times reports:

....defense lawyers had asked Nifong on Thursday and again today to issue public indictments so that anyone who was charged with a crime could voluntarily surrender. Ekstrand said Nifong refused the request, "so we'd be left in the dark." He said the situation meant students could be arrested in classrooms or paraded in front of the media. "I can't imagine any other reason but humiliation." he said in an interview while the grand jury was in session.

Update: Court sources tell WRAL there are two sealed indictments of players in the case.

Update: CNN reports there are two sealed indictments. Ordinarily, when Indictments are sealed, no one other than the prosecutors and grand jurors and the arresting authority responsible for executing the arrest warrant would know until the first person is arrested. It's doubtful the prosecutors would tell the defense lawyers. What's so silly about this is that sealed indictments are usually handed down to avoid tipping off a suspect who might flee if he got advance word. The prosecutor seems to be milking this for all it's worth.

North Carolina lawyer Steve Bernholz is on Abrams. He's a good friend, brilliant and very experienced. I trust his information more than the others on the show.

Update: There were no public indictments today in the Duke Lacrosse alleged rape case. They could be have been issued and sealed, but as I mentioned here yesterday. it could easily take more than one day for the grand jury to consider all the information. The grand jury meets again in two weeks.

Some tv reports indicate sealed indictments.

The prosecutors are with the grand jury in the Duke Lacrosse alleged rape case. Reporters have descended en masse on the building. They seem to expect indictments today.

If I were the defense lawyers, I would have all 46 players wait inside the Sheriffs' office (or wherever the appropriate booking office is) ready to surrender to avoid a perp walk on camera. The families of those most likely to be arrested should have already wired funds sufficient to cover any likely bond into the attorneys' trust account. For those without adequate funds, a bondsman should be waiting at the bonding office ready to post the bond the minute he gets the call.

Unfortunately, I don't know how the process works in North Carolina to know if this is feasible.

< Duke: Kroger Security Guard Says "Ain't No Way" There Was a Rape | More on Unclassified State Dept. Memo Showing 16 Words Were False >
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    Re: Defense ConfirmsTwo Sealed Indictments in Duke (none / 0) (#1)
    by azbballfan on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 01:16:59 PM EST
    Were the defense attorneys reasonable when they said they expected charges this week?

    Re: Defense ConfirmsTwo Sealed Indictments in Duke (none / 0) (#2)
    by roxtar on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 01:22:02 PM EST
    Sealed indictments? It's certainly all about the perp walk.

    Re: Defense ConfirmsTwo Sealed Indictments in Duke (none / 0) (#3)
    by azbballfan on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 01:29:38 PM EST
    Public outcry for town vs. gown special treatment eliminates the opportunity for surrender. Nifong and the police have taken too much heat for not having put the boys through the public humiliation required by these allegations.

    I am surprised that you haven't taken a flight to Durham to be at their sides and to make sure they don't have a single moment of discomfort.

    Nifong quote: "I no longer get to go anywhere in my community without people knowing who I am," Nifong said. "I wish you could find me a way to give me my anonymity back." He should have thought about that when he insited the Durham Sun report the DNA testing and before giving 70 local and antional interviews.

    Jade, they have excellent lawyers, they don't need me. But you're right that I would want them treated like most suspects with lawyers and allowed to surrender voluntarily upon return of an indictment and immediately post bond without spending any time in jail. If it's good enough for the Enron defendants and others, why not these players?

    Any take on this story ABC is reporting?

    Re: Defense ConfirmsTwo Sealed Indictments in Duke (none / 0) (#8)
    by Bob on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 01:57:52 PM EST
    If the prosecutors are milking the indictments for all they are worth, the are just following the lead of the defense attorneys who have been doing the same in the press for weeks. And there is no perp walk until there is a perp walk. Lets wait and see. Bob

    Re: Defense ConfirmsTwo Sealed Indictments in Duke (none / 0) (#9)
    by scribe on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 02:14:52 PM EST
    Any bets on whether these indictees will be dragged out of their dorm-room beds at 3 am in full TV-light glare, be hauled off to the county jail where they will sit for days waiting a bail hearing, get no bail or absurdly high bail, and then be found to have made full, complete, detailed confessions to their meth-addled cellmates? Mr. Nifong can get his privacy back - by losing his election. NC readers should help him.

    I would hope that these indictments are sealed to protect the privacy of the accused. If we start seeing these 2 player faces all over the TV in the next few days, the DA is going to pay, becuz these people will fight back and go for blood to regain their reputations back. This case is not going to go away soon, either way. The DA should be very careful here.

    Re: Defense ConfirmsTwo Sealed Indictments in Duke (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 03:07:06 PM EST
    What a circus. The more it's in the media, the less it is about justice for the accuser and the accused. Where do all the players find the time to do their jobs while playing for the cameras? And if it ever makes it to trial, good luck finding 12 impartial people. 99% of the country made up their mind already....another joke.

    Perhaps these indictments have something to do with eyewitness account or better yet probably a couple of potential jail house snitch's who said they were there the night of this gang rape that involved young college boys who play a sport where occasional violence occurs in the heat of the moment. Perhaps The State ought to hire Wendy Murphy to prosecute these "victims". Perhaps she do can be there to question them and limit there rations to bread and water and get one of them to confess what happened and how they were able to fake there DNA. So What else is new.

    Re: Defense ConfirmsTwo Sealed Indictments in Duke (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 03:18:28 PM EST
    by players I mean DA, Defense, etc...not lacrosee players

    it will be interesting to see how all this resolves.

    Amanda March 29th:...the big news burning up the feminist blogosphere is this horrific gang rape at Duke. ... Without social support for the victims of these crimes, the assailants usually don't get any justice... The Duke rapes were also viewed by the rapists as reenactment of white supremacy. Amanda April 10th: According to the attorneys for the defense of the Duke gang rape case, there's no DNA evidence linking any of the lacrosse team to the crime. ... I expect that the lack of DNA evidence alongside the huge privilege gap between alleged rapists and the alleged victim will now result in the termination of this case....Prediction: The people screaming about innocence until guilt is proven in court in defense of the rapists will not hesitate to accuse this woman sans evidence of maliciously filing a fake police report. Luckily for Amanda, she was certainly not in the fringe "innocent until proven guilty" camp. What would it take for Amanda to consider that they filed a fake police report? If that happens will she apologize for her blog posts condeming the lacrosse players, whites, and the patriarchy in this instance?

    Well, it's certainly shaping out to be what many here suspected. The second stripper/escort was the first 911 caller. She wasn't aware of any rape and she is an impartial witness at the scene. Kroger security guard who made the second 911 call. No mention of a rape. Passed out drunk. Second 911 call was made 50 minutes after they left. Anything can happen in 50 minutes. Police responded, officer doesn't request a medic. Just passed out drunk. Reasonable doubt is huge. Hey, if the Lacrosse players did it then they should fry. If the prosecutor believes he can prove it, more power to him. This prosecutor better have something more than the rape kit that provided zero DNA (thus far). He better have turned one of the students. Considering his little email stunt, and considering the police's failed raid on the dorms, I highly doubt anyone turned. In fact, I don't even think there was a crime for someone to witness. Delusions and illusions of grandeur. When stories are concocted they tend to be grand tales. File this one under Tawana Brawley.

    Spyderman writes,
    Second 911 call was made 50 minutes after they left. Anything can happen in 50 minutes.
    That's the second time I've seen that claim. TL made it first, and there it is repeated. 1:22 - 12:52 = ?

    1:22 - 12:52 = ?
    Actually that still is 30 minutes. But this makes an extreme case that in order for this woman to be have raped like she said she had, there would have to be time for this to occur. I cant find that time gap anywhere. I mean if you take all the accounts from the accusers to the neighbors, to the players, then there are too many inconsistencies. The 12:03 to 12:30 is damaged badly by the neighbor who said that he saw both ladies coming out of the house at 12:20. That actually fits the players account becuz they said that they did not immediately leave the house when they stopped dancing. He said they went in the bathroom and stayed sometime. Anyone who believes this woman was raped in that house chooses to look away from the facts..There is no time at all, that this woman would have time to have done to her what she explained. Did you read her account given to the police?

    Delusions and illusions of grandeur. When stories are concocted they tend to be grand tales.
    And the media is milking it for everything it is worth. Any common sense poerson can see that this is a false rape allegation. But all the players involved (ie lawyers, media, DA, interest organizations like) want to milk this case nationally for as long as they can. They will get notoreity and make more money doing so. So in reality they are exploiting the accused, and accuser. Any other case in smalltown, USA would of been dropped by now. They want to do the KObe Bryant case all over again. Debating the Rape Shield Laws, assault against women, try and break down sports culture, etc... I am so dissapointed in the media these days...To me they have beaten out lawyers as the most conniving profession. That is sad.

    Re: Defense ConfirmsTwo Sealed Indictments in Duke (none / 0) (#20)
    by chew2 on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 07:51:33 AM EST
    The Duke lacrosse team members have been criticized for their wall of silence and non-cooperation with the police. Only three are alleged to have been guilty, so why the silence by all the others, especially the ones who weren't even there at the party. Why didn't they tell the police they weren't there? Here's a possible reason from another blog: "Several members of the team didn't go and 5 were out of state on jobs interviews, so if the victim identifies a player that wasn't there (either because her story was fabricated to some extent or because she was too out of it to ID someone) then the defense has a pretty easy case."

    Re: Defense ConfirmsTwo Sealed Indictments in Duke (none / 0) (#21)
    by Bob on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 09:33:25 AM EST
    Well, it seems that there was no perp walk.

    Re: Defense ConfirmsTwo Sealed Indictments in Duke (none / 0) (#22)
    by chew2 on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 10:44:57 AM EST
    I'm thinking the indictments were premature. Nifong should have taken more time. Assuming that the medical evidence is persuasive as to a rape having occurred (a big but necessary assumption_, the key issue is identification of the assailants. If the alleged victim was impaired due to alcohol or a date rape drug her ID will need some corroboration. Why couldn't he have subpoenaed uninvolved team members to testify before the grand jury to determine who was there and whether she was alone with any of them. Could they all take the fifth, and if so could he have granted limited immunity? He needs to establish who was there, and the team wall of silence is preventing him from doing so. If she identified the wrong assailants it will be impossible to go back and find the true assailants.

    Chew2, I just heard on MSNBC that there was an offer by the defense atty for a group of players to go to the DA and tell him their where-abouts during the time of the supposed crime. Apparently the deal fell through. So, he not interested in a suspect's possible alibi. He's not interested in seeing the defense's party pics... It's clear the DA isn't interested in investigating to find the truth. It's clear he's more interested in putting together a case that he thinks he can win. Too bad for him the players indicted have alibis. ATM receipt, Cab ride, dorm card swipes... Sounds more and more like the DA may have gotten burnt by false accusations of a stripper/escort.