Pubdate: Wed, 27 September 2000
Source: Redding Record Searchlight (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Redding Record Searchlight - E.W. Scripps
Contact:  PO Box 492397, Redding, CA 96049-2397
Author: Kimberly Bolander, Record Searchlight,


Facing accusations of "prosecutorial misconduct," Shasta County District 
Attorney McGregor Scott has been ordered to take the witness stand in a 
seven-defendant case stemming from a drug raid at the Anderson Oaks Apartments.

In Shasta County Superior Court on Wednesday, Redding defense attorney 
William Malloy said he has never before had to subpoena the county's top 
prosecutor. Judge William Gallagher and other attorneys in the case agreed 
both sides' accusations against each other are unusually serious.

"I've read a lot of papers that say some very bad things have occurred," 
Gallagher told the nine attorneys present. "But I'm not going to say that 
just because someone wrote it down that it's true."

Malloy's client, David Cloud, 39, and six other defendants have joined 
forces, claiming the prosecution withheld a drug informant's criminal 
history until just days before trial was scheduled to begin.

The defendants are among 11 indicted by a grand jury based on the largest 
drug sweep in Anderson's history. The others have pleaded guilty.

The bust took place Feb. 3 after undercover agents, including a previously 
convicted informant, made more than 20 purchases of marijuana and 
methamphetamine, mainly at the Anderson Oaks Apartments on Ventura Street.

Scott is scheduled to testify next week.

In court, a motion filed by Redding defense attorney Tamera Trindade 
alleges Deputy District Attorney Aaron Williams purposely withheld 
information in the hope of getting her client, Timothy Stayer, 22, to plead 
guilty before the case went to trial.

"The District Attorney has provided inconsistent, incremental disclosures 
of the government-paid informant's criminal history throughout the life of 
this case," the motion reads. "The District Attorney discloses a little 
something different every time he comes to court."

In addition, the motion claims the informant "engaged in substantial 
illegal acts during the buy program (beyond her participation in narcotics 

Meanwhile, the district attorney's office countered with a written 
opposition to the motion, claiming Trindade "intentionally misled the 
court" and "twisted the truth."

"Despite defense counsel's accusations, there has never been an intentional 
suppression of exculpatory evidence in this case," the opposition's motion 
reads, reiterating that all evidence discovered was turned over to the 
defense when received.

The defense has successfully subpoenaed McGregor Scott - a rare occurrence, 
said Redding attorney Jim Pearce, who is not involved in the case.

"I've never seen it in the 18 years I've been an attorney," Pearce said.

Through a spokeswoman, Scott said it's not appropriate for him to comment 
on a pending case.

Also named as witnesses are Assistant District Attorney Jerry Benito, 
Williams and Deputy District Attorney Howard Welch, agents from the Bureau 
of Narcotic Enforcement and from the Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task 
Force, and at least two of the defense attorneys in the case, Trindade and 

In court Wednesday, Trindade said the district attorney's office itself 
prosecuted the informant in Shasta County after her arrest in 1996. 
Therefore, deputies should have known the informant's background and, by 
law, passed that information on to defense attorneys.

Separate attorneys represent each of the defendants, but all have joined in 
motions fighting for a dismissal of the case based on violations of their 
constitutional rights. All but one defendant, Richard Rhodes, have been 
released from Shasta County Jail on their own recognizance.

In court Wednesday, two Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task Force agents 
testified about their involvement in the February bust at the Anderson 
apartment complex. Testimony resumes at 2:30 p.m. today.

Reporter Kimberly Bolander can be reached at 225-8339 or at  ---
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