A Livingston County judge is expected to decide by the end of the year whether a man convicted of rape earlier this year should get a new trial.
A jury found Zachary Lally, 22, of Green Oak Township guilty of three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct causing personal injury and a count each of second-degree criminal sexual conduct causing injury and assault with intent to commit sexual penetration in March.
The victim in the case testified Lally raped her multiple times in the fall of 2018 in Green Oak Township.
Howell Attorney Tom Kizer in a June court accused Livingston County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Pamela Maas of committing several instances of misconduct during Lally’s jury trial.
He claimed Maas coached and threatened witnesses, prompted witnesses on the stand, withheld evidence, intimidated Lally’s family and suborned perjury.
Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Walton argued Maas did not commit misconduct during the trial and Lally’s conviction should stand.
Danielle Walton and Paul Walton were appointed by the Michigan Attorney General’s office as special assistant prosecutors after Kizer raised issues about the trial.
In August, Livingston County Chief Judge Michael Hatty, who presided over the trial, decided a hearing was necessary to make a decision on the motion.
A recorded conversation
Kizer claimed Maas instructed Livingston County Sheriff’s Detective Greg Thompson how to testify regarding the lack of testing done by the Michigan State Police Forensic Laboratory on Lally’s body and clothing.
The television in the courthouse attorney lounge was streaming live from Hatty’s courtroom on March 4. That day, Lally’s trial attorneys, Rolland Sizemore and Katie Livingston, witnessed a conversation between Maas and Thompson concerning the testing over the video stream.
Sizemore said Livingston began recording the conversation being played over live TV on her cell phone.
In the recording, Maas can be heard telling Thompson, “Just say that we discussed it, and based on his (Sizemore’s) client’s statements, we felt we have enough evidence without it.”
Thompson testified a week later during the trial that Maas did not instruct him how to answer questions about the testing.
Maas testified last week Thompson was telling the truth because “I didn’t tell him what to say.”
She said she found out about the recorded conversation during Thompson’s testimony when Sizemore asked Hatty to approach the bench during the trial.
Neither Sizemore nor Livingston brought the recording to the court’s attention in the week before Thompson’s testimony, Danielle Walton argued. It came up while Thompson was on the stand.
“I never once thought she was telling me this is what I needed to say during my testimony,” Thompson testified Tuesday.
On Tuesday, following multiple days of testimony this month, Hatty asked prosecutors and defense attorneys to submit briefs before he makes his decision.
Kizer is required to file his brief between Oct. 20 and Nov. 10, after which prosecutors have three weeks from the date of his filing to submit their brief. Once prosecutors file their briefs, Kizer has two weeks to respond.
Hatty said he will issue his opinion once that process is completed.
Lally is being held in the Livingston County Jail and faces up to life in prison. His sentencing hearing was adjourned pending the outcome of the evidentiary hearing.
Contact Kayla Daugherty at 517-552-2848 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @KayDaugherty92.
This article originally appeared on Livingston Daily: Decision on new rape trial, prosecutorial misconduct delayed until late 2020
Published at Wed, 30 Sep 2020 11:35:14 +0000