The lacrosse case hearing Friday was interesting, to say the least. The
most interesting thing perhaps was Mike Nifong's new contention that the alleged
rape may have only happened for five or ten minutes.
The alleged victim (AV) said that the alleged rape went on for a
half-hour. How did Nifong square the inconsistency?
"When something happens to you that is really awful, it can seem like it
takes place longer than it actually takes," Nifong argued.
Well, that's true.
But, coincidentally or not, this new account also dovetails with Kim Roberts'
account of the evening, where she said they were together for all but about five
And in another interesting development, after Nifong made a big stink about
the telephone poll the defense attorneys paid for, it turns out that the defense
made a point of telling Nifong about the poll - in August. From the
Nifong is asking Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III to place all the
lacrosse defense lawyers under oath and ask them to explain their involvement
in the survey and to furnish a list of survey questions. Nifong learned of the
survey when a pollster called his wife, Cy Gurney, at home...
In a motion prepared late Wednesday afternoon, attorneys for the three
defendants asked a judge to deny Nifong and said they told him in August that
they intended to conduct polling. The survey was scientific, the lawyers said,
and limited to 300 interviews.
An impartial jury "could have been substantially threatened by
extensive prejudicial public comments made by the Durham County District
Attorney, and the polling was necessary to determine the extent and nature of
that prejudice," the lawyers wrote.
If the defense attorneys did in fact tell him about the poll in August, what
to make of his assertion that he only learned of it when they called his wife?
Incidentally, according to the Durham paper,
Nifong also listed an anonymous woman as a recipient of the calls, which
seems somewhat flimsy, frankly.
The defense also alleges that Nifong has refused to meet with them or even to
return their calls. Nifong answered this, saying that this wasn't the only
case in Durham County.
As he so often has, KC
Johnson provides the best breakdown of developments in the case. He
focuses this time, among other things, on Nifong's repeated footdragging when it
comes to turning over evidence to the defense. This is speculation, but
intelligent speculation, about the DNA:
Itâs easy to see the Nifong distraction for yesterdayâs hearing: his
bizarre obsession with defense attorneysâ routine decision to poll 300
residents about the case. What, then, is the bombshell evidence he expects? I
suppose weâll learn in a few days, but for now, my money is on the DNA.
Defense lawyers want complete information about the second round of DNA
testing, with a suggestion that there might be additional matches to people
other than lacrosse players (no matches with the accuser) and the accuserâs
three admitted sexual partners in the week before the party (one match, of
three). If additional DNA exists, and that DNA belongs to someone not yet
tested, then the accuser concealed information about her number of sexual
partners in the days before the party.
We'll see soon enough: the judge ordered the evidence turned over by October
There's another basic, simple question which arises from this hearing: why is
getting evidence, to which the defense is absolutely entitled, so difficult?