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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stepmom fever -- parking garage ambush edition

Wherein Channel 2 gets to add to the drama.

This story was really gripping for a while, but now that the stepmom has been both convicted and diagnosed with a mitigating condition in the media, it's gotten a little like "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead."

Is she going to confess? I doubt it. Is Norm Frink of the DA's office going to back off? Of course not -- it's too good a ticket to something bigger. So where will it end?

If she hired somebody to commit a crime, they'll spend the rest of whatever money she paid them. And then they'll be back asking her for more. The next stop after that would be bunking with Diane Downs.

Comments (8)

Re: "So where will it end?"

Has a prominent criminal case ever concluded with the whimper of a prosecutor's empty purse?:

Multnomah County is hardly rolling in discretionary funds. This blog has already discussed the variety of misdemeanors that will will not result in the prosecution of miscreants. Perhaps the call will go out for contributions and volunteers in the pursuit of Ms Horman.

Did you miss the appearance by the genetic parents on ABC's much-degraded "Nightline" Friday evening?

The TV news directors love the Kyron story! They can burn ten minutes off of every broadcast and doesn't cost squat.

Now they can end the month below budget and they haven't offended one soap-seller or a government agency.

Compare that with expenses involved in investigative reporting and/or making an enemy of DHS, COP, DEQ, TriMet or ODOT.

Is a lawyer obliged to reveal protected information, if it may lead to the rescue of a mortally endangered child?

Does the lack of disclosure by a lawyer imply either that the child is deceased & no longer in danger, or that the client has revealed no relevant information to his/her lawyer?

Generally, will a lawyer represent a non-disclosing client in cases a serious as abduction/homicide?

Simply saying "I had nothing to do with Kyron's disappearance" seems like a good strategy whether or not it's true. To say nothing suggests that finding Kyron is secondary to the pursuit of her legal defense.

Each day that Houze refrains from providing some exculpatory statement, his client's reputation is further eroded in the eyes of the public.

It was obvious the bio-parents weren't ready for prime time when thrust in to the limelight: after having spent a few hours in makeup and green rooms, they may have learned a few tricks of the trade.

Terri's zombie face creeps me out: she couldn't look more guilty.

Why didn't she take the opportunity to plead for the return of her step-son?? Why didn't she empahtically state that she knows nothing of what happened to Kyron?? Why didn't she plead on-camera for investigators to re-double their efforts to find her step-son??

Houze is as good as they get in terms of criminal defense attorneys in this state. Assuming (hypothetically) that she has told him the truth, his job is to protect her and her rights. And yes, sometimes that conflicts with what is in the best interest of the family, the community, etc. But a lawyer who doesn't do this, is a hack of a lawyer.

And for those of you who want to criticize Houze for this, I wonder if you would have the same position if you, or someone you love is charged with a crime.

If she is responsible, and the child is still alive, she's looking at maybe 10-15 years. If she's responsible and the child is dead, well...My point is that if she was involved and the child is still alive, it is in her best interest to come clean.

Fink vs. Houze.
The Portland MSM must be salivating.

Ms. R, et al, my 3 questions were concrete, not rhetorical argument nor critical innuendo.

One understands the venerable sanctity of client privilege. The question is does it have limits? If a crime is ongoing & can conceivably lead to mortal injury of a still living victim, what distinguishes a "knowing" lawyer from an accomplice? (I'm not asserting there is no difference; I'm just asking factually what protects the lawyer from being convicted as an accomplice when a homicide ensues.)

If the child is alive & eventually returned (by a non-custodial parent "playing games"), what exactly is the crime that merits "10-15"? If a custodial parent, what's the crime?

Again, I'm not making an argument or implying criticism. I'm only wondering about what can be inferred about the underlying structure of lawyerly thought based on what is visible to the public at the moment.

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