Healea's case to move forward, evidence suppressed
SHELBY COUNTY —
A Shelby County judge Thursday chose to not dismiss Moniteau County prosecutor Shayne Healea's case on the basis that his constitutional rights were violated after his arrest in 2014, but motioned to suppress some evidence from the case.
Healea was accused of backing his truck into a downtown Columbia restaurant in 2014 and injuring four people. His hearing for those charges were delayed after his attorney filed a motion claiming Healea's conversation with counsel was recorded while he was held in a jail cell at the Columbia Police department. The conversation was then recorded onto a disk and submitted to prosecutors as evidence.
At Thursday's hearing, Shelby County Judge Frederick Tucker acknowledged the Columbia Police Department violated state law by not going far enough to ensure Healea had a safe place to talk to his attorney. Tucker said the department, however, did not violate wiretap laws.
Tucker agreed with Special Master Hadley Grimm's recommendation to not dismiss the charges because trial strategy was not heard on the recording.
Healea's attorney, Shane Farrow, has the option to file a motion for the judge to reconsider the report before the pre-trial hearing.
Farrow argued Thursday the recorded conversation included details of the accident, discussion of the police investigation, witnesses, a breath test, a search warrant, and the anticipated result of the breath test.
"It was an intentional act," Farrow said. "Someone went and took the steps to transcribe or create the recording and that's trouble."
"I believe there's a concern [at the Columbia Police Department] beyond this case. It's going to keep going until somebody stops it," Farrow said.
Tucker motioned to suppress any and all evidence about Healea's refusal of a breath test.
Farrow also suggested Thursday the Missouri Attorney General's office, the special prosecutor, should be excused from the case because the office had possession of the recording. Court documents showed Assistant attorney general Julie Toole withdrew from the case in December and Darrell Moore was the assigned special prosecutor.
Moore, who said he hasn't listened to the recording, voluntarily handed over the disk to the defense Thursday.
Farrow also noted the Boone County Circuit Clerk's office does not have an original signed copy of a search warrant in the case. The prosecution confirmed.
Healea has a pre-trial hearing set for March 2nd in Macon and trial dates scheduled for June 5th and 6th in Shelbyville.