Healea fights back in latest response to State

Shayne Healea's attorney filed a motion Thursday saying the Columbia Police Department violated a series of laws and policies in Healea's arrest in 2014. (File)

Shayne Healea pulled no punches in his response to the state after the assistant attorney general said Healea's constitutional rights were not violated after his arrest in 2014.

Healea's motion filed Thursday in Shelby County Court, said the Columbia Police Department violated a state statue that says a law enforcement agency must have a space available for a suspect to speak with his or her attorney privately.

The Moniteau County prosecutor was arrested in October 2014 after allegedly backing his truck into Addison's in downtown Columbia. Healea's defense claimed in a recent memorandum of law that after his arrest, his conversation with his attorney was recorded while he spoke to counsel from a jail cell.

The motion, filed by Healea's attorney Shane Farrow, said the Columbia Police Department violated the Missouri Wire Communications Act. The law makes it illegal in the state for someone to knowingly intercept any wire communication. It's also illegal for any person to not notify those involved in the conversation that the conversation is being intercepted. The motion claims police violated the law by not only recording his conversation with his attorney, but also by distributing the recording to the assistant attorney general, Julie Toole, the special prosecutor on the case.

Healea's defense says this is a violation of his constitutional rights of attorney-client privilege and a fair trial.

In a previous motion filed by Toole, she claimed the prosecution, in the two years it had possession of the recording, did not watch the DVD featuring the jail cell conversation.

"To simply say 'we didn't watch it' after previously telling the Court the recording was never made, cannot function to rebut the presumption, nor does it function to correct the prejudice the defendant now suffers," wrote Farrow in Healea's latest motion.

The defense's motion also says the arresting officer provided contradicting reports of how he kept watch of Healea after his arrest. The Alcohol Influence Report created by the officer says he performed the 15 minutes observation time beginning at 8:07 p.m. that night, and that a minimum of 13 minutes within that time period was while Healea was on the phone with his attorney. The motion shows a piece of the deposed officer stating the officer did not observe Healea for the an entire 15 minutes. The deposition says the officer did "just paperwork stuff" and "waited for 20 minutes."

"This contradiction leaves the Defendant with the obvious question of whether the officer told the truth when he stated in sworn deposition testimony that he did not observe the conversation between the defendant and counsel or did he tell the truth when he completed the Alcohol Influence Report, when he indicated the exact time in which he engaged in the 15-minute observation period, while the defendant was on the phone conferring with counsel?" wrote Farrow.

The officer in the case has yet to be named in court documents.

The motion points out the State has yet to disclose the identity of the person who created the video of Healea's conversation with his attorney.

"Presumably the same person who decided when each of the captured videos would begin and end. Upon review of the disc by the Special Master, it will be apparent that someone decided when to cut the recordings off and when they should start," Farrow wrote.

The defense also points out the Columbia Police Department violated its own department policy that apparently states a detainee will be permitted to telephone an attorney and telephone calls between the detainee and his/her attorney "shall be paid by the Department and shall be deemed confidential and shall not be monitored, eavesdropped upon or recorded.”

"As the facts of this case have disclosed, telephone calls between detainees and their counsel are, in fact, “monitored, eavesdropped upon or recorded.” The problem is systemic and will continue unless courts take measures to discourage the practice,"Farrow wrote.

In the motion, the defense says it wants a hearing on the issues presented and that all of Healea's pending charges be dismissed.

Special Master Senior Judge Hadley Grimm will help judge Frederick Paul Tucker make a determination on whether Healea's constitutional rights were violated. A court date for a hearing on the issues has yet to be set.

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