Muncey’s attorney releases statement
MADISON – Jerry S. Barclay, attorney for Madison Police Chief Larry Muncey, has issued a statement regarding statements from the federal judge who presided over trials for Eric Parker.
“It is regrettable that the judge who presided over the federal criminal case against Officer Eric Parker has stated, in a Memorandum Opinion released on January 29, 2016, an intention to “initiate proceedings . . . to determine whether conduct by [Madison Police Chief Larry Muncey] . . . violated the Court’s Rule 615 sequestration order during the . . . Parker trial.” Chief Muncey clearly did not violate such an order,” Barclay said.
“The facts of this matter are simple: The federal rule cited by the Judge prohibits some, but not all, witnesses from remaining in the courtroom while other witnesses are testifying. Witnesses who are prohibited from hearing testimony are generally told not to listen to or discuss the testimony of other witnesses.”
“Certain witnesses, including those designated as experts, are exempted from that rule.”
“Federal prosecutors designated Chief Muncey as such an expert at the beginning of the Parker trial. At their request, the Judge permitted him to remain in the courtroom during witness testimony. Later, prosecutors told the Judge and Parker’s defense attorney that they had decided not to call Chief Muncey as an expert witness during the presentation of their case. Chief Muncey was not part of that conversation. He was asked by an FBI agent to leave the courtroom. He was given no instructions by anyone.”
“After he left the courtroom, but having been told previously that he could listen to trial testimony, Chief Muncey followed media blogs to learn more about what witnesses were saying, and he asked another officer to keep him informed regarding testimony.”
“The Judge has admitted that neither she nor the prosecutors ever explained to Chief Muncey the meaning or legal effect of a ‘Rule 615 sequestration order.'”
“The Judge wrote:
‘The record demonstrates that neither the Court nor counsel for the Government explained Rule 615 to Chief Muncey before the Court excused him from the courtroom pursuant to the Rule . . . .” (Document # 118, page 15, lines 1-4).'”
“Neither the Judge nor the prosecutors suggested to Chief Muncey in any way that he should not monitor the testimony of witnesses, either by following media reports or by having a subordinate keep him apprised of the testimony,” Barclay said.
“Consistent with his responsibilities as Chief of Police, Chief Muncey did his best to keep his finger on the pulse of the Parker case. His role as Chief required him to do no less.”
“Chief Muncey’s actions did not violate any Court order. He never attempted or intended, in any fashion, to intimidate any witness or to change any witness’s testimony. He will vigorously fight any suggestion to the contrary.”
Jerry S. Barclay
Attorney for Chief Larry Muncey