Prosecution files motion to empanel a separate jury for Jim Erwin

Colonies Four

A motion to empanel a separate jury for Colonies Four defendant Jim Erwin was filed in the San Bernardino Superior Court on Wednesday of this week.  Although the court website does not say which side filed the motion, San Bernardino Sun reporter Joe Nelson tweeted that it was the prosecution that filed the motion.

The possibility for two juries was brought up at the July 1 hearing.  According to a story by San Bernardino Sun reporter Ryan Hagen:

But separate juries may still be needed, Cope said after the trial date was set, saying that Burum and defendant Jim Erwin, a former assistant county assessor and political operative, may need different juries because statements they made to law enforcement may not be admissable in each other’s cases. Smith instructed Cope to submit a brief explaining his argument for separate juries by Aug. 28, giving defense attorneys until Oct. 2 to reply and setting a hearing on the issue for Oct. 30.

Cope’s comments are intriguing when you know the history between Jeff Burum and Jim Erwin.  Erwin has always said he has the goods on Burum if Burum goes south on him.  Considering how much Erwin brags, one can only imagine what he said when being interviewed by law enforcement.

But whatever the reason the prosecution gives as its official reason for the request, I have to think this is tactical as much as anything.  I have said that I think Jeff Burum, Paul Biane and Mark Kirk could get off.  I think Erwin is going to prison.  A separate jury would mean that any sympathy for Burum, et al., their jury may feel, will not rub off on Erwin’s jury.  Erwin played the heavy in all of this, and continues to do so.  The prosecution has a boatload of evidence to that effect.  Jim Erwin is not a sympathetic character in all of this.

This in a way pits Erwin against the rest, especially Burum.  Although over on the other blog they claim the defense camp is all of the same mind and they get along great, believe me when I say that isn’t true.  It’s a small town and bickering and complaining get around.  It is anything but what Erwin wants everyone to believe. It may be that in person they get along, but when away from the joint meetings, there is a whole lot of bitchin’ going on and it is aimed at Erwin.

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6 thoughts on “Prosecution files motion to empanel a separate jury for Jim Erwin

  1. Administrator:

    For Repairman’s sake, you better identify the site you are referring to when you say the “other blog.”

    Although he made numerous comments on that blog until he was banned, he claimed earlier this week that he didn’t know what I was referring to when I said the “other site.”

  2. Also was a motion to suppress evidence. Now, does anybody else wonder why on earth a defense attorney would go to such lengths to suppress evidence if the evidence wasn’t evidence of guilt? If your client did nothing wrong, then there would be no evidence to suppress. Just a thought but that is what some people would call a clue. Something is there that somebody don’t want the jury to see. Hmmmmmmm

  3. James Mills:

    “Such lengths?” The filing of a “motion” is as routine a legal step as there is.

    You might need a calculator to keep track of the motions that were filled by county attorneys in their defense of The Colonies lawsuit. I’m not sure if they filled a motion to suppress evidence somewhere along the way, but I would be very surprised if they didn’t.

    And suggesting that a motion to suppress evidence somehow implies “evidence of guilt” is a stretch that would make Red Anon and Repairman proud.

    For example, the defendants could have made a motion to exclude any written notes prepared by Bill Postmus during the time period where he admitted using meth “dozens of times.” How would that imply evidence of the defendants guilt?

  4. OOF,

    My point is simple. If the evidence they wish to exclude doesn’t show some sort of wrong doing, then why exclude it? For the simple minds, a crook gets caught with a gun in his pants. The defense attorney has absolutely no defense to excuse the illegal act of carrying a firearm. He files a motion to suppress the evidence (firearm) and uses any legal reason to try and get the gun thrown out as evidence. Why do that if the gun was legal to possess and didn’t show evidence of the crime of possession of a firearm? If the defendant legally possessed said firearm, there would be no need to legally suppress that evidence. As I’ve said, I’ve never seen a motion to suppress evidence filed to suppress evidence that didn’t show guilt of a defendant. If it was benine in nature, there would be no need to employ such a strategy to try and make the evidence not seen by the people who are judging the facts of the case. Very simple concept.

    And to answer you question about a motion to recuse such notes from a person involved in the case, that could be a very valid motion and very well should have been filed. I could see that argument. My point is simple. Why exclude evidence in a court case that doesn’t implicate some sort of guilt? If it didn’t implicate guilt, no need to suppress it.

  5. James Mills:

    I see your point as well, but disagree. I do not believe that a motion to exclude evidence necessarily implies guilt.

    I was plaintiff in a case where the opposing counsel was doing everything he could to make it as expensive for me as possible to move the case along. My attorney filed a pretrial motion to exclude a several hundred page document that had minimal relevance. The opposing attorney has spent a long time in a deposition with questions about this document, and my attorney didn’t want that to occur during the trial.

    As I said, motions are very common, and I would be very surprised if the prosecution did not file a motion to exclude some documentation or testimony from evidence prior to the commencement of The Colonies trial.

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