Scales of Justice

IE Business Daily
Thursday, July 24, 2014

The second day of motion hearings in a prominent public corruption case continued Thursday. The day ended with the judge deciding to postpone his ruling regarding a prosecution request and a proposed evidentiary hearing until Monday.

San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Michael A. Smith heard both sides of the arguments in the case Thursday morning, in the latest round of hearings for defendants in the Colonies Crossroads development case. The judge was expected to rule in regards to the San Bernardino County District Attorney office’s request for an amendment to the 2011 grand jury indictment against the four defendants: developer Jeffrey Burum, former Supervisor Paul Biane, former assistant assessor Jim Erwin and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff to Supervisor Gary Ovitt.

Burum’s defense attorney, Stephen Larson, argued that the prosecution’s motion to amend the original indictment against his client and the co-defendants should be denied on the basis that the grand jury that heard the case in 2011 was misinformed. Larson stated that the examples of legal precedent that were presented to the judge were not applicable because in all of those cases, “There was a properly instructed and properly evidenced grand jury. That is simply not here in this case.”

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