Home News Today Evidence leaks in Madison Brooks case force DA to take drastic action

Evidence leaks in Madison Brooks case force DA to take drastic action

0
Evidence leaks in Madison Brooks case force DA to take drastic action

[ad_1]

Evidence in the alleged rape of a Louisiana State University sophomore leaked for months, prompting a court hearing and settlement between the two sides to limit future public release of documents.

The issue has been building since four men were arrested in connection with the alleged rape of Madison Brooks in January. The LSU student was left on the side of a road, where she stumbled into the street and was killed by an oncoming car.

Things came to a boiling point at the end of July, when one of the suspect’s lawyers, Joe Long, leaked Brooks’ autopsy and lab report to WBRZ, a local news outlet in Baton Rouge. 

The day after the story aired, the district attorney moved to restrict access to evidence for all four suspects’ lawyers. 

EVIDENCE LEAKS IN MADISON BROOKS CASE TAKE ‘EMOTIONAL TOLL’ ON FAMILY AS DEFENSE DOUBTS CONVICTION 

Updated photo LSU student Madison Brooks

A photo of LSU student Madison Brooks, who was fatally hit by a car after an alleged rape. (The Brooks family)

Hearing and reading details about the leaked autopsy took “an emotional toll” on Brooks’ family, her mother Ashley Baustert told Fox News Digital in a previous interview. 

After the two sides reached an agreement on Aug. 1, Baustert’s lawyer, Kerry Miller, said he “hopes the defense abides by the rules.”

“We’re glad the defense will stop leaking snippets to the media,” Miller said. “They’re trying to shape public perception that’s nowhere close to what actually happened that night.”

MADISON BROOKS: TIMELINE OF LSU STUDENT’S ALLEGED RAPE, DEATH

Ron Haley, a defense lawyer representing one of the suspects, said the DA chose to indict each suspect individually but restricted evidentiary access to all the lawyers in the case whether they were involved in the leak or not.

“Although the DA has concerns about leaks, he chose to keep the cases separated, yet my discovery access was restricted in this case and in a separate case,” Haley said.

Madison-Brooks

Madison Brooks, 19, was a LSU sophomore when she was allegedly raped January 2023 before she was fatally struck by a car. (Ashley Baustert)

In an email, Long said he sent the autopsy to WBRZ in response to a Nancy Grace’s Fox Nation episode, called “Left for Dead,” to protect his client.

“The protective order will prevent any party from disclosing discovery to third parties that are not part of their law firm,” Long said outside the courthouse after the hearing, according to local news outlet The Advocate. “It’s very common to do that, and we’ve agreed to it.” 

MADISON BROOKS DEATH: LSU STUDENTS HAILED AS GOOD SAMARITANS AFTER ALLEGED BATON ROUGE RAPE

How Madison Brooks died

Brooks, 19, was about to start the second half of her sophomore year at LSU on Jan. 14, 2023, when she went out for the night to Reggie’s, a bar in the crime-ridden university social hot spot known as “Tigerland.”

Sometime between her last text to Baustert, at 11:38 p.m., and 3 a.m. the next morning, Brooks was allegedly raped, and the suspects are four men she met at the bar.

mugshots of three of the suspects in Madison Brooks' case, and photo of Madison Brooks

From left to right, Kaivon Washington, Everett Lee, Casen Carver and Madison Brooks. (East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office/Instagram)

Desmond Carter, 17; Casen Carver, 18; Everett Lee, 28; and Kaivon Washington, 18, were all arrested in connection with the alleged assault. 

LSU DEATH: MADISON BROOKS’ LAST TEXT TO MOM, WHO ‘KNEW SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPENED’

Washington and Carter are accused of raping Brooks, and Carver, who drove the car, along with Lee allegedly facilitated the crime, prosecutors said.

The suspects, through their lawyers, denied the accusations and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

History of leaks in the case

Brooks’ autopsy was the latest leak.

Before that, a couple of short videos that paint Brooks in a negative light were aired on local news stations.

WATCH: LEAKED VIDEO OF BROOKS LEAVING BAR

The first clip was a 4-second video obtained by local news outlet WAFB about two weeks after Brooks died that appeared to show her jogging behind her suspected attackers as they left Reggie’s Bar.

The second clip, a 29-second video from inside the suspect’s car, was obtained by WBRZ and aired on Feb. 13, along with an interview with the suspects’ lawyers.

AS LSU REELS FROM MADISON BROOKS ALLEGED RAPE AND DEATH, CRIME TORMENTS COLLEGE TOWN

The evidential videos have not been released in their entirety, to date, but are in the hands of the Baton Rouge District Attorney Office, which is prosecuting the case.

The DA’s office secured grand jury indictments against three of the four suspects on the state’s most severe sexual assault charge, which is punishable by life in prison.

Full DA statement after autopsy leak

The DA’s office issued a lengthy statement after the autopsy leak that said it filed a protective order to prevent future discovery being placed in the public record “and handed out in a piecemeal fashion to protect our ability to present a fair case for the State, its victim and these defendants.”

“These documents were not placed in the public record but only given to these offices. We will continue to abide by our discovery obligations and file these matters with the court,” the DA’s office said on July 28. 

“The discovery that was provided as ‘read only.’ It is obvious from the audit trail who received and viewed what evidence and how many times such was viewed. The source will be obvious.”

It was learned that the source was Long, who is representing Carver. 

A sign reads "Welcome to Tigerland" with a faux tiger sitting on top.

General view of Tigerland in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. Reggie’s Bar, located in Tigerland, is reportedly one of the last places where LSU student Madison Brooks was seen before her death on Jan. 15. (KR/Mega for Fox News Digital)

“We have never provided any discovery to the media, and we will continue to not try this case in the media but in the court in the best interest of all parties involved,” the DA said in the statement.

“Based on the release of this information we will seek a protective order to prevent future discovery being placed in the public record and handed out in a piecemeal fashion to protect our ability to present a fair case for the State, its victim and these defendants.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

By Monday, the issue went before a judge and was resolved. 

Long previously said a jury trial could happen within the next eight months.

[ad_2]

Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here