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D.A., Investigating Detective in Bryant Case Speak to Reporters

Aired October 15, 2003 - 15:46   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: The district attorney, Eagle, Colorado, reaction on the Kobe Bryant pretrial hearing. Let's listen.

MARK HURLBERT, EAGLE CO., DISTRICT ATTY.: ... is a probable cause determination. It's a very, very low standard. And no prosecutor puts on their whole case at a preliminary hearing. In fact, in this case, you actually kind of saw a sanitized version of a preliminary hearing.

I'm sure all of you know from the judge's comments, there was a little bit of evidence that was done in chambers. And after all, it is not my intent to try this case to the media. But rather, to try this case to an Eagle County jury of 12.

I'm not going to comment on any of the specific evidence. It's my understanding that all of the proceedings that were held in open court, those transcripts will be available through the court Web site.

I will say, though, that I am confident that the judge will find probable cause, and will bind this case over. And I am confident in the people's case versus Kobe Bryant.

As the judge said, he'll give a ruling on Monday the 20th. If the judge binds over the case it will go on to district court. At the district court, that first hearing is the first appearance where the defendant will be advised of his charges again. The bond will be reiterated to him. And he may or may not have an arraignment, arraignment is a plea of not guilty. He may or may not have an arraignment at that time.

That date has not been set yet. As the judge said, Miss Mackey and myself will get together and find a suitable date for the both of us.

Any questions?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) on Pamela Mackey's behavior last week in the courtroom?

HURLBERT: You know, I'm not going to comment on that. I'm not going to comment at this time.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) the fact that the alleged victim's sexual history was brought into this hearing?

HURLBERT: Well, really, this kind of touches on a whole other issue. This touches on the issue of why we tried to have the hearing in camera this morning.

The rape shield statute, what it contemplates is that the hearing happens in camera, happens in chambers. Really, all we were trying to do is either get the court to follow either the letter or the spirit of the law and not have anything that may touch on the shield happen in chambers.

Really, if the spirit, or the statute is not followed -- again the statute does not say specifically anything about preliminary hearing. It merely talks about trial. But if the spirit of it is violated at that preliminary hearing, it has no meaning, the rape shield has no meaning.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) the amount of evidence that has not been presented yet? Is there a significant amount of evidence that you will be presenting that hasn't been presented so far?

HURLBERT: Like I said, the preliminary hearing is just a probable cause determination. And there is -- and no prosecutor does their whole case at a preliminary hearing.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) what's their reaction to all this?

HURLBERT: I'm sorry?

QUESTION: Have you made contact with the victim and her family recently and what's their reaction to all this?

HURLBERT: Yes, we have been in contact with the victim and her family. And she's doing OK.

QUESTION: Why not bring on the nurses for direct testimony?

HURLBERT: Again, like I said, a preliminary hearing is a probable cause determination. We felt that we had enough for probable cause.

QUESTION: The judge alluded to the fact that if he rules to dismiss, he will stay for ten days to allow for a direct filing. Is that what he said? And can you explain that procedure?

HURLBERT: If he dismisses the case, there's a whole bunch of different avenues we could go at. One of the avenues is, what they call a direct file. This was filed in county court. A direct file is a felony case filed in district court. And we can only do that by leave of the district court judge. And that is -- if he dismisses -- like I said, there's a whole bunch of avenues and I don't know which way we'll go.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Kobe Bryant's lawyers (OFF-MIKE) medical records of the alleged victim that they should not have received? HURLBERT: It's my understanding that -- well, actually, I don't want to comment on that point. I believe there is a motion by the people out there, and I don't really want to comment on that point until it's been ruled on by a court.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) the defense attorneys, in the past five minutes, have listened to all the proceedings for the two-day prelim and they think there's no way that the prosecution's case now is winnable beyond a reasonable doubt of a 12-person jury. Would they be completely wrong in your opinion, and why?

HURLBERT: As I said before, preliminary hearing is a probable cause determination. And no prosecutor puts on their whole case. And like I said, I'm not trying this to the media. I'm trying it to an Eagle County jury of 12. Trying to keep a fair trial so that I can try it to an Eagle County jury of 12 and they can render a just verdict.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) lot of discrepancies in the courtroom. (OFF-MIKE) there's a lot of us in the media (UNINTELLIGIBLE) statement by Detective Doug Winters that at (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- that's my papers, thank you -- that at first he wasn't sure if she made the statement no clearly. And then later it was said that he said she said no three times. Was there a different time frame on that?

HURLBERT: Again, I'm not going to comment on any of the specifics facts. If you want to go over the specific facts, you can oh go online. My understanding is the court is having that online.

One more question.

QUESTION: Are you satisfied that the investigation complete and thorough so far?

HURLBERT: So far I'm satisfied that the investigation is complete and thorough. There are other issues that I think we need to litigate. But I feel at this time, it is complete and thorough.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I appreciate your time.

O'BRIEN: We've been listening to the district attorney in Eagle, Colorado, James (sic) Hurlbert, talking to reporters in the wake of that pretrial hearing. Significant hearing where both our legal analysts, Jeffrey Toobin and Gary Tuchman indicated many points scored by Kobe Bryant's defense team. That said, worth reminding everybody where the legal bar is set. This is not a trial.

And let's go back and listen in to Doug Winters. He's one of the detectives investigating this particular case. Let's hear from him. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)


DET. DOUG WINTERS, EAGLE COUNTY: When you investigate cases like these, you've got to ask the pertinent questions, the who what, when, where, why and hows. And that's what we did. So, you know, when we get a case handed to us, we'll continue on investigating the case. There might always be things that you need to continue to investigate further even at times of court. So a lot of that option still open.


WINTERS: I'm sorry?

QUESTION: Are you going to try to determine who the other person's semen was?

WINTERS: And I can't comment on any of that.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) the swabs that supposedly show the semen and sperm show from the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) exam?

WINTERS: OK, on the sexual assault kit in general, all that's contained in the kit, all that was submitted. And I can't comment any further on as far as, you know, what has to be examined and what doesn't have to be examined. That's something that the attorneys need to work out also.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) there was a rush to judgment on the part of the sheriff's department, that the charge would be before the D.A. was really ready.

WINTERS: We had discussed this case amongst ourselves, and also the D.A.'s office was on board with us. I don't feel that there was a rush to judgment. We worked this case like we would any other type of sexual assault. So, a couple more questions.


WINTERS: How tough is this to testify?

QUESTION: How has this prepared you for the trial?

WINTERS: I can't speculate how it's going to go at trial because I don't know as far as what my testimony is going to be limited to. But as far as preparation, you know, I'm going to prepare the same way, whether this is in front of Mr. Bryant, or any other case.

QUESTION: Was it difficult, though?

WINTERS: I'd be lying to you if it wasn't difficult. But, you know, we're going to -- but you've still got to present the case the same as you would in any other case. One more question.

QUESTION: Did you learn anything up there that you might had done differently?

WINTERS: You always want to learn from any case. No case is going to be perfect the first time around. So, you know, a lot of cases -- so, you know, we'll take from this -- there's a lot of learning things that we can learn from this. And I hope to continue to learn, not only with this case, but any other case.

I appreciate you guys' time. Thanks.

O'BRIEN: All right that was the detective involved in the investigation of this particular case, Doug Winters, taking a few questions subsequent to the district attorney taking some questions.



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