UPDATED Wisan/Barlow Trespass Case Stayed
This is hard to read but worth the eye strain. It probably requires a little background also.
Bruce Wisan and Jethro Barlow have been charged by the Colorado City prosecutor with solicitation to trespass, a minor misdemeanor. This is based on the earlier trial of Isaac Wyler for trespass against alleged “victims” Rebecca Burnham and Aaron Nielson, neither of whom were actual victims — Nielson, by his own admission had no occupancy agreement to reside in the residence in question. Burnham did have an occupancy agreement but had abandoned the residence, as there was a gaping hole in the roof and the place was uninhabitable. Neither alleged “victim” was present when Isaac Wyler entered the premises or looked in the windows. The judge who convicted Isaac was noted FLDS water carrier, Justice of the Peace Mitchel Kalauli, who has been disqualified from Wisan’s and Barlow’s cases for bias.
In the Wisan/Barlow case, there were no complaining witnesses, no police investigation, no complaints made. This was a matter of the city prosecutor in Wyler’s case taking it upon himself to make examples of Wisan and Barlow based solely on testimony given by Wyler in his trial. Nevertheless the prosecutor is zealously pursuing the charges and lo and behold Michael Piccarreta has entered an appearance on behalf of the “victims” and is basically running the prosecution. Piccarreta, Piccarreta …. where have I heard that name before?
You may recall a couple of months ago, there was a huge document filing in Arizona with thousands of pages of dictations. Those dictations were part of the Wisan/Barlow Motion to Dismiss the case which alleged prosecutorial misconduct and bias, selective prosecution, discovery abuse and a request for the trial judge to make a preliminary determination of the relative property rights between the alleged “victims” and the defendants. The trial judge (Haney) refused to consider the attachments to the motion to dismiss and also declined to determine the property rights before proceeding with the criminal trial. The defense petitioned, by Special Action, the Superior Court based on the clear error of Haney and requested that the trial be stayed until the higher court could reconsider the defense motion to dismiss.
It looked as though the Superior Court was simply going to sit on the Special Action and allow the case to proceed to trial, making the issues moot. Not so. This Superior Court issued its order staying the criminal trial until it the Superior Court considers the defense Motion to Dismiss and allows for proper discovery as well as determination of the property rights. The language in the ruling is a decisive slap upside the head to Piccareta and Brendel (prosecutor), essentially calling out Brendel for conflict and misconduct and sticking it to Piccarreta by stating that his “victims” arent really victims. The judge also said that the volumes of documents filed by the defendants should not have been ignored by the lower court because they are relevant!
Maybe I’m just imagining it, but this ruling indicates that the real judge is leaning towards dismissing the charges or ordering the lower court to do so.
Prosecutor Kenneth Brendel has withdrawn from representing Colorado City in this matter and a new firm has been substituted in. Reason were not given. I believe Colorado City has been posting for a job opening in this position for a while, but you have to wonder about the timing and whether it’s related to the defense allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.