In every trial, what it comes down to is credibility, said Samuel Perroni, attorney for Jack Gillean, in an email.
“Who does the jury believe is telling the truth?” he said. “Now, the truth does not flutter in the courtroom like a carefree dove. Sometimes you have to drag it in kicking and screaming.”
Any admissible evidence, particularly showing someone’s motive for testifying, is “extremely important,” Perroni said.
On the other hand, prosecutors don’t get to pick their witnesses, said Bob McMahan, Arkansas prosecutor coordinator. Sometimes those witnesses have flawed backgrounds, he said.
“Like we don’t get to choose our victims, we also don’t get to choose who witnesses a crime,” McMahan said.
Hiland said he couldn’t comment on Stark until the case and appeals are over.
“First, Mr. Gillean’s opinion of Mr. Stark is that he is a liar, thief and thug who is hurting others to save his own skin,” Perroni wrote in email.
Perroni said he wrote the email in consultation with Gillean.
Stark was never “violent” in front of Gillean, Perroni said.
However, Stark “abused” their friendship and was fired from his student worker position in the President’s Office in 2011 for “poor work ethic,” according to the email.
In the affidavit, Stark told police he had an accident while driving Gillean’s motorcycle and Gillean became angry, ended their friendship and fired him.
But the email from Perroni indicated Stark is not trustworthy, including information Stark gave police about the keys.
“Mr. Gillean’s keys were lost in August of 2011. He reported this to the appropriate UCA officials at the time. The keys were in his possession one day and gone the next,” Perroni said. “If Mr. Stark had them, he took them without Mr. Gillean’s consent. Mr. Gillean did not give him the keys or authorize their use for any reason.”
Bratton said he didn’t know Stark well, but that the student seemed impressed by money and power.
“I think he fell in with bad companions, but I think he was susceptible,” Bratton said.