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Prosecutors seek continuance in Gillean trial

Prosecution still awaiting phone records, motion says

Posted: October 3, 2013 - 5:34pm
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Jack Gillean, former chief of staff at UCA, speaks at a meeting attended by Trustees in this 2008 file photo. Prosecutors in Gillean's case recently filed for a continuance of a jury trial, scheduled to begin later this month, while they await phone records.
Jack Gillean, former chief of staff at UCA, speaks at a meeting attended by Trustees in this 2008 file photo. Prosecutors in Gillean's case recently filed for a continuance of a jury trial, scheduled to begin later this month, while they await phone records.

Prosecutors in the case against former University of Central Arkansas Chief of Staff Jack Gillean have filed a motion to have the jury trial, scheduled to begin Oct. 28 in Van Buren County, continued while they await subpoenaed phone records.

“During its preparation for trial, the state issued subpoenas requesting authenticated cell phone records for the defendant and witness Cameron Stark,” Faulkner County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Troy Braswell said in the motion filed Wednesday. “Due to the allegations in the case and the text records already provided, the cell phone records are necessary to the state’s case.

“Specifically, the state contends that the cell phone records will show specific dates and the quantity of contact between the defendant and witness Cameron Stark.”

Gillean, who faces five counts of commercial burglary, one count of fraudulent insurance acts and one misdemeanor charge of issuing a false financial statement, is accused of giving his master key to Stark, a former UCA student, who is accused of using the key to break into the university to steal exams and prescription medication.

The investigation and subsequent charges resulted from a complaint that was filed June 11, 2012, by former assistant director of financial aid for scholarships Andrew Linn who said medication was taken from a drawer in his office.

A July 2012 news release from UCA stated campus police determined the master key used to enter the building was issued to Gillean, who reported the key missing several months prior to the break-in.

Gillean resigned June 15, 2012, days after the complaint.

Braswell said the state has “made a good faith effort” to obtain the documents, but has yet to receive them.

“Based on previous requests, the state has a good faith belief that the records will be produced by the next court date,” Braswell wrote.

Gillean is scheduled to appear before Faulkner County Circuit Judge Ed Clawson at 1 p.m. Friday. It was scheduled to be Gillean’s final pretrial hearing before facing trial Oct. 28 - Nov. 1.

Braswell states that due to the approaching dates, specifically Gillean’s jury trial, the prosecution does not believe the defense would have “adequate time” to review the requested documents before the trial begins.

“Therefore, the state requests a continuance of the trial date to receive these necessary documents,” Braswell wrote. “This motion is not being made for the purpose of delay.”

Braswell also cites discovery items the prosecution recently received that were part of the investigator’s file, but had not been previously given to the prosecution.

“A large percentage of these items have been disclosed in other formats,” Braswell wrote. “However, the state takes its discovery obligations very seriously and concedes that regardless of the format, the defense is entitled to a reasonable time in order to review the discovery.

“As such, the state believes the defendant is entitled to new trial dates with time being charged to the state.”

Braswell also stated the defense is invited to schedule a time to go through the state’s file to ensure all items have been disclosed due to the amount of documents.

The defense filed a motion Tuesday seeking an extension on a deadline for filing motions until after a ruling is made on its previous request to have future motions and responses filed under seal.

The defense cited the state’s response to a previous motion as its reasoning for requesting the seal.

“Furthermore, many of the state’s responses filed to date have been more in the nature of press releases than legal pleadings designed to address the law and issues,” the defense’s motion stated. “An example of this can be found in the state’s response to the defendant’s motion to dismiss wherein the state failed to cite any law but managed to include several insults and sound bites ultimately reported by the press.”

In response, prosecutors disputed the defense’s allegations and stated the decision to seal motions “rests soley with the court.”

“The state will continue to follow the court’s rulings,” the prosecution’s response said.

(Staff writer Lee Hogan can be reached by email at lee.hogan@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1246. Follow Lee Hogan on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LCD_LeeHogan. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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