The jury trial for former University of Central Arkansas Chief of Staff Jack Gillean, originally scheduled to begin Oct. 28, has been moved to March 2014.
Faulkner County Circuit Judge Ed Clawson ruled in favor of the prosecution’s recent motion to have the trial continued, with no objection from the defense, during a hearing Friday afternoon.
Faulkner County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Troy Braswell filed the motion for continuance Wednesday, citing the prosecution has not received subpoenaed phone records of Gillean and former UCA student Cameron Stark from AT&T.
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, 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.
In July 2012, UCA police said 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.
“Due to the allegations in the case and the text records already provided, the cell phone records are necessary to the state’s case,” the prosecution’s motion stated.
Although stating a trial continuance was not something he wanted to think about, Clawson granted the motion saying he would rather have these issues occur now than in the third day of the trial.
Braswell also cited, in the motion and in court Friday, discovery items that have been in the investigator’s file, but had not been in the prosecution’s possession, as reason for the continuance.
Gillean’s trial is now scheduled for March 10-14 in Van Buren County.
At Friday’s hearing, Clawson also ruled in favor of the defense’s motion to have potential jurors, who have been subject to happenings in Gillean’s case, sequestered voir dire.
Upon no objections from the prosecution or defense, Clawson ruled to have jurors interviewed 14 at a time, at which point general questions would be asked. During the general questioning, Clawson said the potential jurors would be asked if they had been subject to any information regarding Gillean or the case, at which point the jurors who answered yes, would be questioned separately.
Clawson scheduled jury selection for March 6-7. Clawson told both sides to have opening statements, and a couple witnesses prepared for March 7, in case jury selection is completed in one day.
Clawson ruled against the defense’s recent motion to have future motions filed under a seal.
Timothy Dudley, one of three Gillean defense attorneys, told the court the motion was filed in regard to a future motion the defense planned on filing, but did not want to result in the contamination of potential jurors if publicized by the press.
“I’m reluctant to start a precedent,” Clawson said in court. “It’s my belief that all criminal cases should be done on record, and be subject the press having access.”
Clawson told the defense he would allow the motion to be filed as late as March 5, and be addressed March 6 before jury selection. The defense would be required to provide a copy of the motion, if filed, to prosecutors at an earlier time, Clawson ruled.
Clawson set a motion deadline of Feb. 1, with a final pretrial hearing at 1 p.m. on Feb. 21.
During Friday’s hearing, Braswell requested Gillean be subject to a drug screening, citing conditions of his pretrial release, which forbid the defendant from possessing firearms, alcohol or controlled substances without a prescription.
Dudley objected to the prosecution’s request stating for his client to be subjected to a drug screening, there must be grounds to believe drugs had been used.
Braswell countered, stating there was sufficient information from the prosecution’s file that would require a screening, however, Clawson ruled against the prosecution’s request.
Gillean did not speak during the hearing, and sat in the front row of the courtroom, directly behind his defense attorneys.
(Staff writer Lee Hogan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org 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)