Just weeks after Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty filed a motion asserting that several defense attorneys were being paid to manipulate the trial of accused drug kingpin Tevaughn "Big Baby" Darling, prosecutors have now withdrawn the allegations. Cleveland.com turned to Attorney Ian Friedman, who is not involved with the high-profile drug case, for insight on a remaining motion by prosecutors to probe the financial records all of the involved defense attorneys.
"My hope is that [prosecutors] will reconsider their position once presented with the legal precedent that highlights the impropriety of such a request," Attorney Friedman told Cleveland.com. According to Friedman, the prosecutors are seeking information that is protected by "attorney-client privilege."
The original allegations, filed in a November 6 motion, assert that Darling was attempting to manipulate the case against him by paying attorneys Ralph DeFranco, Marcus Sidoti, Mark Marein, Richard Drucker and Jeff Richardson—all of whom are or were defending Darling's co-defendants. Prosecutors claimed that evidence of the pay-offs was discovered in Darling's jail diary.
While the matter of the financial records still remains, the withdrawn motion has succeeded in shaking up the defense counsel in the case. Attorney Jeff Richardson has been replaced due to a request of his client, Duane Washington. According to the jail diary, Richardson was being paid to convince Washington to write a confession that would exonerate Darling. Richardson called the assertions "professionally offensive" and an attempt to "exploit the legal system and bully" him.
When asked why prosecutors withdrew their motion, Joe Frolik, a spokesman for McGinty, told Cleveland.com that two of the lawyers named in the motion had cooperated and one, Ralph DeFranco, had withdrawn. The remaining attorneys have filed motions denying that they have accepted any money from Tevaughn Darling.
If you have been accused of a crime, we invite you to contact Ian N. Friedman today. Attorney Friedman has built his reputation as a premier Cleveland criminal defense attorney on regularly securing favorable outcomes for clients-- even as they face the most serious of charges. He and his team have the knowledge, resources, and diligence to ensure that you are given every consideration you deserve before the law.
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