Cory Maye Update

Friday, December 15th, 2006

No real news from the hearing this week.

Judge Eubanks did rule on a new defense motion, and found that Rhonda Cooper was again competent during the guilt phase of Maye’s trial, this time with respect to her failure to discover the identity of the confidential informant.

One of the requirements for newly discovered evidence to be able to force a new trial is that it can’t be evidence that could or should have been discovered in the original trial. It’s a sucky rule if you happen to have an incompetent, overworked, or under-motivated lawyer.

In Cory’s case, though, the defense is arguing that the informant’s identity is such a vital piece of evidence that’s crucial to determining his guilt or innocence that if the judge determines that it could or should have been discovered by Rhonda Cooper, then she must be declared incompetent for not having discovered it. Yesterday, Judge Eubanks ruled that she was not incompetent for not having discovered it.

That doesn’t mean he can’t still order a new trial on the CI stuff. It just means that if he does, it would be under the assumption that the CI’s identity couldn’t have been determined during the guilt phase, not an unreasonable assumption, given that at the time, Cory didn’t have the means to hire a private investigator to track the guy down. And of course, it’s still possible that he’ll rule against Cory on this issue — that the newly discovered evidence regarding the CI isn’t enough to merit a new trial.

Judge Eubanks also held off ruling on the numerous other defense arguments.

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