Ryan Frederick Trial Will Stay in Chesapeake

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

This afternoon, Virginia Circuit Court Judge Marjorie A.T. Arrington denied Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert’s odd request to have Ryan Frederick’s trial moved out of the Chesapeake area.

I’ve never heard of a change of venue being granted to prosecutors over the objections of the defense.  None of the defense attorneys I’ve asked about the case could, either.

That Ebert even tried I think shows that he knows his case against Frederick is coming apart at the seams.

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9 Responses to “Ryan Frederick Trial Will Stay in Chesapeake”

  1. #1 |  thomasblair | 


    The prosecution wanted a so-called change of venue because of “adverse and inaccurate publicity.”

    Ebert is the source of the adverse and inaccurate publicity! What an asshat.

  2. #2 |  Rick Caldwell | 

    Now it’s on. In the coming weeks, I am going to rain down everything I know about this case. I’ve spent the summer speaking to Ryan’s neighbors and family members, Steven’s former co-workers, and some people on the street who know Steven and Renaldo.

    And, the Fully Informed Jury protests are going to fly. Game. On. Bitches.

  3. #3 |  John Wilburn | 


  4. #4 |  John Jenkins | 

    From all the evidence, it looks like the judge ruled correctly and now they can move forward to trial on the merits. A lot of the time the district attorney’s office is happy to let these kinds of motion fights go on, though, because it increases the likelihood that the defendant will take a bad deal just to get out of the county jail and into the (marginally) better conditions of a state prison.

  5. #5 |  Don Tabor | 

    I was at the hearing this afternoon. There were other issues raised and decided. Among them were discovery issues and the validity of the initial warrant. More at TidewaterLiberty.com if you are interested.

    Prosecutor Paul Ebert continued whining about how unfairly the blogs are treating his case. He ain’t seen nothing yet.

  6. #6 |  Alaska | 

    Just as an aside – it is very difficult to move venue in any case. I have handled numerous extremely high-profile cases here in Alaska as a defense attorney. I have been successful in moving venue just once. Interestingly, that case involved a false confession. Ultimately, I got a favorable result.

    I know about this case from reading this blog. I have not read discovery or seen motions. Having said that, the prosecution’s motion for chanve of venue can be based on one of two things: 1) an inherent weakness in the case, or 2) the prosecution’s fear of ‘home cooking’, essentially jury nullification. I have never had a case where the prosecution moved to change venue, but some prosecutors (current and ex) have told me that they have had cases where they considered it.

    The ones I respect would have sought to move the case because community sentiment was leaning toward acquittal in cases where evidence strongly suggested that a conviction was more appropriate. Mr. Ebert does not sound like that kind of prosecutor. That he would seek a change of venue speaks volumes about his own perception of the case.

  7. #7 |  george | 

    Anyone here remember when Ebert was caught with a boat load of illegal Rockfish during the moratorium?

    He was fishing with one of the Potomac river pirates and pled ignorance. Later, he said he had never been fined so heavily.

    This suggests he has been fined in the past – and needless to say, he should have been canned then.

  8. #8 |  Wa1rus91 | 

    Published on HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com (http://hamptonroads.com) Dec 15 2008

    Frederick’s lawyer: Police may have known of break-in


    Ryan Frederick’s attorney argued Monday that an audio recording suggests police knew about an unreported break-in at his client’s home just before the ill-fated drug raid in which a detective was killed.

    The burglary occurred days before police raided Frederick’s home in Portlock on Jan. 17. They had a search warrant, based on an informant’s tips about a marijuana-growing operation. Frederick is accused of killing Detective Jarrod Shivers that night as he and other officers tried to enter.

    James Broccoletti, Frederick’s attorney, renewed a motion Monday in Chesapeake Circuit Court to have the search warrant thrown out. Judge Marjorie A.T. Arrington declined to reconsider the motion.

    Broccoletti has argued the warrant – and all the evidence found under its auspices – should be suppressed because the police informant had burglarized Frederick’s property to get drug evidence and the magistrate who granted the warrant was never told about the police informant’s role in the break-in. Prosecutors have already acknowledged that “more than one person, including the confidential informant in this case” had broken into Frederick’s detached garage.

    Frederick, 29, has maintained that he fired twice at what he thought were intruders breaking through his front door.

    The night Frederick was arrested, he was placed in a police car and a recorder was turned on, Broccoletti said. The recording is of Frederick trying to tell police about an earlier break-in at his home.

    A detective on the recording replied: “We know that,” Broccoletti said.

    At another time, the detective states: “First off, we know your house had been broken into. OK?”

    “Two separate occasions he tells the defendant that he knew the home had been burglarized,” Broccoletti argued.

    The special prosecutors in the case said there is nothing whatsoever to suggest police knew at the time who broke in or who was involved. They said police learned months later that the parties involved included one of their informants.

    Frederick is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 20 on charges of capital murder, use of a firearm and manufacturing marijuana. He is being held in the Chesapeake Correctional Center.

    John Hopkins, (757) 222-5221, john.hopkins@pilotonline.com

  9. #9 |  Wa1rus91 | 

    Also during the hearing, the judge agreed with Mr Ebert’s request for Virginia Pilot reporter, John Hopkins to be removed from the court room based on Mr Hopkin’s previous story about Mr Turnbull, one of the informants in the case. Mr Hopkins was escorted out of the court room during the hearing. I didn’t know a reporter could be removed from a public hearing on the grounds of the prosecution “not liking” a story the reporter had done previously.