Okay, so for my last prediction, I guessed that the contempt hearings for two prosecutors and two court reporters would be delayed with a Motion to Recuse.
I was right about that.
I also predicted that this morning's proceedings would be interesting.
I was kind of wrong about that. They were actually pretty dull and filled with bench conferences that most of the audience could not hear.
So, here is what I was able to gather from the morning events. It was a very packed courtroom with members of the media, the defense bar, and the prosecution occupying every available seat. Jim Leitner and John Barnhill were there. Pat Lykos was not. Special Prosecutors Jim Mount and Stephen St. Martin were present, but not directly involved in the bench conferences.
Randy and Josh Shaffer were there on behalf of Steve Morris. Bill Hawkins was there for Carl Hobbs. Brad Beers was there for both court reporters. Hawkins, Beers, and the Shaffers conferenced with Judge Brown for lengthy periods of time. My understanding is that Brad initially filed a Motion to Recuse Judge Brown, but then withdrew it.
At some point during the hearing, it was pointed out that on the day that Hobbs, Morris and Shaffer were kicked out of the Grand Jury, Judge Brown told one of the court reporters to just make a record of any testimony taken that day.
Nothing wrong with that. She was just saying "keep a record and we'll figure out what needs to be done with it later."
But, in doing so, she made herself a fact witness. That doesn't mean she did anything wrong. She did the right thing by instructing that a record be kept. However, it does probably mean that she shouldn't be presiding over the Show Cause hearing, because she is, potentially, a fact witness.
So, Judge Brown did the prudent thing and recused herself from hearing it. It will now go to another Judge to hear. I don't know who and I don't know when.
But I have a prediction.
My guess is that there is some ambiguity surrounding the circumstances of when the record of testimony was made and when the District Attorney's Office came into possession of it. If there is ambiguity, that probably means that nobody is going to be held in contempt.
So, I would guess that once this case lands in front of a new judge that the new judge will not find anyone in contempt and this entire situation will blow over. As far as the contempt charges go, this whole episode will fade away.
But the 185th Grand Jury will keep marching on.