Legal Questions

Discussion in 'Byrd and Melanie Billings' started by daisy7, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. papp6977

    papp6977 New Member

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    I have to wonder,on the part that says."could defame the Billings good name" on the paperwork filed by Ashleys lawyers,what could be on there that could defame their good name?
     


  2. Gene

    Gene Member

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    Totally agree. I would understand if the tapes and photos are kept from the public, but NOT if it means excluding them totally from the trial. If the tapes and photos ARE excluded from the trial, I will be VERY disappointed in the Markhams. The first priority should be the successful prosecution of the case.

    The Markham's have already done one thing which surprised me. They allowed their new lawyer Beasley to make, what I consider a very odd comment:

    On Friday, an attorney for the Billings family cast doubt on Tice's possible involvement in the murder case. "He thought the world of Melanie. She was a saintly person. He really had a true affection for her," attorney Robert Beasley said. "It would be difficult to believe that Cab would be involved with her getting hurt."

    http://www.pnj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090808/NEWS01/908080329&template=printart

    Now why would Beasley make a comment like that??????????? Shouldn't he allow the Morgan and Eddins to do their jobs without interference?

    If the tapes and photos are excluded from the trial, I will begin to wonder about the Markham's/Beasley's intentions...
     
  3. RiverPirate

    RiverPirate New Member

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    Can they ask for the tapes to be held from the defendants and then enter them at a later date and allow the defendants access?

    Eddins says it will probably be a year before this gets going anyways.

    I understand the tapes become public property when the defense gets them. Can they rule they can't allow the public to have them under the circumstances? I know I wouldn't want the entire country to watch my folks get executed on youtube.

    Another thing. It's possible the defense knows they don't need the tapes. The defendants have already started pointing fingers at each other and admitted they were there. Do the tapes really help considering their identities are disguised?

    Tapes or no tapes, there probably isn't a soul in Escambia County that isn't gonna convict this bunch anyways.
     
  4. Lossmitpro

    Lossmitpro New Member

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    That's ridiculous on the face of it.

    So, in lesser publicized and less heinous crimes, the public's right to know is somehow legitimate and proper; but in this case, the public's interest is suddenly ONLY the morbid exploitation of the facts?

    This totally fails the 'run it up the flag pole test', and I would guess was only filed due to insistence of Ashley.

    I appreciate the *sentiment* that goes into the desire to file such a motion, but not in the actual filing or approval of it, which will surely fail.
     
  5. LaceSprocket

    LaceSprocket New Member

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    I agree with you.

    But I wouldn't be surprised if Beasley thinks there is someone higher the food chain who needs to come down - perhaps he's playing a game with Tice, getting him on their side, so he'll talk - and become a witness for the prosecution, in exchange for implicating someone much bigger and perhaps...more responsible.

    Just a guess.
     
  6. megamami

    megamami New Member

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    Yes, several people have asked that also locally. It seems like such a strange thing to say indeed. Wasn't this same attorney the one alleging that Tice was possibly selling off cars behind Billings back out of the country? And if it was a bungled robbery as they were trying to put forth, it wouldn't matter if someone's intentions towards Melanie were wonderful. But if Beasley also believes it was a planned murder...a hit.

    And how does everyone know (including the family's bussiness/real estate lawyer) that Tice was so attached to Melanie? Tice must have really been close to the family at one time, even if Beasely is getting this information from the daughter.
    I don't understand ruling out anyone in such a bizarre case as this. But they do have much more information than I do.
     
  7. Gene

    Gene Member

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    A good attorney knows when to speak and when to keep quiet. I was not really wild about the Markham's first choice in attorneys and now I am doubting their second choice.

    Let's hope that this recent step does not completely eliminate the use of the photos and videos from the trial....
     
  8. TigerTiger

    TigerTiger New Member

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  9. daisy7

    daisy7 Retired WS Staff

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    Thanks for posting this, Tiger! Snipped from your link:

    I love that he calls this a doc. dump, cuz that's what we call it here:) And, it seems there will be a doc. dump. on Monday:

    http://pnj.com/article/20090814/NEWS01/908140320/-1/special

    If media doesn't get it to us, I'll be :furious:

    I really don't understand how Sunshine works with how it is decided what will be released and when. We still haven't heard the 911 call.
     
  10. CountryGirl

    CountryGirl Active Member

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    I wonder what new things we'll learn tomorrow. Strange case.
     
  11. Gene

    Gene Member

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    Just did a little research about the Sunshine Laws on the official site:
    [ame="http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4051045&postcount=81"]Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community - View Single Post - Media links **NO DISCUSSION**[/ame]
     
  12. Miss Muffet

    Miss Muffet New Member

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    I'm blown away by this news.

    I always thought it was odd that the Billings' family hired a lawyer to protect the reputation of the victims.

    Now it's reported that a court motion argues that documents and the video would defame their good name.

    Would, not could, not might, but would.

    How on earth would the video defame their reputations?

    If there are documents that would defame their good name, doesn't that mean that the name wasn't/isn't really good?
     
  13. justathought

    justathought Member

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    There was query on another thread about defamation but I believe JBean said such conversation should be on this thread so...In Louisiana, the crime of defamation of the dead is, in effect, a crime against the state, and the statute was not designed to protect an individual's interest in preserving the memory of a deceased person. The State Supreme Court held this view when the family of a murdered man sued a TV station over reporting it was believed the man's murder was due to gambling debts and ties to organized crime. Generally, this whole issue in Louisiana is referred to basically as "you can't defame the dead." So, it will be interesting to see how the courts in Florida rule....I would think the sunshine laws would prevail over "preservation of the good name". Now, the judge might find some other reason to withhold that evidence in camera...or gag orders might be issued.....so it's going to be interesting to watch.
    The one thing that seems to be certain there is more going on here than has been revealed so far.
     
  14. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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  15. Miss Muffet

    Miss Muffet New Member

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    Nope. Not about gossip. It's about a newspaper article.

    It's about how the family hired a lawyer to protect the reputations of the Billings.

    It's about the lawyer filing a motion to keep evidence from becoming public to protect the good name of the Billingses.

    I personally find that to be very, very strange. And I want to know about the evidence.

    I want to know how the home security videos from that day would harm their reputations!

    That's weird. What on earth did the Billingses do in those videos that would harm their reputations?

    What about the documents the lawyer wants kept private? How are those documents going to defame their good name?

    The judge is holding the decision for the judge assigned to the case. I hope the new judge doesn't rule to keep this evidence private!

    I wouldn't be asking these questions if the laywer hadn't filed the motion.

    Can we get a copy of the motion? It's public isn't it? Or is the motion to be kept from the public too?
     
  16. Solomisskitty

    Solomisskitty Inactive

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    Would the images on the tapes that are being suppressed for fear of defamation to the Billings family be discussed in the hearing that was held late Friday, or would it be just general argument for suppression among attorneys and judge?
     
  17. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    Like I said this is being discussed in another thread already and will now merge the thread.
    The gossip part is the stripper posts which I have now removed.
     
  18. Miss Muffet

    Miss Muffet New Member

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    I personally don't believe that strip club owners hold a high standing in society. And I don't think the societal standing of strip club owners is subjective except within select societal fringe groups. Byrd owned a strip club. That's a fact. Not gossip. So I agree that there really is no need to further delve into any gossip about stripping when the 'good name' is already questionable by the mere ownership of a strip club.

    I think the motion itself does more harm to the reputations of the Billingses.

    If there is evidence that will defame the Billingses, then how can there be a good name to protect?

    Is it possible to find the motion or is the motion itself supressed from the public too?
     
  19. Dannybye

    Dannybye New Member

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    Is thiis a stupid question ... The state of Florida has probably all the evidence it needs to convict the people arrested for the crime.

    It seems to me that there is a lot more going on here in these peoples lives.

    Things that IRS, ATF, DEA, FBI, would be more interested in. I strongly suspect they are involved/investigating all ready. At least I would hope so?

    Unless some entity does a private investigation we might never know much more than we do now.

    Escambia County does not have the need willingness or the cash and resources to carry this to investigate all the allegations.

    Ok enough rambling,

    Who agrees that all we will ever see prosecuted is the murder robbery of BB and MB? The rest will just go away quietly ? right?
     
  20. mikeysmommom

    mikeysmommom "A grandchild fills a space in your heart that you

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    There is so much more going on here IMO And there are a lot of people who have given so many hours of their own time to help with this case and who have already found mountains of manure and are making sure the stink that is emanating from the corruption is not just perfumed over.Even the Sheriff said by the time this is over there may be 2 to 3 times the amount of people who are already behind bars......Just Saying:rolleyes:
     

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