Warrick Co. Prosecutor Again Faces Allegations of Withholding Evidence

Published 02/24 2014 06:57PM

Updated 02/24 2014 07:10PM

There are new allegations in the case of a former Warrick County teacher accused of putting a camera in a school restroom. However, the newest allegations don't involve the defendant. They involve the prosecutor.

Andrew Emmons faces 26 counts of child exploitation and voyeurism after being arrested in 2012. After a jury was seated, the judge continued Emmons' trial late last month after the defense claimed Joanne Krantz, the prosecutor, withheld evidence. Now, the defense has filed a motion to have the entire case dismissed because they claim their client's right to due process has been violated.

Last week, Warrick County Defense Attorney Rick Martin told Eyewitness News a similar story. Martin said Krantz has failed to provide evidence to the defense even after being specifically asked by the Court to do so.

In the 10-page motion filed in Circuit Court, Anthony Long, the defense attorney for Andrew Emmons, claimed Warrick County Prosecutor Joanne Krantz repeatedly withheld evidence from the defense. This comes after the judge continued Emmons' trial after opening statements earlier this month because the defense objected to evidence they claimed to have not seen. The defense also argues Krantz turned over evidence well after the Court-imposed December deadline. The defense argues these violations infringe upon their client's right to due process and should result in the case being dismissed.

Mike Woods, a former prosecutor, says the rules of discovery must be followed. The rules of discovery require the State to tell a defendant what evidence it has against him or her, Woods said. Exculpatory evidence -- or evidence that could be used by the defendant to show they aren't guilty -- must also be provided.

"it's very important. In fact, later on, if a person is convicted and it's found out that evidence was withheld from him, they can get that concviction thrown out," Woods said. "It's critical. It has to be done."

That didn't happen, according to Long.

"This is egregious behavior on the part of the State, and is nothing more than an attempt to parlay the Court's continuance into another attempt to prejudicially sandbag the defense," Lond wrote in his motion.

Long also claimed Krantz has done this before, citing a number of similar cases dating back to 2009 that were ultimately dismissed. Some of the pictures given to the defense as part of discovery were grainy, out of focus or black-and-white copies of color photos, Long wrote. When the pictures were submitted into evidence, they were in color and of pristine quality, according to Long.

"You can't give the defendant copies of things they can't read or pictures that aren't clear," Woods said. "It has to be in the same condition."

Long also alleged that Krantz submitted evidence on February 19th, much of which the defense had never seen. Because of the trial's continuance, this 'new' evidence and future scheduling conflicts, Long said it's entirely likely that Emmons' trial wouldn't resume for another six months. If that happens, Long argued, the jury seated in early February would have been exposed to news of the trial, potentially making the jury prejudicial.

Krantz has repeatedly not returned our calls for comment but has previously stated that she disagrees with Long's objections. A hearing date has been set for March 3rd.

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