BREAKING: Greitens’ Criminal Case Dismissed – Springfield Attorney Adam Woody Breaks it Down for KOLR10 News

The afternoon of May 14 was an eventful one for those of us keeping up with the criminal case involving Governor Eric Greitens.  The felony invasion of privacy charge against the current Governor was dismissed by St. Louis City Prosecutor Kim Gardner.  Greitens’ defense team filed a motion endorsing Gardner as a witness, and Judge Rex Burlison sustained the defense motion.  Therefore, Gardner had no choice but to dismiss the charge and hand the case off to a special prosecutor or to the Attorney General’s Office.  A prosecutor has an ethical obligation to avoid the “appearance of impropriety”, so they cannot be both the prosecutor and a witness in the same case.  It all came down to a private investigator hired by Gardner’s office previously lying under oath.  Gardner may have known about the deception, but did not disclose that to the defense team, as is her ethical obligation under the rules of discovery.  So, she became a possible witness concerning the integrity, or lack thereof, of the investigation leading to the charge.

This week, Criminal Defense Attorney Adam Woody has been breaking down the trial on the KOLR10 morning show Daybreak.  Click the links below to see the stories and the interviews.  Visit our blog history for all things Greitens.

May 15 – Case Dismissed

May 14 – Jury Selection

To Testify or Not: Criminal Defense Attorney Adam Woody Weighs in on Greitens’ Fifth Amendment Right

When it comes to a client testifying in his or her own defense or in choosing to assert their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, attorneys must weigh a multitude of factors to provide experienced advice.  One primary factor is whether a client has any criminal history.  In a criminal case, a defendant’s criminal history cannot be mentioned by either party…unless the defendant testifies.  Then, his or her criminal history is fair game for cross-examination purposes.  The jury will hear all of the defendant’s criminal history.  So, putting he or she on the stand carries with it the significant risk that the jury would use the criminal history against the defendant in the case in which they are testifying.

If a defendant has a clean criminal record there is less worry about them testifying, but that doesn’t end the analysis.  For example, if your client is shy, withdrawn, poor at public speaking, easily manipulated, among many other concerns, it may not be a good idea for them to testify and subject them to cross-examination by the prosecutor.  If they don’t testify, the jury will always be instructed by the Judge to not use that fact against them in any way.

In the case of Governor Greitens, none of these concerns are present.  Adam Woody set down with the local CBS affiliate KOLR10 to discuss why Governor Greitens is the defendant every criminal defense attorney wants as a client.  His charisma, charm, and intelligence will serve him well if he chooses to testify in his own defense.  But, he must be careful and not cross the line into conceited, boastful, and arrogant.  He will be prepared and thoroughly coached by his defense team, so we fully expect him to testify whether it is to a jury in a jury trial, or only to the Judge sitting alone whose decision has the force and effect of a jury verdict, which is the case in a bench trial.  Stay tuned…next week will get interesting!