What both sides want

Updated: December 16, 2003, 12:38 AM ET
Associated Press

Defense motions released Monday in the Kobe Bryant case outline an aggressive strategy by the NBA star's lawyers, and an increasingly bitter pretrial battle between prosecution and defense.

Key defense motions

  • Victim's mental state: Defense asked the judge to allow evidence that the 19-year-old woman accusing Bryant twice attempted suicide and had been treated with an anti-psychotic drug. "This evidence makes it more probable that the accuser's allegations are false and are merely a continuation of her pattern of engaging in extreme, dangerous attention-seeking behavior without regard to its effects on those around her," the defense wrote. "Her behavior and treatment with an anti-psychotic drug also make it more probably that she is not to be believed."

  • Secret tape recording: Defense asked judge to throw out as evidence a sometimes-garbled tape recording that the lead sheriff's investigator secretly made while interviewing Bryant the night after the alleged assault. According to the motion, Eagle County sheriff's Det. Doug Winters hid the recorder in his shirt pocket and did not tell Bryant he was recording the conversation. At the same time, Winters allegedly possessed a search warrant in his pants pocket but didn't disclose he had it.

  • Evidence seized from Bryant: The same motion asks that Bryant's clothes and physical evidence taken from him at a hospital should not be allowed as evidence. Because officers approached him "in the dead of night," and questioned him without reading him his Miranda rights, all the evidence taken in the course of that encounter should be disallowed, the motion argues.

  • Evidence -- another strategy: Defense asked the judge to disallow as evidence a white T-shirt and a pair of track pants seized from Bryant by detectives. The shirt was later found to be stained with blood that matched the woman's. This motion alleges that detectives failed to tell Bryant they had a warrant to search his room before approaching him at the hotel and persuading him to take them back to the room. It also alleges detectives never gave Bryant a copy of the warrant as required.

  • Shield law challenged: Defense asks the judge to disregard Colorado's rape shield law, which bars defendants from probing the sexual history of their accuser. The law is unconstitutional because it conflicts with another law that allows courts to consider the sexual history of the alleged attacker in a rape case, the defense argues.

    Key prosecution motions

  • Measuring Bryant's hands: Prosecution asks the judge to order Bryant measurement of Bryant's hand span. The woman said Bryant first put two hands around her neck, then held her with one hand around her throat while assaulting her from behind. The measurement is relevant because the woman told a detective Bryant's one hand "could almost circle my whole neck," the motion says.

  • Mental state: Prosecution argues that medical and medical health information on the accuser is irrelevant, and asks the judge to hold a hearing before allowing any such evidence.

  • Drugs and alcohol: Prosecution asks the judge to hold a hearing before allowing the defense to introduce any evidence of alcohol or drug use by the woman. This pre-emptive motion does not say whether there has been any indication the defense intends to bring up alcohol or drug use.


    Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press

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