What both sides want

12/16/2003 - Kobe Bryant

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.