The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that a judge was right to deny a defense attorney's request to bring in officers to testify in a detention hearing for a man accused of leading police on a chase that ended in a fiery crash
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that a judge was right to deny a defense attorney’s request to bring in officers to testify in a detention hearing for a man accused of leading police on a chase that ended in a fiery crash last year.
NJ.com reports that the high court said in an opinion released Thursday that the court isn’t required to make all witnesses available to testify during a detention hearing, which is held to determine whether a defendant will remain jailed or will be released pending trial.
The ruling came in an appeal filed by the attorney representing Leo Pinkston, who was sentenced in March to five years after pleading guilty to eluding police and aggravated assault.
A judge declined to allow his attorney to call officers to testify at the detention hearing since each would be an “adverse witness” providing testimony negative for Pinkston. His attorney appealed, asserting that the testimony would have helped his arguments that there wasn’t sufficient reason for the pursuit or the arrest of his client, who was shot in the leg.
Most Read Nation & World Stories
Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said before an “adverse witness” can be called in for a detention hearing, a defendant must give a “good-faith basis” about why he or she believes that individual would testify in their favor.
The June 2017 chase of almost 6 miles ended in a crash that severely burned another driver. Police came under fire after a video showed the other driver exiting his car with his clothes on fire and being kicked by an officer. A police union official said the officers were trying to help him. Four officers were charged in the pursuit.