Stacey Barker - Change Of Venue Denied
Los Angeles Superior Court in Lancaster CA
Thanks to our friends, Toria, the good twin, and anurse, who took time out to attend another pretrial hearing in the case of California vs. Stacey M. Barker and update us on what happened in court.
February 18, was a busy day at the Antelope Valley (AV) Municipal Courthouse in Lancaster, CA. Three busloads of prisoners were brought over from the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood. (That’s a 90 mile drive.) The head count was short one prisoner, so nothing could begin until all of the prisoners were accounted for.
It was about an hour and a half before Stacey Barker was brought into the courtroom. Barker didn’t look very happy, her hair was down and disheveled and she had a mad face for everyone.
Superior Court Judge Hayden Zackey presided over this hearing. Deputy District Attorney (DDA) S. Kelly Cromer is representing the people and Stacey Barker is being represented by Public Defender (PD) Roberto F. Dager.
The hearing only lasted 20 minutes. Evidently some of the motions that were filed at the hearing on January 14 were dealt with during the in camera hearing held on January 28. There was no mention of the Pitchess Motion so that information must have been turned over in camera.
The Motion for Change of Venue was denied. Judge Zackey said that he will keep the case in his court. Judge Zackey must have issued his order denying the motion earlier because PD Dager already seemed aware of the court’s ruling and added he expects the this case will go to trial soon. (no date set yet that we know of)
There was some discussion about discovery. At the January 14 hearing, the defense filed a motion for some discovery. The defense wanted a video made by the Field Investigation Service Unit (FISU) of the crime scene and also wanted raw notes or a written report from the FISU employees who made the video. It was determined during that hearing there are no raw notes or written report, however the state must have turned the video over.
We didn't hear what (if any) motions were filed by either party today, but wonder if the state filed a Discovery Motion for reports from expert witnesses. PD Dager told the court that Dr. Harry Bonnell, a Forensic Pathologist will testify there are tests that Dr. Ribe failed to perform on Emma that would change the cause and manner of death. DDA S. Kelly Cromer asked Dager what tests weren’t performed? Dager said. “I forget what tests he told me they were.” Cromer continued to press for details about Dr. Bonnell’s testimony until Dager told the Judge, I forget what he said, I didn’t keep notes or write it down. Dager continued, The people can call him just like I did and he will tell her like he told me. I don't want to be like some LE who get up there and lie or make things up ( I think it is safe to say there is NO love loss between the parties here or at the very least they are both passionate about their opposing roles. LOL)
PD Dager informed the court he still doesn’t have the “Ribe Box” that was requested in his Brady Motion filed on January 14. (I don’t have the state’s response to this statement by Dager, things can move fast in court ) PD Dager also told DDA Cromer he wants the raw notes from the coroner’s investigator. Cromer responded that any notes would be included on the Coroner’s report and the defense has that. Dager said no, he wants the raw notes. Cromer said she doesn’t know if there were any.
Mr. Dager asked Judge Zackey for permission to take his laptop into the jail. He said he has the Barker case on his laptop and he has evidence that he wants his client to see. The Judge said he didn’t mind if the defense took the laptop into the jail; however, it really isn’t up to the court, it’s up to the jail administrator. ( The only new evidence that we know of is the observation report from the jail that Cromer said she would turn over to Dager. Possibly phone calls and/or video taken of visits or activity within the jail ???)
Hopefully all of these loose ends will be taken care of by the next scheduled hearing on March 8 so that a trial date can be set. Stay tuned.
March 19 will mark the one year anniversary that Stacey Barker led police to her baby's body. Barker admitted she dumped Emma on the side of the freeway after Emma died the day before. The question of Emma's death being a murder (as the state contends) or accident (as Barker claims) is for the jury to decide. Barker remains held on a 1 million dollar bond. If convicted on the murder charge, Barker faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison
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Palmdale, California, United States