A judge denied a special prosecutor’s motion on Monday to monitor Aidan “Turtleboy” Kearney’s communications between him and his counsel citing a lack of evidence of wrongdoing.
Ken Mello, special prosecutor for the Norfolk County DA’s Office, accused Kearney’s lawyer, Tim Bradl, of intentionally allowing a woman who was not a paralegal or attorney to be added to a list of people with attorney-client privilege whose conversations can’t be monitored at the Norfolk County Jail.
In a 12-page ruling, Norfolk Superior Court Judge Debra Squires-Lee said, “The Commonwealth essentially asks me to infer that Kearney’s counsel will engage in criminal wrongdoing with his client under the guise of attorney-client communications because counsel misrepresents [the woman] as an attorney,” which she says appears to have been, at minimum, an error on jail’s part.
“While the Commonwealth’s allegations are troubling, the Commonwealth has not established that the orders it seeks are appropriate,” she continued. “I would need far more evidence than a mere allegation, unsupported by evidence, that counsel knowingly misrepresented the status of an individual as a lawyer to enable her communications with Kearney to be unmonitored.”
Bradl said he had mistakenly added the woman to the attorney-client list in December but corrected the mistake. Mello was seeking sanctions on Bradl for the error, which was also denied by the judge.
The memorandum says the special prosecutor “misrepresented” the number of calls the woman had with Kearney.
In the initial motion, Mello claimed the woman and Kearney had 60 unmonitored calls together, when the actual number, according to court documents, was 6.
“In my view, absent any indication of wrongdoing by Kearney’s counsel, other than the alleged misidentification of [the woman] as an attorney, monitoring privileged communications may substantially interfere with attorney-client relationship and substantially prejudice Kearney,” Judge Squires-Lee said. “Such a potential violation of a bedrock constitutional right might impair the integrity of the entire criminal proceeding.”
Kearney is currently being held without bail for allegedly assaulting a former girlfriend. He is accused of going to her home after he learned she’d been summoned to testify in front of a grand jury, shoving her, and threatening her.
This incident occurred hours after Kearney was arraigned on 16 felony charges for intimidation of a witness, conspiracy to intimidate a witness, and picketing a witness.
Kearney has been an outspoken advocate of the “Free Karen Read” movement in connection to the death of former Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe in Canton.
The case will return to court on February 26.
The judge’s full memorandum is available below.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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