Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney Earle Mobley (left) got a public pat on the back Saturday from columnist Roger Chesley at The Virginian-Pilot.
The piece highlight’s Mobley’s unsolicited telephone call to lawyers in a high-profile murder trial underway in nearby Chesapeake. In that case, special prosecutor Roger Ebert put a jailhouse snitch named Jamaal Skeeter (we couldn’t make this up) on the stand to tell a jury that the defendant had incriminated himself.
When Mobley heard that Skeeter was testifying, he called both the prosecution and the defense to clue them to Skeeter’s reputation. It seems that Skeeter has snitched (or tried to snitch) on nearly everybody in Tidewater, including Michael Vick. His word was considered so unreliable that Mobley’s office refused to use him in any case.
Skeeter testified, but his credibility was undermined by a vigorous cross-examination by defense lawyers.
Writer Chesley takes the opportunity to herald Mobley’s willingness to call out bad practice, even when it means criticizing fellow law enforcement figures.
Meanwhile, the Chespeake trial of accused cop-killer Ryan Frederick continues today with closing arguments.
By Peter Vieth