BendOn eve of Ian Cranston murder trial, prosecutor, defense attorney feud over...

On eve of Ian Cranston murder trial, prosecutor, defense attorney feud over what evidence to allow

On eve of Ian Cranston murder trial, prosecutor, defense attorney feud over what evidence to allow

(Update: Adding prosecutors’ response to defense motion on evidence)

Flurry of motions come just before jury selection is due to begin

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – One day before the closely watched murder trial of Ian Cranston is set to begin, a prosecutor responded to a defense request to allow evidence claiming victim Barry Washington Jr., made earlier gang-related references, saying he was never a gang member and calling such insinuations “disgraceful.”

In a separate filing Monday, Washington’s mother said the material should not be allowed because it was illegally obtained from her late son’s cellphone.

Jury selection is expected to begin Wednesday as Cranston goes on trial on second-degree murder, manslaughter and other charges in the Sept. 19, 2021 shooting death of Washington in downtown Bend. The trial is expected to last eight to 12 days. Cranston has claimed he acted in self defense after he was assaulted by Washington.

Defense attorney Kevin Sali’s 13-page trial memorandum filed Monday asks the judge to exclude some potential prosecution testimony as irrelevant, such as a police comparison to other previous downtown incidents (none of them fatal), and argues that Washington should not be referred to as a “victim” during the trial.

But Sali also asked to be allowed to use other evidence, writing that “the defense has discovered social media postings as well as a series of communications on Washington’s phone indicating gang affiliation,” consistent with hand signals and references Washington reportedly used during the fateful downtown altercation.

The attorney for Washington’s mother, La’Wanda Roberson, filed an eight-page motion in response later Monday, seeking a protective order to not allow use of evidence they claim was unlawfully seized, saying it was outside the scope of the search warrant for the phone.

Deputy District Attorney Brooks McClain filed a 13-page response to the defense motion Tuesday as the judge and attorneys met in private to make final pre-trial arrangements.

McClain argued much of what the defense wants admitted as evidence, including supposed past gang references, is “grossly prejudicial” or irrelevant and promotes theories that are “gross stereotypes and harmful generalizations.”

In a footnote, the prosecutor said the defense lawyer “is not an expert on the vernacular of young African American men raised in a particular social economic group … and is wrong that a young man calling a friend ‘blood’ means they are gang members.”

“Mr. Washington is not nor has he ever been an actual gang member, and defense’s attempt to paint him as such is disgraceful,” McClain wrote.

Meanwhile, Deschutes County Circuit Judge Beth Bagley on Friday rejected defense attorney’s efforts to suppress from trial some of the statements Cranston made to officers after being detained by police, before and after he was read his Miranda rights.

She wrote that Cranston’s statements “were volunteered, and not in response to, or the product of interrogation.” When an officer asked if he had any medical issues, for example, she said those “are proper questions for routine custody/booking and public safety.”

NewsChannel 21’s Bola Gbadebo plans to speak with Washington’s mother to find out what she hopes will come out of the murder trial. Her report will be on NewsChannel 21 at 5.

The post On eve of Ian Cranston murder trial, prosecutor, defense attorney feud over what evidence to allow appeared first on KTVZ.

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