Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist appeared on Nancy Grace on HLN to discuss the Sklyar Nemetz case.
And as a writer for Grace’s HLN blog describes the case, “Skylar Nemetz allegedly shot his wife to death with an assault rifle after prosecutors say he discovered another man bought her alcohol while he was on a military training mission.”
Lindquist isn’t personally handling the case, as the News Tribune reports, but is the elected official in charge of the prosecutor’s office. His two deputy prosecutors are the ones actually handling the case.
But, Michael Stewart, who is defending Skylar Nemetz against a first-degree murder count, asked Superior Court Judge Jack Nevin to declare a mistrial and order Lindquist to pay sanctions.
“It’s unheard of. It’s astounding in the way it violates the rules,” Stewart argued. “It was designed to damage Mr. Nemetz during a trial, and your honor should impose sanctions for such behavior.”
Lindquist didn’t appear before Judge Nevin. “This includes discussions of admissible evidence and theories we base charges upon. We are open and accessible to the media because that’s one of the ways we communicate with the public,” Lindquist wrote to the Tribune. “The Rules of Professional Conduct recognize the importance of communication with the public, and lawyers are allowed to be open and accessible so long as their comments do not have a ‘substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing’ the trial, which, as the judge held, did not happen here.”
“There is no evidence of [the jury having heard the prosecutor’s Nancy Grace appearance],” said Nevin, who glimpsed a portion of the show on a public television last week while working out at a local gym. “There is not even a scintilla of evidence of that.”
“These were decisions he made. They were made independent of Mr. Ausserer and I,” deputy prosecutor Gregory Greer said. “Should this case be dismissed? No, of course not.”
Judge Nevin agreed. “Unless and until they have a connection to this jury, they are not before the court,” the judge said.
(H/t The Tribune)