Defense motion to exclude internet documents

Michael Travesser / Wayne Bent at sunset

Defense disussion of motion to exclude internet documents

Montoya: The other motion in liberty was to exclude hearsay documents. There were a number of postings to the internet that we believe that the State was going to present in their case in chief to somehow paint a picture of Mr. Bent as a quote, “bad man.” Unquote. And quite frankly there was authentication done on any of those documents. If they had gone to the Land, exercised a search warrant, taken the hard drive of his computer and proved that he was in fact the author of those documents then we would not have such an issue. However, anybody can go to the internet and sign somebody’s name and we wouldn’t know if that person wrote it or somebody else wrote it. And even if you pinged the ISP address you don’t know who’s sitting at the computer at the other end. However if they exercised a search warrant, taken the computer and had Mr. Bent claim the computer as his own that would have presented a difference.

However, in this case, this is not what occurred. We do not believe there’s an authentication for any of those internet postings. It’s the same thing as a blog, even newspaper articles your Honor, I think we all know that there’s been occasions when someone is quoted in the newspaper and they’ve been misquoted. They’re quoted as if it was word for word when in fact it was not. And so, anyone can claim any post on the internet and anyone can sign their name. We would hope that they don’t do that but I mean it can be done and any documents that the State retrieved through other means other than going directly to the computer that was responsible for the posts, we don’t know those documents that the State retrieved were altered in any manner.

I do know that they had offered on their witness list an individual by the name, Sam Redman. When I interviewed him, he had indicated that he could recreate a webpage with a date stamp on a date certain. So we believe that it was their intent to try to present these posts as evidence, when they are no more than hearsay. And for that reason we filed our motion and neither, Sam Redman and again, Colleen Johnston, Under Sheriff of Union County, were brought in voir dire today so I don’t know if, and again because they didn’t file an answer to my motion, I don’t know if they don’t intend to call those witnesses or to use those documents.

Judge Baca: Ok, let me ask the State. Where do we stand on that issue?

Benevidez: Your Honor, we don’t intend to use postings or writings of the defendant, and introduce them as evidence, except for one thing and I’m sorry I didn’t know this motion was filed by the Court. I did receive a copy, but I didn’t receive a file copy. The only thing that really is an issue your Honor, is we do intend to introduce the document in which, not the full documentary that the BBC put on but the portion of the documentary where the defendant Wayne Bent speaks. And we were going to introduce that.

Judge Baca: What does he talk about?

Benevidez: He talks about laying naked with the girls and that he has more authority than a doctor to lie naked with girls. And we can proffer that before it’s introduced to the Court.

Judge Baca: I want to see that before we...

Benevidez: Yes, your Honor.

Judge Baca: Ok.

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