Moniteau County Prosecutor Shayne Healea's trial remains scheduled for Sept. 4, beginning with jury selection, Shelby County Circuit Judge Frederick "Rick" Tucker ruled Wednesday during a hearing in Macon.
Healea's attorney, Shane Farrow, of Jefferson City, had told Tucker in documents filed this week, the trial should be delayed at least partly because the attorney general's office had not yet responded to Healea's request for information.
"To deny Mr. Healea access to the requested discovery materials would deny him his rights to due process of law, equal protection, to a fair trial, to effective assistance of counsel, to confront his accusers and to compulsory process," Farrow wrote in his motion to compel the state to provide that information.
He noted Healea had a constitutional right to the information under both the U.S. and Missouri constitutions.
Assistant Attorney General Darrel Moore told the News Tribune on Wednesday night the Columbia Police Department will give Tucker "the internal affairs report on the officer who arrested (Healea) and the judge will review the report in chambers and decide if anything relevant for discovery is in the report."
Moore said Columbia's assistant city counselor, Nicole Volkert, testified at Wednesday's hearing "that the report exonerated the officer."
Healea currently faces a trial on five felony counts — four for second-degree assault and one for leaving the scene of an accident — all stemming from the claim he was intoxicated Oct. 24, 2014, when he backed his pickup truck, with its tail gate open, into the back wall of Addison's Restaurant in downtown Columbia.
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Officials said the collision knocked part of the brick wall into the restaurant, injuring four people, and Healea then left the parking lot and stopped on a nearby street.
After Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight recused his entire office from handling the case — because Knight and Healea served together as officers of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys — the attorney general's office was named as the special prosecutor and won a grand jury's indictment on the five charges.
The case was transferred in early 2015 to Shelby County on a change of venue, and the trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 4, unless Tucker agrees with Farrow's request for a delay.
The case already has a complicated procedural history that started when the state gave Farrow a copy of a recording made from Healea's phone call to his attorney from the Columbia Police Station on the night he was arrested.
Farrow won a ruling the recording of that phone call violated Healea's constitutional right to have a private conversation with an attorney.
But a special master, Tucker, the Eastern District court of appeals and the Missouri Supreme Court all have determined the constitutional violation doesn't mean the case against Healea has to end.
In his motion to continue the case rather than have a trial in two weeks, Farrow reminded Tucker he first filed a discovery request in April 2016 asking "for the names of individuals at the Columbia Police Department who listened to, or observed audio or video recordings of, Mr. Healea while he was at the police department the evening of his arrest."
In June 2017, the Eastern District appeals court ordered the attorney general to be removed as the special prosecutor because of an "appearance of impropriety" since the AG's office had possessed the recording — even though officials said they didn't know they had it and had not listened to it.
But the Supreme Court's May 1 ruling said the trial court needed to rule on that question, and Tucker on June 1 dismissed Farrow's request that a different special prosecutor be named.
Farrow's motion for a delay in the scheduled September trial also noted a delay would give him time to ask the Supreme Court again to consider the attorney general's role in the Healea case, because it also has a second case from Jackson County that raises similar issues.
That request also was denied, Moore reported.