Update on pending murder trial of Bob Shell
September 30, 2005
Photographer's murder trial postponed again
Shell claims police have tampered with his computers
There is another delay in a high-profile Radford murder case. The judge postponed the trial of photographer Bob Shell today after the defense claimed evidence in the case has been tampered with.
Shell is charged with murder and several sex crimes in the overdose death of his girlfriend and model Marion Franklin. His attorney, Gil Davis, says three computer hard drives police seized from Shell are missing e-mails and images.
Davis says the computers were altered once they were in police custody. Prosecutor Chris Rehak objected to the delay. A new trial won't be scheduled until December.
I thought if anyone else was as curious as I about Bob Shell I found this on the web:Shell alleges police misconduct
By Heather Bell
RADFORD - Bob Shell was back in court Monday, making some headway in getting items turned over to the defense in preparation for trial.
Shell and his lawyer, Roanoke Attorney Marc Small, maintain they have been attempting to get copies of compact discs, photographs and other items of evidence from the Radford Commonwealth's Attorney's Office for more than one year. Copies of several of the items in question were handed over to the defense on Monday, after Judge Brett Geisler sent Shell, Small and Rehak to a conference room to work out an agreement.
Radford Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Rehak said Tuesday the defense did present him with a list of requested items in July, but it was not in the form of a formal motion and a formal motion would need to be filed in order for the request to be considered. The motion was filed Oct. 21.
Monday, Shell and Small were given three computer discs, a stack of copies of black and white photographs and copies of a series of personal letters. The defense and commonwealth also verbally agreed the defense would be given copies of Shell's computer address book and copies of a series of videotapes relating to the investigation, the latter within 10 days. They also agreed to allow a defense expert to be permitted to access Shell's computers.
Shell, an internationally recognized photographer and magazine editor, is facing several charges relating to the death of one of his models, Marion Franklin, with whom he maintains he was having a romantic relationship
Franklin, who modeled for Shell for about a year and served as his office manager, died in Shell's West Main Street Radford photography studio after reportedly consuming drugs and alcohol on June 3, 2003. Shell has been charged with attempted forcible sodomy, attempted animate object sexual penetration, drug possession and distribution charges, three counts of defiling a corpse and felony homicide in connection with Franklin's death.
Shell will appear in court at least one more time before the scheduled start of his jury trial, set to begin Jan. 3. A hearing has been set for Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. to deal with all remaining pretrial motions filed in the case. Shell's attorney filed 20 additional motions relating to the case on Friday afternoon, ranging from illegal search and seizure, failure of the police department to administer Shell his Miranda rights, failure to provide Shell with legal counsel despite his requests to be provided with counsel during two police interviews in the days following Franklin's death and other issues.
Shell said Tuesday he specifically recalls asking for a lawyer during the police interrogations but was told he "did not need a lawyer" by the Radford Department of Police.
Captain James Lawson of the RDP said Tuesday that Shell's rights "have been protected through each and every step of this process."
"He was advised of his rights the night she was found and he signed a waiver of those rights," Lawson said.
The motions also include a request to dismiss several of the charges, including a motion to dismiss the charges of attempted forcible sodomy and attempted animate object penetration because, according to the motion, those "statutes clearly require a complaining witness."
"In order to have an object penetration charge, you have to have a live complainant," Small said following Monday's hearing. "Ms. Franklin is dead, so we don't feel that is a valid charge."
Shell has maintained his innocence throughout the more than 17 months since Franklin's death and says the two were involved in a consensual relationship.
Rehak said Tuesday he cannot specifically comment on the 20 new motions filed by Small, but said he has confidence in the police department's conduct during the investigation, which is the subject of many of the motions.
"As far as I'm concerned, there are no problems relating to this case," he said. "I can't comment specifically about the case at this point, but I will respond to each of the 20 motions individually at the Nov. 30 hearing."
I know nothing about Mr. Shell's guilt or innocence, and do not want to open up a can of worms here, but it certainly does seem as if the case is getting dragged out over a very long period of time.
I don't have any opinion (or information) on guilt or innocence either but I agree this seems to be taking waaaaaaaay too long to resolve.
The length of time this is taking is pretty much normal. With the motions the defense is raising one would expect delays. If Shell had wanted a quick trial his attorney could have made the proper motions and it would have happened.
Nothing in the criminal justice system is set up for quick resolution. Not unless both sides push to get it done and the judge and calendar clerk are in agreement.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
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It won't be interesting to me. If he is guilty the idea is mortifying as it is equally mortifying if he is innocent and such charges would be brought.
It is just sad from any angle.
I would imagine that such horrific charges are very difficult to prove, and that the prosecution would not waste the court's time or the people's money if they didn't have some pretty compelling evidence.
Originally Posted by mrcallow
Originally Posted by c6h6o3
Bad any way you slice it.
I have seen some pretty stupid, completely unsupported cases brought in the county I live in, but nothing like this.
I served on two felony case juries that were brought to trial by their prosecutors with little or no supporting evidence.
Everything is analog - even digital :D
What ever happend to Bob Shell
I'm curious if anyone knows what happend to Bob Shell after his run in with the legal system. Did he go to prison?