The Daily Journal published a story today that is almost too unreal to believe.
Kern County Deputy District Attorney Robert Murray was prosecuting a child molestation case. As part of his discovery obligations, he sent a transcript of the defendant’s police interview to the public defender representing the accused.
But Mr. Murray added two lines that were never spoken during the actual interview:
Officer: You’re so guilty, you child molester.
Suspect: I know. I’m just glad she’s not pregnant like her mother.
The DA later told the PD the addition was a joke. But the PD didn’t think it was funny. Nor did the judge, who dismissed the charges on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct. (The DA is currently appealing the dismissal and will undoubtedly win.)
As inexplicable as the dismissal might seem, what is even more shocking is that the State Bar is now prosecuting DDA Murray and trying to impose professional discipline against him!
This is sheer idiocy. It was obviously a practical joke, people. Most everyone (including yours truly) would say it was bad judgment on the part of the prosecutor, but to dismiss a child molestation case over it, and then try to impose State Bar discipline, is lunacy. This should have been left to DA management to handle.
And I’m not just defending Murray because that is something I might have done when I was a prosecutor.
Chill out, everyone.