(KMOV.com) – A former longtime prosecutor says aggressive media coverage and public witness statements may help the defense of Darren Wilson.
Former longtime prosecutor Gordon Ankney told News 4 prosecutors prefer to limit the amount of public information about a case. He said witnesses telling their stories to the press will help Wilson’s attorneys prepare a defense.
It has been reported that Wilson testified in front of the grand jury that will determine whether he will be charged. Ankney said if Wilson testified, it could have been a big challenge for him, even if he was well coached and closely followed the evidence shared by witnesses.
“The prosecutors would love to have the defendant testify, everything is in favor of the prosecution if the defendant testifies,” Ankney said.
Ankney said prosecutors typically begin questioning a witness and then allow the grand jurors to ask their own questions. If Wilson spent more than four hours on the stand, Ankney said it is likely he faced repeated detailed questioning by both the prosecutors and the jurors. Ankney also said it does not bother him that that prosecutors are not asking for a specific charge and are leaving it up to the grand jury.
Ankney also said it does not bother him that the grand jury is taking its time. He said he has been involved in federal cases where the grand jury lasted more than one year. He also said the release of all information and testimony could be difficult if there are witnesses who support Wilson’s version of what happened and don’t want to be identified.
A grand jury consists of 12 members, only nine affirmative votes are needed to hand down an indictment.
In order to hand down an indictment, enough jurors must believe there is probable cause, or enough evidence for a reasonable person to believe the person in question committed a crime.