September 16, 2003


Gehring's lawyers object to van search (David Tirrell-Wysocki, 9/16/2003, Associated Press)

Manuel Gehring's lawyer raised the possibility Tuesday that she will try to prevent a jury from hearing that he admitted he killed his two children and buried them somewhere in the Midwest.

Speaking in Hillsborough County Superior Court, public defender Jackie Colburn said she believes a search of Gehring's van in California was illegal and that she may ask a judge to block any evidence found in it as well as any statements Gehring has made to police.

Gehring has pleaded innocent and is being held without bail in the deaths of his 11-year-old son, Philip, and 14-year-old daughter, Sarah, who were last seen at a July Fourth fireworks show with him in Concord.

Gehring was arrested in California in early July after a cross-country drive from Concord. He began the drive with his children and ended it alone. Court documents say he told investigators he shot his children in the van in southern New Hampshire and buried them somewhere off Interstate 80 in the Midwest. The bodies have not been found.

It's one thing to expend every effort to defend a man who may be innocent, but if the end of the legal system is to achieve justice, how does someone like Ms Colburn justify this to herself?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 16, 2003 4:56 PM

Just doing her job, forcing the contradictions so we business-lawyer types don't have to. I don't understand how anybody could take Criminal Law I in law school and not come out a rabidly pro-gun, pro-death penalty, anti-"civil libertarian" right wing nut who keeps a picture of John Ashcroft on the wall and a .30-30 under the desk. But 95% of my classmates managed it, I suppose, and in fairness I went in that way.

Posted by: Random Lawyer at September 17, 2003 1:44 AM

Don't look at me--my Criminal Law professor was anti-death penalty nut Michael Mello, who tried getting Ted Bundy off. He only called on people who either agreed with him or could be cowed, so I stopped going. He started class one day by calling on me (he used a little photo chart like Kingsfield in the Paper Chase), looked around to see I wasn't there, and said: "Strike One" Next day: "Strike Two". He quit after: "Strike Eight".

Posted by: oj at September 17, 2003 7:25 AM