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Archive for Thursday, December 23, 1999

BLACKMAIL CASE SET FOR FEBRUARY

December 23, 1999

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The attorney for a woman accused of blackmailing a Douglas County assistant district attorney is asking for the taped conversation detailing the alleged crime to be suppressed at trial.

Nancy Farrell, 51, of Merriam, is scheduled to stand trial Feb. 9. Her attorney, Kevin C. Harris, of Shawnee, filed a motion this week asking for an April 27 conversation between her and prosecutor Marlon Williams to be banned from the trial.

The conversation, covertly recorded by Williams at the Lawrence Public Library, allegedly contains statements about Farrell's plans to tell police Williams bought drugs if he didn't drop a drunken-driving charge against Farrell.

Harris' motion echoes his protests in a June preliminary hearing. At that time, Harris said that Williams lied to Farrell about recording the conversation and that Williams acted unethically by not contacting Harris about the meeting at the library.

Douglas County District Court Judge Paula Martin recused herself from the case after Harris filed a motion claiming a conflict of interest. According to Harris' motion, Johnson County Assistant Dist. Atty. Jacqui Spradling argued Farrell tried to malign Williams' professional standing, and by association, the Douglas County Bar Assn. Harris said Martin shouldn't hear the case because she is a member of the association.

Spradling is handling the case to avoid a conflict of interest with the Douglas County district attorney.

Farrell is a former paraprofessional at Olathe East High School.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is ckoger@ljworld.com.

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