In August, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich watched the Tennessee Supreme Court overturn a murder case she had tried as an assistant district attorney on grounds of prosecutorial misconduct and order a new trial. The court found that Weirich improperly commented on Noura Jackson’s right to remain silent and that her team suppressed a statement from a key witness. The reversal came just months after Weirich controversially defended her colleague’s failure to disclose exculpatory evidence in Michael Rimmer’s murder case after he was sanctioned by the state supreme court for misconduct.
Weirich is in the spotlight again, this time amid allegations that she wrote a note on a case file instructing that the exculpatory evidence inside not be turned over to defense counsel. Toby Sells of The Memphis Flyer reports:
At the center of the accusations leveled against Weirich in the hearing is a sealed, manila envelope. It was found by a prosecutor and a defense attorney as they were going through the state’s file on the case of Vern Braswell, a former middle school principal convicted of killing his wife.
They found the envelope had a suspicious sticky note attached to it. The new petition for Braswell reads:
“Although neither attorney can remember exactly (what) the note said, it was something to the effect of ‘Do not show defense.’ The sticky note was initialed ‘A.P.W.’ and dated. District Attorney Amy P. Weirich was counsel at trial for the state in this matter.”
Not turning over the envelope was a violation of a rule that mandates prosecutors hand over evidence to defense attorneys.
Weirich was due to address the allegations in court yesterday but Commercial Appeal reporter Samantha Bryson stated on her Twitter feed that despite a full courtroom of spectators, Weirich did not make an appearance. Bryson says Weirich is currently on the stand in court this morning, but no media reports are yet available on what has taken place. We will keep you posted.
Weirich took the stand on November 25 and admitted that some witness statements were not disclosed. Read the details here: http://wreg.com/2014/11/25/district-attorney-amy-weirich-testifies-on-how-she-handled-murder-case/.