Defense Hopes For Key Witness’ Testimony In ‘Cannibal Cop’ Trial
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — With the trial set to begin in two weeks, the defense attorney for the infamous “cannibal cop” was hoping Wednesday that a judge would allow a key witness to testify.
As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, the kidnapping conspiracy trial of NYPD Officer Gilberto Valle is set under preparation, and federal prosecutors have asked the judge to bar a key witness from testifying for the defense.
The witness is Dr. Park Deets, who had testified that Valle’s Internet communications with co-conspirators in a disturbing fetish network are all part of a sadistic fantasy world – storytelling, not reality.
But the judge was not convinced. He wants to know more about the findings by Deets.
Meanwhile, defense attorney Julia Gatto will go to the federal appeals court to try to get Valle temporarily released on bail, so that he can help her prepare for his defense.
Valle has been charged with plotting to kidnap, torture, cook and eat at least 100 women whose photos, names and addresses authorities said he pulled from a confidential law enforcement database. Authorities arrested the 28-year-old NYPD officer in October based on a tip from his estranged wife.
At a November hearing, prosecutors read a Thanksgiving-themed e-mail she said was sent by Valle to his co-conspirators on Feb. 9.
The e-mail read, in part, “I’m planning on getting some girl meat this November for Thanksgiving. It’s a long way off but I’m getting a plan in motion. She will not be a volunteer. She has to be abducted. I know where she lives, I’ll grab her right from home.”
One document on Valle’s computer was titled “Abducting and Cooking (Victim 1):A Blueprint,” according to a criminal complaint. The file also had the woman’s birthdate and other personal information and a list of “materials needed” — a car, chloroform and rope.
“I was thinking of tying her body onto some kind of apparatus — cook her over low heat, keep her alive as long as possible,” Valle wrote in one exchange in July, the complaint said.
Valle had created a computer catalog with records of at least 100 women with their names, addresses and photos, the complaint says. Some of the information came from his unauthorized use of a restricted law enforcement database, authorities said. He claimed, according to the complaint, that he knew many of them.
Valle is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
He is also charged with one count of intentionally and knowingly accessing a computer without authorization and exceeding his authorized access for allegedly using police computers to locate potential victims, officials said.
<a title=”Judge: ‘Cannibal Cop’ Conspirator Not Granted Bail, Deemed Danger To Community” href=”http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/01/07/judge-cannibal-cop-conspirator-not-granted-bail-deemed-danger-to-community/”Also charged in the case is co-conspirator Michael Vanhise, 23, of Trenton, N.J., who allegedly took part in surveillance of targets of the plot and even sent pictures of his 7-year-old niece to other conspirators, suggesting the little girl as someone to be kidnapped and eaten.
Prosecutors said Vanhise conspired with Valle last year to kidnap a woman in New York and bring her back to his home in New Jersey where she would be raped and killed.
Vanhise agreed to pay Valle $5,000 for the abduction, prosecutors said.
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