Defense Seeks To Poke Holes In Government’s Case Against Gilberto Valle
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A defense lawyer resumed his attack Thursday on the government’s claims that a city police officer conspired with Internet friends to kidnap, kill and eat women, asking an FBI agent why some communications were proof of a crime while others were deemed fantasies.
The lawyer, Robert Baum, directed FBI Agent Corey Walsh to obvious falsehoods in communications that the government has used as evidence that Officer Gilberto Valle was serious about attacking women he knew, including his wife.
As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reports, the FBI believes that only three of Valle’s email pals are plotting real crimes, so when he’s online with people like Moody Blues, they take notice.
In one exchange, Moody Blues insisted he and Valle would need a secluded place to cook a woman alive.
“I have a place in the mountains,” Valle wrote. “Nobody’s around for three-quarters of a mile.”
Asked if that was true, Walsh testified that authorities “are not aware of a place he had in the mountains.”
In another chat, Valle promises to deliver up a girl he’s known for seven years named Andria Noble.
He tells Moody Blues “I’m about to move on this. I’m outside her house now.”
However, Noble lives in Ohio and there was no evidence that Valle ever made plans to travel there, according to officials.
Moody Blues, 57, was arrested outside London, Cornell reported. He was arrested on charges of a conspiracy to groom young children and use their images in child pornography.
Some emails he sent to Valle were deemed too gruesome by the judge in Valle’s trial that they were not allowed to be shown to the jury.
Walsh testified Thursday that investigators found a file with photos of the officer on the computer of Officer Gilberto Valle. He identified her only as Evelyn, and said she supervised Valle.
Prosecutors at Valle’s federal trial also have introduced online chats where Valle allegedly offered another man a list of women he could abduct. He described one as a 33-year-old cop named Evelyn.
Valle had a file folder full of pictures of Evelyn, according to prosecutors.
Online chats showed that Valle mentioned his supervisor and other female cops to co-conspirator Michael Vanhise of Trenton.
Vanhise, 23, replied, “No, I want a regular girl.”
Vanhise remains held without bail for allegedly plotting to take part in acts of kidnapping, rape and cannibalism that he discussed online with Valle.
Valle has been held without bail since October, when he was arrested on charges of conspiring to kidnap women in a cannibalism plot born on the Internet. Also charged with illegal use of a nationwide database to gather information about prospective victims, he could face life in prison if he is convicted at a trial in federal court in Manhattan that is expected to last two weeks.
Throughout the trial that began Monday, Valle’s lawyers have attacked government evidence as nothing more than the reflection of a man engaging in extreme sexual fantasies with like-minded individuals around the world. The government has conceded that Valle never met the purported Internet co-conspirators and no women were injured.
For two days, Walsh read aloud the graphic online communications between Valle and his alleged co-conspirators as they spoke of watching women suffer as they cook them alive, including Valle’s wife, who fled their Queens home and turned a computer over to the FBI in September after discovering the Internet chats.
On Wednesday, Baum showed the jury that in the middle of one of his thousands of Internet conversations about cannibalism, Valle paused and claimed he’d never really do it.
“I just like pushing the envelope,” he wrote to one man.
Baum tried to show that the FBI arbitrarily built its case on roughly 40 emails and chats that agents deemed real evidence of the 28-year-old Valle’s plot, even though the missives are largely indistinguishable from ones the investigators dismissed as role play.
Walsh confirmed that authorities had written off one message about a real 18-year-old who’s a witness in the case as fantasy, even though another message with nearly identical wording was viewed as a real threat against her.
The woman was “one of the most desirable pieces of meat I’ve ever met,” Valle wrote.
The agent also conceded the entire batch of emails had running themes: Valle discussing how to cook women, how much it would cost to abduct them and which women would make good targets. Whether found to be real or fake, the emails contained some of the same names of real women and their photographs.
“Isn’t it a fact that some of the chats you found to be fantasies involved cooking women?” Baum asked.
“It could have been,” Walsh answered.
The defense also has sought to remind jurors that no evidence of a crime was found in his apartment besides a computer – no rope, pulleys or chemicals to render someone unconscious despite Valle’s Internet boasts that he wanted to assemble a torture chamber.
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