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‘Crockefeller’ to Court: My Ex-Lawyer Said Too Much to the Media

Posted May 19, 2009 12:39 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A defendant in a high-profile Massachusetts parental kidnapping case who prefers to be known by his adopted name of "Clark Rockefeller" gave jailhouse interviews to print and television reporters last year, with his then-defense lawyer's permission.

But now "Crockefeller," as some tabloids have nicknamed Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, is trying to prevent the jury from hearing about statements his former defense lawyer made to the media during a three-month representation, according to the Boston Globe.

Defense lawyer Jeffrey Denner's motion also asks Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frank Gaziano to exclude, among other evidence, the fact that his client has been named a person of interest in the unsolved disappearance of a California couple in the 1980s.

Criticized by observers at the time for his approach to the case, former Rockefeller defense attorney Stephen Hrones defended his decision to talk with the media last year about his high-profile client in an interview with the Globe last month:

"The initial media reporting was all negative," he told the newspaper. "I was forced to go out and defend him. The only thing to do was to fight fire with fire."

Rockefeller reportedly plans to assert an insanity defense at his trial, which is scheduled to begin late this month. As discussed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, the bogus blueblood—who is apparently unrelated to the famous Rockefeller family but reportedly has implied that he is—is accused of kidnapping his daughter, then age 7, during a supervised visit in July 2008. She was found unharmed several days later.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Meet the ‘Mad Czech’ Stephen Hrones, Lawyer for Accused Kidnapper"

ABAJournal.com: "High-Profile ‘Crockefeller’ Case Puts Spotlight on Lawyer’s Own Issues"

ABAJournal.com: "Bloodstain Test Planned in Calif. Probe Linked to Bizarre ‘Crockefeller’ Case"

Associated Press: "First Wife of 'Clark Rockefeller' to Testify at Kidnap Trial"

Boston Globe: "'Rockefeller' still insists that's his name"

Boston Herald: "Judge blocks taped interview in Clark Rockefeller case "

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