Legal Ethics

Lawyer Accused of Smuggling Witness Hit List From Jailed Client

A California lawyer has been accused of smuggling—perhaps unknowingly—a witness hit list from a jailed client. It allegedly contained highlighted names that would have understood by the recipient to be those of witnesses to be eliminated.

While representing then-longtime client Yusef Bey IV in a case in which he is accused of ordering that journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other individuals be killed, attorney Lorna Patton Brown allegedly took unauthorized materials from him out of the Santa Rita jail and smuggled materials into the jail on multiple occasions, reports the Chauncey Bailey Project in an article published in the San Jose Mercury News.

The article relies on an affidavit by Kathleen Boyovich, an inspector with the Alameda County district attorney’s office. The affidavit was reportedly included in a court filing that seeks to prevent Bey from having unrecorded phone calls while representing himself in a separate real estate fraud case, due to concerns about witness safety.

Brown stepped down from the criminal representation of Bey in April, citing a conflict of interest that was not detailed, reports KTVU. She has not herself been charged with any crime and it appears from the article that no action was ever taken by anyone to put the claimed witness hit list to use.

She did not respond to a request for comment from the Chauncey Bailey Project and her lawyer declined to comment.

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