Shocking Case: Legal Team Tasers Client
Posted Aug 16, 2007 4:01 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Proceedings have been delayed in a California misdemeanor case in which the defense is claiming that police brutalized their client with a stun gun during his arrest at a shopping mall last year. That's because the defense team is now being criminally investigated for allegedly violating human experimentation laws by repeatedly using a stun gun on their client themselves during an evidence-gathering effort in a law office.
As the Daily Bulletin of Ontario, Calif., recounts the story, "The revelation came after a bizarre court hearing on Wednesday in which the attorney, Peter Schlueter, played a videotape showing his police tactics expert, Roger Clark, repeatedly zapping the client inside Schlueter's San Bernardino office." Clark also reportedly tasered Schlueter and his twin brother.
The videotape was intended to be used as evidence in the West Valley Superior Court case, to disprove police claims about their use of a stun gun on defendant George Engman. However, Judge Katrina West postponed the case and appointed counsel for Clark after Deputy District Attorney Dan Ross said the law office stun gun session might have violated the state Protection of Human Subjects in Medical Experimentation Act.
"Outside the courtroom, Schlueter conceded the irony of his decision to subject his client to the same type of torment for which he has criticized police, but he insisted it was necessary for the truth to come out in the case," the newspaper reports. Clark reportedly shocked Engman three times, but the defense team claims he was shocked 10 to 14 times by police for prolonged periods.
"What they basically did was threaten my expert with prosecution if he continues to testify for the defense," says Schlueter. "They're trying to find a way to stop the truth from coming out."