Of all the competing motions filed in court this week by Walter Reed and the government prosecutors trying to put him in jail, the last one was probably the most lively reading.
In that motion, the former district attorney’s lawyer accused the U.S. Attorney’s Office of filing a “press release indictment” full of extra and unnecessary information intended to prejudice a jury against his client.
“An indictment is not the place for the government to set out its entire case against a criminal defendant,” Richard Simmons wrote in an 18-page memorandum in support of his six-page motion to strike the language, which he refers to as “surplusage.”
Simmons noted that the rules of the federal court call for an indictment to be a “plain, concise document which sets out only the essential elements of the crime charged.” The 31-page, 18-count Reed indictment did far more than that, Simmons argued.
He said the indictment uses prejudicial language unrelated to the charges against Reed. The result, he said, is a document that confuses or blurs the elements necessary for a conviction, attempts at times to anticipate possible defenses and includes irrelevant facts.
His memo also includes instances of what he calls contradictory and sometimes “baffling” language.
Simmons has maintained all along that the case against Reed — which stems from his liberal use of campaign funds as well as a contract he had with St. Tammany Parish Hospital — belongs in front of the state Ethics Board and not a federal judge.
The government has not yet responded to Reed’s latest motion.
His trial is scheduled for January.