Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bridgette Morgan's Hearing Testimony--01/07/11

January 7th, 2011


Before Morgan is called to the stand the Court, Walgren, Brazil, Chernoff, Low and Flanagan are in chambers discussing a motion in limine concerning Morgan and her testimony. The defense has various objections to the relevance of her testimony. Walgren states that the purpose of placing Morgan on the stand is to attempt to establish the timeline of phone calls (there was a 7 second call from Morgan to Murray at 11:26 a.m. on June 25th, 2009) and preserve relevant testimony as it relates to some of the individuals who either placed calls or received calls from Murray on June 25th, 2009. Walgren continues that the prosecution wishes to briefly establish the nature and purpose of the phone call from Morgan to Murray and to determine whether it was professional or personal. Walgren states he wants Morgan under oath to confirm whether or not she was able to make contact with Murray. Walgren states that regarding the character evidence he does not understand the objection by the defense. He states the phone calls are relevant in the prosecution's theory and show a distinct pattern by Murray to carry on personal social business when his attention should be on his patient.

Low begins his arguments for the motion in limine. He states there are two sources, one being the police report done on Feburary 2nd, 2010 when Morgan was interviewed and a tape recorded interview. Low is concerned that Morgan and Murray's relationship will be revealed as personal and not professional contact. He is also concerned about how Murray and Morgan's relationship began and Morgan's history as an exotic dancer in Las Vegas 6 years prior to 2009.

Brazil states the prosecution does not intend to ask Morgan about her occupation. However, they do intend on asking how Morgan and Murray met, as was done with Sade Anding. They wish to establish their relationship as social. Chernoff pipes in the prosecution knows they met at a topless club and it is prejudicial. Low begins to argue about why it cannot be stated they met "out of town" or "in public" rather than a club. Low also comments that Morgan is studying to become a nurse and she herself does not want this information out because of her business working in a hospital.

Low continues on saying police promised if she told him the truth he would not let out her history of being an exotic dancer. Low states Morgan was lied to and it the situation is not fair.

Brazil disagrees with Low on his characterization of what has occurred regarding Morgan.

The Court states he does not need to know she was working at a club or the nature of the club for the purposes of the preliminary hearing.

Walgren states the prosecution will limit their relationship to beginning at a club and establishing it was a social relationship.

Flanagan states the prosecution knows the call from Morgan to Murray was not completed. He states the fact someone made a call to someone else on the phone who does not answer has no relevance, nor does her state of mind have relevance, either.

Walgren states as the defense has indicated she is not necessarily cooperative. He again states that under oath they want her testifying whether or not the call was completed and whether she left a voicemail or not. He states she has told police that it went to voicemail but she has not said that under oath or in the hearing. The prosecution wishes to preserve her testimony as a social relationship, the nature of the call and that the call was made at the particular time listed.

Chernoff states that the prosecution wants to preserve Morgan's evidence in front of the press and they could have had it preserved via the grand jury as was done with Nicole Alvarez.

The Court states testimony cannot be preserved at a grand jury because there is no confrontation right. He continues on stating he is aware of the issues and the scope of the preliminary hearing. He states the testimony is relevant under certain guidelines set forth for the preliminary hearing and the defense's motion in limine is overruled. However, the Court states this will be a tailored process and he does not want character issues inflaming the court.

Walgren asks if Brazil can be given leeway to lead so Morgan does not blurt out "something else". Chernoff states Brazil has shown an ability to lead into objectionable territory thus he objects to Walgren's request. Walgren states they will ask open-ended questions. Low states he trusts Brazil to be given some leeway without abusing the right to such.

The Court states he does not want to be in situation where the defense are embarrassed because Low has one theory/tactic and his team members (Chernoff, Flanagan) disagree with him.

Low states Chernoff will tell him if he is wrong.

The proceedings end and open court resumes.


As with some previous witnesses, Morgan identifies Murray in court.

Morgan states she met Murray in 2003 at a club. She states after meeting Murray she developed a social relationship with him. Morgan confirms her cell phone number in 2009 was (310) ***-9566.

Morgan agrees she called Murray on June 25th, 2009. She states they were following up on a conversation they had had.

Brazil has no more questions but then corrects herself. She asks Morgan if she actually spoke to Murray. She states no. She is asked if she left a voicemail. She states she cannot remember. Brazil states she has nothing further.

Low declines the opportunity to cross examine the witness. Morgan is excused from the stand.

The transcripts used to create these summaries were lawfully obtained from

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