By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Last Friday, Bill Baxley, lead defense attorney for Mike Hubbard, filed another motion for continuance, this time to move the trial date to August. The motion states, that they were not prepared for the June 16 date set by Judge Jacob Walker, III, on March 29. The Defense’s motion asked Judge Walker for the trial date be moved to August 1, in order for them to be fully prepared for trial.
In duplicate affidavits (other than name and signature), Baxley and Bell claim that due to the “volume of documents,” the list of potential witnesses, and “the volume of pre-trial pleadings and hearings,” they will be “unable to provide effective assistance” to Hubbard unless there is a continuance.
The motion says that, should the trial be held before August 1, “Hubbard will be denied his constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.”
Baxley’s request points to another 3,323 documents provided to the Defense on April 20, saying that they had been withheld. In court, he claimed that these documents fell under “Brady,” but did not mention that when referencing them in the request.
According to alacourt.com, Lance Bell has been a Hubbard attorney since October 2014. Phillip Adams came onboard in January 2015. Blake Oliver is a partner with Adams in Adams, White, Oliver, Short & Forbus, LLP, and joined the team in January of this year.
Baxley began representing Barry Moore in April 2014. The Prosecution has referenced this many times since the Moore case was related to testimony given by Moore during his testimony before the Special Grand Jury in the Hubbard case. Baxley also represented several of the witnesses during their testimony before the Grand Jury, in this case, according to court documents.
Baxley took over as lead attorney for Hubbard in February of this year. At that time, the case was scheduled for March 28, and he assured Judge Walker in open court, that they could be prepared for trial as scheduled if he was allowed, by the court, to join the Defense team.
In last week’s pretrial hearing, Bell maintained that he was only 60 percent through a review of the documents in evidence. Baxley’s motion says, “Bell has been reviewing documents since last August,” even though he’s been representing him since, 2014.
On March 25, Judge Walker set the pretrial date for March 29, and the trial date for April 11. The same day, the State asked for a continuance because of Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart’s impending knee surgery.
On March 28, Baxley filed a motion opposing the continuance of the date, seeming to indicate that they were ready for pretrial the next day.
Mark White contended last year, that the Prosecution’s “data dump” of 133.2 gigabytes of data was not searchable. A special master was selected by the court, and returned a finding that the data was indeed, searchable. Special Master Allison Skinner filed her findings on January 1 and said that there were no “outstanding technical issues related to the State’s April 30, 2015 production.” She also noted that the documents had not yet been loaded into the search system in question at that time.
The State’s response to this motion was filed on Tuesday.