Friday, July 25, 2008

Wong’s attorneys want privacy for jailhouse meetings

Jon Ostendorff

The man accused of killing a N.C. Highway Patrol trooper will likely meet with his attorneys inside a library room at the jail in an effort to provide privacy, Haywood County Sheriff Tom Alexander said Tuesday.

The decision comes after Edwardo Wong’s attorneys told a judge in court papers that they haven’t been able to speak privately with the 37-year-old Florida man.

The attorneys said their conversations at a table in the common area of the jail pod, where Wong is held, can be heard by jailers and inmates.

Alexander said jailers will monitor the library area with a video camera. The camera provides images but no sound so the men will be able to have private conversations.
The sheriff said he is slightly concerned about using the room because it is large and would give Wong more space to move around.

“It is for their safety as much as anything else,” Alexander said. “He is a very dangerous person and has a history of escaping.”

Wong is charged with first-degree murder in the June 17 shooting death of 24-year-old Trooper David Shawn Blanton Jr. He’s also charged with robbery on allegations he took the trooper’s gun after the shooting and the attempted murder of a sheriff’s detective who tried to stop him that night.

Blanton died at the hospital. He had stopped Wong’s truck near the Canton exit on Interstate 40.

Wong’s criminal record includes convictions for assaulting law enforcement officers in Florida. Alexander said he has not caused trouble in the jail.

Wong could face the death penalty if convicted of the murder charge. A trial date has not been set.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are innocent till you are find guilty.