Chalue's lawyer seeks information on lie detector test of prosecution witness
SPRINGFIELD -- The lawyer for a man accused of three murders plans to ask a federal court to force the U.S. Marshal's Service to turn over information on a lie detector test given to a prosecution witness.
On Monday in Hampden Superior Court, attorney Donald W. Frank, who represents David Chalue, asked for a continuation of his client's case, which is set for trial next week, after a judge denied his motion seeking material related to a polygraph test administered to Jeffrey Cashman.
Cashman was one of Chalue's fellow inmates at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, where the defendant was being held pending his trial. He has claimed that Chalue confessed to him about the killings.
Chalue, 47, of North Adams, is accused of kidnapping, torturing and killing David Glasser, Edward Frampton and Robert Chadwell in August 2011 with the assistance of Adam Lee Hall and Caius Veiovis. Chalue and Veiovis have denied three counts each of murder, kidnapping and witness intimidation.
Frank said Cashman failed the test and because he is a major prosecution witness against his client it could be considered "ineffective assistance of counsel" if he didn't pursue the material related to the test.
Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capless had argued that because the polygraph test was administered by federal authorities as part of an application process for the witness protection program, it wasn't in the custody of the commonwealth -- and even if it was, it would be inadmissible at trial.
Frank asked for time to go through the "long, involved process" in federal court before starting the Superior Court trial, but Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder denied the request.
Cashman alleged Chalue admitted to the killings, gave him access to the discovery in the case, and told him he would reinstate him in the white supremacist prison gang the Aryan Brotherhood if he "took out" several "rats" in the case. In the discovery material the words "no good rat" appear next to a picture of Hall and the name of David Casey, who is charged as an accessory for allegedly helping to bury the victims' remains in a trench on private property in Becket.
Frank also asked that Cashman's testimony not be allowed at trial because he was acting as an agent of law enforcement when he elicited alleged statements from Chalue, violating his client's rights. Cashman said he acted on his own.
Kinder has not ruled on that motion.
The judge is going to allow the prosecution to refer to Glasser, Frampton and Chadwell as "victims" during the trial and will allow references to the Hells Angels, of whom Hall was a member.
Kinder has yet to rule on whether he will allow references to the Aryan Brotherhood at trial.
Frank argued that references to the gang are improper evidence of prior bad acts and could sway a jury even though the Aryan Brotherhood has nothing to do with the three killings Chalue is charged with.
Capeless argued that it would be impossible to keep out references to the gang since it was "part and parcel" to the exchanges between Chalue and Cashman.
The trial, set to begin April 22, will likely take a month, according to Capeless -- longer than Hall's trial, which lasted a little more than two weeks. A jury convicted Hall in February of murdering Glasser to keep him from testifying in an upcoming case and the other two men to eliminate any witnesses.
He is serving three consecutive life sentences without parole plus up to 42 years.
The trials were moved from Berkshire County due to pretrial publicity.
Veiovis, 33, of Pittsfield, has been scheduled to go on trial Sept. 2.
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