The judge, attorneys and defendant in the Donald L. Boss murder trial were in court about 15 minutes Oct.14 before adjourning to the judge's chambers where they discussed the defense motion for the state to produce Lisa Boss's statement.
Later in the morning, the judge ruled that the state should provide defense counsel with all exculpatory statements in the document from Lisa Boss. Exculpatory statements are those which may help prove the guilt or innocence of a defendant.
Within a few hours of the judge's ruling the prosecution had complied with the order, according to Plymouth County Attorney Darin Raymond this morning, Oct. 15. The state had earlier argued that Lisa Boss, Donald's wife, was not listed as a witness nor was it "reasonable to assume" she would be, so her statement was not part of the discovery process.
The trial information, the charging document in a case, has been amended by the prosecution. However, that motion was sealed by the judge and the amendments or changes are not being made available to the public.
Defense attorney Michael Williams did not resist the amendment, saying he believed it would be pointless to do so.
Due to lack of resistance by the prosecution, the judge ruled that the defense could take the deposition of Dr. Daniel Field, a Michigan psychiatrist.
Judge James Scott agreed with the state that the defense listing of "any witness listed by the State previously" and "any person mentioned in the minutes of testimony" was too vague and those were stricken from the defense witness list.
Attorneys for both sides are in the process resolving the question of when the state should conduct depositions of the defense witnesses. The defense witness list has more than 50 names, many of them from out-of-state.
The judge used some of the short in-court time to remind the defense that all motions are to be pre-filed with the judge so he can determine what information can and cannot be made public in the interest of a fair trial.
"Mr. Williams, I don't find that any of your motions comply with this ruling," the judge said.
Williams indicated his understanding was that the defendant was still entitled to file motions with the clerk but they should not contain any "sensational types of information."
Judge Scott asked Williams to reread the July 9 ruling, then, upon further discussion, read it to the defense counsel. No sanction was issued. The judge said he expected both the state and the defense to comply.