Legal arguments are heating up in the murder case against a Nashville police officer, with the officer’s defense attorney accusing the city’s top prosecutor of hypocrisy in a legal filing Thursday.
Officer Andrew Delke, 25, was charged with first-degree murder after he shot Daniel Hambrick during a foot chase in July. His lawyer David Raybin wants to keep evidence in the case from becoming public before the trial — a move District Attorney Glenn Funk opposes.
Funk said the evidence in the Delke case should be made public as it becomes available before trial, saying “the need for transparency in this prosecution is required to ensure the citizens of Davidson County are confident that the judicial process is fair and that all persons are treated equally.”
But in a filing Thursday, Raybin said Funk’s current position is a flip-flop. Raybin pointed out that Funk’s office supported efforts to seal evidence in a rape case against four former Vanderbilt University football players.
The Tennessean sued to get access to evidence in the Vanderbilt rape case.The state attorney general submitted a brief on behalf of Funk’s office, urging the courts to keep the evidence sealed until the case was adjudicated and saying disclosing evidence early “could violate the state’s and the criminal defendants’ constitutional right to a fair trial.”
The Tennessee Supreme Court agreed, keeping the evidence sealed.
Raybin quoted Funk’s opposing positions in his filing Thursday.
“Now the very thing District Attorney Funk recently contended would ‘present a serious threat to a defendant’s constitutional right to a fair trial’ in another case is being touted by the same district attorney general as ‘required to ensure the citizens of Davidson County are confident that the judicial process is fair and that all persons are treated equally,'” Raybin wrote.
Raybin said Funk took “a contrary position” in this case in order to generate bad publicity against the defense team.
“It is unclear why the state believes the right to a fair trial outweighs pretrial transparency in a case against violent sexual predators but not in a case against a Nashville police officer,” Raybin wrote.
Judge Monte Watkins, who presided over the rape case, will consider arguments about whether to seal evidence in the Delke case during a hearing scheduled Tuesday.
Steve Hayslip, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, said “the district attorney’s office will respond to Mr. Raybin’s filing in open court on Tuesday.”