Originally created 09/30/03

Vail police ordered to give 911 records to Bryant's attorneys



EAGLE, Colo. -- In a victory for Kobe Bryant's attorneys, a judge Monday ordered Vail police to turn over records of 911 calls made from the home of the woman who accused the NBA superstar of rape.

Judge Frederick Gannett said the records, from calls made earlier this year, must be turned over to Bryant's defense team but cannot be released to the public.

The Vail police department, which handles emergency calls for Eagle County authorities, had asked Gannett to throw out a defense subpoena for the records, saying releasing them would violate an order from another judge.

Gannett said he was not bound by another judge's decision rejecting a newspaper's request to see the 911 records. It is unknown exactly when the calls were made.

The defense has sought the medical records of Bryant's accuser, leading to speculation they will try to make her emotional stability an issue if the case goes to trial. The woman was treated at a Greeley hospital earlier this year for an unspecified mental health issue.

Gannett also said that to give attorneys time to appeal, he will decide Thursday on all unsettled legal questions - including whether Bryant's accuser will testify at the Oct. 9 preliminary hearing and whether her medical records will be released.

"It's just a matter of trying to sit down and integrate it all into one response," Gannett said. "They're all related."

Bryant was charged with felony sexual assault after the woman said he raped her June 30 at the mountain resort where she worked and he was a guest. The Los Angeles Lakers' guard, who is free on $25,000 bond, has said the two had consensual sex.

The preliminary hearing will determine whether Bryant will stand trial.

The defense again asked Gannett to keep the public out of the courtroom during the hearing, saying Bryant's rights override the public's right to know.

"This is an extraordinary case with unprecedented risk that Mr. Bryant will be deprived of his right to a fair trial," defense attorneys Hal Haddon and Pamela Mackey wrote.

Prosecutors say there are sufficient safeguards in place so potential jurors will not get enough information to form opinions.

There were several other developments, including a filing by prosecutors seeking to keep many court records in the case sealed. Prosecutors said media organizations lacked grounds to file the appeal.

Gannett also said there is a possibility the hearing would have to be postponed, but that he hoped to avoid that.

Meanwhile, a judge in Los Angeles delayed arraignment Monday for a Swiss bodybuilder charged with offering to kill Bryant's accuser.

The proceeding was postponed to Oct. 6 after both sides said the defense had not yet received all evidence.

Patrick Graber, 31, was charged last week with solicitation of murder and solicitation to dissuade a witness. He could get almost 10 years in prison.