Prosecution, defense in Jessica Dishon case allege misconduct
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Both the prosecution and defense in the Bullitt County murder case of Jessica Dishon have accused the other of acting unethically in recent days, allegations that will be brought before a judge on Wednesday.
The Bullitt Commonwealth's Attorney's office has accused attorneys for Stanley Dishon of offering legal help to two witnesses for the prosecution, inmates who have told police Dishon gave them information about how and why he killed his niece, Jessica.
Prosecutors will ask a circuit court judge to order the defense to disclose all information related to interviews they had with the two inmates, specifically regarding any promises or offers of legal aid, according to court records.
In a motion filed last week, the Commonwealth's Attorney's office said the defense "may have offered help" to the inmates on getting out of prison.
Meanwhile, defense attorneys for Stanley Dishon claim prosecutors and the Bullitt County Sheriff's Department are trying to limit their access to witnesses, ordering some not to talk.
For example, the defense will ask special Judge Charles Simms III on Wednesday for an order allowing them to talk with Jessica Dishon's father, Mike Dishon, at his home on Deatsville Road.
The defense claims Mike Dishon has been told by Bullitt Det. Lynn Hunt that he is not allowed to have Stanley Dishon's attorneys on his property without Hunt present, according to a motion filed last week.
In an affidavit from Mike Dishon, Stanley's brother, he says he has asked for defense attorneys to visit him but he "does not wish" for Hunt to be present. Mike Dishon goes on to say in the affidavit that Hunt told him he should not speak with the defense "because I could put her case in jeopardy."
In a motion filed last week, the defense claims "other members of Stanley Dishon's family" have said they were also told by Hunt not to speak with defense attorneys, which they say is unethical.
The motion asks Simms to prohibit the prosecution and investigators from limiting access to witnesses.
The defense will also ask Simms to order the prosecution to turn over evidence it still has not received, such as recorded statements from witnesses, scene photographs, investigative files and polygraph tests of past suspects in the murder.
And defense attorneys are also requesting the transcript and recording of the police interview with one of the prison informants, Russell Milburn.
The informants claim Stanley Dishon told them he confronted and then strangled his niece, out of anger, jealousy and fear that she was going to reveal that he had been having sex with the 17-year-old.
Jessica vanished from her driveway on Sept. 10, 1999. Police have said she was dragged from the front seat of her car as she was leaving for school.
Her body was found 17 days later about seven miles away in a site known as the Salt River bottoms, a dumping ground for trash, stolen vehicles and other contraband. She had been beaten and strangled.
Also among the evidence, family members of Stanley Dishon describe his odd behavior around the time the teen was killed and investigators say they caught Dishon in several lies during an interview in which he denied having anything to do with the murder.
Stanley Dishon also has a criminal history of sexually abusing young girls. He pleaded guilty in 2004 to two counts of sodomy, entering an Alford plea, meaning he maintained his innocence but acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict him. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2005.
Stanley Dishon repeatedly denied having any involvement during a nearly two-hour interview with investigators, saying the prison informants were lying. Detectives pushed Dishon, telling him they had evidence pointing to his involvement.
The rest of the evidence, at least so far, is the past investigation into David "Bucky" Brooks and two men who were seen with Jessica the night before she disappeared.
Hunt, however, has said in court that she has sent out more than 80 pieces of evidence for testing.
Bullitt Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Man has said his office will not talk about evidence in the case. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Ferguson, who is handling the Dishon murder, has not returned phone calls or e-mails seeking comment.
Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty against Stanley Dishon.
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