Attorneys in Jessica Dishon murder case deny any wrongdoing - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Attorneys in Jessica Dishon murder case deny any wrongdoing

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Both the prosecution and defense in the Bullitt County murder case of Jessica Dishon bristled Wednesday at allegations from the other side that they had acted unethically in the case.

But in a hearing Wednesday, Judge Charles Simms III moved quickly away from the claims, saying he didn't find anything had been done improperly.

The 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 in 1999.

Prosecutors asked Simms 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.

The defense denied making any offers to the inmates, with attorney Melanie Foote Hollingsworth calling the allegation "absurd."

In a court motion, the defense stated that the motion from prosecutors was "frivolous, and has no purpose other than to mislead the court and the public."

Simms moved on after hearing the defense deny the allegations.

On the other side, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Ferguson was upset that the defense claimed the prosecution and investigators were trying to limit their access to witnesses, ordering some not to talk.

In a motion last week, the defense claimed Jessica Dishon's father, Mike Dishon, among other witnesses, had said Bullitt Det. Lynn Hunt told him he is not allowed to talk with the defense.

Ferguson told Simms he took exception to the allegation and there was "no evidence" prosecutors had tampered with witnesses.

Simms told the prosecution and defense not to tell witnesses they couldn't talk to the other side and made no further comment on the issue.

The defense has also asked for access to file turned over to the sheriff's department by the attorney of the man originally accused of killing Jessica Dishon more than a decade ago.  

While Ferguson acknowledges that John Spainhour, a former attorney for David "Bucky" Brooks, turned over his files on the murder case after charges were dropped against Brooks, he argues the defense shouldn't be given access to them.

One of the issues is whether Brooks knowingly agreed for Spainhour to turn the files over to investigators, waiving his attorney-client privilege. Simms set a May hearing date in which Brooks may be called to testify.

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.

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.

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 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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