The list originated in the 1990s after a murder case was overturned when the state Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors neglected to reveal evidence about a police officer who testified. It has not been publicly disclosed why Stahl is on the list.
Each of the state’s county attorneys compiles its own list of officers, according to Kaye, who said it leads to inconsistency in how cases are handled.
He questions why prosecutors didn’t notify him before the trial.
“They had three county attorneys and they didn’t know he was on the list?” Kaye said. “I think it’s an obligation of the office to realize he was on the Laurie list. This case deserves dismissal.”
Kaye said the case has been tough on the 20-year-old and his family, both emotionally and financially.
He said it would be an injustice if prosecutors seek a new trial. Neither Hillsborough County Attorney Patricia LaFrance nor Assistant County Attorney Kent Smith could be reached for comment.
“It’s a huge rain cloud over his head,” Kaye said of Eller. “We believe he’s innocent. If we have to retry that, we hope to prove that.”
Stahl’s attorney, Catherine Costanzo, said she could not comment on her client’s role in the case, nor why he is on the Laurie list. She did say no evidence has been presented that indicates anything the 12-year Pelham officer has done in the past would affect the Eller case.
“I do not want people to rush judgment because an officer is placed on the Laurie List,” she said.
Pelham police Lt. Gary Fisher said the department could not comment on the case, referring all questions to the county attorney’s office. Hawksley could not be reached for comment.