Bonilla v. United States

Bonilla v. United States, No. 98-CF-212, 06-CO-1164 -- In first-degree murder case prosecutor used grand jury subpoenaes to require potential witnesses to appear in his office repeatedlyfor interviews, attempted to coerce them to provide information supporting the government's theory of the case He only took before the grand jury those who eventually changed their accounts to conform to the government's theory. Although several of those witnesses gave statements which were exculpatory and others impeached government witnesses, the prosecutor withheld them until witnesses testified at trial, preventing defense counsel from investigating and calling witnesses. In the middle of trial the Judge allowed a government witness to testify about a codefendant's admission that he and another defendant argued over who would use a knife in the fatal attack. Although the statement did not directly implicate Bonilla, the argument occurred in the back seat of Bonilla's car. The argument was inadmissible against Bonila, but it was the only evidence that he knew his passengers were armed.