Sealed grand jury indictment dismissed after DA reveals stenographer improperly spoke with grand jurors
For the second time this year, the actions of a stenographer in the Grand Jury room is causing difficulties for District Attorney Lawrence Friedman in the Genesee County Courtroom.
Today, Friedman moved to have what had been a sealed indictment on burglary, trespass, and forgery charges dismissed because a stenographer spoke to grand jurors about the case while the prosecutor was out of the room.
Friedman must now have a new grand jury hear the case against Malik Ayala at a later date.
Ayala was in court today to deal with matters related to his pending case -- criminal possession of stolen property -- and he was also arraigned on these new charges from the sealed indictment.
The counts in the indictment were burglary, 2nd, criminal possession of stolen property, 3rd, and forgery.
Immediately after the charges were read, Friedman made a motion to dismiss the indictment because a court stenographer had jeopardized the integrity of the proceeding.
Freidman said he had previously informed Public Defender Jerry Ader, who is representing Ayala, that he would move to have the indictment dismissed but with the court's permission to resubmit the case to a grand jury.
He gave Ader a choice -- to present it to the current grand jury, which is the one that heard the case the first time, or waits for a new grand jury to be empaneled.
Ader asked that the case be presented to a new grand jury.
In March, Friedman revealed during another court proceeding that a stenographer had been using an audio recording device on her machine to record grand jury proceedings.
Friedman had another appointment after Ayala's case and was not immediately available for questions, so we don't know if this is the same or a different stenographer.
Ayala was arrested in November along with his brother TeeSean Ayala after the two men were stopped in a car that had pulled into the driveway of County Manager Jay Gsell where they reportedly tried to dispose of a handgun.
During today's proceedings, Judge Charles Zambito told Ayala that he had been informed that Ayala had violated the terms of his release-under-supervision contract. He said that Ayala is accused of testing positive for marijuana and alcohol consumption May 7 and May 14, and for marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol May 28, and that he was arrested on a petit larceny charge June 7.
Zambito had the option to terminate his release under supervision but based on updated reports from Horizon the judge decided it was better to allow Ayala to continue treatment. He warned Ayala that if there are further violations, he would put Ayala in jail and impose bail.
Ayala's status could change when and if a new grand jury indictment is returned.
But he is still out stealing....
yes sir he is out there stealing.... some will tell you he has a right to steal, a right to do drugs, a right to take what he wants..