Darren Sharper co-defendant suffers legal setback

Darren Sharper co-defendant suffers legal setback

An Orleans Criminal Court judge on Monday sent lawyers for one of Darren Sharper's co-defendants back to the drawing board after finding that the method attorneys were using to try to get a new judge for Erik Nunez was flawed.

Indicted over a week ago, Nunez has still not gotten a bond hearing for charges that he, former Saints safety Sharper and former St. Bernard Parish deputy Brandon Licciardi allegedly raped two women.

"I thought raising [bond] from $400,000 to $2.5 million was excessive, and I want to deal with that," said Nunez attorney Jeffrey Smith.

But Nunez's attorneys never got the chance. Instead, it took much of the day to get Nunez from the St Charles Parish Jail to court.

" I think it's a technical glitch," said Smith. "They have Erik in another parish."

Three hours after the hearing was scheduled, Judge Frank Marullo, then heard arguments from Nunez's attorney asking for a new judge. Nunez's attorney once again argued that the system that originally assigned the case to Judge Karen Herman was flawed and could be manipulated by prosecutors.

"If a grand jury is asked to pick between such and such a date, when they walk it over, they know which judge will get the case, and it used to be random," said Smith.

From the bench, Marullo acknowledged there may be some problem with the current allotment system, but he told Nunez's attorneys their recusal motion was incorrect and said they need to file a different motion - one based on the constitutionality of the current allotment system.

"I want the system where nobody knows in any shape or form," said Smith.

Nunez's attorneys say they will file the new motion on Jan. 5. They will also file another motion to try and reduce Nunez's bond.

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