By Jon King / email@example.com
Livingston County’s Prosecutor says a motion filed last week for a new trial of a convicted rapist is “simply outrageous” and “without merit” while Livingston County’s Sheriff says “it doesn’t pass the smell test.”
The motion was filed Friday by Howell attorney Tom Kizer in the case against Zachary Lally. The 21-year-old Genoa Township resident was found guilty by a jury in March on multiple felony counts, including three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct causing personal injury. Lally was charged in October of 2018 after he was accused of assaulting a teenage girl who was working at a concession stand at the Oak Pointe Country Club Golf Course.
Kizer’s motion accuses Livingston County Assistant Prosecutor Pamela Maas of misconduct during the trial, including soliciting perjured testimony from a Livingston County Sheriff’s Office detective. Kizer called the actions “intentional, unethical and illegal” and claims they “obliterated” Mr. Lally’s right to a fair trial. Specifically, Kizer alleges that during the trial, a conversation between Maas and Livingston County Sheriff’s Office Det. Greg Thompson was caught on tape between proceedings in which Thompson indicated that he had forgotten his prior testimony concerning Lally’s clothes, and Mass told Thompson, ‘just say that we discussed it,” but based on Lally’s statements, she felt they had enough evidence without it. The motion further alleges Maas joked that if Thompson gave that answer, Lally’s attorney Roland Sizemore III, “will gasp, and that Maas will laugh.”
However, Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt told WHMI, that he, “found it very interesting that the press had a copy of the motion at the same time we received our copy. It speaks volumes. I think the circumstances demonstrate the real motivations behind this filing, especially given who the author is.” Kizer has been an outspoken opponent of Vailliencourt and is openly supporting former Judge David Reader in his bid to defeat Vailliencourt in the August GOP primary. Vailliencourt added that the, “motion is without merit and I have every confidence in how this case was handled by the Sheriff’s Department and my office. It is unfortunate that this will further delay justice for the victim.”
When asked about the charge that one of his detectives lied on the stand, Sheriff Mike Murphy told WHMI, “My office found out about this allegation at the same time the public did. I find the timing very interesting. You have a man on trial for a life offense. The defense has information, that if true, would cause a mistrial, yet they continue with the trial and bring it forward now.?! Doesn’t pass the smell test to me, sounds more like ineffective counsel. However, as with any allegation of wrong doing on the part of any of my employees, we will do a thorough investigation and take appropriate action”
Kizer insists the motion was not disseminated to the media except at their request. “However, the Motion is public and to my knowledge, if persons connected to the family want it revealed there is no problem in my view. I am the attorney on the Motion because the trial attorneys in the case will be witnesses to the allegations made in the motion and I was retained to assist. I am willing to do so in the interest of the advocating for the protection of the Defendant’s constitutional rights. That should not be subject to criticism by anyone and particularly our Prosecutor. Unfortunately, Mr. Vailliencourt does not like his actions challenged in any way. His response on every occasion when his office is criticized is to attack the accuser and deny any responsibility for his office as though they are above criticism. Unlike Mr. Vailliencourt, I will not comment on the merits of the motion. It was filed because a person was convicted of a serious offense based upon claims of prosecutorial misconduct. The Judge will hear the position of each side and make the final decision on the Motion. I have never made a motion before the court in my 52 years for “political’ reasons and do not intend to start with Mr. Vailliencourt. It amazes me how Mr. Vailliencourt could so quickly absolve his office of any possible culpability here. I think the motion was filed Friday and within one day Mr. Vailliencourt has already concluded there is nothing to it and it is ‘outrageous’. At least our Sheriff has said he will be investigating the allegations. That is the test of someone with a more open mind. I understand his concern and willingness to challenge the claims made in the motion but respect his integrity in agreeing to do his own investigation. I invite him to contact me if he needs further information.”
Lally remains at the Livingston County Jail pending an August 6th sentencing date, at which time he faces up to life in prison.