Private Investigators In Virginia

PI Chatter Professional Investigators in Virginia

Private Investigator For the Defense

Posted by Bill on December 21, 2007

justice   A Sterling, VA, man, Edward Brown, is charged with aggravated malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of aggravated malicious wounding in the Jan. 26 shooting of Kevin Stottlemyer, 22.  Brown’s attorney, William Bassler, filed several motions, one such motion was to hire a private investigator.  Because Bassler is a court appointed attorney, the court must approve funding to hire a private investigator.  The court granted the request for the defense private investigator, but not until after the Commonwealth Attorney’s office objected to the defense hiring a private investigator.  See Winchester Star Article;

Frederick County Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Glenn R. Williams objected to the request for the defense to hire a private investigator saying that Bassler, Brown’s defense attorney, had not shown a need for a private investigator.

I don’t know the situation in this case, but I do know that the American Bar Association and Virginia’s Rules of Professional Conduct apply special rules of ethics to public prosecutors.  The Rules provide that the prosecutor’s primary goal is to seek justice, not convict.  The prosecutor must assure that the defendant is tried by fair procedures and that guilt is decided on proper and sufficient evidence.  It seems that the hiring of a private investigator for the defense would assist the defense and the prosecutor in getting a fair trial.  The Commonwealth Attorney’s office should not object to the defense asking the court to hire a private investigator without sufficient and specific reasons

I hope there was sufficient protection in this matter for the defendant to get a fair trial. 

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA


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