Late LSU student Madison Brooks now victim of ‘smear campaign’: parents’ lawyer
The attorney for late Louisiana State University student Madison Brooks’ family blasted her accused rapists for making her the victim of a “smear campaign” — calling their claims that she consented to sex the evening of her death “absolutely shameful.”
Kerry Miller, an attorney for Brooks’ parents, ripped the accusers’ legal teams for basing the claims on apparent recordings that have yet to be made public — and which a judge suggested could even strengthen the case against the four charged rapists.
Miller trashed the rival attorneys for denying Brooks was too drunk to consent, despite authorities saying her blood-alcohol content was 0.319%, nearly four times the legal limit.
“To come out to mention evidence that they have and don’t show it, to contradict a gold standard blood alcohol test and not say on what basis they are doing it, it is a made-up smear campaign, absolutely shameful,” Miller told WAFB in an interview Saturday.
The accusers’ defense attorneys gave a press conference Friday in Baton Rouge claiming that Brooks had “consensual sex” with two of the four accused in the back of their SUV shortly before she got out and was fatally struck by another vehicle.
The phone videos were reportedly filmed by Kaivon Deondre Washington, 18, who is charged along with a 17-year-old — who cannot be identified because of his age — with the third-degree rape of Brooks, based on her being too drunk to give consent.
The other two in the car at the time — Everett Lee, 28, and 18-year-old driver Casen Carver — were each charged with principle to third-degree rape, meaning they witnessed it but did not participate.
Their defense attorneys at the Friday press conference disputed many of the findings in the case, based largely on footage from the night.
One of them, Ron Haley, had also shared a similar message in a series of earlier interviews.
Still, he claimed that they “do not intend to try this case in the media.”
“We do, however, intend to state the pertinent facts in this case while being as sensitive as possible to all parties involved,” he said.
That included the fact, he said, that “the two defendants who engaged in a consensual sexual act with Ms. Brooks did so after obtaining verbal consent.”
Rather than getting dumped, the video shows that Brooks then “left the car on her own volition, saying that she would get Uber,” Haley said.
“She is seen on video leaving the car, unharmed and in good health. This will be confirmed by video,” he said, while stressing that the videos did not show any of the sexual acts.
Another of the defense attorneys, Joe Long, said videos from that night — including one of Brooks running after the four men to get into their SUV — prove that she cannot have been as drunk as authorities claimed.
“If you have a .319, your motor skills shut your body down,” Long said.
“You can’t walk. You can’t talk. You’re lapsing in and out of blackout and you risk death,” he stressed, saying the videos “undermine” the accuracy of the police findings.
Although the legal teams have yet to release the videos, they were seen by District Judge Brad Myers — who told a bond hearing that they showed one of the suspects “callously” laughing at Brooks.
Myers also revealed that another video showed Brooks falling over and needing help standing up before the sexual encounter in the car.
“The evidence to me is clear,” Myers told a bond hearing.
District Attorney Hillar Moore told the same outlet that upgraded charges of first-degree rape have yet to be fully ruled out.
“At this point they are arrested for third-degree rape based on the lack of ability to consent to sex. First-degree rape is obviously a much more serious offense and is when somebody is raped by more than one person — by two people or more — and that’s obviously what the allegations are,” Moore said.
There is also a question of whether the 17-year-old charged in the case could be tried as an adult.
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