Spanos witness testifies at closed door hearing
Staff Report | March 30,2013
A videotaped deposition conducted for a key witness in the murder case against Alex W. Spanos may one day be presented at trial but the question and answer session that took place in Rutland criminal court Friday took place behind locked doors.
A Rutland judge decided earlier this week that the deposition of 27-year-old Michael Longley could be preserved and perhaps presented as testimony before a jury at Spanos’ trial.
Usually, witnesses are required to appear at trial to answer questions in front of the accused, a jury and judge and any members of the public who come to the courtroom.
During the proceeding Friday, only Rutland County State’s Attorney Marc Brierre, Spanos, his two defense attorneys, a Rutland County Sheriff’s deputy and Longley were allowed in the courtroom.
But because Longley no longer lives in the state or the Northeast and because he has had only sporadic contact with police and prosecutors since the Sept. 26 crash that killed Rutland High School senior Carly Ferro, Rutland Judge Theresa DiMauro granted prosecutors a rare exception to preserve the deposition testimony.
If Longley fails to appear at Spanos’ trial, the prosecution will have to prove to the judge that they couldn’t bring him to court despite their best efforts.