See, this is what I mean -- I already have a stack of material, and then I see a headline like the above in the Daily Journal this very morning. The hits just keep on coming. It's hard to do better than that headline, and this in a week that has also featured the gems "Andy Griffith Decides to Run for Sheriff" and "Spanish King Denies Shooting Drunk Bear."
Anyway, this story involves the DA's office in Santa Barbara, California, already under attack for two recent incidents in which deputy DAs were removed from cases because it was revealed that they were involved in book and movie deals related to those cases. The case reported today is a prosecution of Greka Energy Corp. for alleged health-and-safety violations at its refining operations. Most of the suit has been settled, but six counts remain to which (happily) the testimony of Gary Lowrey appears to be relevant.
Lowrey is the company's former public safety officer, and is expected to testify that he warned about certain dangers but was ignored. At Lowrey's deposition, Greka's attorneys did ask about that testimony, but according to the report, "focused much of their questioning on his claims that alienlike creatures emerge from his closet and put pinholes into his chest and those of his family members."
How'd you like to defend that deposition? (By the way, if anybody out there might have a copy of the transcript, I'd greatly appreciate getting one.)
The company's research had uncovered the fact that Lowrey is a "regular" on websites dealing with alleged alien visitations, and so its attorneys were understandably eager to find out the details. Apparently, Lowrey objected to some extent to the term "aliens," saying: "I'm not sure that they're -- you know, [that] you'd call them aliens. I know they're not human-looking." He continued, "I don't remember a lot of it because, you know, you're asleep when it's happening to you." You know. Chief District DA Tom Snedden accused the other side of leaking the facts as a distraction and in order to smear his office. The "bigger issue," he said, was that the company "continues to snub [sic] its nose at the safety of the community."
It is not yet clear that the horned-alien testimony will be admissible. Greka will have to show the judge that the alien topic is relevant, but experts said the DA might have little choice but to call the former safety officer to the stand and that his nocturnal experiences could then very likely be used to undermine his credibility. If that happens, Deputy DA Jerry Lulejian says he's ready to defend his witness. Lulejian says he has videotaped what he called a "phenomenon" at Lowrey's house, and that he intends to play that tape in court "to prove his witness is not insane." It may prove something, but I'm not sure that's what it'll prove.
In yet another twist, I have seen reports that Lowrey is represented in the case by Bela Lugosi, son of the famous actor. I haven't been able to confirm yet whether that's true, but Lugosi's son is in fact an attorney who practices in Los Angeles in the field of intellectual property and entertainment law. Lugosi has extensive experience especially in the latter field, his primary clients including (not surprisingly) Lugosi Enterprises and (more surprisingly) the estate(s) of the Three Stooges. Lugosi's victories for the Stooges have included the favorable verdict in DeRita v. Scott (I believe that's "Curly Joe" DeRita) and another successful Stooge defense in Comedy III Prods., Inc. v. Saderup, which reached the California Supreme Court in 2001.
I can tell you that finding out that a witness who has a closet full of horned space aliens that have allegedly been filmed by a deputy district attorney is represented by Bela Lugosi, Esq., who has also represented the Three Stooges, has certainly made my Friday complete.
"DA Sticks With Witness Who Says He Sees Horned Aliens, San Francisco Daily Journal, Friday, Oct. 20, 2006, pp. 1 and 9.