Prisoner’s Right to Counsel Violated by Eavesdropping on Attorney Phone Calls

Prisoner’s Right to Counsel Violated by Eavesdropping on Attorney Phone Calls

by Christopher Zoukis

Charges against a Washington man awaiting trial on felony drug and stolen property charges were dropped by a Yakima County Superior Court after an investigation found that a prosecutor and sheriff’s detective had listened to phone calls made to his lawyer.

Superior Court Judge Douglas Federspiel dismissed the charges against Daniel Woolem following a two-day hearing and a court-ordered report from former Yakima County prosecuting attorney and retired U.S. Attorney Jeff Sullivan, who had been appointed to investigate the matter.

“Under the limited, unique and specific facts of this case based upon the record, it is the court’s opinion that of the available remedies, the only meaningful and appropriate remedy that addresses the violation of the defendant’s right to counsel is the dismissal of the pending charges against Mr. Woolem,” Federspiel wrote.

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