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State v. Titus: Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

Thanks to one of our readers “lawfish” for pointing out where to find the latest in this case…

Attorney Richard A. Schonfeld has filed a petition seeking oral arguments in support of a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in State v. Titus, Ryan and Gross. Schonfeld details why the complaint charging Craig Titus with murder, kidnapping and arson should be dismissed.

Titus was indicted by the Clark County Grand Jury March 23, 2006 and charged with Murder with Use of a Deadly Weapon, First Degree Kidnapping, and Third Degree Arson following the death of personal assistant Melissa James. The body of James was found burned in the desert west of Las Vegas.

Oral arguments will be heard by Judge Jackie Glass at 8:30 a.m. July 13, 2006 in District Court Dept. 5.

Titus’ lawyers claim there was no evidence presented to the Grand Jury related to the charge of first degree kidnapping. Also no evidence presented that an air taser gun, duct tape, or wire ligature were utilized as deadly weapon. There are more claims of no evidence in the documents as well. Some of the more interesting statements from the document…

“The State presented absolutely no evidence related to the kidnapping charge. In fact, the State did not even present their theory as to the kidnapping charge.”

It goes on to state…

“Witness Megan Pierson testified that after Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan had a confrontation with Melissa James, Melissa James went to sleep, with the assistance of Zanax. T.S. 11 p. 81. Accordingly, not only did the State fail to present evidence that Melissa James as kidnapped, they presented evidence that she was not kidnapped.”

Further on it reads…

“Jeff Schwimmer testified that he observed “Meagan and her boyfriend, at Greg’s, they were all shooting their dope…”. Schwimmer stated that Meagan, her boyfriend and Greg were utilizing Cocaine, Zanax, and Oxycontin. See Page 13 of Jeff Schwimmer’s statement. Obviously, this statement by Schwimmer applies to testimony from Greg, Meagan and her boyfriend. Those witnesses need to be asked about their current drug usage and their drug usage at the time of the events that they are testifying about”

“At the grand jury presentation herein Megan Pierson specifically testified that she did not drink or do drugs on the night in question. T. S. II p. 76. The State never asked Megan about her drug usage in general, as requested in the letter to Robert Daskas.

Our Supreme Court has recognized the importance of testimony related to a witness’ drug use. In Effinger vs. Effinger, 48 Nev. 209, at 214, 239 P. 801 (1925), the Supreme Court held that habitual users of drugs become notorious liars who cannot distinquish images and facts from illusions and realities. Id. at 215.

Accordingly, the request of counsel that Mr. Daskas present evidence related to Ms. Pierson’s drug use was a valid request and a request that should have been honored.

The State Failed to present that exculpatory evidence.”

The above quotes are taken directly from the court documents and are not our words but the court documents as prepared by Titus’ lawyers. Stay tuned for more on this case as it becomes available.

16 Responses to “State v. Titus: Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus”

  1. Couldn't Care Less Says:

    Just another ambulance chaser tying to make his mark in the world. Probably has a poster featuring Mark Geragos on it in his office and we all know what a great job Geragos did for Scott Peterson, not!

    All this adds up to is the first of many hopes built up and dashed for Craig and Kelly. I still remain unsympathetic for them.

    Rather than waste the proceeds on a lawyer who will lose the trial, Craig and Kelly should take the proceeds from their home sale and do something positive with it. For instance, start a college fund for Craig’s daughter, send some to Kelly’s dad, and to Melissa’s mother. Yea, I know/ It’ll never happen.

  2. walksthetalk Says:

    CCL: Unless you were at the scene of the crime that night, you don’t have all the facts, and you don’t know everything.

  3. sad4them Says:

    they didnt look that way by sitting on the couch eating potatoe chips,
    that was hard work and dedication they had ambition goals and bright
    futures before this horrible tragedy accured.
    if they are innocent they will be validated in most ways but if they are guilty shame on them for the lives they have ruined including their own.

  4. guilty Says:

    we all know enough and have studied the case enough to know that they all royally screwed up and will pay for what they have done. one way or another, they are going to pay.

    that is all we really need to know, but thanks for the observation!!!1

  5. Cyber Kojak Says:

    In regard to the kidnapping, perhaps they were referencing the time when Titus was holding Melissa against her will and said “hey honey, can you grab the morphine for me.” I believe that was when she was being held against her will and not able to leave on her own. Hummmm.
    Interesting things being said by Jeff Schwimmer too…

  6. darkstar Says:


    By your logic, the facts and details might never be known without actual eyewitnesses to the crime…let’s assume that C and K (and MJ) were the only ones at the crime scene that night.
    They would know what happened, however they are under no obligation to testify or say one word about it in the criminal proceedings against them. So, where will the facts and proof come from? From the trail they left behind, their burned out car with MJ in the trunk, evidence from the taser records, video tapes, store reciepts, and a bunch of other circumstantial evidence, including most likely testimony from the Megan chick (for example)and who ever else is part of the investigation.

    If it adds up and the jury buys it, bub-bye C and K…

    CCL alludes to a good point in this regard as well regarding Scott Peterson: the actual details of how he killed Lacy are still kind of mysterious, because no one knows exactly what happened except Scott…yet there were enough pieces that fit together that he is now sitting on death row in friendly old San Quentin…

    The standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, not NO doubt….


  7. Couldn't Care Less Says:


    Didn’t need to be there. Innocent parties don’t run, period.

  8. darkstar Says:


    That would appear to be very true…C and K: ran to the east coast, with rumoured plans to flee to Greece…Scott Peterson: was heading for the border with camping gear and a dozen viagras….(hmmmm)..and we can’t forget good old OJ…


  9. NapoleonNeon Says:

    First of all, justice system? Don’t make me puke. Secondly, if we would be totally honest with each other, we would admit that C T is practically a god and, as such, deserves to extract swift and severe punishment on anybody who dares to disrespect him. If he did eliminate someone for stealing or even not satisfying his pleasure needs then he was just exercising his divine right as demigod. Karma kills!

  10. shockandawe Says:

    As always - Craig never accepts responsibility for his actions, and is so in your face about his insistence of being a victim himself, it’s seriously pathetic. Now it’s going to cost the state of Nevada millions of dollars to come to the verdict that he could have expedited (and probably gotten better time for) all along: GUILTY OF MURDER IN THE 1st or 2nd DEGREE! That idiot needs to just admit that he’s never been normal, has always had drug issues, is more insecure than a pimply, back-room wanking teen, and then ask someone to put him out of his OWN misery - and ours!

    Btw, if Kelly has “found God” as it says in the latest update on www.titusandryan.com then she should ask God for the words to face Melissa’s mother to say “I’m sorry I murdered your daughter over that schmuck I call a husband! How can you ever forgive me?” But sadly, if it’s for any other reason, it really isn’t legitimate. Finding God is finding selflessness and admitting our shortcomings (or crimes).

    Boy, she’s really is just like Craig… she’ll be “working it” for months, (years or even a lifetime) trying to come back to that “saintly baby-voiced gal” everyone knew and loved and convince everyone that she’s not a bad girl… I’d have more respect for her genuineness if she either said nothing until trial, and didn’t put on this ridiculous evangelical dog and pony show, or tried to hang herself in her cell. At least she wouldn’t be both a murderer and an out of control arrogant ass!

    Oh, and I wonder how long it’ll take her to start “dance routine” and “strength move” classes for her fellow inmates? Good God!

  11. darkstar Says:

    In a way I suppose it shouldnt sound so far fetched for perps like Kelly to “find God”…now that she has realized the reality of her situation, there are two reasons they get religion: one, because it may reflect more positively on them to the jury (not likely) or because they have hit bottom, have nothing else, and are scared of what awaits them, not only day to day, but for the rest of her life…
    The problem is, you can’t un-ring the bell. She and Craig will be tried for what they did back on that day, not for any attempts to redeem herself… God will be with her allright…but what is done is done.

    As for Craig, he better hurry up and get that book published before the trial…I think the rule is that if you are convicted, you are not allowed to profit from the story or something to that effect…not sure what the specifics are…


  12. observer Says:

    darkstar ~ I think you are referring to the “Son of Sam” law, which “require criminals to give money made on book, movie or other deals relating to their crimes to victims or the state”. If Titus writes a book about bodybuilding, I don’t think that would count as it does not relate to the crime.

  13. darkstar Says:


    That would be my guess…but I can’t imagine a CT book shooting to the top of the NY Times best seller list…especially under the circumstances…

    What a mess these two created for themselves…If it was me, I think I would have a complete mental melt down..penthouse to outhouse, locked up, royally busted, and no trial until January ‘07! Dang! Turn out the lights, baby. It’s over.

    Of course, this is the facinating part of these crime stories…why do people do what they do and risk it all?

    If Kelly has found religion, well, fine. Like I said before, it doesnt matter, because she and C will be tried on what happened on the day of the crime…
    the religion aspect is between her and her god…

    Remember Karla Fay Tucker? She murdered, got religion, and still got the poke from the state of Texas…shot her up and rented her room to the next killer…


  14. observer Says:

    Agreed… I don’t think there will be a line up of people waiting to buy Titus’ “tell all” book. But the guy has to get money somewhere for those lawyers. Not that I think it will do him any good. The best lawyers will be hard pressed to find a jury who will sympathize with a convicted felon on roids accused of murdering a petite, pretty girl.

    Kelly, on the other hand, maybe she can be the next Karla Fay Tucker. She is already on her way so it seems…



    My Karma ran over your Dogma.

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