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Review Journal Reports: Titus seeks new judge

Yet another story from Glenn at the Las Vegas Review Journal

Titus seeks new judge
Legal battle is defense tactic that could slow case

By Glenn Puit

Craig Titus is trying to get District Judge Jackie Glass kicked off his murder trial in a move that could slow down the prosecution of the nationally known bodybuilder.

In a court motion filed this week, Titus’ defense attorney, Marc Saggese, accused the judge of engaging in a prohibited conversation with a prosecutor and another attorney about an alleged murder-for-hire plot in Titus’ case.

In an affidavit filed Thursday, Glass said her actions were completely proper.

The prosecutor in question, Robert Daskas, said that long before his meeting with the judge, Titus was recorded by police in jailhouse phone calls talking about doing everything he could to prevent Glass from presiding over his murder trial.

“We will be able to conclusively demonstrate Craig Titus was willing to go to great lengths to get his case transferred to the courtroom of another district court judge, including, among other things, hiring Steve Wolfson, Judge Glass’ husband, (as Titus’ defense attorney) for the sole purpose of creating grounds for Judge Glass’ recusal,” Daskas said.

“He was considering this months in advance of any alleged improper meeting, and I will prove it through Craig Titus’ own words,” Daskas said.

The legal fight over Glass presiding as the judge in the case is an aggressive defense tactic by Saggese and Titus, a former Mr. Olympia competitor. Titus, 42, and his wife, fitness champion Kelly Ryan, 34, are charged with killing their personal assistant, Melissa James, in December 2005 at their southwest Las Vegas home.

According to authorities, the couple killed James, then burned her body in the trunk of Ryan’s Jaguar off state Route 160. Titus and Ryan initially lied to police about how James had ended up dead in Ryan’s car, but they later told police that James had overdosed at their house and they had panicked and burned the body.

A third defendant, Anthony Gross, is accused of helping the couple dispose of James’ body.

Complicating the case was the revelation in October that an acquaintance of Titus’, Nelson Brady Jr., was arrested on charges of trying to hire a hit man to kill three witnesses in the case, including Gross.

Authorities have voiced suspicions that Titus was behind the murder-for-hire plot, but he has not been charged.

According to police and court records, the allegations lodged by Titus against Glass are related to the murder-for-hire investigation. When authorities suspected that Titus was involved in the plot, they carried out an extensive investigation to try to prove it.

The police had Gross pose as a corpse in the trunk of a car, and they took photos of him. Police planned to send the photos to Titus with the hope that he would wire money to an account to pay for the hit man.

To make it appear as if Gross had really disappeared, the police cut an ankle bracelet that he was required to wear while on house arrest and flew him to Chicago.

Gross’ supervising house arrest officer, Sgt. Rick Hamilton, had not been told of the police ruse. He wrote Glass on June 22, telling her that he believed Gross had fled and that he was pursuing a warrant for his arrest.

On June 26, Daskas and an attorney for Gross, James Oronoz, met with Glass about the matter. According to a Las Vegas police report, “Glass was informed of the actual circumstances regarding Gross’ disappearance and his current location/status.”

In his court motion, Saggese said the meeting was improper and prejudiced his client. Under Nevada judicial rules, a judge cannot meet with one party of a case unless the other parties of that case are present.

Saggese said Titus’ and Ryan’s attorneys at the time were not invited to the meeting. Furthermore, he said, he suspects Glass was told that Titus might be involved in a plot to kill Gross.

A little more than a month later, Glass denied important legal motions for Titus and Ryan that sought to dismiss the charges against the couple. At the time, Glass did not mention her meeting with Daskas and Oronoz.

“Knowledge of that investigation couldn’t do anything but impact her neutrality,” Saggese said. “It’s only human.”

In his motion, Saggese seeks Glass’ removal from the case. It also seeks a chance to re-argue Titus’ and Ryan’s legal motions in front of another judge.

But in an affidavit filed Thursday, Glass said Saggese’s allegations aren’t accurate.

“I was not advised of the actual circumstances regarding Mr. Gross’ disappearance. … I was told by Mr. Daskas and Oronoz that Mr. Gross had not absconded and that I did not need to issue a warrant,” Glass said.

“I do not believe that I acted improperly, and I believe I can be fair and impartial,” Glass said.

Glass also said that she had not been served with the motion seeking her recusal, as is required by statute, and that she learned about it only when the Review-Journal called court spokesman Michael Sommermeyer to ask what Glass’ response was.

Sommermeyer said the motion to have Glass taken off the case will be heard by Chief Judge Kathy Hardcastle.

In Saggese’s opinion, judicial rules make it clear that the meeting of the judge, the prosecutor and Gross’ attorney means that Glass cannot preside over the case. Saggese said he is prepared to litigate the matter to the Nevada Supreme Court, if necessary.

“This isn’t a discretionary recusal,” he said. “It’s mandatory.”

25 Responses to “Review Journal Reports: Titus seeks new judge”

  1. KNEW THEM Says:

    When Glass remains on the case, it will be another blow to the defense. Nothing will go in their favor in this trial….they just have it out for Craig; I posted why before if you look back. When I say they I mean the DEA, US Customs, and now I guess LVPD.

  2. Disgusted Says:

    Are you kidding, have it out for Titus? He’s a murderer! He fled the state to avoid prosecution! Give it up knew them because even in the remote chance of judge swapping, don’t you think that the new judge would show even less chance of partiality? Why on earth would the person in the black robe kill a career and risk possible prosecution themselves for the likes of Titus?

    I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Judge Glass will remain as presiding judge over the Titus/Ryan case. Saggese is getting desperate. He’s taking too large a risk for a client that can’t and won’t pay him. This is going to kill his career.

  3. Nicki Says:

    Disgusted,

    It does not matter who the judge is on this case. The DA, judge and LVPD already made it very apparent that there is not enough evidence to frame CT or they would not have gone to these extreme lengths.

    Oh and by the way, Saggese has been paid. So, guess again. Titus still has things to liquidate. AND, do not think for a minute that there will not be a civil suit after the trial. $$$$$$$$ The Las Vegas law enforcement has proved themselves to be incompetent and straight up sloppy!!!!!!!!!

  4. KNEW THEM Says:

    Disgusted: Correct me if I’m wrong, but Craig hasn’t been convicted of anything. Look, all I’m saying is put yourself in his shoes, you wouldn’t want people calling you a murder if you didn’t do it. Let’s just give him a chance before we throw the stones at him.

  5. Disgusted Says:

    I’ve never done anything remotely as stupid as Titus that would cause me to be a suspect in a murder case.

    A few examples:

    1, My wife was not caught on video purchasing lighter fluid at 3 AM with
    her own credit card.
    2. I didn’t call some flunky to bring me a can of gasoline to the desert after
    3 AM.
    3. When I competed, I got along with everyone backstage, never bullied
    anyone and took my losses like a man.
    4, I never sold or used recreational drugs nor did I furnish them to others.
    5. I didn’t have swap parties with my wife and other guys.
    6. I didn’t choke out my housekeeper, tase her and inject her with
    morphine.
    7. I didn’t duct tape her head.
    8. I didn’t light a car on fire containing her dead body.
    9. I didn’t swap vehicles and flee the state attempting to get to Greece.
    10. My wife wasn’t stupid enough to stop for a pedicure will on the run. I
    wouldn’t have been stupid enough to allow her to get the pedicure.

    I could go on and on but even you must realize how silly it sounds to compare normal, productive, responsible people to Titus. Yourself included.

    And just how is it that you know that Saggese has been paid and with what? Movie rights to Craig’s book? Old trophies and skid marked posing shorts?

    Even if Saggese gets paid, he cannot guarantee aquittal. I’ll even predict him to be found in contempt of court during the course of the trial. You make him sound arrogant enough for this to happen… more than once.

    Civil suit? Yea, as if…

    You still haven’t answered my question, What qualifies you to qualify the DA and LVPD?

  6. KNEW THEM Says:

    I take offense to you comparing me to Craig; but I really feel that we must wait til the trial to learn true facts in this case. Even if you never heard or knew Craig you have got to admit that there are quite a few odd happenings on part of the DA.

  7. Disgusted Says:

    You offended? What color is the sky in your world? Just what part of my post compare you to Craig? Read the post again, you missed the point.

    It is your post that asks me how I would feel being called a murderer and I furnished you with a list of why I’m not stupid enough to have put myself in this situation. Read the post again, you missed the point.

    You are still avoiding my question and I put it to you for a THIRD time, what qualifies you to qualify the DA and LVPD? Read the post again, you’re avoiding the question.

    I must admit that even if I knew nothing of Craig, I would feel the same based on his actions I list in my previous post. The innocent do not go to that much trouble to run.

    This can be summed up in one sentence: I believe that Titus and his wife are guilty of murdering Melissa in cold blood. I also believe that they will both be convicted regardless of the circus that Craig has turned this into. He is only building public resentment which will make it even harder for him to receive any mercy from the court come sentencing time.

    This shouldn’t be turning into a pissing contest because after all, you and I are not in Craig’s situation. Happy Holidays.

  8. darkstar Says:

    Nicki, honey…

    Care to put a few “facts” to your conclusory statements? Like, how you know all this to be so? I mean, you have told us all how you deal with “facts”…
    As it is, anybody here can simply say “nope, not true” and it would carry as much weight as the hearsay you are spewing…

    and I am not your honey, honey…

    d*

  9. Family Friend Says:

    Gentlemen, And I am using the term loosley. My my how the holiday spirit has left us. Once again the same old insecurities and jealousies are rearing their ugly heads. Oh right no jealousies here, no scores to settle, no personal agendas, no way., well your words indicate otherwise. Honestly some of you appear as desperate for a conviction (anyway you can get it) as the local DA. Which I have to admit at this point I am not sure if DA stands for District Attorney or Dumb Ass, in LV. But I digress. The straight facts in this case are meager to say the least, thats why we keep hearing about all this ridiculous peripheral crap,.. hit’s on witnesses(who by the way will actually create more questions & doubt than answers & certainty when cross examined), imaginary escape plots (you know the one where CT was going to don a guard uniform and escape thru the ventilation system from solitary), and oh my favorite…the pow wow between the LVPD,DA,and the presiding judge. You know usually in cases of this type..the defense is out there creating all the press muddying up the waters per se. We seem to have a role reversal here… why does the prosecution want the waters muddy? What is it that they do not want us to clearly see? If this dosn’t indicate a troubled prosecution to you well….. how was it said…I’d love to know the color of the sky in your world. For the record, I am not trying to say that what happened to MJ should go unchallenged or unpunished, and I am a firm believer in consequences for actions and accountability; I just happen to believe that it applies to ALL not just some. I’ve never participated in a forum like this and probably never would have if I hadn’t cared about some of the people involved. Which brings me to my point… the MANY people involved. When reading some of the posted comments it appears some of you have forgotten or perhaps truly do not care that irregardless of whether you believe CT/KR to be guilty of everything that there are other people involved here. There are parents, and grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers……and family friends; they too are reading here to learn a little information, feel a little closer or maybe feel a little less helpless. I come to this site because it has the most information and the least trash talk. It has fewer animals lurking waiting for opportuites to spew their hate filled remarks, fewer powerless people seeking a platform on which to stand and feel powerful (if only for a moment) by looking down on, judging and ridiculing. Basically it has the least amount of ..people… who are looking for a place to exact their pleasure from others pain. For the few who have nothing constructive or informative or intellegnet for that matter to add to this site I invite you to join one of the many other sites out there that would relish your type of trash talk for entertainment. But hey…free country you can stay and continue to post your useless trash, maybe you’ll learn something. I know I have. Oh and one more thing for the record, the sky in my world is currently bright blue with lots of fluffly white clouds.

  10. Disgusted Says:

    To FF, Nicki and a few choice others: Once Craig is sentenced you can all fight over who’s turn it is when it comes time for a conjugal visit with him.

  11. darkstar Says:

    FF,

    The only useless trash around here is your self indulgent whining about not having a thick enough skin to participate on a blog like this…

    It works both ways…and you cannot have it all your way…unlike your one sided diatribes, most people here, pro and con, are willing to debate and argue what they feel are pertinent facts in the case…you on the other hand, blather on and on that it is all a set up fueled by corruption, blah, blah, blah…

    Why dont you argue that the facts of MJ’s demise are not what the indictment said they were? Maybe you would have some cred with more people here…You are always claiming no one here knows the facts like you do…so why not enlighten the rest of us…?To not do so simply reinforces the current conventional wisdom that you are frankly full of shit.

    Your poorly disguised contempt for anyone remotely considering that CT/KR could be guilty adds nothing to the discussion except to have more people care less about what you think…

    d*

  12. Who Cares Says:

    I’ve refrained from posting for a while but have to agree with d*. Nicki, family friend and a few more are only interested in the preservation of a murdering duo who are both nothing but cowards and are a threat to the general public. I would much rather see them receive a life w/o parole sentence as opposed to the death penalty. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a death penalty advocate but these two slimeballs should live for another 40 years reflecting on how they blew a shot at a priveledge life. May they rot in hell and Disgusted has a point, you whiney babies can line up to be Craig’s bitch on rotation.

  13. Canuck Says:

    Darkstart, disgusted and WC - right on the money.

    FF - “irregardless” is not a word

  14. Nicki Says:

    Well, maybe I am a little biased because I know them personally and know in my heart that they are not capable of killing anyone. I know they were partying way too much and made a bad decision when they found Melissa’s overdosed body. I talk to Craig on the phone at least three times a week. That is how I KNOW, HONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Disgusted Says:

    I understand your problem Nicki, it’s called DENIAL.

    If you really are speaking with CT on the phone then you of course realize that your conversations have been LEGALLY recorded and that you could very possibly be subpoenaed by the very people you have accused of being corrupt. I would buy tickets to see that.

    A word of advice: should you choose to leave the state to avoid this, don’t stop for a pedicure.

  16. A Thought Says:

    This case ruin Mr. Saggese’s career? Hardly. Win or Lose. Desperate? Even farther from the truth. And as for the idea he’s not making any money off this case? Try again. Let’s just say that publicity doesn’t begin to come close to covering his bills.

  17. darkstar Says:

    Nicki, honey…

    Says YOU….So what??

    What you know in your heart doesnt count…and you are basing this, no doubt on your thrice weekly conversations with your vapor tight, bullet proof source, (I mean CT), that MJ overdosed…no prejudice or bias there, no sir…

    Why dont you call Saggese and tell him you can exonerate CT? Think you will get a return call?

    If you know so much, me thinks you would be on a witness list…

    I’ll give you points for your sychophantic devotion, but until you are asked to take the oath and tell it in court, subject to cross examination, what you purport to know dont mean squat…

    Look, sweetheart, CT will get a fair trial. KR as well…All this peripheral thrashing around wont have much, if any, bearing on the case in chief.

    d*

  18. are you serious Says:

    Hi Niki! As for those of you that haven’t figured it out already, she is Craig’s sister!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course she is going to defend him! She too is a piece of shit white trash girl from texas that gave birth to twins that could hardly breathe b/c she decided to TAKE DRUGS the whole time they were in the womb! WAKE UP PEOPLE! This is not about Mr. Craig TITUS! This is about a poor woman that was murdered for no reason…NO REASON. Give me ONE that could justify what happened to her. I know no one can, so FUCK OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. wayne mortensen Says:

    Nicki, you mentioned in your post that CT made a bad decision. They just happened to come across her overdosed body, so instead of calling the law, they taser, beat, gag, torture then burn her body. Is that a bad decision or had they spiraled out of control from their drug use, their bed hoping escapades, their lying and deceit.
    Both of these people had been idolized because CT had big muscles and Kelly looked hot in her tighties. Well, Nicki you can see how your brother is idolized now. They hogtie him,
    strap him down and tell him to keep his mouth shut. CT and KR will be found guilty. Just a few months away and they will have their say in court. Your bro will be found guilty, and he will get life. KR will probably get out earlier because she will tug at the heartstrings of the jurors, she will look matronly, older, her hair will be in a pile on top of her hair. She will only get 20 years or so. If you are talking with your bro 3 times a week, you need to tell him to cut a deal with the prosecution and let KR take more of the blame. Bad decision my ass!

  20. KNEW THEM Says:

    Are you serious: That’s some pretty shitty things to say about a mother expecting even if it’s true. You should leave her personal life out of the comments; no one needs to know that.

  21. Disgusted Says:

    Call it tough love, if the shoe fits…

    Although the post appears to be personal on T’s sister it is relevant and if true then she will most likely be subpoenaed for information she claims to possess and continues these claims on this site. You can’t possibly expect that message boards such as this one aren’t being monitored can you? I have faith in the system that both Titus and Ryan will be convicted. Any profits generated by Titus and Ryan will most likely go to MJ’s family. I trust that her mother has filed a civil suit against Titus and Tyan for the death of her daughter.

    If Saddam Hussein could be arrested, tried, convicted and executed what makes any intelligent person believe that Titus and Ryan will prevail?

  22. chainsaw Says:

    First of all, We’re not in Iraq.

  23. Disgusted Says:

    No shit chain, it’s a metaphor. My point which you missed is that no one, not even the mighty Craig Titus is immune to capture, conviction and ultimately execution.

  24. chainsaw Says:

    CT isn’t gonna get convicted by the evidance. He will get convicted by, as Ralph Kramden would say “His BIG MOUTH!”

  25. Disgusted Says:

    As long as he gets convicted I don’t care. this nobody should spend the rest of his life behind bars honeymooning every night. Looks like that’s going to happen.

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