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Craig Titus & Kelly Ryan Investigation » Blog Archive » Judge Glass stays on the case - Titus calls her “wicked” and “mean”

Judge Glass stays on the case - Titus calls her “wicked” and “mean”

Glenn reports on the motion to remove Judge Glass as the judge on the case. Titus and his lawyer were denied an such removal. Will this come back to bite them? We’ll have to see when the trial begins in April. Visit the Last Vegas Review Journal for the full story.

Judge stays on murder case
Bodybuilder loses bid to have Glass removed from trial

By Glenn Puit | Las Vegas Review Journal

First Craig Titus badmouthed District Judge Jackie Glass, calling her “wicked” and “mean.”

Then Titus’ attorney sought to have Glass removed from the bodybuilder’s murder case, contending that the judge engaged in misconduct by holding a prohibited conversation with a prosecutor and another attorney.

But on Friday, Clark County Chief Judge Kathy Hardcastle reviewed the allegations against Glass and determined that the judge did nothing wrong, and now Titus faces a murder trial in front of the judge he criticized.

“No matter what the circumstances are, I’ll be able to manage,” Titus’ attorney, Marc Saggese, said Friday.

One veteran attorney said that despite the way Titus and his attorney criticized Glass, he has no doubt the defendant and his attorney will get fair treatment in the courtroom.

Attorney Charles Kelly, who has practiced in front of Glass, said Glass will do what a judge is required to do under the circumstances: ignore all the distractions and simply rule on the facts of the case.

“She’s a human being, but my experience with her has been pretty damned good,” Kelly said. “I’ve been very impressed with her, how she handles herself. They have basically put her judicial tender to task by virtue of these motions, but I have no doubt that, given my experiences with her, she’ll do fine.”

Titus, 42, and his wife, fitness champion Kelly Ryan, 34, are charged with killing their personal assistant, Melissa James, in December. Authorities allege that the couple then burned James’ body in the trunk of Ryan’s Jaguar off state Route 160. A third defendant, Anthony Gross, has been charged with helping the couple dispose of the body.

In October, police arrested a Titus acquaintance, Nelson Brady Jr., on charges that he tried to hire a hit man to kill three witnesses in Titus’ murder trial. Titus has not been charged in the plot.

During the murder-for-hire investigation, however, police suspected that Titus was involved in the plot, so they staged the death of Gross, one of the alleged plot’s targets. But Gross’ supervising house arrest officer was not told of the ruse, and he pursued a warrant for an arrest of Gross, believing the young man had fled the jurisdiction.

On June 26, Clark County prosecutor Robert 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.”

Saggese said this indicated to him that Glass was told of the particulars of the murder-for-hire investigation, yet Glass never disclosed this fact to defense attorneys and then ruled against Titus on subsequent legal motions.

Daskas, a detective and Oronoz each filed affidavits saying Glass was not informed that Titus was a suspect, and Hardcastle determined Friday that Glass should stay on the case.

“What is presented here is nothing more than a bare motion supported by suspicions and assumptions about why events turned out the way they did,” the judge said. “This court cannot disqualify a judge on such a motion.”

Saggese said he was disappointed with the ruling and felt that a hearing on the matter should have been held. He said given the facts presented to him, he had a legal obligation to pursue Glass’ removal.

“I just want to make sure everyone is playing by the rules,” Saggese said. “Don’t fault the defense for taking the words of an officer as true.”

But Daskas said the motion was meritless, and he also took issue with Saggese previously suggesting that either he was lying or police had filed a false police report.

“What he essentially said is, I’m lying,” Daskas said. “Well, if I’m not telling the truth, neither is the judge and neither is Jim Oronoz because we all filed affidavits on this under the penalty of perjury. That is a bold accusation to make.”

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