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Bodybuilder’s attorney to seek taxpayers’ help

Public money would pay experts to testify at murder trial
By: Glenn Puit | Las Vegas Review Journal

Article from: The Las Vegas Review Journal

kelly ryan

craig titus
Craig Titus, above, appears in District Court on Thursday for a pretrial hearing to discuss preparation for the murder trial of him and his wife, Kelly Ryan, below, who also appeared. Authorities are discussing the possibility of delaying the trial, and Titus’ defense attorney is seeking court funds to help pay for the couple’s legal defense. Photos By: Gary Thompson.

The main reporter covering the Titus/Ryan case brings us another story. The main things we took from the article are that Titus and Ryan are in need of money and that the trial could be delayed.


At one point in their fitness careers, Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan seemed to be well-off financially.

The nationally known bodybuilder and his fitness champion wife each was the beneficiary of lucrative endorsement contracts with major fitness supplement companies, and they also owned three homes in different areas of Las Vegas.

But now, a little more than a year after being charged with killing their personal assistant, they appear to be broke.

Titus’ defense attorney revealed Thursday that he plans to ask a judge to give him taxpayer funds to help pay for a portion of his client’s legal defense.

The attorney, Marc Saggese, said he needs the money from District Court to hire a forensic toxicologist, a forensic pathologist, an addiction expert and a psychologist for Titus’ upcoming murder trial.

He said the expert testimony is being secured as part of an effort to prove that the victim in the case, Melissa James, died of a drug overdose and not murder.

Saggese estimates that the bill for the experts will approach $50,000. He told District Judge Jackie Glass that he will need help from the court to pay at least a portion of the bill. “I need to make a request to ask the court for assistance in paying for these experts,” Saggese told the judge. “It’s very expensive.”

Saggese said the expert testimony is necessary to make sure Titus gets a fair trial, but it is still unclear whether Glass will give any court money to Titus and Saggese, who was retained privately by the bodybuilder.

When asked outside of court whether Titus and Ryan were broke, Saggese said they were not, but he added, “They are incapacitated. They are in jail, and their ability to raise funds is limited.”

Authorities allege that Titus and Ryan killed James in December 2005 at their southwest Las Vegas home. They are accused of poisoning the young woman, jolting her with a Taser, beating her, duct-taping her face and then setting her on fire in the trunk of Ryan’s 2003 Jaguar.

The burning vehicle was found off state Route 160.

During subsequent interviews, police said the couple lied about James’ death, then fled across country to Massachusetts, where they were apprehended by the FBI at a strip mall.

Titus, 42, is a former competitor in the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition. Ryan, 34, is recognized as perhaps the greatest competitor ever in the sport of women’s fitness. Both have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, arson and kidnapping.

After their arrests, they sold their homes to pay for their legal defense.

Saggese’s comments Thursday about hiring a forensic pathologist and toxicologist make clear that Titus’ defense will be based on the premise that James, 28, overdosed on drugs and was not slain.

The medical examiner in the case, Peter Kubiczek, found the presence of amphetamine in James’ hair during an autopsy, indicating methamphetamine use. Also in James’ system were high levels of morphine and its metabolytes, which would indicate the use of either heroin or morphine.

“They (the drug levels) were highly toxic,” Kubiczek told the Clark County grand jury that indicted Titus and Ryan. “Some specialist may call them lethal, but they were very high.”

A cause of death for James could not be determined because her body was so badly burned. But police and prosecutors say the premise that she died of an accidental drug overdose is not consistent with other evidence in the case. Witness testimony introduced in front of a grand jury suggested that Titus and Ryan had drugged James, that the victim had been duct-taped, and that Titus and Ryan originally lied to police about James’ demise.

Also, police have recovered Titus’ Taser, and an analysis of the device showed it was discharged multiple times at the exact time Titus and Ryan placed themselves with the victim. In addition, police recovered physical evidence from the couple’s home to prove that the Taser was discharged in the residence.

According to court proceedings Thursday, the inability of Titus’ defense team to pay for experts could prompt a delay in the pair’s trial, now set for April 2. A decision on any delay will be made in February.

Clark County prosecutor Robert Daskas said it was possible the high-profile trial could be delayed until 2008.

Glass said if the trial is delayed, she hopes to see it begin by the end of the year at the latest.

29 Responses to “Bodybuilder’s attorney to seek taxpayers’ help”

  1. darkstar Says:

    I knew it! I called this way back, months ago…

    This should be no surprise to anyone…They are tapped out.

    “Incapacitated” my ass…that is Saggese’s completely transparent way of saying “my clients are broke and cant pay me…” I’m surprised it took this long!

    Truly, is anyone surprised at this?


  2. KNEW THEM Says:

    Yes u did D*, congrats! GO SAINTS! CT: checks in the mail to Saggese. Can I do Kel if she gets out before you?

  3. KNEW THEM Says:

    Anybody see that Kamali/Titus video on u tube : the Bam/What one? That’s some funny shit! Talk to ya’ll Tuesday….Who Dat!?!

  4. chainsaw Says:

    Trial in 2008? I had a feeling it would never happen this year. I think Glass should make it happen. They do have rights (KR and CT). But so does the general public and MJ’s family to see justice done.

  5. darkstar Says:


    It doesnt quite work that way. Did it occur to you that the defense is the one currently delaying the trial? Saggese is asking for taxpayer money to pay for it…so, there has to be a hearing….Im sure there are plenty of people who would say, “go forward with the trial now!” but that would potentially deny due process to CT and KR… Glass is looking out for their rights by delaying it…

    If every trial was forced to proceed, there would be overturns on appeals all over the place for due process violations…Gotta be careful what you ask for.

    The legal system moves slow. Thats why you want to avoid it like the plague.


  6. Johnny2007 Says:

    Hmmm…I wouldn’t mind chipping in a few bucks if I could get some juice, or a chance to give Craig a body massage… (-’

  7. Johnny2007 Says:

    Hey…just came across a bunch of wannabe “Mr”s (Olympia, USA, etc) that are doing the “gay” thing to feed their roid and drug crazes. One I’ll post here cause he died pursuing his habit. Scott Klein was 30 yo when he died. On the Repetrope.com site he has a “lifestyle” video (there are tons of these here) that he peddles to show you his workout regemen. After the workout, he states: “And to really blow your mind, you get invited back to my house and meet me in the hot tub. Sorry, no suits allowed.” As I posted earlier…these roid and drug habits have to be sustained just like their big muscled bods. The money has to come from somewhere. Ali Matteau was another caught up in this craze as well in Venice…finally returning to Canada and getting out of bodybuilding. For him it was getting hooked up on the gay PNP thing of smoking and slamming crystal meth along with the steroids..just like I did. We both had to get out of LA so we could get cleaned up. There’s only so much room at the top of the pyramid to be the best bodybuilder or win contests. For every winner there are hundreds struggling to make it, and it costs A LOT of money to do it to get tese freakazoid bodys. The money’s not from the sale of supplements, otherwise these guys wouldn’t be offering themselves for “muscle worship” at a price of $200-300/hour…or a night for $2,000..or joining Scott in his hot tub in the buff…or in the case of Craig… having you stay a weekend at his house. The least Craig could have done was barbque the steaks himself instead of sending out for Outback. Come to think of it, maybe Craig was the appetizer…

  8. chainsaw Says:

    Johnny 2007:

    You’re stories are sort of getting to me. Can we speak of something else, more pertinant to the case please.

  9. wayne mortensen Says:

    What in the world is going on with this Johnny 2007 comments. He just loves telling everyone how gay he is and his steroid use. Go away.

  10. Disgusted Says:


    The Miranda Act states clearly, “You have the right to an attorney, if you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to you”.

    No where does it say the high priced attorney of your choosing!

    Let C & T take their chances with the Public Defender.

    I’d rather give citizenship immunity and welfare to illegal aliens than have the taxpayers foot Saggese’s lifestyle (oops) bill.

  11. darkstar Says:


    See my comments under “fair and speedy trial”…

    Correctamundo, sir.


  12. johnny2007 Says:

    Just want to make the point that bodybuilders are capable of a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g when trying to secure roids for thousands of dollars…and by being on them…capable of doing a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g under their influence. We are certainly no angels as you can see in Craig and Kelly’s bizzare case!

  13. shockandawe Says:

    I mean, dude, Scott Klein? How big time was he? You’re trying to prove that all the “top guys” are doing gay for pay and whether they are or not, isn’t the point. The point is, you’re citing guys who don’t matter and a guy who’s in jail and can’t come out and kick your ass for accusing him of it. I mean, who knows if Titus has done gay for pay. Probably. But the point is, how would YOU know? Lowly bb’er in Gold’s Venice, but more likely, those out of Hollywood Gold’s would probably be better candidates. I mean, if you’re talking about guys who already shop at International Male on Santa Monica Blvd, then it’s kind of a moot issue, isn’t it?

    I agree. I don’t believe the taxpayers should foot the bill for Titus’ expensive attorney’s bills - (though I bet right now he wished his client had not mouthed off to the judge). Naturally, he’s gotta know that Glass will say “DENIED” and proceed, but she knows that too. And whomever said it here - that she is trying to protect the situation and their rights - is absolutely probably right on the money. She doesn’t want a mistrial any more than anyone else. And that’s exactly what Saggesse, who is an unscrupulous attorney, is trying to set them up for… some loophole slipknot that they can slither out of when things go awry.

    Luckily, Judge Glass is experienced enough to head that off at the pass.
    No wonder Titus looks so worried. He’s standing in front of the woman who is going to put him away for life…. and do it without faltering.

  14. darkstar Says:

    Look for Saggese to withdraw if he cant squeeze the county for the $$ to pay for his fees and experts…I believe that is a discretionary recusal and permitted as long as there is fair notice to the client and the court.


  15. KNEW THEM Says:

    Johnny boy: You’re starting to rub people the wrong way assuming you know about Pro BBing, and it is very obvious you don’t. I think you’re on the wrong board…you are hoping and wishing all these overly muscular men do this and THEY Don’t! A few nobodies and never-willbes may, but most bbers with any potential or self respect would rather get funds elsewhere. I have found out over the years that gay men think the majority of bbers are bi courious….KEEP DREAMING! We aim to perfect/sculpt our body in competitions, not pimp ourselves out. O.K. I waisted enough time on your clouded concept.

  16. Johnny2007 Says:

    Had a straight bud who took me to News Cafe in South Beach to get a steak. He was roiding fiercely that day…had been injecting himself on a daily basis for about a month. We parked a few blocks away so we had to walk up to the beachfront. I counted 5 times he wouldn’t get out of the way for people walking up the sidewalk toward us. When we were sitting outside waiting for service at the crowded cafe, he went into a total rage because he was hungry. Then, when our meals were delayed, he picked up the table with umbrella and threw it onto Ocean Drive. We took off running and all he did was laugh. When I said to him that I think the roids were affecting him, he went into a rage on me and then ran off. Just another story to show you the effect steroids have on a person’s behavior and certainly has something to do with this Craig and Kelly story.

  17. KNEW THEM Says:

    Your bud was prob. an asshole way before the roids, and many people use it as an excuse to be more of an angry dick. Enough with the roid blame game and the pose for pay shit Johnny boy.

  18. chainsaw Says:

    Knew Them:

    Right with you on that!

  19. shockandawe Says:

    Okay, but I have to say, Knew Them, that Johnny is a LOT more founded in reality on this one than on the other. Sure, I don’t like gratuitous references to villainizing steroids either - because I don’t think it’s that black and white and sounds somewhat ignorant to do blanketly - HOWEVER, I know that this kind of behavior does exist. Sure, the Jay Cutlers and Ronnies are gentleman, but a lot of you aren’t.

    Anyhow, I don’t know what that, or anything anyone has said about Roids, had to do with the price of tea in China, or this, but I have to say, I said my piece.

    Now, Johnny, will you piss off with this sex-for-hire/ gay-for-pay shit once and for all!?

  20. Sickayercrap Says:

    Do any of you have a job???Seems like you have nothing better to do with your time than sit around gossiping. Get a life.

  21. shockandawe Says:

    Yeah, we’re unemployed losers like you. HA!

  22. KNEW THEM Says:

    Hey Shock, thanks for the half way backing.

  23. Johnny2007 Says:

    One question I have never see answered is why is the use of steroids…as well as the “amounts” these guys use…are never admitted to…spoken of…or put in print? Why all the “hush hush” surrounding this, and the dishonesty about using them? Even if you have a “nice guy in the bunch” using them…doesn’t it say something about their character as a person for using them in the first place? How about the guy who trys to compete honestly? He’ll never get to first base in this sport. I mean…could you see Steve Reeves try to compete in a bb competion in 2007. He would never even make it in a “state” contest. Another thing I think is funny…it hadn’t been until the late 60’s and 70’s that we stated seeing guys starting to morph into these creatures appearing on stage. Amazing that for thousands of years God never told man he could do this stuff to his body. I just wonder what bodybuilders will be injecting…or maybe “gene sequencing” themselves by the end of this century…let alone by the year 2525 and beyond! (lol)

  24. Arnie Says:

    Thay both look like crap.

  25. Arnie Says:

    On, and nice bling on your wrist Kelly……LOL!

  26. shockandawe Says:

    Bling on wrist? Who are you talking to Arnie?
    Also, are you wife-swapping Arnie List? How is Etty?
    J/C Sorry… Saw you on tv on some real esate show or something … they blanked out your home office number on the sign. That was odd, considering you could drive by anyone’s house with your sign staked in the yard and get that same number. Still driving the Lexus? Still swapping? Do Carl and Jodie swap too?

  27. KNEW THEM Says:

    ARNIE: U always looked like crap!

  28. shockandawe Says:

    hahaha! And Etty always OWNED YOU~ the hairy beeotch

  29. a. jones Says:

    the publicity being negative for calling the paramedics is Whacked!!!! now look at you…who burns bodies? killers….hiding evidence dugh!!! If they cared about her they would have wanted to call the paramedics..fishy, fishy what did the assistant have on them?????? think about it folks………….

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