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Greg Denue You’re FIRED!

Glenn Puit delivers another story via The Las Vegas Review Journal this weekend…

craig smiling

Fitness champ seeks new attorney - Fired lawyer says husband ‘pulling strings’
Accused killer Craig Titus was all smiles Friday when it was announced that his co-defendant wife, Kelly Ryan, was firing her defense attorney.

But the attorney, Greg Denue, said his firing was a result of Titus controlling his wife’s legal defense, which he said he believes is detrimental to Ryan in the long run.

“Who’s looking out for Kelly?” Denue said. “I think he (Titus) has been pulling the strings.”

Ryan said in court Friday that she wants to replace Denue with defense attorney Michael Cristalli, the law partner of Titus’ defense attorney, Marc Saggese.

Cristalli said Titus and Ryan have signed a “joint defense agreement,” meaning they will pursue the same line of defense.

Titus, 42, and Ryan, 34, are two of the fitness world’s top celebrities. They are charged with killing their acquaintance, Melissa James, in December 2005, then setting her body on fire in the trunk of Ryan’s Jaguar off Blue Diamond Road.

Titus and Ryan have described James as their personal assistant.

Titus told police that James, 28, overdosed on drugs at the couple’s home and that he burned the body in an attempt to avoid bad publicity.

Since the couple’s arrest in Boston in January 2006, there has been speculation that Ryan would turn on her husband and enter into a plea deal.

Ryan has remained loyal.

Her first defense attorney, Tom Pitaro, was fired in September. Denue was hired, but with him came further speculation that Ryan would take a plea deal or that Denue would pursue a trial defense contrary to Titus’ defense regarding how James died.

Denue said Friday that Titus has repeatedly tried to communicate with him since he started representing Ryan. He said he hasn’t responded to the bodybuilder’s inquiries.

“I won’t return his calls,” Denue said. “He sent me a letter, and I put it in an envelope and sent it back to him without opening it. He’s not happy because he knows I have adverse interests, so I have to go.”

In the courtroom of District Judge Jackie Glass on Friday, attorneys were scheduled to argue a multitude of pretrial motions for the couple’s murder trial in April.

But once the proceedings started, it became clear that the issue of the day was Denue’s firing.

Titus smiled broadly at the sight of Cristalli in court.

“I’ve been trying to do this for a year now. … This is what I’ve been trying to do since day one,” Titus said loudly.

Cristalli, who in 2004 secured an acquittal for Sandy Murphy in the high-profile Ted Binion murder trial, said his proposed representation of Ryan was not dictated by Titus.

Cristalli said Ryan and her father, Tom Ryan, were responsible for his hiring.

“I’ve never met with Craig on this issue, ever, never, ever,” Cristalli said.

Ultimately, it is Kelly Ryan’s choice as to who her attorney will be.

“She has a Sixth Amendment right to the counsel of her choice,” Cristalli said.

He said that even though he is Saggese’s law partner, he will pursue whatever defense is best for Ryan. He also said that any talk of a plea deal for Ryan isn’t feasible for one reason: She doesn’t want to take a deal.

“It ain’t never going to happen,” Cristalli said.

Before Cristalli can officially become Ryan’s attorney, Glass must sign off on the proposal.

The judge said Friday that she wants to have a hearing on whether there is a conflict in having two lawyers from the same law firm representing two defendants in the same criminal case.

Glass also said she will appoint an independent attorney to speak with Ryan regarding the matter. She scheduled a hearing for 2 p.m. Wednesday to probe the issue further.

22 Responses to “Greg Denue You’re FIRED!”

  1. shockandawe Says:

    What a crazy looking sonofabitch. So sad that Kelly is even buffaloed by Titus after being accused of murder! I am flabberghasted and have no more sympathy. It’s amazing how f’d up Titus has made her life in the past 7 years.

    Sad. Someone needs to shank that bastard and let Kelly do something legitimate for herself for once in 7 years.

  2. Venice Says:

    He does look like a friggin’ lunatic in those pics- sheesh..

    It seems to me that KR and her dad had more to do with the decision than Craig.

    I fail to see how this helps them if they are broke though…

  3. darkstar Says:


    That is the question….if they are broke, CT cant pay saggese and maybe KRs dad will pay for cristalli…but I am sure Denue is still owed a big chunk, as is Sagesse…

    Something doesnt add up..


  4. darkstar Says:

    Holy Crap, Titus almost looks like he is saying “Heeeeere’s Johnny…” from The Shining…

    …just before he splits the door open with his axe…


  5. shockandawe Says:

    In order for Titus to feel comfortable with any attorney, it has to be someone who is a lot like him, but obviously, the above board version. Still, he couldn’t have any attorney. No attorney worth their salt, who is straight laced and not prone to grandstanding, would ever take his case, let alone cut him a financial break. It would be to their detriment and embarrassment to choose someone like Titus to “help”, despite the high profile nature. He is a lost cause, but someone like Sagesse has a big, big mouth too, and loves to practice the same tactics as Titus, minus the threats and beatings and murders. He’s just like him. If he had a legitimate attorney, they would fire HIM!

  6. darkstar Says:

    Cristalli isnt all that different from Saggese. They are partners after all…a couple of showboats that Titus thinks can float him right out of jail scot free…

    I see CTs fingerprints all over this…just listen to Titus bloviating how he has been working on this from day one….yeah, right…

    Denue was right…now that CT has manipulated him out of the picture and gotten a “joint defense” agreement from Cristalli and Saggese, will that be the best defense Kelly can get, or is CT going to ensure she goes down with him? (Not that she might not anyway, but Denue seemed to have a separate strategy to try and distance Kelly from Craig…Not any more…)

    And lastly, and once again, who is going to pay these lawyers?

    Maybe Sagesse will challenge the DA to a boxing match…


  7. Venice Says:


    Let me preface this by saying - I think you make a lot of worthwhile and interesting observations.

    I differ with you on the matter of an attourney not wanting to associate with a scumbag like Titus - or being concerned about their rep as an attourney.


    That’s what criminal defense attourneys do…by and large they represent scumbags …that is their job description…F. Lee Bailey, Johnny Cochran, that guy that defended Kevorkian and Scott Peterson…- I mean ppl are entitled to a

  8. Venice Says:

    a vigorous defense…and we all realize that to a certain extent - money can make a big difference - the O.J. trial comes to mind….

    I just wonder when the late Johnny Cochran or F. Lee Bailey… Or any of these guys put their head on their pillow - if they ever felt a tinge of guilt - brilliant minds all - certainly brilliant enough to realize their client was in all likelihood guilty - did it bother them - does ego take over - is it just about winning - I mean from a cold business standpoint - it should

  9. Venice, Says:

    be all about winning - but does a part of them just want to get at the truth…like us - the outsiders looking in…

    I will never forget when the O.J. Verdict was read - the look on Robert Kardashian’s face - as if to say - I can’t f’ing believe my ears… That said it all.

    In the case of CT and KR - I frankly see a lot of room for a jury to be manipulated - maybe they get charged with mutilation of a corpse and get off on murder charges - I could see it happening…

    You may think Saggese is a showboat

  10. Venice Says:

    but that kind of flashy charisma often resonates with a jury.

    We are all speculating based on CT and KR’s behavior that they are guilty…but they are sticking together - to me I think they have a shot at beating “reasonable doubt” criteria… If you ask me privately if I think they’re guilty of murder - initially I was convinced of it - now I find myself thinking - what if it happened just as they said - MJ od’d - could they have acted that stupid - -I’m beginning to think they could’ve - I’m. My guess

  11. Venice Says:

    is they killed her.

    But could they have acted that stupid??

    Yeah they could’ve - under the influence of Drugs - that tend to make one paranoid and irrational to begin with - could they have behaved that irrational?


    My opinion has changed on this case -

    In terms of them potentially being innocent of murder.

    Craig still strilkes me as a socipath - and the whole case is disgusting and pathetic - but - but MJ - god rest her soul- was no choir girl …

  12. are you serious? Says:

    Venice - your opinion changed every single time you entered a new blog. Figure it out…it’s not that difficult. Have you read any of the evidence against them? I have an idea, let’s taser someone 10, or however many times they did, before they die of a drug overdose. Does that make any sense? Then, lets duct tape her, stick her in the trunk of our car, burn her and then SAY it was a drug overdose!! They aren’t fooling anyone, and they definately WILL not fool or convince a jury that is how it went down.

  13. CHAINSAW Says:

    are you serious?

    Thats what they said about the Binion trial here in Vegas, and low and behold, everything that the state put out wasn’t what it was supposed to be, and they walked out on appeal. That was bigger than this trial will ever be.

  14. Jason G Says:

    CREDITABILITY is the key word IF and only IF Brady is found NOT GUILTY by any kind of a dismissal by a Judge or Jury. Brady has claimed “prosecutorial misconduct” and questions about whether the police actions were legal.

    The murder-for-hire scheme could (AND WOULD) be introduced by the prosecution IF Brady is found guilty or would turn on Titus. Likewise, the defence is allowed to introduce this scheme and its’ outcome IF Brady is found innocent. It was told to me that this would be a devastating blow to the prosecutation case as it would show that the government had seriously violated the law in its’ efforts to convict Titus.

    Entrapment on the part of government is unlawfull. A simple defination is: A law-enforcement officer’s or government AGENT’S (Cassim) inducement of a person to commit a crime, by means of fraud or undue persuasion, in an attempt to later bring criminal prosecution against that person. (Brady)

    Now timing becomes very important here as should the Titus trial begin before Brady is exonerated, his (Bradys’) outcome would be of no use to the Titus defence. IF Brady can get to trial first AND be found innocent before the Titus trial, that can be used by the Titus defence. Each of the four (4) attorneys’ I was able to discuss this case with said that the prosecution will make every effort to delay Brady’s day in court and on the other hand the prosecution will make every effort possible to get the Titus trial started before Bradys’. Additionally, it is unlikely that the Titus attorney would be working with the Brady attorney as they each have an ethical duty for only their client.

    Thus I stand by my prediction. Cassim will be unavilable for any type of court appearance and there is no law that would compel his return from London, England. Our agreement with the United Kingdom covers the apprehending of fugitives and criminals. Subpoenas’ for criminal and or civil cases are not enforceable. Cassim would have to return on his own accord and I for one, do not for see that happening.

    Brady’s preliminary trial is scheduled to start on March 7th. “Let the circus now begin.”

  15. darkstar Says:

    I suppose what I am missing in your theory is the fact that Titus has NOT BEEN CHARGED with the murder for hire plot. Tell me then, what relevance does it have to the murder of MJ?

    Even if Brady is convicted or acquitted, what does that have to do with Titus? He was not and has not been charged with that particular crime.

    If Brady is convicted, it would be on the basis of the phone calls and meetings, enough to constitute a conspiracy…Brady stands alone. If acquitted, so what…the DA hasnt charged CT, so where is the advantage to the defense in the murder trial?

    Id like to know under what rule of evidence Brady could be introduced in the Titus Ryan trial, and for what purpose, by either the prosecution or defense…


  16. Jason G Says:

    I am truly sorry that I do not know exactley how this all works. I called a total of 10 Las Vegas “Criminal” Attorneys out of the Las Vegas telephone directry and was able to speak with four (4). I have simply repeated to you what they said to me. For the purpose of “CREDITABILITY”. This makes perfect sense to me and we will have to agree to disagree at this time. I will make an attempt of finding the rules you have requested however, you may wish to talk to an attorney of your choice and ask that same question. I believe you will be given the same answer as I was given. Should you choose this course of action, be sure to give the complete background of the cases and how they are related.

  17. darkstar Says:

    Credibility of whom? I am not sure where you are applying the credibility, to whom or what…without further explanation, it appears you got the advice you paid for…

    I still want to know how the facts of the Brady case are going to be allowed into the Titus trial.


  18. Venice Says:


    My opinion didn’t change in every other blog.

    What I’m saying is this…

    Do I believe they murdered MJ - yes I do.

    Is it entirely implausible that she Od’d and they behaved irrationally - no it’s not entirely oimplausible - unlikely - but not impossible.

    The taser could have been used in attempt to restart her heart - like a debulutor - as I believe Chain pointed out previously.

    I’m just argueing the other side of the coin here - If I were Saggese I would argue that - why in the hell would anybody taser another individual 10 times - unless they were using it as a medical instrument - The D.A. will argue it was rage - all I’m saying is that I’m beginning to see an arguement for the defense.

    Do I think CT is a scumbag - absolutely..but you have to look at the evidence - this is what each juror will go back and forth on in their own minds..

  19. Venice Says:

    One other thing that has struck me as unsual is the way Denue lashed out at Titus publicly.

    I could understand if he made thise type of comments in a private conversation, but doesn’t it seem a little out of the ordinary for an attorney to lash out against CT- because in effect he’s lashing out against Kelly…when this type of shit happens don’t most attys bow out a little more gracefully?

    Don’t get me wrong - I don’t blame the guy - I agree with his sentiments - just seems a bit unusual…

  20. Jason G Says:

    CREDITABILITY of DA Daskas and the police officers who investigated the Titus/Ryan case and the Brady case. IF, and ONLY BRADY IS PROVEN INNOCENT will the defence be able to question the integrity of the police officers involved, (and challenge their integrity and creditability). IF, The Las Vegas Police Department and or DA Daskas were involved in this “set-up” of the murder-for-hire scheme, WITCH I SUGGEST THEY ARE, the Titus defence WILL be able to admit this into their proceedings. MY point, “ENTRAPMENT” by the police and or DA is in violation of the law therefore, the DA and or police would loose their creditability. It would make no difference if Titus was charged in this scheme, it goes ONLY to the integrity and creditability of the persons who brought the original charges against Brady and Titus. Now we all know that DA Daskas is involved in both cases, I just do not know if these are the same officers. Does any one have that answer? I have seen the police reports on some other web site, however the investigating officers names were omitted.

  21. darkstar Says:

    I still dont see where even if Brady is found not guilty how the Titus defense can use that case’s result to cast dispersions on the DA. I just want to know what rule of evidence would be used to get it in. Character? More probative than prejudicial?

    That will have to be one hell of a foundation laid to have a whisper of a chance of getting in.

    Who would the defense put on the stand?

    And if they do find a way to introduce it, its not a one way street. The DA will have their say during cross…

    I think it does make a difference whether Titus is charged or not.

    I also do not think there will be entrapment found. Brady stuck with it long enough to end up making a down payment for the hit….Prodding and cajoling (on the part of old Deen) dont necessarily constitute entrapment.

    You got a lot of “ifs” in there…

    Are you saying that if Brady IS convicted that you wouldnt question the “integrity” of the DA and Metro?

    I think the DA has a better grip on this than what you are predicting, but what do I know. You see it your way, and I dont. Doesnt mean either guess is wrong.

    I am not siding with the DA either. Its simply the way I see things going down so far.


  22. laugheygirl Says:

    I think the picture of Craig is not that of a crazy man, but a husband saying this is all I can do with these chains on me is wave…You are being so hard on him. Do you really know him?

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