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Review Journal Reports: BODYBUILDERS FACING TRIAL: Ruling backs Ryan on lawyer choice

From the Las Vegas Review Journal.

BODYBUILDERS FACING TRIAL: Ruling backs Ryan on lawyer choice

Move allowed if defendant voluntarily waives right to ‘conflict-free’ counsel

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court ruled Thursday that former national fitness champion Kelly Ryan can select a lawyer of her choosing, even though her prospective attorney’s law firm also will defend her husband, bodybuilder Craig Titus.

Ryan and Titus are co-defendants in an upcoming trial in which they face charges of murdering their personal assistant, Melissa James, in December 2005. James’ body was found in Ryan’s burned car just off state Route 160 in Southern Nevada.

District Judge Jackie Glass postponed their trial, set to begin in April, so that Ryan could ask the Supreme Court if she could fire her current attorney, Greg Denue, and replace him with a lawyer whose law firm also represents her husband.

In the decision, justices said there is a strong presumption in law that nonindigent criminal defendants can choose their own lawyers if they voluntarily waive their right to a “conflict-free” counsel.

“When a defendant knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waives the right to conflict-free representation, the district court must accept that waiver,” the court stated.

The justices also said if Ryan agrees to representation with the firm that represents her husband, she cannot later claim she was ineffectively represented.

The appeal to the Supreme Court was filed in the spring after Denue filed legal documents in which he said Ryan was a battered woman. He added that he planned to tell a jury that she was under the control of her husband when James was found dead.

Denue also asked that Ryan be tried separately from her husband. He added that Ryan was wavering on whether she wanted to fire him. Earlier, Ryan had fired another lawyer.

Denue claimed that Titus was trying to control his wife’s legal defense through his lawyer, Marc Saggese.

In court motions, Denue said Saggese wanted to have Ryan “sacrificed at the altar of Craig Titus.”

But Michael Cristalli, the lawyer who wants to represent Ryan, said Denue’s comments were untrue. He said Ryan did not want to blame her husband for James’ slaying. Cristalli and Saggese are law partners.

Chief Justice Bill Maupin entered a dissent in which he said “this attempt at joint representation has been mismanaged.”

If Ryan is convicted, Maupin said there still would be an issue about whether she had an effective lawyer because of the dual representation.

8 Responses to “Review Journal Reports: BODYBUILDERS FACING TRIAL: Ruling backs Ryan on lawyer choice”

  1. shockandawe Says:

    Okay, this is a sad day for Kelly. Talk about missing signs from the Lord. She has been given notice after notice after notice - Hell, she’s practically had Jesus light the campground path with a Coleman lantern - and she refuses to take anything as sign for her own life. She has had so many opportunities, like she had when she first saw Craig and how he was, to get OUT and leave him behind. She refuses to do it. WHY?

    Who in their right mind wouldn’t have distanced themselves from Craig IMMEDIATELY upon arrest for murder? C’mon! She should have rolled and kept on rolling. Craig wouldn’t be able to hurt her - he’s a bully and a thug and knows HE is the reason she is now a woman of 35 in prison!! Christ!

    Denue should write a book on criminally insane people who, despite everyone tying them down to take help, manage to wrangle out of the restraints to make stupid choices in spite of opportuniites. How SADDDDDD!!!!!!!

  2. Phil Says:


    I agree with all of your post..However..I think Kelly had– or has had many chances to get away from Craig..So I think Kelly is the reason she is where she is right now….But your right, I thought she would roll..I think he has had her brain washed ever since they moved from Marina Del Rey…Even though Craig is a friend of mine..that I think could get off of murder 1…Which would be a sad thing for all parties involved..

    How is the new house treating you? Hope all is well!!


  3. Phil Says:


  4. Lucifer De Diablo Says:

    This whole case is nothing but a eloborate frame up of both Craig and Kelly, it all stems from their joint venture in Ice Gear which was a front for Meth and steroids, they were getting financial backing and distribution rights from some pretty made men and when the venture fell through and they got what they wanted they needed to get the titus’s out of the picture they were set up with the Melissa murder the only thing is that the cops are also on the payroll and that is why they came down so hard on Craig there is way to much money involved here and Craig was a loose cannon who had to be extinguished and what better way than to frame him and his wife with murder.

  5. procrastinator Says:

    Lets put the trial off forever…they are still in lock up.

  6. Whodunnit Says:

    C.mon Shock, I think your coleman lantern is a bit low on lighter fluid. Don’t attached religion to a brutal case of cold blooded, calculated murder. Kelly screwed up Kelly’s life. Craig just happened to be the swinging dick in her life when she went along for the ride and look at her now. Life is certainly over for the Titus duo.

  7. shockandawe Says:

    Oh my GOD Whodunn… you are such a MORON! The Jesus reference isn’t MINE, a$$wipe! Cripes! Havne’t you read this story along the way??? DUHHHH!!! KR is the one claiming to have found Jesus. I’m not applying anything but actual intelligence. You can’t even reason that it’s not a religious reference!

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