The attorney for Maksim Gelman, the suspect in last month's stabbing spree, said he's considering legal actions to reinstate an order a Brooklyn Judge made baring the press from interviewing his client.
Judge Geraldine Pickett bared reporters from interviewing Gelman, who faces murder and several other charges, on February 18at the request of defense lawyer Edward Friedman.
The Judge decided to reverse the decision Wednesday, saying the media's access to the defendant poses no threat to his right to a fair trial — given the extensive media coverage the case has already received. A court spokesman says it's rare for a judge to issue and rescind her own order.
But Friedman says the interviews Gelman gave to several members of the press has harmed his client and it was inappropriate for reporters to gain access to someone in a psychiatric hospital.
"It would certainly not only perhaps jeopardize his ability — his defense in the case — but also might jeopardize his physical and mental health," he said.
A spokesman for the Department of Correction, Stephen Morello, which governs access to inmates at Bellevue Hospital, said the department does not stand in the way of media on official business who seek interviews in their custody and it's up to the inmate to determine or decline who he or she wants to see.
But Morello adds that an attorney or inmate himself can send of a list of approved and non approved visitors to the Department of Correction if they choose to do so.
Kathleen Horan is a staff reporter for New York Public Radio, covering the criminal justice beat. She also reports 'Reset', an ongoing series documenting police-community relations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR and PRI, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.