Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Frazier Lawyer Wants 10 Trials

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Frazier Lawyer Wants 10 Trials

Article excerpt

HEARING: State will contest motion, arguing the charges are connected

MANATEE COUNTY

The attorney for former Manatee High School football coach and parent liaison Rod Frazier is asking that his client -- accused of inappropriately touching female students and coworkers and wrongfully removing students from class -- receive 10 separate trials.

The state will argue today at a motions hearing that -- as in the case of serial killer Ted Bundy -- the charges are connected and should be tried in front of one jury, court records show.

Edwin Mulock filed a motion for severance in September, outlining his argument for separating the charges.

The state countered his points in a response to the motion that was filed Tuesday.

Frazier resigned from Manatee High School on July 26, a week after he was charged with seven counts of battery and three counts of interfering with student attendance.

If tried on all charges at once, Frazier's attorney, Mulock, said he fears his client would not receive a fair trial.

"They know they've got weak cases, so they're trying to throw them together, present them to a jury and hope something will stick," Mulock said of the prosecution. "With so many cases the jury might think: 'There must be something to this.'"

Mulock said the cases should be separated because the locations and times of the alleged crimes, victims and specific allegations are different and, therefore, unrelated.

But Assistant State Attorney Heather Doyle will argue the alleged crimes are "inextricably intertwined" and should be presented together to a single jury, court records indicate.

In the state's response to Frazier's motion for severance, the prosecution points out that the victims were either students or staff members at Manatee High School, where Frazier was employed, and that most of the alleged crimes took place on campus or at functions affiliated with the school. …

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