Murder defendant Darren Mack's attorney Scott Freeman filed for a writ of habeus corpus, arguing both judicial error and insufficient evidence.
His motion stems from issues raised at Mack's August 30th preliminary hearing before Justice Court Judge Ed Dannan. At that time Mack's attorneys had moved to have the entire Washoe County judicial bench removed from the case for possible bias, but no decision had been made, so Dannan was presiding. Freeman asked him to order a psychiatric examination of Mack to determine his competency. Dannan declined, instead allowing testimony from a Washoe County social worker who had met with Mack concerning his daughter. She testified she saw no competency problems and Dannan declined to order an examination.
Freeman's motion also argues that Dannan should not have even been sitting on the case because of the issue of potential bias. The defense eventually prevailed in their argument that no local judge should sit on the case. A Las Vegas District Court judge was named. Previously, the District Attorney's office withdrew and a Las Vegas prosecutor was assigned.
The motion also argues that in the case of the shooting of Judge Chuck Weller there is insufficient evidence to charge Mack, noting the lack of anything but circumstantial evidence.
If granted the writ would send the case back to square one requiring Mack to be released, then possibly recharged with his ex-wife's death. It asks that the charges of attempted murder and battery with a deadly weapon stemming from the shooting of Judge Weller be dropped with prejudice. The prosecution now has 2 weeks to answer the writ. There's plenty of time to argue these and other motions. The trial date is now tentatively set for October of 2007.