Court Denies Le’s Motion Seeking to Sever
GULFPORT, Miss. – U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. denied a motion to move the Court for a severance of defendant Thi Houng “Kristy” Le on Tuesday morning.
“I was not under the impression that Ms. Le would become the target of the defenses of one, two, three, four, if not five co-defendants,” said John Weber, representing Kristy Le. “This became very clear from the minute that Mikal Watts stood up to address the jury in voir dire when he said, ‘I’ve been ripped off. Has anyone else been ripped off?’”
“More specifically directed at Ms. Le were the comments of Mr. Lewis, who represents Eloy Guerra. Mr. Lewis said that the proof in this case will reveal massive amounts of fraud, and it will be us, Mr. Guerra’s team, who will reveal the real fraud,” Weber said of the Chip Lewis’ opening statements.
Weber, went on to argue that Kristy Le had become the focus of the defenses of the co-defendants.
Judge Guirola said such circumstances did not necessitate such a separation.
“From what I can see, from what very little evidence has been provided, and of course, I cannot anticipate what the remainder of the government’s case will show, but from what I see so far, the jury could very well believe that the Watts Guerra firm and all the defendants that have been charged with identity theft in fact relied in good faith on materials that had been provided to them,” he said.
“Under the circumstances you must have known well in advance of the trial that Mr. Watts, both David and Mikal, as well as some of the other defendants up the line, were not simply going to sit back without at least arguing to this jury that they relied on the documents that were being sent to them,” Guirola said.