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March 29, 2011

Snoop's attorney says he's bowing out of proceedings

UPDATE, 2:55 p.m.: How quickly things change: Gardner now says that he plans to withdraw as Pearson's attorney. The Sun spoke with Salaam Id-deen, a friend and music collaborator with Pearson, who is upset with Gardner's handling of the case - specifically referencing the YouTube video - and says he is out as Pearson's attorney. Reached for comment, Gardner confirmed that he plans to bow out, but said that it was because he was fed up with dealing with the actress' camp. Id-deen, meanwhile, claims Pearson has reached a plea deal with prosecutors and that her release was imminent, but Gardner said prosecutors have not budged on their position that she be held without bond, let alone released on lesser charges. Gardner said he would remain on the case until the actress has secured new representation.

UPDATE 2, 4:20 p.m. Criminal defense attorney Benjamin Sutley confirms that he will be representing Pearson in future criminal proceedings. While Gardner has been pushing to get her bail reduced, Sutley says that seems unlikely. Pearson will likely celebrate her 31st birthday behind bars. "It would have to be new information taht wasn't considered at the first hearing, and there's nothing really substantial to bring up," Sutley said. "We're just focused on the merits of the case."

ORIGINAL POST: The attorney for jailed "Wire" actress Felicia "Snoop" Pearson said the charges against her are some of the "easiest" prosecutors can bring in a drug case, and defended a video posted to YouTube encouraging fans to send her letters at the city detention center.

In an interview with The Sun's Kevin Richardson on Monday evening, attorney Paul Gardner said Pearson "wants to make sure her fans know that she did not do anything. She's not selling drugs, she's not aiding and abetting, she's not engaging in any conspiracy to possess or sell drugs."

"The allegation is that she's on the phone talking about money," Gardner said. "That's something 99 percent of Americans are engaged in today. It can be construed any way ... That's one of the easiest things a prosecutor can allege in ensnaring a group of people."

Last week, Gardner, who is trying to get Pearson's no-bail status revised, released a "Free Snoop" video with shout-outs from rappers in town for a concert. The video, which has 3,000 views, also drew a few negative comments. One person said it was "blatant self-promotion" for Gardner.

For his part, Gardner says he first discussed the video with Pearson, who endorsed putting it on YouTube. "I'm trying to lift her spirits and give her encouragement. I wish more attorneys would do stuff like that."

[Side note: Is that Snoop tweeting from jail?]

The actress is alleged to have provided money to a heroin organization, and was taken into custody among dozens of people locked up earlier this month as part of a DEA/Baltimore police investigation. She's facing state charges.

Gardner, a corporate entertainment lawyer, has handled few criminal cases in recent years, according to court records. Pearson's is the first he has taken since May 2010, and he says Pearson's New York management sent an attorney to meet with her. Is Gardner in danger of losing his client?

"I welcome anybody to come and help out," he said. "I'm not territorial. At the end of the day, Snoop is the one that needs help. I'm here in my office, I get to go home. I can have escargot. ... I can grab a milkshake. It's Snoop's life and liberty that's at stake."

Posted by Justin Fenton at 12:16 PM | | Comments (8)


"I get to go home. I can have escargot"

Nice job connecting with the people.

i,m sure as a citizen in baltimore the dea just decided to arrest her among others and mr attorney it just what she's
telling you. i/m sure the dea decided to
arrest her cause they had nothing else to do.i'm sure her phone was more than
likely taped

I think it was Victor Mackey, in his new desk role with the Feds, who set up the wire tap in order to exact revenge for Lester and McNulty losing their jobs at the end of season 5.
Do I see a cross-series collaboration in the works between David Simon and Shawn Ryan?!?

In all seriousness, I think holding her without bail is a bit extreme. Realistically, she cant go anywhere without someone saying "look, its Snoop from the Wire"

With "friends"like this, Snoop doesn't need any enemies. Hey, Pearson: fire Gardner, ignore everyone in your "camp," and hire an experienced City defense attorney with no connections to, or interest in, show business or any of your so-called "friends." Look up Warren Brown or Ken Ravenell or someone like that.

Get Daneman

Wasn't Gardner the same bozo who was the former attorney for Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the White House state dinner gatecrashers? Not sure what's worse: that he finds D-list "celebrities" like that, or that they all go to a lawyer like him.

This guy never represented really Snoop. From the beginning all he's represented is himself.


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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

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