Legal Briefs

Unexpected Discovery and Disclosure in the Stidham Murder


Linda Bescript credits Dr. Brad Schwartz with protecting her eyes when no one else could treat her complicated malady. She praises him for cutting through insurance red tape.

She has attempted to return the favor with letters of support to Schwartz, in the Pima County Jail since Oct. 15 and awaiting trial on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the Oct. 5 murder of his former Arizona Specialty Eye Care employee, Dr. Brian Stidham. Ronald Bruce Bigger also is in jail, accused of carrying out the murder as Schwartz's paid hitman.

Bescript's letters, along with other Schwartz fan mail, were seized and later made public after authorities got wind of what they contend was a Schwartz scheme to frame Dennis Walsh, a bad dude who himself was awaiting a new reservation in state prison. Schwartz's lawyer counters that Schwartz was the victim of an attempted shakedown by more experienced grifters.

Bescript's Feb. 25 "Dear Brad" letter went like this:

I'm not sure where to start. I read what you said about the motion several times. I don't quite understand what the problem is. You said you sent it to the prosecutor, but it hasn't been filed yet? I assume that means with the court.

I watch Court TV all day. So I know that lawyers are supposed to be trading information and evidence. It's not a matter of whether it's pissing off the other side. I've found that it pisses them off when all isn't shared. If the prosecutor knows about Walsh, I know they will look into it.

What's most critical is what the prosecution has on you and Biggers (sic). Then it's up to your lawyer to refute and discredit their evidence and it's up to them to prove your innocence. But if you have good info on Walsh and your investigators come up with some evidence, all the better.

I also have to say that the public, as a general rule, usually doesn't want to hear "alternate theories" floated around in the media. This can really backfire for the defense unless you can back up your claims. The same goes for jurors--don't make claims unless you have solid proof.

If the prosecutor knows about Walsh, then all of the sudden a story comes out about him or the reporter contacts her, I believe she will view it as mighty suspicious. ... I've watched high-profile cases turn into an embarrassing mess for the defense because they've said too much and then didn't deliver.

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