By Brad Segall
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A Montgomery County judge has refused to throw out the charges against the 25-year-old Souderton man accused of sexually assaulting and murdering his neighbor, nine-year-old Skyler Kauffman, last year (see related stories).
The defense wants the charges tossed, claiming that prosecutors violated the attorney-client privilege when they seized private writings from James Troutman’s cell during a search last October.
Defense attorney John McMahon argued that the defense camp was “infiltrated” and the Commonwealth is now privy to defense strategy.
But Judge William Carpenter ruled the search was proper and that while some evidence seized was privileged, there was no intentional intrusion by prosecutors.
However, he told prosecutors they should have been more careful when searching the cell and suggested the materials should have been brought to the court for review.
Prosecutors will not be able to use the writings during the trial, now set for May 21st. The judge also refused to remove county prosecutors from the case or take the death penalty off the table.