COEUR d’ALENE —A 63-year-old who spent 10 years in prison is accusing court officials in Kootenai County and the state of Idaho of using phony evidence to keep him behind bars.
Wylie Hunter, in a filing in U.S. District Court, charges that prosecutors and Idaho State Police repeatedly used fraudulent evidence against Hunter during his post-conviction proceedings in Coeur d’Alene’s First District Court.
The charge of fraud on the court occurs when the judicial process has been contaminated such as when an attorney makes material misrepresentations to the court or perpetrates fraud. If upheld, fraud on the court would void the judgment of that court.
Hunter was arrested for trafficking marijuana after 75 pounds of marijuana was seized from his rental car by Idaho State Police during a traffic stop in Hayden in 2007. He was incarcerated for a decade before his release in 2017.
Hunter’s motion accuses a deputy attorney general and four employees of Idaho State Police in charge of handling evidence of misrepresenting facts to the court.
Hunter’s motion focuses on repeated requests by Hunter and his attorney to procure a DVD bearing a recording of the traffic stop that resulted in Hunter’s arrest. Prosecutors initially offered to turn over the DVD as part of the discovery process, according to court records, and then denied its existence.
Hunter and his attorney Stacia Hagerty asked the court beginning in 2015 to order prosecutors to turn over the DVD via a motion to compel, but each time the issue was addressed prosecutors used sworn affidavits from state police and a deputy attorney general to show the case file had been destroyed per state police procedures.
State police proceedings however require felony evidence to be kept indefinitely. Despite ISP’s insistence that the case file was destroyed, it turned up when a federal detainer was filed prior to Hunter’s release from prison in 2017 after his post conviction motions were denied.
In the fraud on the court motion Hunter argues that the Kootenai County court used the testimony of state police and the deputy attorney general to rule against Hunter.
“The defendants .. acted knowingly and willfully in an attempt to hinder the fact finder’s fair adjudication of this case,” according to the motion.
First District Judge Rich Christensen, according to the motion, was induced by the false evidence to deny Hunter’s motion to make prosecutors turn over the DVD.
Deputy attorney general Leslie M. Hayes on Friday filed a motion of appearance on behalf of the defendants including Governor Brad Little, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, deputy attorney general Stephanie Nemore, Captain Curtis Kastens of Idaho State Police, and ISP employees Lisa Correia, Christie Redenbo, and Amy Jordan.