Witnesses galore, but judge wants speedy ‘Lake Boyz’ trial


FORT MYERS, Fla. A judge is seeking to limit the length of the trial of a suspected “Lake Boyz” gang member, even as prosecutors ready hundreds of witnesses and the defense seeks nearly a month to present its case.

Judge Bruce Kyle responded “no way” when defense attorney Gerry Olivo said Monday in 20th District Court that he wanted a trial that lasted a minimum of three or four weeks for Jonathan Griffin, one of more than 20 arrested in January at the end of a two-year police operation.

Attorneys for the state said they need only five days despite their plan to call nearly 300 witnesses, including a suspended Fort Myers Police Department officer. Prosecutors are also filing 12,000 pages of discovery.

Kyle last week nixed defense plans to bring multiple city leaders, including Mayor Randy Henderson, Police Chief Derrick Diggs and every City Council member to the stand. They received subpoenas during a March 29 community forum on Dunbar violence.

Olivo, a lawyer with Fort Myers-based Wilbur Smith Attorneys at Law, said he’ll likely file a motion to find out when the state attorney’s office became aware of allegations of deep-seated issues within the police department that came out in a scathing audit released in February.

Griffin and the other Lake Boyz defendants are facing charges under the rarely used Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a federal law commonly known as RICO.

Kyle will hear motions in the case Wednesday. No date for the official start of the trial has been set.


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