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Judge In Andrew Coffey Case Grants Defense's Request For More Specific Charges

Ryan Dailey

A judge has granted a request by defense attorneys in the Andrew Coffey hazing case to get more specific charges from the prosecution.

Judge Martin Fitzpatrick’s signature on an order calling for more precise charges means the prosecution will have to specify the place and date alleged hazing crimes took place.

Defense attorneys representing the four men preparing to stand trial in the case say the state’s original charging document was so vague, they didn’t know what they were defending their clients against. Professor Charles Rose, who teaches trial advocacy at Stetson University, says the move will force the state to disclose what evidence they actually have.

“The state is trying to be as general as possible, to get the case to trial. And the defense has a constitutional right to know what they are up against,” Rose said. “Going for a bill of particulars requirement for specific charging, can be really helpful in that regard.”

Also new to the case, one defense attorney filed a motion requesting to review testimony given to the grand jury. Brian Tannebaum, who represents Anthony Petagine, alleges State Attorney Jack Campbell and the grand jury had been led to believe Andrew Coffey had no history of binge drinking.

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.