DA asks judge to revoke Rebecca Grossman's bail, alleges evidence leak

Prosecutors on Friday asked that Rebecca Grossman's bail be revoked in her murder trial, saying that while the jury was deliberating, she orchestrated the release of sealed evidence that jurors have not seen.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joseph Brandolino said he would investigate the matter but was unwilling to jail Grossman, although he warned him that he cannot give journalists evidence they are prohibited from revealing.

“You don't want to stay in custody,” the judge told the Hidden Hills woman accused of double murder. Grossman is accused of driving her sport utility vehicle at more than 70 mph into two young brothers, Mark and Jacob Iskander, in a Westlake Village crosswalk.

After the judge spoke, Grossman began to interrupt and said, “Can I put it on the record?”

But several of her lawyers quickly tried to calm her down, and her husband, Dr. Peter Grossman, who was sitting in the audience, shouted in a stern voice: “Rebecca.”

During a hearing outside the presence of the jury, Deputy Dist. Attorney. Ryan Gould requested that Grossman's $2 million bond be revoked because he violated a protective order prohibiting the release of sealed evidence, including video captured of officers at the scene.

Gould told Brandolino that Grossman had asked a reporter at a local television station for a business card, and that reporter later received a video that was not permitted to be used at trial. He said prosecutors learned of the incident after a Thursday night broadcast in which the journalist discussed the matter on air.

“It was a deliberate attempt to influence the jury,” Gould said. The prosecutor said his office had also found Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department body camera video that was covered by the protective order on a Facebook page connected to Rebecca Grossman's Case Facts website, which was created partly because of his daughter.

Jurors deliberated for a second day Friday on Grossman's guilt or innocence on two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and one count of hit-and-run resulting in death. If she is convicted of all charges, she faces 34 years to life in prison.

Grossman is accused of driving her white Mercedes SUV at speeds reaching 81 mph in a 45 mph zone on Triunfo Canyon Road before hitting the brothers. Her attorneys say her then-boyfriend, Scott Erickson, whose Mercedes she was following, hit the brothers first.

At Friday's hearing, Gould also alleged that unedited security video that was sealed from a boathouse on Triunfo Canyon Road had also been made public. That video, Gould said, was in the exclusive possession of Grossman and his attorneys.

John Hobson, one of Grossman's lawyers, told the judge that it was the first time they had heard of alleged leaks of sealed materials and that if a journalist received an email, that did not mean it came from his client.

“I don't believe it was the attorneys who violated the protective order. She was Mrs. Grossman,” Gould said.

Prosecutors' request was prompted by a Thursday night segment on Fox 11.

In an article about the first day of jury deliberations, journalist Susan Hirasuna revealed that Grossman had spoken to her and asked for her card. Not long after that, she received an email that Hirasuna characterized as information she had withheld at trial and that would have helped bolster Grossman's defense. The message included a video and documents related to a civil case filed by the family of Mark and Jacob Iskander.

The Los Angeles Fox affiliate did not play the video, but a discussion between Hirasuna and the hosts revealed that it was officers at the scene of the collision.

Deputy District. Lawyer. Jamie Castro told the judge that the latest action was part of a pattern of behavior and that Grossman had previously complained to reporters about prosecutors.

Last Friday, in Grossman's first comment on the six-week trial, he told an LA Times reporter that prosecutors didn't care about getting to the bottom of what happened. Through tears, he said prosecutors “are not truth seekers” as they blocked his attorneys' efforts to ask questions about evidence that the judge had prohibited before the trial.

Judge Brandolino said the defendants have a First Amendment right to speak to journalists but cannot disclose materials under a court protective order.

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