Rebecca Grossman's alleged intrigues behind bars: What happens now?


Convicted murderer Rebecca Grossman's conversations from jail have drawn the ire of prosecutors, who on Friday will seek to have her access to phones and visits cut off.

Grossman is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty last month of second-degree murder in the deaths of two young boys who were struck and killed in a crosswalk as she sped down a residential street in Westlake Village.

Prosecutors allege she has been instigating “unlawful conduct” through jailhouse phone calls to her family and say her legal team has attempted to manipulate the jurors who convicted her.

Here's what's been happening since a jury found Grossman guilty of all charges in the deaths of Mark and Jacob Iskander, and what legal experts say about the possible ramifications of his actions:

Mark Iskander, 11, left, and his brother Jacob, 8, appear in a family photo. The children were killed in 2020.

(Iskander family photo)

What did Grossman say?

Deputy District. Lawyer. Ryan Gould and her colleague Jamie Castro filed a motion Monday detailing several jailhouse calls Grossman, 60, had with her daughter and her husband.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department records phone calls from people incarcerated at the Twin Towers Jail, where Grossman is held, and other jails in Los Angeles County, and the recording is interrupted with a warning to that effect. .

According to court documents, a conversation Grossman had with his daughter, Alexis, included instructions for the girl to release video from the officer's body camera that had been sealed by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. Joseph Brandolino.

“I want you to unlock the videos,” Grossman tells his daughter in a call on Feb. 23, the day of his guilty verdict on two counts of murder, two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and one count of hit-and-run in the children. 'deceased.

Alexis Grossman responds: “I will.”

Dr. Peter Grossman, Rebecca Grossman’s husband, then chimes in: “Anything you want us to post, honey, let us know. “We're going to turn it all off.”

To which Grossman responds: “I want you to turn everything off.”

In a conversation the next day, Grossman encouraged her daughter to find and talk to a witness who was never called by defense attorneys at her trial and who, according to her initial statements, saw a black car, not white, hit the children. . . Grossman was driving a white Mercedes van and speeding at 81 mph on a residential street when the Iskander brothers were killed.

He also suggested that witnesses should be located and forced to say that their testimony was directed.

“If we can get witnesses to come forward and say they were told to say things, this can give us a new trial,” Grossman said.

Her 19-year-old daughter responded: “I'm going to do everything for you, Mom. All. And dad too.”

Prosecutors say Grossman's conversations have promoted illegal behavior and want her prison privileges revoked, including for Brandolino to move her to a part of the prison system where her mail is checked and she will have no access to phones or visitors except her attorneys.

“While in custody, the defendant immediately began using her telephone privileges to engage in wholly inappropriate or potentially illegal conduct. These calls include confessions of violating the court's protective order regarding the release of evidence on the Internet and to the press,” Gould and Castro said in this week's filing.

“These recorded phone calls also document numerous potential criminal conspiracies, such as requests to disclose more protected discoveries, discussions of various attempts to interfere with witnesses and their testimonies, and attempts to influence their honor regarding sentencing.”

Has there been witness tampering?

Earlier this week, Gould and Castro alleged that Grossman's legal team had attempted to manipulate jurors, including a private investigator who contacted jurors and did not properly identify himself as working for the defense.

Prosecutors said the only way the investigator could have found the jurors is if he had access to their personal information, which was sealed by Brandolino, as is the procedure in California after a verdict.

In a motion filed Thursday, prosecutors alleged that a juror had come forward to complain that, despite being told their identities were protected, a private investigator working for Grossman had attempted to question him outside of his house about how the jury reached its verdict.

Juror No. 7 sent an email to Gould stating that a private investigator came to his home on March 11.

“He came to my house looking for me personally,” the jury wrote. “He introduced himself, gave me his card and told me from the beginning that I didn't have to talk to him if I didn't want to and then asked if he could talk to me about the Grossman trial. I asked him why and he told me that he was working for the Grossman family and wanted to know more about what influenced the jury's decision at trial. “I told him I wouldn’t talk to him and he left.”

Prosecutors said the only way the investigator, identified as Paul Stuckey, could have found the jurors is if he had access to their personal information, which was sealed by the judge, as is the procedure in California. The defense can ask the court for a juror's identity if a compelling interest is demonstrated, but that has not been done in this case, they said.

“It is clear that the jurors in this case believed that their information would remain private and that they would not be contacted without being notified,” Gould and Castro wrote in the latest document.

Prosecutors ask the court to return all that information to them.

Defense attorney Lara Yeretsian, whose clients include Scott Peterson, who was convicted of the murder of his pregnant wife and is now supported by the Los Angeles Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal group with a reputation for exonerating criminals wrongfully convicted, said inmates should never discuss the facts of their case with anyone except their attorneys.

“Unfortunately, it appears that Rebecca Grossman missed the conference on this rule, especially when she asked her daughter in a taped line to leak a video that was excluded from evidence at trial,” Yeretsian said. “While most lawyers periodically remind their clients of the rule so they don't make mistakes, inmates count on their conversations to go unnoticed. But in a case as high-profile as Grossman's, nothing goes unnoticed.”

Louis Shapiro, a well-known Los Angeles defense attorney, said Grossman doesn't have much to lose, so speaking out is a calculated risk.

When “you're practically facing a life sentence, the motion for a new trial is your only hope,” he said. “She sees it as the ends justify the means.”

After vowing to appeal his conviction, Grossman's defense is preparing a motion for a new trial, and Shapiro said there are only two reasons to grant it: the jury erred in the verdict or jury misconduct. The latter, he said, is the only one likely to succeed, suggesting the defense is trying to get a juror to reveal some kind of misconduct.

What are the possible ramifications?

Brandolino could take away Grossman's jail privileges, or he could simply reprimand her, Yeretsian said.

If I opted for the latter option, it wouldn't be the first time. During jury deliberations, Grossman orchestrated the disclosure of sealed evidence that jurors had not seen, prosecutors argued. Gould and Castro attempted to have her $2 million bail revoked, but the judge said he was unwilling to jail Grossman at the time and instead admonished her that she could not give journalists evidence that had been prohibited. reveal.

Grossman and his family sent a video that had been excluded from evidence at trial to a local television reporter. Prosecutors learned of the incident after a broadcast during the trial in which the journalist discussed the matter on air.

Shapiro said the judge would probably reprimand Grossman, but agreed that it depends on how he views his overall behavior.

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