New court documents in the criminal case against Portsmouth Councilman Mark Whitaker reveal the next steps in the case and a new attorney. Whitaker was indicted by a special grand jury on twenty charges, including forgery and identity fraud.
We've obtained about a dozen pages of motions filed in Portsmouth Circuit Court by Whitaker's attorneys. We've learned the councilman now has two lawyers working on his case.
The new counsel is no stranger to high profile cases.
You've seen him in court for major cases throughout Hampton Roads. Jon Babineau has represented businessman Ronnie Boone in his federal case and recent probation violation. The family of the man shot by a Portsmouth police officer also enlisted his services.
Now, his information is listed on documents filed on behalf of Portsmouth Councilman Mark Whitaker.
About five months after the Councilman was indicted on twenty charges, including forgery and fraud, his defense attorneys want to start what's known as discovery. That's the process through which the defense can find out more about the case against him and the prosecution's evidence.
The court records revealed the defense not only wants evidence that could show the defendant did not commit the alleged offenses, but much more.
The motions for discovery and inspection and exculpatory evidence, requested: "prior criminal records of convictions of any witness to be used against the defendant," "drug use, past and present, and the medical and psychiatric records of any witness to be used by the prosecution" and "any evidence that tends to be inconsistent with the prosecution's theory of the case."
Many of the items listed are simply part of the process. Whitaker's attorneys wrote without them, "he will be deprived of his rights."
As of right now, this case is set to go to trial at the end of November. We reached out to Babineau and he confirmed he is now the counsel of record, along with Whitaker's original attorney, Don Scott.