Court denies defense request for inspection of inmate records in Delavan homicIde
ELKHORN—The medical records of a jail inmate who says he has details about a Delavan murder will not be reviewed by the court as the man accused in the murder had requested.
Defense attorney Edward Hunt in December requested a private inspection of Fred Quirino's psychological and psychiatric treatment records, competency evaluations and state Department of Corrections and Walworth County Jail records.
At a hearing Friday, Hunt said the inspection of the records is pertinent to the credibility of Quirino--a man Hunt called a jail snitch suffering from a mental illness that could cause hallucinations or manic episodes.
“That goes to the ability on the part of a person to accurately perceive events and then later relay them back in an accurate fashion,” Hunt said.
District Attorney Dan Necci plans to call Quirino as a witness in Rafael Olivarez's homicide trial in May.
Olivarez, 41, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the stabbing death of his cousin Ivan Guerrero at Guerrero's Delavan home the morning of May 4, 2014.
In an interview with law enforcement at the Walworth County Jail, Quirino claimed Olivarez made “incriminating statements” and told him about the 2014 stabbing, according to a motion.
In an affidavit, Olivarez said Quirino mentioned having bipolar disorder and being on medications to treat it.
Olivarez claims he never spoke to Quirino about the case and says Quirino's statements are false.
Quirino has credibility because he told law enforcement information he couldn't have known except through conversations with Olivarez because the information had not been made public, Necci said in court Friday.
Hunt argued Quirino could have gotten the information by police reports Olivarez looked at in the jail.
“Just because a mentally ill person repeats back what he's learned coupled with a desire to curry favor with law enforcement because he's got pending charges, that doesn't necessarily mean that the defendant's claim that there should be an in-camera review is defeated,” Hunt said.
Necci said the defendant's motion was a “fishing expedition."
“Simply the statement, 'I have some mental health problems,' even if it's true, has to be taken in a certain light coming directly from the defendant,” Necci said. “I don't think that gets to that point. Simply because someone has a mental health issue does not automatically make them unable to distinguish reality from fiction.”
Reddy denied the defense motion, saying it falls short of supplying enough evidence to warrant an examination of medical records.
“There simply isn't enough there. … (It) doesn't rise to the level of a specific factual basis demonstrating a reasonable likelihood that the privileged records contain relevant information necessary for a fair determination of guilt or innocence," Reddy said.
Quirino is serving an eight-year prison sentence for armed robbery. He was transferred from the jail Oct. 20, according to the jail.
Reddy deferred ruling on a separate motion Hunt filed in December, seeking to admit evidence about Guerrero's past to support Olivarez's self-defense claim.
Reddy said he would rule on the motion after evidence is introduced to show Olivarez acted in self-defense, which could be during the trial.
Hunt said Friday the motion was simply a heads-up to the prosecution and court that he will be looking to use details of Guerrero's past in an attempt to make a self-defense claim and refute any attempts to paint Guerrero as a “peaceful man.”
The motion claims Guerrero was a member of a gang. Hunt said Friday that Guerrero committed several crimes such as aggravated battery, robbery and hitting an elderly man with a pipe.
Olivarez said in one affidavit that Guerrero's alleged gang affiliation contributed to his state of mind at the time of the stabbing.
On May 4, 2014, Olivarez and Guerrero “became belligerent” after hours of drinking and began to argue and fight, according to court documents.
Police say Olivarez grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed Guerrero in the upper body.
Olivarez grabbed a knife off of Guerrero's body and told officers twice it was self-defense, Hunt said Friday.
Scissors and a steak knife with blood on it were found outside the home in the grass. Another bloodied steak knife was found in the kitchen, police have said.
Family and friends claim an argument over the death of a cousin in 2000 in Milwaukee led to the argument and stabbing, police said.
Olivarez is being held on a $1 million cash bond. He will appear in court next at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, at the Walworth County Judicial Center.