Judge seeks to examine Sabattus officer’s file

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AUBURN – The personnel records of a Sabattus police officer that might be used by the defense in a murder case were ordered into court by a judge.

The town must turn over the files of officer Katherine Irazzary, wrote Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler. They would be sealed and first inspected only by her, Wheeler wrote in court papers.

At the same time, Wheeler ordered that Leonard Sharon, attorney for Daniel Roberts, who is accused of killing his daughter’s mother, write out a sworn statement explaining why he believes Irazzary’s records may contain information relevant to Roberts’ upcoming trial.

Wheeler said she would review Sharon’s statement, which also would be sealed, before deciding whether he can see Irazzary’s records.

Sharon had argued that he had “good faith belief” that the files might show “conduct … containing elements of fraud” during Irazzary’s employment with Sabattus or Richmond, where she worked previously. He said information he’s heard, if true, might be used to cast doubt on her credibility as a witness at trial.

Both the town and Sharon had until Tuesday to comply with Wheeler’s order, she wrote.

At a recent hearing on the motion, attorneys for Sabattus and the Attorney General’s Office argued against ordering Irazzary’s files be turned over to Sharon.

Deputy Attorney General Bill Stokes said Sharon appeared to be on a fishing expedition and didn’t know exactly what he was looking for nor did he know whether he was likely to find it.

Peter Garcia, an attorney for Sabattus, said the records were protected by confidentiality.

Wheeler also ordered that attorneys for Roberts’ ex-girlfriend, Melissa Mendoza, make available their files related to her custody dispute with Roberts.

Roberts, now 37, and Mendoza, 29, had been embroiled in a dispute over custody of their then 2-year-old daughter Savannah. In a tape played during a bail hearing, Roberts acknowledged that he shot Melissa Mendoza with a handgun in the back of her head. He said he shot her in self-defense, and in defense of their daughter, at his Sabattus home in 2005.

Sharon said the judge’s rulings were “real good news.” He is awaiting her ruling on whether she’ll allow any of the 106 questions Sharon hopes to put to prospective jurors.

The trial is scheduled for Feb. 5 starting with jury selection.

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