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Emily D. Swoboda

Kaplan's Plan for Home Detention Hits Snag

5 September 2007

U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson today heard testimony on what indicted BetonSports (BoS) founder Gary Kaplan’s lawyers thought would be a foolproof way to guarantee that he would show up for court if he was released on house arrest, but, somehow, she still wasn’t convinced.

Magistrate Judge Mary Ann Medler previously denied Kaplan’s motion to reconsider his detention.

Kaplan’s attorney, Dick Deguerin, laid out a plan that would see Kaplan himself finance a private security firm to survey his private St. Louis, Mo.,-based residence 24 hours a day. His home would be under live surveillance, by way of trained police officers stationed at all times, and electronic surveillance.

Jackson, who was visibly uncomfortable with the proposal, argued that there was no way for the court to monitor a private security firm. Moreover, she said she was uncomfortable with Kaplan paying for the security.

"I have a fundamental problem with a defendant holding the key to his own cell," Jackson said.

She added that she had not heard enough evidence to convince her to reach a different conclusion than Medler had.

Deguerin put Thomas Griffin on the stand to testify to the effectiveness of the security proposal. Griffin, who wrote the proposal, is the owner of Griffin Personnel Group, a firm which provides private security services to Fortune 500-level executives, but has never had experience in criminal containment, as pointed out by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Fagan. Griffin’s firm would provide security at Kaplan’s home.

After questioning Griffin, Fagan got him to concede that he had only had 24 hours to put the proposal together and that it still had a lot of holes to fill.

Deguerin had two more witnesses: one from an electronic monitoring firm to testify to the electronic monitoring part of the proposal, and a woman from the St. Louis County Jail, where Kaplan has been incarcerated. She was there, according to Deguerin, to talk about Kaplan's conduct in jail. Jackson said was not interested in hearing from them.

Ultimately, Jackson said she was not convinced that this plan could reasonable ensure Kaplan’s appearance in court, but she has not made a final ruling. She agreed to weigh to evidence and make a ruling later.

Kaplan's Plan for Home Detention Hits Snag is republished from
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda