St. Louis area prosecutors may compete over who will pursue the first case against Michael Devlin, who reportedly has admitted to many sexual assaults on the two boys who were rescued from his apartment last month, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Devlin, 41, had been charged with kidnapping in the two counties where the boys were abducted. St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch outlined 71 new charges against Devlin yesterday.
Devlin is jailed in another county. “Just because someone is housed in one county doesn’t mean he going to be tried there first,” said former St. Louis County prosecutor Mark Bishop. Peter Joy, a law professor at Washington University, said, “In a high-profile case, it’s generally a free-for-all. It’s not uncommon where the prosecutors try to be the first one to prosecute the case.” He added: “Normally, the first prosecution gets the most headlines, and state prosecutors are elected and they want to be in the headlines.” Joy said it’s common for prosecutors to pile on charges: “It provides more leverage to prosecutors if a plea is worked out.”