A large white media tent and dozens of smaller sheltered platforms for television broadcasters have sprung outside the Eagle County, Colo., Courthouse anticipation of the Los Angeles Lakers guard’s scheduled appearance Thursday for a preliminary hearing. The Denver Post reports that crews washed the outside of the cinder-block courthouse, erected new signs for parking and finished paving a new, overflow parking lot that was needed before the high-profile case hit town.
Still, analysts say Bryant’s defense will see little benefit in the event now that a judge has ruled against closing the hearing and forcing the accuser to testify. Eagle defense attorney Dave Lugert, a former prosecutor, told the Post that “his attorneys already have all of the videotapes, all of the witness statements, all of the reports … and they’ve gone over them as thoroughly as the prosecution. The only thing that can come out of this is the accusation that he sexually assaulted this young victim, with all the sordid details.”
Bryant, 25, is accused of assaulting the woman, a resort employee, on June 30. He says the liaison was consensual. Lugert predicted that Bryant’s defense attorneys will waive the preliminary hearing – allowing the case to be sent to trial – and could request an immediate arraignment and enter a plea on the spot.