Home News Classic Rock News Judge dismisses case over Don Henley’s stolen Hotel California manuscripts

Judge dismisses case over Don Henley’s stolen Hotel California manuscripts

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A “jarringly late” disclosure of thousands of pages of material doomed the case against three men, Glen HorowitzCraig Inciardi and Edward Kosinki, who were accused of stealing Don Henley’s handwritten notes that included the lyrics to well-known Eagles songs, a New York judge said Wednesday.

Henley invoked, and later waived, attorney-client privilege over some 6,000 pages of material but not before he testified, depriving the defense of an opportunity to ask him about it. 

“These delayed disclosures revealed relevant information the defense should have had the opportunity to explore in cross-examination of the People’s witnesses,” Assistant District Attorney Aaron Ginandes told the judge Wednesday.

The judge agreed to dismiss the case.

“It is now clear that both witnesses and their lawyers, two of which also shielded themselves from thorough and complete cross-examination by relying on Mr. Henley’s invocation, used the privilege to obfuscate and hide information that they believed would be damaging to their position that the lyric sheets were stolen. This is a basic confrontation violation,” New York State Supreme Court Justice Curtis Farber said.

The judge said the Manhattan district attorney’s office was “apparently manipulated” by Henley and his lawyer but Farber also faulted prosecutors, saying “they should have recognized that they did not have a complete understanding of their case and that potential material existed upon which the defense could rely on in their defense.” 

The judge added, “District Attorney Bragg and the prosecutorial team here, while eating a slice of humble pie, are displaying the highest level of integrity in moving to dismiss the charges. I am impressed.”

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