Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert, who charged Iron Coffins Motorcycle Club member Matthew Starkweather with murder in a case in Battle Creek, Michigan, may have based his prosecution on insider knowledge gathered through violations of attorney-client confidentiality.
An lawyer named Matt Glaser told Circuit Judge John Hallacy yesterday that before Gilbert was elected prosecutor, he had conferred with him when Glaser was representing another suspect in the case named John Lindahl III. “I told Gilbert about the information from Lindahl,” Glaser testified. “I gave related attorney-client privileged information to Mr. Gilbert.”
Under cross examination by Gilbert, Glaser testified, “I told you everything about the case.”
If Judge Hallacy believes Glaser’s allegation, the charges against Starkweather could be dropped, another defendant in the case named Mario “Paco” Barroso might be freed from prison and Gilbert might be sanctioned by the Michigan Bar Association.
Starkweather, photo above, is being held without bail. He is charged with the murder of former Iron Coffins Battle Creek chapter president Lee J. “Leeroy” Taylor on New Year’s Day 2012. Starkweather and Taylor fought over a $2,500 debt. According to Starkweather, Taylor attacked him with a knife and a baton. Two other men, Lindahl and Mario “Paco” Barroso, came to Starkweather’s aid and Taylor was beaten to death. Starkweather, Lindahl and Barroso were all charged with murder or accessory to murder.
Barroso agreed to testify against Starkweather and Lindahl in return for having an accessory charge against him dropped but the man who was then prosecuting the case, Jeff Kabot, dropped the charges against everybody when Barroso’s testimony didn’t substantiate what Kabot was trying to prove. Glaser was Lindahl’s attorney at the time. Gilbert was running for prosecutor and according to Glaser he was in Glaser’s office daily.
After Gilbert was elected, he refiled charges against Starkweather and Barroso.
Barroso pled no contest to manslaughter in August 2015 in hopes of a getting a lenient sentence. Barroso expressed contrition at his sentencing. The local probation department recommended he serve 38 months. But a grumpy judge named Conrad Sindt sentenced Barroso to 71 to 180 months. “I am struck by the idiocy of grown men acting like children,” Sindt said.
Starkweather was arrested next. He is still scheduled to go on trial next week and Lindahl, who has not yet been recharged, is expected to testify.