Brown & Little, P.L.C. » Clients, jail, lawyers, News » Another One Bites The Dust (Updated)

Another One Bites The Dust (Updated)

*** I wrote this post after reading about the case in the news and hearing courthouse gossip about what happened to David DeCosta. The police reports reveal a very different set of facts, which I discuss here. ***

About a year ago, a defense attorney named Jason Keller got busted smuggling heroin to inmates. The Maricopa County criminal defense bar was abuzz with talk of his supposed meth addiction and involvement with the Mexican Mafia. At the time, he represented a client named Jesse Alejandro in a murder conspiracy case. His client became his co-defendant.

A few weeks ago, another defense attorney, David DeCosta, got busted for doing more or less the same thing. Apparently, he was trying to sneak drugs to a client in court. The Maricopa County criminal defense bar has been abuzz with talk of him getting blow jobs from that client’s girlfriend. The client? Believe it or not, Jesse Alejandro.

I was pretty surprised to hear that another local criminal defense attorney decided to sacrifice his career and reputation doing something monumentally idiotic, but I was stunned to find out the same client linked them together. What is this guy doing to his defense lawyers? Is it his personality? Are his girlfriend’s “skills” really that amazing? All joking aside, I wonder how one person can get two established defense lawyers to give up everything committing a crime that’s virtually guaranteed to get noticed.

I’ve spoken with a number of defense attorneys about this, and we’ve all wondered the same thing: what happens in a client meeting with Jesse Alejandro?

Imagine you’re a defense attorney who just got appointed to a new case. You go through the security theater of one of the Maricopa County’s many jails to meet with your new client, then grab a seat in an interview room. The client approaches, sits down, and slides a photo of someone you love across the table. He tells you where the person lives and works. He knows the person’s social security number and date of birth. He tells you he’s going to have that person killed if you don’t do him a favor.

Anyone can say they’d do the right thing and report it to authorities right away, but things like that are always easier said than done. What would you do in that situation? What would the state of your personal and professional life have to be to make you give in? Can you really say you’d never do what he asked?

My guess is that Jesse Alejandro just happened to get appointed two lawyers who were desperate enough to break the law to get something he could provide them. In one case, it was drugs. In the other, it was oral sex. Lawyers are people too, and they probably had personal things going on that placed them in a vulnerable position. I’m guessing my hypothetical is far-fetched, to say the least.

I’m sure I’ll never know how much of a role Jesse Alejandro actually played in what happened with Jason Keller and David DeCosta, but I’m awfully curious.

*** I wrote this post after reading about the case in the news and hearing courthouse gossip about what happened to David DeCosta. The police reports reveal a very different set of facts, which I discuss here. ***

Filed under: Clients, jail, lawyers, News · Tags: , , , , ,

17 Responses to "Another One Bites The Dust (Updated)"

  1. [...] other guy may dislike me even more, if that’s possible. After one post, he accused me of “[o]bviously not” reading certain police reports, “[going] off [...]

  2. At the park says:

    I have dated David DeCosta. From what Ive encountered as far as Davids behavior around and towards women, as far as would David pass drugs to a client in court in exchange for a blow job? Well, have you seen his Facebook page? He’s under Dc DC but he has it set to where you cant “search” it. Go under one of his friends like Tashia Braxton…you’ll see him on her friends list. Check out his (over 200 girls) “friends” and the comments he posts. He likes to post comments using words such as “Sexi” and “Muah” (a kissing sound). He has made comments on a total strangers page (Melissa Luevano Garcia) it says Yo milkshake brings me round yo yard. He also comments on Xiomara’s page… Quiero algo de eso…means: give me some of that. So…see for yourself the type of personal life David lives. And uh no…Im no longer dating him.

  3. [...] Matt Brown wrote about the arrest of criminal defense lawyer Dave DeCosta, invoking the misguided wrath of the [...]

  4. Lyle Jones says:

    Wow, the local bar has the knives out for Matt Brown. Too bad they don’t show the same vigor in going after Joe Arpaio.

    I guess I’m well shut of the valley. Miss it terribly, but then I read this.

  5. [...] he found the story of DeCosta’s arrest for allegedly trying to sneak drugs to Jesse Alejandro interesting enough to post about, especially in light of the fact that, about a year ago, one of Alejandro’s previous lawyers [...]

  6. [...] DeCosta RevisitedMissing the PointInequalityAnd The Machine Keeps on Running…Another One Bites The DustShamefulJail: US v. MexicoJudges Aren’t Always RightPlea or Trial?No Public Defender’s [...]

  7. Adrian says:

    Anyone know where I can pick up a good set of training wheels?
    I’ve read most of the police reports regarding the accusations against Mr. DeCosta. Seeing the reports made it easier to understand some of the angry comments from people that know and like DeCosta. I truly hope DeCosta is innocent. The comments are still misplaced but more understandable. As far as the thinly veiled insults from some of the attorneys, you guys stay classy.
    I’ve spoken to several attorneys about DeCosta and never heard a negative thing. I hope in the end he is vindicated.

  8. [...] the PointInequalityAnd The Machine Keeps on Running…Another One Bites The DustShamefulJail: US v. MexicoJudges Aren’t Always RightPlea or Trial?No Public Defender’s [...]

  9. Whether or not you review the police reports, you should write about the presumption of innocence that every person who is accused of a crime deserves.

    As an attorney who holds yourself out as someone who practices criminal defense, you should not be fascinated, or even surprised, by the reaction you are getting from the criminal defense bar. I cannot speak to the quality of the work that you do for your clients, but the fact that you throw this gossip into the potential jury pool really brings your credibility as a criminal defense attorney into question.

  10. Pamela Nicholson says:

    This is not a “fascinating” exchange among defense lawyers. This is a very serious discussion about what a criminal defense lawyer does, and does not, do.

    You wrote – “The Maricopa County criminal defense bar has been abuzz with talk of him getting blow jobs from that client’s girlfriend.” Really? Are you trying to legitimize publication of gossip by creating the impression that you’ve had conversations about this matter with seasoned, respected criminal defense lawyers?

    How is it that you know that Mr. DeCosta “decided to sacrifice his career and reputation doing something monumentally idiotic”? How do you know whether he deliberately did anything illegal, much less whether he considered the ramifications? The truth is you don’t know.

    After being pressed by a member of the criminal defense bar, you conceded that your conclusions are mere speculation, but you wrote “regardless, based on everything I’ve read, it looks like DeCosta admitted to the substantive elements of the charge.” Really? So based on what you read in the newspaper, he must be guilty.

    Incidentally, I’m not upset about bloggers who engage in wild speculation. I am, however, troubled that a criminal defense lawyer would publish a blog presuming someone is guilty in a case about which he knows next to nothing.

    Every one of our clients must understand that we don’t presume that he/she is guilty as charged – there is always more to the story. Maybe that would be a good subject for you to write about next.

  11. Matt Brown says:

    Wow, I never expected this would get a bunch of defense attorneys all riled up over a week after I posted it. Fascinating.

    If you have copies of the reports, please fax them over. I’d love to put up another post on this. If I’m totally off base, I’ll gladly post a retraction.

    Out of curiosity, are you guys as upset about the numerous other posts here and on every other blawg speculating about issues relevant to recent news stories?

  12. Pamela Nicholson says:

    Maybe tomorrow the criminal defense bar will be abuzz about how you don’t even understand the most basic Constitutional right – presumed innocence. I’ve never met you and I know nothing about the quality of your work, but I must wonder how you can possibly be a zealous advocate for the rights of your clients if you’re writing this kind of stuff. Do you start with the premise that a person is guilty until proven innocent?

  13. For criminal defense attorneys, you should know better than to speculate based on facts presented by the news media. Are you joking? You read a newspaper article and then you think you are qualified to wax poetic on someone’s criminal case. I have reviewed the police reports and Dave De Costa did not make any statements admitting knowledge of the offense being committed. I highly suggest you two make a public records request of the Phoenix PD report and the MCSO report, read them, and then write a post for your blog. If you read the police reports you would be very scared as a defense attorney, because you would realize that there are police officers out there who would like to hang your head on their wall.

  14. Matt Brown says:

    Did you actually read my post? I’m speculating, and regardless, based on everything I’ve read, it looks like DeCosta admitted to the substantive elements of the charge.

  15. John Thomas Banta, Esq. says:

    Did you read the DR? Obviously not, because it reveals that DeCosta was but “someone we don’t care about” used to get contraband to the defendant. Before you go off half-cocked know your facts. Your equating DeCosta and Keller because the same member of the MM was involved lacks logic: Keller has admitted his involvement. There is nothing that indicates DeCosta was involved. The Form 4 is replete with falsehoods. And, finally, DeCosta had never met the defendant until that day in court. Your clients will be better served if you get your facts correct before you place them on paper.

  16. Ches says:

    Wow. That’s a bizarre “coincidence.”

    I’d say that it could be a carrot-and-stick situation to motivate them–“Do this or I’ll make sure person X you love will die. But I’m not a bad guy–do it and I’ll get you your drugs/blowjobs/etc. to show you what a good guy I am…” Temptation in the one hand, credible threat in the other…it’s an ugly one-two punch.

  17. Chris says:

    Do you record conversations with defendants? It might be wise….

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