Rebecca Grossman wants to keep new attorney despite prosecutors’ concerns – Daily News


Rebecca Grossman — who was convicted in February of second-degree murder for the deaths of two young boys — told a judge in Van Nuys Friday that she wanted to stick with her new attorney, despite prosecutors’ concerns about a potential conflict of interest over the lawyer’s representation of one of their former supervisors, who is awaiting arraignment on criminal charges.

Grossman, 60, told Superior Court Judge Joseph Brandolino that he understood the courtroom discussion about a potential conflict of interest, but he wanted to continue being represented by James Spertus. Spertus replaced Grossman’s team of trial attorneys following his conviction Feb. 23 on second-degree murder and other counts stemming from the September 2020 deaths of Mark and Jacob Iskander, aged 11 and 8, while they walked with their family on a Westlake Village crosswalk.

The judge said he didn’t believe there was an actual conflict of interest between Grossman and her new attorney, despite the prosecution’s contention in court papers that a conflict existed because Spertus was also representing Assistant District Attorney Diana Teran, who was in “the chain of command” for the unit handling Grossman’s case and was a “supervisor overseeing this case.”

Teran was charged April 24 by the California Attorney General’s Office with 11 felony counts of improperly using data from a government computer system without permission.

“The two cases clearly don’t intersect,” the judge said.

Spertus told the judge that he represented “two people in unrelated cases with zero overlap.”

Teran — who was “intimately involved” in making decisions on the Grossman case during the trial — is no longer over the chain of command in the case, according to Assistant Head Deputy Habib Balian of the District Attorney’s Major Crimes Division, who was recently added to the case and speak on behalf of the prosecutor during the hearing.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that an email sent by one of the prosecutors’ other supervisors indicated that Teran had denied their request after the trial to interview a witness who “had critical information regarding Grossman’s continued efforts to obstruct justice from inside the county jail. ” Balian told the judge that the prosecutor had subsequently obtained permission to allow that witness to be interviewed.

Also in the Van Nuys courtroom with Balian were trial prosecutors Ryan Gould and Jamie Castro, whom the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this week had largely been removed from the case. But a day after that report, the victims’ mother, Nancy, posted on X that the district attorney’s administration “reversed their decision” and the case would continue to be handled by Gould and Castro with “a different reporting line.”

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