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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Defense attorneys oppose consolidating all Flint water crisis criminal cases in one court

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steve carmody
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Michigan Radio
Dr. Eden Wells, Michigan's Chief Medical Executive

Defense attorneys oppose a move by prosecutors to consolidate Flint water crisis criminal cases.

Michigan's Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Eden Wells, is charged with “obstruction of justice” and “lying to an officer” in connection with a Legionnaires' Disease outbreak during Flint’s tap water crisis.  She made a brief appearance in court today in Flint.   

During the hearing, prosecutors raised the potential of consolidating all the ongoing criminal cases in the Flint water probe into one court. Currently, the 13 cases are spread among several different judges in 67th district court. 

Prosecutors say it would be more efficient to schedule witnesses, among other things. 

But that’s not how Defense Attorney Jerold Lax, who represents Wells, sees it.

“Both in fairness to her and for efficiency, it would be appropriate for her matter to be handled separately from the others,” says Lax.

Lax points out the charges against Wells are “significantly different” than other defendants, including some who are facing involuntary manslaughter charges.

One of those ‘others’, State Health Department director Nick Lyon, is due to appear in court later this week.

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