In November of 2015, Colby Messer and three friends flew from British Columbia to Denver for a Denver Broncos game. The night before the NFL game, several of the friends met a woman who flirted with them and walked with them back to their hotel room. The men later returned to Canada without incident. Five months later, Colby returned to the United States. He was stopped in Las Vegas, jailed, and told he was facing six charges for sexual assault in Denver. Even though attorneys are bound by their privilege with their clients, Colby took the unusual step of asking his legal team to break that confidentiality to tell his story. Thanks for listening.
Episode 1: Arrest and Bond Hearing
What would you do if a night out with friends while on vacation resulted in your arrest months later in a different country? And what if you faced life imprisonment? Colby Messer, a Canadian citizen, faced such a situation while traveling in the U.S. In this episode, we begin with the story of his case and how his defense team fought for his freedom, starting with a battle over his bond.
Episode 2: Investigation and Preparation
Colby and his family are in a state of shock as his case proceeds through the United States justice system. The defense team launches their investigation, and narratives about “the night of” vary wildly. Memories and phone records begin to create a blueprint, but of what?
Episode 3: Strategies and Trial Tactics: Into the Writer's Room
This episode explores the countless strategic options the defense team is faced with as the case rolls toward a trial date. Do they want to play their whole hand now, and tip off the prosecutor, or conceal their weapons and wait? Step inside the minds of the defense team as they attempt to step into the minds of the accuser, the witnesses, prosecutors, and ultimately, the potential jury members.
Episode 4: Preliminary Hearing and Video Cross-Examination
The defense team prepared for a hundred days straight, gathering every scrap of investigative and scientific data, and laid down their cards in open court. DNA? Cellphone pings? Video interviews? Would they make a difference in the current political and social environment dealing with sexual assault claims? This final episode contains the dramatic cross-examination of the lead detective as well as compelling eyewitness testimony, and the state toxicologist’s opinion about “black-out” drinking.
Great presentation of an incredible story
This podcast gives powerful insight into a truly disturbing story. Most of the publicity surrounding sexual assault prosecution is focused on cases like the one from Stanford. This series shows the other side that sometimes exists, where innocent people go through hell trying to clear their names. Ken, the narrator and lead defense attorney, did a great job breaking down this captivating story and dealing with a very disturbing subject matter. Five stars!
As good as Serial
If you loved Serial, you'll love this podcast too. Instead of the perspective of a neutral reporter, Trial Team Notes is told by the lead attorney on the accused's defense team. As well-told and as suspenseful as Serial, having the defense attorney as narrator lets the listener learn not just what the truth is, but the strategy that goes into how to present the truth in court in order to win a favorable verdict.
Fascinating and well-told
This podcast is extremely compelling, and provides insights into the thought processes and dilemmas faced by a real trial team. The story shows how we should all be skeptical of sensational headlines and how events may not be as they initially seem. What an ordeal this guy went through!