Lawyers for Dennis Tetso were denied Friday a motion to dismiss the murder case against their client for prosecutorial misconduct and due process violations.
David B. Irwin alleged Baltimore County prosecutors put Detective Philip G. Marll on the witness stand to give perjured testimony related to the search of Tracey Gardner-Tetso’s car the day it was recovered in a Glen Burnie parking lot. Marll, the lead investigator in the case, testified Thursday under direct examination that he inspected the car’s interior in the afternoon at police headquarters after receiving the keys from Tetso.
But Irwin, during an animated cross-examination Friday morning, produced a police report showing officers used a wire hanger to open the car on the parking lot. Marll said that might have happened but he did not see it, a fact Irwin challenged because of Marll’s role as lead investigator.
“He lied. He deceived,” Irwin said, calling the detective’s testimony “malicious.”
Garret Glennon, an assistant state’s attorney, called Irwin’s motion “ridiculous” and said Marll was not present when the wire hanger was used and forgot about the police report amid the thousands of documents the detective amassed in the case.
“Prosecutors would be in big trouble if cases were thrown out every time a detective forgot something,” Glennon said.
Judge Patrick Cavanaugh denied the defense motion while acknowledging “things might be different” had the case been a non-jury trial.
“The jury is the trier of fact,” Cavanaugh said. “The jury judges the credibility of the witnesses.”
Tracey Gardner-Tetso, Dennis Tetso’s wife, has not been seen or heard from since March 6, 2005, when the 32-year-old was supposed to attend a Mötley Crüe concert in Washington, D.C. Tetso’s trial, which began last week in Baltimore County Circuit Court, is believed to be the first of its kind in the county and only the seventh held in Maryland since at least 1980.
Prosecutors are scheduled to call two more witnesses Friday before resting their case.