Nolin's Lawyers Want More Data from Prosecutors
The Accused Murderer's Defense Team Says Photos Were Not Included Among Packet of Documents

By Amanda Lehmert
Cape Cod Times [Falmouth MA]
November 11, 2003

FALMOUTH - More than 400 evidentiary documents in the case against accused murderer Paul R. Nolin were handed over to his lawyers yesterday.

But Nolin's defense team thinks Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe is still withholding evidence in the case.

Nolin, 39, a convicted child rapist, pleaded innocent Oct. 2 to the Sept. 20 kidnapping and murder of Jonathan Wessner. Nolin has been held without bail at the Barnstable County House of Correction ever since.

Last week Nolin's attorney, Robert Nolan, asked Falmouth District Court Judge Michael Creedon to force the district attorney to share the evidence he has collected in the Wessner murder case.

He also questioned whether the district attorney had enough evidence to continue holding his client in jail.

Nolan's request included police reports, tape recordings; autopsy reports and photographs, information about witnesses and other people interviewed by investigators, photographs of the murder scene, and reports of any scientific tests.

But after quickly reviewing the packet of evidence yesterday, Nolin's lawyers said it did not include everything that was requested.

Creedon gave the defense team two weeks to review the packet and then come back to court to ask for specific pieces of missing evidence they would like to see.

"It's obvious that we don't have everything," Nolan said. "This is at least a start."

Sean Murphy, Nolin's other attorney, said the information provided yesterday did not include any photos.

Nolan said yesterday afternoon he reviewed about 10 percent of the documents and didn't know whether scientific evidence, such as the results of DNA tests on blood taken from Wessner's Jeep, were included in the evidence packet.

Wessner's blood-stained Jeep was found in a Brockton supermarket parking lot a few days after he disappeared. The 20-year-old Falmouth man's body was found Oct. 4 partially buried on a Woods Hole beach.

Nolan's district court request to see the evidence against his client could be tossed out if a Barnstable County grand jury indicts Nolin for kidnapping and murder. An indictment would move the case to Superior Court.

The grand jury listened to testimony in the case Oct. 28 and again on Nov. 4, so far. Grand jury sessions are held in secret.

The Rev. Donald Turlick, 68, a priest and friend of Nolin's, is expected to testify later this month when the grand jury reconvenes. Turlick was also Nolin's therapist while Nolin was committed to the Massachusetts Treatment Center for the Sexually Dangerous in Bridgewater during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Turlick has been out of state at a conference for several weeks so police could not deliver a grand jury summons to him. He returns to the Cape this week, his spokeswoman, Kathleen English, said yesterday.

When Nolin was released from prison in June 2000, he rented a basement apartment in Turlick's Mashpee home.

Turlick introduced Nolin to another priest, the Rev. Bernard Kelly, who until recently was the pastor of St. Joseph's church in Woods Hole.

Kelly befriended Nolin and gave him a handyman job at the church. Police say Kelly admitted to having a sexual relationship with Nolin, an allegation Nolin's lawyer denies.

Kelly was compelled by a judge to testify before the grand jury last week, according to a source close to the investigation.

When Kelly was first called to testify three weeks ago, he asserted priestly penitent privilege, which prevents a priest from revealing what a person tells him in confession or while seeking spiritual guidance.

Shortly after the Wessner murder investigation began, Kelly, 70, was suspended by Fall River Diocese Bishop George Coleman after police said Kelly was being uncooperative. He was suspended pending completion of the Wessner murder investigation.

Judge Richard Connon ruled that Kelly must tell what he knows about Nolin, with the exception possible confessions, the source said.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.