More motions filed in rock fight

Published 2:11 pm Friday, September 12, 2008

GREENUP, Ky. — Greenup Commonwealth’s Attorney Clifford Duvall is fighting a motion by Ashland, Ky. lawyer Michael Curtis to admit an Ohio attorney as co-counsel in the case of Steve Shaffer.

Shaffer was indicted in June for his role in removing the famous Indian Head rock, an 8-ton sandstone artifact covered with historic carvings, from the Ohio River. That is a Class D felony and Shaffer, an Ironton historian, faces 1 to 5 years in prison.

Curtis seeks to add David Beck, a Portsmouth attorney, to Shaffer’s defense team.

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The issue will come before Greenup Circuit Court Judge Robert Conley in a hearing at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Curtis made his motion on Sept 4. A week later Duvall filed his objection.

He bases it on Beck’s representing William Glockner, called a material witness in the case, in a hearing in Scioto County’s Common Pleas Court. Glockner had fought a subpoena to testify before the Greenup County Grand Jury impaneled to investigate possible charges resulting from removing the rock. Glockner failed in his attempt.

Subsequently, the grand jury issued indictments against Shaffer and Portsmouth diver David Vetter.

“But now attorney David Beck seeks to get involved in the defense of Shaffer, an obvious conflict between his and the interests of justice and if successful, would rightfully draw criticism and generate a lack of confidence in the Court’s workings,” Duvall wrote in court documents.

“He would have input and influence into the testimony of witness Glockner as well as the testimony of any defense witnesses.”

Curtis said Duvall’s objection to Beck came as a surprise and has sent it to Beck for his review.

“It was just a mutual agreement we would have Mr. Beck as counsel,” Curtis said. “He was familiar with a lot of facts in the case. I will be getting out a response just to address the questions that Mr. Duvall raised.”