Fort Myers murder suspect’s attorney appealing decision on hiring experts.
The attorney for a Fort Myers woman accused of murdering a sheriff’s Explorer last August is appealing a circuit judge’s ruling denying his efforts to hire several experts. David Brener, representing Iris Moreland, 27, filed paperwork with the Second District Court of Appeal citing Lee Circuit Judge Edward Volz’s decisions to disallow him hiring — at the state’s expense — a mental health expert and other experts to help Moreland’s case. She and her brother Chad Moreland, 24, are accused of robbing and killing Gerald Rabon, 20, during a botched robbery at a Hess station on Alico Road.
Because Iris Moreland cannot afford an attorney, Brener was court-appointed and thus his expenses are funded by the state. Volz ruled that although the siblings have been indicted on first-degree murder charges, the state hasn’t filed a notice to seek the death penalty and therefore hiring the experts is premature. Brener argued that the experts can help to prove Moreland’s guilt or innocence, not just to spare her life. Assistant State Attorney Hamid Hunter agreed today to waive the death penalty against Iris Moreland, Brener said. Chad Moreland’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Neil McGloughlin, said that was not the case for his client. At a hearing today, attorneys for the defense, state and media also argued about whether to release surveillance video of Rabon’s killing to the public. Volz said he would make a ruling soon.
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