View Full Version : Defendant in killing nearly loses his attorney

07-05-2003, 11:57 AM
Defendant in killing nearly loses his attorney

He used lawyer's name, police think, in pot plot

July 4, 2003

Note to would-be criminals: If you are months away from a trial for your life, don't use your attorney's name in an illegal scheme.

Eddie Elveto Gaston's alleged failure to heed that maxim nearly cost him an attorney who has spent months preparing to defend the murder defendant at his upcoming trial.

Gaston told Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz at a hearing Thursday in Knox County Criminal Court he was shocked to learn that an alleged scheme to get marijuana into his jail cell might cause him to lose the services of attorney Bruce Poston.

Gaston is set to stand trial this fall on charges of shooting a store clerk in the head, wounding one man and shooting another man to death in a violent crime spree in October 2001. Gaston was arrested within hours of the incident and has been jailed ever since.

According to court records, Knox County Sheriff's Office jailers were tipped that Gaston had hatched a scheme to get marijuana into the Knox County Jail, drugs authorities contend he planned to sell to other _prisoners.

Because correspondence between inmates and their attorneys is private and not subject to jailers' scrutiny, Gaston allegedly told his marijuana supplier to ship itto him in envelopes bearing Poston's name, authorities said.

On June 2, jailers decided to search Gaston's cell, a warrant stated.

"Six bags containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana were found concealed in three bottles of Magic Shave (shaving cream)," Deputy Jason Wallace wrote in the warrant. "The six bags were individually packaged and believed to be for resale."

KCSO charged Gaston with introducing contraband into a penal institution. Gaston, in turn, notified Poston with concern the new charge might cause problems at his upcoming trial, Poston said.

"You've got bigger problems than that," Poston responded, telling Gaston that allegations he used Poston's name as part of the scheme could cause the attorney to bow out of the murder trial.

"I about passed out when he told me that," Gaston told Leibowitz on Thursday.

Poston told the judge he had contacted the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility about the incident and sought guidance from the legal ethics' group on what he should do.

The board said Poston could remain on the case as long as Gaston approved it. Poston cannot represent Gaston in the contraband case, however, he said.

"I take it there was particular cause for Mr. Poston to be angry with you, Mr. Gaston?" Leibowitz asked.

Gaston responded, "That was a misunderstanding."

When Gaston sought to explain exactly what happened in the marijuana incident, Leibowitz stopped him so he would not incriminate himself.

"Do you want Mr. Poston to remain on these (shooting) cases?" she asked.

Gaston replied, "I don't have any problem with him at all."

07-05-2003, 12:04 PM
I guess Mr. Gaston might have done well to think this through, first! LOL I'll bet he files this one under "what on earth was I thinking?!"

07-05-2003, 12:06 PM
LOL Toi... I was thinking the same thing. Can't wait to tell my sweetie (a Knoxville native) about this one... ;)