On Monday morning, approximately 11 north Idaho and east Washington Edgar Steele supporters assembled at the Federal Court building in Coeur d’Alene to attend the hearing to move the court to reassign Mr. Steele’s representation from Roger Pevan, Public Defender to Robert McAllister, private attorney. Also present were Kelsey and Rex Steele (who had traveled from out-of-town), along with their mother Cyndi.
The attendees waited for the hearing to begin, and had a brief moment to see Mr. Steele arrive in the courtroom. He appeared in good physical condition and made eye contact with his family and visitors. Before the session officially began, a number of court personnel had subdued conversations with all attorneys present, which included members of the prosecution team and, apparently, US Marshall staff. The upshot of the pre-hearing “pow-wow” was to request all visitors exit the hearing to allow for closed-door proceedings.
Mr. Steele’s family members, Mrs. Steele’s attorney Wesley Hoyt and supporters then waited nearly 2 hours to be readmitted to the courtroom. During the wait, an assortment of the people allowed in the closed-door hearing were seen to enter and exit the session. The court hearing ended and Mr. McAllister took a moment to chat with the attendees, advising them that he was officially recognized as Mr. Steele’s attorney, and would be filing a number of important motions and court documents very soon. Mr. McAllister was not able to elaborate, as he needed to attend another meeting to start moments later.
Many of the attendees then relocated to a local restaurant to have a spirited conversation.
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THE EDGAR STEELE DEFENSE FUND, an Idaho non-profit corporation, announces that Mr. Robert T. McAllister, attorney with offices in Denver, Colorado, who previously was with the U.S. Department of Justice from 1976 through 1983 as the Chief Criminal Deputy for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Districts of Colorado and the Northern District of Illinois, covering the Chicago area, has entered his appearance as lead counsel in the defense of Edgar Steele. Former prosecutor McAllister has chosen as his co-counsel, Mr. Gary Amendola, attorney with offices in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, who has had a distinguished career in the fields of both civil and criminal law and is a past president of the Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Mr. McAllister was initially admitted to practice law in 1974 after having graduated from Loyola University School of Law, Chicago, Ill in 1974. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and many U.S. Circuits Courts of Appeal, as well as the Federal District Courts in several states being currently licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of Colorado and by invitation, has practiced before the bar of several other states. After an outstanding career as a prosecutor, Mr. McAllister has successfully represented hundreds of individuals who were accused of a variety of crimes, many of whom were acquitted. Of note is the defense of David Mandarich, President of Richmond Homes and Dewi Sukarno, former first lady of Indonesia. He has represented numerous US West executives in protecting their civil rights as well.
Mr. McAllister has a varied civil and criminal practice, which makes him uniquely qualified to represent Mr. Steele as it relates to the accusations that he was supposedly plotting in June 2010 to murder his wife, Cyndi G. Steele and her mother.
Mr. McAllister has conducted numerous visits with Edgar Steele, himself a First Amendment lawyer, who has spent much of his career defending the civil rights of others. Because Mr. Steele has been incarcerated for eight months, the only contact Mr. McAllister has been able to have with him has been through monitored and recorded jail phone calls and meetings at the Spokane County Jail where Mr. Steele has been detained since his arrest on June 11, 2010.
Mr. McAllister has had an opportunity to review the so-called evidence, purported to suggest criminal activity by Mr. Steele and is prepared to launch a full and complete defense on his behalf.
Donations of any size for the defense of Mr. Steele are greatly appreciated and are still being accepted by the Edgar Steele Defense Fund.