Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Feminism on Trial

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While awaiting trial in Nevada, Ginny was denied bail because the State of Louisiana held "detainers" against her and Jack, pending the outcome of their trial. Three weeks later Louisiana dropped its detainer against Ginny but left the arrest warrant for murder outstanding. Ginny was then freed on $75,000 bond and she stayed with a friend near Lake Tahoe, awaiting trial.

On September 22, 1977, Ginny faced Jack Sidote for the first time in seven years. Earlier she had learned that he entered into a plea bargain deal with Nevada authorities that would involve implicating her. He would be charged with voluntary manslaughter not murder and robbery in exchange for testifying against Ginny. However, because of complications in the law, he failed to understand the consequences of the deal he struck. He could be sentenced to ten years in prison for manslaughter and fifteen years for robbery and that is exactly what he got. Sobered by the reality of facing 25 years in prison, he made a statement on the witness stand that shocked Ginny and everyone else present. He chose to remain silent, claiming that "justice in this matter has been duly served" because of the severity of his sentence. He refused to implicate her.

Technically, Ginny should have been freed then and there but, because Louisiana was waiting to see what Nevada would do, the case took another labyrinthine turn. As she was leaving the courtroom a Nevada deputy arrested her on behalf of the Louisiana authorities who had issued a new detainer against her. She was led back to the Carson City jail.

While Ginny was being held there, authorities in Louisiana couldn't seem to decide what to do. Tuller and the other attorneys representing Ginny tried repeatedly to get answers from the district attorney's office in Jefferson Parish but no commitment was being made one way or another. Tuller even traveled to the parish seat at Gretna but to no avail. Apparently Louisiana was waiting to see what Nevada was doing; however, when nothing was done to Ginny there, they would neither pursue nor drop the case.

Finally, a telephone call to the Jefferson Parish D.A.'s office got some sort of a definitive answer. An assistant D.A. named Shirley Wimberly gave assurances to Tuller that there were no plans to prosecute Ginny. As far as Mr. Wimberly was concerned the case was closed. But Ginny's attorneys never received confirmation in writing from Wimberly. The failure to do so would come back to haunt them six years later.

 

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