Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Amy Fisher

Opinions and Perceptions

On May 22, investigators interviewed Joey at the police station. Their main purpose for bringing him in was to determine whether he had actually given the gun to Amy as she had confessed or if she was lying. When asked if he supplied her with the weapon, Joey adamantly denied that he did.

Joey knew that the police had no evidence connecting him directly with the crime. However, he also realized that he would have a difficult time keeping out of the press the fact that he had an affair with Amy. The police were already gathering evidence including receipts for the motels and eyewitness accounts that they had been seen together.

The tabloids and talk shows picked up the sensational news story. Plastered on the front page of many of the magazines were headlines like Fatal Attraction and Long Island Lolita. Moreover, some of the more popular talk shows at the time were competing to have as their guests anyone who had ever been connected with Amy, Joey or Mary Jo.

The media courted Amys ex-boyfriends, friends and acquaintances, as well as some of her former clients from her days as a prostitute. One client in particular, Peter DeRosa, had sold a sex tape he had made of himself and Amy to a tabloid news program called A Current Affair. The tape would prove to be very damaging to Amys public image because it depicted her as a wild and careless sex maniac. It would also prove to be damaging to her case.

On May 29, a grand jury indicted Amy for attempted murder in the second degree, criminal use of a firearm in the first degree, armed felony, assault, and other charges. Amy pled not guilty to the indictment. Her bail hearing was scheduled for later that week at Nassau County Criminal Court.

The night before her bail hearing, DeRosas sex tape was aired on national television. Amys lawyer, Eric W. Naiburg, knew that it was likely that the tape would be problematic for the case. Her image and credibility had been harmed almost beyond repair and he hoped that the tape would not be used against her in court.

On June 2, Judge Marvin Goodman presided over Amys bail hearing. During the court proceedings, Assistant District Attorney Fred Klein from the Nassau County DAs office argued that Amy was an uncontrollable, manipulative, violent and extremely dangerous girl. He further emphasized Amys reckless behavior by bringing up the fact that she was a prostitute and that she actually stole clients from the escorting services to make money on the side.

Klein suggested that Amy was a great risk to society and that she should be denied bail. However, he stated that if the bail had to be set, he suggested it be for $2 million. It was by any standard an enormous amount of money; Naiburg objected vigorously.

Eric Naiburg
Eric Naiburg
Yet, Naiburgs plea was ignored. The judge set Amys bail at $2 million. According to Eftimiades, the amount of the bail was at the time the highest in the history of Nassau County, Long Island. Naiburg was enraged and was determined to get the bail reduced to a more practical sum. He knew there was little if any risk that Amy would flee. He just had to prove it somehow. He arranged a new bail hearing for June 6.

Between the first and second bail hearing, two of Amys acquaintances appeared on national television and further injured her reputation. During the televised interviews, the two young men claimed that Amy used them for sex in an attempt to procure a gun to be used in the shooting. Although Amy later denied the entire account, the damage had been done.

During the second bail hearing, Klein used Amys notorious reputation as a sexual manipulator to keep the bail at $2 million. According to Fisher and Weller, Klein told the court that Amy was a bail risk and that she would likely slide into that sleazy world [of prostitution] and shell be able to support herself very well and no one would ever find her. Once again, Klein managed to sway the judge and the bail remained at its record-breaking amount.

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