August 13, 2012 4:24pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Anthony Pellicano to Appeal Denial of Jail Release
Anthony Pellicano's attorney says his client will appeal a Monday decision that denies the ex-sleuth an early prison release.
At the hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Dale Fischer ruled that Pellicano still might represent a danger to society and a flight risk, refusing to grant bail as requested by the former Hollywood PI's attorneys.
Now Steven Gruel tells The Hollywood Reporter that he expected "it was going to be uphill battle getting bond from" Judge Fischer.
Gruel adds that once a written decision is issued, he'll be taking the case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on grounds that Pellicano made a sufficient showing that he doesn't represent a danger. The argument is that Pellicano's investigative shop hasn't been in business for a decade and that he no longer has access to clients, funds nor staff.
At the hearing, Anita Busch, the former Los Angeles Times and THR journalist, testified that Pellicano was a "domestic terrorist" and made clear she was still scared of him.
Gruel is dubious, saying that the difference is that in this situation, "no terrorist group would help him flee."
In court papers, the government warned that Pellicano, 68, could access funds by selling his life story or by getting his wealthy clients who remain loyal to him to give him money. Among the clients Pellicano has been connected to are studio heads Brad Grey and Ron Meyer, power broker Michael Ovitz, actor Chris Rock and billionaire former MGM owner Kirk Kerkorian.
Prosecutors also raised Pellicano's connection to Chicago organized crime figure Joseph "Jerry" Scalise at the hearing.
Gruel points to other occasions that Pellicano has had the opportunity to skip town, including when he was awaiting a trial for firearms possession in 2002. "He didn't flee," he says. "There's no merit to this."
The case now will go before the 9th Circuit. Although the appellate circuit doesn't often set criminals free after a judge denies bail, Gruel says he is hoping for an outcome similar to Mark Arneson, the former LAPD officer and Pellicano co-defendant who was freed on bail in 2009.