TAMPA — About 20 juveniles are expected to be deposed in the Walker Middle School rape case starting in November.
It's an unusually high number of children for a single case, so it will require logistical maneuvering that takes time.
During a Tuesday court hearing, Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Wayne Timmerman warned attorneys for the four teens charged in the case that he won't put up with witnesses who fail to show to any court-related proceeding, including depositions.
"I will tolerate no lame excuses," he said. "I want to move this process along as quickly as possible."
Lee Myers, 14, Raymond Price-Murray, 14, Randall Moye, 14 and Diemante Roberts, 15, are each charged as adults with four counts of sexual battery.
Authorities think the four teens attacked a fellow Walker Middle School student in a school locker room using a broom handle and hockey stick.
Law requires special handling of juveniles testifying in court cases. Attorneys said they will have to arrange for videotaping of each deposition, and the numbers of adults physically present for each questioning is limited.
Tampa defense attorney Tim Taylor, who is representing Lee Myers, told Timmerman he'd like to request access to the students' 2009 school records, including attendance.
Taylor and prosecutor Kim Hindman told Timmerman they are amenable to having the court review the files to determine which are relevant to the case before allowing them into the court record.
"I'm glad to do an in-camera review," Timmerman said, "but I'm not going to permit a fishing expedition."
Hindman argued that the records released for the purposes of the court case should only be those specifically dealing with the alleged rape.
Timmerman told Hindman and Taylor to work together to come up with an order for him to sign.
"I'll be glad to do my part to make sure you get anything you are entitled to," Timmerman said.
Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3383.