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Attorney wants to question guards

(ran PS, PC editions of PASCO TIMES)

An attorney for the woman accused of killing her son says he wants to make sure her conversations aren't being taped.

An attorney for Kristina Gaime, who is accused of killing her son in April, said he wants to question jail guards under oath to learn whether they are secretly taping her conversations with attorneys.

Bob Nutter, representing Gaime, was in court again Friday afternoon debating Circuit Judge Maynard Swanson's intentions when the judge ruled in June that Gaime could be removed from the jail if officials violate her attorney-client privilege.

Nutter sought to have jailers swear they weren't bugging her conversations.

Sheriff's Office attorney Tom Poulton said Pasco Sheriff Lee Cannon is under no obligation to explain any facet of jail surveillance operations and has declined to say whether anyone is eavesdropping on Gaime's conversations with attorneys.

Prosecutor Phil Van Allen said in court that no one at the jail has ever passed on any information to him or his office about such conversations.

Gaime, 35, is charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors say she drugged her sons _ Mathew Rotell, 6, and Adam Rotell, 8 _ at their Land O'Lakes home April 12, then loaded them into the family minivan and tried to suffocate them and herself using the van's exhaust.

Gaime and Adam survived, but Mathew died.

She has been held at the Pasco County jail in Land O'Lakes since she was indicted in May.

In June, Nutter told Swanson he believed Gaime's conversations with attorneys were being recorded by jail officials.

Nutter said Friday he had no proof, but, drawing on his experience as a prosecutor, he said he knows that type of jailhouse surveillance goes on. He said sworn depositions with jail employees would be the only way to find out for sure.

In Friday's hearing, Swanson said he didn't think the issue needed to be revisited, but said he intended when he ruled in June merely to remind everyone involved that Gaime's rights to confidential communication with her attorneys must be preserved.

He agreed to let the two attorneys work together to create a written record of the ruling they both could accept.