NEW YORK — A lawyer for a New York City police officer in a cannibalism case says she thinks a New Jersey man was arrested on related charges to weaken his testimony for the defense at trial this month.
The lawyer, Julia Gatto, spoke outside court after Trenton resident Michael Vanhise appeared before a magistrate judge in Manhattan. Vanhise, who appeared to wipe tears from his eyes, was held without bail pending a hearing Monday. Gatto says Vanhise’s arrest at his home Friday morning appeared to be a tactical move by authorities to prevent testimony about Internet fantasies.
She says Vanhise would have exonerated her client, Gilberto Valle, with his testimony if he took the witness stand. Vanhise’s lawyer, Alice Fontier, says she can’t comment on the charges against him.