John McTiernan Finally Finds Luck In the Hiring Dept.Fri Oct 24, 2008 @ 12:47AM PST
By Eriq Gardner
John McTiernan once directed "Die Hard." Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals gave the director an opportunity to live up to that title.
The appeals court could have accepted McTiernan's guilty plea and sent him to federal prison for four months as penalty for lying to federal investigators about hiring private eye Anthony Pellicano to wiretap "Rollerball" producer Chuck Roven. Instead, the court agreed with McTiernan's new lawyers that the director may have gotten bad legal advice from his old lawyers.
McTiernan pleaded guilty after the government revealed tape recording of discussions made by McTiernan and Pellicano, which contradicted his previous statements. Could McTiernan escape prosecution by motioning for the suppression of this evidence? According to McTiernan's new lawyer, S. Todd Neal, the answer was yes. The Ninth Circuit agrees that such a motion should have been made.
Here's the decision that sends the case back to the U.S. District Court in order to conduct a full evidentiary hearing to consider whether he can withdraw his guilty plea.