The Talking Dead - Serial Killer Israel Keyes' Defense Team Still on the Case
ANCHORAGE - It has been more than a month since confessed serial killer Israel Keyes committed suicide in an Anchorage jail cell, yet Keyes' legal team is still fighting on his behalf.
You could call it dead man litigating.
Although federal prosecutors went through the formality of dismissing charges against Keyes in the wake of his suicide, the defense lawyers are still active.
This comes to light because of a motion filed by the online newspaper Alaska Dispatch.
The Dispatch has moved in U.S. District Court to have all records in the Keyes case unsealed for public inspection.
In response, Keyes' lawyers -- a federal public defender based in Anchorage and a two-person team from a Seattle law firm -- have filed a motion asking for a delay in the release of any information.
Their filing does not explain why they are still engaged in the case, and they did not return phone calls and email seeking clarification of their representation of a dead man.
Frank Russo of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Anchorage said he does not know why Keyes' lawyers are still involved in the case, something the likes of which he said he's never seen before.
And Russo said by Thursday he expects to file a motion with the court asking for dismissal of their request on behalf of Keyes.
And of course one issue here is the federal tax dollars being expended on behalf of a dead man who confessed to killing at least 11 people.
Russo said he will be interested to see how much the Seattle firm, retained because of its expertise in federal death penalty cases, will bill the government.
Meanwhile, the blood-soaked note that was found with Keyes' body has been analyzed by the FBI in Quantico, Virginia, and the message has been deciphered.
Local FBI spokesman Eric Gonzalez said the agency is likely to release the contents this week or next.