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Lawmaker Urges Release of Jailed Writer

November 23, 2001|From Associated Press

HOUSTON — Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) urged Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft to free a novice crime writer jailed for not surrendering her notes on a book about a Houston socialite's murder.

Vanessa Leggett, 33, was ordered held in July after a federal judge found her in contempt of court for refusing to give a grand jury notes from interviews related to the 1997 shooting death of Doris Angleton.

In her letter Wednesday to Ashcroft, Jackson-Lee said Leggett should be released on bail for humanitarian reasons.

"Ms. Leggett presents no risk of flight, nor does she pose any threat to society or herself," Jackson-Lee wrote.

Greg Serres, interim U.S. attorney for South Texas, said he will continue to oppose the bail request until Leggett turns over the notes.

Doris Angleton's husband, Robert, was acquitted in 1998 of hiring his brother to kill his wife. Angleton later killed himself.

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