In a motion in Broward County court, the attorney for former Surfside commissioner Shannon Gallagher argued that he should be released from prison because the state could not prove the death. her brother was a murderer and not a suicide.
In December, the 52-year-old Gallagher was indicted by a grand jury and jailed in Chicago. Last week, he was taken to Broward County Jail on a charge of first degree murder.
Police say the charges stemmed from an incident that occurred on March 21, 2022. He is being held without bond.
His lawyer asked a judge on Thursday to open the charge and set a hearing.
Other court records tell some stories. His lawyer and the assistant public prosecutor filed requests in the 17th circuit court for his release from prison before the trial and whether a review of this case can be done before the date. 7 February.
“In order to deny bail, the State must prove to a degree of certainty greater than a reasonable doubt that Thomas Burke did not commit suicide. Therefore, it cannot not the State,” wrote Robert Resnick, Gallagher’s attorney.
Gallagher’s uncle Thomas Burke died in March 2022, according to court records. He was 74 years old.
According to those records, he changed his last will and testament, leaving everything to Gallagher a few days before his death. He wrote his first wife, his children, and his children from his heart.
Resnick wrote to the court that Gallagher’s uncle is “under the care of the hospital, suffering from stage 4 cancer of the esophagus, and is very weak because of his unable to tolerate food and water.” He added that Burke wanted a morphine pump but could not get one.
“On March 21, 2022, Thomas Burke suffered a gunshot wound to the head. He was shot with a gun he owned, in his bed, sometime between midnight and 6 a.m. He was found by defendant Shannon Gallagher, who lived with him. and took care of him a few days before he died,” Resnick wrote.
One of Gallagher’s friends confirmed to NBC 6 that he had conversations about caring for his brother who was dying of cancer. The friend did not want to speak on camera, fearing it might jeopardize the case.
In an earlier hearing, Resnick asked the judge to give Gallagher access to a doctor. He stated that he was not well cared for in taking his medication. In his photo, he is seen wearing a neck brace caused by a rear-end collision that occurred while he was being driven to Florida.
A former Surfside city commission candidate was booked into the Broward County Jail after being arrested on a murder charge, records show. NBC 6’s Phil Prazan reports.
The state argued in response to Resnick’s motion that through “delay tactics,” Gallagher could not be brought to Florida until January 13 and will testify in his ‘ me until February 1 according to the law.
In the state’s response, assistant state’s attorney Taylor Hoffman said Gallagher was known as a “master trickster” at the Cook County jail; a statement his attorney disputes. Law enforcement officials were concerned he would have “difficulties” on a plane and would have to fly him to Florida, according to Hoffman.
The public prosecutor argued that they need more time to prepare an answer, prepare evidence for the trial, and call friends and family to talk.
“In other words, this defendant is trying to mislead this Court” to schedule the trial quickly because of “unproven health problems, ” said Hoffman.
Gallagher is popular in the small town of Surfside. As of March 2022, he is one of six members for the Surfside town commission. He is part of the legal battle that is trying to stop a construction of houses near where he lives.
Police have little to say about his case.
“The indictment and all related documents have been sealed by the court, so we cannot provide additional information at this time. This is a Fort Lauderdale PD case and the investigation remains ongoing,” wrote Fort Lauderdale police spokesman Casey Liening.