Bryan Riley attends hearing in person as defense tries to block access to medical records

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A lawyer for the Brandon man accused of killing four members of a Lakeland family, including a three-month-old baby, is asking a judge to reconsider his decision to allow access to hospital records.

Bryan Riley attended Tuesday’s status conference in person, marking the first time he has been seen in public since the day of his arrest, when he did not open his eyes as he was walked to a cruiser.

Quadruple murder suspect Bryan Riley is led from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Lakeland, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021, by Deputy Steve Neil, left, Captain Bart Davis and Detective Brett Bulman. (Kimberly C. Moore/The Ledger via AP)

Wearing an orange jumpsuit and a mask, Riley did not say a word during the 20-minute hearing.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in Riley’s case, which involves the deaths of Justice Gleason, Theresa Lanham who was in a relationship with Gleason, Lanham’s mother Catherine Delgado, and Gleason’s infant son Jody, who was born in May.

He is also accused of shooting an 11-year old girl several times, who was the sole survivor.

Court documents show Riley told detectives he did not know the family, that “God” told him to do it and he was a “sick guy.”

He allegedly said he showed up at the home to rescue a girl named “Amber” who did not exist.

Riley told people he had been using meth.

His defense attorney, Jane McNeill, a public defender, is asking Judge Harb to reconsider his decision to allow prosecutors to access medical records from Lakeland Regional Health.

Riley was treated at that hospital after a shootout with police on the morning of the killings.

Prosecutors want access to toxicology results.

“We also requested the records based on the fact that we would be privy to any statements the defendant made during the course of his medical care, his behavior during the course of his medical care and also it would be evidence in relation to the shooting,” said assistant state’s attorney Lauren Perry.

As a result of a search warrant, the state gained access to three vials of Riley’s blood.

McNeill argued in court Perry did not mention her office was in possession of that blood at an evidentiary hearing in September, before the judge granted the state’s motion to subpoena LRH.

“The court was not made aware of all of the facts in the case. That information was withheld from the court,” said McNeill.

Perry said she has the blood samples but not the toxicology results.

The motion is under consideration by Judge Harb.

Court records show the wide array of weaponry and tactical gear obtained from search warrants at the crime scene.

It includes a Glock 17 9mm, 9mm handgun, Daniel Defense DDM4 (AR-15 style firearm), 173 shell casings, more ammunition, knives, a hatchet, body armor, bulletproof vest, 16 glow sticks, knee pads, a tourniquet, first aid kid, and a Bible with Riley’s name inscribed, among other items.

Riley’s next status conference is scheduled for February 18.

Starting in 2022, the case will be heard by Judge Abdoney, as judges’ divisions are changing as of Jan. 1.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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