A defense lawyer convicted of bribing a witness not to testify against his alleged attacker has withdrawn his appeal and accepted full responsibility for his crimes.
Gerard H. Donley, whose trial proved divisive within the judiciary he worked in for nearly three decades, filed a sworn statement with the state Supreme Court saying that he did not wish to appeal his conviction or any rulings associated with his case.
“I regret more than I can express acting in violation of the law and I accept full responsibility for my actions …,” Donley said. “I do not believe that I can profess true acceptance of responsibility and still press an appeal. Only by acknowledging fully the unlawfulness of my conduct can I move ahead toward the future when my sense of integrity will be restored.”
A Superior Court jury in June 2013 found Donley guilty of four counts: obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice, bribery of a witness and conspiracy to commit bribery. In doing so, jurors rejected Donley’s explanation that he made $6,000 in payments to a stabbing victim to “settle the beef” brewing on the city streets.
Judge Robert D. Krause sentenced Donley, 55, of Cranston, to seven years in prison, with six to serve. He is currently being held in medium security at the Adult Correctional Institutions.
A separate jury last fall acquitted his alleged coconspirators, defense lawyer Donna Uhlmann, and convicted felon, Jamaal “Dub” Dublin, of the same charges after a bruising trial. Uhlmann has since resumed her law practice.
Convicted felon Michael Drepaul, who entered a plea deal that spared him jail time in exchange for his testimony against all three alleged coconspirators, told jurors that Uhlmann helped arrange for him to get 10 “stacks” or $10,000 from Donley through Dublin in exchange for not testifying that Dublin stabbed him at a murdered friend’s wake. Drepaul’s girlfriend, Nicole “Coco” Brown, testified about collecting cash from Donley on city streets.
Uhlmann and Dublin’s lawyers at their trial last fall hammered both as unreliable witnesses and criminals who would say anything to avoid being sent to jail.