Attorneys contest Ivins' guilt

Attorneys in Florida recently have filed court papers claiming evidence to dispute the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s assertion that former government researcher Bruce Ivins was behind the 2001 anthrax mail attacks.

Lawyers representing Maureen Stevens, the widow of a National Enquirer photo editor killed in the 2001 anthrax attacks, initially agreed to accept the FBI’s findings, according to

According to the papers, Stevens’ legal team changed their mind after Ivins’ supervisors at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, insisted under oath that Ivins could not have been responsible.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hurley, who will decide the case, approved the request to dispute Ivins’ role in Stevens’ death when the $50 million lawsuit against the federal government reaches trial in December or January, reports.

Richard Schuler, who is representing Stevens and her children, said that it is important to federal prosecutors that Ivins is blamed for the attacks because the federal government is not responsible for intentional acts and would therefore be able to escape liability.

“The government was negligent in Bob Stevens' death because it didn't provide sufficient security at the labs where anthrax was kept,” Schuler said, according to “In court papers, the government concedes that before the attacks, Fort Detrick didn't have cameras to monitor the labs and didn't search workers for pathogens when they were leaving the base.”

Schuler said that Stevens’ case against the government is not really based on Ivins’ guilt or innocence, but on the government’s responsibility for the crimes.

"We just have to show that there was bad security," Schuler said, reports. "We don't have to solve the crime."

In the hopes of silencing ongoing criticism of the case against Ivins, who killed himself in 2008 as authorities were preparing to indict him, the Government Accountability Office has begun another review of the FBI investigation.