State of Florida vs. DeShon Thomas day 4 of Trial 10-18-13
Regional Defense Attorney Daren Shippy began presenting his case.
State Prosecutor Jack Campbell’s “key witness,” Trentin Ross’ attorney—Paul Srygley told the jury that Trentin Ross has pending cases and that more than one plea deal has been in the works for Trentin Ross’ testimony against DeShon Thomas. This was not new news for DeShon Thomas’ mother.
In March 2011, she’d hired attorney Gregory Cummings to represent 17-year-old DeShon Thomas in which he was charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of 1st Degree Murder and possession of a firearm by a juvenile delinquent. After having paid Cummings near $30,000 over sixteen months, DeShon Thomas’ mother was fed up with Cummings because he’d not been forthcoming with information about her son’s case. Cummings had not yet taken the deposition of Trentin Ross. When Cummings learned that DeShon Thomas’ mother was becoming frustrated and was considering terminating his services, Cummings emailed her and confirmed that the delay with her son’s trial (trial had been rescheduled 3 times) was because State Prosecutor Jack Campbell was having problems contacting Trentin Ross—according to the Leon County Clerk of Court docket for Trentin Ross, for several months Trentin Ross’ court notices had been returned to the clerk’s office. Therefore, nobody knew how to contact Trentin Ross. Meanwhile, Cummings, who never objected to State Prosecutor Jack Campbell’s Motion for Continuance—also, never submitted a Defense Witness List. As a matter of fact, Cummings never deposed any Leon County Sheriff’s deputies/detectives, despite having had come up to trial 3 or more times.
For over a year, Circuit Court Judge Hankinson allowed these shenanigans to play out in his courtroom. Even after the termination of Gregory Cummings, the shenanigans have become an “Infestation” within this case.
Deputy Ronald O’Brien was called to the stand to try to explain what was going on in a video recording at the Leon County Sheriff’s Office where State Attorney Detective Jason Newlin and others assisted Dawaun Williams, the “hit man,” that DeShon Thomas was to have solicited to kill Trentin Ross. Dawaun Williams (a career criminal) was in jail for bank robbery, yet some kind of way he was able to post his $15000 bond. Dawaun Williams got out of jail shortly after he and Detective Jason Newlin made contact. Dawaun Williams was told to write DeShon Thomas a coded letter—1st in plain language—so that Det. Newlin could understand/ approve it—and then in code. Dawaun Williams was then provided with an envelope, a stamp, the address to the Leon County Jail. Next, Det. Newlin and Deputy O’Brien had to figure out how to get the coded letter to DeShon Thomas. They knew that the people who screen the mail would never allow a coded letter of such to get to an inmate. Although Deputy O’Brien wasn’t directly asked about how a coded letter as able to get through the jailhouse mailing system by neither the defense nor the prosecution, during cross-examination, State Prosecutor Jack Campbell told the jury that the letter was mailed into the jail. Jurors were not sleeping on this case—several jurors submitted questions asking Deputy O’Brien about inmates, their rights to privacy when it comes to their mail and yes—the mail screen/process. To those questions, Deputy O’Brien basically stated that he did not work in the jail’s mailroom so he did not feel comfortable answering those questions (which had come one after the other). Deputy O’Brien never told the jurors that he, himself, walked the letter into the jail and ensured that DeShon Thomas got it—which was his testimony during a hearing on October 7, 2013.
In an earlier testimony, Dawaun Williams admitted to writing only one coded letter. However, DeShon Thomas received two coded letters—it has not been established as to who was the author of the second coded letter. DeShon Thomas mailed his mother a copy of both letters as well as the envelopes they were mailed. The envelopes have postmark dates on them as if they were processed through the United States Postal Service. There is no SPN# behind DeShon Thomas’ name—which is needed in order to get through the jail’s mail processing system. Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy O’Brien and State Attorney Detective Jason Newlin viciously manipulated the rules and regulations set by the rules of jails and prisons. All items entering into the jailhouse outside of set processing procedures is considered contraband.
State Prosecutor Jack Campbell tried to justify to the jury why it was needed for the State Attorney’s Office to provide Dawaun Williams with a cell phone and to put money on the cell phone. State Prosecutor Jack Campbell basically stated that a cell phone was used instead of a wire. Ridiculous! All calls coming out of the jail are already being recorded. The real reason for providing Dawaun Williams with a cell phone is because Dawaun Williams was a free man after robbing a bank; Dawaun Williams had no intentions on killing Trentin Ross; and Dawaun Williams felt as if deputies were his friend because they were hooking him up with a cell phone—so Dawaun Williams was never home to receive calls from DeShon Thomas and detectives needed Dawaun Williams to receive those calls no matter where he was or what he was doing.
Another inmate, James Madison testified basically stating that Dawaun Williams was the one who told DeShon Thomas that he was going to take out his “co-defendant.” There is no “co-defendant” in this case.
A female witness, who was a neighbor of the victims, testified that the evening of January 26, 2011 after returning home from a church event with her family, she’d taken her poodle out to relive itself. While out with her poodle, she was startled by a knock on someone’s door. When she looked around she saw that it was at the victims’ residence. Though startled by the knock she stood in place long enough to get a good description of the slim male and watched as the male victim peeped through the blinds and then let the male into the townhouse. She testified that the male knocking on the door was acting suspicious and concealing his hand immediately after knocking. She also basically testified that she’d seen the same suspicious male the next night lingering around the crime scene. She contacted the Leon County Sheriff’s Office to tell them about what she’d witnessed. Deputy Cliff Couch took this young lady’s statement. This tip—like others that had been provided to detectives by the victims’ family members—was not followed up on. Here you have a possible eye witness to a double murder where one of the victims was pregnant and a child was left in the townhome alone—and Leon County Sheriff’s detectives were so focused on DeShon Thomas—whose name was not given to detectives as the possible murderer—that they failed to sit this witness down with a sketch artist to get a composite drawing of a possible cold-blooded murderer. DeShon Thomas does not fit the description that was given. Also, DeShon Thomas was 19 miles away at work during the evening hours of January 26, 2011.
The victims’ family members told Leon County Sheriff’s detectives that twenty-year-old Laqecia Herring and 17-year-old Sterling Conner Jr. both owed people money. Herring failed to pay a friend by the name of LeDeidre Jenkins and the friend’s mother, Sandra Walker $350. Herring’s failure to pay them prompted several disturbing posts on Facebook between Jenkins and Herring. It was brought to detectives’ attention that Jenkins posted, “I got a hit out for this bitch” (referring to Herring). Within 48 hours later Herring and her brother were murdered. Sterling Conner Jr. had been given $400 in fake money to purchase drugs by an adult male to whom the victims’ 16-year-old brother gave the adult male’s name and address to detectives—this was not investigated thoroughly.
DeShon Thomas testified on his own behalf. He testified that the discussion of Herring aborting their unborn baby was not that he didn’t want the baby but because he was not ready to be a father. Herring was the one who set the appointment at the clinic to schedule the abortion. Herring, some of her family members, and DeShon sat in a consultation at the abortion clinic. DeShon was going to pay for the abortion because Herring didn’t have any money. When Herring changed her mind about the abortion, DeShon also changed his mind—and although DeShon was a full-time college student at Tallahassee Community College and a worked numerous hours at Taco Bell, DeShon’s mother was going to help take care of the baby. DeShon also testified that Sterling Conner Jr. was not a gang member.
DeShon’s murder trial had been rescheduled 3 or more times since his arrest. At no time during those 16 months did DeShon ever entertain the thought of having Trentin Ross murdered. After Dawaun Williams was introduced to DeShon, Dawaun Williams immediately wanted to kill Trentin Ross. Dawaun Williams, along with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office took the lead (entrapment) to make sure the lines of communication stayed open between Dawaun Williams and DeShon Thomas. State Prosecutor Jack Campbell repeatedly stated that it was DeShon calling Dawaun Williams. Then it was brought to State Prosecutor Jack Campbell’s attention that Dawaun Williams couldn’t call DeShon because inmates can’t receive incoming calls. (duh!)
After DeShon’s testimony Judge Jackie Fulford called for a sidebar. At which time several jurors handed papers to the bailiff consisting of questions that they wanted to ask DeShon. After sidebar, the bailiff approached DeShon’s mother and older brother (his main support network) and escorted them out of the courtroom. DeShon was still on the stand. There—outside the courtroom—DeShon’s mother and brother were told that they could not go back inside the courtroom at all—not for closing statements—not to hear the verdict. The bailiff told them it was because of repeatedly whispering and gesturing.
DeShon’s mother has spent more than $50,000 over nearly 3 years seeking nothing but the truth for her son. Each and every adult that has LIED on her now 20-year-old son has something to gain—for their own satisfaction—their own personal freedom. Seventeen year-old DeShon Thomas had nothing to gain by killing his pregnant 20-year-old ex-girlfriend, their unbord daughter and her 17-year-old brother–absolutely nothing to gain. There were no issues between DeShon and his ex-girlfriend of 3 months at the time of her murder. And DeShon did an AWESOME job on the stand defending himself against a bunch of PREDATORS!
For his testimony against DeShon—Trentin Ross and his attorney Paul Srygley are working a deal with the prosecutor to keep Trentin Ross from being convicted for growing marijuana in his bedroom closet.
For his testimony against DeShon—Dawaun Williams has a lengthy criminal record—many charges pending against –he’s facing over 55 years in prison.
For their lies, fabricated evidence, etc. against DeShon—State Prosecutor Jack Campbell, 2nd District State Attorney Willie Meggs and Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell all have plenty to gain to help their careers—to protect their agencies and the corrupt practices that have plagued them for years.
Judge Jackie Fulford never gave instructions about talking or gesturing in her courtroom. Yes, the bailiff made several comments to DeShon’s mother and brother, but he too was never clear about whispering or gesturing in the courtroom—other than it was not to be directed at the defendant. According to the sign a door leading into the courtroom—it basically states that unauthorized use of digital devices, recording, etc. is prohibited—however, many people have used their cell phones in the courtroom while the jury was seated. When DeShon’s mother and brother are being watched more than any of the others in the courtroom then of course… If the rules of the courtroom were announced before the start of court when everyone was being told to turn their cell phone completely off—then instructions would’ve been understood. One should never assume that all people know courtroom etiquette. One of the courtroom spectators told DeShon’s mother and brother that shortly after they were escorted out of the courtroom Judge Fulford explained to the them why they’d been asked to leave and then explained her instructions about whispering and gesturing—ok—four days into trial. I mean really—WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS JUDICIAL PROCESS? NOTHING—ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAS FLOWED ACCORDINGLY!!! I can say that even when I don’t know firsthand what accordingly means.
DeShon Thomas has been in solitary confinement in the Leon County Jail for over a year. He was not allowed to call home nor have visitors. His placement in solitary confinement was their way of trying to box him into their system—and make things happen the way that they wanted it to happen. How many years have the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office been boxing in inmates so that the inmates will have to go through the judicial system that they (the Leon County Sheriff and the State Attorney’s Office) wants them too. All of their expert witnesses are Leon County Sheriff’s staff members. They only use their intelligence analysts. Really? Where-they-do-that-at? Oh yeah—Tallahassee.
Come’on, dude! If AT&T records can be used to make an arrest in a double murder case—then I’m sure AT&T will have no problem sending a representative into the courtroom to explain how their cell phone records and tower system work.
The Leon County Sheriff and the State Attorney’s Office is a Big Circle of LIARS and it is pathetic!