Tallahassee, Florida—Quickly making arrests, stacking charges and giving Black males longer sentences than White males seems to be a common practice within the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, State Attorney Willie Meggs’ Office and two 2nd Judicial Circuit Judges—James C. Hankinson and Jackie Fulford.
According to reports, in 2012, two Black male Godby High School students, 14-year-old, Khalid Muhammad and 15-year-old, Theodus Holloway, were charged as adults for the rape of a 14-year-old female classmate. The rape occurred in a baseball dugout during school hours. The victim did not have any scratches or signs of trauma—she did not go to school staff members or the police—instead she returned to class and told another female classmate. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office quickly arrested the two Black male students. Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell handled the investigation and his son, Assistant State Attorney/Prosecutor Jack Campbell, prosecuted the case. Khalid Muhammad was charged with lewd and lascivious/sex crime. And his co-defendant, Theodus Holloway was charged with lewd and lascivious/sex crime, false imprisonment and sexual battery. In 2013, both Black male youths were sentenced to 8 years in prison and when they are released from prison, they will be designated as sexual predators—must register as sex offenders. Circuit Judge Hankinson presided over their case.
In another case, it was reported that in September 2013, seventeen-year-old Robert Butler, a Black male, was murdered inside his home. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office investigated the murder. Despite numerous witnesses identifying the murderer and having recovered the murder weapon, it took months for the Leon County Sheriff’s Office to make an arrest. Eventually, Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell arrested Logan Murphy, a 16-year-old White male. State Attorney Willie Meggs assigned Sheriff Campbell’s son, Assistant State Attorney/Prosecutor Jack Campbell, to prosecute the case. Supposedly, Logan Murphy and Robert Butler were friends. Robert Butler’s mother stated that she had no idea that Logan Murphy had brought a gun into her home. Logan Murphy was charged with manslaughter. Logan Murphy was not charged with possession of a firearm by a juvenile delinquent. Logan Murphy was sentenced to up to three years in a juvenile detention facility and 15 years probation—Assistant State Attorney/Prosecutor Jack Campbell withheld adjudication—therefore, upon Logan Murphy’s release from juvenile, he will not be a convicted felon. Robert Butler’s family was disappointed over the light sentence that the murderer of their loved one received. Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford presided over this case.
As reported, in 2010, Conor McBride, a 19-year-old White male and his 19-year-old girlfriend, Ann Grosmaire, had been arguing for several hours in the home of Conor McBride’s parents—who were out of town. After having reached his boiling point, Mr. McBride retrieved his father’s shotgun, aimed it at the face of Ann Grosmaire—who was on the floor crying—and pulled the trigger. Ms. Grosmaire lost several of her fingers due to having put her hand up to try to block the shotgun blast to her face—the blast blew her brains out. State Attorney Willie Meggs assigned Assistant State Attorney/Prosecutor Jack Campbell to the case. Mr. McBride was charged with second degree murder. Despite having used a gun—Mr. McBride was not charged with possession of a firearm. According to the highly creditable news paper, The New York Times, who published an extensive article reporting on this case, ‘Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice’ it was reported that since the parents of Ms. Grosmaire did not want to see Mr. McBride spend the rest of his Life in prison, they researched and implemented Restorative Justice in the criminal case against their daughter’s murderer. Restorative Justice is a diversion program normally used in crimes involving property damage—not murder. Assistant State Attorney/Prosecutor Jack Campbell told Ms. Grosmaire’s mother that he could sentence Mr. McBride to as little as five years in prison on manslaughter. Unfortunately, at the time of Ms. Grosmaire’s parents seeking the State of Florida to spare Mr. McBride’s Life sentence—they did not know all of the details that led up to their beautiful daughter’s murder—like how Mr. McBride had previously been abusing her and that Mr. McBride had anger management problems. However, Assistant State Attorney/Prosecutor Jack Campbell was fully aware of the details surrounding Mr. McBride’s heartless murder of Ms. Grosmaire. And yet, and still Assistant State Attorney/Prosecutor Jack Campbell spoke of a manslaughter charge followed by a five year sentence. Before Mr. McBride’s trial, Assistant State Attorney/Prosecutor Jack Campbell and his dad, Sheriff Larry Campbell, along with Leon County Jail staffers made arrangements for Mr. McBride to have a contact visit with his parents in a private room—outside of the regular visiting area. Mr. McBride’s handcuffs were removed for the visit—this was a total breach of standard operating procedures. Restorative Justice—a diversion program for property crimes—such as vandalism—played a major role in Mr. McBride’s case. Assistant State Attorney/Prosecutor Jack Campbell gave Mr. McBride a choice of a sentence—20 years plus 10 years probation, or 25 years in prison. Naturally, Mr. McBride chose and received 20 years in prison.
In 2011, hours after his pregnant 20-year-old ex-girlfriend and her 17-year-old brother had been found murdered in their mother’s townhome, DeShon Thomas, a 17-year-old Black male, was being harassed by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. Unbeknownst to this 17-year-old child, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office had obtained a court order to have AT&T track him via GPS within his cell phone. AT&T holds a major contract with the State of Florida. As DeShon Thomas was riding in the backseat of an SUV belonging to an acquaintance, Leon County Sheriff’s deputies initiated a traffic stop. There on the roadside, DeShon Thomas and his friends were ordered out of the vehicle. Deputies questioned DeShon Thomas about the murders, took photos of his shoes and tried to get him to go with them back to the sheriff’s office. DeShon declined. This website documents the conspiracy that resulted in 17-year-old DeShon Thomas being charged with two counts of 1st degree murder—including how they falsified documents, used a fake detective, withheld the victims autopsy reports, and slew of other violations of laws and schemes that it took in order to convict this Black child for crimes that he clearly did not commit. DeShon Thomas entered Not Guilty to all charges. After Thomas’ trial, Thomas entered a plea of no contest to possession of a firearm by a juvenile delinquent—this plea was just another ploy of the many malicious acts of an all White—corrupt judicial officials. Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson presided over DeShon Thomas’ case for nearly two and a half years. When DeShon Thomas’ mother complained to Governor Scott about Circuit Judge Hankinson’s violations of her son’s U.S. Constitutional Rights, Circuit Judge Hankinson, at DeShon Thomas’ next court hearing, Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford had replaced Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson. Both Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson and Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford were Assistant State Attorneys under State Attorney Willie Meggs before they were judges. Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford and Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell were co-workers—working for State Attorney Willie Meggs at the same time.
DeShon Thomas’ mother had informed Governor Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi of the many violations of the law that was being committed by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, 2nd Judicial Circuit State Attorney Willie Meggs along with Assistant State Attorney/Prosecutor Jack Campbell, Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson and DeShon Thomas’ legal defense attorneys—both private and public. DeShon Thomas’ mother spent nearly $30,000 on one private attorney before firing him for many reasons—including failing to disclose the victims’ autopsy reports—which would/could completely exonerate DeShon Thomas at the murderer. Each contact with Governor Scott and Attorney General Bondi yielded the same response to DeShon Thomas’ mother—unable to get involved in ongoing criminal cases. On December 31, 2013, DeShon Thomas was sent into Florida’s Prison System.
On April 27, 2015, it was reported that Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford is being investigated by the Judicial Qualifications Commission for a “pattern of misconduct.” DeShon Thomas’ had filed a complaint against Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford that fell dormant. In this recent report, none of the three counts of misconduct are directly related to DeShon Thomas’ case or any of the cases mentioned above. The three counts of misconduct are all in relation to different cases—before and after DeShon Thomas’ conviction. Which begs the question—why was Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford, a White woman, allowed to create a pattern of misconduct? In the charging documents, a defense attorney basically says that he feared that he had to go along with violation presented to him by Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford.
In December 2012, the Judicial Qualifications Commission charged Circuit Judge Judith Hawkins, a Black woman, with several violations—however, they were in relation to one act—not a “pattern of misconduct” involving several actions.
DeShon Thomas is INNOCENT! Logan Murphy and Conor McBride will live free again. Free to commit murder of a friend or a girlfriend–again. Khalid Muhammad and Theodus Holloway will spend the rest of their lives branded as sex offenders–while Logan Murphy will not have a criminal conviction of any kind. Officials within Tallahassee’s judicial process need to be investigated and/or removed from their positions. Their patterns and practices–discriminatory prosecution–have served more injustice than justice. In addition, their care for community safety is null and void—creating more victims—and victimizing victims more than once.