Tallahassee, FL—In early 2011, Gary Michael Hilton was convicted in the decapitation of Cheryl Dunlap, a 46-year-old North Florida school teacher whose body was found in the Apalachicola National Forest. Sixty-four-year-old, Gary Michael Hilton, was a drifter, who was also charged with the kidnapping and the decapitation of Meredith Hope on Blood Mountain located in North Georgia in 2008. Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson sentenced Gary Michael Hilton to death.
In 2013, the mother of DeShon Thomas contacted Florida Governor Rick Scott in regards to Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson conspiring against her son, DeShon. Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson had been presiding over DeShon’s case for more than two years. In those two years, Judge Hankinson, State Prosecutor Jack Campbell and DeShon’s private paid Defense Attorney Greg Cummings were conspiring to have DeShon convicted on Two Counts of 1st Degree Murder and Possession of a Firearm by a Juvenile Delinquent. Within days of DeShon firing Greg Cummings, Judge Hankinson approved probable cause and signed an arrest warrant charging DeShon with Solicitation to Commit 1st Degree Murder of that of a witness in the case. For more than two years Judge Hankinson directly violated DeShon’s Constitutional Rights.
In 2011, DeShon Thomas, a 17-year-old freshman at Tallahassee Community College, had been arrested and charged with Two Counts of 1st Degree Murder and Possession of a Firearm by a Juvenile Delinquent. DeShon pled Not Guilty. DeShon’s case process was being handled by Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, whose agency was investigating the double murders, and then his son, Jack Campbell, was prosecuting the case. State Attorney Willie Meggs overlooked forty plus of his Assistant State Attorneys and specifically assigned Jack Campbell as prosecutor. DeShon’s mother believed this type of father/son judicial interaction was extremely bias—and was sure to have many problems. After DeShon’s mother had repeatedly been told that there was nothing unethical about the father/son working together, DeShon’s mother knew to keep a close eye on all involved. DeShon’s mother learned that numerous local Tallahassee defense attorneys feared going into the courtroom against State Prosecutor Jack Campbell due to favoritism shown by judges and all other local state agencies. Several sitting Circuit Judges, including James C. Hankinson worked as Assistant State Attorneys under Willie Meggs before being elected/appointed to their bench. Immediately after DeShon’s mother contacted Governor Scott about Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson’s violations of DeShon’s rights, Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson was replaced by Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford, another former Assistant State Attorney who worked under State Attorney Willie Meggs and alongside of State Prosecutor Jack Campbell. The issue with Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson immediately being replaced was that for two years Governor Scott’s response was that he could not get involved with ongoing criminal investigations.
Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford came along and picked up where Judge Hankinson left off. She also violated DeShon’s Constitutional Rights. In October 2013, four months after Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford began presiding over DeShon’s case, DeShon was convicted on Two Counts of 1st Degree Murder and Solicitation to Commit 1st Degree Murder. DeShon was instructed to take a plea on the charge of Possession of a Firearm by a Juvenile Delinquent. In December 2013, Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford sentenced DeShon to Two Life Sentence plus 30 years.
In 2014, Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford began presiding over a quadruple murder case. State Prosecutor Jack Campbell is the prosecutor on the case. The defendant in the case, Henry Segura, is facing the Death Penalty if found guilty. Early on in this case, Mr. Segura had another judge. Mr. Segura’s defense attorney, Chuck Hobbs, complained to that judge about what he believed to be violations by jail officials. State Prosecutor Jack Campbell’s dad, Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, also was the overseer of the Leon County Jail where Mr. Segura is being held in solitary confinement awaiting trial. Mr. Hobbs had asked the courts that due to the biasness and harassment of his client,Mr. Segura, that Mr. Segura be moved to a jail in a nearby county. Mr. Segura remains in the Leon County Jail.
In April 2015, it was announced that Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford was being investigated by the Judicial Qualifications Commission for numerous counts of misconduct. Shortly after the announcement, Judge Jackie Fulford removed herself from the bench. The counts of misconduct occurred before and after Judge Jackie Fulford began presiding over DeShon Thomas’ case and Mr. Segura’s Death Penalty case.
In June 2015, a DNA analyst with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Tallahassee came forward about having been ordered not to provide officials with evidence that had been forwarded to her from the Federal Bureau of Investigations in Mr. Segura’s case. The evidence is favorable to Mr. Segura’s defense.
Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson and Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford have presided over Death Penalty cases that demanded high quality morals and judicial ethics. The two judges being named in regards to conspiring against a minor child should bother everyone in Florida and in the World. DeShon was 17-years-old when he was charged with heinous crimes. DeShon was 19-years-old when he was charged with Solicitation to Commit 1st Degree Murder. DeShon was 20-years-old when he was sent to prison. Nonetheless, DeShon was a minor child when his life was abruptly turned upside down and judicial officials began conspiring against him. Had DeShon been 18-years-old at the time of his arrest, DeShon would have been facing the Death Penalty. And had there been the same conspiring judicial paths to get State Prosecutor Jack Campbell a guilty verdict—DeShon would be on Death Row. Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson and Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford should never be allowed to preside over another case again.
The Florida Supreme Court should help protect Floridians.