Tallahassee, FL: There are some things that students and parents will fear naturally within the communities in which they live and work. Students will fear the inability to fit in with their peers. Parents will fear for the safety of their family. No student or parent should fear elected and selected government officials such as law enforcement officers, judges, state attorneys, etc.
When twenty-three-old, Florida State University Graduate, Rachel Hoffman got busted for marijuana by the Tallahassee Police Department in 2007, she could not have known that the Tallahassee Police Department was going to take advantage of her fears to land her in a casket. Rachel Morningstar Hoffman could not have known that her minor drug sales to her circle of friends and music buddies was going to later move Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney Willie Meggs and the Tallahassee Police Department to exploit her as a felon.
When a seventeen-year-old, female high school student returned home with her family from an event at Florida A&M University featuring Poet Maya Angelou, the young high school student could not have known that taking her dog out to relieve itself was going to prompt her to call the Leon County Sheriff’s Office to inform them of suspicious activity that she witnessed at her neighbors residence. The evening after having walked her dog, the young high school student learned that while she was at school—her neighbor’s 17-year-old son and 20-year-old daughter were found murdered in their townhouse—the daughter’s toddler daughter was also found in the townhouse but she was unharmed. The high school student was in school during the morning and mid-day hours when officials with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office canvassed the townhouse community asking if anyone had seen any suspicious activity at the victims’ townhouse.
Instead of the young petite girl withholding what she’d witnessed the previous night at the victims’ residence, her and her family decided to call the Leon County Sheriff’s Office to inform them of what she’d witnessed. Although Leon County Sheriff’s Officials had their focus on 17-year-old DeShon Thomas, the ex-boyfriend of the pregnant female victim, Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy Clifton Couch was instructed by Leon County Sheriff’s Sergeant Kenneth Ganey to go to young girl’s home to get a statement.
Nearly three years later, the young girl, now a college student at Florida A&M University, was called to the witness stand to repeat what she’d witnessed during the evening hours of January 26, 2011, while out walking her dog. Although it was nearly three later (she did not give a deposition), the young college woman’s trial testimony flowed like water from a faucet. She was not scared to speak about what she’d witnessed. If anything, the young college woman seemed to be relieved to finally speak out about it. What the young college woman was not prepared for was the backlash that she would receive for speaking out that could possibly (even until this day) put her life in jeopardy. Soon after her brave testimony, local news station WCTV reporter Julie Montanaro exploited the young college woman. WCTV published the college woman’s name and nearly all of the college woman’s trial testimony on their website. (Closing arguments had not occurred.) The young college woman was a witness for the defense. The young college woman did not know the defendant and did not know anything about the on-going conspiracies and corruption that was plaguing his judicial proceeding from the time of his 2011 arrest up until his trial. While WCTV reporter Julie Montanaro exploited the young college woman, the complete opposite was done for the identity of State Prosecutor Jack Campbell’s key witnesses—who were adult criminals—including one was an already convicted felon and was awaiting trial for two armed bank robberies in Tallahassee. WCTV reporter Julie Montanaro’s disgraceful message was not unfamiliar to many college students and longtime residence of Tallahassee—if you speak out against law enforcement officials and State Attorney Willie Meggs’—you will be exploited.
During the early evening hours of January 27, 2011, hours after DeShon had learned that his ex-girlfriend and possibly his unborn baby, along with her brother were found murdered in their townhouse, seventeen-year-old, Tallahassee Community College freshman DeShon Thomas was out riding as a backseat passenger with his cousin and a young family. DeShon could not have known that the Leon County Sheriff’s Office had received a court order signed by Judge Ronald Flury for his AT&T cell phone records and to have him tracked using GPS in his cell phone. Although the probable cause for the court order stated that DeShon’s cell phone was connected to criminal activity and as a suspect in the double murders—when law enforcement officers with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office initiated a traffic stop on the SUV in that DeShon was riding, DeShon, along with his cousin, the young parents along with their toddler child were ordered to get out of the SUV. The driver and owner of the SUV was the mother of the child.
As law enforcement officers spoke with DeShon, other law enforcement officers arrived on the scene, including a K-9 unit. The SUV was searched and the K-9 sniffed for drugs. There was nothing located. Law enforcement officers asked DeShon to come with them to the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, and DeShon declined to do so. Law enforcement officials took photos of DeShon’s shoes. DeShon was then allowed to leave.
Of course the Leon County Sheriff’s Office should want to speak with anyone and everyone who had been in recent contact with the victims. But to use a “Fake Cop” named Don Odham to make a case—to LIE to the Grand Jury via Chief Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman–in order to receive an indictment against DeShon. And then to have judges—Ronald Flury, Nina Ashenafi-Richardson, Robert Wheeler, James C. Hankinson, Charles Dodson and Jackie Fulford, as well as local defense attorneys—Gregory Cummings, including Public Defender Nancy Daniels, Assistant Regional Counsel Attorney Samuel Olmstead and Assistant Regional Counsel Director Attorney Daren Shippy—also Leon County Criminal Analyst Leslie Rabon, District Two Medical Examiner Associate Dr. Anthony Clark—and Leon County Sheriff Officials Brian Pearson, Ronald O’brien, Pat McLeod, Kenneth Ganey, Fred Smelt, Melinda McBride, Dawn Dennis, Tim Baxter, Tim Lawrence, David Farcas, and State Attorney Investigator Jason Newlin—just to name a few.
DeShon is INNOCENT! DeShon’s conviction did not come about without a slew of CORRUPTION—CONSPIRACIES—AND PERJURY.
In the May 2014, the police involved shooting death of eighteen-year-old Duane Strong Jr., near a nightclub on a popular college strip near Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College, it’s been reported that many witness that are college students are “not willing to come forward because they fear retribution from police if they speak out against them.”
Officials in Tallahassee do not just limit their acts of intimidation against minors and college students. In 2011, when anonymous letters began appearing on the blog Tallahasseeo.com, exposing Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell and his racist and unethical practices, rumor had it that Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, who was up for re-election, launched a hunt to find out who was behind the anonymous letters. It was said that Leon County Sheriff’s Sergeant David Graham was the author of the letters. Leon County Sheriff Sergeant David Graham had been awarded 2011 Deputy of the Year. WCTV and other local news media outlets soon reported that Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell announced the arrest of David Graham in connection with stealing from an elderly man. Mr. Graham’s wife was later named as having played a role. In 2013, a jury would not convict David Graham of any wrongdoings.
State Attorney Willie Meggs has served seven consecutive terms (since 1981) as State Attorney for Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Liberty, Franklin, and Gadsden counties. State Attorney Willie Meggs and Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell (now deceased) had an extreme stronghold over local citizens for more than thirty years. Recently, State Attorney Willie Meggs announced that he will not be seeking an eighth term. Soon thereafter, 42-year-old, Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell—State Attorney Willie Meggs’ top assistant and the son of the late Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell—announced that he plans to run for Second Judicial State Attorney—which for those in the six counties that make up the Second Judicial Circuit will more than likely receive more of the same fear and intimidation tactics.
The Department of Homeland Security promotes on its website, “If You See Something, Say Something,” further stating, “an informed, alert community play a critical role in keeping our nation safe…in an effort to engage the public in protecting our homeland through awareness—building, partnership, and other outreach.”
This logic should stand in all communities on the local level. But when students –young adults—and parents live in fear of their local government—nobody is safe. Students, young adults and parents must be relieved of the “Fear” of judicial and law enforcement officials that are supposed to “serve and protect the interest of ALL citizens.”