Dear Circuit Judge Charles Dodson,
This month of September marks seven years since I last wrote to you. The first time that I wrote to you was in regards to my son, DeShon Thomas. You see, I wrote to you after reading an article in the Tallahassee Democrat about you giving juveniles direction and hope. In 2009, at the time the article was published, DeShon was at Gulf Coast Youth Academy in Fort Walton Beach, FL. DeShon, who was sixteen-years-old, had made a few bad decisions— none that were violent. In the article you spoke about kids being “salvageable.” In my letter I told you that DeShon was “salvageable.”
From what the article stated about you, I found your way of thinking to be very inspiring. During the next visitation at Gulf Coast Youth Academy, I told a few parents about you and your beliefs. In the letter that I wrote to you, I informed you about the “merry-go-round” of directors, staff members, case managers, therapists, teachers and nurses at Gulf Coast Youth Academy and how because of the facilities inability to maintain and retain staff members, the effects on juveniles and their family members were hopeless. It was like hitting the reset button with the juveniles every time a new director or case manager took over the facility or child’s case. Juveniles that had been sentenced to 6 months were being held for nearly two years because they were not getting the services promised to them. Other parents, as well as myself, felt hopeless, and it showed on all of the parents faces.
After sending you the letter, and informing you of the conditions, things changed drastically at Gulf Coast Youth Academy. I don’t know what all was said or done from your standpoint, and that was o.k. because my goal was only to make things fair for juveniles and their parents, as well as for my son and myself. Now, what I do know is that there were more smiles and laughter in the cafeteria at Gulf Coast Youth Academy during visitation than before I sent the letter to you. And honestly, even the staff looked to be more enthusiastic. The facility had had about three directors come and go in less than six months—so apparently there were many internal issues. Again, I don’t know what all occurred, but some things did change after I sent the letter to you.
In January 2014, I filed a complaint with the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission against Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson, Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford, Judge Robert Wheeler and you. The complaint was brought about due to the events that occurred in 2011 & 2012 cases, State of Florida vs. DeShon Thomas. Although you were not directly involved with DeShon’s cases, you were presiding over State of Florida vs. Trentin Ross’ case. Ironically, if I had not experienced the chaos with Gulf Coast Youth Academy, I would not have been able to handle the two year madness during the so-called judicial proceedings where Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson, Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell, Defense Attorney Greg Cummings and Paul Srygley seemed to be set to conspire against DeShon—who was 17-years-old. How you, sir, allowed yourself to be a part of such a group of dead dogs—lower than fleas—is really unfortunate.
And with a heavy heart, I filed a complaint against you and I expect some day that you will be held accountable for your actions (lack thereof) during the time you presided over Trentin Ross’ case, who was Jack Campbell’s key witness against DeShon.
Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi have been quick to blame their staffers when problems surface. I don’t blame you for my son’s conviction. However, when Mr. Cummings informed me that Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell and Paul Srygley, Mr. Ross’ attorney were basically hiding Trentin Ross, thus, keeping Mr. Cummings from deposing Mr. Ross—it was documented on your court docket that Mr. Ross had violated your court orders for more than a year. You, sir, failed to violate Mr. Ross. Since Mr. Ross testified against DeShon (committed perjury), Mr. Ross has repeatedly committed crimes. Jack Campbell already confessed to connecting State Attorney Investigator Jason Newlin with ex-convict/Leon County Jail inmate Dawuan Williams—so that murder plot—Solicitation to Commit 1st Degree Murder is entrapment. Walter Cole Rayborn, who is currently in the Leon County Jail charged with murdering Lance Love and Corneillous Poole, was named in the Solicitation to Commit 1st Degree Murder affidavit against DeShon.
If laws had not been changed, DeShon would’ve been lynched from a tree. If laws had not changed, DeShon would’ve been sentenced to Death Row. If Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi would’ve had their way, DeShon would’ve been executed expediently.
I really want you to know that it’s highly disgraceful, unethical and immoral of you, Judge Charles Dodson, to preside over juvenile cases—where you look at children every day and order them to be held accountable for their actions—yet, you have not been held accountable for your actions. And you also know that your colleagues have not been held accountable for their actions. Until you and your colleagues are held accountable for your actions, the life of every case child that stands before you—you will be held accountable too.