Game Being Played By the Assistant State Attorney’s Office: Hide and Go Seek

HIDE:
In April 2012, Attorney David Chester of Tallahassee filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Larry Campbell and Sgt. Brian Pearson. The lawsuit alleges that Sgt. Pearson, the lead detective in the shooting death of David Mays, kept a “secret” file on the Mays investigation. The “secret file” was to have included personal case notes and other documents. It was reported that after receiving a public-records request, Sgt. Pearson ran the materials, including compact discs through a paper shredder. All and all, at the time of the request—nothing was handed over.

GO—SEEK :
David Chester’s lawsuit was covered by Circuit Judge Kevin J. Carroll, who issued an order of the Sheriff’s Office to show cause as to why the requests in the lawsuit should not be granted. The judge gave them 60 days to comply.

HIDE:
On February 7, 2011, my 17-year-old son, DeShon Thomas was charged with 2 counts of 1st Degree Premeditated Murder (narrowly missing a 3rd count of murder because the female victim in this case (his 20-year-old ex-girlfriend) was about 21 weeks pregnant at the time). Through interviews of people close to the victims, eyewitness accounts, my son’s employer (alibis), law enforcement officer’s statements and other crucial information—the victims’ time of death is essential to this case. My son, who is now 18-years-old, has been in the Leon County Jail for approximately 458 days. From day one, I’d always inquired about the time of death of the victims. Only to be told that the 2 victims autopsy reports are “confidential” information.

Not long after George Zimmerman’s arrest for the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Discovery documents, including his autopsy report, were released to the public. Soon Trayvon Martin’s Autopsy Report was all over the Internet and on the front page of newspapers. Seeing all of this reignited the fact that I still did not know what the time of death was of the victims in my son’s case. Now, I wanted to know how to go about getting a copy of the victims’ autopsy report.

SEEK:
I called the Leon County Clerk of Courts—they did not have it. They referred me to the State Attorney’s Office. Well, to me—that’s like a woman asking an abusive husband to put a steak over the black eye that he gave her. I was reluctant to call the State Attorney’s Office. Instead I called the District Two Medical Examiner’s Office. The person whom I spoke with over the phone was very, very nice and helpful. The person told me that I could in fact get a copy of the victims’ autopsy report but only after their case is closed. Huh–? The person told me that the case status showed “on-going investigation”. I explained that there had been an arrest in the case. I asked why does it say that it’s an “on-going investigation”? Unfortunately, the person couldn’t answer that question. However, the person was able to answer a few of my questions successfully. But in the end, I was referred back to the State Attorney’s Office. I called the State Attorney’s Office being vague but also letting them know what I was looking for in the Discovery. I felt like I would be more successful if I just put in the request in person. When I arrived in Tallahassee, the second place I went was to the courthouse. Yes—I went to the State Attorney’s Office. I explained to the woman what I was looking for—a copy of the Medical Examiner’s Report. She pulled the victims information up on the computer. She seemed to be stunned to see that although there was an arrest on the case, the status of the case stated “on-going investigation”. When I asked her who was responsible for closing investigations so that these records can be accessed by the public, she told me that the secretaries were responsible for closing the case. Then she told me that, if I wanted to know why the case had not been closed, then I needed to speak with Jack Campbell—not his secretary. She told me that he was the only one who could tell me—why the case has not been closed. She then pointed out the directions to his office. I didn’t bother to go to his office. Simply because they seem to have sealed my son’s cell phone records and now they’ve left this case file open so that no one can access their autopsy report.

Hide-and-Go-Seek 101—players conceal themselves in the environment, to be found by one or more seekers.

I can’t begin to imagine how many other cases are out there fighting really hard for access to public records.

Two Police Officers Arrested on Drug Charges

LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Two Little Rock police officers were arrested Thursday on  federal drug charges that accused them of driving their marked patrol cars and  wearing their uniforms while protecting controlled drug  deliveries.

Officers Mark Anthony Jones and Randall Tremayn Robinson, who  are half-brothers, face charges of conspiring to aid and abet and attempting to  aid and abet the possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and  possessing a firearm while taking part in a drug-trafficking crime, prosecutors  said.

Both have been placed on paid administrative leave, Little Rock  police spokesman Lt. Terry Hastings said.

“It is disheartening to know  that members of this department are alleged to have violated their oaths and our  trust in the manner detailed in the criminal complaint,” Police Chief Stuart  Thomas said in a statement, which also praised other officers who participated  in the investigation.

It wasn’t clear whether Jones, 45, and Robinson,  38, had lawyers. A message left at a phone number listed for a Randall T.  Robinson wasn’t returned, and a woman who answered a phone listing for a Mark A.  Jones said it wasn’t the right number.

Both men are scheduled to appear  in court Friday morning.

An FBI agent wrote in an affidavit that Jones  was wearing his uniform, carrying a weapon and driving a market patrol car when  he was involved in the protection of three controlled drug deliveries  orchestrated by a confidential informant working with  investigators.

Prosecutors allege that Robinson took part in protecting  the third delivery while driving a marked patrol car on duty and in uniform.  Investigators said the deliveries totaled about 1,400 pounds of  marijuana.

The FBI agent wrote that the informant called Jones in January  and arranged to meet him at a Whole Foods grocery store, where Jones would be  working an off-duty security job.

During the recorded meeting, the  informant said he was on herb, a slang term for marijuana, and needed someone to  watch his back. Jones told him to plan it out and let him know what he needed,  according to the affidavit.

Jones provided security for a controlled  delivery of what he believed to be 200 pounds of pharmaceutical-grade marijuana,  according to the affidavit. The FBI agent said Jones received $2,000 for  protecting what he thought was a drug shipment.

In March, Jones and  Robinson both provided security for the controlled delivery of what they thought  was 1,000 pounds of marijuana, according to the affidavit. Both officers were on  duty, armed, in uniform and driving marked patrol vehicles, the affidavit said.

While Robinson was providing security to one vehicle, there was a  shooting in west Little Rock, and all police cars were ordered to  respond.

“As other police cars were traveling to the scene of the  shooting, they passed Robinson’s patrol car following the vehicle with the  marijuana,” the affidavit says. The incident was allegedly recorded by cameras  in the police cars responding to the shooting.

That same day, Jones  picked up two packages each containing $5,000 for their help, according to the  affidavit.

Read more:  The Courier – Your Messenger for the River Valley – Two police officers arrested on drug charges

Education Commissioner, Gerard Robinson resigns

Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson resigned unexpectedly Tuesday, saying that “living far away from my family” was too much of a challenge to continue as Florida’s schools chief.

Robinson’s departure is effective Aug. 31, according to letters he sent to Gov. Rick Scott and Kathleen Shanahan, chairman of the State Board of Education.

 

Wow!!! What’s really going on?

Dishonored Ex-Lead Detective in Double Murder Case Still on Assistant State Attorney’s A+ List

As working-class taxpayers, the one thing that most of us look forward to is spending time with our family members. Whether it’s a spur of the moment lunch date with a husband/wife; a stop at McDonald’s with the kids after a long day at work or—or– a summer vacation that you spent the entire fringed-cold winter planning. No matter what, most of us look forward to our family time.

 

But as working-class taxpayers—who’s your daddy? (especially in this economy) Who-is-your-daddy? Your employer is your daddy! It doesn’t matter how early you come into work and how late you leave work. It doesn’t matter how much over-time you’ve put in or special projects you’ve completed. At the end of the day, it’s up to your employer as to if the time that you’ve requested off to spend time with your family member is approved or not. There are honorable American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and providing services abroad who have missed the birth of their first born child because the job that they signed up for (to serve and protect our country) would not allow them to leave their posts.

 

Where am I going with this? Well, I’m getting there. None of us will forget Rachel Hoffman. There were approximately 100 people called up for jury selection for her civil suit. ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE! Think about how many parents missed breakfast with their kids. Think about how many parents had to make alternative arrangements to get their kids to and from school. Think about how many employers had to reschedule meetings and change their work schedules. Oh my gosh! I could go on and on with this… All for the City of Tallahassee to settle for $2.6 million without any use of the final six jurors they selected.

 

In August 2011, Detective Don Odham was FIRED from the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. This ex-detective, who was promoted to a lead detective position on a double murder case probably because of his financial contributions to Sheriff Larry Campbell’s past and present election campaigns, more so than his credentials, had already done a disservice to the Leon County Sheriff’s office and the citizens of Leon County by his unethical actions that cost him his job. It’s been noted that this dishonorable man, who was just a reserve deputy, has plenty of money. So really, unlike hard working-class taxpayers—a job loss for him doesn’t mean that his kids are going to miss a meal or any family time. That’s why I was so disgusted when I looked in my son’s court file and came across this Order of Continuance along with an email sent to Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell. By the granting of this Motion for Continuance, my son’s trial date was rescheduled TWO MONTHS out. In the email, this guy is so selfish! This unethical ex-detective was FIRED. Why should he be allowed to keep his vacation plans, all at the extra expense of the taxpayers? Think about the thousands of dollars a day it costs to house an inmate in the Leon County Jail. This money comes from every day hard-working citizens. If anything, this unethical ex-detective should’ve viewed his “hardship” as a way to make up for his unethical behavior that caused him to get FIRED in the first place. And Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell should’ve withheld the Order of Continuance because of the masses and the cost to taxpayers. When one person, who doesn’t seem to have a paying job or any kids to prepare for school in the fall, can set a judicial proceeding back TWO MONTHS…not only are hardworking taxpayers be up in arms…I’m up in arms about whether or not if my son will get a fair and just trial. Can somebody please tell me who’s really running the courtroom?

 

If nothing else, just let this article be a testimony for you—unless you have friends in high places and friends with money, don’t set your plans in stone. And if you’re up against Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell— follow the paper trail—if it doesn’t bring you pain, it may bring you humor.

Cop’s 3-year-old son Shot with Handgun at Home

By Bob Redell, NBCBayArea.com
July 6, 2012, 10:16 am

In what police describe as a tragic accident, the 3-year-old son of a San Jose, Calif., police officer was shot and killed Wednesday evening at his home in Gilroy. The boy’s death from his wounds was confirmed late Thursday.

The Gilroy Dispatch newspaper reported that three other children were inside the home at the time of the incident, indicating this might have happened during a play date.

Police won’t say who pulled the trigger of the handgun, but reports say the boy either shot himself or another child accidentally fired the gun.

For more, visit NBCBayArea.com

“Unfortunately, emergency personnel were unable to save the boy and he was pronounced deceased while en route to a local hospital,” Gilroy Sgt. Chad Gallacinao said in a statement.

He added that the investigation will focus on how the gun was stored inside the house and why a child was able to get their hands on it.

It is not known if the gun was the father’s police-issued firearm.

This is so tragic!

That’s why I thank God every day for my children. We can’t control what our kids put their hands on; that’s why as adults we have to make sure we keep handguns locked up–stored away properly. The handguns that my son got his hands on belonged to careless officers. My son was 14-years-old at the time. He didn’t have the mentality then and he doesn’t have the mentality now to shoot anyone or any living thing. I was most angry at him for bringing a gun in my house because like the above story, accidents do happen.

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Affect on Florida Juveniles

At least 250 Florida inmates could seek reduced sentences as the result of aU.S. Supreme Court decision declaring that states cannot mandate life terms without possibility of parole for those convicted of committing murder when they were under age 18.

Monday’s decision was hailed by juvenile-justice and civil-rights advocates who have long argued that children should be treated differently from adults in the criminal-justice system and that juveniles have a greater capacity to change.

 

Hard science demonstrates that teenagers and young adults are not fully mature in their judgment, problem-solving and decision-making capacities.