Dear Florida’s Appropriation and Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice
If my family and I were not experiencing this “Bizarre” chain of events with the Judicial System in Tallahassee for over three years now, then I probably would’ve had to analyze every aspect of the situation before I actually believed it. But the truth is—this experience is real—and it’s scary!
There’s documentation showing where Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, his son State Prosecutor Jack Campbell and 2ndJudicial State Attorney Willie Meggs LIED to Leon County Judge Nina Ashenafi-Richardson by leading her to believe that Don Odham was a Leon County Sheriff’s Detective—when in fact, Don Odham was not on the Leon County Sheriff’s Office payroll—and lacked the experience and the credentials to be a detective. State Prosecutor Jack Campbell got Judge Ashenafi-Richardson to approve a Summary of Offense and Probable Cause for Two Counts of 1st Degree Murder and then Judge Ashenafi-Richardson issued an Arrest Warrant for my son DeShon Thomas. This happened on February 7, 2011 when DeShon was 17-years-old.
For nearly three (3) years as DeShon sat in the Leon County Jail awaiting an opportunity for a fair and just trial, Several authorities within the Tallahassee Judicial System continued to LIE and be deceitful an effort to have DeShon convicted.
During DeShon’s time in the Leon County Jail—State Prosecutor Jack Campbell recruited State Attorney Investigator Jason Newlin and Leon County Sheriff Deputy Ronald O’Brien to have contact with Leon County Jail Inmate Dawuan Williams. In May 2012 Twenty-nine year-old Dawuan Williams had been captured in Tifton, Georgia by the Tifton County Sheriff’s Office and the Southeastern Regional Fugitive Task Force. Mr. Williams had two outstanding Armed Bank Robbery charges out of Tallahassee. Mr. Williams had not been in the Leon County Jail two months before he was out of jail and being financially supported by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office—all in an effort to get DeShon Thomas to solicit him to murder Trentin Ross. State Prosecutor Jack Campbell made the connection between Mr. Williams and DeShon gang related, however, DeShon had been in the Leon County Jail for over a year without any gang related incidents. DeShon was not on the Leon County Jail’s Gang Task Force List until after DeShon fired Mr. Cummings. Furthermore, Leon County Sheriff Deputy Ronald O’Brien did not work in the Leon County Jail and did not know anything about the Leon County Jail’s mail process. However, that did not keep someone from informing Deputy O’Brien where to put letters that he (Deputy O’Brien) smuggled into the jail for DeShon to receive. Deputy O’Brien did not directly hand the letters to DeShon. Deputy O’Brien put the letters where inmates’ incoming mail is stored after it’s gone through the jail’s screening process. The letter had to be smuggled in because the letter was written by Dawuan Williams in gang code. Had a gang coded letter come through the mail through the normal process, the Leon County Jail’s mail screeners would’ve intercepted the letter and the letter would’ve never made it into DeShon’s hands.
Mr. Williams testified that he’d only authored one of the two gang coded letters that were smuggled into the Leon County Jail. Considering Mr. Williams taught DeShon, State Attorney Investigator Jason Newlin and Deputy Ronald O’Brien how to read and write in gang code—Mr. Williams was the teacher and the translator. Mr. Williams and DeShon had been acquainted for about two weeks before Mr. Williams was released. Another Leon County Jail inmate testified that from the time Mr. Williams was introduced to DeShon—Mr. Williams seemed obsessed with wanting to murder Trentin Ross. After Mr. Williams’ first meeting with State Attorney Investigator Jason Newlin, Mr. Williams was released from the Leon County Jail on a $15000 bond. In State Attorney Investigator Jason Newlin’s testimony, he (Newlin) stated that Mr. Williams was not supposed to get out that quick. Which indicates that prior to going to meet with Mr. Williams for the 1st time, State Attorney Investigator Jason Newlin knew that Mr. Williams was going to be released from jail.
When State Attorney Willie Meggs announced that DeShon was being charged with Solicitation to Commit 1st Degree Murder, State Attorney Willie Meggs deceived the public to believe that Mr. Williams, the “Hit Man,” had been arrested in connection with the Solicitation. When in fact, Mr. Williams had been out of the Leon County Jail for over a month and had not had contact with DeShon in over a month. While Mr. Williams had been financially supported by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office, Mr. Williams had been arrested in a nearby Florida county for Home Invasion Robbery with Kidnapping, Assault with a Firearm, Forgery and a slew of other charges. It wasn’t until Mr. Williams had been arrested in a nearby county as to when Leon County revoked Mr. Williams’ bond. Mr. Williams had been out of the Leon County Jail for about seven (7) months. Mr. Williams, a convicted felon with a history of arrests, had gone from Armed Bank Robbery to Armed Home Invasion Robbery under the support of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office.
After DeShon was convicted, I filed several complaints with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, State Attorney Willie Meggs Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Judicial Qualifications Commission and the Florida Department of Health.
The mere fact that the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office have failed to respond to my complaints tell me that they are well aware of the CRIMES that they’ve committed. So my child, my son is sitting in a Florida Prison for crimes that he did not commit—but the grown people who LIED to put him there are running scared! The Department of Law Enforcement responded to my complaint in essence stating that Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell did not commit a crime or Breach the Public’s Trust when he (Sheriff Larry Campbell) LIED and represented Don Odham as a Certified Leon County Sheriff’s Detective.
In response to my complaint about Dr. Anthony Clark, the Associate Medical Examiner with the District Two Medical Examiner’s Office in regards to Dr. Clark committing perjury, an investigator with the Department of Health told me that while they didn’t find where Dr. Clark committed Perjury, they let me know that I would be in violation of Florida Statutes regarding confidentiality. When I contacted Florida’s Surgeon General’s Office—I received an email letting me know that my complaint against Dr. Anthony Clark was being forwarded to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Despite all that my family has gone through—we still have faith in Florida and in Florida’s Judicial System. However, I am concerned. I am concerned about how when things go wrong, inmates are blamed. There are security measures in place to protect inmates but I’m a living witness that a law enforcement officer breached those security measures—smuggled contraband into the jail and to my son—who believed the Leon County Jail Staff was protecting him—when in fact even the jail staff were unaware that they were not protecting DeShon. (I have no doubt that State Prosecutor Jack Campbell being the son of Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell has allotted him the knowledge of the Standard of Operation Procedures of the Leon County Jail as well as the trust of other Sheriff’s Deputies.)
If DeShon, who is now twenty years-old is approached by a corrections officer and is told that he’s being released from prison and he’s shown court documents that look legit and he’s walked through the release process—then how does DeShon know what to trust and what not to trust. During DeShon’s case process, Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson withheld court documents from DeShon and allowed case events to take place without DeShon’s knowledge. State Prosecutor Jack Campbell filed a document with the court falsely accusing me of ridiculous acts and DeShon’s court appointed attorney Regional Counsel Daren Shippy filed false documents with the court in favor of State Prosecutor Jack Campbell just a few a months before DeShon’s trial. Who’s to say that Mr. Shippy or anyone else with Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel’s Office or from the Leon County Court Courts won’t file more false documents and then blame DeShon or myself? The intimidation tactics used against me and my family has been so crazy that I didn’t attend DeShon’s sentencing nor have I been back to Tallahassee since DeShon’s trial. (On December 16, 2013 DeShon was sentenced to Two Life Sentences Plus 30 years.)
On March 24, 2014 two inmates were shot in the Columbia Correctional Facility. While that investigation is ongoing and no one can say how the gun got into the prison inmate’s hand, I am reminded of how when Deputy Ronald O’Brien smuggled contraband into the Leon County Jail—and now it’s being overlooked as if nothing happened. When in fact, the plus 30 years in addition to the Two Life Sentences that DeShon was sentenced happened due to Deputy Ronald O’Brien’s security breach.
As Floridians I know we can do better in our Judicial System. Florida is too diverse as a State for us to not be able to do better. That’s why I’m asking your committee for advice—what can I do to protect myself and my family from continuing to further fall victim to the injustice of the Judicial System?
Thank you for your time in regards to this serious matter.