Tallahassee, FL—Four years after the New York Times posted an article online entitled, ‘Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice,’ the prosecutor featured in the article is now Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney.
Despite losing the voter of his own hometown (Tallahassee/Leon County), Jack Campbell managed to become state attorney, replacing Willie Meggs—who’d been in office for more than thirty years. Jack Campbell worked for Willie Meggs as an assistant state attorney/prosecutor in spite of possibly having been sanctioned by The Florida Bar. Jack Campbell, whose dad was Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, spent the first decade of his career prosecuting criminal cases that were directly under the investigative jurisdiction of the his dad at the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. That type of “sweetheart” of a career opened up the door for the Meggs family and the Campbell family to terrorize citizens of Tallahassee/ Leon County on a daily basis for decades. The majority of Jack Campbell’s witnesses (state prosecutor witnesses) were his dad’s employee (sheriff’s deputies “like family members”) who guaranteed Jack Campbell to get whatever verdict and sentence of his choosing.
Paul Tullis, a freelance journalist for the New York Times, quoted Jack Campbell in the article entitled, ‘Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice’, as to saying to a female teenage victim’s mother, “Technically, he told the Grosmaires, if I wanted to do five years for manslaughter, I can do that.”
State of Florida Landmark Case, More like, State of Florida Landmark Disgrace!
Under normal circumstances, a lawyer will pay homage of his career to his alma mater. Jack Campbell was the first lawyer in the nation to use ‘Restorative Justice’ in a domestic violence turned cold-blooded murder case (State of Florida vs. Conor McBride). During this past campaign season, Jack Campbell, a Democrat, lost the only blue county (Leon County) out of six counties (five red counties). For the very first time in over thirty (30) years Leon County (Tallahassee) turned their blue county into a red county hoping to move away from the bondage of the Meggs/Campbell klan. Jack Campbell, a native of Leon County, caused citizens of Tallahassee/Leon County so much sickness through corruptions—Leon County a high number of voters came out—flipped party lines against him—the majority of his fellow citizens did not want him in office. Yet, Jack Campbell was still sworn into office, beating out Republican Pete Williams. As far as Jack Campbell’s alma mater, well, who is his alma mater, what law school provided John Emmett “Jack” Campbell with a Juris Doctorate degree? The Florida Bar cites Samford University, Cumberland School of Law for John Emmett Campbell. However, during this past campaign season, WCTV News stated Jack Campbell as having attended Florida State University College of Law. Which law school would be proud to know that their former student is now Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney? Or does it matter—considering the majority of Jack Campbell’s career cases were in Leon County, where his dad was the Leon County Sheriff, as well as the boss of not one but two of Willie Meggs kids ( both sheriff’s deputies), and Sheriff’s Campbell’s best friend was serving as the commissioner for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the local medical examiner’s office withheld autopsy reports from public record and county and circuit judges violated the rights of defendants, prevented exculpatory evidence, allowed witnesses to commit perjury, and allowed fraudulent records to go to grand jury and trial jury—guaranteeing all favoring Jack Campbell to get convictions.
Jack Campbell and former Sheriff Larry Campbell arranged for Conor McBride, an admitted cold-blooded murderer with a known history of anger management problems, to have a full contact visit—no handcuffs—in a private room inside of the Leon County Jail with a group of people at once—in attendance was Conor McBride’s parents, Ms. Ann Grosmaire’s parents (victim), and others. This meeting inside the jail (a government building) was unannounced, severely breached security measures for county jails and put correctional officers’ lives in jeopardy. This meeting also showed how favoritism works toward certain inmates inside of the Leon County Jail coupled with Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s office. Conor McBride, an admitted cold-blooded murderer with a history of anger management problems was give favoritism by both Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell and his son, State Prosecutor Jack Campbell. Conor McBride was treated much better than other inmates in the Leon County Jail who were booked on a lesser charge (favoritism to an admitted cold-blooded murder case over an inmate booked on petty theft case—Disgusting!).
Former Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel, a native of Canada, was murdered in the driveway of his home in Tallahassee. Though it is not publicly known if ‘Restorative Justice’ will play a role in his murder trial, what is publicly known is that State Attorney Jack Campbell is a LIAR! And every criminal case where Jack Campbell’s name is attached—conviction or otherwise—will be subjected to review (retrial) one day.
*Six (6) Decades Later, Acquittal of Emmett Till’s Killers Troubles Town
*King: Woman who lied about Emmett Till should be prosecuted and all historical accounts should be revised
*Emmett Till’s family wants a fresh investigation into his murder after explosive new revelations
*Emmett Till’s Collection at Florida State University, Professor Davis Houck
#EMMETTTILLRIP #FREEDESHONTHOMASNOW #FSU #FAMU #TCC #THEFLORIDABAR
Tallahassee, FL—Within 48 hours of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office investigation into a double homicide case, LCSO detectives with the Violent Crimes Unit acted on a hunch and aggressively sought out to charge 17-year-old, DeShon Thomas, who attending Tallahassee Community College full-time and working part-time at Taco Bell. Statements from witnesses and evidence that LCSO hoped to support their hunch quickly fell flat. But not before LCSO had violated DeShon’s constitutional rights. Without a search warrant or a warrant for DeShon’s arrest, LCSO charged DeShon with possession of drug paraphernalia and cultivation of marijuana. DeShon was charged as an adult. DeShon pled not guilty.
One detective refused to move past DeShon. His name was, Don Odham. Don Odham had introduced himself to DeShon and his mother as “Leon County Sheriff’s Detective Don Odham.” Detective Odham used racist vulgar toward DeShon and his mother inside the lobby of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. Detective Odham denied DeShon access to an attorney, locked DeShon and his mother in an interview room and held them there against their will—neither of them were under arrest. DeShon’s mother voiced her frustration to Detective Odham, telling him that he was violating her and her son’s rights and that she would be contacting an attorney. Detective Odham’s reaction was to bully Trentin Ross into providing false testimony. DeShon is INNOCENT!
Trentin Ross was 21-years-old. Trentin Ross and DeShon were co-workers at Taco Bell. And when Trentin Ross tried to back away from the case, out of desperation, then Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell, the son of then Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, took it upon himself to recruit State Attorney Investigator Jason Newlin, along with a convicted felon, Dawuan Williams, to entrap DeShon with Solicitation to Commit 1st Degree Murder with the target being Trentin Ross. Dawuan Williams and DeShon Thomas were housed in the same housing unit inside of the Leon County Jail. Dawuan Williams approached DeShon and propositioned to murder Trentin Ross—which was ordered by Prosecutor Jack Campbell and State Attorney Investigator Jason Newlin. DeShon did not take Dawuan Williams serious. Dawuan Williams was released for his cooperation. Over a recorded phone line—from the Leon County Jail—Dawuan Williams and DeShon Thomas had a conversation about Rapper Rick Ross’ music. Prosecutor Jack Campbell and State Attorney Investigator Jason Newlin edited the recording—deleting out “Rick”—only capturing the name “Ross”—which is also Trentin’s last name. This edited recording was used to make Trentin Ross and Trentin Ross’ parents and other family members believe that DeShon had a “murder hit” on his life. This edited recording was also played in court to the jury.
Despite DeShon’s mother having paid nearly $30,000 to defense attorney, Greg Cummings, whom she later fired, it was not until DeShon’s third day in trial being represented by court appointed attorney, Regional Counsel Daren Shippy, as to when DeShon and his family learned that Don Odham was never an employee with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. It’s a proven fact—documented in DeShon’s court records—that Don Odham was assigned as the lead detective with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Unit on the double homicide case against DeShon while other detectives had chose to investigate other viable leads—also information prepared and submitted to former State Attorney Willie Meggs was used by Chief Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman to obtain an indictment against DeShon on two counts of 1st degree murder and possession of a firearm by a juvenile delinquent. Don Odham was impersonating a law enforcement officer. Don Odham was just a wealthy friend of Sheriff Larry Campbell and his son, Jack. With the many LIES circulating between the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the Leon County Courthouse, as well as, rogue attorneys and judges being protected by The Florida Bar, DeShon’s conviction was inevitable. DeShon Thomas was convicted without any physical evidence against him. DeShon has been away from his family for six years.
The State of Florida paid Rapper Pit Bull $1 million dollars ($1,000,000.00) to promote ‘Visit Florida’, but used lyrics by Rapper Rick Ross that were repeated by 17-year-old, DeShon Thomas, to instill fear in Trentin Ross in order to gain DeShon’s conviction.
Jack Campbell is currently the State Attorney for Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit. Not only will his past “EVIL ACTS” catch up with him, but any and all cases handled by his office will one day be subjected to be overturned. DeShon and his family are not the only victims of Jack Campbell—the victims list has grown significantly.
#FREEDESONTHOMASNOW #FSU #FAMU #TCC #VISITFLORIDA
Tallahassee, FL—Judges are sworn in to uphold the law without favor of either parties while presiding over a trial. Florida is one of many states where youth can be charged as adults. It is the duty of a judge to especially ensure that a child’s rights are protected as the child is in court.
DeShon Thomas, a Black male youth, stood in the courtroom of Second Judicial Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford as she sentenced him to two life sentences plus thirty (30) years after a trial by jury convicted DeShon on two counts of 1st degree murder and solicitation to commit 1st degree murder; followed by possession of a firearm by a juvenile delinquent. The First District Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel represented DeShon during trial, and later filed an appeal on DeShon’s behalf. DeShon’s appeal was denied. Regional counsel chose to ignore many of the mitigating factors that could have at best resulted in DeShon receiving a new trial. (DeShon is INNOCENT!)
Since DeShon’s conviction, a Notice of Formal Charges was filed by the Judicial Qualifications Commission against Second Judicial Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford. Judge Fulford was one of two judges that presided over DeShon’s case.
In April 2015, less than two months after David Dothard, a pre-production producer for Jupiter Entertainment, contacted DeShon’s mother requesting a T.V. interview for their true-crime documentary show Fatal Attraction produced for T.V. One Network, an investigative panel of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission met. During the meeting, the majority of its members voted for the existence of probable cause for formal proceedings to be initiated against Second Judicial Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford.
Prior to the JQC meeting, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi received information in regards to Judge Fulford allowing perjury in DeShon’s case. There was no physical evidence to support the murder charges against DeShon. The prosecutor, Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell (also the son of then Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell—who brought all of the charges against DeShon), heavily relied on testimonies of Don Odham and Trentin Ross. During DeShon’s trial, Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell and Regional Counsel Daren Shippy (DeShon’s court appointed attorney) gave the jury “Leon County Sheriff’s Detective Don Odham,” the lead detective on the double murder case against DeShon. (Previously, Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman obtained an indictment against DeShon—charging him with two counts of 1st degree murder and possession of a firearm by a juvenile delinquent using information—including interviews and notarized documents submitted by “Leon County Sheriff’s Detective Don Odham.”)
As former United States President Barack Obama regularly quotes his mother saying, “Reality has a way of catching up with you.”
Don Odham was never an employee with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. Don Odham’s up-close and personal relationship with former Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell and his son, Jack, netted Don Odham a Leon County Sheriff’s Office badge number, a patrol car to take home and use at his leisure, a position along with the roles and responsibilities with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Unit—giving him full access to children and then becoming lead detective on the double homicide case against DeShon. Under former Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, Don Odham was allowed to impersonate a law enforcement officer.
In July 2015, a Fatal Attraction episode entitled, ‘Crippled by Blood,’ debuted regarding the Leon County Sheriff’s Office so-called investigation leading up to DeShon’s arrest. There was no mention that Judge Jackie Fulford was no longer a sitting judge—and she herself was facing charges. Though she continues to possess her Florida license to practice law, Jackie Fulford has been ‘crippled’ by Jack Campbell. As for Don Odham, the imposter, he premiered in the Fatal Attraction episode—clearly interacting with witness, Trentin Ross.
In 2016, a case integrity review report led a judge in Ocala, Florida to overturn a prison inmate’s prison sentence. It’s been reported that newly elected State Attorney for Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit (Jacksonville/Duval County), Melissa Nelson (Republican), may form an integrity team to review past cases for mistakes. No attorney in Tallahassee has called for the review of any cases presided over by former Second Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford. Pam Bondi’s office handles appeals—Bondi has not done anything to overturn Fulford’s judicial rulings. The back-scratching in Tallahassee has run amuck!
DeShon Thomas was KIDNAPPED! He was stripped away from his family six years ago based on LIES, LIES, LIES, and more LIES!
#FREEDESONTHOMASNOW #FSU #FAMU #TCC
Dear Superintendent Rocky Hanna:
First and foremost, congratulations for being elected as School Superintendent for Leon County. You have already shown parents and students within Leon County that you are a man of integrity! During the campaign season, you could have easily counterattacked your opponent, Jackie Pons, when he ran the negative T.V. ad attacking your parenting skills. But you, Mr. Hanna, chose to do what First Lady Michelle Obama has repeatedly told us all to do, “When they go low, we go high!” Thank you for going high!
Mr. Hanna, as you may know, United States senators in Washington, D.C. are working to reform the United States Criminal Justice System. The “School-to-Prison Pipeline,” in part, spinning from public schools “Zero Tolerance” policies has had devastating effects on children and families all across America. The wish for many parents is for schools, law enforcement officials, and those working within local judicial circuits/districts to immediately dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline, and improve the lines of communication between local representatives, such as yourself, and those who elected you (and others) into office.
You may also know that relationships matter. It is easy for people in authority to lose sight as to why the ‘People’ elected them into office. There is no doubt that you have a lot of work to do. A lot! Former Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney Willie Meggs and former Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, in addition to former Second Judicial Circuit Public Defender Nancy Daniels and many others have down trotted families through their ‘Good Ol’ Boys Network.’ You, sir, are coming into an office once filled by Jackie Pons—he has no integrity—he fitted into the ‘Good Ol’ Boy Network’ mold very well. Mr. Hanna, you were elected by citizens of Tallahassee/Leon County because the citizens have full trust in you to make the right decisions for their children when it comes to education. The majority of the citizens of Tallahassee/Leon County have no trust in Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney Jack Campbell (Democrat). Jack Campbell has been pacified all of his life by a corrupt system. Jack Campbell does not have any integrity whatsoever! Jack Campbell has the personality traits of a child molester. And in spite of Jack Campbell being born, raised and educated in Tallahassee/Leon County—the majority of Democratic voters crossed party lines and voted for Republican candidate Pete Williams—an outsider. Now that should tell you, Mr. Hanna, that Jack Campbell is not the type of person you would want to build a relationship—unless, you plan on being some kind of role model for him. Mr. Hanna, sir, you have a lot of hard work ahead of you as Superintendent for Leon County Schools—you have to protect school children from elected pedophiles seeking to put innocent children in juveniles and adult prisons; you have to be mindful of those children whose parents are viewed by corrupt officials as being more valuable in Florida’s Prison System than at home raising their children. You have a lot of work, sir. Please do not let those who voted you into office down.
Tallahassee, FL— On January 27, 2011, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation into the double homicide of a brother and sister found murdered inside of their mother’s townhouse. The victims were seventeen-year-old, Sterling Conner Jr. and 20-year-old, Laqecia Herring, their mother discovered their bodies. Also, found in the living room was Ms. Herring’s toddler daughter—she was unharmed. The victims’ mother told detectives that Ms. Herring was pregnant. When asked by detectives the name of the father of Ms. Herring’s unborn baby, she told them, DeShon Thomas.
After voluntarily walking into the Leon County Sheriff’s Office with his mother during the early evening hours on January 28, 2011, seventeen-year-old, DeShon Thomas, a full-time freshman at Tallahassee Community College and a part-time employee at Taco Bell, was unaware of what was to come. DeShon was removed from his mother, and he was denied access to attorney, and he was interrogated for several hours. DeShon was served with numerous search warrants—including one for swabbing his mouth for DNA and another for photos of his body.
“I begged the detectives to provide my son with an attorney. And they ignored me,” said DeShon’s mother. “After being in the lobby of the sheriff’s office for more than three hours protesting for detectives to send DeShon down or provide him with an attorney, I was escorted to an interrogation room where DeShon was being held. DeShon and I were in the interrogation room alone. It was not until I had to use the restroom as to when I learned that DeShon and I were locked in this room. I began to panic. I wanted to scream. I remember that moment, and others being so surreal. It was a very frightening moment. I mean neither DeShon nor I was under arrest. And I wanted to take my son and leave. But the detectives would not allow us to leave. And we were locked in this room for no reason.”
DeShon and his mother were held at the Leon County Sheriff’s Office into the early morning hours of January 29, 2011. After being kicked out of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office by Detective Don Odham for protesting the illegal detainment of her and her son, DeShon was charged as a juvenile with cultivation of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
DeShon and his mother later learned that while they were being detained at the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, detectives with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office was serving a search warrant for firearms at the residence of 21-year-old, Trentin Ross, DeShon’s co-worker. Leon County Sheriff’s detectives located in Mr. Ross’ one bedroom apartment (in Mr. Ross’ bedroom closet) five pots of soil sprouting stems of marijuana, and in the living room was a glass pipe. Mr. Ross and Mr. Ross’ girlfriend at the time, Riley Ewell, admitted that Mr. Ross was having financial problems and was growing marijuana to sell to get money. Weeks earlier, before the search warrant was served at Mr. Ross’ apartment, DeShon got into an argument with his mother and moved in with Mr. Ross. Mr. Ross did not have any electricity at his apartment. In exchange for DeShon sleeping on Mr. Ross’ couch in the living room, DeShon paid to have Mr. Ross’ electricity reconnected.
DeShon appeared in juvenile court three times in regards to the cultivation of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia charges. Circuit Court Judge Karen Geivers stated that probable cause was insufficient to charge DeShon. Assistant State Attorney Eric Trombley motioned the courts for 72 hours to perfect. The motion was granted.
On February 2, 2011, during DeShon’s third juvenile court hearing in regards to the cultivation of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, the probable cause was edited to add a sentence of having a witness (unnamed) having provided new information. Assistant State Attorney Eric Trombley motioned the courts to charge DeShon as an adult (direct file). Circuit Court Judge Karen Geivers granted the motion.
On February 7, 2011, Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell and Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney Willie Meggs announced the arrest of DeShon Thomas as the murderer of Laqecia Herring and Sterling Conner Jr. The motive was said that DeShon did not want Ms. Herring to have his baby, and that DeShon did not want to pay child support, and that DeShon had a gang dispute with Sterling. DeShon entered a plea of ‘Not Guilty’ to all charges.
DeShon’s mother reacted with more concern about DeShon receiving a fair trial more so than DeShon being charged with the murders. DeShon and his mother had been in regular contact—communication with Ms. Herring. DeShon was a minor child and Ms. Herring was an adult woman—the mother of a child. Ms. Herring openly acknowledged to DeShon’s mother and may have possibly posted on Facebook that it was a mistake for her to date a boy—acknowledging that DeShon was not a man. Ms. Herring and DeShon we aware that DeShon was not eligible to be sued to pay child support. In fact, four months before the victims were found murdered, after DeShon and his mother had gotten into an argument, DeShon moved into the townhouse with Ms. Herring and her family. DeShon’s mother drove to the townhouse to speak with DeShon and Ms. Herring. DeShon’s mother also called the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and requested a deputy come to the townhouse because she wanted to DeShon to come—and believed that Ms. Herring was committing ‘statutory rape.’ DeShon’s mother also believed that DeShon was in violation of his juvenile probation for not living at home. A deputy was dispatched. The deputy insisted that Ms. Herring was not committing a crime and that DeShon was not on probation. The deputy stated that there was nothing that could be done—DeShon could stay with Ms. Herring and her family. The decision to end the relationship with DeShon was Ms. Herring’s—but the feeling for DeShon was mutual. DeShon returned home to live with his mother and his siblings. Ms. Herring understood that upon the birth of the baby, if a paternity test proved DeShon was the father, DeShon and his mother, and his entire family would care financially and emotionally as best as they could for Ms. Herring along with the newborn baby and Ms. Herring’s toddler daughter from another relationship. DeShon and his mother knew that a good criminal defense attorney would show that no animosity about Ms. Herring’s pregnancy existed between Ms. Herring and DeShon. And neither DeShon nor Sterling Conner Jr. were documented gang members.
In mid-February 2011, DeShon’s mother received a phone call from the Second Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office informing her that they (Public Defender’s office) were no longer representing DeShon due to a conflict of interest regarding the deceased victim, Sterling Conner Jr. The person on the phone provided DeShon’s mother with a phone number to the Office of Criminal Conflict and Regional Counsels Office, stating that the Regional Counsel’s Office would be representing DeShon. However, the person on the phone did not have a contact name to give to DeShon’s mother. And when DeShon’s mother called the OCCRCO, the person that answered the phone did not have a name of an attorney within their office that was to represent DeShon.
For several weeks, DeShon and his mother repeatedly called the OCCRCO, the Public Defender’s Office, and Leon County Clerk of Courts seeking a contact name of a lawyer and/ or any information available on DeShon’s case—no name or information was available.
“I made a trip to the Public Defender’s Office inside of the Leon County Courthouse and the Leon County Clerk of Courts hoping that my physical presence would net at least the name of a lawyer on DeShon’s case. Nothing. I was at a lost,” said DeShon’s mother. “Then I thought about how far forensic science has progressed. I reminded myself that the evidence would prevent DeShon from being convicted.”
The probable cause charging DeShon with the murders was made up by Detective Don Odham and signed by Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell. In it stated that Trentin Ross drove DeShon to commit the murders. However, Trentin Ross was not charged with any connection to the murders. Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell and State Attorney Willie Meggs were both up for re-election. Both were being challenged by another opponent. It was the first time State Attorney Willie Meggs had been challenged in years—probably a decade. Without a doubt the two candidates needed to make a statement. Tallahassee’s crime rate had spiked, and more crimes were going unsolved and convictions and other cases were being protested. DeShon’s mother’s concerns regarding DeShon being denied a fair trial was looking to be real.
DeShon’s mother, a single mother of four (two biological sons and relative caregiver of two and grandmother of one), had been deemed disabled just a few months before the victims were found murdered. She was receiving Social Security Retirement Insurance. She did not have money to pay for a private attorney. But she could not sit back and allow DeShon to sit in the Leon County Jail, charged with two murders that he did not commit.
Although DeShon’s mother and her children had lived in Tallahassee for almost ten years, DeShon’s mother kept a relatively low profile. She had a small social circle. Through talking to a few people, DeShon’s mother learned that State Attorney Willie Meggs had assigned Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell to prosecute DeShon’s case. She learned that Jack Campbell is the son of Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell—who charged DeShon in all of the cases against him at that time—possession of drug paraphernalia, cultivation of marijuana, and two counts of 1st degree murder.
“I knew that a conflict of interest had to exist somewhere with Jack Campbell prosecuting cases that his dad, Sheriff Larry Campbell, was the head of the arresting and charging agency,” said DeShon’s mother. “If a conflict of interest did not exist in the law, then surely a conflict of interest existed in ethics and morals.”
In mid to late February 2011, DeShon’s mother met with a few private attorneys to consult about DeShon’s case.
“Every attorney that I met with, I always asked the same two questions first, before asking other questions. The first question I would ask is, do you know that the son of the sheriff is prosecuting cases against people that his dad is arresting? And then I would ask, is that a conflict of interest?” said DeShon’s mother. “And every attorney said, no, it is not a conflict of interest. I was shocked! How does one begin to get a fair trial in a courtroom where deputies are being direct examined and cross examined by their boss’ son? If Jack Campbell doesn’t score his conviction because of a deputy’s failure to help him win, then what happens to that deputy? No job promotion? No raise in pay? No working the FSU and FAMU football games for extra pay?”
A week or so after DeShon was charged with the murders, a meeting was arranged for DeShon’s mother to meet with Criminal Defense Attorney Greg Cummings (on or about February 18, 2011). DeShon’s mother informed Mr. Cummings that she had been speaking with other attorneys, and that she was waiting to speak with DeShon’s court appointed attorney before deciding whether or not if she needed to or was going to hire a private attorney. She explained to Mr. Cummings that neither she nor DeShon had any contact name or any other information in regards to DeShon’s court appointed attorney.
“I told Mr. Cummings that there was no physical or circumstantial evidence against DeShon. And that it was highly likely that Trentin (Ross) was coerced by Detective Don Odham to point to DeShon as the murderer,” said DeShon’s mother.
Over the next several days and weeks, Mr. Cummings repeatedly called DeShon’s mother begging her to hire him. Mr. Cummings verbally berated and discredited the other attorneys to whom DeShon’s mother had previously consulted. But DeShon’s mother was holding firm to her decision to speak with whoever would be court appointed to represent DeShon.
On March 9, 2011, Chief Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman announced that she had obtained a grand jury indictment against DeShon charging him with two counts of 1st degree murder and possession of a firearm by a juvenile delinquent.
“That same day, Mr. Cummings called me telling me that I ‘need to hire him,’ and that ‘he was the most experienced attorney in Tallahassee to represent DeShon,’ and that ‘the judge on DeShon’s case does not care about DeShon,’” said DeShon’s mother. “Mr. Cummings was the type of man that I don’t really like to do any business because he berated other attorneys in order to make himself look to be the best. But DeShon had been in the Leon County Jail for over 30 days without any representation. And DeShon was looking to me to do what he could not do, and did not know anything about doing. DeShon was a child, charged as an adult—in an adult system—including an adult jail. Yet, it was the adults within the judicial system carrying on like children—bullies on a playground. My son was not charged with stealing bubble gum out of a convenience store. My son was charged with murdering his ex-girlfriend who was pregnant—possibly with my granddaughter—and her brother. Three lives were taken. My son needed an attorney.”
Signing a Contract for Service with Mr. Cummings in the amount of fifty-thousand dollars, and then paying nearly $30,000 of the agreed amount, was supposed to bring some relief to DeShon, DeShon’s mother and DeShon’s siblings. The contract, dated March 12, 2011, signed by DeShon and his mother, just may have been breached by Mr. Cummings before the ink could dry.
Smile in your face, stab you in the back!
Friendly smiles followed by respectable hugs was the way DeShon’s mother and Mr. Cummings usually greeted each other regardless of their meeting locations. Their meeting places varied, mostly to whatever location was convenient for Mr. Cummings.
There was a request made by Mr. Cummings to meet in the parking lot of the old Food Lion on Capital Circle SE because Mr. Cummings said he would be coming from Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Killearn located on Thomasville Road, and would be heading in that direction to go home. There was another request made to meet in the parking lot of the Leon County Jail because Mr. Cummings said that he would be coming pass the Leon County Jail on his way to Gadsden County (Mr. Cummings did not meet with DeShon or any other inmate at the Leon County Jail at that time). And there was a request by Mr. Cummings to meet in a break room inside of the Leon County Courthouse after one of DeShon’s case management hearings in Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson’s courtroom. These meetings occurred over the course of sixteen months. DeShon’s mother and Mr. Cummings did not meet with each other regularly.
“I understood that DeShon was not Mr. Cummings’ only client. Mr. Cummings claimed he worked from home and did not have a paralegal. Prior to signing the contract with Mr. Cummings, Mr. Cummings insisted that I help him as much as possible,” said DeShon’s mother.
There were times when DeShon’s mother and Mr. Cummings talked over the phone. And while DeShon’s mother tried to get vital information from Mr. Cummings in regards to DeShon’s case process, Mr. Cummings never failed with changing the subject from about DeShon to his (Cummings) own personal events in life. Mr. Cummings told DeShon’s mother about a trip that he’d taken with his wife to Pennsylvania—where his wife’s parents were living at the time. And during another phone conversation, Mr. Cummings talked about how his wife was out of town, and that he’d hurt his back when he tripped over a gate in his home to keep the dog out of a restricted area. And then during another conversation, Mr. Cummings talked about his wife’s parents—particularly how his wife’s dad seemed to be unable to do anything for himself—and how his wife’s mother was the stronger one of the two—having to chop wood, and complete all the chores, etc.
Over the course of a year and a half there were many other conversations between Mr. Cummings and DeShon’s mother where Mr. Cummings would use his expertise as a defense lawyer to change the subject from about DeShon to talk about himself or his wife or his wife’s parents. Both DeShon and DeShon’s mother were truly saddened and gave their condolences to Mr. Cummings after Mr. Cummings informed DeShon that his wife’s mother had died.
“We were sincerely saddened. Especially considering the fact that Mr. Cummings had told us that she was the stronger of the two,” said DeShon’s mother. “Feeling sad for Mr. Cummings and his wife was natural for us because Mr. Cummings had talked about his wife’s parents so much it was almost as if we knew them—and we never once spoke to them at all.”
Unfortunately, while DeShon and his mother were feeling compassion for Mr. Cummings’ family, Mr. Cummings was wickedly conspiring against them.
Tallahassee, FL—Three weeks after the start of the 2013 school year in Leon County, seventeen-year-old, Robert “Bobby” Butler Jr., was inside his home with 16-year-old, Logan Murphy. Bobby’s parents may have had no concerns about Logan’s presence at their home after 9 p.m. because like Bobby, they may have considered Logan to be a “friend.” It’s possible that nothing seemed unusual that night. According to the Butler’s neighbors, the Butler’s home was a peaceful home. Until around 9:30 p.m. when Bobby and Logan’s friendship turned violent—Logan shot Bobby. News sources reported both Leon County Emergency Medical Transport and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crime and Crime Scene Detectives arrived at the Butler’s residence. Shortly after being shot, on Saturday, September 21, 2013, Robert “Bobby” Butler was pronounced dead. Despite many witness statements from those in the Butler’s home, and the recovery of a gun that Logan had brought into their home—to kill Bobby, detectives did not make an arrest.
Seven weeks past before the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, under Sheriff Larry Campbell, announced the arrest of 16-year-old, Logan Murphy, a White male, for the shooting death of 17-year-old, Robert Butler, a Black male. Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney Willie Meggs assigned Chief Prosecutor Jack Campbell, the son of Sheriff Larry Campbell, to prosecute Logan Murphy for manslaughter.
On Saturday, October 15, 2016, two weeks before Halloween, 15-year-old, Roger Trindade, a Brazilian native, was out in a public upscale park located on Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park, Florida, when a group of teens jumped him—knocking him unconscious. According to reports, Roger was transported to the hospital where he was put on life support. Days later, Roger’s family made a painful and heartbreaking decision to have Roger removed from life support. Meanwhile, Winter Park Police conducted their investigation.
Nearly eight weeks after Roger Trindade was jumped, three teenagers were arrested with two of them being charged with manslaughter. The identities of the teenagers have not been released. Currently, two of the teenagers are in a juvenile facility awaiting trial.
The parents of Robert “Bobby” Butler continue to suffer from the lost of their son. Chief Prosecutor Jack Campbell and Logan Murphy’s attorney worked out a plea deal where Logan was allowed to enter a plea to manslaughter in exchange for adjudication to be withheld, and serve up to 3 years in a juvenile detention facility followed by 15 years probation—bottom line Logan Murphy will not be a convicted felon after having committed such a heinous crime.
On the morning of January 27, 2011, Ms. Tracy Bush, a single Black woman and mother of seventeen-year-old, Sterling Conner Jr. and 20-year-old, Laqecia Herring, returned home from a night out only to find both her children murdered. Alone in the home, and alive, was Laqecia Herring’s toddler daughter. The Leon County Sheriff’s Violent Crime and Crime Scene detectives arrived at the scene, but not the District Two Medical Examiner’s Office. Detectives learned through Ms. Bush that Ms. Herring was also pregnant and had been receiving death threats on her Facebook page just days earlier about money Ms. Herring owed. Also, the family informed detectives of Sterling Conner Jr. being involved in some drug dealings involving fake money. Despite having creditable witness statements, Laqecia Herring’s cell phone usage, and other crime scene evidence that narrowed down the victims’ highly likely time of death to having occurred on January 26, 2011, the District Two Medical Examiner’s Office recorded Sterling Conner Jr. and Laqecia Herring’s death as January 27, 2011 because this date was sufficient to fit into Leon County Sheriff’s Office assumption that seventeen-year-old, DeShon Thomas, murdered both victims after getting off from work at 1:30 a.m. on the morning of January 27, 2011.
Dr. Anthony J. Clark, Medical Examiner Associate with the District Two Medical Examiner’s Office, testified to all of his credentials, including having attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, however, failed to give a day or time of death. Sheriff Larry Campbell and his son, Chief Prosecutor Jack Campbell’s assumption that DeShon Thomas murdered Laqecia Herring, who was his pregnant ex-girlfriend, because DeShon did not want to pay child support, is ridiculous! Both DeShon and his mother are very well aware that a paternity lawsuit for child support of an adult woman cannot be brought about upon a minor male child. DeShon, himself was a child. DeShon’s dad was paying DeShon’s mother child support for DeShon. DeShon’s mother told detectives that DeShon was innocent, and begged detectives to investigate all leads. But after a heated exchange of words between DeShon’s mother and “Leon County Sheriff’s Violent Crime Detective” Don Odham—it was clear that there was more to come—and for the most part it was no longer about DeShon’s guilt or innocence. Neither was it about getting justice for Sterling Conner Jr. or Laqecia Herring or her unborn baby.
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office chose to take a more sinister path—an evil path. A path that no mother or father of any child should find themselves on regardless whether or not their child is the victim or the accused defendant. Lawyers are a part of The Florida Bar. The Florida Bar advertises as a professional organization of lawyers and is responsible for accepting “complaints against attorneys, investigate those complaints and prosecutes attorneys who engage in unethical conduct.” The Florida Bar and the Judicial Qualifications Commission regulate judges. Families of Black children and Non-White children should not have to struggle to get equal justice in Florida courts when there are mechanisms in place to protect Florida’s children.