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Archive for April, 2010

Vanessa Coleman Jury Seated – Trial to Begin and A Refresher of Key Players

04/30/2010 2 comments

~Vanessa Coleman and defense attorney Russell Greene

“You are the jury,” Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner announced this afternoon.

We are one step closer to seeking justice as 12 jurors – 3 men and 9 women – along with 4 alternates – 2 men and 2 women – have been selected for Vanessa Coleman’s murder trial that begins Monday, May 3.  On the jury there are two black women and one black man.  As alternates, there are one black woman and one black man

Jury selection was a long arduous process.  Of the approximately 110 folks in the jury pool, a majority were women.

15 potentials were dismissed on Tuesday.  Many of those dismissed were cut because they said they couldn’t impose the death penalty, which the state is seeking against Coleman.

Wednesday, another 16 were dismissed, again, most saying they could not sign a death warrant due to religious or moral issues.

Judge Baumgartner’s magic number of 54 was reached by the end of Thursday.  The magic number takes into account the 12 person jury, 4 alternates and, if used,  15 challenges from both sides.

A Refresher

All trials have been streamed at

www.wbir.com

www.VolunteerTV.com

www.wate.com

The Victims

21-year old Channon Christian – Parents, Deena and Gary

23-year old Chris Newsom – Parents, Mary and Hugh

The Judge – Has Presided Over All Murder Trials

The Honorable Richard Baumgartner

The Prosecution – Have Prosecuted All Cases

Leland Price

Takisha Fitzgerald

The Defense

David Lavit

Russell Greene

The Perps

Vanessa ‘Nessie’ Coleman – Only female facing death penalty

George ‘G’ Thomas – LWOP

Lemaricus ‘Slim‘ Davidson – Death by lethal injection

Letalvis ‘Rome’ Cobbins – LWOP

Eric ‘E’ Boyd – 18 years, accessory after the fact

(Note:  Throughout the trial you will often hear witnesses refer to the perps by their nicknames.)

See you Monday morning!

WATE

Knox News

WBIR

Casey Anthony Hearings On Steroids

04/30/2010 15 comments

The Honorable Belvin Perry

The anticipation of today’s hearing was actually palpable in the media and blogosphere and I, as thousands of others, eagerly tuned-in.  Judge Belvin Perry didn’t disappoint!  He definitely holds the reigns tightly.

First observation was just how nicely everyone was playing together.  Apparently, gone are the days of sniping and snark!  Even Cindy was on her best behavior – no gum or water bottle.

Second observation, most everybody was convinced the Baez would take the backseat and Mason would be top dog – not so!  Baez was a bit more professional today than we have seen, but still vague on a lot of his responses.  Judge Perry would have none of that and corralled him every time.

The State has 250 on their witness list and have deposed 36 so far.  They have scheduled a day a week just to do depositions.

Baez complained about deposing Oak Ridge Labs and said they won’t cooperate.  Jeff Ashton said he and Kenney Baden have been working together and it looks like Oak Ridge depo may take place in July.  The hold up is the Oak Ridge procedures are proprietary.

Third observation is the Judge won’t allow a dragging of heels in his court.  Baez claims they have been unable to examine all the physical evidence because they have no idea what budget they are working with since Casey has been declared indigent.  (Excuse me – what the hell have you been doing for two years and $200k dollars?)

Judge Perry basically said Baez should have already settled the budget with JAC, yet Baez countered with the same silly argument Mason used with Judge Strickland (so the defense didn’t have to tip it’s hand) to go before a Special Master to resolve the budget.  Perry pretty much told Baez this had to be done next week and he didn’t care if JAC sent someone to Orlando or if it was done telephonically.

Judge Perry set aside May 9, 10, and 11 to hear the outstanding, non–death penalty motions.  That will include the Change of Venue motion.  Perry sort of surprised everyone but saying he is more inclined to find a jury elsewhere and bring them to Orlando and sequester them.  I know from the Christian-Newsom trials that this is actually for more cost efficient than moving the trial elsewhere.  Don’t lose site of the fact, that as Chief Judge, Perry is extremely budget-conscious.

Perry said if this is a sequestered jury we should see the court working 5 1/2 days a week.  9-1 on Saturdays so they can be done and go home ASAP.

May 11 and 12 are set aside for all the death penalty motions.  Andrea Lyon will be in Florida for those!

May will be a very busy month!

Next Judge Perry tried to get an estimate as to the length of the trial itself. He asked Linda Drane Burdick how long she expected the Case in Chief might take.

3-4 weeks was her reply.

Perry asked Baez how long the defense would take and his response was something to the effect, all in all about 6 weeks.

Perry said let me ask again, “how long for the defense case?” and Baez said 3 weeks or less!

Next, Judge Perry wanted to know if the death penalty was the outcome of the trial, how long each side needed for the death penalty phase.

Jeff Ashton, who will handle the death penalty phase for the State, said one day.  Baez and Lyon concurred they will need 5 days!

So, figure you’re in for a two-month haul.

Perry stated he wanted to see the trial begin earlier than the May 9, 2011 date currently proposed.  Perry asked why couldn’t we start on May 2.  Drane Burdick said that was the original date, but Lyon had a personal issue that day.  Lyon told Perry that her daughter was graduating college that day.

Perry said he would approve the 9th but, will issue an order and there would be no postponements allowed!

Perry told both sides that status hearings will be held every 45 days to ensure everything is on track and all parties are on schedule.

So far, I’m liking the new sheriff in town, his no nonsense style and his git ‘er done attitude!

CNN

WFTV

Earl Bradley, Monster Pedophile – Trial Date Set

04/28/2010 5 comments

Earl Bradley

Having followed numerous trials, I was a bit surprised that jury selection and a trial date have been set for Lewes pediatrician Earl Bradley.  Bradley has been charged with rape or sexual abuse of 103 children.

A case review was scheduled for May 17, but Dean Johnson, public defender, said the hearing was unlikely to take place.  It had been set to see whether the state would offer a plea deal — a prospect he said was highly unlikely.

The case has now been assigned to New Castle County Superior Court Judge William C. Carpenter Jr. who will oversee proceedings, though it remains in Sussex County Superior Court. The trial date includes only the charges brought in the first indictment, not the second indictment, filed April 19.

Jury selection is slated to begin February 14, 2011 and the trial is on the court docket to begin February 21.

Bradley pleaded not guilty last month to the charges in the first indictment.  He faces another arraignment for 58 additional counts for the rape or abuse of another 24 girls.  Prosecutors filed those charges a little over a week ago.

The second indictment will track separately from the first and prosecutors say it’s possible Bradley may face two trials.

Bradley videotaped many of the assaults and his private attorney admitted that it would be difficult to refute that evidence. Attorney Eugene Maurer Jr. said he was planning a mental-health defense, however that was prior to the AG freezing Bradley’s assets.  Bradley is now represented by the public defender’s office.

Legal experts say Bradley has three options: plead not guilty and force a long and painful trial, admit to all charges or mount a mental-illness defense.

If found guilty, Bradley likely will spend the rest of his life in near solitary confinement.  If declared mentally ill, he would be sent to Delaware Psychiatric Center, which would offer much more freedom of movement.  Even if eventually judged ‘stable’, Bradley would never be a free man.   If released from the mental hospital, he would immediately be transferred to prison.

Bradley is currently being held on $4.71 million bail.

Delmarva Now

Delaware on Line

Vanessa Coleman Jury Selection Has Begun

04/28/2010 4 comments

It’s a daunting task, but Judge Richard Buamgartner, the Prosecution and the Defense arrived in Nashville yesterday to begin questioning of potential jurors for the murder trial of Vanessa Coleman, the only female defendant charged in the carjack, kidnap, rape and murder of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom in January 2007.

Several people were cut yesterday.  Some said they knew of the crimes and had already formed an opinion.  Some stated they could not impose the death penalty and one said the brutality of the crimes was ‘unheard of.’

Of the 35 people questioned yesterday, twenty have made the first cut and 15 were dismissed.  The jury pool consists of approximately 110 people.

Individual questioning resumes today and a final jury is expected to be chosen by Friday.  Opening arguments are scheduled to begin on Monday, May 3.  The jury will be bused to Knoxville and the jury will be sequestered.

WATE

Knox News

Casey Anthony and The Ever Changing Dream Team or Where Are They Now?

04/26/2010 20 comments

There are so many wonderful blogs about all the rigmarole and shenanigans surrounding the Casey Anthony case.  A few of my favorites writers are ritanita, katfish, and valhall.  They all have fantastic research abilities and each brings something different to the coverage of all-things-Casey.

While I’m certainly not competing with the above-mentioned bloggers, I did recently begin to think back to the early days, specifically late 2008, just after little Caylee’s remains were found and got to wondering, where have they all gone?

With the addition of Orlando defense attorney, Cheney Mason, who is death penalty qualified – and the, what could be deemed disastrous motion to recuse Judge Strickland – the ‘dream team’ continues to morph.

With the continuing recruitment by Baez for the ‘dream team’, why does the Beatle’s Magical Mystery Tour keeping playing in my head?

Jose Baez, Florida – still present

Just as many question Baez’s ability and experience, there will always be lingering questions as to why and how quickly Jose Baez arrived to represent Casey’s ‘best’ interests, but I have to admit I really don’t care!

Linda Kenney Baden, New York – still present

In all fairness, Baden has been doing some pretty high profile forensic work since the 1980s.  Most of us will forever remember her and her husband, Dr. Michael Baden, from the first Phil Spector murder trial.  ‘Nuff said!

Terence Lenamon, Florida – quit


Lenamon was brought in as the needed death penalty attorney.  The Miami based attorney has defended many high-profile cases, but several of Lenamon’s clients were sentenced to death, i.e. ‘The Miami Strangler’.

Jose Garcia, Florida– still present

Young Garcia worked as a public defender for a short time in Orlando.  He is working with Baez and is also the focus of a Casey Anthony ‘crush’ according to the jailhouse letters recently released.

Dr. Henry Lee, Connecticut – status unknown

Lee has been around high profile cases for what seems to be an eternity.  His forensic investigations include the death of Laci Peterson, JonBenet Ramsey, OJ Simpson, and a career-damaging performance in the Phil Spector case.

His Casey Anthony status is listed as unknown because we haven’t been able to confirm if he has received his crate of oranges as of yet.

Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, New York – status unknown

Kobilinsky’s expertise is in DNA, but he also consults with attorneys in areas including forensic biology and serology.

In the early days of the case he got as much TH face-time on camera as he could.

Dr. Kathy Reichs – status unknown

Reichs divides her time between Charlotte, NC and Montreal, Québec.  She is a nationally recognized expert in the field of forensic anthropology as well as a bestselling author.  She has traveled the world assisting in the identification of war dead and genocide victims.

The popular, fictional television show ‘Bones’ is based on her work.  She also produces the show.

Dr. Timothy Huntington, Nebraska – status unknown


An expert in forensic entomology, he has participated and consulted in more than 50 death investigations.  Have we heard anything from him?

Dr. Werner Spitz, Michigan – status unknown

A noted forensic pathologist, Spitz has worked on such high profile cases as OJ Simpson, JonBenet Ramsey and Mary Jo Kopechne.  Many agree his performance at the Phil Spector trial was less than stellar.

Todd Macaluso, California – forced to quit

Macaluso specialized in accident reconstruction and had 20+ years of trial lawyer experience.  He also pronounced Casey to be innocent and the defence had proof.  The proof was never forthcoming.

Poor Todd got himself into hot water with the California Bar Association and therefore cannot currently practice law.

Andrea Lyon, Chicago – status in limbo?

Lyon was brought in as a death penalty qualified attorney.  Baez doesn’t have enough experience to be first chair in a death penalty case.

Is Lyon being cut from the herd with the arrival of Mason?  Or, will the defense continue to use her law students for research and motion writing?  And how has that been working for them?

So, back in 2008 Baez was tossing around some pretty high-profile names.  And, I must say, I do wonder how many of these folks actually signed-on to the ‘dream team’.

Have they been biding their time waiting for Casey to be declared indigent and for the Florida coffers to be opened?

Do some of these highly recognized experts really want to throw their lot in with Mr. Baez?

Is the ‘dream team’ done morphing or will a new, sleeker model be introduced?

Through it all, we should never lose sight of the fact that a beautiful toddler named Caylee is the reason we are all here to see justice is done.

Haut de la Garenne – Sifting Through Lies

04/24/2010 5 comments

It has been over two years of following the story and close to two hundred articles that I have written about the scandal known as Haut de la Garenne in the Channel Island of Jersey (see Trials and Tribulations) and the ensuing fall-out.

For all the horror that occurred there – over 100 victims have come forward – what quickly unraveled was the government cover-up of the abuse at Haut de la Garenne and elsewhere in Jersey.

We have witnessed the tarnishing of the reputation of Lenny Harper and his superb group of investigators.  We watched in disbelief the illegal suspension of Graham Power as Police Chief.  We saw the unlawful detention and tossing of Stuart Syvret’s home.  All of these events came about because of LIES!

Back in March 2008, the public saw the first photos of the ‘secret’ cellars at Haut de la Garenne.  Many victims reported being abused in those cellars.  Imagine my surprise – actually nothing about this story surprises me anymore – at the latest entry at Voice for Children.

For crying out loud, only a few days ago the Home Affairs Minister was forced to address a LIE by Acting Chief Police Officer David Warcup!  Reproduced below is Deputy Hill’s email regarding the cellars.  I highly suggest a visit to Voice for Children for the full article and video of the cellars.  Pay attention to the comments section – Lenny Harper made several damning comments!

Bath in Haut de la Garenne cellar

E-mail from Deputy Hill to all States Members and Media.

Dear Colleagues,

You will recall that on Tuesday (20th April 2010) I asked the Home Affairs Minister (Senator Ian Le Marquand) what the depth was of the deepest void/cellar at Haut de la Garenne and how many allegations of abuse in that area had been received. The reason for the question was because it had been claimed by the Acting Chief Police Officer that there were no cellars but only voids. This could imply that no abuse could have taken place under the floor boards and those claiming to have been abused were misguided. Also the States Police should not have wasted any time investigating the allegations.

It seems almost unbelievable that the police and forensic experts would have spent thousands of pounds and countless man hours investigating large areas under Haut de la Garenne unless there was sufficient evidence in the first place, yet all that time and expense can be dismissed by an officer whose claim has never been questioned. According to the Home Affairs Minister it now appears that some of the voids could be almost 5 feet deep and 30 former residents have made allegations of abuse in the voids.

As mentioned in the States on Tuesday I visited HDLG last week and measured and photographed the underfloor areas. It is correct to state there are some areas which are around 3 feet deep, however as one moves further down the building the areas do get much deeper and as the Home Affairs Minister stated on Tuesday some are at least 1.4 metres deep. As one can see from this link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aq6X8QAtkog

that one (void?) is around 7 feet deep.

If some of the areas under HDLG are as deep as 7 feet and 30 victims have alleged that they were abused down there, it would be interesting to know how the claim that there are no cellars but only voids under HDLG was so readily accepted by the former Chief Minister and Home Affairs Minister who apparently visited the under floor areas and also witnessed investigatory work being under taken. They of course along with the Acting Police Chief all played a part in the suspension of Graham Power.

One should also note that over £3.7 million pounds has spent on the historic abuse investigation since the retirement of Mr Harper, plus near on a million pounds to cover the suspension of Mr Power yet no one at the Chief Minister’s Department or at Home Affairs seems to be concerned.

Stuart Syvret, A Senator No More

04/20/2010 5 comments

Stuart Syvret addresses the media

He has been living in self-imposed exile in London since last October.  Facing driving and data protection offenses, an arrest warrant was issued last year because Stuart refused to appear at an abuse of process hearing claiming the hearings had turned into a farcical waste of time and that he would not receive a fair trial.

Syvret, the longest serving member of the house, was elected to office as a deputy in 1990 and in 1993 was elected senator.

He has famously and vigorously championed children’s rights and repeatedly tried to expose the abuse scandal in Jersey and cover-up by top government officials and public servants.

Stuart’s six-month absence from Jersey has resulted in his being disqualified from office, ending a twenty-year career.  Stuart’s name was not included at roll call when the States met this morning.

Syvret recently began posting as “Ex-Senator Stuart Syvret” on his popular blog and by residing in London has been free to post very damning evidence of the abuse and corruption without the fear or threat that he faced in Jersey.

A date for a by-election should be announced on Friday.  Syvret has indicated he will stand in the resulting by-election to finish the last 18 months of the term.

Best of luck to you Stuart!

Illegitimi non carborundum, my friend!

BBC

Channel On Line

This is Jersey

Earl Bradley Civil Suits Mounting

04/17/2010 6 comments




~Earl Bradley


5 attorneys have filed approximately forty civil suits against Earl Bradley and more are expected. Bradley has been charged with more than 400 counts of rape and abuse involving 103 children.

Also named in most suits are Beebe Medical Center, the Delaware Medical Society, and doctors Lowell Scott, James Marvel, and Carol Tavani.

Most of the suits allege that the doctors, medical society, and Beebe failed to report Bradley although they had knowledge or information regarding Bradley’s sexual abuse of the young patients.  One of the suits also charges that had Beebe Medical Center not referred a child to Bradley, that child would never have become a victim of abuse.

What is truly disturbing and the reason the physicians are named in the suits is that Bradley’s own sister reported his behavior five years ago to Dr. Tavani.  Doctors Scott and Marvel also spoke with Bradley’s sister.  Legally, all three doctors had an obligation to report.

“She was very concerned about Dr. Bradley’s own instability. It’s a brother she loved and was concerned about. She could see the deterioration in his emotional and mental state. Tragically, nothing was done. The board was never contacted by the state medical society. As a result, if they had been contacted, all these children who were molested and abused after that could have been spared.”

Attorney General Biden had Bradley’s assets frozen in January.  It is expected that any damages or settlements will be paid from that as well as medical malpractice insurance.

With the number of suits involved, unless a settlement is reached, litigation will be a very lengthy process as each has requested a jury trial.

Unfortunately for the victims its too late, the damage is done.  The biggest abuse here is failure – failure by the medical society and the doctors for ‘protecting their own’ and not reporting to the state medical board and failure by Bradley’s sister to pursue the matter more aggressively if she was that concerned by her bother’s behavior.

Cape Gazette