Saturday, October 31, 2009

Raymond Jessop's probability of Paternity.

I smell yet another basis for appeal, again, assuming there is a conviction. And Brooke? Bravo again.
From the Plural Life:
"Prior probability assigns a 50 percent likelihood to the calculation. Hudson argued that biased the outcome, because there was an assumption from the get-go that there was a one in two chance that Jessop was the father and that violates the presumption of innocence in a criminal trial.

'Before you ever did the testing the alleged father was predicted to be the father,' he said to Smuts.

'Hypothetically,' she said.

He asked Smuts to explain the scientific theory that supports use of that 50 percent probability and she said: 'It is factored into the equation.'

And then: 'It is assuming the alleged father, the tested man, is either the biological father or he is not the biological father.'

Hudson argued that if a different probability — a lower probability — was used, the outcome might look quite different. He even handed Smuts Jerry Goldstein’s IPhone so she could use its built-in calculator to try it.

But Tanner objected and Walther agreed, shutting down the experiment."
The trial is proving to be intellectually entertaining. I don't mean in a non serious way, perhaps I should say instead of entertaining, it is thought provoking or stimulating.

If I understand it correctly the assumption of the state in claiming 99.99998 paternity certainty for Raymond Jessop is based on a 50/50 chance to start with, that he was the father. Frankly I would have guessed something higher, but the defense is entirely correct to say "we don't know" and in not knowing a different starting number should be used to determine Raymond Jessop's paternity. I'm sure Walther knows this, but she shut down the attempt to graphically prove the fallacy of Amy Smuts' number.

How this works. As a criminal proceeding goes, we must agree on a number of possible consorts "Mrs" Jessop had. If you assume all the fertile males she came in contact with around about the time of conception, just limited to FLDS men on the ranch or frequenting the ranch on or around the date of her child's conception, the number might be 1% or 1/10th of 1% to start with. This would assume between 100-1000 available males, with which to consort. Not knowing the entire equation I can't reliably say what that does to the outcome, but perhaps it makes Raymond Jessop a 10% probable father, as opposed to his neighbor, who would be a 1% probable father. The state is already claiming Raymond's wife was "reassigned" so it may very well be a given that she has had more than one sex partner. Has she had more? Personally I doubt it and I am not trying to besmirch her, but the state has to assume that someone who has not been sexually exclusive might continue to be "non exclusive" so on the face of it, the child's father is probably "non hispanic," "non African," "non Asian." You get the picture.

Raymond's paternity is not certainty. Not even if the manipulated formula came up with a 49.9999% probability would it be certainty or even 74.9999% and this is what the defense and the prosecution are arguing, and Walther did not just "side" with the prosecution in terms of allowing the testimony, Walther sided with the prosecution in a partisan way. She didn't Amy to use the calculator, even when the jury was not present.

There is a reason for this. You don't allow that testimony because you know what the outcome will be. Amy's number would drop precipitously and her "certainty" would become a "best guess." The Jury went HOME over the weekend. Don't kid yourself, this biased blow by blow description of Amy's credibility will get into the jury pool. They are not sequestered. Walter did not allow Amy to use the calculator precisely because it's a "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit" moment.

Instead Walther has chosen to make it a contest in court. That allows what may very well be a stacked jury to decide they "believe" one "expert" more than another and it becomes a contest of "personalities" as opposed to facts.

Face it, a Raymond Jessop that the PROSECUTION acknowledges to have a 50% probability of paternity, shouldn't have even been brought to trial. I'd like to see what those adjusted numbers turn out to be.
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Friday, October 30, 2009

Flu Schmu

It really was an excuse to vet a witness. If the witness is for the prosecution, what will Walther do?
The Salt Lake Tribune - "Amy Smuts, a forensic analyst with the University of North Texas Health Science Center, testified without the jury present so 51st District Judge Barbara Walther could rule whether she was a relevant and reliable state witness.

The judge made that finding after Smuts' 2 1/2 hour turn on the witness stand."
So Walther does rule the witness is reliable. The defense protested that Smuts had used a different set of probabilities earlier. Yet another possible basis for appeal, should Raymond be convicted.

What did I tell you?
"Walther has not yet said whether the jury will be called back (today) to hear more testimony in the case against Jessop, who faces a second-degree charge of sexual assault of a minor."
There is no concern regarding the possible swine flu infection of a juror or her child. We just needed a minute or two alone, away from the jury.
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Never Mind on Bigamy

Callahan County Attorney Shane Deel boldly went where Texas fears to tread, or where other prosecutors feared to tread. Now it's just too much money, supposedly:
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram - "Two significant factors contributed to the decision to dismiss the bigamy charges, Deel said.

'First, the change of venue made the case financially impractical to try. Second, there were some substantial issues with the case and the statute of limitations,' Deel said.

'While we literally have a mountain of evidence against Yisrayl Hawkins in relation to these cases, most of it dates back to before 2005. At that time bigamy was a Class A misdemeanor with only a two-year limitations period,' he said. 'While I can make an argument about the continuing nature of the conduct, it is simply not worth the county's resources to pursue the case in Parker County with the necessary expenses that that will entail when the outcome is as uncertain as it is.' "
Blah, blah, blah.

Yisrayl Hawkins will serve 15 months probabtion after pleading "nolo" to violations of child labor laws along with paying a $2000.00 fine.

Your Modern Pharisee is no fan of Yisrayl, but after all of that noise, a $2000.00 fine and 15 months probation?
The Abilene Reporter-News - "John Young, one of Yisrayl Hawkins’ attorneys, said, 'Mr. Hawkins is relieved to have this over with. The outcome was not only fair, it was prudent. My client accepts responsibility for violating child labor laws, but we feel that under the circumstances, there was no factual basis in which a felony charges were appropriate.'

The Sweetwater attorney said the plea agreement saved taxpayers 'tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars.'

'Mr. Hawkins' role with the church, and his role as a pastor will not be affected in any way as a result of the plea agreement,' Young said."
Hat tip to Christian or Biblical Polygamy. What does this portend for eventual bigamy prosecutions in the FLDS cases? They will probably be dropped as well. They're just window dressing.
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Flu Stops Trial?

I'm not saying it's never happened before, but I've never heard of it happening before.
The Salt Lake Tribune - "Fifty-first District Judge Barbara Walther stopped proceedings around 2:45 p.m. and told the courtroom that the juror's child, who is under the age of five, is running a high fever and 'may have swine flu.'

'We are in recess at least until the child is well,' the judge said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people infected with the H1N1 flu are contagious from one day before getting sick to five to seven days after -- and the infectious period can be even longer in children. The CDC recommends that those who become sick with the flu stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever breaks.

Walther said court will reconvene Friday at 10 a.m. without the jury that is hearing the case against Jessop, 38, who faces one second-degree count of sexually assaulting a child."
What's happening? Perhaps just the flu but couldn't Judge Walther, who seems to have committed to getting it done it two weeks just plug in an alternate and go on? That is what alternates are for, aren't they? Is one or both of the alternates a juror that doesn't fit the prosecution's plans?

Since I am inclined to believe that Walther does all with a plan, and is very efficient executing those plans, this doesn't fit unless it serves a purpose. The fact that court reconvenes at 10am tomorrow without a jury tells me this is being used perhaps as a break, to discuss something important that has just come up. Juror 12 maybe?

That would fit with not wanting to boot the flu juror since if she is not juror 12, and if juror 12 is an issue, that's both alternates soaked up right away. I have heard of trials going forward with reduced slates of jurors.

It just seems a bit fishy to me, as if something came up, and a juror's kid had the flu and it represented a great time to stop down and talk things over, with the pig flu, for cover. We may never know.
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Juror 12

Kudos to Brooke Adams.
The Plural Life/Brooke Adams - "Juror No. 12, Deborah Ballew.

She is the wife of Ray Ballew, who was the foreman of the grand jury that indicted (Raymond) Jessop. I confirmed her identify through a photograph I found online, several stories linking her and Ray and with one of my contacts in the community."
This is not against the law. Neither is it against the law though, for FLDS members to serve on the Jury but all were excluded. Somehow though, Deborah Ballew, who is the most intimate partner on earth, to the man who indicted Raymond Jessop, is a fit juror.
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FLDS "Real Estate" defense

Location, Location, Location.
The Houston Chronicle - "In opening statements Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Eric Nichols said DNA, witnesses and boxes of documents will prove Jessop had sex with the girl in 2004 because a child born the following year is his biological daughter.

However, the case requires prosecutors to prove a sexual assault occurred in Texas, a point Jessop's San Antonio defense team did not waste time making during Wednesday's opening statements.

'The prosecutor is not going to be able to prove by circumstantial evidence (or) direct evidence ... because there is no evidence that Raymond Jessop assaulted (the girl) on or about Nov. 14, 2009 in Schleicher County, Texas,' defense lawyer Mark Stevens said."
So, you prove Raymond is the Father. Who's to say the "assault" wasn't an assault because both families happened to be vacationing in Mexico? The "crime" does require some form of "premeditation" for it to be a "Mann Act" violation. If I meet (as I have) a girl from near my home at a convention in Atlanta, did I transport her across state lines to perform an illegal act? Not if she went there on her own, I would suppose. What if I "discovered" here there? In any case, it is not a crime in the state we both came from. It would be a different sort of crime at best.

By the way, this girl that I met in reality, was not a sex partner, I just met her out of state and she was from where I was as well. What we did there, if it had been a violation of the law, would not have been part of a "conspiracy" to leave the state to perform an illegal act.

Put another way, let us suppose you are both Mexican, and you have sex in Mexico, she gets pregnant, and she is 12. 12 is the age of consent in Mexico. You both move to Texas when she is 4 weeks pregnant. Are you guilty of sexual abuse of a child?

The shortest form of this discussion is, how does the state of Texas prove that Raymond Jessop had sex with anyone, below the age of consent, in Texas?
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Sam Zell, on Newspapers

There won't be any.

I am certain there will be exceptions, but the role of the newspaper is now set to change and there will be a lot less of them.

Unless there is a major depression, so severe that our infrastructure crumbles, this, right here, is how you will get your news. On a video screen.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Walther Brooms all FLDS members from Jury (UPDATED)

Can you say appeal? "Patterico" apparently can:
The Salt Lake Tribune - "The jury in the trial, being held before 51st District Judge Barbara Walther, includes seven women and seven men; five are Latino; none is a member of the FLDS sect."
Statistically that is nearly impossible, unless of course, you are after a particular group of people.

From most counts nearly one in three surviving juror candidates late yesterday were FLDS, none made it to the jury.
The San Angelo Standard-Times - "Professor Arnold Loewy, a Texas Tech University law professor, said dismissing the FLDS members out of hand from the pool of prospective jurors might raise questions of religious freedom and of whether Raymond Jessop is getting a fair trial from a jury of his peers, but prosecutor Eric Nichols will likely strive to purge the FLDS sect members from the jury pool."
Of course, no motives are assigned to Walther.
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Jury? Trial starts at 3:30pm (UPDATED)

There may has been an announcement soon.
The San Angelo Standard-Times - "Judge Barbara Walther this morning dismissed another 44 prospective jurors.

A crowd of prospective jurors who had been summoned for a 10:30 a.m. appearance today at the Memorial Building in Eldorado were told to come back at noon.

Walther said further announcements will be made by noon, fueling speculation that she may be ready to seat a jury."

UPDATE (2:25PM EDT) - SAN ANGELO, Texas — ELDORADO — "A jury has been seated in the trial of polygamous sect member Raymond Merril Jessop.

Judge Barbara Walther announced that a jury had been chosen out of the original 300-member jury pool after two and a half days of selection.

The trial will begin with opening arguments by the prosecution and defense this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. The trial will take place in the Memorial Building in Eldorado, the same location where jury selection occurred. Two weeks has been set aside for the trial."
I'm quite cynical about this, and figure she found a way to broom all the FLDS jurors. We'll see though.

I always supply a motivation or two to Walther, one of which is that she is part of the prosecution, the other being she figures a guilty child molester's conviction will be a prickly thing to overturn, regardless of how it was arrived at.

Brooke Adams "Twittered" the following:
"Seven men and seven women on jury in Raymond Jessop trial. Five are Hispanic."
That's 12 and 2 alternates. No word on whether or not the 14 contain FLDS members, or whether they are alternates or regular jurors.
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Meanwhile, back in Colorado....

Here's a first. Rozita's pre-trial conference is NOT on the "Call off" list for today in Colorado Springs.
There is nothing to say that it might not appear later, or that at the pre-trial conference, more delays are in the offing, but she's not on the list today, which may mean she's actually there. You can look yourself, but only until about 9am tomorrow when it's updated to show Thursday's "Call Offs." If you recall, her trial is set for November 10th.
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Slogging it out in Jury Selection

It's a safe bet that potential juror #76 was not FLDS.
The Houston Chronicle - "(J)ury interviews plodded along at a drowsy pace for as long as 20 minutes as attorneys carefully explained how they would have to set aside what they knew about the case, which prompted by a unprecedented removal of 439 FLDS children by Texas Child Protective Services that gained nationwide attention, and consider only the facts introduced by attorneys.

Still other jurors, including the last juror of Tuesday night, No. 76, made quick work of their interview, after telling the judge her mind was already made up about the case and she could not be impartial."
This feature continues to disturb and seems out of character with Texas law, to put it mildly:
"The jury interviews, conducted for two days in a hushed huddle before Walther, were out of earshot for court spectators who were confined to the back of the courtroom."
With those that do not want to "Get involved" and those that want to but will be shunned by the prosecution (FLDS Members) it seems rather difficult to believe at this point that there will be 12 jurors and 2 alternates. Never fear, Walther as noted above, and in past behavior is unafraid of bending the law autocratically.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's really not a secret, it's jury stacking (or venue shopping)

What's going on here?
The Salt Lake Tribune - "The second day began as the first ended: With pool members being brought one at a time to the bench of 51st District Judge Barbara Walther where discussions are held with prosecutors and defense attorneys. None of those exchanges can be heard at the back of the courtroom, where other prospective jurors and media are seated.

Under Texas law, voir dire of potential jurors must take place in open court."
The prosecution is trying to prevent FLDS members, from sitting on the Jury. That has to be done so as to not look discriminatory, but that's what's being done. Texas pretty much knows that if 3 FLDS members make it to a jury, the jig is up and the best they can hope for is a hung jury. Pretty much one juror from the FLDS will do the trick, but if the judge can sit only one, she can replace that juror later for "misconduct" with an alternate.

From where I sit, I don't see how there is a "right" of the state to have a fair and open chance to gain a conviction. The state, has no rights. The defendant does. They can seat juries easily for all of the upcoming trials in one morning. Simply don't object to FLDS members on the jury, that's all.

This comes from not recognizing the lost right of "jury nullification."
"Nullification has a mixed history in the United States. Jury nullification appeared in the pre-Civil War era when juries sometimes refused to convict for violations of the Fugitive Slave Act because jurors felt the laws to be unjust. During the 20th century, especially in the civil rights movement era, some all-white juries acquitted white defendants accused of murdering blacks. During Prohibition, juries often nullified alcohol control laws, possibly as often as 60% of the time due to disagreements with the justice of the law. This resistance is considered to have contributed to the adoption of the Twenty-first amendment repealing the Eighteenth amendment which established Prohibition."

"(In) Georgia v. Brailsford (1794), the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that juries have an absolute right to judge both the law and the facts of a case: And the Court thus established a precedent for the basic right to jury nullification."
Texas does not have a right to enforce it's laws, essentially, on a community that simply doesn't accept them. A defendant can elect to a trial by his/her peers, and if those peers don't see the law being applied as just, they can just sleep through the trial, and vote not guilty. By trying to NOT seat a jury, Texas tries to violate a basic right of each individual in the community, and that of the defendant.

All of this is window dressing for claiming on appeal, "why no, I did not discriminate against FLDS members," so the prosecution is looking for every legal fig leaf they can find. 12 men and women will happily come forward, but in reality, Texas wants a change of venue.
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Jury Selection in the Trial of Raymond Jessop (UPDATED AGAIN)

Brooke Adams (with whom I have a massive approach/avoidance issue) is someone I continue to regard as a great writer/reporter and also someone who conceals a severe bias, but she does make the great critical observation from time to time, and here is one.
The Plural Life - "There are about 2,100 residents of the county who are 18 or older."
This is the basic jury pool from which persons begin to be disqualified right away.
"The big question, of course, is whether there are 14 people — 12 jurors and 2 alternates — in Schleicher County that do not already have an opinion about the FLDS."
And this is what makes me wonder. The O.J. Simpson trial for his supposed murder of his wife and another was held close to home in what had to be a massively tainted jury pool. O.J. was IMHO opinion, guilty. There were some disturbing questions that schooled around the O.J. trial, some of which place me on the side of his conviction (which did not occur) and some of which did not. I tend to think it is an excellent example of a foundational right in this country, of "jury nullification." One that is so seldom discussed that we are about to lose it altogether, as a right.

I confess to finding O.J. acquittal supporters infuriatingly political, there was one interview of onlookers at the time, black onlookers in the Los Angeles area, where it was asked "Do you think he will/should be acquitted?" and the answer was an emphatic YES, and then an astoundingly insightful follow up question by the reporter who then asked the same person if they though O.J. was guilty. The answer was an equally quick and sincere YES. Essentially the onlooker (and I think ultimately the jury) said "I don't care if he's guilty, I'm not going to convict him."

My interpretation of that, and it was the view of many at the time, is black Americans saw themselves as a separate group within the country, and a severely oppressed one. It was a chance to strike back and declare they as a group felt railroaded all too many times and the Simpson trial was a way to say that.

Consider yourselves heard.

On balance, what further threat did O.J. represent to society? He was successfully sued in a second trial to recover the proceeds of his book speculating on "What if" he did do it. While adamant that he should have been convicted, I was equally adamant that if he was pronounced "Not Guilty" then no one should be able to use the assumption of his guilt to recover money from him. I was disappointed with O.J. now on two fronts, but he did not recover any money from the whole business it would seem, he did not kill again, and eventually he did a massively stupid thing in Nevada and will probably die in jail for it.

This illustrates the threat to society of a lone criminal, or even a group of criminals. What threat are they on balance to me? None. If I have met a Mafioso I haven't known it. The closest I came to meeting one was Jimmy Hoffa's book keeper who is probably now passed away. It led to my personal but largely unsubstantiated (but plausible) theory of what happened to Mr. Hoffa. If true, he will never be found. I digress. The point? I have not been visibly harmed to a great degree by the presence of organized crime (I certainly disapprove) and I was not shot by O.J. The fact that criminals do go free and do what they do again, or that organized crime kills and steals and harms us all is not lost on me. The question is of comparative threat.

Back to Raymond and his various compatriots on trial in Schleicher County. Is it a right of Government to have an assurance, constitutionally, of having a fair shot and convicting any particular defendant. I have to say no. The presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial (by a jury of your peers) are those of the defendant(s), not of the prosecution. It has been suggested that the trial may be moved because a jury cannot be seated in Schleicher County. If the trial is massively unfair in favor of the defendant, what precisely is the harm? I submit, as framed by our founders, none.

This "right" though, to "get 'em if they are guilty," now seems embedded in the public consciousness and it would seem that a change of venue might be asked for by the prosecution. I don't even know if that's possible, but I suspect it may be so. It shouldn't be. If Raymond Jessop wants to be tried in Eldorado, he should be tried in Eldorado. If they can only find 14 jurors (2 alternates and 12 regulars) then that's all they can find, and the trial should proceed. If the defense deems those jurors too tainted to try their client, it is Raymond's right to change venue, or it should be. Again, IMHO.
"The names of some residents who’ve been called as potential jurors are trickling out. Michelle Roberts of The Associated Press quoted Success editor Randy Mankin as saying he, his mother and his son (a photographer for the newspaper) are in the pool. Mike Kelly over at the San Angelo Standard-Times reports a court clerk got a summons."
Those folks? Probably going home. Who else?
The San Angelo Standard-Times - "The trial will be a strain for Williams’ office: It will be closed Monday because she and her deputy will be in court, and her only remaining deputy was summonsed for jury selection."
Back to Brooke's blog:
"Here are the seven sure-fire, automatic ways to get out of serving on this jury:

1. Over the age of 70. (According to Williams, this is the No. 1 reason for dismissals so far.)

2. Legal custody of a child or children under 15 and services would leave them without adequate supervision.

3. You are a student at a public or private high school.

4. You are enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution of higher education.

5. You are an officer or employee of the Texas Senate, House of Representatives, or any department, commission, board or office or other agency in the legislative branch of state government.

6. You are a primary caretaker of a person who is an invalid, unable to care for her or himself (does not apply to health care workers).

7. You are a member of the U.S. military forces serving on active duty and are deployed to a location away from your home station and out of your county of residence."
There are 12 men to try, and here is the initial call:
"Court Clerk Peggy Williams told (Brooke) a couple weeks ago that of the 300 people sent jury summons, about half are likely to show up. The no-shows either have moved out of the county or qualify for an automatic jury exemption."
After challenges, which Judge Walther must be sure are fair (I'm not sure she can manage that, it's not her nature) there may have to be a second call. In all Schleicher will plow through 1/7th of their available jurors in this first trial, and there are 11 trials to go. That 1/7th number may go substantially higher. It's conceivable that a full third of the jury pool may be spent on this first trial.

So what if they cannot find 12 men (or women) good and true to seat as a jury that is not perhaps, biased in favor of acquittal? Is this not their own fault, the prosecution? Should the presumed innocent be forced to pay for the peeing in the jury pool that Texas has already done? Shouldn't it be that if you can only find persons prejudiced for acquittal, that they should be seated and the trials go on?

If you don't want to try the trial before the trial, don't. If you do and it forces you to select jurors predisposed to acquit, then it's O.J. all over again, and I think I'm alright with that.

The comparative threat by a lawless government, is much greater.

UPDATE! - Brooke is "Twittering" that there are 12 FLDS members, that she has been able to count, so far, in the jury pool. That's close to 10% of the available jurors.

UPDATE 2 - Brooke twitters again: 153 prospective jurors showed up. So far 19 have been released after privately pleading case at bench with judge and attorneys. I wish she would tell us if any of that first flight out included FLDS members. It does sound like the first 19 were making their excuses though.

UPDATE 3, again referring to Brooke. the 19 included the obvious like Randy Mankin of the Eldorado Success. 153 jurors, 19 excused, maybe more later. That's now 134 jurors out of which 10% can be figured to be FLDS since Brooke was able to "eyeball" identify at least 12 she knew, all of whom appear eager to do jury duty.
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Commando Coffee

And if you look through my second story window at 6am, past the plants, with a telescope, I daresay the view might be even more shocking.
The Telegraph - "Eric Williamson, from Springfield, Virginia, was brewing coffee in his kitchen when a woman and a seven-year-old boy walked past the window and saw him.

The woman complained to police who arrested Williamson shortly after the incident on Monday morning.

Williamson, 29, insisted he did nothing wrong and that any exposure of his private parts were accidental.

'Yes I wasn't wearing any clothes but I was alone, in my own home and just got out of bed. It was dark and I had no idea anyone was outside looking in at me,' he said."
My goodness Eric, pull the drapes or move the kitchen to the second floor and put some plants in the window. And to the woman who reported him? Laugh, and don't look again. Sheesh.

This reminds me of neighbors in Texas. When they couldn't get a good look, they flew over and took pictures. When they still couldn't see anything, they went in with a swat team.

And yes, I often don't wear a thing from the time I hit the sack until the coffee is started. No one is lining up to look and I'm sure no one wants to.
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Stewie prostitutes self with shameless plug

I had such faith in him too.

It's sad when your heros fall.
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Canada May Legalize Polygamy

When charges against Winston Blackmore and Jim Oler were dropped, many of us thought the great polygamy challenge we hoped for in Canada, was done for the foreseeable future. Wrongo.
FoxNews - "Attorney General Mike de Jong said he believes polygamy is against the law and should remain so, but he said the justice system needs clarity about whether Canada's law barring multiple marriages is constitutional.

Two Canadian laws stand in contradiction: Polygamy is banned, and religious freedoms are firmly protected.

The move comes a month after a judge quashed polygamy charges against two leaders of a polygamous community in western Canada. The judge ruled the province did not have the authority to appoint a special prosecutor to consider the cases of Winston Blackmore and James Oler after previous prosecutors recommended against charges.

The government has decided to seek the British Columbia Supreme Court opinion rather than appeal that court ruling. De Jong said the case may ultimately have to be decided by the Supreme Court of Canada."
Hip Hip Hooray for Mike de Jong then. The only benefit to pro polygyny advocates of polygyny persecutions is that one day prosecuters will maneuver themselves into a court challenge that strikes down anti polygamy laws.

Thanks Mike. Bravo. Let's have our day in court.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Charming, I vote death by "Swirlie"

When you're a drunk, you use whatever weapon is at hand.
WPTZ-Burlington, VT - "Nazeih Hammouri, 53, of Vershire, faces a first-degree assault charge in connection with the Monday morning stabbing.

Vermont State Police said they were called to Hammouri's home on Parker Road just after midnight and their investigation revealed Hammouri had stabbed his 19-year-old son in the stomach after an argument over a clogged toilet."
Death by Swirlie! Or, maybe just a swirlie. In the same toilet. Once a day for the next 10 years.
"Police said Hammouri was drinking. He is being held on $15,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in Orange County Court Monday afternoon."
At least he doesn't drink the cheap stuff, it had a cork you know. Maybe he should be sentenced to drink only that with a screw on cap. The weapon was a corkscrew. Vershire, only 34 miles, from my house.
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

The best comment on Limbaugh's exclusion from NFL ownership

It's from sportswriter Armando Salguero, who covers the Miami Dolphins for the Miami Herald:
"The hypocrisy on this issue is everywhere. It is rampant. It is sickening.

The same commissioner that is allowing dog-killer Michael Vick to play in the NFL doesn't want Limbaugh to vie for an ownership stake because, 'We're all held to a high standard here and divisive comments are not what the NFL's all about,' Goodell said earlier this week. 'I would not want to see those kind of comments from people who are in a responsible position in the NFL, no. Absolutely not.'

So the league allows dog-killers, wife-beaters, strip club addicts, girlfriend-batterers, drug addicts, drunk drivers, and coaches who allegedly bust up other coaches, but the commish is worried about divisive quotes?"
Previously, Armando had observed this, as he is privy to the Dolphins locker room:
"Pulling his shorts up to his waist and then motioning over to a couple of waiting reporters who wanted to interview him in the Dolphins locker room Wednesday, nose tackle Jason Ferguson used the N-word.

He was talking either to a teammate or one of the reporters who is black, but that didn't matter because the word seemingly floated away -- clearly heard but ignored because, in an NFL locker room, that word is uttered by players practically every day.

Sometimes the N-word is said in jest. Sometimes it is said in anger or rage. Sometimes it is blasted through boom boxes playing rap music. Sometimes it is clustered with taunts about another player's mother or wife or, in extreme vengeance-filled moments, another player's boyfriend.

And this is the NFL Roger Goodell wants to protect from Rush Limbaugh comments?"
I've heard tons of comments on this story, and didn't figure it was worth my time to say anything about it, because the definitive comment was certainly "out there" already. Well, there you go. There was something worth pointing out.

When you top it off with the fact that some of Limbaugh's "divisive comments" are now being shown as fabrications by enemies, and the one comment he did utter, is not racist, but instead an observation of someone else's racism, it's a shame this ever was as "controversy."
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Meaningless or meaningful? Hard to say (UPDATED)

If you didn't download copies of all the October 5th filings in Mohave county, you'll have to find them on a site where someone did. They're gone. More →

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Press Turmoil and YFZ coverage

I admit it, I've been shopping my CSPD/Swinton story with zero success.
That doesn't mean it won't turn into something. On the one hand you hope for that "Holy Grail" revelation that will turn the tide on the YFZ case if you are like me, on the other hand, no matter what you think of the people involved, it's hard to wish disaster on any of them. Why would I, for instance, want Lt. Maggie Santos to be in the Klieg lights explaining that she supplied voice talent to someone to create the "cry for help" that was the bogus basis of last year's raid? There's a good chance that the story might eventually go that way.

In shopping the story around, as I have shopped several ignored and real stories around, I have found a remarkable declining knowledge base on the raid, the largest child custody case in US History. 18 months later, few in the press really know anything any longer. One of the reasons I can tell someone might well be lying to me when I do some of my own interviewing and research on this story is that, well, I run into a lot of lying witnesses to certain events and on average the lot of them lie transparently. I am able to gauge this by the fuzzy recollections of the press who can barely remember, and then when the events are called to memory have that "dawning awareness" moment when it all clicks. They get on the same page with you, then they still don't care, but it's a useful comparison.

The public is several notches of awareness below the press, but the gap is closing. Not because the public is becoming more aware, but because the press is becoming less so. The YFZ raid is a layered discussion. Most want to dismiss it because "they" gave the kids back and "those men" are creepy molesters and they got caught, right? It's shocking to see the knowledge of the press deteriorate to the level of knowledge of the public at large. It's mostly due to attrition.

Starting with Ben Winslow, major players in the coverage have either switched jobs, or just plain gotten out of the industry. Ben went from the Deseret News, the "in house" publication of the LDS Church to KSL Fox13 in Salt Lake City. Since then I haven't seen him cover much on the FLDS story. He and the paper got awards for their coverage, and he flew the coop.

Then there was Paul Anthony of the San Angelo Standard-Times who inadvertently provided a lot of the really good stuff, not because I think he wanted to, he was just there to stumble upon it. I'm not trying to insult Paul but there were better writers out there covering the story and Paul often made mistakes that he never bothered to correct. Fundamental mistakes, but he was there and if you wanted to hear it first, it was often from Paul. Paul took a job in with the city of San Angelo, and left the business altogether.

Tak Landrock works for KRDO in Denver. At least he does until Friday. He is going to Edward Jones as a broker, I might guess. I wish him well. Outta da business. Can't say I blame any of them. I was a media guy decades ago. It's why I know what a Klieg Light is. The media doesn't pay well and apparently, like a lot of journalists, young Tak was in it to make a difference and said that no one wants an investigative reporter anymore. Not surprising really. With papers going out of business and businesses hurting, no one wants to put the wood to a potential advertiser. Tak also got some details wrong in the early reporting, but also brought a good deal of the details to light about prankster Rozita.

Only the AP's Michelle Roberts and Brooke Adams are left, pretty much, in the sames spots they were when all this started. There are the reporters at the Houston Chronicle that do a fair job, but they are for all intents and purposes about as far away from the issue as I am and their articles are infrequent. I have described Brooke as having an anti FLDS agenda, and I'm not backing off that description. It's regarded as petty and self serving, but it still remains that when it comes to blogs that might be considered FLDS centric, I am numero uno, not by a little, but by a lot, and have been the better part of this entire year. She doesn't link to me, but links instead to anti FLDS blogs, some of them extremely vile and vitriolic. I should say that I'm not numero uno "by a lot" overall, because Bill Medvecky has been number one, and is a very close second these days. With his more frequent posting recently, he may be number one again, and very soon. Brooke doesn't link to him either, and if you could say Bill was a little heavy handed at times, he's better company than Brooke's Kafkaesque accusers, because he has the added virtue of not being anonymous.

One has to assume that Brooke gets a lot of readership at the "Plural Life" blog hosted by the Salt Lake Tribune. She's got a built in feed. She's also a good reporter. I enjoy her writing and have told her so. This is in spite of the fact that in the last year I've found it difficult to trust her as objective. Let's just say she knows how to put on a show as far as I am concerned. ANTI FLDS centric (ok, DOMINATED) blogs have to be assumed to benefit from the "Trickle Down" of Tribune Traffic passing through the Plural Life and then on down to the few sites Brooke lists as places to go for Blog Talk. She's even listed the anonymous authors of those blogs as important sources and places to go in some posts.

Yes, I tend to digress to make points but here it finally is. There is no friendly coverage of the FLDS in the Main Stream Media. The newcomers don't want to know. The story was all over once the last kid went back. The last vestiges of "friendly" coverage are drifting away into the sunset like Tak Landrock. "Friendly" in this case is a qualified word since really all I can say is they listened better and more sincerely and in a couple of instances recently, it seemed like some of them were ready to publish, and got shot down by editorial staff. We're left with those that want to see the FLDS 12 in Texas get convicted and go to jail and thus don't want to write about stories that might lead to their exoneration or escape.

The rest of the media are rookies to the story and have to be brought up to speed, and they don't want to be. They listen politely for about 15 seconds and then you can hear their attention span go brittle and break almost audibly. It's sorta like a sonic boom. These folks are the above mentioned reporters who know about as much about the FLDS raid as the average person on the street, which in today's lingo is NADA. Zero. Nuttin'. When you finally get the light of awareness to go on for them, that's when you hear their attention go south. Their knowledge of the FLDS story is superficial and all they remember are the media talking points which are that there was a fake call, but there was overwhelming incriminating evidence seen at the ranch and what could the Police then do? The creeps were arrested for raping little girls and good riddance. In that atmosphere all the facts in the world don't sell the story, because you can't get anyone to look at the facts.

In this way Texas has already won, and it's going to take a miracle finish to rescue those men, and their families. It's not a victory for them to win on appeal 10 years from now. It's only a victory for the rest of us. And with the way the 12 have already been tried in the public mind, though that victory should come and should be assured, I wouldn't count on it.
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's Frikkin' Freezin' Mr. Bigglesworth!

Not here in Vermont, but where I came from.
KAJ - "Kalispell (MT) was just 5 degrees, well below the previous record of 16 degrees set in October of 1987.

National Weather Service officials say that outflow winds from east of the Divide will push through gaps in the mountains like Hellgate and Badrock canyons through Sunday.

The winds are expected to blow up to 25 miles per hour, creating wind chill of up to 20 below for the Flathead and Mission valleys, and around 10 below in the Missoula Valley."
All in all I'd rather be "suffering" through the cold snap. What's that you say Al Gore?
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Friday, October 09, 2009

I want a divorce

I want a divorce from Mark Henkel.
From his Facebook Page, assuming the comment is still there:
"Rather, these issues are only addressing the error of any Hobbyists who intentionally teach people to purposely be socialists, to purposely expect something for nothing, no matter how much hard work someone has worked and paid on ther behalf. Such expect-something-for-nothing socialism is made even worse when such evil teachings come from those who claim to be 'in Christ.' The Scripture of Jeremiah 22:13 says unto those maligners, 'Woe unto him... that useth his neighbor's service without wages, and giveth not for his work.' "
Mark is apparently hard up for money. This is all I can conclude. Several times now he has posted to his page rather cryptic remarks about people he characterizes as "Hobbyists," who in this case teach people to be "socialists."

I think I know what he means and have a rough idea of who he speaks about and why they are "socialists" but I can't tell for sure. A similar couple of posts were made a few days or weeks back, and I asked a similar question or two, about who he referred to and he did not offer an explanation. He then rather quickly deleted the posts I made and made no effort to contact or explain to me privately, what he meant.

The comments I made today along the same lines also have been deleted.

I don't want to be associated with this crackpot. He does not have a copyright on Biblical truth any more than I do. I have attempted to reach out to him as a member of the pro polygyny side of Christianity. There is no love there, on his part. Take a hike, buck o.
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It's always funny until someone's feelings get hurt....

And then it's REAL FUNNY! (Making fun of our President)->

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Allen Steed and the Statute of Limitations, December 3rd.

It's starting to sound like a Harry Potter novel, isn't it?
The Salt Lake Tribune - "Allen G. Steed, 28, was charged with rape in 2007, days after testifying as a defense witness in the criminal trial of Warren S. Jeffs, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Steed's attorneys argue the charge, tied to Steed's marriage to Elissa Wall in 2001, was filed too late to be valid and was not properly reported to law enforcement. They have asked 5th District Judge G. Rand Beacham to dismiss the case.

Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap argues that the charge is covered by an eight-year deadline -- called a statute of limitations -- that was adopted before the previous four-year statute of limitations had expired. Lamont Barlow, Wall's second husband, disclosed the rape allegation in a breakfast meeting with an Arizona investigator in 2005."
Whatever happens it would seem to be an open and shut case. Either it was reported to the proper authorities under an applicable statute or it wasn't. These cases though are highly politicized and there is certain to be a lot of pressure on the judge to say it was reported in a timely fashion. This is the sort of thing that frequently is ruled on politically at the first level, and later reversed.
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Slow Progress in the Santos-Swinton IA Investigation

Ah, bureaucracy. And some of us actually want Government Run Health Care. An update now on my dealings with CSPD's Internal Affairs.

It is October the 8th, 2009. I received the following in the mail today, postmarked from Colorado Springs on October 5th:
"On 09-24-09, Mr. McBryde contacted Internal Affairs regarding some suspicions he had developed while following the Texas child custody/abuse case involving the FLDS at the Yearning for Zion ranch. The Ranch was raided by Texas authorities in April of 2008. Mr. McBryde's concerns involve Rosita [sic] Swinton and her connection to the Colorado Springs Police Department and in particular her past association with Lt. M. Santos and Lt. J. Anderson. Mr. McBryde requested that Internal Affairs look in to the case as he alleged that the relationship was more significant than previously reported. In particular he alleged the following:

1.) Ms. Swinton's relationship with Lt. Santos was more developed and long term,
2.) Ms. Swinton may have been a paid informant of the CSPD, 3.) The phone call made by Ms. Swinton to Texas was somehow at the Department's behest, 4.) Lt. Santos had intervened in a case involving Ms. Swinton in Douglas County, 5.) Lt. Santos did not recuse herself from matters involving Ms. Swinton and that she should have due to the alleged relationship."
The "Complaint Receipt Form" which has no number ( I had been promised one ) goes on only to list Lt. Magdalena Santos, Gold Hill Patrol-Shift II as the "Involved Employee(s)" or the subject. A few observations. Lt. Jane Anderson is also named, but somehow is NOT one of the subjects. It was alleged by me and was specifically alleged by my source and supposedly in the statement or deposition of Becky Hoerth that Janie WAS involved, which would make her a subject as well.

The Supervisor Receiving Complaint is said to be a Sgt. Lux (true) and not mentioned is the fact that I viewed Sgt. Lux as obstructionist and combative. Sgt. Lux no doubt is useful in minimizing department complaints from the outside.

The Division Commander Review was done by Lt. Kirk D. Wilson, with whom I have made some progress. That progress may only be to "go through the motions" and not accomplish anything, but even in a sincere investigation, one must "go through the motions." I believe in going through proper channels first. This approach then is appropriate.

The status is listed as; "A preliminary inquiry will be conducted to determine whether or not a policy violation may have occurred. Upon completion of the investigation, you will be notified of the results." In essence then, what is being done at CSPD's IA, is a "Preliminary Inquiry."

I will remark now on the body of he incident/allegation description.
"Mr. McBryde's concerns involve Rosita [sic] Swinton and her connection to the Colorado Springs Police Department and in particular her past association with Lt. M. Santos and Lt. J. Anderson."
As mentioned above, why is Lt. Jane Anderson not a subject of the inquiry?
"The phone call made by Ms. Swinton to Texas was somehow at the Department's behest..."
Not exactly. I suspect, and think there is strong circumstantial evidence to support the notion that Rozita was used by some branch of LE, up to and maybe including the FBI. Lt. Santos who USED to head up the Sex Crimes unit's Internet sting operations and now appears to have been demoted or moved sideways may have simply supplied Rozita to someone else that she worked with in documented Internet sex sting operations. I did not say that the phone call was made at the department's behest. If that occurred exactly as described, I would be one of the more surprised people on the planet. I don't think CSPD had it in their mind at any level above Lt's Santos and Anderson to "get" the FLDS at YFZ Ranch. They may have participated though in such an effort. Maybe they supplied Rozita's name and offered her as "voice talent."
"Lt. Santos had intervened in a case involving Ms. Swinton in Douglas County..."
Again, not exactly. That is my best guess. It is said that Becky Lynn Hoerth alleged that Santos and Anderson intervened on Rozita's behalf "three years ago." If that remark was made in April of 2008, that would refer to an incident in 2005. The only known incident in 2005, to me, is the Douglas County/Castle Rock incident, for which Rozita was convicted and had her sentence deferred. She was convicted by guilty plea.

It should be noted that the complaint was received two weeks ago. I received documentation of the complaint's receipt, today. I have followed up several times on this inquiry. I will be very disappointed to say the least if the investigation now moves or is shown to have moved with such speed that the preliminary investigation is conducted and closed prior to me even receiving the receipt. That would show planned bureaucratic foot dragging.

Slightly color the complaint to make it less credible. Like me alleging that the call was made at CSPD's behest. Make my allegations less qualified. In general, pretend not to "get it."

There are also other interesting remarks made by Lt. Wilson that need attention:

What does the wording "he alleged that the relationship was more significant than previously reported" imply? No relationship was previously reported outside CSPD. Lt. Wilson himself said that internally the relationship was "common knowledge."

I can say with certainty prior to my blog reports on the topic Rod Parker of Salt Lake City did not know. Neither did Michael Piccarreta. No FLDS member knew of the "previously reported" relationship. I suspect strongly that all find that relationship no matter how extensive, very interesting now. Was that relationship "previously reported" to Texas? If so, Texas knew and did not see fit to tell FLDS attorneys that their probable phony phone caller, that Texas refuses to investigate, whose computer records may show extensive LE contact, was that closely tied to Law Enforcement.

By doing this, supposing that contacts were widespread, Texas has now set themselves up for a Watergate style cover up. They may not have contracted for the break in, but they covered it up later. I don't know about you, but if LE held on to computers with potentially exculpatory evidence on them for 18 months and refused to investigate LE/caller connections and didn't tell the defense about them, it almost doesn't matter anymore if they were innocent of contracting for the call. You can no longer say with credibility that you are turning over all the evidence in the matter. You withheld evidence. There may be felonies involved now, where there were none before.

A post script. Lt. Wilson says "alleged relationship" but the only thing "alleged" for his purposes is the quality or color or extend or kind of relationship that existed. The relationship is not alleged. Lt. Wilson himself used the phrase "common knowledge" to refer to the relationship of Santos and Swinton. He does not now get to imply that I allege there was one. According to him, there was one, and it was "common knowledge" at the Colorado Springs Police Department.
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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Could the "Cry for Help" have been deliberately contracted for by Law Enforcement? (YAWN)

I sent the following summary out to a number of News organizations in the Rocky Mountain West, late last week, none even attempted to investigate it. I'd be happily wrong if one of the turns up not to have turned a deaf ear, but it seems that unless I serve it up with signed confessions, they won't even try.

In 2005, Rozita Swinton was arrested for false reporting in Castle Rock. She subsequently plead guilty in exchange for a deferred sentence, providing she did not have further scrapes with the law. After that it has been documented that Rozita exported her false reporting to other states, apparently depending on the practice of not prosecuting such "pranks" when the prankster is not in a local jurisdiction. Most states, Texas included, do not seek extradition of misdemeanor offenders for prosecution. It is documented in the April 2008 arrest warrant of Rozita Swinton that Lt. Magdalena Santos (980D), took a call from the "Cocoon House" in Washington state in February of 2007 regarding a case of False Reporting in that jurisdiction, that was later traced back to Rozita.

One year after the incident in Washington State, Rozita was arrested for the second time we know of, after the Castle Rock arrest, in February of 2008, in Colorado Springs, again, for false reporting. Rozita has a long history of manufactured or unsubstantiated allegations, whether made in person or made by proxy, against others. Quoting from the Newsweek Article, linked to previously:
"Soon, Swinton came to the attention of authorities. Around 1997, she filed the first of some 15 police reports claiming that her father or some other man was sexually assaulting her (Clarence denies he ever visited Colorado). But 'we could never corroborate information because she would never do any follow-up,' says Det. Terry Thrumston of the Colorado Springs Police Department."
This documents, among other things, Rozita's presence in Colorado Springs when she was about 22 years of age. One could actively wonder why Rozita was being paid attention to by CSPD, as most law enforcement agencies would not pay attention to complaints regarding persons that did not even live in or visit the state of residence of the supposed victim.

This could be explained by the facts uncovered by myself, after following up on a tip. The tip was that Rozita and Lt. Maggie (Magdalena) Santos, and Maggie's coworker and "longtime companion" Lt. Janie (Jane) Anderson had an over 10 year relationship with Rozita Swinton, dating back to at least one of them employing Rozita as a "nanny" in 1997. Lt. Santos and Lt. Anderson's relationship is corroborated by mutual home ownership in the Colorado Springs area.

When contacted, Lt. Santos declared that the relationship was "20 years old" and that she had employed Rozita for "a month or two" as a "nanny." I then confronted her with the statement of my source, that there was a deposition, purported to be given by Becky Hoerth that dated the relationship to the year 1997 and that Rozita was both 14, 20 years ago, and living in Tennessee. Maggie then quickly reset the date but insisted that it was not 1997, instead claiming the date of 1995. This claim is of dubious reliability since Maggie had been wrong in her initial claim and then claimed not to have known Rozita well, known that she was from Tennessee or known her since the time she did employ her "briefly." I refer again to the facts cited by Newsweek, that Rozita was a frequent complainer about her ex convict and murderer father Clarence, who did live in Tennessee.
"(O)n page 1/50 of the discovery under Becky Hoerth Statement says:

'Ms. Hoerth stated she met Rozita in 1997 through a mutual friend at the Colorado Springs YMCA. She stated at the time Rozita was doing day care for Maggie Santos and Janie Anderson. She stated the two of them have been friends and that Rozita has helped her out when ever she needs it. She stated she had just recently moved back from Wisconsin and due to financial reasons is staying with Rozita'

This cannot be disputed as it is in the discovery."
In that Terry Thrumston of CSPD states the Rozita complaints regarding her father began around 1997, and the above alleged statement also refers to 1997, it would seem at least that Maggie's statement again, was at least inaccurate.

When confronted with information that the relationship was more extensive, and ongoing, and that she had been involved in subsequent dealings involving Rozita Swinton, Maggie claimed to have "recused" herself voluntarily from those proceedings, based on their previous passing acquaintance.

Again, returning to my source, who I checked with again:
"One of the problems is its affecting the case aganist [sic] Rozita(for Rozita's benefit) since Maggie didn't recuse herself 3yrs ago. The only reason she pulled out was because Becky outed her and Janie in her statement so she was forced to pull out." (email via PDA)
This probably refers to the Douglas County case (Castle Rock) or some unknown incident in between the report from "Cocoon House" in Washington state and the Castle Rock case.

If someone is conducting an Internet sting for sex crimes against children. Do they not need a little girl imitator?
Rocky Mountain Women in Law Enforcement - "Sgt. Maggie Santos has been with the Colorado Springs Police Department for 15 years. Before joining the CSPD, Maggie was a teacher for a few years and decided that policing was where she really wanted to be. She joined the department in 1992 and spent time working midnights on patrol, joined the Neighborhood Policing Unit, and spent time as a School Resource Officer. Maggie has also served the department with her bilingual skills as she is fluent in Spanish. Maggie was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2000 and after a couple of years as a patrol supervisor, moved to the Major Crimes Section, in charge of the Sex Crimes, Crimes Against Children Unit. As part of her current position there, she supervises an Internet Crimes Against Children team which has been responsible for several high profile internet based sex offender arrests.

Maggie is currently working toward promoting to Lieutenant. Maggie was also one of the original members of the RMWLE Conference team, serving since our project begin back in 2002. Maggie serves as a Board Member and during our conferences is known as the 'AV Guru' knowing how to save the rest of us from our electronic stupidity. We are thankful!

When she is not toting her gun or fixing a digital projector, Maggie has two kids to keep her busy and spends time quilting, reading and mastering video games. Thanks Maggie!"
We've seen these stings on TV. They usually have someone pretending to be....

A little girl....
Colorado Springs Gazette - "Police in Mesa and Jefferson counties who posed as underage girls in Internet chat rooms say Sgt. Gregory A. Sallee attempted to arrange sexual encounters." Sept, 2007.
Nov, 2007:
The Gazette - "Cañon City (in neighboring Fremont County) police have arrested a California man in an Internet sex predator sting — the department’s 13th such arrest this year.

Police arrested Carl Michael Pfaff, 50, of Oxnard, Calif., on Friday after he traveled to Cañon City intending to have sex with an underage female. He was actually communicating online with an undercover police officer, police said."
Also in November 2007:
The Gazette - "Fremont County authorities have arrested a 52-year-old Denver man who they believe drove to Cañon City to have sex with a young girl.

Jeffrey A. Tensly was arrested Tuesday at a Cañon City convenience store on suspicion of criminal solicitation, sexual assault on a child and unlawful sexual contact, Cañon City Police Department Capt. Allen Cooper said."
August, 2005:
The Gazette - "Sgt. 1st Class Andre Ventura McDaniel, 40, shot himself in September 2004 after he was arrested in an Internet sting after allegedly trying to arrange sex with a teenage girl."
And from April of 2007:
The Gazette - "It was just one chapter Friday in what was one of the most hectic days for the department in recent memory.

On top of a carjacking that ended with two arrests after a 90-mph chase that included shots fired at sheriff’s deputies, police dealt with drug busts, robberies and a 34-year old man arrested on suspicion of using the Internet to try to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old."
Sept, 2007:

The Rocky Mountain News
- "A correctional officer at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in Ordway has been arrested on suspicion of attempted sexual exploitation of a child.

Richard Jefferson Harris, 52, of Pueblo, is accused of contacting someone in an Internet chat room whom he believed to be under 15 — actually, an undercover district attorney's investigator — and allegedly solicited sexually explicit photographs.

He also attempted to arrange a meeting, said Pam Russell of the Jefferson County district attorney's office."
January 2008:
NBC "News First" 5 - "New developments regarding a News First Investigation we showed you over the Summer of 2007. It deals with some of the most disturbing criminal behavior our local officers have to deal with -- sex crimes against children.

Despite all the high profile crackdowns on internet predators, men continue traveling to the Front Range to try to have sex with young kids.

News First was granted exclusive access to what's arguably one of the most prolific Internet Crimes Against Children units in our state, at the Cañon City Police Department. It's one of Colorado's smallest police departments, and the officer who cruises the internet looking for predators only works that part of the job part-time. However, they still manage to capture, or assist other agencies in capturing, at least 1 suspected sex offender a month. Two of the units high profile captures that happened in Cañon City and include a Texas Constable and a Quiznos executive."
Such interstate and region wide sex sting operations almost certainly involved the FBI at times. The stings did involve local police departments and also the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

I also called Lt. Kirk Wilson of the Internal Affairs division of the CSPD. Lt. Wilson took down all I had to tell him and promised to begin an investigation. He asked for my name, and date of birth, and said he'd send me a "receipt" for the report, which would contain a receipt number. That was late last week, I have not received it yet.

Lt. Wilson also declared in response to my claim of familiarity between Rozita and Maggie that indeed he knew of the relationship, and said it was "common knowledge" in the department. I returned later to this phrasing and challenged him a bit on it, and he qualified it a little bit and said that did not mean everyone knew of the relationship. Clearly the "relationship," whatever it might entail was widely known. None of this however was reported in the press, but it does lend credibility to the rather incredible suggestion at the time, that members of the Texas Rangers called CSPD and there was an immediate acknowledgement that the numbers the Rangers sought information about, were involved in previous cases. After all, the relationship of Maggie and Rozita is characterized as "common knowledge" by the head of CSPD's Internal Affairs.

This makes even more interesting another fact I discovered in January of this year. The April 2008 warrant says that the Rangers contacted Lt. (then Sgt.) Sean Mandel of CSPD first. This is not true, according to Sean Mandel. Per Sean, he was more or less a carrier pigeon for messages from Texas that were being received by Agent Steve Smith of the Colorado Springs office of the FBI. He distinctly recalled the incident and was quick to provide the information that he could NOT have received the call as he was on "detached duty" with the FBI, as part of a "task force." He stated clearly that he was NOT going into CSPD offices at the time. I did not think to ask what that "task force" was doing. Could it be Internet sting operations for predators? It would make sense, as Lt. Mandel is with the Sex Crimes Unit of CSPD.

Lt. Mandel readily provided me with Agent Steve Smith's number, I called him, and he answered a few questions briefly, and then called me back. He confirmed that he was taking information from the FBI in Texas, but "couldn't recall" which agent he was speaking to but "would know it again if he heard it." I asked him if he received the information by phone, or email, and he said he "didn't recall." I asked him if he could review the case and he said that he did not open one and thus could not access his records and determine by what method the request had come, or who had made it. Further questioning had Agent Smith stating that if such a request had come it, there would have had to have been a case opened on one side of the call or the other. I researched over the next day or two the officers that worked in the San Angelo office of the FBI, provided those names to Agent Smith, and asked if any were the agents that contacted him and he said none were.

Eventually my inquiries took me to the regional office of the FBI in Dallas, and Mark D. White, after initially speaking to me on the subject, dodged my questions for several weeks and eventually plead an "ongoing investigation" prevented him from even telling me IF there was a case properly opened on the Texas side of the Agent Smith conversation. What I have discovered here it would seem is a back channel of communications that would appear to be designed not to be "on the record." The warrants say the conversations were with CSPD directly, with Sean Mandel directly and began on April 13th, 2008, a Sunday, after the raid was over.

In view of the length of time it normally takes to set up such a carrier pigeon sort of relay, it is highly unlikely that this channel came into existence over that weekend. It seems designed to have stayed off the record and may well have been in use during the raid and perhaps before it. That goes directly to "what did they know and when did they know it?"

Some of the questions that arise from this research are:

  • * Was Rozita a "little girl voice" used as talent by any law enforcement agency?
  • * Why were (allegedly) Maggie and Janie shielding Rozita from prosecution?
  • * If there is a statement/deposition of Becky Hoerth, as alleged, was Texas aware of it?
  • * Is Rozita's attorney essentially blackmailing (legally) CSPD, the FBI and Texas with the knowledge that THEY KNOW of the character and extent of CSPD's relationship with Rozita Swinton?

Rozita has been provided with extensive medical treatment out of state, and has apparently not worked in the last year and a half. She has been seen and photographed in Burley Idaho, during the Thanksgiving holiday of 2008 and I have the pictures. She has some of the most expensive and connected legal talent in criminal defense in El Paso county. Her trial has been delayed more often and more successfully than that of Bernie Madoff and for more time. Within a week of her arrest, David Foley, her attorney, was trumpeting that there would be "surprises" in her case, and since then has gotten all these delays, which keep putting her case after FLDS cases in Texas on the calender, and he has said nothing about those "surprises" he asked us to "stay tuned" to hear.

If it is true, that Texas knew of the statement of Becky Hoerth, then it becomes a question of what might be called exculpatory evidence withheld from the defense.

Additionally, the relationship of Hoerth, Anderson, Santos and Swinton seems vastly deeper than has been admitted to by Lt. Santos. It is at least improper not to reveal these facts to the defense in the largest child custody episode of US History.

The call may have been contracted for by an law enforcement agency so as to gain access to the YFZ ranch. This would be criminal.

Rozita may have been criminally shielded from prosecution by her CSPD friends and as a result, was allowed to negligently wreak havoc later.

Any or all or any combination of these scenarios could lead to exclusion of evidence collected at YFZ. With that evidence excluded, most of the 12 YFZ defendants would likely go free.
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Monday, October 05, 2009

Why Iowahawk should be on your "favorites" list

Really, the only reason to hope for a continued Obama Presidency is the near fatal hilarity coming from Brother Burge.
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Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Colorado Long Shot

Which could be called the Musser/Long/Doran/Flora/Whoever longshot as well.
Witnesses hostile to the FLDS such as Rebecca Musser could very well provide evidence for the defense. Musser is supposed to have testified in Las Vegas on the last day of September. I haven't heard whether she did actually testify, or not. I always assume that hostile witnesses are communicating amongst themselves and it's probably no accident that Musser succeeded in putting off her time before the defense until two days before Walther ruled on the evidence. Assuming Musser was provided with a transcript of her testimony, or even if she simply has a good memory, she could have been "debriefed" and the prosecution (Walther et al) could have decided nothing earth shattering was given to Piccarreta and company.

Pre Trial hearing.

Motion to Suppress denied.

Rules as to what will be admitted as evidence are as far as I can tell, "rules of the court" for trial purposes.

Bottom line?

They cannot be appealed prior to the completion of the trial. The reasoning behind this long standing rule of jurisprudence (assuming I have it right) is that you're not harmed if the evidence included fails to result in your conviction. In a sense, so what if it was illegally obtained and you go free? No harm, no foul. Only in the case that you are convicted would a higher court be interested in the evidence rules used in a lower court.

It has been my opinion all along that what Walther has wanted to do in the trials, is expose the media, the potential jury pool and potential appeals judges to all the negative publicity possible, all the salacious details, and put a 40+ year old man in front of an appeals court, convicted of a crime involving pedophilia, and say "There, reverse that."

Of course, I have hoped, and at one time I was actually marginally hopeful that Walther would back away from the case, but she didn't. I have never been in any sort of delusional state about what her game plan has been since the get go.

Of the girls/women supposedly molested or in danger of being molested by the FLDS men in question, only Merrianne Jessop is in theoretical need of protection from her informal husband, that being Warren Jeffs. Warren, for the time being at least, is safely tucked behind bars, and he can't get at Merrianne, for now. Even if the tide begins to turn wildly in favor of the FLDS, the prospects of him being sprung in the next 2 and a half to 3 years is pretty small, so we can consider her safe if we are worried about actual adults molesting actual children by the definitions of law. It's not going to happen unless Merrianne is "unfaithful."

The rest of the defendants are "married" or consorting with women now, all of whom are of age, and none of whom wish to escape their "brainwashing." The primary reason their unofficial husbands are being prosecuted is that those husbands seem to have children with those women. Those women certainly have children with somebody. I have little doubt that the men charged are in fact the fathers. The state is attempting to break up a father and his child, separate the mother from the father, and destroy the family unit to make a point that is essentially, "we don't like the FLDS" because until the FLDS showed up, the laws in Texas were actually a bit friendly towards the practices of the FLDS, which was one of the reasons Warren set up shop there.

This also brings up the question of the difference between a real pedophile, in terms of psychological makeup, and a technical pedophile, namely the sort that these men will be, if they are convicted.
"According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), pedophilia is specified as a form of paraphilia in which a person either has acted on intense sexual urges towards children, or experiences recurrent sexual urges towards and fantasies about children that cause distress or interpersonal difficulty." - (Wikipedia)
I contend that based on their other patterns of behavior, and fertility with women of greater age, that you couldn't call this the difficulty of most of the defendants. You could only say that they fit the legal definition.
"In law enforcement, the term 'pedophile' is generally used to describe those accused or convicted of the sexual abuse of a minor (including both prepubescent children and adolescent minors younger than the local age of consent)." - Wikipedia
What I am doing here, in a sort of eliptical way, is leading up to a point about what is, and what is not going on here. We're dealing with people who will be legally classified as pedophiles, not people who are predisposed to a disorder (for which there is no treatment) that is refered to as pedophilia. The equivocation that follows this case around, in the press and in the publicity generated by the prosecution, confuses. It is meant to. It is meant to put pressure on the public conciousness to keep slavering drooling cruel old men off the young virginal bodies of girls, who have no brains, no volition and no ability to resist their organized plundering of those girls sexual bounty.

I word it that way because I am convinced that part of the "horror" surrounding the case is actually a vicarious thrill and a sort of perverse jealousy that may indeed be more akin to the medical definition of pedophilia that we are supposed to believe is present in the FLDS. We want to see pictures of the young girls kissing Warren, with their faces blanked out. We want to see pictures of his daughter, Teresa Jeffs, young, attractive, spunky. Because WE want them. I say "we" but I think the difficulty is largely with FLDS haters, not me for instance. I consider Teresa Jeffs a beautiful strong willed young woman, and another man's wife, and of another faith, and have no interest in her for the reasons of prior claim (marriage) and faith. Same goes for Merrianne Jessop.

The above discourse I think describes the set stage for the trials. For the FLDS to win, they must win by "not guilty" verdict, which may flow from "jury nullification" or win on appeal which will be performed under the pressure of equivocating technical legal pedophilia with the actual sexual predilection. Remember though, it will be a lot harder to turn a well publicized "pedophile" loose, even by right application of the law, than it was to turn children back to their mothers.
US - "Late last year, a California Appellate Court ruled that a Defendant was not entitled to a new hearing on a suppression motion at the retrial, unless the defendants could present additional evidence that would justify a different ruling. A court will not question the discretion of another magistrate, or their position on the credibility of witnesses or evidence that was presented at a suppression hearing. If a magistrate has already heard your case, and ruled against you, it’s generally a closed issue.

However, in some cases you may be able to bring a second suppression motion if it is based on 'newly discovered evidence.'

To be considered newly discovered evidence, you and your criminal appeals lawyer will have to show that at the time of the original hearing, the defense was unaware of this new evidence. If you can convince the judge on this point, then the judge has the legal discretion to permit you a new hearing.
USA vs Hassan Karim Muhammad - "However, '[i]f new facts come to light at trial, the trial judge in the exercise of his discretion may consider anew the suppression issue.' Id. In United States v. Simms..."
New evidence is what will ultimately (I think) be the best chance of early freedom for the FLDS men on trial. The best chance for their wives to be reunited with their husbands, the best chance for their children to have contact, with their fathers.

That new evidence may come from depostions of Sam Brower, or Rebecca Musser or others, or perhaps revelations about Rozita Swinton and her associates. There are a lot of questions still out there about Rozita, how she has managed to travel around the country, access expensive out of state medical care and even exist for the past year and a half. There are now a lot of questions about what she's been doing for the last 15 years of her life, and if it involved a close association with a local Law Enforcment agency, that may be shown to have protected her.

The above two quotes show that the evidence question can be reopened with new evidence. I hope that what I have investigated and found, mostly in the last two weeks, and all the way back to January of this year, will prove useful to the defense. If it is shown that there was some sort of protection of Rozita, a sort of negligent encouragement of her bad behavior, or even perhaps a contracting with her to produce a "cry for help" then the game may be changed. Almost certainly it will be in the case of an intentional manufactured "cry for help."

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Judge Walther Rules (Not a Surprise) to allow the evidence (UPDATED)

Detractors will say I predicted otherwise, and I did. I always qualified my remarks to say I was guessing and that I wasn't that sure. Walther will now go down with the ship.
The San Angelo Standard-Times - "The decision will allow jurors in the upcoming trials of 12 men from the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to see some of the documents.

The documents come from an April 2008 raid on the FLDS-owned Yearning for Zion Ranch.

The first sect member to face a criminal trial pleaded not guilty Friday to sexual assault of a child.

Raymond Jessop entered his plea Friday before Texas District Judge Barbara Walther in San Angelo. He's set for an Oct. 26 trial in Eldorado. Defense attorneys had asked Walther to exclude the documents because the search warrant was based on fake domestic abuse reports."
From this report, it would seem that Walther is overloading the defense, by making her decision at the last minute, thereby forcing the FLDS to sift through a document dump with less than a month to go, until the first trial. Hat tip to "Jam Inn."

By saying it was not a "surprise," I mean it wasn't after recent developments. Walther would not have scheduled trials and waited this long, if she wasn't going to rule in favor of including the evidence.
The Houston Chronicle - "FLDS spokesman Willie Jessop said he was disappointed but not surprised by the ruling. The defendants will use the argument for the basis of an appeal if convicted, he said.

'I have no doubt this thing will be ruled illegal in the long run,' he said of the search."
And there might be more evidence, stacked against the evidence by then.

Next move? Judge Conn in Arizona will probably now be asked to rule on the evidence separately.
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This is news? Raymond Jessop pleads "not guilty."

As if:
KUTV Salt Lake City - "Raymond Jessop is one of 12 men from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints indicted after the April 2008 raid at their ranch and the first to face trial.

The 38-year-old Jessop pleaded not guilty at a pretrial hearing Friday in San Angelo before Texas District Judge Barbara Walther.

His trial is scheduled to start Oct. 26 in the tiny West Texas town of Eldorado.

Jessop faces a separate indictment on a bigamy charge that could be tried later."
Did we think it would be a guilty plea? I suppose you have to file the routine report.

What was news?
The San Angelo Standard-Times - "The indictment against the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints member has been amended, prosecutor Eric Nichols said this morning, with the removal of an enhancement that would have raised the offense to a first-degree felony.

Nichols said the enhancement was based on legislation passed in Texas that wasn’t in effect at the time the alleged act occurred, so the allegation against Jessop is now a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison. He was previously facing a penalty of five to 99 years."
Can you say "sandbagging?"
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The Audacity of Reticence

You don't gamble with the nation's prestige. The President of the United States is the embodiment of the State, the United States of American, abroad. Barack Obama gambled with the image of this country, and lost:
FoxNews - "Chicago was knocked out in the first round — in one of the most shocking defeats ever handed down by the International Olympic Committee. Even Tokyo, which had trailed throughout the race, did better — eliminated after Chicago in the second round."
You have to have the courage not to put your, and consequently the nation's reputation on the line. The "Audacity," if you will, to be reticent, to shut up, to not be innovative, to not be "cutting edge."

Get that chin down you arrogant incompetent. Get your guard up and defend the country. Know your limitations. Look us in the eye. You're just a man, and you're one of us, not a trans-formative figure. Know that, and do NOT take the country, which is larger than you, down, with your ambition.
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FLDS Smear Campaign extends to Korea

A few weeks ago, we here in the Vast Pro FLDS Conspiracy noted a ramp up of negative publicity, as the "Try 'em in the press" strategy of Texas came back from the grave. But really, an English London Correspondent writing for a paper in the capital of my adopted homeland?
Can you say "Astroturfing?"
The Seoul Times - "In Yemen, more than a quarter of girls are married before the age of 15; some as young as 11. This is blamed on poverty and lack of education.

Elissa Wall, at the age of 14, was forced to marry her 19-year-old first cousin in 2001. However, Elissa Wall is not one of the Yemeni child brides. She was born and raised in the United States, and her 'marriage' took place in Utah, within the confines of the closed religious community known as the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints."
Gone from the story now are the mysterious origins of the raid. Origins that may partly trace back to the "Hope Organization" itself.

In it's place is an unexamined assertion of the Warren Jeffs rape conviction:
"This led to Jeffs’s conviction in 2007 on two counts of being an accomplice to rape. However, this case is still ongoing, with an appeal hearing scheduled for November 3rd.

The Hope Organisation, which fights against underage and polygamous marriage in the US, publishes regular reports on its website showing that the FLDS is still alive and strong. This polygamous sect boasts more than 10,000 members, and controls the twin towns of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah."
What has this been really about all this time and what really is this article saying? "Your children are ours." As bizzarre as they may seem to us, ultimately your views may now, or will soon seem bizzarre to someone else, and when that happens, they too will tell you whose children they really are.
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Thursday, October 01, 2009