Amy Weirich: Recidivist

In July 2017, the Fair Punishment Project published a report entitled “The Recidivists: New Report on Rates of Prosecutorial Misconduct“.   Amy Weirich, the District 30 DA in Shelby County, was one of the District Attorneys singled out for detailed attention.  weirich_testifies

We filtered out the Weirich material and brought the footnotes in-line for this focus on the Shelby County DA.

Direct quotes from the report are shown in “double quotes”.  Additional material is in plain text.   Editorial comment is shown in italics.

Executive Summary

fair_punkshment“Prosecutors wield extraordinary power in the criminal legal system. How they exercise their power can be the difference between fairness and inequality, justice and corruption, and a community with faith in its justice system or one that feels betrayed by it. Newspapers across the country have featured elected prosecutors and their offices where there have been failures to use this authority ethically, and in many cases, where prosecutors have engaged in illegal behavior in order to win convictions.”

Comment on study methodology

The study is based on disciplinary proceedings involving fifth and fourteenth amendment misconduct that was sanctioned by the state Board of Professional Responsibility.  

Our research suggests that the BPR is itself corrupt, rubberstamping even more egregious misconduct.   We have seen, in the cases of April Malone and Celitria Watson, Earley StoryTony Carruthers, and Thorne Peters where evidence was not just hidden, but actively fabricated by prosecutors in conjunction with law enforcement.   Despite many reports of prosecutors to the BPR, they have failed to take action in any of these cases.
Our impression is that the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility only sanctions prosecutors and defense attorneys when there is media attention on the cases.  

Amy Weirich

headwebshot-jpg-_weirich-_approved_03.28.12
Shelby Co. DA Amy Weirich

“Earlier this year in Memphis, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich faced formal disciplinary proceedings after the Tennessee Supreme Court concluded that she withheld key evidence from the defense in a murder trial and made improper arguments during her closing statement. This kind of misconduct has devastating results on people’s lives.”

“Amy Weirich has been a prosecutor in the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office since 1991, and she has been the Shelby County District Attorney since 2011.  In the time period we reviewed, the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office had the highest number of misconduct findings—with more than a dozen—and the most reversals in Tennessee. Adjusted for population, out of the 95 counties in Tennessee, 89 percent had fewer misconduct findings per capita than Shelby, and 94 percent of counties had fewer misconduct-based reversals per capita. Leaders set the tone for an organization, and a look into Amy Weirich’s own record of misconduct, illustrates why Memphis cannot shake its misconduct problem.”

“The scope of misconduct in the office has included offenses such as failing to disclose relevant evidence to the defense, known as a Brady violation, as well as inappropriate conduct and statements during trial.”

The Nuora Jackson case

nuora
Nuora Jackson

“Weirich committed two different types of misconduct in a case involving a defendant named Noura Jackson, who was accused of killing her mother.  The misconduct was so egregious that the Tennessee Supreme Court overturned Jackson’s conviction in 2014, and chided Weirich for attempting to sway the jury by making inflammatory comments about Jackson’s constitutionally protected decision not to testify.”

“Given that the impropriety of any comment upon a defendant’s exercise of the Fifth Amendment right not to testify is so well settled as to require little discussion, it is not at all clear why any prosecutor would venture into this forbidden territory”.

Fifth Amendment Comment

“From the Tennessee Supreme Court 11/6/2013 judgement (PDF),  page 31, “the lead prosecutor [Amy Weirich] began final closing argument by walking across the court room, facing Defendant, and declaring in a loud voice, while raising both arms to point at and gesture toward Defendant, “Just tell us where you were! That’s all we are asking, Noura!” Defendant contends that the lead prosecutor’s statement, body language, and tone of voice could only have been understood as a command for Defendant to tell the jury where she was on the night of the murder.”   This is a clear violation of the 5th amendment where failure to testify cannot be used as an argument of guilt”.

Brady Violation

A Brady Disclosure is the requirement for prosecution to turn over all potentially exculpatory evidence to the defense.

brady“Unfortunately, that was not the only misconduct that occurred during the case. Under the Fourteenth Amendment, the government has an ironclad duty to disclose exculpatory material – known as Brady evidence – to the defense prior to trial. Despite numerous defense requests for that material, the government withheld an inconsistent statement by its star witness which suggested that he had fabricated key pieces of his testimony – namely, his testimony placing Jackson at the crime scene during the time the murder occurred. This was particularly damaging given the witness’s status as an alternative suspect in the murder and the government’s lack of any direct evidence implicating Jackson.”

From the Tennessee Supreme Court 11/6/2013 judgement (PDF),  page 41 “Defendant claims that the prosecution violated her constitutional right to Due Process, and in particular the principles announced in Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), by failing to provide to the defense Andrew Hammack’s third statement to the police until after the trial. The defense points out that, despite multiple and specific pre-trial requests for any statements Mr. Hammack had given the police, and a mid-trial request for Brady materials, the prosecution did not provide Mr. Hammack’s third statement until after the trial. The State concedes that the prosecution did not produce Mr. Hammack’s third statement in a timely manner”.

“In December 2015, the Board of Professional Responsibility recommended [PDF] that the Tennessee Supreme Court issue a public censure against Weirich. The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility also filed a supplemental petition for discipline based on the Brady violation and Weirich’s failure to exercise appropriate diligence in reviewing statements and making disclosures to the defense team.  In March of this year, the Board dismissed the disciplinary petition and issued a private reprimand.

BPR Obstruction

While the proceedings have been covered well by local media, one less-explored aspect of filings recently made available further reveals the depths to which Ms. Weirich is willing to stoop to avoid accountability. She responded to the Board’s initial petition for discipline by filing a motion for summary judgment in the hopes of having the petition dismissed without a hearing. The basis for the motion? Ms. Weirich essentially claims that the Board’s allegations have no merit because the judges who have reviewed the underlying criminal case never reported her. That’s right. Because state judges evidently failed to comply with their own code of conduct, Weirich reasons that she should be let off the hook.

See: TN: Amy Weirich’s Eye-Opening Response to the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility in Prosecutorial Misconduct and Accountability Nov 14, 2016

Anthony Bond and Andrew Thomas

“Jackson’s case was not the first time Weirich had been warned about making inappropriate and inflammatory comments during trial. In a 2004 capital murder trial, Weirich utilized her opening statement to repeatedly call the co-defendants “greed and evil,” using that phrase a total of 21 times in the opening and closing arguments. The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals reminded Weirich that “[i]t is improper for the prosecutor to use epithets to characterize a defendant,” referring to her argument as “unseemly.”” https://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/bondanthonyopn.pdf

“And yet after the court granted one of the two co-defendants a new trial, Weirich again engaged in an “improper” argument, blaming the defendant for requiring jurors to expend “time and trouble” on the trial – a comment meant to bias the jury against the defendant”.  https://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/17-291-petition.pdf

Vern Braswell

vern_braswell
Vern Braswell

“In 2004, in a separate case, Weirich accused a man named Vern Braswell of killing his wife. Braswell claimed he choked his wife during kinky, consensual sex but that she was alive, although not feeling well, when it was over and eventually died that night while in the tub. As the prosecutor and defense attorney delved through Weirich’s files while preparing for the post-conviction case, they made a troubling discovery — a suspicious sealed manila envelope with a sticky note on it containing the phrase “Do not show defense,” initialed “A.P.W.””.

Toby Sells, Attorneys Say DA Weirich Hid Evidence in Murder Trial, Memphis Flyer (Nov. 21, 2014).

“The original prosecutor on the case was none other than Amy P. Weirich. The post-conviction prosecutor then asked Weirich for permission to open the manila envelope. Some time later, the envelope disappeared. The defense has requested a new trial. In 2014, during a hearing on the matter, Weirich claimed both ignorance and lack of memory, “[i]f there were such an envelope and there were such a notation, no, I don’t recall doing that and that was not and is not my practice.”  The case is still pending.” Toby Sells, The Brady Bunch: District Attorney Amy Weirich’s Prosecutorial Tactics Come Under Fire Again in a Steamy Sex-and-Murder Trial, Memphis Flyer (Jan. 15, 2015)  

Michael Rimmer

Rimmer
Michael Rimmer

“Michael Rimmer was convicted in two trials (in 1998 and 2004) of killing a hotel clerk whose body has never been found. He was granted a new trial in December 2013 because Thomas Henderson, a high-placed, veteran attorney in the Shelby County District Attorney’s office, did not give relevant evidence to Rimmer’s defense attorneys.

For this, the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Office of Professional Responsibility ordered a public censure of Henderson. The censure was a “public rebuke and a warning to the attorney, but does not affect the attorney’s ability to practice law,” according to a news release issued from the office at the time. Henderson also had to pay the court costs associated with the censure, which totaled $1,745.07.

Henderson argued the state’s case on both of Rimmer’s trials. Weirich pulled him from the new trial after the censure. She called this a “punishment” and a “huge step, and it was a tough conversation to have.” She ordered no other discipline”.

Toby Sells, The Brady Bunch: District Attorney Amy Weirich’s Prosecutorial Tactics Come Under Fire Again in a Steamy Sex-and-Murder Trial, Memphis Flyer (Jan. 15, 2015)  

As of July 11, 2017, the case was still pending.

Andrew Thomas

andres_thomas
Andrew Thomas

“In yet another case, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a conviction in a death penalty case after Weirich failed to disclose that one of the main witnesses was paid for her cooperation in the companion federal case.   Although Weirich claimed she did not know about the payment, under the Constitution Weirich had a duty to discover and disclose this information prior to trial”.

See Thomas v. Westbrooks, 849 F.3d 659 (6th Cir. 2017); Katie Fretland, DA Amy Weirich Says She Didn’t Know About Witness Payment, The Commercial Appeal (Nov. 9, 2016)

See Toby Sells, Tennessee AG: Weirich Had No Knowledge of Secret Payment, Memphis Flyer (Nov. 9, 2016).

— Concluded —

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “Amy Weirich: Recidivist

  1. My name is Brien J Charles. I’m a licensed Cosmetologist and Master Barber here presently in Shelby County. I had a matter in 2011 where I was “arrested” and detained on a matter and was forced to represent myself. I proceeded to a preliminary hearing in then Judge Rooks courtroom. A Seargent Romero had trumped up vandalism and theft charges against me. The Commissioner in the matter charged me with Theft o $1000 Vandalism $1000. However somehow the District Attorneys office increased the vandalism aspect to $10,000.00. The preliminary hearing was conducted. The state called 4 police officers to witness with Sgt Romero being the states key witness somehow? He or the other three officers were not even at the crime scene. Well,I destroyed the states case that day clearing showing the fraudulent,bias nature of even the charges. I was released and sought to get on with my life with my spouse.We drove back to a place in San Diego California (Ocean Beach) and slept in our car eating at churches when possible. Oh,special note: I was employed as a cashier in Dickson Tennessee,Pilot Flying J for 3 to 4 months. I and my spouse discovered the theft of our identities and $120,000.00 in Title IV funds by persons employed by Empire Education Group/Regis Salon. We went to the Economic Crime Division there in Memphis 09/11/2018. As me and my spouse were escorted to a Sgt Kerr desk,we weren’t there 10 minutes when the officer to me to “put your hands behind your back”. I was “kidnapped”,AGAIN by Shelby County office of prosecution allegedly on a 25 year old seat belt offence of apparently my aggravated identity thief? I had a mountain of documents in my hand.
    I looked up 1 night in July,2011 while asleep I awaken to 2 San Diego police,guns drawn,directing us to get out of the car. I was kidnapped and taken to the San Diego jail. The “state” had somehow upgraded the initial charges to Vandalism over $60,000.00 and created a fraudulent grand jury indictment when men have historically flooded to courts with motions for speedy trials. Sgt Romero was both “prosecutor” and “Witness” on this fraudulent document that has a “Mary Thomas” rubber-stamped as over the “grand jury”. I was extradited and forced to fight this fraudulent matter in Judge Skahan court(Div. 1). Upon entrance into the court I immediately petitioned(verbly) the judge that I had “beat” this matter downstairs in Judge Rooks court. To no avail. The “state” or Shelby County judicial system uses a strategy of court delays to literally hold poor people hostage. I went back and fourth for over 6 months fighting for my freedom trying to get back to my wife. Finally after 3 different prosecutors I was presented with a “deal”. “3 years probation” and go home today. Of course I jumped at the opportunity to get back to my wife. Well, a Judge Beasley along with the state filed a fraudulent bench warrant on me as if I was picked up off the street when I had been kidnapped in the jail fighting for my life!!! Judge Beasley and the state held a mock hearing that garnered me an “indefinite incarceration” and labeled me a terrorists for choosing to fight against vicious bigotry and racism!!! I filed several lawsuits while kidnapped at the Penal farm. Several federal judges took up the matter but eventually the state has the matter swept under the rug. I finally got released after over 7 months. I had my spouse to contact Chief Coleman and tell him of my ongoing kidnapping. She did. I was released to a fraudulent child support hold and got out the next day. Since that time I’ve reformed my life!!! Licensed Cosmetologist#175758 along with spouse#176627. Graduated top in my class at The Barber School on Jackson Ave.(02/04/2016). On 05/09/2016 after being forced to leave Memphis because “someone” calls into any job I get and gets my job immediately taken from me? I was working for Fantastic Sam’s of Chattanooga TN as a stylist. The only licensed Cosmetologist on staff. The only person of color. I was forced to complain to corporate of racism and harassment. The response from a “Cindy Larkin” was quite harsh to say the least. I had gone to the Tennessee Human Rights Commission for help with harassment and discrimination on my job 05/07/2016. On 05/09/2016 I was met at the door by a giant police that ran inside the salon upon our making eye contact. I kept going. Sarah Tipton called after the police had tried to lure me back to the store stating,”You’re fired!!! A customer complained of a color”. They blocked any assistance for the taking of my job. My commission check was taken. Over $700.00.
    I and my spouse are presently the victims of aggravated cyber,physical gangstalking!!! This has been our experience since encountering Shelby County prosecutor Amy Weirich.
    Fraudulent documents have been forwarded into jobs with what appears to be my criminal history. Fake!!! However the jobs terminate me on the spot!!!
    I believe that Mrs. Weirich is behind the blacklisting, aggravated identity theft, aggravated cyber/physical stalking,wiretapping,tracking devices in phones you name it !!!
    In closing,we are experiencing unemployment insurance fraud. We were stalked unmercifully out of California. We were having unemployment check directly deposited on spouse Skylight pay card. Well someone was able to duplicate the card and reroute over $8000.00 to the criminals attacking us. Cut off our unemployment in July. I was employed as a cashier for Pilot Flying J of Dickson Tennessee not knowing that the owner and his brother were intimate friends of Mrs. Weirich,instrumental in her being Shelby County District Attorney. Well Pilot took my job(#392640) but kept file open giving my exemplary onboarding paperwork out throughout the south. They have blocked us from contacting lawyers through aggressive cyber stalking measures. Banks are allowed to openly defraud us.
    I filed an arbitration demand with the American Arbitration Association #01-17-0006-5605 Brien J Charles v Empire Education Group. Empire Education Group agreed to compensate us for our injuries. On or around May 22,2018 a Beth Krause of Empire Education Group/Regis Salon forwarded $1.9 million dollars to someone in Knoxville Tennessee while me and my spouse were being harassed and gangstalked all over Phoenix Arizona!!! EEOC “Right to Sue” matters rerouted to the Memphis office on Union and promptly suppressed while the harassing phone calls and the interrupted Facebook videos continue.
    I did nothing for Pilot Flying J of Dickson Tennessee to take my job!!! They owe me my job back and back pay that they are going all out to prevent us from getting.
    We need help with these very dangerous,racist people hell-bent on depriving us of just a decent life.

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  2. This would be my second post/complaint on this respected platform. I’m truly grateful for you all being here for us. Again my name is Brien J Charles. Native Memphian. I first encountered Ms Weirich,”indirectly” in 2011 when a Sgt Romero trumped up Vandalism and Theft of Property charges against me. I wasn’t privy to the racist,criminal nature of Ms Weirich at that time. However I was forced to represent myself in a preliminary hearing in then Judge Rooks courtroom. At the conclusion of the hearing the judge dismissed the matter and I was released. Me and my wife couldn’t figure out where this literal all out assault on our lives was coming from? So we fled Tennessee for San Diego California where we lived out of our car down by the ocean in Ocean Beach. We were awaken in July of 2011 to 2 San Diego California police,guns drawn directing me to “put your hands behind your back”? Amy Weirich had created a blatantly fraudulent grand jury indictment some how? The charge had now been increased to Vandalism over $60,000.00. I was held at the San Diego city jail and was extradited back to Memphis leaving my wife all by herself in California. Amy Weirich has a practice where she makes the detained persons time in jail so difficult until a guilty plea becomes inevitable in order to get out of such a corrupt ,racist system lead by District Attorney Amy Weirich.
    I was able to purchase a car recently. However our identities have been taken from us since 2011 at least. After numerous court delays and changing of prosecutors over the 7 month false imprisonment I was offered a “deal” by the “state” under the judicial authority of Judge Skahan. I was offered a 3 yr probation sentence and “go home today”. Of course I jumped at the opportunity to get on with my life. Well after I was coerced into accepting 3 years probation for a matter dismissed in the lower court Judge Beasley,under the supervision of Judge Chris Craft filed a fraudulent bench warrant on me as if they had picked me up off the streets. A fraudulent “violation of probation” warrant was entered into the computer. Judge Beasley had a mock “hearing” in retrospect and I ended up out at the penal farm labelled a terrorist by Ms Weirich and the Judges mentioned and ordered held “INDEFINITE”. After numerous complaints to every court in Tennessee and over 7 more months kidnapped by Ms Weirich I was finally released after instructing my spouse to contact then Chief Coleman and inform him of my kidnapping. I was released to a fraudulent “Child support” hold the following day. I again fled Memphis trying to create a life for myself. We went back to Jackson Tennessee. I attended Lane College there in 1988,1989. Family there. We attempted to enroll into Empire Education Group beauty school there. I in November of 2013. My spouse a few months later. I graduated top in my class on 11/11/2014. My spouse on 01/27/2015. My license # is 175758. Spouse 176627. Mrs Weirich immediately contacted someone high up in Regis Salons/Empire Beauty because our identities were stolen. Over $120,000.00 in our names in Title IV funds was given to these thieves assisted by Ms Weirich. Ms Weirich had me kidnapped”fraudulent warrant” as recently as 09/11/2018 after I and my spouse being gangstalked unmercifully in Phoenix Arizona. Prior to leaving Phoenix 09/08/2018 I saw a Beth Krause of Empire Education/Regis Salon in a vehicle below me in a vehicle. The police that recently got diversion for sleeping with that murder suspect was up on the balcony with me. He showed up several times since then. Trojan Labor he showed up at the desk. Various hotels he’s magically appeared? Ms Weirich I believe,is working as “muscle” for various private institutions that wrongfully terminate heterosexual men of color targeting them and their mates for harassment and possibly death if they can create the right scenario.
    We went yesterday to the Shelby County Clerk’s office whom Ms Weirich has made an “extension” to her office. The lady talked to me like I was an animal!!! She got up and left her desk when my spouse and I renewed our truck plates in April. May 7 at 2542 Chelsea a lady wrecked our car while parked and attempted to flee the scene. She ended up under a fence on the cell phone. I and my spouse called 911. A fire truck and ambulance came. The crime scene was immediately suppressed. Pictures blacked out in my cell phone(619-944-5823). Our unemployment was cut off and rerouted in July of 2020. Aggravated identity theft,cyber/gangstalking are common practices of these vicious,racist people.
    I went to the Tennessee Human Rights Commission for help. Blocked by Ms Weirich and “re-routed” to Shelby County ,Ms Weirich jurisdiction. EEOC matters fraudulently settled using Tennessee license in my name taken from me after forcing me to pay over $2000.00 in “fines”. Ms Weirich has proven to me and my family that she will do whatever it takes to destroy our lives!!! Her actions are detrimental to a free and equal society.
    On May 22,2018 in case # 01-17-0006-5605,Brien J Charles v Empire Education Group/Regis Salon with the American Arbitration Association of Voorhees New Jersey ,Regis Salon forwarded $1.9 million dollars in my name to someone using that same Tennessee drivers license there in Knoxville Tennessee while we are being cyber/gangstalked all over Phoenix Arizona,aggravated identity theft. Ms Weirich has called every job/housing arrangement since 2011 blocking our every move!!!
    Mrs Weirich has shown herself to be an enemy to justice!!! How much longer will she be allowed to committ her crimes with impunity?
    You’re way too powerful for me Mrs Weirich it’s gonna take the federal authorities to take you down.
    In closing,my hope and my prayer is that Mayor Strickland help us to get this vicious racist public official off our backs!!! That the federal government indict and arrest Mrs Weirich for her crimes against humanity.
    Sincerely
    Brien J Charles on behalf of spouse Tennise R-Charles

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