Thurston Smith: Liar, Bully and Worse.

Readers of our City Council Election blog may have noticed that, instead of writing about Thurston Smith, I inserted a legal disclaimer.   Now I can reveal the full story.

On the fifth of July I was served with a temporary Order of Protection (PDF) filed by Thurston Smith.   The order is a tissue of lies, but my attorney advised me not to post anything, and I don’t keep a dog and bark myself.   The protection order was lifted (PDF) and expunged (JPG) yesterday (July 29th 2019) and now I am free to post without the threat of jail time.

The provisions of the order were savage, with confiscation of weapons, compulsory anger management courses, payment of court costs and more.

SLAPP Suit

Updated 8/4/2019.  I received an email  from a friendly lawyer.

Wasn’t obtaining the Order of Protection the equivalent of a SLAPP suit?

A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.

Wasn’t it also an abuse of process?

Lies

The first lie on the form is my height.   Smith peggged me at 5′ 7″.   The tallest I’ve ever been is 5′ 5 1/2″ and advancing age has reduced me to under 5′ 3″.

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The big lie here was that the February 24th event was private.   In fact, his announcement of candidacy for District 7 was clearly a public event.

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The Facebook event, which was posted on the public page MRYE: Memphis Raise your Expectations!!!, was marked “Public” and was widely circulated.   I replied “Going” as above, turned up at the door, signed in and was admitted.

Other lies:  “Petitioner stated that Fergus Nolan then located him through social media”. In fact, Thurston located me through social media, sent a friend request and contacted me through Facebook Personal Messengerin December 2018.  I still have records of this conversation.

He later called me, which is how I got his number.   I did not call him until June 28th.

Made Flyers.   Untrue.   I have not made a flyer since 2016.  If I want to make a flyer, I do one page with QR codes to reduce litter and paper wastage, and let people scan the QR with their phones.

I did not say “police hag”.   It would have been “Pighag” which is a movie starring Anna T. Schlegel.

“Began peeping through windows”.  Untrue.   I did not cross the zero lot line which is about 12 feet from the windows.

Pacing back and forth.   Not true.   I am mobility impaired and am economical with my movements.

Left after 20 minutes.   Not true.  I arrived at 4:40 PM, made a phone call at 4:45 and left at 4:47.    Seven minutes, confirmed by the timestamps on the photos I took.

“Petitioner is in fear for his life”.   At the announcement event, there were over 40 of his friends present, and I was unarmed and alone.   At his house, he was safely inside and I was again unarmed and alone.  He is not in fear for his life.   He is in fear of being exposed.   Smith knows that his police buddies like to make this claim to violate people’s fourth amendment rights against search and seizure.

The June 28th Visit to Thurston’s House

On June 27th, I noticed that, although Smith owns a nice house he bought for $200,000 in Arlington, from the address on his Appointment of Campaign Treasurer, he appeared to be living in a dilapidated house bought from a bank in 2009, for less than $25,000, by his campaign Communications Director, Lloyd Brown.   The documents are here (PDF).  This piqued my interest enough for a reconnaissance.

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Peeling paint and rotten woodwork (blight) on an upper-story window at Thurston’s official District 7 residence

After an abortive visit on the 27th, where I did not find the right house, I hung my media ID around my neck and drove to his house on Friday June 28th with the aid of a GPS.   I noticed a white Cadillac with a VA parking decal parked outside and later posted that he seemed to be present.   I also took several photos of the exterior of the residence, with peeling paint and rotted woodwork and window jambs.   I thought this was interesting in case Smith later talked about blight.  In order to allay any worries about who was at the door, I called him and he did not pick up.

If Thurston Smith had done the same at my house, or called me, this would have been canvassing.   I think of this as reverse canvassing.

Why did Smith take out an Order of Protection?

It is interesting that Thurston’s first thought, when challenged by a voter in his district, is to resort to lying and intimidation.   On Sunday June 30th, Detective Raymond Jones called me saying that Smith and Lloyd Brown had complained that I had been stalking and harassing them.   I have not heard more.  Presumably MPD would have just as hard a time proving these allegations as Smith had in court.      Hopefully Detective Jones had permission from Director Rallings to undertake an “investigation” that had obvious potential for revealing political information.

Broadcaster Thadeus Matthews claimed, in this broadcast (at hour 1 minute 20) from July 1st, and again on the 15th, that Thurston Smith had been forced to retire early from his job at the VA.   According to Matthews, this was allegedly related to alleged claims that Smith had allegedly sexually harassed another employee.  Matthews said he would have the victim as a guest on his broadcast.  We will not reveal the name of this employee, who is still at the VA, because it is our policy not to expose the names or particulars of alleged victims of alleged sexual crime.   We also can’t name our informants at the VA because the case of Sean Higgins proves that whistle blowers are savagely treated at the VA.    We would also point out that Mathews is also saying that Smith does not live in the district, which we don’t believe.  Matthews was shaking Smith down for “advertising” money at the time.

Asking Smith questions about the circumstances of his departure from the VA prompted him to reach out to me via Personal Message, by phone and caused him to be visibly angry at his campaign announcement event.   He attempted intimidation via law enforcement and the Temporary Protection Order.

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Image  Picsart.com

Smith clearly has no regard for constitutional values, truth or transparency.    Without the material in the protection order, I would not have had much to write.   How he imagined that his dubious maneuver would silence me is unclear.  His lack of judgement alone disqualifies him from office.

Thurston Smith and the Police.

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Photo: Facebook

This is Thurston Smith’s Community Outreach Program ID.   He shamelessly posted it on his Facebook page.

COP is an organization of police sympathizers and snitches.   They attend special training at Memphis Police Academy, where they are trained to spy on citizens and spread police propaganda.  We obtained emails to COP members around the time of the April 3rd, 2018 Rolling Block Party police riot, where police brass asked COP members to try to prevent their congregations from joining the protest, in which Manuel Duran and others were arrested by paramilitary Organized Crime Unit (OCU) police thugs.

At a time when candidates like Tami Sawyer and John Marek are calling for the firing of Mike Rallings and his replacement by a Director who understands community policing, Smith holds the view that MPD is fine as is and should be supported in their campaign of mass incarceration.   Evidence to the contrary includes:  The ACLU “Kendrick” court victory and court monitor, Darrius Stewart’s murder and cover-up,  the attempted murder, cover-up and incarceration of Martavious Banks, the police riot after the killing of Brandon Webber, turning off of body- and dash- cams, the Graceland discrimination case, the FightFor$15 case, numerous letters from CLERB which were stonewalled by Mike Rallings, spying by police at an actual Court Monitor public meeting, Authorization of Agency and other incidents of police malpractice and brutality too numerous to mention.

Thurston Smith is a pro-police dinosaur at a time when District 7 and the entire city is crying out for police reform.

Incidentally, Smith’s posture strengthens the Caissa Dog Whistle, which supports white control of the City.

I consider it an honor to be singled out for retribution by Thurston Smith.

— concluded —

 

   

 

 

 

Dan Rosson placed on AoA by City

We have another Authorization of Agency case to share, this time that of Dan Rosson, against whom Memphis Animal Services, in collaboration with City Chief Operating Officer Doug McEwen, have created an AoA.  Once again, the City has used AoA to silence a political opponent.

AoA and the City Blacklist.

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Mike Rallings and Jim Strickland’s Blacklist.  Photo, The Commercial Appeal.

Authorization of Agency first came to public attention when the City’s Blacklist was published on half a dozen AoA forms.  Placement on Jim Strickland’s AoA was purportedly in retaliation for a December 19th Die-In action at Strickland’s, but it contained over forty activists’ names, far more than the ten or so protesters at that action.  The list was correctly interpreted as a City action against a list of activists which MPD was managing in contravention of the 1978 Kendrick Consent Decree.   The ACLU took the City and MPD to court and won.

AoA used against Zoo critics.

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Hunter Demster being cuffed by Officer Dan Adams at the Zoo

We publish some research on Authorization of Agency, compiling almost 1,700 AoA records obtained from MPD via Open Records Request.   While 84.9% of the AoA victims were  African Americans victims of police racism, a few, featuring Hunter Demster, Maureen Spain and myself were clearly in retaliation by the Zoo and MPD for harmless political speech.  In my case, I was on two AoAs, one issued days after my 2016 arrest at the Zoo, which was judged by the courts to be a wrongful arrest, dismissed and expunged.   My second Zoo AoA was illegally created by forging my name to an existing, pre-signed AoA with Hunter Demster, after we uneventfully visited the Zoo.   Again, this was an act of political retaliation, supported by MPD files collected in violation of Kendrick.

MPD working for private employer with AoA.

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Rodney Fisher (Photo: Facebook)

Last week, we wrote about Rodney Fisher’s AoA at DHL/Nike.  In this case, Mr. Fisher’s employer used MPD to inform him that he had been fired, in retaliation for political speech at his place of employment.  The MPD Lieutentant Colonel who ordered the patrolman to inform Mr. Fisher was quoted as saying he had been targeted for non-existent “threats” made via social media, indicating that Mr. Fisher’s first amendment speech on political subjects had been investigated, and that a social media search had been performed by MPD.

New:  Dan Rosson’s AoA

Now, we have a new AoA of concern, against animal activist and dog rescue volunteer, Dan Rosson.   In this case, city employees at Memphis Animal Shelter and City Chief Operating Officer, Doug McGowan, were behind the retaliatory use of AoA.

AOA

Dan Rosson was a long-time volunteer at Memphis Animal Services.  He was a dog foster, caring for shelter dogs at his home, and performing various tasks at the shelter.   He photographed dogs and helped document their temperaments among other valuable services that saved money for the City and the lives of many dogs scheduled for euthanasia.

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Dan Rosson (photo Dan Rosson)

Mr Rosson recounts an incident at a Collierville vet, when a dog, which had been secretly labeled as potentially vicious by MAS. attacked another dog.   Rosson subsequently, at an April 2018 MAS advisory board meeting, called for volunteers to be warned about dogs labeled as problematic.   Mr Rosson, in the following months, also shared a long list of administrative issues at MAS that he wanted addressed.

On February 13th 2019 Mr Rosson posted on Facebook about some critically ill pups who needed urgent veterinary treatment.   He had been banned from transporting animals and no-one else was available to drive the pups to the vet.

Mr Rosson, as a proponent of the humane treatment of animals, was upset at the unnecessary suffering caused by the delay in the treatment of the canines.

On February 14th, Mr Rosson circulated a petition to volunteers and others, and engaged in first amendment protected speech critical of the City administration of MAS.  The petition asked the City to promote due process and prevent First Amendment abuse by MAS officials, naming  MAS director Alexis Pugh.

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Memphis City COO Doug McGowan.  Photo: City.   We apologize for the aesthetics

On February 18th, Mr Rosson posted that City Chief Operating Officer Doug McGowan had allegedly called Rosson’s former employer, University of Tennessee.  Mr Rosson is retired from UT but had availed of the customary policy of allowing retirees to continue using their UT email.   UT canceled Mr Rosson’s email account with resultant chilling effect on his ability to engage in free speech on this issue.

On the 20th, Mr Rosson received some Open Records Requests information from the City attempting to clarify the MAS policies on administering volunteers and asking for records on his own case, and the petition was delivered to the Mayor and City Council.   That was the day the AoA was signed by Alexis Pugh.

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Alexis Pugh (Photo WKNO)

On February 21st Mr Rosson was informed that he would be arrested if he set foot at MAS and was informed of other charges made by Pugh against him.   These additional charges might constitute illegal acts but were not recorded (as sometimes happens) as marginal notes on the AoA.  This suggests that MPD was maintaining other documents relating to Mr Rosson.   This implies the existence of an investigation, which, being likely to uncover political information relating to Mr Rosson’s communications with the City and MAS, should have been approved by Police Director Rallings pursuant to the Kendrick Consent Decree, which had been well aired in Federal court by this time.

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Some cute rescue puppies.  We could not leave you with those administrator photos.  

The accusations made by MAS management, if they could be substantiated, should have resulted in a police investigation.  Mr Rosson has not been charged with any offense relating to alleged incidents at MAS.

We believe that Mr Rosson’s case is an clear example of AoA being used by MPD to harass political opponents of the City, which is a pattern we have been seeing  lot of.

Note on Authorization of Agency.

If you are told, by MPD or property management, that you will be arrested if you set foot on a given property, ask if you are on an AoA.

If you are on an AoA, you can get the document for free via the City Open Records portal.  You need to specify a date range, which should be a few days before and after the date you are informed.  You need the address of the premised, and also the MPD precinct and ward in which it is located, which you can look up in the link.

Sometimes AoAs are placed without informing the victim.   In this case you find out about it at some later point, when you visit the premises.   In that case, figure out when the AoA was placed and straddle that date in your open records request.

Share your AoA adventures with us.  If you feel that the AoA is the result of an MPD investigation not approved by the Director, or if its deficient due process is being used to threaten or intimidate you, or to impede your constitutional rights, contact the MPD Court Monitor. Read our AoA information.   If you are arrested for trespass on an unposted location without being given notice to depart, share this information with your attorney.

— concluded —

Rodney Fisher fired by MPD via AoA

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Rodney Fisher (Photo: Facebook)

Rodney Fisher made video of a visit from an unidentified MPD officer on the evening of July 25th, around 10 PM.   Fisher is admin of the Memphis (Real News) facebook page.

We transcribed the conversation.

Police Officer:  (talking on phone outside front door):  AoAs, all right. Yes, sir. (Hangs up cellphone).

Police Officer:  (talking to Rodney Fisher): Mr Fisher, I guess the lieutenant colonel wanted me to call you regarding the Nike incident or something.  You worked at Nike, correct?

Continue reading “Rodney Fisher fired by MPD via AoA”

The slaying of Brandon Webber

photoLast week we had the tragedy of Brandon Webber, who was killed on June 12th by US Marshals in the driveway of his family’s Frayser home.   His bereaved parents spoke out in a June 14th vigil at the site of the killing, attended by over 600 mourners.   We are saddened by this violence.     Continue reading “The slaying of Brandon Webber”

Hammer Award: ADA Chris Scruggs

Daniel Connolly of The Commercial Appeal has recently outed Mike Cross, former Collierville and Shelby prosecutor, and Judge Jim Lammey for racism on social media.

hammerawardWe commend Mr Connolly’s enterprise and, seeing that we have our own research on prosecutorial and other criminal justice misconduct, we decided to follow his lead.

Our criterion for membership of our rogue’s gallery is something an ADA Hammer like Chris Scruggs would appreciate.   Three strikes and you’re in for good.   When we document three perversions of justice, you get our Hammer Award.

Shelby Co. District Attorney’s office has a hammer award, given to prosecutors who break the rules to get convictions.     This is our Hammer Award.

ADA Chris Scruggs

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Scruggs

The first recipient of our Hammer Award is Chris Scruggs.    He’s a long time prosecutor and has headed up the West Tennessee Drug Task Force, an inter-agency unit, which works with the Multi Agency Gang Unit and its Organized Crime Unit.

Drug prosecutions are especially problematic, as a large part of mass incarceration. There are perverse incentives including civil forfeiture, which engenders corruption, and the imposition of minimum sentencing laws has made this area especially problematic.

Chris Scruggs taken to Federal Court

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Celitria Watson (L) and April Malone

We first encountered Chris Scruggs in the Federal case taken by April Malone and Celitria Watson against three DAs and three MPD police officers.   In this case, Ms Watson had an automated cloud back-up app running on her phone,  She was able to prove that the version of a wiretap log of her text messages had been altered by the prosecution and police to add incriminating statements.    In addition, a bogus bank Suspicious Activity Report was used to obtain the wiretap warrant.    The prosecution team was aware of the fabricated evidence.

Ms Malone and Ms. Watson were able to prove their innocence and their cases were severed and dismissed, but Kendrick Watson, Celitria’s brother and April’s significant other, was given and additional nine years on his sentence using the same fabricated evidence.  April’s mother, Patricia Malone, took a misdemeanor plea for time served.

Chris Scruggs and Planted Weed

thorne_peters_portraitcropOur piece on Thorne Peters‘ bust at Imbiblio’s night club describes how Chris Scruggs had to recuse himself from a second trial of Peters and others because of his misconduct in the first case.

In the initial December 2008 raid, some weed which had been thrown down in commonly accessible areas was found, but this was not allowed as evidence because there was no search warrant.   The arrest affidavit was altered months later to add a small baggie of weed supposedly found in the cruiser used to transport Peters, and the case was dismissed.

In addition to the evidence tampering, this case showed the abuse of bail.   Peters was held on $400K bail and ended up serving 19 months on a charge which had a maximum penalty of less than one year.  Peters’ insistence on his day in court called the DA’s bluff.    The DA’s expected to plead out, which would make the weakness of their case moot.

Peters was again arrested in July 2009 on the evidence of a confidential informant, Ashley Egan, who was paid $2000 for her testimony.   Egan was later sentenced to several terms of imprisonment, was described by her SCSO handlers as a junkie and was a client of the mental health court, which usually requires mental health treatment for its defendants.      Chris Scruggs, who had been cited for his role in the 2008 bust, recused himself from this case in October 2010, after the snitch testimony had been given.

Third Strike:   Jason White’s case

jason_white_cropThe 2016 cases of Jason White, Kristina Cole and Montez Mullins is especially egregious.   Bartlett police intercepted a package containing a pound of meth, relabeled it with Kristina Cole’s address, got a dubious warrant for the altered address, and busted her.   They confiscated her phone and sent some text messages to a phone they thought, but never proved, belonged to her incarcerated boyfriend, Jason White.  They subsequently added Montez Mullins, who admitted to organizing the shipment, to the docket.    The defendants were sentenced to  a total of 113 1/2 years.

The arresting officer testified to the changing of the destination address and the bogus text messages on the stand, so Scruggs, as the prosecutor, would have known these facts while being briefed on the case before trial.   Cole and White were innocent bystanders to Mullins’ prison meth distribution scheme.

Chris Scruggs:  Congratulations

hammeraward

 

Chris Scruggs is a deserving recipient of our first Hammer Award.

We will be awarding future Hammer Awards to prosecutors, judges, law enforcement and individuals who get three strikes for overzealous enforcement of mass incarceration.

 

 

 

–Concluded

 

 

 

 

Jason White framed in Bartlett Meth Case

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Jason White

Jason White was sentenced to 21 years in 1999 for a burglary when he was 18 years old, and, in 2017, was serving the last year of his sentence.

Jason Lamar White was indicted in April, 2016, by the Shelby County grand jury for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine along with his girlfriend, Kristina Cole.   Another Riverbend inmate, Montez Mullins, was added to the indictment a year later.

The case was discussed by The Post and Email, on 10/11/2017, 10/17/2017 and 11/16/2017. These posts include case documentation, an interview with Jason’s mother, Kimberly White and extensive phone follow-up by the Post and Email’s Sharon Rondeau.

Montez Mullins.

In Februry 2016, Montez Mullins admitted to Cole’s first attorney, Mark McDaniel, that he had arranged for the shipment of the contraband package.

Fox 13 News reported: “According to the DA’s Office, Mullins said Cole and White knew nothing about the drug delivery. He claimed a Hispanic man he met in prison gave him an address as a good place to deliver drugs in the Memphis area.

Mullins also said he told Cole that the FedEx package contained jewelry intended for his mother, according to investigators”.

Kristina Cole

Kristina Cole is a mother of three who was 43 at the time of her arrest in February 2016.   Her previous record was pristine.    She is Jason White’s girlfriend.

The Package.

fedex_label004.jpgThe package in this case contained about a pound of crystal methamphetamine and some baby clothes.  It was presented to FedEx as shipment number 808857073374 at a FedEx retail outlet in Visalia, California.  FedEx opened the package and called Detective Collins, who took custody of the package.

The original FedEx label was given in evidence, and  the address, on the  label is  2552 Linwood Road, Bartlett, TN 38134.  It is marked for “Standard Overnight” service, which is FedEx’s next afternoon service.    The label is in the customary format produced by FedEx’s shipping software.

Package was Intercepted.

Detective Collins picked up the package, contacted the Bartlett police, overpacked it in a UPS box and sent it to Bartlett Police Department.    There, Detective Mark Gaia obtained a search warrant for a different address than was on the original FedEx label.   He used 2552 Jenwood Street, Kristina Cole’s address.

Bartlett detectives then relabeled the package with Cole’s address.

This is confirmed in White’s appeal.

Defects in the Package Chain of Custody

Detective Collins did not testify and so could not be questioned on the origination of the package.

Delivery of the Package.

The package was left on Cole’s porch and the search warrant served after Cole took it in.   The package was found unopened inside the front door and a number of electronic items confiscated in the search, including Kristina Cole’s phones and laptop.

The planted text messages.

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Kristina Cole

The prosecution later asserted that Kristina Cole sent Jason White a text message confirming the arrival of the shipment.   The text messages on her phone were created during the time she was in custody at the Bartlett police station.

From the Post and Email documents, the record of arrest on page 8 shows an arrest time of 3:30 PM.   On page 11, the phone text log shows the “incriminating” text messages going out between 3:38 PM and 4:26 PM.   By that time Kristin Cole and her phones were in custody.

Detective Gaia admitted on the stand, under cross examination by Cole’s attorney, Kortney Simmons, at trial, that he had sent at least some of those text messages.

In addition, the destination of the text messages, (615) 917-3749 was never proven to be a contraband cell phone in the possession of Jason White.   Currently (on 4/15/2019) the number gives an “unavailable” signal.  “A TDOC officer claimed that he saw (Jason) flush a phone in prison, but he showed no evidence during the trial to connect Jason White to the number”.  This is confirmed in White’s appeal.

The TDOC officer in question was later fired for bringing contraband phones into the prison.

Chris Scruggs

Chris Scruggs, the prosecutor, lied during the trial, alleging that he had not heard of Montez Mullins’ involvement in the case until “this year” (2017), even though Cole’s then attorney, Mark McDaniels,  who had talked to Chris Scruggs and told him about Montez Mullins at the discovery point after she was arrested in February 2016.

Scruggs is one of the problem ADAs we have encountered.    He is one of the defendants in April Malone and Celitria Watson’s federal suit alleging that Scruggs participated in the alteration of wiretap evidence and in hiding exculpatory evidence from the defense.   He also recused himself from Thorne Peters’ case after fictional evidence of weed found in the cruiser which transported was added to the case documents more than four months after the arrest.

Scruggs is second only to Amy Weirich herself on MemphisTruth.org’s list of problem prosecutors.

Judge Robert Carter presided over the trial.

Defense Counsel issues.

The defendants had issues with their counsel.
Attorney Claiborne Ferguson, White’s attorney complained that Jason White assaulted him at 201 Poplar on 7/10/2017.   The incident report is in the Post and Email documents, on pages 2 through 14.   The reporting officer said that no-one saw White choking Ferguson, as he had alleged, his clothing was undisturbed and there were not marks of violence.   Deputies concluded that no assault had taken place.    White had just informed Ferguson that he was firing him as attorney.   This is confirmed in White’s appeal.

White attempted to have Ferguson removed as counsel, and act pro-se but the judge would not allow it.   The constitutional right of a defendant to defend himself was violated.  White eventually fired Ferguson at sentencing time.    White’s previous attorneys were Blake Ballon, and Jeff Mueller.

Kristina Cole hired first Mark McDaniel and then Michael Scholls, fired them both and reported them to the Board of Professional Responsibility.    She went to court with Kortney Simmons, hired from Jackson because she could not find a local attorney to take the case.

Other Prosecutorial Midconduct

Prosecutors are not allowed to make derogatory remarks or epithets about defendants at trial.   During Cole’s trial, Chris Scruggs said that Kristina looked like “a pig for the Junk Yard Dog”.    This was a reference to the prison gang, the Junk Yard Dogs, of which Jason White was a leading member in Riverbend prison.

The prison gang was led by Charles Thompson who appeared in our Jobs for Cash story.

Scruggs also referred to Kristina and White as “Bonnie and Clyde” during the trial.

The Verdicts

Kristina Cole was found guilty and given 13 ½ years.

Jason White was found guilty and given a 60 year additional sentence.    He will be over 90 if he is released.

Montez Mullins was found guilty and given 40 years.

Post Conviction

Jason White’s appeal was turned down in February 2019.
Kristina Cole and Montez Mullins’ appeal was turned down in November 2018.

— concluded —

 

 

More on snitch retraction and Earley Story

We received additional material on Alfredo Shaw’s TV retraction of his Crimestoppers snitch.   We have a video from a local TV channel and a sworn statement made to Federal court by Alfredo Shaw outlining how he was coerced into giving false witness in Tony Carruthers death penalty case.    We have also had several phone interviews with death row inmate Tony Carruthers.

We also got two more documents in the provenance of the CI ledger which Earley Story is using in his case.  Additional documents from Tony Carruthers attorney requesting the documents, the DA’s denial and a court order demanding the ledger be produced add extra detail.   We also have a better image of the CI ledger document.  Earley Story had another appearance in Division 8 before Judge Chris Craft and we provide notes of this hearing.  The Post and Email blog reports on Mr Story’s case and we have an account of his most recent court appearance last Monday.

We had an interview last week from a confidential source whose story matches the Alfredo Shaw modus operandi, generally confirming Earley Story and Tony Carruthers’ narratives.    We can’t print any more about this at present.

First up, the Alfredo Shaw confessions.

Alfredo Shaw confesses

This document was filed on April 21st 2011 in Western District of the Federal Court.   Shaw swears that Assistant DA Jerry Harris and MPD officers Wilkinson and Roleson briefed him, on or before March 27th 1994, on the Tony Carruthers murder case, showing him the case documents.  Other than media coverage, he had no other information concerning the case and had not, as he later claimed, spoken to Carruthers about the February 1994 case.   Shaw made a false statement to police on March 17th and provided the same witness statement to the Grand Jury soon after.

Shaw on TV

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Alfredo Shaw

Around February 28th 1996, Shaw gave this interview to Channel 13.   He described how he contacted MPD Homicide, was approached by prosecutor Jerry Harris and offered $2000 and dismissal of charges to testify as instructed.  He talks about police and ADAs coaching him with “bits and pieces” for his Grand Jury testimony.  A prosecutor talks about Shaw’s other crimes, how he lied on this case and others and how Carruthers and other defendants should be protected from Shaw.   The fact that Shaw’s testimony was used again on Earley Story in his 1997 – 1999 case, and upwards of ten other defendants, tends to deflate this argument.

 

Shaw threatened by prosecutor

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Tony Carruthers

Shaw was visited and threatened in the jail by Harris, Wilkinson and Roleson just after the Channel 13 report aired, who threatened and intimidated him and said they’d go after him if he did not revert to the original, concocted story.  Later, Harris said that they would not call him as a trial witness for the prosecution, but Carruthers called him as a defense witness. Harris told Shaw before his appearance that he would prosecute Shaw for perjury unless he want back to the agreed testimony.   He did so, recounting conversations with Carruthers which never occurred.  Subsequently Harris’ promises of time served on a number of felonies were carried out.   Shaw still feared retaliation from the prosecutor’s office at the time he gave this statement.

Earley Story in Court March 4th 2019

We saw Earley Story as he started his attempt to clear his record.   Earley Story was also framed with the help of testimony from Alfredo Shaw, who withdrew his testimony in an interview with Phil Campbell of the Memphis Flyer, and was forced by prosecutors to revert to his original bogus story at court.

Here’s our notes from March 4th, Shelby Co. Criminal Court Division 8, Judge Chris Craft.   I am not a shorthander so the quotes only are literal.

09:42 AM.  Earley Story requests records from the previous hearings to be added to the file.
Judge Craft:  Are you going to call witnesses?
Earley Story: No
Judge Craft: Do you know which prosecutor is handling the case?
An unidentified prosecutor stands up.  He does not know who is handling the case.  The case records were destroyed.
The judge told Mr Story to sit down.

12:50 PM.  Earley Story says that the prosecutor’s office filed a response denying all charges.

About 3:00 PM
Earley Story is called to the mic and says he would like a default judgment per his motion.
Earley Story:  On October 29th, when I received this information concerning my innocence, I filed on time and I received no information until January 15th 2019 when I receieved a letter.
Judge Craft: From me.  Where did you get thirty days to respond?
Earley Story:  Tennessee law.
Judge Craft: There is no such limit.
Earley Story:  I believe my motion should have been heard more timely.
Judge Craft:  We have not heard a motion yet.  We need to stay focused on the topic of this motion for default judgment.   Do you understand the process?  I am asking what law says thirty days.   When I ask a question I require an answer.
Earley Story:  55.01 Tennessee Rules for Civil Procedure.  When a party fails to respond within thirty days judgment is by default.   Does that mean you are denying a hearing?
Unidentified Prosecutor:  That rule does not apply in criminal court.   The state denies all allegations.  We supplied Earley Story a copy.  This is hearsay about Alfredo Shaw.   Today we are asking for the motion for default judgment to be dismissed.
Earley Storey mentions his motion for Judge Craft to recuse himself.
Judge Craft:  We don’t change the subject.  We are not supposed to help (pro se litigants).   The state says they filed a response.
Earley Storey:  The response was not timely.   29th October to March is not timely.
Judge Craft:  I am ruling that the writ is defective because there is no certificate of service.  I wrote Earley Storey to come to court February 11th to set the attorney.   Mr Story said he would represent himself pro-se.    I am denying the motion.   Any other motion?
Earley Storey:  Motion for the judge to recuse himself.
Judge Craft: The motion to recuse is not in the jacket.   (Clerk hands him a document).   We can fix that today.
Earley Storey:  I want a response to the motion I filed in the clerk’s office.
Judge Craft: I want to make sure your rights are preserved.   I can’t set a date for a hearing until a motion is in the jacket.
Earley Storey:  I filed a motion for Judge Craft to be disqualified.   Maybe it is in the wrong jacket.
Judge Craft:  I am setting a date of March 21st for report because a motion is not filed.

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